moved for leave to introduce Bill C-548, An Act respecting a National Day of the Midwife.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a private member's bill entitled “an act respecting a national day of the midwife”.
I am very pleased to be able to present this important legislation. I would like to thank my NDP colleague, the member for Hochelaga, for seconding the bill and for supporting efforts to promote midwifery and maternal health in Canada.
Access to quality maternity care close to home not only contributes to maternal and newborn health but also strengthens our communities and our families.
Just yesterday, I and my NDP colleague from Vancouver East, the official opposition health critic, hosted a panel on maternal and child health in Canada. We heard repeatedly about the vital role midwives and midwifery services play in the maternity care system in all provinces and territories of Canada. Midwives provide safe, accessible, cost-effective services and quality health care. They are key to decreasing infant mortality and morbidity across Canada, including in rural, remote, and aboriginal communities.
The International Day of the Midwife is observed in over 50 countries around the world. Declaring May 5 as national day of the midwife in Canada would increase public awareness of the contribution midwives make to our communities.
This week the Canadian Association of Midwives is holding its annual national conference here in Ottawa. It is the perfect opportunity for us to recognize the essential role midwives play in ensuring a continuum of care throughout pregnancy, birth, and beyond for the health and welfare of mothers and their babies.
Therefore, I encourage my colleagues on all sides of the House to support this bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)