Libby urges the Conservative government to commit to the Mental Health Strategy for Canada

House of Commons

HANSARD

May 8, 2012

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, for years New Democrats and many others have been calling for a comprehensive strategy and action to improve mental health services for Canadians. Canada's mental health system is poorly coordinated and underfunded.

The Mental Health Commission today called for a long-overdue overhaul of this broken system. The federal government must stop neglecting mental health care and take leadership to ensure that Canadians receive the care they deserve.

What actions will the government take to implement the recommendations of this report, and when will we see these long-overdue changes?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the release of the mental health strategy this morning from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. As the opposition member knows, this important commission was created under our government. We are proud of the work that it has done so far. Our government will continue to work with the provinces and the territories in their efforts. We have committed to a long-term stable funding arrangement that will see health transfers reach record-high levels by the end of the decade.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, my question was, what action will the federal government take on the recommendations that came out today?

The report outlines the need for collaboration and coordination among all levels of government.

Canadians need to see a significant federal investment in mental health.

Enough of the self-congratulations. Will the government implement these recommendations, or is it really just washing its hands and leaving it to the strained provincial budgets to pick up the slack?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, once elected, our government took quick action. In fact, we formed the Mental Health Commission during the first year of our mandate.   The Liberal record is deplorable. All the Liberals did was to cut transfers to the jurisdictions.  As for the NDP members, it is a bit rich that they ask such a question as they voted against the establishment of the Mental Health Commission.  We will continue to work with the provinces and territories in the rollout of these recommendations.

This Question Period Transcript was posted on May 9, 2012
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