Medical aid in dying: CAQ counts among its constitutional goals

Ottawa is also pushing back on medical assistance for those dying from mental disorders

to many No Whatever the Legault government in Ottawa had to face (single tax report, immigration, etc.), we have to add a new, fresh one from this week.

On Wednesday, three CAQ ministers (Sonia Bélanger, Jean-François Robert and Simon Jolin-Barrette) appeared at a press conference and urged Ottawa to harmonize its legislation on medical assistance in dying (AMM) with Quebec's.

advance request

challenge? Advance request for marketing authorisation. Example: A person who begins to suffer from Alzheimer's disease, as long as he is considered “fit”, can ask to end his life when he reaches a certain stage of the disease. Currently, anyone applying for MAID must prove to the end that he or she is fit.

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On advance requests, the consensus in Quebec is solid. Our law, which includes guidelines, was adopted unanimously in June 2023. But some (including three of our ministers) believe that the Canadian Criminal Code currently prohibits any advance request that Quebec law would allow.

There are therefore calls on the Trudeau government to add an amendment to the Criminal Code to its legislation, allowing Quebec to “proceed with advance requests”.

But sources confirmed this on Friday gazette The Trudeau government was going to reject Quebec.


All this could have been avoided long ago, if only the Legault government had more constitutional backbone.

Quebec could have gone ahead, imposing its own law without any reconciliation.

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Because our government has jurisdiction in this matter. How could this escape the Legault government, which prides itself on being autonomist?

However, he was warned.

In particular by Véronique Hivon in the parliamentary committee in March 2023. Reconciling would mean “setting a trap for us, because it would have the effect of denying the core of our law”, that is, an anticipated, unprecedented request to date at the federal level, even though it is entirely within our jurisdiction. I am coming.” (Constitutionalist Patrick Tallon has repeatedly supported this view in Cuba.)

The former PQ MP and minister recalled that if we had waited for the federal government in the 2010s, the law on end-of-life care would never have been adopted in 2014.

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Thanks to this audacity, the following year the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) completely changed its position on end-of-life. In 1992, in the Sue Rodriguez case, the SCC held that the “right to life” prohibits any MAiD type gesture. In 2015, it was the opposite: the “right to life” required laws allowing such care.


On Wednesday, our trio of ministers decided to count within their constitutional bounds by publicly confirming that Quebec must wait for the federal government to enact its own legislation. Why has a government that calls itself nationalist, autonomist decided to weaken a recognized jurisdiction of Quebec? This is beyond comprehension for me.


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