Ottawa, ON – Todd Doherty, Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George, BC and Conservative Deputy Shadow Minister for National Defence, issued the following statement regarding the continued implementation delay of a national three-digit suicide prevention hotline:

“Today marks 500 days since the House of Commons unanimously passed my motion calling on the government to consolidate existing suicide prevention services into an easy to remember three-digit hotline that would be accessible to all Canadians.

“For reasons that can only be interpreted as political, this hotline has still not been implemented, and its status remains unclear.

“Pre-pandemic statistics indicate that every 24 hours, approximately 11 Canadians die by suicide and a further 275 attempt suicide. These statistics equate to approximately 5,500 deaths by suicide and 137,500 suicide attempts in the 500 days since my motion passed. 

“Two years of lockdowns, restrictions, isolation and uncertainty have put the mental health of Canadians to the test. Rates of anxiety and depression hit all-time highs, and more and more Canadians have admitted to experiencing thoughts of suicide.

“Rather than making this non-partisan initiative a priority and a reality, the government tasked the CRTC with consultations on its need.

“This was, and remains, an insult to the thousands of Canadians across our country who continue to struggle with mental health issues and have nowhere to turn.

“Today, I am calling on the government to immediately table an implementation plan in Parliament that includes a clear date of when this hotline will finally be accessible to struggling Canadians.

“500 days of delay is unreasonable, unnecessary and unacceptable.

“Canadians deserve better.”