Libby urges the Conservative government to provide funding for the Mental Health Strategy

House of Commons


May 9, 2012

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister was full of self-congratulation yesterday about the mental health strategy put forward by the Mental Health Commission, then later in the day admitted there was no new money for this strategy.

She is dumping responsibility onto already strained provincial health budgets.

Mental health issues take a great toll on our families and on provincial budgets. Now that we finally have a strategy, we should get down to work.

Will the Minister show some leadership to make sure that the mental health strategy is implemented?

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

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the strategy from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. As the opposition members know, members of the NDP did not support the commission that was established.   Our government will continue to support the provinces and the territories in their efforts. That is why 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, we in the NDP have called for a mental health strategy for years, but we also know that the government loves to download to the provinces and keep the money.

This is just another example of that. The government is starving provinces and territories with its new health care formula that will take away $31 billion, yet it is asking them to bear the brunt of this new strategy.

Why is the Minister putting responsibility on the backs of financially strained provinces? Does she truly want this new strategy to work?