Press Release: ARPA Canada Calls On The Government To End MAiD Expansion
February 2, 2023
For immediate release
OTTAWA, ON – Today, the federal government introduced Bill C-39 to delay the expansion of MAiD to those with mental illness. The delay, initially announced by the Justice Minister in December of last year, will hold off the expansion until March 17, 2024. While this development indicates that the government recognizes there are problems with Canada’s MAiD legislation, simply delaying the inevitable is not good enough and much more needs to be done.
“Delaying the expansion of euthanasia with the promise of better safeguards will not solve the problems inherent in such an expansion,” said Mike Schouten, spokesperson for ARPA Canada. “Canada has made incredible strides in recent years to care for those suffering from mental illness. The increased openness to talking about our struggles and self-awareness about the harms of ignoring mental health challenges are all positive steps,” continued Schouten. “Making it possible for struggling Canadians to act on their suicidal desires will negatively impact the progress we’ve made in helping those with mental illness. We need the government to protect vulnerable Canadians by amending the legislation so that it protects those with mental illness from accessing euthanasia based on their condition.”
Witness testimony at the Joint Special Committee studying MAiD laws, much of it from the medical community, and numerous stories in the media have clearly demonstrated the harm that expanding euthanasia to those with mental illness would cause.
“Expanding assisted suicide for those with mental illness encourages a culture of neglect and devalues their lives,” said Schouten. “Euthanasia and assisted suicide should never be a solution for mental illness.”
ARPA Canada calls on the government and opposition parties to use Bill C-39 as an opportunity to do what is right and protect vulnerable Canadians by entirely removing the option of expanding euthanasia to those with mental illness.
– 30 –
The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada has a long history of involvement with euthanasia laws and policy in Canada. ARPA was granted intervenor standing at the Supreme Court of Canada in the Carter case in 2016. They have also provided a variety of policy reports, research, and analysis on the topic. In 2020, ARPA launched the Care Not Kill campaign, a national grassroots initiative that educates Canadians on the harms of euthanasia as well as equipping people to engage respectfully on this sensitive topic.
For further comment or interviews, please contact Mike Schouten at 1-866-691-2772 or