Conservatives Call on Liberals to Scrap Expansion to Assisted Dying for Vulnerable Canadians with Mental Illnesses 

March 06, 2023

OTTAWA, ON – Conservatives are calling for Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government to protect vulnerable Canadians and immediately end their expansion of medically assisted death to those with mental illness. MP Ed Fast has tabled Bill C-314 to stop the Liberal government’s expansion of assisted suicide to vulnerable Canadians with mental illness. Bill C-314 provides that the term “grievous and irremediable medical condition” contained in Canada’s MAiD regime does not include mental disorders. 

The Liberal government continues to ignore the growing number of experts who say that MAiD expansion is risking the lives of the most vulnerable Canadians. In one year, the Liberal government will recklessly expand access to assisted death to Canadians struggling exclusively with mental illness. By March 2024, those suffering from mental illnesses like depression will have access to assisted death, even if their condition is treatable.  

“Canadians struggling with mental health deserve hope and treatment,” said the Hon. Pierre Poilievre, leader of the Conservative Party. “Instead of working to provide Canadians with a life worth living, the Liberals have given up on the most vulnerable.” 

Experts have raised concerns about this expansion, specifically highlighting that it is impossible to determine the irremediability of mental illness. Experts and advocates are also concerned that this will create clinical challenges, blurring the line between suicide prevention and suicide assistance.  

“By expanding MAiD, the Liberal government is refusing to take responsibility for developing better care for our most vulnerable,” said Senator Denise Batters. “Medical assistance in dying will set the mental health recovery movement back by a generation.” 

The Liberal government has already mishandled MAiD and put vulnerable Canadians at risk. Public servants have offered assisted suicide to veterans with PTSD, Liberal cabinet ministers have spoken of “eliminating” Canadians with suicidal thoughts, and Canadians have applied for assisted death because they can no longer bear the cost-of-living crisis. It’s clear that we cannot trust the Liberal government with this expansion.  

“More and more experts are speaking out,” said MP Ed Fast. “My bill directly addresses concerns that the Liberal government is moving too fast and too far on suicide assistance and more priority should be given to suicide prevention and providing the social and mental health supports that vulnerable Canadians need. The government is quickly moving from a culture of life towards a culture of death in which greater priority is given to suicide assistance than suicide prevention.”