Joint Statement by Ministers Lametti and Hajdu on motion seeking second extension of Superior Court of Québec’s Truchon ruling
June 11, 2020 – Ottawa – Department of Justice Canada
The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, today issued the following statement:
“Today, the Attorney General Canada filed a motion to request a second extension of five months, until December 18, 2020, of the Superior Court of Québec’s September 2019 Truchon ruling concerning Canada’s medical assistance in dying law.
“The Government of Canada introduced a bill in February in response to the Truchon ruling, which found the ‘reasonable foreseeability of natural death’ eligibility criterion in the Criminal Code to be unconstitutional. The Bill responds to this important court ruling and proposes changes to the Criminal Code’s current medical assistance in dying provisions, including the removal of the requirement for a person’s death to be reasonably foreseeable to be eligible for medical assistance in dying.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented challenges, including the disruption of the current Parliamentary session. While this legislation remains a priority for the Government of Canada, the realities of the pandemic have unfortunately rendered it impossible to advance Bill C-7 through the parliamentary process in order to meet the current deadline of July 11, 2020. A five-month extension of the ruling’s suspension period is needed to provide sufficient time for Parliament to properly consider and enact this proposed legislation, which is of importance to many Canadians and families across the country.
“Without this extension, the ‘reasonable foreseeability of natural death’ criterion from the federal law will no longer be applicable in the province of Quebec on July 12, but would remain in effect in other provinces and territories. This means that criminal law would no longer be applied consistently across the country.
“Even in these exceptional times, the Government of Canada remains committed to responding to this important court ruling as quickly as possible.”
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Department of Justice Canada
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
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