Delta Hospice Society head Angelina Ireland walks through the Irene Thomas Hospice shortly before it closed. Photo by Agnieszka Ruck/The B.C. Catholic

Charles Lewis: The intolerance of a tolerant nation

  • May 5, 2021

I often point out how little we as Christians and social conservatives are respected in Canadian society. It’s as if we are not even citizens and our points of view are so hideous it is taken for granted we deserve to be crushed whenever we articulate our crazy ideas.

It is true we are a minority in Canada but then again we live under a regime that spends a good portion of its energy and our tax dollars propping up all kinds of minorities far smaller than ours.

There is all this talk out of Ottawa of making sure this or that group is not ignored. Take for example this masterpiece from the Department of Canadian Heritage on March 31, which is charged with promoting and supporting Canadian identity and values.

“Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. This day highlights our friends, family, colleagues and neighbours who contribute uniquely to the diversity in Canada. It is also a day that raises awareness about Trans communities and discrimination fuelled by transphobia that is a lived reality for many in Canada and around the world.”

It went on to say that the government recognizes the “sacrifices and achievements of those who fought and continue to fight for gender equity.”

Now can you imagine Canadian Heritage putting out a similar release concerning social conservatives?

“Today is International Social Conservatives Day. This day highlights the million of our friends, family, colleagues and neighbours who contribute uniquely to the diversity in Canada. It is also a day that raises awareness of the struggle of these great citizens of all backgrounds who fight for life — whether it is in the womb or for those who are terminally ill or simply old. We realize that social conservatives are subject to all sorts of bigotry either by government or the courts.”
Pause for laughter….

I could raise all sorts of examples of how we are considered to be dangerous outliers. Instead let’s look at what happened recently to a group whose only crime was to offer a 10-bed palliative care facility for patients who chose not to be euthanized.

The Delta Hospice Society’s Irene Thomas Hospice, in a Vancouver suburb, was built with private donations on land leased from the local medical authority. Its operations were based on Christian principles. The government through the Fraser Health Authority did pay Delta for each patient it welcomed to its doors. That was perfectly proper as Delta was providing a service for B.C. patients, taking the strain off of hospice spaces in hospitals.

However, this life-affirming service was simply too much for the pro-death crowd. Based on those Christian principles Delta did not perform euthanasia. However, if a patient wanted to die he or she would simply be transferred to a facility … a mere one minute away.

The last hope for Delta was the Supreme Court of Canada. But our fair-minded justices decided in April not to hear the case, sealing the hospice’s fate.

Those who see no problem with killing patients will now run Delta.

This was not a decision by our federal government but it seems to be in the spirit of all that has taken place under the Trudeau Liberals. Whereas we were promised in 2016 that euthanasia would only be for those close to death. Now, with the passage of Bill C-7 a foreseeable death is no longer a requirement and will allow, after some study, for those who are mentally ill to access euthanasia within two years.

In October 2019 Justin Trudeau told the CBC the following:

“The essential element around society is ensuring that everyone gets the supports, the treatment they need to live in dignity, and to make the choice of medical assistance in dying one that is made in a way that isn’t because you’re not getting the supports and cares that you actually need,” he said.

As far as I could find out, Trudeau never said a word about the awful treatment of Delta, despite his philosophy that Canadians should have a choice between life and death.

Though I suspect that if there was a similar situation involving trans Canadians he would have been all over it. After all, Canada is a tolerant country … well, mostly tolerant.

(Lewis is a Toronto writer and regular contributor to The Register.)

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