“We are honestly surprised that we have not heard more feedback from constituents on this issue, since a parliamentary report on this very subject was released earlier this week.” This statement came from an MP’s office, in response to an email from a constituent about euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Parliament Buildings

Have your views on assisted suicide been heard within Canada’s Parliament Buildings?

Right now, the federal government is working on legislation to allow euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. They are deciding how and to whom hastened death will be made available, who should have to provide it and where it should be provided. The parliamentary committee tasked with studying the issue and making recommendations to Parliament has recommended that Canada put in place one of the most permissive regimes for assisted death in the world. Soon, the legislation will be tabled, and MPs will be asked to consider and vote on it.

We have a window of time right now to help shape this legislation.

Why do we hesitate to contact our elected officials about such a critical issue, at such a critical time?

  • We don’t think it will really have any effect.

We’ve heard from a Member of Parliament that if he receives five personal letters from constituents on a topic, he knows he needs to pay attention to the issue. (A personal letter, phone call or visit has significantly more impact than a petition or postcard, but some contact is better than none.)

And MPs do pay attention to their constituents. If you write or call your local MP, it will be noticed. In fact, MPs are surprised that they aren’t hearing more about this issue.

  • We’re nervous about how to express our views.

It may seem intimidating to contact a Member of Parliament’s office. We may think the MP or their office staff are experts on the issue we are concerned about. We may feel keenly aware of how much we still need to learn.

But the truth is, MPs care about their constituents’ views, and usually welcome hearing them. An MP is voted in by his or her constituents to be their representative in Parliament. It is part of the job to hear from constituents.

Also, there are resources to help you engage with your MP. The EFC has background information to equip you to learn about the issue and how to respond on our website. For example, the EFC has a sample letter you can use when writing to your MP – either as is, or even better, as a guide to writing your own.

  • We’re busy.

Life rushes on with appointments and commitments. We care about our country and the direction it is headed, but feel like we don’t have the time to get involved.

But it would take less than 20 minutes to look up your MP’s contact information using your postal code and make a phone call, saying “I’m opposed to assisted death. If it is established in Canada, I want the strictest possible safeguards and conscience protection for medical workers and institutions. I’d like my MP to represent my concerns.”

If your MP hears from his or her constituents, they will go into their party caucus meetings and say, “I’m hearing from my constituents. They care about this issue.” And that will have an impact on what happens in the House of Commons.

It would take less than 30 minutes to write a letter, expressing the same concerns. Read our summary on the issue. Your letter or email can be effective even if it is short and simple.

Isn’t it worth half an hour of your time to help shape our nation’s debate on life and death legislation?

In any communication with your MP, please remember:

  • Pray before you call or write – for your MP, for wisdom, for God’s blessing.
  • Be respectful, even if you’re speaking with someone who disagrees with your position.

3 comments on “Does your MP know what you think about euthanasia and assisted suicide?

  • Yes, but I have yet to receive a response to my request for a meeting to further discuss my concerns or even an acknowledgement that it has been received. My letter was quite long & I sent it by e-mail. Maybe I should print it & snail mail?

  • Community Pentecostal Church in Ottawa, Ontario, has a group for the fifty-plus bearing the name Compass Ministry. This coming Sunday we are publishing in the bulletin sample letters anybody can send to their local MP, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Health. We have to speak up. Today’s generation and future generations will be appalled by our apathy if legislation contrary to God’s principles becomes law in Canada.

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