Bill C-7 expanding euthanasia in Canada is likely delayed until February 2021

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On December 10, after Bill C-7 passed in the House of Commons by a 212 -107 vote, with two Liberals voting against the Bill, Justice Minister Lametti asked the Superior Court of Quebec to extend the time-frame to February 26, 2021, to pass Bill C-7. 

The Superior court of Quebec granted the federal government the extension.

However, the Canadian Press reported on December 17 that the Senate will not vote on Bill C-7 until mid-February:

Senate, Sen. Marc Gold, concedes that the upper house won’t finish its consideration of Bill C-7 until mid-February — long past the previous court-imposed deadline that was set to expire Friday.

Dale Smith reported in an article published in the CBA National on December 14 that Senator Denise Batters, the Deputy Chair of the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional affairs committee, is not in a hurry to pass Bill C-7 and recognizes that amendments to Bill C-7 may be necessary:

Conservative Senator Denise Batters, a lawyer and former chief of staff to the Minister of Justice in Saskatchewan, …says that she is most concerned that the bill potentially violates the Section 15 Charter rights of persons with disabilities, and with the removal of the 10-day waiting period.

“The lower court Truchon decision struck down the requirement for a ‘reasonably foreseeable’ death in order to access assisted dying,” says Batters. “It did not call for the removal of safeguards around the practice. Yet Justice Minister Lametti’s response, Bill C-7, unnecessarily proposes the removal of not only that 10-day waiting period, but the loosening of a number of other safeguards.”

Batters  says that given the parliamentary calendar, even meeting a new February date will be challenging.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.