11 Mar 2021 Press Release: MPs set to vote on a “life and death” bill
For immediate release from the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada
March 11, 2021
OTTAWA, ON – The Liberals, with the help of the Bloc Québecois, have just voted to end debate on Bill C-7. This means that later this evening, Members of Parliament will be voting on Senate amendments to Bill C-7 which expands Medical Assistance in Dying. The New Democrats and the Conservatives have indicated they will be opposing the Senate amendments that were added to the bill within the past number of weeks.
“The Senate has radically expanded this already dangerous bill,” said André Schutten, Director of Law and Policy for ARPA Canada. “That the Liberals have moved to end debate when the bill has undergone such a drastic change is irresponsible and an affront to democracy.”
“When Bill C-7 passed at third reading it already discriminated against those with disabilities. Now, with the Senate amendments, it also devalues the lives of those with mental health concerns,” said Schutten. “It creates a two-tier system that would provide safeguards and protection for some Canadians considering suicide but would offer physician assisted suicide to other Canadians who are also considering ending their lives.”
Canadians with mental health concerns need the best level of help and suicide prevention.
“A request for suicide is a cry for help,” continues Schutten. “Government must do all it can to provide the best care, and equal care for all Canadians, regardless of any mental or physical disability they may have.”
If the Senate amendments pass, it will further show the government’s tone-deaf response to the suffering of people with mental and physical disabilities. The answer to suffering should start with better access to palliative care.
“We are thankful that Canadians have engaged on Bill C-7 in unprecedented ways,” said Schutten. “In the past decade of government relations, I have never seen such a broad spectrum of Canadians united in opposition to a government bill. This is a matter of life and death and it is our hope and prayer that MPs will do the right thing this evening and vote against the Senate amendments.”
The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada has been involved in the national discussion on MAiD for years. ARPA Canada was an intervener at the Supreme Court of Canada in the Carter case, a participant in multiple government consultations for Bill C-14 in 2016 and C-7 in 2020, and a presenter to Parliamentary committees.
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