An Act to amend the Telecommunications Act (suicide prevention)


Todd Doherty  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Introduced, as of May 7, 2021

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This enactment amends the Telecommunications Act to require the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to designate a three-digit phone number dedicated to suicide-prevention services.‍


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Telecommunications ActRoutine Proceedings

May 7th, 2021 / 12:15 p.m.
See context


Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-294, An Act to amend the Telecommunications Act (suicide prevention).

Mr. Speaker, 147 days ago, the House of Commons unanimously passed my motion supporting a new national three-digit suicide-prevention number. It has been 147 days, and every 24 hours, 11 Canadians take their own life and another 275 attempt to end their life. Using these stats, since passing the motion we have lost 1,617 Canadians to suicide, and over 40,000 Canadians have attempted to end their life. These are the attempts and deaths that we know of. So many more go unreported.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young Canadians. These statistics are staggering. What is even more worrisome is that the statistics are from before COVID.

My private member's bill is very simple. It would add one clause to the Telecommunications Act to ensure that a new three-digit suicide-prevention number is implemented and accessible to all Canadians within one year of passage.

We are facing a mental health crisis never before seen. We have the power to save lives, to leave a legacy of action and to show those who are suffering that we are fighting for them. Let us all bring 988 to Canada.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)