At the federal level
On February 6, 2015; the Supreme Court of Canada, in its Carter decision, struck down Sections 14 and 251B of the Criminal Code, with the result of legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia in some circumstances. The Supreme Court gave parliament 12 months to legislate on these issues, and as of this moment no new legislation has been introduced. Therefore euthanasia and assisted suicide remain criminal acts in Canada.
The Canadian government was ordered bring in legislation as early as February 6th, 2016. However, the federal Liberals asked the Supreme Court for an extension on the basis that it did not have sufficient time to draft a new law. The court agreed to extend the deadline by four months, i.e. June 6th, 2016. Even though euthanasia and assisted suicide remain a criminal act of homicide on the books until that time, the court also delcared that Canadians who wish to be killed in the interim, can apply to the court for an exception and a judge will decide whether it should be allowed.
One thing is certain, whenever the Trudeau government does bring in legislation, the floodgates to euthanasia and assisted suicide on demand will be opened to the detriment of the most vulnerable Canadians, and all of society. Killing is not health care. Neither is it an acceptable solution to human suffering.
At the provincial level
Although euthanasia and assisted suicide fall under federal jurisdiction, one province has tried (falsely) to claim authority over these practices, by the application of euphemisms. At least one other province is expected to do the same.
On June 5, 2014; the Québec National Assembly passed Bill 52 which legalized euthanasia under the guise of “Medical Aid in Dying.” The Québec government defined euthanasia, euphemistically, as a type of medical treatment, thus claiming jurisdiction over the act of lethal injection, which had previously been defined as a form of homicide in the Criminal Code of Canada, which is a federal statute. Provinces have sole authority over the delivery of “health care” as dictated by the Constitution.
The Québec euthanasia law was scheduled to go into effect on December 10, 2015, even before the deadline for Parliament to write a new law. However, a legal challenge was mounted against the implementation of the law by a disabled woman, Lisa D'Amico, along with a Quebec group named the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice, who are opposed to legalization. The lower court, called the Quebec Superior Court, provided an injunction, blocking the province from beginning its scheduled euthanasia killings. But on December 22nd, it was overturned by the Quebec Court of Appeal which allowed the province to start killing people, even though it violates the federeal Criminal Code.
Prime Minister Trudeau responded to this usurpation of federal powers by Quebec's provincial government in an illogical and shocking way. He announced that the federal government will not stand in the way of Quebec doctors going ahead and killing patients, even if those actions still constitute a federal crime. Quebec will be allowed to carry on with its own law even though the federal government's intention is to have a single law apply uniformly to the whole country.
We do not yet know if the physician's coalition will continue to appeal to a higher court. However, even if it does and wins, the reprieve from state-sanctioned killing by doctors will be only temporary. If and when a federal law comes in, these practices will be permitted.
The Liberal Premier, Kathleen Wynne, known to support legalizing these acts of homicide, has set up her own provincial commission, stacked with pro-euthanasia activists.
The transparent goal of Ontario’s biased commission is to provide justification from so-called “independent”, “experts” to following in Quebec’s footsteps of declaring euthanasia as falling under provincial authority for “health care”.
On November 30, 2015 this biased commission laid out 134 recommendations for a Canadian euthanasia and assisted suicide regime. One of the more horrifying recommendations was to allow children under age 12 the "right" to be killed by a doctor, provided they are "deemed" to be mature enough to make the decision for themselves. This is a ludicrous idea given that children, by definition, lack the ability and power of rational judgment to give consent to such a thing. Neurological science has long proven that the part of the brain which governs decision-making and the ability to make good judgment, the prefrontal cortex, does not become fully developed in human beings until approximately age 21. This is the reason we do not allow children to legally drive nor consume alcohol. But to the radicals pushing euthanasia, neither science nor logic enter into the equation. All they care about is their ideological goal of reshaping society based on an absolute "freedom to choose", unrestricted by ethics, morality, the common good of society, nor even society's duty to protect children.
Is the Supreme Court ruling as “narrow” as the media claims?
In its decision, the Supreme Court drafted the basic skeleton of the law they want Parliament to enact. The biased mainstream media produces endless reports painting the picture that euthanasia & assisted suicide will be used only in very rare cases and affecting very few Canadians, such as the terminally ill who have unbearable pain and for whom effective pain relief does not exist.
However, a thorough reading of the decision reveals that it is not narrow at all. Rather, it paves the way to wide open, euthanasia-on-demand and will eventually lead to all the outrageous abuses that we see in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium, which also promised “strict safeguards” when these practices were legalized years in those jurisdictions.
Canada’s Supreme Court ruling allows doctors to kill their patients for reasons of "intolerable physical or mental suffering" that is "irredeemable".
This wording will quickly be interpreted to include as eligible for lethal injection, people who are merely depressed. It will also include persons with mental illness. In time, all that an individual will have to say to qualify for killing by the state, is that their psychological or emotional pain is “intolerable” and there is no other means acceptable to them, to alleviate suffering.
Those considered eligible for lethal injections will also include persons who are not even dying. For example, persons with a disability and those who suffer with chronic, but non-lethal pain.
Due to the fact that “suffering” is a subjective term that cannot be measured in units, this court ruling will eventually deliver Canada to the same point as the Netherlands, where virtually everyone who wants to be killed, can be killed. Just like the Dutch and Belgian experience, Canada will learn that no “safeguards” or “controls” actually exist which can prevent the ever-expanding categories of killable people.
No matter how “tight” the Trudeau government may attempt to write a new law, all the alleged “safeguards” will be proven useless. If society accepts that killing is an acceptable solution to human suffering, there will be no way to stop the expansion of euthanasia/assisted suicide, until everyone who wants to be killed, can be killed.
Is the federal government obliged to follow the Court’s order?
This activist court, made up of nine unelected judges is usurping the role of Parliament as lawmakers by attempting to legislate from the bench, and dictating to our elected parliament what the law must be. Writing laws is not the court’s constitutional prerogative. These judges have overstepped their constitutional bounds.
Members of parliament have the power to reject this dangerous ruling by invoking the "activist-judge override provision" contained in Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The activist-judge override provision (a.k.a.. the notwithstanding clause) gives Members of Parliament the power to override bad Supreme Court decisions.
By invoking the activist-judge override provision, Parliament can ignore the Supreme Court ruling for 5 years. Upon expiry it will need to be renewed again. In that time, it is CLC’s hope that public opinion can be turned against euthanasia by an aggressive education campaign to inform Canadians of the horrors that legalization has produced in other countries.
Please contact your Member of Parliament, regardless of Party affiliation. Urge them to invoke the activist-judge override provision, so as to uphold our laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide.
You can do this in many ways:
- Visit your MP in person at their constituency office
- Write a hand-written letter. (Find contact info here.)
- Quickly email your MP using our Action Alert Email tool, by clicking here.
- Distribute this postcard (view postcards here) by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, in your church and social circles. Postage is free and makes it easy for those you know to raise their voices. Order quantities by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide us your mailing address.