Send a letter to your Member of Parliament and Member of the National Assembly:
Name of MP or MNA
I am writing to ask for your assistance with respect to current funeral legislation.
A full-service conventional funeral
often costs more than $10,000. By contrast, a household willing
to file the correct paperwork and transport the deceased to a
crematorium or cemetery themselves can spend less than $750.
Québec citizens choosing to be self-sufficient when a death occurs are
prevented from doing so by laws that compel them to mandatorily hire
the funeral industry.
In all other provinces of Canada,
families retain the legal option to provide after-death care for
next-of-kin independent of the funeral industry. Few occasions
are as trying or intimate for any family as a death; it is especially
unfortunate that Québec families are, under these circumstances,
required to retain a third party to carry out what they themselves may
prefer to do. While it is true that a majority of Québec families
will elect to rely on funeral directors to provide complete deathcare
arrangements, the civil rights of individuals who choose to proceed
independently must be respected.
Until the nineteenth century, the
Canadian funeral was almost exclusively an intimate affair. Family and
close friends performed most deathcare duties, including washing and
laying out the body, building the coffin and digging the grave.
Over time, the funeral industry developed practices and recommendations
that have become accepted as the norm. Although many rural and
less affluent families, along with certain religious and cultural
groups, have continued to care for their own after death, the vast
majority of families have lost touch with traditional methods and
In recent years, a growing number of
Canadians have sought to return to these customs – customs our
great-grandparents would instantly recognize and consider a natural
part of family life. We contend that it is the role of the Québec
government to assist citizens in this effort.
In conclusion, I ask that Québec
legislators and policymakers modify funeral legislation to accommodate
a family’s choice to determine the manner in which they wish to care
for their deceased loved ones.