Campaign Life Coalition's national president Jeff Gunnarson.

Federal Conservative Pary reaffirms anti-MAiD stance

  • April 2, 2021

OTTAWA -- The federal Conservative Party’s March policy convention may have exposed infighting within the party surrounding issues such as abortion and climate change, but one thing was made clear — it’s the only party against making it easier for Canadians to kill themselves with the help of a doctor.

The party held an online national policy convention March 18-20 just days after Bill C-7, which significantly expanded Canada’s medical assistance in dying (MAiD) system and opened the door to allowing the mentally ill to access MAiD in the future, became law.

At the convention the party reaffirmed its opposition to expanding the eligibility for MAiD, which Conservative MPs voted against in the vote on Bill C-7.

The firm stance against MAiD, which in one form or another the party has taken since 2018, is being praised by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC), Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) and other MAiD opponents.

“In principle, the Conservative Party opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide,” said the policy motion approved by delegates. “Furthermore, we oppose the extension of euthanasia and assisted suicide (MAiD) to minors, to people who are not competent and people who live with psychological suffering.”

The policy reaffirms what has been on the books for the Conservatives since 2018. The Conservative Party is the only mainstream Canadian political party which has such a straightforward policy stance when it comes to MAiD.

Executive director Alex Schadenberg said the EPC is happy to see the Conservative Party reaffirm its stance against MAiD, and his group will hold the party to that position in the future.

“The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition does not support a political party. We support candidates and elected representatives from all political parties that oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide,” he said.

“Now that the Conservative Party of Canada has approved these policies, EPC will urge them, and others, to act on these policies.”

Campaign Life said the party should have been more forceful in taking a stance on other pro-life issues as well.

For months leading up to the policy convention Campaign Life had been calling on its members to join the Conservative Party to push it toward a strong pro-life position on abortion. The coalition said many of its efforts on behalf of pro-life and anti-abortion positions were blocked by the party leadership, but vows that social conservatives will continue to try and shape party policy going forward.

“In spite of the many obstacles thrown at us by the red Tory establishment, we can honestly say that this was a successful convention in many ways,” said Campaign Life’s national president Jeff Gunnarson.

“The official party policy declaration has been made a little more pro-life and more forcefully advocating for freedom of speech. … We frustrated almost every attempt by progressives to take away the voice of social conservatives.”

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