Skip to main content

As deadline looms, Liberals say Canada not ready to expand assisted dying eligibility

Share
OTTAWA -

The country is not ready to expand eligibility for assisted death to people whose only medical condition is a mental illness, Health Minister Mark Holland said Monday.

He said the Liberal government agrees with the conclusion of a joint parliamentary committee report released Monday, and more time is needed before it can happen.

Justice Minister Arif Virani said the government is very aware of the coming deadline, with the expansion set to take effect in March, and will have a plan in place.

But neither minister would clearly articulate what they plan to do to address the concerns.

Legislation is required to change the timeline. The Liberals already legislated a one-year delay last year, saying at the time that medical providers and provinces needed more time to prepare.

"The legislative time frame is tight. We recognize that. This has to be done in advance of (March 17)," Holland said.

"I don't see the timeline being a barrier but we do need to move expeditiously."

The joint committee's final report, tabled just moments before Holland and Virani appeared on Parliament Hill, concluded that fundamental issues around the expansion have not yet been resolved.

It said that it heard "conflicting testimony" and that a year before any expansion does take place, the committee should be struck again to delve into whether enough progress has been made.

Conservative MPs and senators on the committee said in a dissenting report that it would be "reckless and dangerous" for the Liberal government to allow the scheduled change to take place in March.

They are asking the Liberals to abandon the expansion altogether.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 29, 2024.

IN DEPTH

Who is supporting, opposing new online harms bill?

Now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's sweeping online harms legislation is before Parliament, allowing key stakeholders, major platforms, and Canadians with direct personal experience with abuse to dig in and see what's being proposed, reaction is streaming in. CTVNews.ca has rounded up reaction, and here's how Bill C-63 is going over.

Opinion

opinion

opinion Don Martin: How a beer break may have doomed the carbon tax hike

When the Liberal government chopped a planned beer excise tax hike to two per cent from 4.5 per cent and froze future increases until after the next election, says political columnist Don Martin, it almost guaranteed a similar carbon tax move in the offing.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Local Spotlight

'It was surreal': Ontario mother gives birth to son on day of solar eclipse

For many, Monday's total solar eclipse will become a distant memory or collection of photos to scroll through in the years to come. But for Alannah Duarte and her family, they'll be reminded of the rare celestial event every year they celebrate their youngest son's birthday, as he was born on the day of the momentous occasion.

Stay Connected