February 25, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, ON – Today, Matt Jeneroux, Conservative Shadow Minister for Health and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Riverbend, tabled in the House of Commons a Private Members’ Bill to extend the leave period for caregivers using the Compassionate Care Leave program.
An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (compassionate care leave) proposes to extend the current leave time to allow caregivers up to an additional three weeks of leave following the death of their loved one.
“The time immediately following the death of a loved one is hectic and overwhelming. Caregivers need additional time off work to take care of practical necessities and focus on healing,” said Jeneroux.
Currently, full-time employees can take up to 28 weeks off work to care for a loved one who has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death. However, the current leave ends within days of a loved one’s death.
MP Jeneroux previously introduced Compassionate Care legislation in Alberta in 2013 while a Member of the Legislative Assembly. He was inspired to introduce the legislation following the death of his grandmother.
“I wish I’d had the opportunity to take time off work to care for my grandma,” Jeneroux said. “More and more Canadians are finding themselves in caregiving roles and should be able to take this time off with their loved ones without having to worry about their jobs.”
“Caregivers supporting a loved one with cancer often must grapple with the physical, emotional and financial strain of their caregiving responsibilities. With so many emotional and practical issues to manage in the wake of a loved one’s passing, returning to work should not have to be one of them. We support MP Jeneroux’s proposed extension to the Compassionate Care Leave so that caregivers can be afforded the time off work to navigate such an incredibly difficult time in their life, and hope to see support for this legislative change from all political parties.”
• Canadian Cancer Society
“The MS Society of Canada applauds Mr. Jeneroux’s introduction of a Private Members’ Bill that focuses on expanding Compassionate Care Leave for all Canadians. The MS Society has long advocated for greater flexibility within EI sickness benefit policy, as many programs in Canada are designed like a binary switch: either you can work or you cannot work, which does not sufficiently address the realities of caregivers during the bereavement period. Expanding the compassionate care program will certainly benefit MS caregivers, and we encourage Parliamentarians to work together across party lines to ensure long-term support for caregivers and their families can become a reality.”
• Dr. Pamela Valentine, President and CEO, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada