Big Wins for Family-Led Deathcare in Ontario!

By Adriane Weller

June 25, 2019

Community Deathcare Canada’s Legislative Committee’s Ontario working group (CDC-ON) has achieved some exciting things for Ontario Family-Led Deathcare (FLDC) and Green Burial (GB) in the first half of 2019!

  • CDC-ON established quarterly meetings with the Registrar of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO).  CDC-ON attended the first two 2019 meetings in February and June.
  • CDC-ON was granted, via a fellow Ontarian FLDC consumer and advocate, a meeting with Green Party MPP Mike Schreiner to discuss FLDC in Ontario and highlight some key questions and concerns regarding current legislation.
  • Mr. Schreiner’s Office then forwarded CDC-ON’s Concerns Document directly to the Legislative Library of Ontario for clarification.
  • CDC-ON thoroughly reviewed the BAO’s Guide to Death Care in Ontario and submitted a list of proposed updates that would better include and accurately represent FLDC and GB in ON.
  • The majority of these suggestions were approved and incorporated by the BAO.  This updated Guide to Death Care in Ontario is now available online and in print.  These changes are significant and progressive – especially the *chart on page 8* – a very positive step forward for the accurate recognition and understanding of Family-Led Deathcare and Green Burial in Ontario.
  • CDC-ON created and is undertaking an extensive and ongoing survey of crematories in Ontario, regarding their cooperation with FLDC.
  • CDC-ON was supported by the Chief Coroner of Ontario in connecting with ServiceOntario to request accurate updates to their Ontario Death Care webpages, and to announce and describe the pathway for families to obtain Cremation Certificates directly from the Coroner.
  • CDC-ON successfully contacted the ON government, and was invited to participate in a meeting with the Electronic Death Registration (EDR) project working group.  Our advocacy for clear and direct citizen access to Ontario’s future EDR system was well-received.  CDC-ON has been invited to continue to participate in these conversations, as the EDR system is developed.
  • CDC-ON, with FLDC consumer help, has compiled and presented to the BAO compelling examples of the challenges Ontario families are facing in our attempts to care for our own dead, and access GB services in Ontario.  The BAO has welcomed these examples as a valuable inroad to consumer perspectives.

Thanks to those on the CDC-ON committee: Barb Phillips, Laura Eisan, Ellen Newman, Rochelle Martin, and Adriane Weller for their great work on these projects!

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  1. Tracey  January 19, 2020

    Thank you for all of your work!! I was delighted to read this updated document. Are there any plans to have the BAO or a government office provide information to hospitals and other places regarding the rights of the family and mandate their co-operation? The following was taken from the updated guide and I am disappointed. Not all deaths are anticipated. This paragraph almost indicates that if there is a sudden death, a family-led death should not be considered. With much appreciation, Tracey

    “When contemplating family-led death care, it is important to note that institutions, like hospitals or nursing homes, may not be aware that it is legal for family members to provide funeral services for their dead family members. It is best that planning for family-led death care take place well in advance, including direct communication with the institutions or organizations that may be involved to ensure that there is no misunderstanding at the time of need”


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