moved for leave to introduce Bill C-218, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (psychotherapy services).
Mr. Speaker, today I also have the honour to introduce a private member's bill that would amend the Excise Tax Act to exempt psychotherapeutic services delivered by psychotherapists from the goods and services tax.
I would like to thank my colleague, the member for Courtenay—Alberni who is the NDP critic for mental health, for seconding this bill today. I would also like to thank Stephanie Woo Dearden, a registered psychotherapist from the city of London, who asked me to take action on this issue.
This bill works to ensure that psychotherapists are treated the same as their fellow practitioners in other health care fields are, who do the same kind of work and who are exempt from the excise tax. I urge the government to get behind this very simple but very necessary bill to rectify this blatant tax inequality. The government says that Canadians' mental health is a priority, and this is an opportunity to do something good for Canadians' mental health and for tax fairness in Canada as well.
We all know the impact COVID-19 has had on people's mental health. It was a crisis before the pandemic, and we are certainly seeing the consequences on people now. This is a small but good first step to help people. I am grateful to the people who are working on this issue and who have been calling for tax fairness for psychotherapists for a very long time.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)