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Outgoing Letters and Public Statements

June 27, 2014

The Hon. Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

RE: Euthanasia / Quebec

Dear Minister,

I am writing you with deep concern over legislation recently passed in Quebec that requires all hospitals and health care institutions in the province to facilitate the provision of euthanasia.

The Criminal Code considers euthanasia to be a form of homicide, and as such, prohibits it. The criminalization of euthanasia is a well-established matter of federal jurisdiction. As recently as 2010, a private member’s bill (C-384) that would legalize euthanasia was soundly defeated in the House of Commons by a vote of 228 to 59.

When the legislation was proposed in Quebec, then Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson said; “The laws that prohibit euthanasia and assisted suicide exist to protect all Canadians, including those who are potentially the most vulnerable, such as people who are sick or elderly, and people with disabilities.” The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) wholeheartedly agrees.  We affirm the sanctity of all human life and believe it has inestimable value in all of its stages.

The Supreme Court of Canada, in Rodriguez v. British Columbia, recognized that Canadian society is “based upon respect for the intrinsic value of human life and on the inherent dignity of every human being.” Mr. Justice Sopinka in that case referred to the sanctity of life as being one of the three Charter values protected in section 7 of the Charter. On this basis the Court upheld the Criminal Code provisions against assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Every human life has intrinsic value and inherent dignity, and we believe the intentional killing of another human being for any reason is contrary to these principles. If we begin to prize human autonomy over the value of human life, we will shift from a culture that affirms and protects life and undermine the sanctity of human life that undergirds Canadian social policy and criminal law.

We therefore urge you to take the steps necessary to ensure that the Criminal Code is enforced in Quebec and indeed across Canada.


Bruce J. Clemenger
President, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

Outgoing Letters


EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger writes regular commentaries about public policy issues. The EFC magazine Faith Today often publishes articles and essays that examine such issues.

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