Extension of special benefits for illness: Denis Coderre introduces a Private Members' Bill

OTTAWA, Sept. 28, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honorable Denis Coderre, MP for Bourassa, today introduced in the House of Commons a Private Members' Bill to extend from 15 weeks to 50 weeks the maximum period for which special benefits for illness, injury or quarantine may be paid. It also eliminates the two-week waiting period when special benefits for illness, injury or quarantine are paid.

"This enactment amends the part of the Employment Insurance Act that deals with Special benefits for illness, which hasn't been amended since its introduction in 1971! It is totally unacceptable that a person suffering from cancer is entitled to only 15 weeks of paid benefits",  said M. Coderre. "I am also asking the Conservative Government to eliminate the two-week waiting period for eligible recipients, the unfortunate ones who must stop working because of severe illness, injury or quarantine". 

Many will remember the petition launched by Marie-Hélène Dubé, the young mother who's battling a thyroid cancer.  Her petition is asking the Federal Government to significantly extend the provisions of the Employment Insurance Act to reflect, in a more realistic way, the variable durations of different periods of disability experienced by beneficiaries. That petition has garnered more than 500,000 names from all across Canada and to this day is the biggest one introduced in the House of Commons.

According to Mr. Coderre, we all know someone that had to stop working because of cancer or other severe illness, or because of a serious injury.  "The part of the Employment Insurance Act that deals with the Special Benefits must be adapted to today's reality. This Private Members' Bill will amend the Employment Insurance Act and will extend to the recipients of Special Benefits the same benefits enjoyed by those on Maternity Leave. It also supports the efforts of Marie-Hélène and all the Canadians from coast to coast who have been asking for this amendment for a very long time", concluded Denis Coderre.

SOURCE Honorable Denis Coderre, Député de Bourassa

For further information:

Maurice Rioux, Executive Assistant
Tel : (613) 995-6108

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Honorable Denis Coderre, Député de Bourassa

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