05/04/2016 01:27 EDT | Updated 05/05/2017 05:12 EDT

Rona Ambrose Will Vote Against Liberals' Assisted Dying Bill Unless Amended

Tories will be allowed to vote their conscience.

OTTAWA — Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose says unless there are amendments, she'll be voting against federal legislation aimed at allowing people to seek medical help to end their lives.

Ambrose says she's thought a lot about the bill and says she wants to see stronger safeguards for the disabled community.

She says issues like mental health aren't addressed well enough and she's waiting to see if those and other provisions are strengthened by the time the bill gets to the final stage.

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose speaks to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

But while Ambrose says she's opposed to the legislation as written, that doesn't bind other members of the Conservative caucus who will be allowed to vote their conscience.

Quebec Tory MP Denis Lebel says he's in support of the proposed law, noting that his province already has existing legislation on the books.

Likely the law of the land by June

The House of Commons and Senate are currently studying the legislation with an eye towards making it the law of the land by June 6 — the date the Supreme Court set after it struck down the existing ban on doctor-assisted death.

Ambrose says the government appears open to amendments, which is why she's not firmly closing the door on eventually voting in favour of the bill.

"I think they are being constructive and collaborative," Ambrose said.

"Many of our MPs and potentially some from other parties will bring forward amendments and then I will reconsider at third reading."


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