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Opinion

Senators have a hard task, choice about Bill C-7

I am very pleased that Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), finally passed third reading in the House of Commons. It has now gone to the Senate where they are being asked to deal with it by a court-imposed deadline of Dec. 18, 2020, (the government has now asked for an extension until Feb. 26, 2021) given that the bill is in response to a Quebec Superior Court ruling that a provision in the existing medical assistance in dying (MAID) legislation is unconstitutional. Every indication is that the bill will not pass the Senate in this limited time, even though the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has already completed a pre-study of the proposed legislation. Also, the Senate may report the bill back to the House before the holiday break, but with amendments. Since the House is on break as of Dec. 11, this means the bill will languish until Parliament resumes sittings at the end of January.

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