moved for leave to introduce Bill C-212, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (special benefits).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to table a bill to make our employment insurance system work better for Canadians suffering from serious illness.
Currently, EI sickness benefits only last 15 weeks, which is simply not enough for many Canadians suffering from cancer or other diseases with long treatment periods. This legislation proposes to extend those benefits to 50 weeks, the same amount of coverage people can receive if they are laid off.
Just yesterday, the House passed a motion calling for this change, with only the governing Liberals voting against it. This bill is the way to make it happen, to pass from words to action and get relief for Canadians who are suffering now.
Given the support expressed yesterday, I will be moving later today for unanimous consent to send this bill immediately to committee so we can find a way forward as quickly as possible and help relieve the financial hardship that comes with illness for sick Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
I hope that all members in the House will support making quick progress on this important initiative.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)