Government should never do for citizens what they can do for themselves. But in saying this, your government cares about the well-being of its citizens and that is why this government has brought forward a number of compassionate legislation policies to help Canadians in the most challenging times of their lives.
Among compassionate measures in place include Employment Insurance (EI) compassionate care benefits. These benefits are paid to people who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill and who has a significant risk of death within six months. We believe that during such times you should not have to choose between keeping your job and caring for your family.
We haven’t stopped there. Among the recent compassionate legislation which has been put forward includes Bill C-44, the “Helping Families in Need Act.” This act implements changes which provide EI benefits to parents of critically ill or injured children, and it provides income support to parents of murdered or missing children. I believe that this is a very common-sense piece of legislation, and had to wonder why something like this had not been previously implemented. I recently made mention of this during committee to the Hon. Diane Findlay, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, to which she commented that; “[i]n fact, we’ve been trying to bring various components of this bill forward for about five or six years now…This bill is one of the benefits of having a stable majority government. We’re finally able to put it through.”
We are establishing an “orphan drug strategy” which supports research and provides resources that will help improve the health of Canadians living with a rare disease.
And through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, we’re removing barriers for people living with disabilities by improving access to facilities, activities and services enabling all Canadians to participate more fully in society.
This may include renovations, construction and retrofitting of buildings, modifications of vehicles for community use or enhancements to make information and communication technologies more accessible.
I am aware of the sentiment that it is easy to be generous with other people’s money, so to be clear, it is with your EI premiums and your tax dollars that these benefits are paid.
But after listening to parents who have had their child abducted or murdered, or individuals with close family relatives who are dying of cancer or other life-threatening illnesses, I am certain that you would agree that implementing these new benefits on your behalf is the right thing to do.
– Colin Mayes