Mr. Speaker, each month, on average, the Canadian Armed Forces continue to lose one serving member to death by suicide. This is an epidemic that continues, despite some positive steps toward addressing mental health issues in the forces.
The House had a historic opportunity to address this issue directly earlier this year when we passed Bill C-77, the military justice reform bill. In committee, I proposed an amendment to remove subsection 98(c) from the National Defence Act, the section which makes self-harm a disciplinary offence under the military code of conduct. Unfortunately, the Liberals defeated my amendment on procedural grounds.
I have reintroduced my proposal to remove subsection 98(c) as Bill C-426. Soon I will be asking for unanimous consent for passing the bill at all stages in order to make self-harm in the Canadian Forces a health issue instead of a disciplinary matter.
The mere existence of subsection 98(c) continues to be a barrier for Canadian Forces members seeking the mental health assistance they need and the House has only one more opportunity to fix this. I hope when the time comes, the bill will have the support of all members.