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OTTAWA, Tuesday, February 2, 2021


Pursuant to the order adopted by the Senate on Thursday, December 17, 2020, the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs met this day in room C128, Senate of Canada Building, and with videoconference at 9:09 a.m. [ET], the chair, the Honourable Mobina S. B. Jaffer, presiding.

Members of the committee present: The Honourable Senators Batters and Boisvenu (2).

Members of the committee present by videoconference: The Honourable Senators Boniface, Carignan, P.C., Cotter, Dupuis, Gold, P.C., Griffin, Harder, P.C., Jaffer, Keating, Pate, Plett, Tannas and Wallin (13).

Other senators present by videoconference: The Honourable Senators Gagné, Kutcher, LaBoucane-Benson, Miville-Dechêne, Moodie, Petitclerc and Woo (7).

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 continued consideration of Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying).

WITNESSES (by videoconference):

Canadian Bar Association:

David E. Roberge, Member of the Canadian Bar Association End of Life Working Group.

Indigenous Bar Association:

Scott Robertson, Senior Associate, Nahwegahbow Corbiere.

Barreau du Québec:

Jean-Pierre Ménard, Lawyer;

Marie-Nancy Paquet, Lawyer.

As individuals:

Eric Adams, Vice Dean and Professor of Law, University of Alberta Faculty of Law;

Daniel Weinstock;

Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry;

Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Professor, University of Hull;

Dr. Jaro Kotalik, Professor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine;

Jocelyne Saint-Arnaud, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, Université de Montréal;

Julie Campbell, Nurse Practitioner;

François Paulette, Denesuline Elder;

Suzanne L. Stewart, Director, Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health and Associate Professor Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto;

Dr. Rod McCormick, Professor and Research Chair, All My Relations Research Centre, Thompson Rivers University;

Dr. Derryck Smith, Clinical Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia;

Delphine Roigt, Lawyer and Ethics Advisor;

Dr. Janet Smylie;

Dr. Timothy Holland, MAID Physician Provider and Assessor;

Dr. Joel B. Zivot, Associate Professor, Emory University School of Medicine.

Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers:

Richard Fowler, Board Member, Representative for Vancouver, British Columbia;

Lucie Joncas, Board Member, Representative for Montreal, Quebec.

Health Canada:

Abby Hoffman, Senior Executive Advisor to the Deputy Minister;

Karen Kusch, Senior Policy Advisor, Strategic Policy Branch.

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia:

Dr. Gus Grant, Registrar and CEO.

Siksika Health Services:

Tyler White, Chief Executive Officer;

Dr. Thomas Fung, Physician Lead.

Office of the Correctional Investigator:

Ivan Zinger, Correctional Investigator of Canada.

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA):

Laurel Plewes, Director, VCHA Assisted Dying Program.

The chair made a statement.

Mr. Roberge, Mr. Robertson, Mr. Ménard, Ms. Paquet, Mr. Weinstock, Mr. Adams, Mr. Beaudry, Mr. Fowler and Ms. Joncas made statements and answered questions.

At 11:24 a.m., the committee suspended.

At 12:11 p.m., the committee resumed.

Ms. Hoffman, Dr. Grant, Mr. Cohen-Almagor, Dr. Kotalik, Ms. Saint-Arnaud, Ms. Campbell made statements and, together with Ms. Kusch, answered questions.

At 2:06 p.m., the committee suspended.

At 3:05 p.m., the committee resumed.

Mr. White, Dr. Fung, Mr. Paulette, Ms. Stewart, Dr. McCormick and Mr. Zinger made statements and answered questions.

At 4:53 p.m., the committee suspended.

At 6:01 p.m., the committee resumed.

Dr. Smith, Ms. Roight, Dr. Smylie, Dr. Holland, Dr. Zivot and Ms. Plewes made statements and answered questions.

At 8:03 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the chair.


Mark Palmer

Clerk of the Committee