There’s still time to stop Trudeau’s plan to legalize assisted suicide for people with mental illness

On November 25, I attended a town hall meeting in Oxford County hosted by Conservative MP Arpan Khanna on Canada’s metastasizing euthanasia regime. The speakers included MPs Ed Fast, Michael Cooper, Tako Van Popta, and Dr. Stephen Ellis. All highlighted the danger of the Trudeau government’s plan to expand euthanasia to those suffering from mental illness. Khanna noted his own past struggles with mental illness; Fast detailed his efforts to halt the expansion with Bill C-314, which was voted down by the Trudeau Liberals but garnered support from other parties, including the entire NDP and eight Liberals who broke rank.

I was impressed throughout the meeting by the clear moral language used by the MPs – Fast noted that we should be calling “MAiD” what it is – suicide by doctor. Ellis stated that he had made it known at the hospital where he worked that he would not be referring for assisted suicide, a stand that could have had severe professional consequences. It is time, several of the MPs noted, for Canadians to stand up and be counted on this issue because if the Trudeau expansion of euthanasia takes place as scheduled in March 2024, many vulnerable Canadians will die. That said, they also emphasized that the backlash the government was receiving from all quarters was significant enough that the expansion might yet be halted.

Indeed, on December 13, Justice Minister Arif Virani noted that the Trudeau government is considering delaying the expansion once again (the expansion was initially slated for March 2023, but the government delayed it in response to pushback under the pretext of “getting it right,” likely hoping that the opposition would die down during that time). “We’re weighing our options,” Virani told The Canadian Press, noting that the input of a joint parliamentary committee and medical experts were being considered. “We’ll evaluate all of that comprehensively to make a decision whether we move ahead on March 17 or whether we pause.” Both options, he emphasized, are currently “on the table.”

Fast told the press that he is encouraged by Virani’s comments. “It’s the first time I’ve seen a glimmer of hope come from the Liberal government that they’re prepared to reconsider their decision to move ahead,” he said. “I would certainly welcome an indefinite pause that would allow Canadians to have the full public discussion that has not been had on this issue.” The Conservative Party’s leadership has endorsed Fast’s position and is opposed to expanding euthanasia to those with mental illness.

Helen Long, the CEO of Dying with Dignity Canada – one of the primary groups lobbying for the expansion of euthanasia – had a truly grotesque response. “There are people who have been waiting for years just to hear, ‘Can I even be assessed?’” she said. “Not even, ‘Am I eligible?’ but ‘Can I be assessed? and ‘What do I do next?’ For those people, we’re concerned about an announcement like this sending them into a crisis.”

In short, Long is saying that if mentally ill people struggling with suicidal ideation cannot get help killing themselves, they might be “sent into a crisis.” If she had her way, Canadians struggling with depression would be able to get a lethal injection from their doctor. Dying with Dignity, as I’ve noted before, is an active threat to the lives of vulnerable people in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, too, responded with extraordinary chutzpah, telling an audience in Vancouver that his government is working to balance “the desire to protect vulnerable people” with respecting “people’s rights to make their own choices” – choices that mentally ill and vulnerable people often cannot make with a clear mind.


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