moved for leave to introduce Bill C-526, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (special benefits).
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce legislation that would amend the Employment Insurance Act to extend the maximum period for which special benefits for illness, injury or quarantine may be paid from 15 weeks to 52 weeks.
The inspiration for the bill came from Natalie Thomas, a cancer survivor from Coquitlam, whose story touched me and made me realize how important and necessary changes to the Employment Insurance Act were. Another cancer survivor, Marie-Hélène Dubé from Montreal, who is on the Hill today, has gathered over 200,000 signatures for a petition that calls for these changes.
Both of these amazing women had one thing in common. They had to focus on how they were going to find the funds needed to survive once their 15 weeks of medical EI ran out. This made it extremely difficult to focus on what they should have been focused on, recovery. That is why I am introducing this bill today.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)