Last January, Prime Minister Trudeau replaced Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould and appointed Hon. David Lametti as Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada. Wilson-Raybould was replaced because she refused to change her mind when pressured by Trudeau in the SNC Lavalin affair.
I was very concerned by Lametti’s appointment because Lametti had voted against Canada’s euthanasia bill because he thought that it was too restrictive.
Soon after, Lametti, in an interview with Tonda MacCharles from the Toronto Star, stated that the government would not expand Canada’s euthanasia law before the five-year review that was to begin in June 2020. MacCharles reported:
Any changes would have to wait until the conclusion of a five-year parliamentary review about how the new regime is working.
“the parliamentary process struck “an important balance” that he respects, and a five-year review would be able to assess “data” and “evidence” about the impact the law is having.
On September 11, a Quebec Superior court judge struck down the requirement, in Canada’s euthanasia law, that a person’s “natural death must be reasonably foreseeable.” This section of the law was not defined but it did prevent people from being lethally injected based on psychological reasons alone.
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The Quebec court gave the Quebec and Federal governments 30 days, or until October 11 to appeal the decision. But alas, Canada was in the middle of a federal election.
During the French language leaders debate Prime Minister Trudeau decided to ignore democracy and the promise by his government to uphold the current euthanasia law until after the completion of a five-year review (June 2021). Trudeau stated that the government will not appeal the Quebec court decision and the Liberals would amend the current euthanasia law soon after the election.
Remember that Wilson-Raybould was removed as the Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada because she refused to be influenced by Trudeau in the SNC Lavalin affair. Wilson-Raybould stated that it was not a political decision but a decision based on the independent role as the Attorney General.
Similarly it is undue influence for Trudeau to announce that the government will not appeal the Quebec court decision? Trudeau had no right to politically interfere in a legal decision.
Even if Trudeau agreed with the court decision, the decision should still have been appealed based on the language of the decision and the precedent that it establishes. Political interference should not have been allowed in this case either.
Finally, what is the point of a five-year review if the law is amended before the review?
What has happened to democracy in Canada?