Ottawa, ON – Michael Cooper, Conservative Shadow Minister for Democratic Reform, Shelby Kramp-Neuman, Associate Shadow Minister for National Defence, and the Hon. Ed Fast, Conservative Member of Parliament for Abbotsford, released the following statement on the Liberal government’s plan to expand assisted suicide (MAID) eligibility to include those suffering from mental illness:

“Today, the Report of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying was tabled in the House of Commons. It confirms what common sense Conservatives have been saying for years: that Canada should not move forward with MAID for mental illness.

“The Trudeau Liberals have ignored mental health experts, advocates, and opposition parties and have instead opted to pursue a reckless expansion of assisted suicide for those suffering from mental illness. Last year, the government introduced 11th-hour legislation to put a temporary one-year pause on expanding assisted suicide to those suffering from mental illness.

“This only came after significant backlash from experts across Canada who called on the government to delay this expansion of MAID for two key reasons. First, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine irremediability (incurability). In other words, it’s impossible to be certain that a person suffering from a mental illness will not get better. Second, it is difficult for clinicians to distinguish between a rational MAID request and one motivated by suicidal thoughts. 

“The evidence the committee heard was loud and clear. Nothing has changed in the last year with respect to these two key issues. Canada is not ready for this, and frankly, there is no evidence that Canada will ever be ready.

“If the Liberal government moves ahead with this radical and dangerous expansion of MAID, it will inevitably lead to the premature deaths of Canadians who could have gotten better.

“Justin Trudeau must immediately and permanently halt the expansion of MAID to those with mental illness.

“Common sense Conservatives believe that those struggling with their mental health deserve support and treatment, not death. We know that recovery is possible, and this is why we will never give up on anyone. Conservatives will always stand on the side of the most vulnerable and their loved ones.”