moved for leave to introduce Bill C-444, An Act to provide for cash contributions to provinces that operate programs for the reimbursement of the expenses of living organ donors, to provide for the appointment of a National Organ Transplant Coordinator and to amend the Employment Insurance Act.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my colleague, the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, for his tremendous long-standing assistance on this issue. I also wish to thank my colleague, the member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, for seconding the bill.
The living donors reimbursement act is an important step in increasing living organ donations in Canada. Thousands of individuals in Canada are currently waiting for an organ. Living donors are a vital part of Canada's organ donation system, as organs from living donors are typically healthier, function better and last longer.
We as a federal government must do more to ensure that living organ donors, who are truly giving the gift of life to others, are reimbursed for their out of pocket expenses and lost income.
The bill would amend the Employment Insurance Act to allow those who are convalescing from their organ donation to claim loss of their wages.
The bill would also appoint a national organ transplant coordinator to lead the efforts to coordinate and match potential donors with recipients.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)