Calgary, AB – Tom Kmiec, Member of Parliament for Calgary Shepard, tabled Bill C-211, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (bereavement leave), an act that expands bereavement leave to 8 weeks of unpaid leave for parents who have experienced a stillbirth, the death of a child under the age of 18, or the death of a disabled child in the parent’s care.

Bill C-211, for the first time in Canadian history, recognizes the toll of miscarriages on parents and expands bereavement leave to provide 5 days of leave for parents who experience a miscarriage.

The current bereavement system outlined in the Canada Labour Code only includes a generic three days of paid leave and two days of unpaid leave for parents who experience the death of a child. This is unfair, unsympathetic, and unrealistic for parents to make arrangements and grieve.

In June 2018, Conservative Member of Parliament, Blake Richards passed Motion M-110 in the House of Commons, calling on the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills, and Social Development, and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) to undertake a study on the impacts of the loss of an infant child. This study showed a glaring failure of government programming to address the needs of grieving parents.

In November 2018, MP Kmiec and MP Richards put forward a motion at the Finance Committee that would have expanded bereavement leave in Budget 2018. Every single Liberal member of the Committee voted against it.

In June 2021, MP Kmiec tabled Bill C-307 in Parliament that would have expanded bereavement leave for parents. Sadly, this bill died on the order paper during the most recent federal election.

Bill C-211 is a compassionate bill that supports parents during unexpected times when they need help the most. Conservatives will be there for grieving parents.

“I know firsthand the need for an expanded bereavement leave. My daughter, Lucy-Rose, passed away in August 2018, after only living for 39 days. No parent expects or plans to need job-protected bereavement leave, but if they need it, the system should be fair, simple, and compassionate.” said MP Kmiec.

“Throughout my time advocating on this issue, I have met parents from across the country that have shared how government has failed to be compassionate during the times when they need compassion the most. I have heard from parents who experienced a stillbirth who were not given adequate time to grieve before returning to work. I have heard from parents who felt alone and unsupported after a miscarriage. I have heard gut-wrenching stories of parents who have lost children in tragic accidents or through rare conditions.”

“It’s time that government treat grieving parents with fairness and compassion and recognize the time it takes for parents to grieve.  This bill is essential for grieving parents, and I encourage all parties to support it.”