National News

Today on the Hill: Questions over end of life

The Peace Tower is pictured through the Centennial Flame on October 23, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick -
The Peace Tower is pictured through the Centennial Flame on October 23, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
— image credit:

By Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - More fuel is being added to the political fire that's been growing over assisted suicide.

The Canadian Medical Association is to release a report today on the views of Canadians when it comes to advance-care planning, palliative care and physician-assisted dying.

The report comes as the federal Conservatives grapple with a Quebec law that allows so-called "end-of-life" health-care options.

Quebec's National Assembly passed the controversial legislation last week, allowing people with an incurable disease or illness that's causing unbearable suffering to ask a doctor to end their life.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he's looking for direction from federal lawyers on whether to join a challenge of the bill.

Here are some other happenings in and around the nation's capital:

— The prime minister and opposition party leaders will be absent from Ottawa. Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau are in Moncton, N.B., today for the regimental funeral of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers Dave Ross, Fabrice Georges Gevaudan and Douglas James Larche, who were killed by a gunman last week;

— The auditor general will present an audit report on the Environmental and Social Review at Export Development Canada;

— Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien appears at the House of Commons human-rights committee hearing witnesses on Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act;

— Mary Dawson, the government's nominee for commissioner of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commission, appears at a Commons committee;

— Costco Canada's board chair Louise Wendling appears at the Canadian Club to discuss fair pricing and why some products cost more in Canada;

— And Lorne Waldman, president of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, appears at Senate social affairs committee studying Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act.

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