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Assisted dying bill to be reintroduced Monday as court deadline looms

OTTAWA — Facing a looming court-imposed deadline, the federal government will reintroduce Monday legislation to amend Canada’s law on medical assistance in dying.

The government has until Dec. 18 to amend the law to comply with a court ruling last fall, which found it was unconstitutional to allow only those whose natural death is “reasonably foreseeable” to be able to get medical help to end their suffering.

Justice Minister David Lametti introduced a bill in response to that ruling last February but it didn’t get beyond the initial stage of the legislative process before the House of Commons adjourned in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That bill died when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prorogued Parliament last month.

Lametti has now given notice that a new bill — presumably identical to the previous one — will be introduced on Monday.

His office has said Lametti is determined to meet the Dec. 18 deadline, which has already been extended twice by the court.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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