COLF Letter to Federal Health Minister asking for Legislation for New Reproductive Technologies

Monday, March 02 1998

The Honourable Allan Rock
Minister of Health
Brooke Clayton Building
Postal Locator 0916A
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0K9

Dear Mr. Rock,

The members of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) were very disappointed in your December 17, 1997 response to our letter of October 23, 1997 which asked that you make the new reproductive and genetic technologies (NRGTs) a legislative priority.

Members were particularly frustrated by your statement at the end of the letter that said Given the complexity of NRGT issues, I will examine them carefully before making any decisions. This statement is difficult to understand given the acknowledgment in your letter that there is a consensus among Canadians regarding the need to legislate in the area of NRGTs to ensure the health and safety of those most affected by these practices, and to ensure that NRGTs which violate Canadian values are not performed.

More than four years have passed since the Royal Commission delivered its substantial report. While we recognize the complexity of these issues, we are not convinced that action should be postponed pending further examination, given the extensive consultation by the Royal Commission, your own Department and the Parliamentary Committee studying Bill C-47.

In the wake of media reports of plans to clone a human being, it is no comfort to us to be reminded that the voluntary moratorium, which was roundly condemned when it was announced almost three years ago, is still in place.

Once again, we ask you to take serious steps to deal with this pressing social question.


+ Most Rev. Adam Exner. O.M.I.
Archbishop of Vancouver
Catholic Organization for Life and Family