Commons to debate Senate changes to assisted-dying bill Tuesday as deadline looms

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The House of Commons will wait until Tuesday to debate whether to accept or reject Senate amendments to a bill that would expand access to medical assistance in dying.

That leaves just three days before the court-imposed deadline for bringing the law into compliance with a 2019 Quebec Superior Court ruling.

And it runs the risk of missing that deadline, which has already been extended three times.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet says he's concerned that the Conservatives, who are largely opposed to expanding access to assisted dying, will drag out debate on the amendments, as they did when the original Bill C-7 was debated in the Commons.

If the Commons rejects any or all of the amendments, senators will then have to decide whether to defer to the elected chamber's decision or dig in their heels.

Theoretically, the bill could bounce repeatedly between the two chambers until they reach a resolution.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press