Friday, October 6, 2023

Hon. Ed Fast (CPC) - Parliamentary speech in support of Bill C-314

The following is the speech by Hon. Ed Fast presented during the second hour of debate on Bill C-314 on October 5, 2023 at 6:30 pm. The final vote on Bill C-314 will happen on Wednesday October 18, 2023.

Hon. Ed Fast
Link to the video of this speech in parliament. (video link).
Link to his first speech in Parliament on Bill C-314 (Link).

Please tell your Member of Parliament that you support Bill C-314 (Member of Parliament link)

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, medical assistance in dying will soon be expanded to include those with mental illness, including depression. My bill, Bill C-314, would reverse this terrible decision. My bill is very narrow and would not repeal the other provisions of Canada's medical assistance in dying laws.

There is no national consensus on expanding MAID to include mental disorders, none. The most recent Angus Reid poll found that a very small number of Canadians actually favour expanding assisted suicide to the mentally ill, somewhere around 28%.

The mental health community has raised significant concerns. A recent letter to government from the heads of seven Canadian psychiatry schools implored decision-makers to hold off on expanding assisted suicide to the mentally ill. Similarly, the Canadian Psychiatric Association does not support the expansion of MAID due to the many ethical and clinical concerns that have not been resolved. They argue that mental illness is often highly treatable and that patients should be provided with the treatment they need to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

Stakeholders have deplored the lack of social and economic supports for persons with mental illness and how this can lead people to consider MAID. They have pointed to the fact that the federal government has not fulfilled its promise to deliver dedicated mental health and palliative care funding to the provinces, leaving Canadians without access to the support that would lead them to choose life rather than death.

Many others have joined the chorus. They note that the issues of suicidal ideation, irremediability and competency have not been resolved, ensuring that Canadians will needlessly die because we have rushed ahead with expanding MAID.

At greatest risk are those suffering from depression, veterans suffering from PTSD, the opioid addicted on our streets, our indigenous communities and those seeking to escape a life of poverty. The government has even signalled its openness to allowing children to access assisted suicide, presumably without their parents' consent.

Last year, in my home town of Abbotsford, Donna Duncan was swiftly approved for assisted suicide after failing to receive proper treatment for chronic mental health issues. Her assisted death happened so quickly and so totally blindsided her daughters, Alicia and Christie, that they referred the case to the RCMP. Is this the dystopian world we are leaving behind?

Has anyone consulted with our first nations? Meaghan Walker-Williams of the Cowichan Tribe recently wrote in the National Post:
As a Sixties Scoop survivor, my lifelong personal journey back to my community of Cowichan has also been marked by the painful consequences of policies that didn’t respect or understand Indigenous cultures. Another policy, blind to my culture, may soon join them: assisted suicide for mental illness.
She concludes by saying, 
“it's crucial that the narrative remains firmly rooted in upholding the sanctity of life—a cornerstone of Coast Salish teachings.”
I note that the government originally excluded the mentally ill from its MAID regime and went to great lengths to explain why that was necessary. It was only after the unelected Senate included the mentally ill in Bill C-7 that the government suddenly enthusiastically embraced the idea.

The question is this: Should Canadians be able to trust their government to act in a way that values the life of every Canadian, or do we give up on the most vulnerable among us? Someday, all of us will have to give an account.

A famous world leader by the name of Moses once challenged his own people with a choice and a promise: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live”. I want my descendants to live, to prosper, to thrive, and I want the same for our mentally ill, our Indigenous peoples and indeed all Canadians. It is time to end this experiment. With so much uncertainty, surely we should err on the side of life, not death.

I respectfully ask members to support Bill C-314.


Julie, Maple Ridge said...

So well researched and well expressed. Let us pray that everyone in the House listened carefully and will vote to protect the most vulnerable in our society.

Erica Savoy said...

Hon.Ed Fast, Thank you for your courageous work to protect some of the most vulnerable among us from the ice cold bureaucratic evil unleashed in the form of MAiD. Keep up "the good fight"!

Tina Markeli said...

Thank you, Ed Fast, for your courage and your excellent presentation. Let us pray that this "social experiment" will be stopped before it does even more harm.

Deborah said...

Thank you Hon. Ed Fast for your intelligent and winsome words in favour of protecting the needs of the most vulnerable among us, which is the mandate of leaders, appointed by God. As a retired RN and Child and Youth Mental Health clinician in BC, this is an issue near and dear to my heart. May God continue to guide and protect you in the key role you play as an MP and advocate for those most in need of protection.

Maureen said...

Mr Fast has expressed my sentiments exactly......God guide all those persons who will make the decision to pass or reject ------Choose life that you and your decendents may live...My grandson who is sick would be a target and that would KILL me and his family...WE MUST as a loving and caring society protect our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.......

Anonymous said...

I also support you fully in protecting the vulnerable. Stay strong! J. Keiran

Patricia Maloney said...

Thank you Ed Fast. Good to see an MP speak out against killing the mentally ill. God bless you for your courage to go against our pro-death narrative.

Madge and casey Weber said...

Thank you, Ed Fast, for you have been a voice for many of us, who really appreciate this undertaking to bring about a greater culture of life, by supporting your Bill C-314.
In gratitude and blessings for you and your loved ones,
Madge and Casey Weber.