Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather, in a national and local context, expressed support in the Commons for Bill C-220 regarding compassionate care leave, “to allow caregivers to take additional days off when a loved one dies.”
The bill was put forward by Conservative Edmonton Riverbend MP Matt Jeneroux.
“During the course of this pandemic, we have become even more sensitized to the important role of caregivers, whether they are family members or close friends,” Housefather told the Commons. “I have personally watched my mother, Myrna, be a caregiver for my dad, David.
“I have seen first-hand the emotional and physical toll on caregivers. I have seen it all over my riding in drop-in centres, where caregivers drop their loved ones off to gain respite, and at long-term care centres. The love, tenderness and caring that is shown by those who take time off to play this role is commendable.”
The MP said he first became very aware of caregivers “when I was the mayor of Côte St. Luc and our local regional health board decided to close a drop-in centre that provided respite for caregivers.
“Along with members of my council, groups of stakeholders and the Cummings Centre in our riding, we managed to work together to put a drop-in centre at our Aquatic and Community Centre. Then, as a member of Parliament, I was able to achieve financing for that centre from the government. Even today, that centre is open, providing drop-in care for people with dementia and their caregivers.”
The MP added that providing caregivers with added leave after the death of a loved one “is completely in line with the government’s commitment to providing mental health supports. As such, I am very pleased to say that the government supports Bill C-220, with some amendments.”