I have seconded a Conservative-led bill to make it more affordable for Canadians to receive mental health services.
Last week, Dr. Stephen Ellis, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester and Conservative Shadow Minister for Health, introduced Bill C-323. If passed, the bill will amend the Excise Tax Act to exempt mental health counselling and psychotherapy services from the goods and services tax.
The purpose of Bill C-323 is simple: to reduce the financial burden for individuals seeking to access mental health services.
At present, counselling therapists and psychotherapists are the only regulated mental health service providers that must remit tax on their work. Physicians, psychiatrists, registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, and social workers are all exempt.
The services of mental health practitioners are just as important to the health of Canadians and their families as those of a nurse or family doctor.
According to data from Health Canada, nearly one in four Canadians over the age of 15 report that their mental health needs are not being met.
This is the reality despite the Liberal government’s promise to transfer $4.5 billion to the provinces through the Canada Mental Health Transfer – a promise which has yet to materialize. People need real support now, not empty words.
Those struggling with the burden of mental illness deserve accessible, affordable care and Conservatives are advancing a tangible solution to provide relief to those who need it most.