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Extending Sickness Benefits

Last week Parliament passed a Conservative-led bill, C-215 at Second Reading, which will increase the maximum number of weeks during which EI sickness benefits can be paid to those suffering from a serious illness. Not a single Liberal MP voted in favour of it.

The bill proposes to increase the number of weeks someone can apply for EI sickness benefits from 15 to 52. Every year, more than 150,000 Canadians must rely on no more than 15 weeks of sickness benefits to recover from a serious illness, such as cancer. It takes incredible courage and determination on the part of these brave individuals. Anyone who knows someone in such a situation understands that 15 weeks is an incredibly small period and is wholly inadequate to overcome many of these very serious illnesses. Bill C-215 seeks to rectify this for Canadians who suffer from a serious illness. Now that Bill C-215 has passed this latest hurdle, we are one step closer to providing essential aid to those who need it most. I will always support sensible and effective measures to better the lives of those dealing with an illness.

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