Alberta Premier Danielle Smith opposes assisted-dying expansion as Ottawa eyes delay

MAID expansion opposed

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith's office says the province objects to Ottawa's plan to extend eligibility for medically assisted death to people whose sole underlying condition is a mental illness. 

An update to assisted-dying law passed in 2021 included a two-year sunset clause that would see the expansion take effect this March. 

Justice Minister David Lametti is now seeking further delay because he says there are concerns that health-care systems might not be prepared, and the Liberal government wants to do more consultation.

Smith's office says it objects to Ottawa moving forward with expanding eligibility for assisted dying "without agreement" from Alberta. 

Her office says the province is consulting with experts about the potential effects that expanding eligibility would have on Alberta's health-care system. 

Some federal lawmakers have argued that excluding people with mental illness from access to assisted dying would violate their Charter right to equal treatment under the law.

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