Canada’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Carolyn Bennett, made a controversial statement in the House of Commons yesterday. She seemingly made a “Freudian slip” by referring to euthanasia providers as being “trained to eliminate” individuals with suicidal thoughts.
The meaning of Bennett’s statement is uncertain as the video abruptly cuts off before she can fully elaborate. It is unclear if she meant that euthanasia providers would refuse to perform euthanasia on individuals struggling with mental health issues or if they are specifically trained to handle such cases and do just that.
Bennett, who also holds the position of Associate Minister of Health, made this statement in response to intense questioning from Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Pierre Poilievre.
Poilievre criticized the Liberal government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for their ongoing expansion of the country’s euthanasia laws.
“I think it is totally irresponsible for the Leader of the Opposition to misrepresent what this (legal euthanasia) means,” Bennet said.
“All of the assessors and providers of MAiD are purposely trained to eliminate people who are suicidal,” she explained.
Bennet attempted to speak, “This is for…”; however, her words were interrupted by a chorus of MPs shouting “oh! oh!” in shock.
Poilievre stated in the House of Commons that under Trudeau’s leadership as prime minister for the past eight years, the country has seen a rise in poverty and desperation, leading to an increasing number of Canadians struggling with depression.
“Some of them are going to food banks, asking for help ending their lives, not because they are sick but because life has become so miserable and they want to end their lives altogether. The government has suggested veterans should end their lives instead of getting the help they need,” Poilievre said.
Bennett later attempted to rectify her previous apparent Freudian slip by saying, “Mr. Speaker, we on this side, and with the support of the expert panel and so many Canadians, will continue to develop and provide the kind of mental health support necessary for people who are depressed.”