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Medical assistance in dying bill advances in Senate

Bill C-7 now moves to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Legislation that expands eligibility to medical assistance in dying while also reinforcing safeguards to access has been referred to committee for consideration after completing second reading in the Senate.

“While I had hoped that Parliament as a whole would bring Bill C-7 to Royal Assent before the winter adjournment, I am pleased that the Senate has completed second reading of this important legislation. Real progress has been made,” said Senator Marc Gold, the Government Representative in the Senate.

Senator Gold added that the legislation is expected to be studied by the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs upon Parliament’s scheduled return, with a final third reading vote expected in mid-February.

“Because the Senate received the bill so late in the calendar, fast-tracking Bill C-7 through all stages by December 18 would have required the unanimous consent of all senators. But given the significance of this legislation, Senators have expressed a legitimate desire to fulfill their constitutional role of sober second thought,” he said.

“I am proud of what the Senate has been able to accomplish this year, especially in efficiently processing seven urgent bills that provided crucial pandemic relief for Canadians. I thank all senators for referring Bill C-7 to committee and look forward to continuing to conduct the Senate’s important work.”

He thanked Senator Chantal Petitclerc, in particular, for her leadership as sponsor of Bill C-7 in the Senate.

Read Senator Gold’s second reading speech in support of the legislation here.

Read Senator Petitclerc’s second reading speech in support of the legislation here.

Medical assistance in dying bill advances in Senate

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