This speech was delivered by Senator Betty Unger in Canada's Senate and posted on her website on June 15, 2016
"I do not know what is more alarming:
The fact that we are on the wrong road,
or the fact that we do not recognize it
and that so many are cheering"
Senator Betty Unger
Speaking to Bill C-14
Honourable Senators, I stand here today as but one voice in this Chamber.
My voice is not as loud or as strong as others in this House.
Yet behind me stand many, by the thousands, who wish their voices could be heard.
I am honoured to be speaking on their behalf.
And today, I hope you do not just hear my voice, but the sound of their voices as well.
These are the many people who weep that Canada’s moral fabric is being destroyed: Who beg us not to underestimate the harm that will follow when our hitherto and dearly held values are being shredded.
These are the elderly and the vulnerable: Who have now been burdened with new fears about visiting their doctor or being admitted to the hospital.
I propose to you that if this legislation was for a clear moral good there would be no need for debate.
It would be resoundingly supported not only in these halls, but in the halls of our nation.
Yet we do not hear such a sound, fellow Senators.
We hear the sound of division, of anger, of disagreement, and of fear.
I do not know which is more alarming:
The fact that we are on the wrong road, or the fact that we do not recognize it and that so many are cheering.
A fundamental tenant is, “Do not kill the innocent. Life is sacred.”
Yet in considering this legislation we have dismissed so many safeguards that the innocent are certain to be killed.
Why we cannot see it, I do not know.
Ignoring the lessons of history we elevate the right of the individual over the good of society.
Canada has had its democratic values uprooted: While in theory, “Parliament is Supreme”, this has become blatantly false.
The Supreme Court has supplanted our elected Parliamentarians by foisting “Judge-made law” on Canadians.
And although Parliaments across the nation could invoke the notwithstanding clause to ensure that this decision receives its proper deliberation, they seem unprepared to do so.
Where did we go so wrong, and when will we admit that the Supreme Court has gone too far?
What will it take? On what will they rule next?
Is there no situation under which the parliaments of Canada would be prepared to exercise their right under the Charter and invoke the notwithstanding clause?
I, for one, am not holding my breath, and I believe we are wrong, my friends. This story does not end well.
My only hope is that more and more Canadians are beginning to realize that something is terribly wrong and are rejecting the benign-sounding Medical Assistance in Dying Bill C-14.
Regrettably, far too few parliamentarians are amongst them.
I cannot support this legislation.
I don’t think this has been our finest hour: politics were ever-present. But may the gracious God who gave us life have mercy on us when He takes it in the end.