Health Canada’s Cruel Approach to Psilocybin Treatment in the Spotlight Next Week

Patients and Medical Professionals from Across Canada Protesting in Ottawa


Victoria, BC (November 25, 2022) – Starting Monday on Parliament Hill and the Health Minister’s Ottawa office, a delegation of patients and medical professionals from across Canada will be shining a light on the Federal government’s cruel approach to psilocybin treatment for Canadian adults suffering from palliative depression, addiction, PTSD and chronic disease.

TheraPsil is a non-profit healthcare advocacy coalition with a mission to expand safe, equitable and legal access to psilocybin-assisted therapy for those in medical need. TheraPsil develops and delivers safe, simple and effective protocols for credentialed health professionals and organizations to provide psilocybin-assisted therapy. 

“There is ample evidence of both the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in the treatment of various mental health conditions,” said TheraPsil CEO Spencer Hawkswell. “The previous Minister recognized this and started approving exemptions. Unfortunately, this Minister has stopped and refused to consider reasonable regulations to ensure vulnerable Canadians don’t have to go to Court to access treatment that can improve their quality of life and death.”

Thomas Hartle was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and given years to live. His first request to use psilocybin to treat his end-of-life anxiety was among the first ever granted in 2020 by Minister Patty Hajdu. The exemption was valid for a year, and after a few successful treatments, he re-applied in October of 2021 only to be denied by the new Health Minister, Jean-Yves Duclos.

“We hope to meet with the Minister to find out why he and his officials are being so cruel to us,” said Hartle. “Instead of a compassionate response, Health Canada is referring dying and vulnerable patients to a special access program that results in lots of red tape but no access for most.  Many, like me have gone over a year without a response to their urgent requests.”

In addition to protesting, meeting with Members of Parliament, Ministers of Health and Senators, patients and medical professionals will participate in media interviews and public events to raise awareness about the medical benefits of psilocybin and the benefits of a transparent regulatory approach to guide medical access in the future – just as was done for cannabis over 20 years ago.

Attached is information about the delegation and their current schedule of activities from Monday, November 28 to Wednesday, November 30.  Some times are subject to change. 

Media representatives interested in speaking with patients, doctors and TheraPsil representatives and/or attending these activities, contact

“Mental health is a non-partisan issue,” concluded Dr. Valorie Masuda, a palliative care physician.  “Reasonable treatment options should be available to Canadians who have the right to MAiD. It is cruel to withhold medicine from vulnerable patients, especially when those medicines have worked for them”



Backgrounder: TheraPsil Delegation and Schedule of Activities

November 28-30, 2022

Ottawa, Ontario



  • Thoma Hartle, Palliative patient and the first in Canada to receive legal Psilocybin
  • Janis Hughes, Palliative Patient Advocate
  • Dr. Valorie Masuda M.D.
  • Dr. Houman Farzin M.D.
  • Dr. Dany Aceytuno M.D
  • Spencer Hawkswell Director at TheraPsil
  • David Wood, Lawyer/writer author of medical Psilocybin regulations
  • Nicholas Pope, Lawyer/representative for patients on the charter challenge


Schedule of Activities


Monday, November 28, 2022

12:00 pm Delegation Meeting with Liberal MPs

  • Meeting Room 840 Valour
  • 151 Sparks St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5E3

1:30pm Media Availability 


Tuesday, November 29

9:00vam Patient Meeting with their Member of Parliament

  • Office of NDP MP Leah Gazan
  • Confederation Building

9:15 am Patient Meeting with their Member of Parliament

  • Office of Tory MP Stephen Ellis
  • Confederation Building

10:00 am Meeting with Minister of Health

  • Health Canada Headquarters, Tunny’s Pasture
  • Note: Patients and health care professionals will arrive at the Brooke Claxton Building seeking a meeting and response for the 421st day in a row

11:00 am Media Availability

12:30 pm Patient Meeting with their Member of Parliament

  • Office of Conservative MP, Ed Fast
  • Confederation Building

1:00 pm Demonstration – Information Picket

  • Out front on Parliament Hill 

2:00 pm Question Period

  • House of Commons, Parliament Hill
  • Note: Delegation attending as a guest of MP Alistair McGregor 

3:30 pm Patient Meeting with their Member of Parliament

  • Office of Conservative MP, Cory Tochor
  • Confederation Building

5:30 pm Public Meeting – Merits and limitations of Psilocybin Treatment 

  • Room 268, Valour Building, Parliament Hill
  • 151 Sparks St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5E3
  • RSVP here


Wednesday, November 30

9:00 am Meeting with Green Party Leader, Hon. Elizabeth May and MP Mike Morris 

  • Confederation Building

10:30 am (T) Meeting with Minister of Health

  • Health Canada Headquarters, Tunny’s Pasture
  • Note: If Minister has not met with patients and health care professionals Tuesday, delegates will arrive at the Brooke Claxton Building seeking a meeting for the 422nd day in a row 

12:00 pm Delegation Reception with Senators

  • 505 Victoria building (140 Wellington)

1:00 pm Demonstration – Information Picket

  • Parliament Hill Location TBC

7:00 pm Public Meeting – Psychedelic Café

  • Art House, 555 Somerset Street West
  • Snacks and a meet and greet 
  • Lobby week debrief with a special announcement 
  • RSVP here




For more information and to participate in these activities, contact or




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