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CHP

Commentary

Changes to Justice

Tue, January 22, 2019   |   Author: Peter Vogel   |   Volume 26    Issue 3   

Have you ever heard of David Lametti? After some changes to cabinet last week, he is now Canada’s Justice Minister. He was first elected in 2015 and has not been in cabinet before, so we don’t have much of a track-record on him. What we do know, however, causes concern.

David Lametti, as a backbench MP, voted against the current euthanasia law because it was too restrictive! Believe it or not, while the Liberal caucus was generally in favour of a euthanasia law (though one, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, voted against it on principle), the law that they passed was deemed unconstitutional by three Liberal MPs because it was too restrictive.

Now one of those three is Justice Minister.

Well, what are the restrictions that Lametti and others are concerned about?

The main one would be on “advanced directives”. They are concerned that people who are in a condition that is worsening, and will want to have their life ended eventually, should be able to give instructions in advance and have them carried out later — even if later on they will not be able to bring about their own death or even consent to being euthanized.

The other major restriction is on whether “mature minors” should be allowed to ask for euthanasia; this issue has been addressed in a previous Communique.

Just a quick note that in Canada, the terminology is “MAID” - Medical Assistance in Dying, but look at how the specific terminology has changed (directly from the Government of Canada’s website):

There are 2 types of medical assistance in dying available to Canadians. They each must include a physician or nurse practitioner who:

  • directly administers a substance that causes death, such as an injection of a drug
  • this is becoming known as clinician-administered medical assistance in dying
  • it was previously known as voluntary euthanasia

or

  • provides or prescribes a drug that the eligible person takes themselves, in order to bring about their own death
  • this is becoming known as self-administered medical assistance in dying
  • it was previously known as medically assisted suicide or assisted suicide

Notice, “it was previously known as…”; the terminology change shows that they are trying to make reality seem less grim. If they were trying to be brutally honest, they would call it “medical assistance in killing” because that is what it is. In some cases, it is someone who wants “help” to kill him/herself, but in other cases, it is or will be family members who want assistance in killing a family member.

Some may claim that C-14 never would have passed if the Conservatives had won the election in 2015. Don’t be too sure. Fourteen Conservatives voted in favour of C-14 and four did not vote at all. More significantly, in February 2015, when the Supreme Court threw out the previous legislation, the Conservative majority government failed to use the power they had to shield vulnerable Canadians. They could have used the Notwithstanding Clause as proposed by MP Maurice Vellacott but they declined to do so.

Any justice minister will have to deal with far more issues than euthanasia, but votes on when and if life itself can be taken and by whom are a significant test of the morality of each of our Members of Parliament. But let’s also remember that these Members of Parliament often reflect the views of Canadian voters. They brought this legislation about with the implied consent or demand of voters.

It is not just our politicians who need a change of heart on this matter; it is the majority of Canadians. When someone suggests that a national referendum on issues like this is the way to go, think about this reality.

The Supreme Court of Canada was wrong to open the door on this issue in the first place. Activist judges should not be making laws—changing their role in the process—but rather judging on the laws as they are written.

Medical Assistance in Dying is “what was previously known” as killing, and we must speak about “what was previously known” as truth! Truth is not subjective and it cannot be changed.

Just to top this whole thing off, we should ask why our mainstream media (and in fact the Trudeau Liberals), which are so bent on bringing gender and ethnicity into the discussion, are not lashing out in rage that Jody Wilson-Raybould, who is both female and indigenous, was replaced by a Caucasian male. If any conservative-type party had done that, it would have been the headline, and the Liberals would have been expressing all the rage they could muster!

We are disappointed because of the principles that are at stake. There has been a change of Justice Ministers, there have been changes to terminology, and there are more changes to truth and justice ahead if we continue on this path.

Please support CHP’s efforts to restore an unchanging respect for life, truth, and justice to Canada.



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