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Cariboo-PG MP implores Senate Committee to pass bill on PTSD support

Quesnel Cariboo Observer - 6/5/2018

Todd Doherty, Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George, went before the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence today (June 4) in Ottawa to present Bill C-211, which he hopes will establish a framework for supporting those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Doherty spoke passionately about the people his bill represents, highlighting the impacts of PTSD on first responders of all kinds, including police, fire fighters, and medical professionals. He also said that the bill is the first of its kind in Canada and potentially the world, saying that many countries are watching to see how Canada legislates on this issue.

Almost a year ago, on June 16, 2017, 284 members of parliament unanimously passed Bill C-211's third reading after one hour of debate. The bill then entered the Senate for review and approval. It received first and second readings, and is now before the committee.

Doherty stressed that the bill is not a framework to address the treatment of PTSD – it is the vehicle to get government to a framework. The hope is to create a nation-wide protocol so that PTSD sufferers receive the same care and benefits no matter where they live in the country. Doherty says that once the bill passes, the Minister of Health and other stakeholders will choose who sits at the table to develop the best way forward for legislation.

"The bill was strategically drafted so that the onus is really, truly on the ministers. They are the ones that are in charge of inviting whoever they want – the provincial and territorial minsters, the academics, the other industries – who do we want around the table to develop this?" he says.