OTTAWA, Monday, February 1, 2021


Pursuant to the order of the Senate of December 17, 2020, the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs met this day by videoconference at 10:01 a.m [ET], the chair, the Honourable Mobina S. B. Jaffer, presiding. This meeting is considered to have taken place in the parliamentary precinct.

Members of the committee present by videoconference: The Honourable Senators Batters, Boisvenu, Boniface, Boyer, Carignan, P.C., Cotter, Dupuis, Griffin, Harder, P.C., Jaffer, Keating, Martin, Plett and Tannas (14).

Other senators present by videoconference: The Honourable Senators Kutcher, Miville-Dechêne, Moodie, Pate and Petitclerc (5).

Participating in the meeting: Joëlle Nadeau, Procedural Clerk, Committees Directorate; Julian Walker and Michaela Keenan-Pelletier, Analysts, Parliamentary Information and Research Services, Library of Parliament.

Also present: The official reporters of the Senate.

Pursuant to the order of reference adopted by the Senate on Thursday, December 17, 2020, the committee began its consideration of Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying).

APPEARING (by videoconference):

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., M.P., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

WITNESSES (by videoconference):

As individuals:

Patrick Taillon, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Laval University;

The Honourable Serge Joyal, P.C., former senator;

Elizabeth Sheehy, Professor Emerita of Law, University of Ottawa;

David Shannon, Barrister and Solicitor;

Dr. Naheed Dosani, Palliative Care Physician and Health Justice Activist.

Department of Justice Canada:

François Daigle, Associate Deputy Minister;

Laurie Wright, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister;

Joanne Klineberg, Acting General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section;

Caroline Quesnel, Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section;

Carole Morency, Director General and Senior General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section.

Canadian Human Rights Commission:

Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner;

Marcella Daye, Senior Policy Advisor;

Sheila Osborne-Brown, Acting General Counsel and Director of Legal Services.

Dalhousie University:

A. Wayne MacKay, Professor Emeritus of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

United Nations Human Rights Council:

Gerard Quinn, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Council of Canadians with Disabilities:

Heidi Janz, Chair, Ending-of-Life Ethics Committee.

Institut de planification des soins du Québec:

Danielle Chalifoux, Lawyer in health law.

Coop ASSIST - Quebec Cooperative for Independent Living:

Jonathan Marchand, Chair.

Disability Justice Network of Ontario:

Sarah Jama, Lead Organizer.           

The chair made a statement.

The Minister made a statement and, together with Ms. Wright and Ms. Daigle, answered questions.

At 11:45 a.m., the committee suspended.

At 11:58 a.m., the committee resumed.

Ms. Klineberg, Ms. Quesnel and Ms. Morency answered questions.

At 12:56 p.m., the committee suspended.

At 2:05 p.m., the committee resumed.

Ms. Landry, Mr. Taillon, the Honourable Serge Joyal, Ms. Sheehy, Mr. MacKay and Mr. Quinn made statements and together with Ms. Daye and Ms. Osborne-Brown, answered questions.

At 4:06 p.m., the committee suspended.

At 5:04 p.m., the committee resumed.

Mr. Shannon, Ms. Janz, Ms. Chalifoux, Dr. Dosani, Mr. Marchand and Ms. Jama made statements and answered questions.

At 6:57 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the chair.


Mark Palmer

Clerk of the Committee

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