May 31, 2016

By Jane Brown

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The Trudeau government’s assisted death bill is expected to receive final reading today in the House of Commons before it heads to the Senate.

But the governing Liberals say it might not be able to meet the Supreme Court’s June 6th deadline for passage.

MPs voted last night on many amendments to Bill C-14, and all proposed changes by the opposition to make the bill less restrictive were rejected.

Earlier in the day, New Democrat Justice Critic Murray Rankin said there was still plenty of time to bring the assisted death bill in line with the Constitution, despite a Supreme Court of Canada deadline for replacing laws that make a doctor-assisted death illegal.

“The court imposed extension period which comes to an end June 6th is not an excuse for getting it right. In the words of (Bob) Rae and (Paul) Martin, there’s no cataclysmic event that occurs after June 6th, so we say, do it right, rather than doing it right now,” said Rankin.

The legislation is not expected to pass easily in the Senate where some have questioned its constitutionality and others will propose substantive amendments.

Doctor Jeff Blackmer, Canadian Medical Association Vice President of Medical Professionalism, will have more to say about the stance by doctors should there be no legislation in place by June 6th. He joins Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer after the noon news.

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