Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay has stated that there is “no evidence” that Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) was ever offered unprompted or suggested to veterans or their families by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). This comes less than two months after a VAC worker, who allegedly suggested assisted suicide to military veterans, left her position at the federal department. VAC has not disclosed whether the female employee was fired or resigned, but she was initially suspended after reports emerged of her allegedly offering unsolicited MAiD to veterans.
MacAulay said in response to Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant on Jan. 30 that VAC had conducted a “thorough and manual deep-dive review” of each instance, including references to medical assistance in dying, file reviews and discussions with VAC employees who potentially had interactions with the veterans. He added that VAC had reviewed and analyzed 402,000 unique client files dating back to 2016, but found no evidence of unsolicited MAiD being offered to veterans.
The minister had previously appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, where he said his department was aware of four allegations of veterans being offered unsolicited MAiD by a VAC employee. MacAulay told the committee on Nov. 24, 2022, that all alleged unsolicited offers of MAiD to veterans by his department came from “one single employee,” who at the time was no longer working as a case manager with veterans.
Retired Canadian Armed Forces corporal Mark Meincke had earlier told the same committee that he had spoken with one of the anonymous veterans who was allegedly offered unsolicited MAiD over the phone by a VAC employee. Meincke later hosted an episode of his podcast with a veteran going by the pseudonym “Bruce” who also alleged being offered “completely unprompted” MAiD by a VAC employee. MacAulay told the Commons veterans affairs committee on Nov. 24 that he was unaware of that specific case.
Meincke told The Epoch Times in an interview on Feb. 15 that MacAulay seemed to be “flipping and flopping” in terms of his admissions on veterans being offered MAiD by VAC. “He [MacAulay] is saying two things at the same time that are diametrically opposed,” said Meincke. “They [VAC] keep contradicting themselves.”