Feb 20, 2021

By Jeremy Logan

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The Trudeau government wants a fourth extension to the court-imposed deadline for expanding access to medical assistance in dying.

Justice Minister David Lametti is asking the court to give the government one more month to pass Bill C-7.

The bill is intended to bring the law into compliance with a 2019 Quebec Superior Court ruling that struck down a provision allowing assisted dying only for people nearing the natural ends of their lives.

On Tuesday, the House of Commons is scheduled to begin debating whether to accept or reject major amendments passed by the Senate.

That debate could drag on for days and whatever the Commons ultimately decides on the amendments, the bill must still go back to the upper house.

The whole process could go past the court deadline of next Friday.

In a joint statement, Lametti and Health Minister Patty Hajdu say they continue to hope that the bill can receive royal assent by February 26th.

But they said the government is seeking the one-month extension, until March 26th, “as a prudent step” in case Parliament can’t meet the deadline.

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