October 2016 E-Brief
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This is a crucial time for Palliative Care in Canada.

Bill C-277, an Act Providing for the Development of a Framework on Palliative Care in Canada, is slated for its second reading in the House of Commons and we are promoting its advancement in the legislature.

Negotiations are beginning for a new Health Accord in which increased funding for home care and palliative care is promised. With our partners, we need to provide direction as to how monies can be directed to advance palliative care in Canada.

The CSPCP has weighed in on the “opioid crisis" in Canada by developing a position statement which is posted on our website. We want to ensure that patients receiving palliative care continue to have access to the medications they need. The Ontario government is now meeting with some of our members to discuss how this can be accomplished. 

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons subspecialty in Palliative Medicine is starting in September 2017.

The College of Family Physicians is modifying but continuing with the Year of Added Competency. Members on the Palliative Care Program Committee are advocating for minimal changes to the original Year of Added Competency to ensure the same level of competence as in past years from this program. Certificates of Added Competency have been awarded to leaders in palliative care and physicians who have completed the Year of Added Competency. A practice eligible route will be available soon. This will help to identify physicians with a standardized credential.

With Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) now being available in Canada, many of our members are expressing concerns as the country tries to adapt to this newly legalized procedure. One of the biggest issues is provincial/organizational directives to insist on MAiD being available in palliative care units and residential hospices. We encourage you to log into the Members Area of our website to see some of the documents to help us clearly describe some of the concerns regarding this issue. In particular, look for the letter to the Board of Fraser Health written by CSPCP Board Member Dr. Pippa Hawley, on the page titled Hastened Death Post June 6th.
Your board has been very busy working on your behalf. We are working on documents to improve and support access to palliative care across the country. We have been meeting with key stakeholders to promote this work. Two catch phrases we have been using are “Palliative Care is Everyone’s Responsibility” and a twist on Justin Trudeau’s United Nations quote, “We’re Palliative Care and We Are Here to Help”.

We will be calling on you to help advocate for palliative care in your provinces and territories. Thank you for supporting your Society.

Dr. J. David Henderson


Your CSPCP Board has been extremely busy meeting with representatives from government, media, and healthcare stakeholders! We have been advocating strongly on the behalf of all of our members and the palliative care community as a whole.
Here is a sample of some of the meetings we have had:
    • MP Marilyn Gladu, sponsor of Private Member's Bill C-277 calling for a framework for palliative care in Canada
    • MP Harold Albrecht, champion of palliative care in parliament
    • MP Celina Caesar Chavannes, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Trudeau
    • Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health
    • Health Canada Strategic Policy Branch
  • MEDIA:
    • Barbara Sibbald, Editor of CMAJ
    • Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Innovation
    • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada regarding the need for palliative care education in ALL specialties
    • Canadian Medical Association regarding next steps beyond the palliative care motions that were passed at General Council 2016
    • Sharon Baxter (Executive Director Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association) and Sharon Carstairs (Senator formerly with portfolio for Palliative Care) to ensure alignment on our wishes for the Health Accord
    • Association of the Faculties of Medicine of Canada re collaboration on data collection
    • Canada 2020 conference re the Health Accord
  • We are promoting Bill C-277 which is being debated in legislature. Please speak with your local MP to get him or her to vote YES.
  • Sign the e-petition in support of Bill C-277 here
  • Tell your MP and MLA about the palliative care needs in your local community.
  • We continue to advocate for safe and effective access to opioids for patients requiring palliative care, to ensure that their needs do not go unmet given radical government changes in the wake of the “opioid crisis”. Please work with regulatory authorities and drug funders in your province or territory to advocate for continued access to these medications for our patients.


Keynote speakers have been confirmed for the 2017 Advanced Learning in Palliative Medicine Conference in Edmonton: Eduardo Bruera, Robin Fainsinger, Serena Lewis, and Charles Von Gunten. Mark your calendar and plan to join us on June 1-3, 2017.



Congratulations to UBC student Jenny McCormack, winner of the 2016 Undergraduate Narrative Award for Palliative Medicine. Diana Kim (UBC) and Shannon Chun (Queen’s) received honourable mention. We have invited Ms. McCormack to personally share her narrative at the 2017 Advanced Learning in Palliative Medicine Conference in Edmonton (June 1-3, 2017). She will also receive a cash prize of $500, generously sponsored by Pallium Canada. 

The top three narratives have been submitted for potential publication. We will post them as soon as we are able.

Each year the award also recognizes a palliative care physician who has shown an enduring commitment to the integration of the arts and humanities into the practice of palliative medicine. This year’s honouree is Dr. Pippa Hall from the University of Ottawa.

Thank you to all entrants and to the 2016 judging committee: Margaret Cottle (CSPCP Undergraduate Education Committee), Pippa Hall (Honouree, U. of Ottawa), Carol-Ann Courneya (Advisor), Paul Daeninck (CSPCP Awards Committee), and Barbara Sibbald (CMAJ).

For detailed information about this award, see the Awards Page on this web site.

Local Hero Profile

Dr. Andrew Kerigan is featured in our latest Local Hero profile, written by Dr. Saneea Abboud.   

Dr. Kerigan’s’ profile: Click here



On October 28, 2016 at 1-2pm CST, join Dr. Pippa Hawley (Project Co-lead), Head of the Division of Palliative Care at the University of British Columbia, and Board Member of the CSPCP, for a free webinar on is an online training course on methadone for pain management in palliative care, accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College. Dr. Hawley will provide an overview of and lead a discussion on questions you have on methadone prescribing. To register email:
Copyright © 2016 Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, All rights reserved.

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