National Perinatal Mental Health Strategy Act

An Act respecting the development of a national perinatal mental health strategy


Don Davies  NDP

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


Outside the Order of Precedence (a private member's bill that hasn't yet won the draw that determines which private member's bills can be debated), as of March 31, 2022

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This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment requires the Minister of Health to develop a national strategy to support perinatal mental health across Canada. It also provides for reporting requirements in relation to the strategy.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

October 19th, 2022 / 5:15 p.m.
See context


Louise Chabot Bloc Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you to our witnesses.

I say this very respectfully, but we will not be able to get clarification from you on certain questions because there have been political overtones. I understand that you have responded to a colleague in this sense.

Have you made any recommendations? Many bills have been tabled over the last 50 years. All the studies done by experts or scientists on the number of weeks of benefits needed to recover from a serious or long illness—we often talk about cancer, but there are other types of illnesses—show that it takes an average of 41 weeks of benefits.

At the very time of the introduction of the 15 weeks of EI sickness benefits, the Parliamentary Budget Officer was saying that even then it was below what it was 50 years ago.

Currently, I have the impression that we are being told about the bright side. Indeed, many workers have more generous private insurance. But what we want is for benefits to be used for workers who pay into EI and who, in 60% of cases, have no group or private insurance.

Self-employed workers can purchase the special benefits for a premium. This is not the case for regular EI benefits, which affect many workers. In 2022, the government chose to provide 26 weeks of benefits in its budget. It did so despite the result of scientific studies, despite a report from this committee that made recommendations well before the reform consultations, and despite Bill C‑265, passed unanimously by our committee, that increased the duration of benefits from 15 to 50 weeks.

From the department's perspective, after all you've heard, do you at least agree that 26 weeks of benefits will not meet all the needs of workers who pay into EI and who would be entitled to additional benefits? Do you also agree that some workers will be left behind?

National Perinatal Mental Health Strategy ActRoutine Proceedings

March 31st, 2022 / 10 a.m.
See context


Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-265, An Act respecting the development of a national perinatal mental health strategy.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to introduce the national perinatal mental health strategy. I would like to thank the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona for seconding this legislation and for her tireless advocacy in support of perinatal mental health.

Perinatal mental illness is a critical issue affecting nearly one in four Canadian families. However, programs and policies across Canada have not kept up with best practices, research or the overarching science. The services currently available to people experiencing a perinatal mental illness are largely inadequate.

This legislation would require the Minister of Health to address this by developing a national strategy to support perinatal mental health across Canada. The strategy includes measures to provide universal access to perinatal mental health screening and effective treatment services, combat stigma, promote awareness, improve training, support research and address the social determinants of perinatal mental health.

I call on all parliamentarians to help women, parents and their families by supporting this vital and overdue initiative.

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