Justice Minister David Lametti doesn't rule out referring MAID bill to Supreme Court

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OTTAWA — Justice Minister David Lametti isn't ruling out the possibility of asking the Supreme Court to advise on the constitutionality of a bill to expand access to assisted dying.

Testifying at the Senate's legal and constitutional affairs committee today, Lametti said a reference to the top court "is always an option."

But he says he's never been convinced it's the best option.

Lametti says the government is aware that Bill C-7 could well be challenged as a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms — both by those who think it doesn't go far enough and by those who think it goes too far.

He says a constitutional reference would take time and he believes getting the bill passed is the fastest way to reduce suffering.

Bill C-7 is intended to bring the law into compliance with a 2019 Quebec Superior Court ruling that struck down a provision that allows only individuals whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable to qualify for an assisted death.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb, 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press