OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Minister of Justice David Lametti tabled a bill today that will delay the expansion of Canada’s euthanasia laws to include those suffering solely from mental illness after intense pushback from pro-life and mental health groups.
“I tabled Bill C-39 in @OurCommons, which seeks to delay the expansion of MAID for those whose sole underlying condition is mental illness, until March 17, 2024,” Lametti posted on social media on Thursday.
Just now, I tabled Bill C-39 in @OurCommons, which seeks to delay the expansion of MAID for those whose sole underlying condition is mental illness, until March 17, 2024. I’ll have more to say at our press conference at 11:45 am with Minister @Carolyn_Bennett.
— David Lametti (@DavidLametti) February 2, 2023
At a press conference held this morning, Lametti told reporters that it was “clear” more “time” was “needed to get this right.”
“The proposed one-year expansion is necessary to ensure that we move forward on this sensitive and complex issue in a prudent and measured way,” he said.
Bill C-39 is titled, An Act to amend An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying) and went through its first reading this morning.
The text of the bill simply states that Canada’s expanded medical assistance in dying (MAiD) rules allowing those with mental illness to obtain euthanasia, will now come into force on “March 17, 2024” instead of this month.
Just before Christmas, Lametti said the government would be looking to delay the expansion of MAiD laws, after much pushback from pro-life groups, mental health associations, and conservative politicians.
Canada’s MAiD laws were originally set to be expanded in March 2023 to apply to those suffering solely from mental illness and even children deemed “mature minors.”
The expansion was to come as part of the 2021 passage of Bill C-7, which further liberalized the practice of euthanasia after it was first legalized in 2016.
Despite the expanded MAiD laws being pushed back, it is still on track to become law in 2024, unless an election is held beforehand, which would cause the legislation to lapse.
Pro-life advocates at the national level have long sounded the alarm over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government’s euthanasia program, which has continued to increase in its permissiveness.
Earlier this month, Canadian disability groups took it upon themselves to tell their members that their lives “matter” and that they will not be recommending they obtain government-sanctioned assisted suicide.
Earlier this week, Alberta became the first province to object to the expansion of MAiD.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said her province “objects” to the expansion of Canada’s euthanasia laws to include people who suffer solely from mental illness and has vowed her government will investigate the matter.
Canada’s increasingly permissive laws have allowed euthanasia to rise 32% since 2020, with more than 10,000 people dying in 2021 alone.