Bill C-314 The Mental Health Protection Act

MP Ed Fast PM



When the Liberals introduced Bill C-7 to remove the “reasonable foreseeability” test to access

another health image MAID

medical assistance in dying (MAID), the unelected Senate chose to insert an amendment which
extended MAiD eligibility to those persons for whom mental illness was the sole underlying
condition for applying for assisted death. This provision is scheduled to come into force on
March 17, 2024. Most Canadians, and thousands of mental health experts and stakeholders,
oppose expansion of MAiD to include mentally disordered Canadians.




In February of 2023, the Hon. Ed Fast, MP tabled in the House of Commons a private members
bill, C-314, the Mental Health Protection Act. If passed, this legislation would amend the
Criminal Code to rescind the Trudeau government’s expansion of MAiD to the mentally ill.
While many Canadians continue to have concerns about the propriety of Canada’s MAiD
regime, Bill C-314 is narrowly focused on the expansion of MAiD to include mentally
disordered persons.

• The Liberal government has moved too far and too fast with Canada’s assisted death


• The Supreme Court’s Carter decision and the government’s subsequent Bill C-14
established a right to apply for MAID for those adult Canadians who have a serious and
incurable illness, are in an advanced state of irreversible decline which causes them
intolerable physical or psychological suffering, and for whom natural death has become
reasonably foreseeable.

• A subsequent lower court decision from Quebec, the Truchon case, held that the
“reasonable foreseeability” test in Bill C-14 violated Canadians’ Charter rights, and,
rather than appealing that case to the Supreme Court of Canada to first determine whether
that ruling was correct, the Trudeau government instead introduced Bill C-7, which
eliminated the foreseeability test.

• The original version of Bill C-7 expressly prohibited the expansion of medically assisted
death to people with mental illnesses.

• Unexpectedly, the unelected and unaccountable Senate inserted an amendment (the
“mental illness amendment”) to Bill C-7 which expanded assisted suicide to include
mentally disordered Canadians. The Trudeau Liberals accepted the amendment without
protest and passed the legislation.

• The mental illness amendment comes into force on March 17, 2024.

• There is no consensus within Canada that our country’s assisted death regime should be
expanded to include vulnerable groups like mentally ill persons.

• Most of the Liberal government’s consultations on the expansion of MAID to the
mentally ill were conducted after the fact. Both the Expert Panel and the Joint
Parliamentary Committee on MAID were perceived to be “rubber stamps” of the
government’s intentions to expand the scope of Canada’s MAID regime.

• Many experts and stakeholders within the mental health community have expressed


serious concerns about the decision to extend MAID to mentally ill persons.

• For example, unlike a diagnosis of cancer or stroke, it is not possible to know with
certainty when a mental illness such as depression is past the point of treatment
(irremediability). It is impossible, or at the very least very difficult, to predict whether
someone suffering from a mental health condition will improve in the future.

• The mental health profession has also not been able to resolve the issues of suicidality
and informed consent.

• While the Liberals are hell bent on rushing ahead to expand MAID to more and more
vulnerable Canadians, Conservatives have called on the government to put a full stop to
any further expansion of MAID.

• MP Fast’s PMB would amend the Criminal Code to rescind the mental health provision
of Bill C-7.

• Specifically, it clarifies that a mental illness or psychiatric disorder is not to be
considered a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” for the purposes of MAID.

• Conservatives consider it a priority to ensure that adequate palliative, social and mental
health supports are in place for struggling, vulnerable Canadians.

• We believe vulnerable Canadians should receive suicide prevention counselling rather
than suicide assistance.

• The Liberal approach risks normalizing suicide as a solution for those suffering from
mental illness.




Ottawa – Parliamentarians will soon have an opportunity to debate Liberal plans to
expand Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) to include mentally disordered persons.

Bill C-314, The Mental Health Protection Act, tabled by the Hon. Ed Fast, Member of
Parliament for Abbotsford, is scheduled for second reading debate on May 17th.
The bill rescinds the Liberal government’s decision to expand assisted suicide to include the        Health image MAID
mentally ill.

“This is an opportunity for Parliamentarians to vote with their conscience, rather than
according to the dictates of their political leadership,” said Fast. “I am grateful that

members of our Conservative Caucus will have the right to vote freely on this important
life and death matter.”

Fast also thanked MPs from other parties who have pledged to support his bill.
In contrast to the Liberal government, which intends to expand assisted suicide to
include mentally ill persons as of March 17 of next year, Fast’s Bill would amend the
Criminal Code to rescind these provisions.

“Even though there are many Canadians who continue to have serious concerns about
the wisdom of legalizing MAID, my bill is narrowly focused on the extension of MAID to
the mentally ill,” explained Fast. “My bill is in line with the views and concerns of the
majority of Canadians, including many mental health experts and stakeholders, who
don’t want to see MAID expanded to include the most vulnerable.”