Ottawa, ON — Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, and Stephanie Kusie, Conservative Shadow Minister for Employment, Future Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, issued the following statement after opposition parties managed to pass Bill C-251, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (Illness, injury or quarantine), at second reading:

“Every year, more than 150,000 Canadians have to rely on no more than 15 weeks of sickness benefits to recover from a serious illness, such as cancer. It takes incredible courage and determination on the part of these brave individuals. Anyone who knows someone in such a situation knows 15 weeks is an incredibly small period of time and is a wholly inadequate to overcome many of these very serious illnesses. 

“Bill C-251, seeks to rectify this by increasing the maximum number of weeks during which EI sickness benefits can be paid to Canadians who suffer from a serious illness.

“It is nothing less than shameful that Liberals would vote against such a common sense and compassionate bill that aims to help those most in need. Now that Bill C-215 has passed this latest hurdle, we are one step closer of providing essential aid to those who need it most.

“Conservatives will always support sensible and effective measures to better the lives of vulnerable and ailing Canadians.”