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MPs, experts welcome new mental health spending, but urge feds to take more decisive action

By Aidan Chamandy       

The federal government's latest COVID response bill has $116-million to expand virtual care and mental health services. While Parliamentarians welcome the investments, some are saying it doesn't match the scale of the mental health problem facing Canadians.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu, pictured on Sept. 15, 2020, speaking with reporters at the fall Liberal cabinet retreat in Ottawa, is tasked with leading Canada's mental health policy response to the pandemic, which the World Health Organization warned could be a ‘shadow pandemic’ affecting Canadians. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

As the federal government seeks to turn the Throne Speech from rhetoric into reality, some Parliamentarians say they are frustrated with the level of investment and lack of associated information dedicated to mental health in the government’s latest COVID relief bill, which unanimously passed the House on Sept. 30. MPs and mental health advocates are urging the federal government to take this moment to expand public mental health coverage to address the issues that predate the pandemic and those that’ve been exacerbated by it. 

Aidan Chamandy

Aidan Chamandy is a reporter covering federal policy and parties for The Hill Times.
- achamandy@hilltimes.com


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