OTTAWA, May 4, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has moved to close down debate on its highly controversial bill legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide.
As a result, a vote on second reading of Bill C-14 could happen as soon as tonight, although some Ottawa watchers say it will likely be Thursday.
The Liberals are rushing to pass the bill by the Supreme Court’s June 6 deadline, when its Carter decision striking down the current Criminal Code sections prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia takes effect.
But critics say that despite the tight deadline, the Liberals should not shut down debate.
“That is ridiculous,” says Jeff Gunnarson, vice president of Campaign Life Coalition.
“This is the most important issue Parliament has dealt with in a generation, as acknowledged by members of the government themselves,” he told LifeSiteNews. “The Liberal government cannot claim to carefully consider all the issues surrounding the bill and rush the debate at the same time.”
House Leader Dominic LeBlanc tabled a motion May 3 to invoke time allocations to limit debate on Bill C-14.
After debating the bill until midnight Monday and Tuesday, MPs will take up debate again today, and will also debate and vote on the time allocation motion, which if passed will push the bill forward to a second reading vote.
Meanwhile, the House justice committee has been sitting extended hours to hear testimony of the public and concerned groups on suggested amendments to the bill.
And the Senate legal affairs committee begins a pre-study on the legislation today.
The draft legislation has drawn fire from both pro- and anti-euthanasia advocates as being too narrow or too wide.
In June 2014, LeBlanc accused the Stephen Harper Conservatives of “absolutely behaving in an undemocratic way” in using time allocations to stifle debate in Parliament.
Those who are interested can watch the debate here.