moved for leave to introduce Bill C-542, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (illness of child) and another Act in consequence.
Mr. Speaker, formal employment insurance programs that a parent of a critically ill child can access to provide income protection while the child is undergoing medically prescribed treatment do not exist. In most cases, this treatment takes the child away from school or out of day care and often can involve lengthy hospital stays.
Childhood cancer is on the rise, and more and more patients are surviving. Current treatments can last a minimum of six months to a maximum of three years. Of necessity, one parent becomes the primary caregiver for the child and is instructed by doctors and nurses on how to administer chemotherapy at home, along with other toxic drugs. These medications make a child very sick and quite often place him or her at risk of death from the side effects. Return to a normal routine, such as school or day care for the child and work for the parent, is almost impossible. There is no predictability. This will go on as long as the child is taking the medicine as prescribed by the oncologist.
I am pleased to introduce today a private member's bill that addresses this issue through employment insurance.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)