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Supreme Court upholds feds' right to reargue facts in assisted dying case

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear a severely ill woman's appeal of a British Columbia court ruling that found the federal government could reargue the findings of fact used by the top court to overturn a ban on assisted dying.

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a lawsuit that challenges the federal law on assisted dying, arguing it is more limited than the regime the Supreme Court envisioned in its landmark 2015 ruling.

The plaintiffs say the federal government's submissions in response to the lawsuit aim to re-litigate facts that were already decided in the 2015 ruling, slowing down a trial that is of urgent importance to sick Canadians.

The B.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal have already ruled that the government should be given a second chance to argue the findings of fact, and the country's top court declined to hear the plaintiffs' appeal on Thursday.

It dismissed the application for leave to appeal and a motion to expedite the application without costs.

The federal government has asserted that new arguments are required because the latest case involves different plaintiffs, a different legal regime and a different set of issues compared with 2015.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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