Dying with Dignity’s Guide to Lobbying: A Masterclass in Winning Hearts, Minds, and Million-Dollar Donations


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In a recent exposé by the Walrus, Miranda Schreiber unveils the awe-inspiring tale of Dying with Dignity (DWD) Canada– the David among Goliaths in the pro-Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) lobby. With more plot twists than a daytime soap opera, this saga chronicles DWD’s rise to lobbying stardom, all thanks to a mere $7 million donation. Move over, Marvel; we’ve got a real superhero origin story here.

Schreiber paints DWD as the ultimate underdog turned champion, losing its charitable status in 2015 only to return in 2018 with a financial boost that could make Scrooge McDuck jealous. Forget about raising funds; just imagine the sheer thrill of being handed $7 million– it’s like winning the lottery, but with more political power.

But wait, there’s more! The Supreme Court’s removal of the 10% limit on political spending for charities paved the way for DWD to regain its charitable status. Now, armed with tax-exempt privileges and government funding eligibility, DWD emerges as the Iron Man of Canadian lobby groups, ready to reshape assisted dying regulations.

In a dazzling display of political acrobatics, DWD seamlessly transitions from losing charitable status to registering as a lobby group while still being recognized as a charity. Move aside Houdini; this is lobbying magic at its finest. The group even sent a letter proposing amendments to MAiD regulations, leaving Health Canada in awe of their lobbying prowess.

But what’s a lobbying success story without a touch of controversy? Critics argue that DWD’s connections with political and medical bigwigs have given them a disproportionate influence. “A certain distance between interest groups and decision makers?” Who needs that in a healthy democracy anyway?

As the article unfolds, we discover DWD’s efforts to debunk myths about MAiD eligibility, with a special emphasis on the myth that vulnerable people qualify based on insufficient social and financial supports. Spoiler alert: DWD claims it’s just a myth. Meanwhile, real-life stories of individuals seeking MAiD due to poverty and lack of support are dismissed as fictional tales.

The plot thickens as palliative care professionals find themselves caught in the crossfire. DWD’s integration of MAiD into palliative care sparks hesitancy among patients, while palliative care organizations are left out of important conversations. It’s like a Shakespearean tragedy, only with fewer soliloquies and more governmnet negligence.

And what’s a blockbuster without an impressive cast? DWD’s donor list reads like a who’s who of corporate giants– TD Canada Trust, Rogers, Google Ads, and Pfizer. Yes, the same Pfizer that conveniently provides drugs recommended for MAiD. Money talks, and and in this case, it’s practically shouting from the rooftops.

In a shocking twist, DWD claims to represent marginalized communities through the lens of diversity and anti-oppression. Disability advocate Mitchell Tremblay, however, sees through the facade, describing DWD’s statements as “very pro-MAiD while dismissing the negative effects.” Move over, Shakespeare; we’ve got a tragedy with a modern twist.

In the grand finale, Schreiber leaves us questioning whether DWD’s lobbying has coerced provincial governments into making palliative care institutions provide euthanasia. It’s a cliffhanger that could rival the most suspenseful season finale.

In this rollercoaster of a lobbying journey, DWD Canada emerges as the unlikely hero– or villain, depending on your perspective. One thing’s for sure: lobbying will never be the same again. Welcome to the blockbuster of Canadian politics– “Dying with Dignity: Lobbying Chronicles.”

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