CTV News Canada
Rachel Aiello, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer
June 14, 2018
Under the bill, Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has to call a conference between her federal defence, veterans affairs, and public safety counterparts, alongside other stakeholders, within a year of the bill becoming law. Six months from then, the health minister has to report to Parliament with the official plan.
OTTAWA – In 18 months, Canada is set to have its first federal plan to address post-traumatic stress disorder, after a private member's bill passed the Senate Thursday.Hundreds of police patrol Parliament Hill before protest
Bill C-211, sponsored by Conservative B.C. MP Todd Doherty, aims to curb what he calls an "epidemic" of suicides among people who have PTSD.
The bill requires the federal government to work alongside the provinces and territories, and members of the medical community, to create a federal framework to fully address post-traumatic stress disorder, from recognizing symptoms to treatment.
While the framework will apply generally, Doherty's inspiration for the bill was the paramedics, police officers, nurses, firefighters, military members, corrections officers, and RCMP who deal with PTSD as a result of their jobs.
"It is bittersweet. Today is a good day, but there are a lot of men and women that have lost their lives, and today we send a message that we, collectively, we are going to fight for those who fight for us," Doherty said.
He said numerous lives have been lost since his bill was first introduced, but in the last week alone, he's aware of four first responders who died by suicide.
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