Bill C-384, the bill that was introduced by the Bloc MP Francine Lalonde to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide will have its vote delayed again, but this time it is due to a move by Prime Minister Harper. Prime Minister Harper has just received permission to prorogue parliament until after the Winter Olympic Games are finished. It has been announced that Parliament will resume on Wednesday, March 3, 2010; with the budget being delivered on March 4 That means that Bill C-384 will receive its second hour of debate on March 12 or 15 (at the earliest) and be voted on March 17 or 24, depending on whether or not they take a March break (a break was scheduled on the previous parliamentary calendar between March 15-19). Bill C-384 received its first hour of debate on October 2, 2009 and was scheduled to receive its second hour of debate on Nov 16th and go to a vote on November 18, 2009. Lalonde has traded-backwards in the order of precedence 3 times to delay the second hour of debate and vote on her bill, probably because she knew it was going to be defeated. Since the Conservative government appears to be setting up an election in May or June, will Lalonde find a way to trade-back again in order to prevent C-384 from ever being voted on.
For more information about Bill C-384 go to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition analysis of the bill.
Alex Schadenberg is executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.