The vote on Bill C-314 signals a shift – let’s keep going

20 October 2023

Here's how the vote went

We’d heard the vote was likely to be close. And it was!

Bill C-314 was defeated by a vote of 167-150 on Oct. 18, 2023. If nine MPs had voted the other way, the bill would have passed.

In broad strokes, the Conservative Party and the NDP voted for the bill, along with the two Green MPs, one independent MP and eight Liberal MPs.

The Bloc Quebecois and most Liberal MPs and one independent MP voted against Bill C-314.

Several Liberal MPs didn’t vote, although they had voted on a private member’s motion minutes before. They may have intentionally refrained from voting against the bill with their party.

Here's where we see hope

This was a closer vote than the one to expand MAID for mental illness in 2021. The 2021 vote to allow MAID for mental illness passed the House of Commons by a vote of 184-148.

The number of MPs who voted in favour of Bill C-314 and who abstained for voting reflects a shift. MPs are hearing from their constituents that they have concerns. MPs themselves have concerns.

Bloc MPs support another year’s delay before the law allowing MAID for mental illness takes effect. There could be an initiative to delay MAID for mental illness another year.

The special joint committee of MPs and Senators is being recalled to give their opinion on whether the country is ready for MAID for mental illness. There are several committee members who are very committed to the expansion of euthanasia, but there is still the chance that the committee as a whole will recommend delay.

Canadians are increasingly becoming aware of the change in the law. Only half of Canadians (51%) are aware that the law will allow MAID for mental illness, according to an Angus Reid Forum poll that the EFC commissioned this fall. Although that means a significant number of people are unaware, it is actually an improvement from 2022 when a Léger poll found only 36% were aware.

Many Canadians are expressing concern or opposition to expanding MAID on the basis of mental illness for many different reasons. Some are concerned about the impact on marginalized groups. Some are worried about normalizing suicide. Others fear that we are making MAID available to people who don’t have access to needed care and support.

Let’s keep going

Please keep praying. Keep encouraging your MP to put a stop to MAID for mental illness. It takes time for a shift to become fully realized, to take full effect. We are seeing movement. Let’s press on.

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