Bishops among critics of Canada’s quick changes to assisted suicide law

By Brian Dryden

Catholic News Service

OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) — The federal government is coming under increasing fire from critics for how quickly it is moving to change the regulations around assisted suicide and for how short a time period Canadians were given to express their views in an online survey overseen by the Ministry of Justice.

In a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dated Jan. 31 — four days after the federal government’s two-week online survey of Canadians regarding changes to the so-called Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) law ended — Archbishop Richard Gagnon, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, reiterated church opposition to government-sanctioned suicide while slamming the idea that a survey is the way to address “grave moral questions.”

This content is for members only.

“We, as bishops of the Catholic faithful in Canada, call on the government to engage in a more rigorous, impartial and prolonged study of the problems inherent in euthanasia/assisted suicide by involving those whose experiences offer a different perspective and even present inconvenient truths,” the CCCB letter said.

In response to the CCCB’s letter, Rachel Rappaport, press secretary to Lametti, said the government is currently responding to the Quebec court decision, but there will be a further review of Canada’s MAiD system starting in the summer, as promised when the legislation was first enacted.


Pope Francis meets Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a private audience in 2017 at the Vatican. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops reiterated the church’s opposition to government-sanctioned suicide in a Jan. 27 letter to Trudeau. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

The Witness has ceased publishing. The final issue was dated October 4, 2020.
Some Witness content from 2016-2020 is on this website.
Free access to all issues of The Witness from 1921-2020 is available through our digital archive at: