moved for leave to introduce Bill C-316, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (special benefits).
Mr. Speaker, I originally introduced this bill in the previous Parliament when the issue of sickness benefits on the employment insurance benefit program was brought to my attention by a constituent whose name is Natalie Thomas.
Natalie was recovering from breast cancer surgery and was forced to return to work before she had fully recovered because her EI sickness benefits ran out. People who have suffered a serious illness should not be forced to go back to work too early. They should be able to focus on getting well and not have their health compromised by worries over their financial situation.
That is why I am pleased to reintroduce the bill to extend sickness benefits under EI from 15 weeks to 30 weeks.
Natalie Thomas is the kind of woman who all Canadians can respect. Since she had her diagnosis, she has participated in fundraising activities for breast cancer research for support for other people going through cancer. She is a role model for all Canadians.
As my colleagues in the NDP have raised repeatedly, there are many problems with the current EI system but I seek the support of all members of the House for this bill, which would resolve one of them.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)