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MP Viersen Takes Part in Debates on Assisted Suicide & Conversion Therapy

October 28, 2020

For immediate release
Ottawa, ON – Over the past two weeks, MP Arnold Viersen has participated in the debate around Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy), and Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying).

On Monday October 19, MP Viersen gave a speech outlining his concerns with the proposed changes by the Liberal government to increase access to assisted suicide. The legislation repeals the requirement that the patient’s death must be ‘reasonably foreseeable’ but requires patients to still have a ‘grievous and irremediable medical condition.’

“This bill is much broader than the court decision, and I would argue that we continue down the slippery slope. When Bill C-14 was introduced, I remember talking about the slippery slope and being assured it was not a thing. Yet here we are, removing safeguards from the bill.”

“Prior to this bill, there was a requirement that a person’s death be reasonably foreseeable. … Now we see the courts are taking that off and the government is not even defending it. … [In Bill C-7] we are creating two classes of citizens: one for which suicide prevention is available and one for which it is optional.”

Full speech on C-7 can be read here.

Today, MP Viersen did not support Bill C-6 at second reading. “I am opposed to the coercive and aversive methods used in conversion therapies that have been deeply harmful to individuals. No Canadian should be forced to change who they are.”

“I also believe it is critical that the legal definition in Bill C-7 is clear to ensure
no one is denied from the freedom of pursuing the help and counselling they
choose. That is why I had joined some of my colleagues in proposing good
faith-amendments to ensure the legal definition says exactly what the
government claims it means.

“However, the Liberals reintroduced the exact same Bill they did last year
having totally ignored the well-known drafting failures from their first attempt.

“That is why I cannot support this bill at second reading. While the Liberals
claim they are open to amendments, recent actions at the Justice Committee
have demonstrated they will use vulnerable communities for their own political
ends.”

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