February 29th, 2024

Liberal government delays until 2027 planned expansion of assisted dying eligibility

By The Canadian Press on February 1, 2024.

Federal Health Minister Mark Holland makes an announcement in Calgary on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

OTTAWA – The Liberal government is delaying until 2027 its controversial plan to expand eligibility for assisted dying to include those whose sole underlying condition is a mental illness.

Health Minister Mark Holland introduced legislation this morning that would delay the change until well after the next federal election, scheduled for 2025.

Both Holland and Justice Minister Arif Virani say they agree with a parliamentary committee’s conclusion that Canada simply wasn’t ready.

The committee says questions remain about how clinicians could differentiate between someone experiencing suicidal thoughts and requesting an assisted death.

Nearly all provinces and territories asked the federal government for an “indefinite pause” on the expansion.

The Opposition Conservatives have been demanding that the government scrap the expansion altogether, but say they would still support a delay.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2024.

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