On Parliament Hill

Compassion for Grieving Families

  • Ted Falk, Author
  • Member of Parliament, Provencher

Earlier this spring I wrote about Motion 110 which seeks to help parents whose children pass away at a very early age. I’m pleased to say that there is some good news on this front.

To review, here’s a brief summary of the motion.

For parents, the birth of their child is a wonderful, exciting moment. Despite the stresses often characteristic of raising children, watching our kids grow up is a special blessing many of us know well. Yet sometimes, this beautiful picture is not the reality for many Canadian families.

Sadly, some Canadian parents experience the tragic loss of their infant child only a short time after his or her birth. Furthermore, almost 2,000 infants die before the age of one every year.

As any who have experienced the grief of loss know, such loss isn’t easy. Now imagine that in the midst of this grieving, the government cuts off your parental benefits and calls to inform you that you must pay back the money you received in the days following the death of your infant child. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens to Canadian families living through these difficult circumstances.

My colleague, Conservative MP Blake Richards, introduced Motion 110 to take the first step in helping to improve the compassion shown for families in these situations and I was very pleased to be a joint-seconder of the motion.

Initially it appeared that the Liberal Government would not support this motion. However, strong pressure from Conservatives ensured that, in the end, the motion did receive all party support in the House of Commons.

It is now up to the Liberal Government to follow through with this directive and begin to put the plans in motion to begin the study.

If and when the study does commence, the committee will hear stories of parents from across the country that have lived through this situation and suffered the emotional hurt that comes with it.

Do you have a personal story that you feel you would like to share on this topic? If so, please feel free to contact my office and we can discuss the possibility of submitting your name as a potential speaker during the Parliamentary study.

Together, we can work toward ensuring that Canadian parents in the future are not subject to unnecessary government pressures during their time of grief.