Patricia Neves of Inclusion Nova Scotia explains why she opposes Bill C-7, the terrible law that views a person’s disability as a reason to terminate life and essentially equates disability to suffering.
I wasn’t planning for poetry this weekend, but that changed on the spot after reading this poem about ableism, Bill c-7, poverty, colonialism, and so much more, by the always brilliant Gabrielle Peters.
Catherine Frazee: “There is never a good day to pass a bill this dangerous to disabled people, but doing so today is cruel. We have been fighting this bill non-stop for months. And now, instead of a chance to catch our breath and remember a document that says our lives and rights are important and should be supported and respected, the Canadian government is determined to communicate they aren’t and won’t be.”
Bill C-7 expands Medical Assistance in Dying beyond those who are actually dying, but it only does so for persons with a disabling medical condition. In November of last year noted scholar Catherine Frazee addressed the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights on the legislation via video. “What is it about disability that makes this okay,” Frazee asked. “Why such breathless confidence that Bill C-7 will bring no harm to disability communities?”
Today is the first day of the Disability Filibuster, a Canada-wide, round the clock protest against Bill C-7 by disabled people.
sb. smith on Bill C-7: “This shameful bill, when it comes to the disabled community, it is an example of why it is increasingly necessary for financially-privileged (and especially white, financially-privileged) disabled people to confront and be forthcoming about their wealth and social status.”
Speech by Gabrielle Peters at today’s Virtual Vigil for the Disability Day of Mourning: We are entering a dangerous time to be a disabled person in Canada. But I repeat this history to remind us it’s always been dangerous to be a disabled person in Canada. The specific threat we face from Bill C-7 is new to us but Canadian culture, laws, and society being a threat to our safety and well-being is not.
Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald: “There is, from our perspective, a flawed and dangerous risk to Bill C-7 that may not as yet have been considered—in particular the consequences of societal sexism and relational violence. It is our concern, experienced over the past 28 years of developing supportive care for women who have suffered massively as a consequence of being born into families or having married a male spouse who were non-state torturer-traffickers.”
Wendy Lill on Bill C-7, proposed legislation which removes death as a reasonably foreseeable criterion and includes suffering with a disability as one of the eligible criteria for seeking an end to life. “A worse stereotype could not be institutionalized in law: that disability-related suffering, often caused by inadequate health, poverty, lack of social supports and entrenched inequality, justifies the termination of a person’s life.”