Today's date: Wednesday February 21, 2018
column width padding column width padding
The Wellington Advertiser Masthead Logo

We Cover The County...
39,925 Audited Circulation

WEEKLY POLL   |   Community News   |   EQUINE   |   Schools & Buses

Wellington Weddings 2018
column width padding column width padding

Comment from Ottawa

by Michael Chong, MP, Wellington-Halton Hills

Assisted dying

Over the last number of months, I have listened to feedback from many residents across Wellington County and Halton Hills regarding Bill C-14, the government’s physician-assisted dying (euthanasia) legislation. I would like to take this opportunity explain why I voted in favour of Bill C-14.

In 2015, in a decision commonly referred to as the “Carter decision,” the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s law banning euthanasia on the grounds it violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Supreme Court’s decision made it clear that while the ban on euthanasia was contrary to the Charter, Parliament could pass legislation restricting it. The court set a deadline of June 6, 2016, for Parliament to pass a law. After this deadline, if no law is passed, the Carter decision comes into effect.

In a similar fashion, in 1988 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s abortion law on the grounds it was unconstitutional. The government of the day introduced legislation to restrict abortion. That legislation was defeated in Parliament and, since then, no other legislation has successfully passed. As a result, the Supreme Court’s Morgentaler decision stands as the law to this day.

In response to the Supreme Court’s Carter decision, the current Liberal government introduced legislation on euthanasia, Bill C-14.  This bill limits euthanasia to consenting adults who are in an advanced stage of irreversible decline of a serious and incurable disease, illness, or disability, and whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable. This bill would also prohibit euthanasia for minors and the mentally ill.

Bill C-14 is considerably more restrictive than the Carter decision. The choice facing MPs and Senators is this: pass Bill C-14, which puts in place considerable restrictions on euthanasia, or defeat Bill C-14, and allow the more permissive Carter decision to come into effect (the “notwithstanding clause,” a section of the Charter that allows Parliament to override the Supreme Court’s decision, has no chance of passage through the House of Commons and Senate).

There are a wide range of views held on Bill C-14. Some are opposed to the bill, arguing that is too restrictive, while others have argued it is not permissive enough.

On May 31, I voted for Bill C-14 in the House of Commons because I believe Canada needs a statute law on euthanasia. We need a statute law that protects the most vulnerable in our society. We also need a statute law to ensure consistency across the country.

Bill C-14 passed in the House of Commons on May 31 and was sent to the Senate for consideration. At this time of writing, the June 6 deadline has passed and the Bill is still being debated in the Senate. As a result, the less restrictive Carter decision is now in effect until the Senate passes Bill C-14.

I voted for Bill C-14 because without this law there would be fewer protections for vulnerable people and there would be different rules for different parts of the country. Bill C-14, while not perfect, is better than having no legislation at all.



Vol 49 Issue 25


Tell Us What You Think

Login to submit a comment

Comments appearing on this website are the opinion of the comment writer and do not represent the opinion of the Wellington Advertiser. Comments that attack other individuals or are offensive, unsubstantiated or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. You must register or log in in order to post a comment. For more information, read our detailed Comment Policy and Guidelines.




Wellington North Guide 2017-2018


Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Bruce Whitestone
Ray Wiseman
Ray Wiseman
Ray Wiseman
Stephen Thorning
Stephen Thorning

Recent Columns

Bits and Pieces

  • Signature bonnet
  • Digital pantomime
  • Connect the dots
  • Generation gap
  • Little things
  • Tylenol kick
  • This Little Piggy
  • Nature's best
  • Canada's Business

  • The decline of civility
  • Irrational exuberance II
  • Speak up
  • An enduring register
  • A government assessment after one year in office
  • Gauge signals
  • Unpatriotic
  • Inevitable
  • Comment from Ottawa

  • The Syria question
  • Reflecting on 2016
  • Open, transparent combat mission?
  • Bad for businesses
  • Have your voice heard on electoral reform
  • Open and transparent?
  • Assisted dying
  • Leadership bid
  • Life-wise

  • Retirement
  • Canadas scarcity of calamity
  • Often we mirror our parents
  • Putting up with put-downs
  • A tale of two landlords
  • A letter from the campsite
  • Two shades of black
  • Precious memories
  • Queen's Park Report

  • Back to work
  • Merry Christmas
  • Remembering them
  • High-cost hydro
  • Six important issues
  • Emancipation Day
  • Great Lakes
  • Happy Canada Day
  • Special to the Advertiser

  • Death of JFK changed the world
  • Split Decision

  • Judged sports in the Olympics
  • Jury selection process changes
  • Changes to the national anthem
  • Political campaign debts
  • Summer Jobs funding
  • Regulation of energy drinks
  • Trudeau’s ethics violation
  • Christmas: home or away?
  • Staying Connected

  • It’s all about staying connected.
  • Stray Casts

  • Final lines: Its been great
  • Thorning Revisited

  • Old photo offers glimpse of development of Elora
  • Pike Lake a summer sanctuary for over a century
  • Fergus council had to mediate 1951 Beatty strike
  • 1951 strike shook Beatty dominance in Fergus
  • Fergus’ Beecher Parkhouse a memorable character
  • Poetry book reflects strong local literary heritage
  • Fires at Mundell factory marked end of an era
  • Employment at factory never reached pre-war levels
  • Valuing Our History

  • Hustonville founded, thrived, vanished in 20 years
  • Lack of railway siding frustrated Fergus’ James Gow
  • Fergus mill made oat flour for Cheerios, other brands
  • Railway passenger service waxed and waned over the 1900s
  • Tanner’s woolen mill in Mount Forest burned twice in a year
  • Elora principal George Edgcumbe ended his career in disgrace
  • Peter Perry a memorable principal of Fergus High School
  • Fire gutted Fergus building owned by Robert Kerr in 1931
  • WriteOut of Her Mind

  • The lab
  • Family Day
  • Hopeless (romantic)
  • Fandom
  • Boy toy
  • Alarm
  • The beacon
  • Whack the mole
  • column width padding column width padding column width padding

    The Wellington Advertiser





    Digital Publications


    Twitter Logo

    Free Press News Network Logo