In Their Own Words

Financial Stress/Mental Stress

John Barlow, MP, Foothills, Alberta (Conservative Party)

I think one of the issues that we can deal with immediately is ensuring that employees are working. And that, on the federal government side, is getting money out the door quickly for infrastructure projects. We have seen the significant commitment or promises that the Liberal government has put out for infrastructure. Less than 10% of the actual dollars have been committed to projects.

But what role the federal government wants to take in private industry, I think we have to be careful with that. I don’t think anybody wants too much intervention from the federal government into the private sector.

My colleague, Todd Doherty, Member of Parliament for Prince George, put forward a private member’s bill to establish a national strategy on mental health and PTSD. So that is in the process. We also encouraged partnerships — “Do More Ag” … an agriculture awareness group, and Farm Credit Canada have partnered together to develop a mental health awareness campaign with the agriculture sector, specifically.

[There are] two other ones that we have done — Blake Richards, the Member of Parliament for Banff -Airdrie, completed a study that he initiated at the Human Resources Committee expanding EI bereavement leave, specifically with the loss of a child. So previously, if you were going through some difficult times for a family reason, you weren’t able to access EI leave.

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