Absence of law better than flawed Bill C-14

Re: “Senate amendment on assisted dying rejected,” June 10.

Bill C-14 is a poor piece of legislation. It must be amended or withdrawn.

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The raison d’être of C-14 was as the legislative response to the Supreme Court decision in Carter vs. Canada.

Yet the bill does not pass the simplest, most basic sniff test. That is, someone like Kay Carter would not meet the criteria of C-14 for medical aid in dying.

Over the past month, we have watched debates in the House of Commons. MP Murray Rankin made compassionate pleas for important amendments, for example, to adopt the clear language of Carter. All of these amendments were rejected. After it went to the House justice committee, Rankin proposed more amendments there. All were rejected.

Bill C-14 is now in the Senate, where more of the same amendments are being made, debated and approved. From there, it will go back to the House where these same amendments will be voted upon. I fear they will be rejected.

Every day, we hear from various experts. The vast majority state C-14 does not meet Carter and must be amended. These include Joseph Arvay, lead counsel in Carter, who said the Supreme Court has already decided. It is not up for discussion. Peter W. Hogg, the expert on the constitution, said unequivocally that C-14 does not meet the charter.

In the absence of a new law, Carter is the law. This is better than Bill C-14. Better still would be a good law, but I fear we can’t expect that soon.

Jeffrey Brooks


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