May 18, 2016
By Michael Kramer
The federal government has cut short debate on its controversial assisted-dying bill.
And that caused a lot of protest from opposition MPs.
The motion by government House leader Dominic LeBlanc had feathers flying in the Commons – and the vote was delayed at one point by a dispute between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the NDP benches.
The motion passed by a margin of 172-137 – and ensures only one more day for the legislation at report stage – and one day at third reading before it moves to the Senate.
But Bill C-14 isn’t expected to go over well with a number of senators who’ve already expressed their doubts – about whether the legislation is constitutional.
The Liberals are taking heat over the bill, especially after the Alberta Court of Appeal declared that the legislation does not comply with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on doctor-assisted death.
The court said, as written, the proposed law would exclude people suffering solely from psychiatric conditions – nor did the top court require the applicant to be terminally ill to qualify.
Meanwhile — the N-D-P is accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of elbowing one M-P and manhandling another in Parliament – as the Liberals cut short debate on the government’s assisted-dying bill.
Footage from the Commons television feed shows Trudeau wading into a clutch of M-P’s, mostly New Democrats, and pulling Opposition whip Gordon Brown through the crowd – in order to get the vote started.
Trudeau says he was just trying to help the whip through a throng to the vote and insists he never intended to hurt anyone.
New Democrat Peter Julian says he’s never seen anything like it – in his 12 years in Parliament.