NDP to vote against changes to bill on medical assistance in dying

NDP to oppose Senate's amended legislation expanding access to assisted suicide to those with mental illness; Bloc teams up with Liberals to call closure on debate and send the bill to a final vote.

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party will vote against an amended bill that would expand access to medical assistance in dying.

The vote on Bill C-7, expected in the House of Commons today, has been bogged down in debate since returning from the Senate with substantive amendments.

These include allowing advance requests for assisted deaths and imposing an 18-month time limit on the bill's proposed blanket ban on assisted dying for people suffering solely from mental illnesses.

The government has been trying since then to get the Commons to agree to a motion laying out its response, which rejects advance requests and agrees to a two-year time limit on the mental illness exclusion.

Singh says he opposes the motion on the grounds that the Senate should not rewrite the work of elected officials.

The minority Trudeau government, backed by the Bloc Québécois, has given notice it will impose closure to ensure the bill comes to a final vote in the House before a court-ordered deadline of March 26, and it would pass with the support of those two parties.

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