Justice Minister David Lametti is seen during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday November 26, 2020. Lametti isn’t ruling out the possibility of asking the Supreme Court to advise on the constitutionality of a bill to expand access to medical assistance in dying. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Justice Minister David Lametti is seen during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday November 26, 2020. Lametti isn’t ruling out the possibility of asking the Supreme Court to advise on the constitutionality of a bill to expand access to medical assistance in dying. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Justice Minister David Lametti doesn’t rule out referring MAID bill to Supreme Court

OTTAWA — Justice Minister David Lametti isn’t ruling out the possibility of asking the Supreme Court to advise on the constitutionality of a bill to expand access to assisted dying.

Testifying at the Senate’s legal and constitutional affairs committee today, Lametti said a reference to the top court “is always an option.”

But he says he’s never been convinced it’s the best option.

Lametti says the government is aware that Bill C-7 could well be challenged as a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms — both by those who think it doesn’t go far enough and by those who think it goes too far.

He says a constitutional reference would take time and he believes getting the bill passed is the fastest way to reduce suffering.

Bill C-7 is intended to bring the law into compliance with a 2019 Quebec Superior Court ruling that struck down a provision that allows only individuals whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable to qualify for an assisted death.

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