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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Welcome, everybody, to the 11th meeting and the clause-by-clause on Bill C-7.
Just as quick housekeeping for all members, when you are speaking, please speak slowly and clearly, and unmute yourself before you speak. To allow for interpretation, do speak slowly and clearly, and if you are not speaking, please keep your microphone on mute so that we are not disrupting other members.
We do have the department officials here with us today from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health. They are having some IT issues with their connectivity, which we're trying to resolve. I believe that as that's getting resolved we can continue.
We left off with amendment CPC-8 yesterday, That is where we will pick up again today. Just so members are aware, there was an amended notice of meeting that was sent out today with a clarified agenda of today's plan. Hopefully, we're okay with that.
I will start with resuming debate on CPC-8 at this time.
I see no members' hands raised, so I will call the question on CPC-8.
Mr. Clerk, can you please record the division?
(Amendment negatived: nays 7; yeas 5)
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Marc-Olivier Girard
View Marc-Olivier Girard Profile
Marc-Olivier Girard
2020-11-24 11:05
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Madam Chair, we have four yeas and seven nays.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Clerk.
CPC-8 is defeated. We're now moving on to CPC-9.
Mr. Moore, I do have concerns about the admissibility of CPC-9. As you are moving the amendment, can you please speak also to its admissibility as well as the reasons behind it? Thank you.
Go ahead, Mr. Moore.
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View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-11-24 11:05
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Thank you, Madam Chair.
I would like to move CPC-9, which amends Bill C-7. It amends section 241 of the act, which Bill C-7 does touch on. I think this is fully within order. We heard testimony at committee, which I thought was very important testimony, from, for example, Roger Foley. For anyone who doesn't know, you can certainly find his story in the media. Various media outlets reported that Mr. Foley appeared to have been feeling some pressure to consider MAID. He, in fact, made recordings to this effect.
This is very important, because we're in a new stage now. Under Bill C-14, introduced by this government, an individual's death had to be reasonably foreseeable. That was never defined, and we chose not to define it as a committee, but reasonably foreseeable death is now no longer a requirement to provide for assisted death. In effect, someone does not have to be dying to be eligible for assisted dying.
I want to specifically mention, on this amendment, that the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians spoke directly to this. They sent us a submission on Bill C-7, and their fourth recommendation is a recommendation on bringing up assisted dying:
To safeguard against any possibility of subtle or overt pressure on patients, health care professionals should not initiate a discussion about MAiD or suggest the option of MAiD unless brought up by a patient. If a patient raises questions or requests MAiD, health professionals should have the ability to explore these issues, including their underlying suffering, and provide information or direct them to someone who can provide information. In other jurisdictions—
And I draw the committee's attention to this:
—where assisted dying is legalized, such as in the recent legislation in Victoria, Australia, this risk of coercion due to the hierarchy and differential of expertise present in the physician-patient relationship is addressed directly in the law. Victorian Legislation states that a healthcare practitioner must not initiate a discussion or suggest Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) to a patient. We urge the Federal government to reduce harm of coercion to vulnerable patients by including this in the current revisions to the Canadian MAiD legislation.
We also received a submission from the persons with disabilities community. They make a number of recommendations. Their fourth recommendation states:
Investigate the “worrisome claims about persons with disabilities in institutions being pressured to seek medical assistance in dying, and practitioners not formally reporting cases involving persons with disabilities”, which were identified in the UN Special Rapporteur’s report, and establish an independent body, whose membership must include representatives of the disability community, to investigate such cases moving forward.
The Conservative Party members listened to the testimony of those witnesses. I paid particular attention to the testimony of Roger Foley. That is why we're moving CPC-9, which deals directly with the issue of when medical assistance in dying should be brought up. It makes it crystal clear that this should be a patient-initiated discussion, not a physician-initiated discussion.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Moore.
I will have to rule on CPC-9.
Bill C-7 amends the Criminal Code in relation to MAID. The amendment here, CPC-9, seeks to create a new Criminal Code infraction of coercing someone to request MAID, which would amount to counselling or aiding a person to commit suicide under section 241 of the Criminal Code.
Since Bill C-7 only provides for an easier access to MAID, the amendment goes beyond the scope of the bill. As the House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states at page 770:
An amendment to a bill that was referred to a committee after second reading is out of order if it is beyond the scope and principle of the bill.
Therefore, as stated before, I rule that this amendment is inadmissible, as it goes beyond the scope of this bill.
With that, I will now call the question on clause 1, as we have completed discussion and debate on all of the proposed amendments for clause 1.
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View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-11-24 11:11
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On a point of order, Madam Chair, while I respect your ruling, I do feel that CPC-9 is within the scope of this legislation. It deals directly with the provision of assisted dying; it deals with the very things this bill deals with, and it's an important safeguard.
For that reason, I would like to challenge the ruling of the chair on the admissibility of CPC-9.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Moore.
I will call the question: Shall the chair's ruling be sustained?
(Ruling of the chair sustained: yeas 7; nays 4)
The Chair: My ruling is sustained.
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View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-11-24 11:14
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On a point of order, Madam Chair, before we move to the vote on CPC-9, on CPC-8 it was brought to my attention—I thought I heard it as well—that four people had voted in favour, when I think it was five who voted in favour of CPC-8. I just want to make sure the record is accurate.
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Marc-Olivier Girard
View Marc-Olivier Girard Profile
Marc-Olivier Girard
2020-11-24 11:14
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Yes, you are right. I will correct the record.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
You are right, Mr. Moore, so the record will be corrected. Thank you for pointing that out.
Also, to clarify, Mr. Moore, we're not voting on CPC-9. We are now voting on clause 1.
Should clause 1 as amended carry?
(Clause 1 as amended agreed to: yeas 7; nays 4)
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Clerk.
There were no amendments received for clause 2, so I will call the question on clause 2.
Mr. Clerk, could you please—
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View Kerry-Lynne Findlay Profile
CPC (BC)
Point of order, Madam Chair.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Yes, Madame Findlay.
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View Kerry-Lynne Findlay Profile
CPC (BC)
I cannot hear what the chair is saying because I think Mr. Thériault's mute is not on. There, it's on now.
I didn't hear anything you just said. Sorry.
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View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
That's absolutely fine, Madame Findlay. I'm happy to repeat myself.
Clause 1 as amended carries. Because there were no amendments submitted for clause 2, I'll call the question on clause 2.
(Clause 2 agreed to: yeas 7; nays 4)
(On clause 3)
The Chair: We're now moving on to the proposed amendments before us for clause 3.
We have PV-3. We'll just give a couple of seconds to Mr. Manly. I see that he's joined us now by video conference.
Mr. Manly, if you'd like to briefly speak to PV-3, please go ahead.
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View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2020-11-24 11:18
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Thank you, Madam Chair.
This amendment is another amendment that was adapted from a request by Inclusion Canada and supported by the Nanaimo Association for Community Living.
This is about collecting relevant data on the people who receive MAID. It will help with research so we have a better understanding of the circumstances of the people who have accessed MAID. This includes “information regarding the factors in the living conditions or life circumstances of a person who has requested medical assistance in dying that may be causing or increasing their suffering and any services or care that have been offered or made available to them, including palliative care, disability supports, assistive technology, income assistance, counselling services, communication supports and environmental accommodations.” Any regulations “must provide for the establishment of a data collection system designed to facilitate the analysis and interpretation of the information provided, particularly as it relates to the protection of vulnerable persons from being induced to end their lives.”
This is not about putting barriers in the way of MAID, but about understanding what factors are involved in people accessing MAID and ensuring that we have proper data collection for researchers and people interested in following up on why people have accessed MAID.
Thank you.
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