Amid the furor of the Senate Expense Scandal and the ongoing ‘ let’s abolish the Senate’ campaign, The Senate, The House of Sober Second Thought, as it’s known, seemed to be destined for the political scrap heap .
But the Assisted Dying Bill, C-14, is a chance for the Senate to gain redemption and prove it’s worth in the Canadian political system.
C-14 is the government’s hastily crafted response to the Supreme Court’s Assisted Dying judgment.
It was passed in Parliament by the majority government, but the debate is far from over.
By all accounts, C-14 pleases no one.
It doesn’t meet the parameters set out by the Court, it fails to address the concerns of medical professionals and right to die advocates and, in the opinion of many experts, it wouldn’t pass the constitutional smell test.
Here’s where the Senate comes in.
The Upper Chamber has an opportunity to make amendments to the bill that could allay many of the concerns of the groups we’ve mentioned.
The Senate could just rubber stamp the bill as is , which would lead to an inevitable Court challenge and we’d be right back where we started.
Or, they could take the time to address the shortcomings of this very controversial legislation.
Does the Senate still play an important role in Canadian politics ?
We’re about to find out.