May 18, 2016
By Jane Brown
There is a strong indication the Liberals’ controversial legislation on medically assisted dying will face obstacles in the Senate.
Some senators say there’s no way they will pass the bill by the Supreme Court-imposed deadline of June 6th.
And they say they may not pass it at all if it is not amended to allow advance requests from those diagnosed with conditions such as dementia.
The proposed legislation is expected to pass the House of Commons relatively easily by Thursday, since Government House Leader Dominic LeBlanc has given notice that the government will impose a time limit on the debate today.
Government cabinet ministers had issued dire warnings that if the bill was not passed by June 6th, there would be a legal void in which assisted dying would be available without any safeguards.
But at a meeting yesterday, Conservative Senate Leader Claude Carignan and independent Liberal Leader James Cowan informed the government’s representative that it’s simply not possible for the bill to get through all legislative stages in just one week.
Carignan thinks the Senate will need an additional two weeks to deal with the bill.