With the June 7 provincial election on the horizon, there are resources available to help parishioners in the Archdiocese of Toronto make an informed choice as they head to the polls.
In recent weeks, Cardinal Thomas Collins issued a letter on key issues related to the sanctity of life for Catholics to keep in mind when casting their vote.
Cardinal Collins has appealed to parishioners to consider their candidates' positions on palliative care, conscience rights and the protection of faith-based facilities.
Here are some fast facts:
- Only one-third of Canadians have access to palliative care - In Ontario, while doctors and nurses are not forced to provide a lethal injection to patients, they are required to provide a referral, which can be equally offensive to those who object for religious reasons - Many faith-based hospitals and treatment centres do not wish to participate in euthanasia/assisted suicide; no health care facility offers every procedure, so it is alarming to suggest we would start with one that will kill those who are sick
To learn more about euthanasia and conscience-related rights issues, please visit www.archtoronto.org/euthanasia.
As well, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto has issued the Catholic Charities Ontario Election Guide 2018 to help Catholics assess their candidates' positions on a wide spectrum of issues.
The Guide focusses on our responsibilities as citizens and government's responsibility to respect and support life. The Guide looks at tough issues facing the most vulnerable families and individuals in society and the Catholic social service agencies providing support, as well as highlighting Catholic Social Teaching. Additionally, there is a handy Candidates' Report Card with suggested questions for candidates in your riding.
The Ontario Election Guide looks at 10 key areas:
1. Social Services 2. Poverty (Focus on Children and Families) 3. Income Security (Precarious Employment and Poverty) 4. Employment Justice (Precarious Work) 5. Basic Income 6. Homelessness (Adequate, Accessible, Affordable Housing) 7. Healthcare (Improving Core Health) 8. Vulnerable Groups 9. Indigenous 10. Palliative care
To view the guide, please visit http://bit.ly/CatholicCharitiesOntarioElectionGuide.
Voting is our civic duty, yet voting rates are notoriously low. About half of all voting-aged Ontarians vote in elections: 48 per cent voted in 2011 and 51 per cent in 2014.
Ontario's Catholic Bishops remind us that "Catholic Social Teaching continually keeps before us our responsibility for the common good and for the poor with whom Jesus identified in a preferential way; that is why elections are conscience moments for people of faith" and "it is inconceivable that people would consciously decide not to vote."
St. Thomas More, patron saint of politicians, pray for us!