Ottawa, Ontario                                                               January 20, 2020

Media Release


Prime Minister Trudeau’s virtue signalling never ends. He plans to amend the physician-assisted suicide legislation called medical assistance in dying (MAID), pretending that he is required to do so because of a court decision last September by a single judge on a Quebec lower court. The judge held that the law on assisted suicide was unconstitutional because it was based on the fact that the individual’s death must be “reasonably foreseeable” before it can be applied.

This decision of a provincial lower court is binding only in the province of Quebec, not nationally. Trudeau could have appealed this decision, but on the advice of Minister of Justice, David Lametti, he did not do so. (Lametti did not vote for the current federal law when it was before Parliament in June 2016 because he thought it was too restrictive).

The Quebec court’s decision provided that the amendment to remove the expression “reasonably foreseeable” from the law must be implemented within 6 months, that is, by March 11, 2020. This was a nearly impossible feat because Parliament has sat only briefly since the federal election in October. Trudeau could have asked for an extension of time, but he did not do so.

Trudeau and Lametti are also using the Quebec decision as an opportunity to later further expand the law to provide for its application to mature minors between 14 to 17 years of age to obtain medical aid in dying. Parents will have no authority to stop this in most provinces, since the decision as to their child’s capacity to understand the nature and the consequences of the procedure will be determined by the physician who will be carrying out the fatal procedure. Other amendments include allowing death for those persons with mental illness (such as those with depression or schizophrenia, etc.) and persons such as those with dementia to make advance directives for an assisted death before losing their capacity to consent. Yet, these issues have not been extensively debated or resolved by Canadians.

Under the pretense that the federal government was obliged to act on the Quebec decision, on January 13, 2020, the government announced a brief, two-week public online consultation which is to end on January 27, 2020.

This consultation is misleading for several reasons. The problems include its brief duration; the questions assume that the respondent is in favor of MAID and wants it to be expanded, and that any safeguards proposed are to be within an expanded MAID legislation; and the opportunities to comment on the questionnaire allows only enough characters for a few short sentences.

Although this questionnaire is misleading, it should still be completed in order to register objections to any expansion of the law.

A spokesperson for Justice Minister Lametti has stated that “What we’re doing with this consultation is trying to assess from Canadians their views on the medical-assistance-in-[dying] regime and some of the finer points, to try to see if there is shared consensus on other issues…for example, like advanced requests [for MAID]”.

There is no consensus in Canada on amending the legislation; only a consensus among the Laurentian group (Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto), but not the general public.

Trudeau has learned nothing from the last election. He no longer speaks for all Canadians. He only speaks, as is his customary practice, for the Laurentian group. He is using the consultation process to camouflage the implementation his own “progressive” perspective.


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For further information contact:

Pauline Guzik
National President
REAL Women of Canada

Cathy Smith
Western Canada Board Member
REAL Women of Canada

(613) 236-4001