Phase 2 presented in the Senate, for a total of 300,000 signatures !
I was proud and thrilled to announce today, at the Senate doors, that an additional 237,303 people have signed my petition asking the government to amend the Employment Insurance Act to increase the number weeks of benefits for people with serious illnesses.
This latest presentation of signatures increases the number of Canadians who support my efforts to 300,069. Senator Claude Carignan, on behalf of the petitioners and myself, presented the new signatures in the Senate Chamber today, Tuesday, June 29.
The current law on employment insurance offers only 15 weeks of benefits for illness, and it has not been updated since 1971. Those with serious illnesses quickly use up these weeks and unfortunately too often find themselves without any income, as happened to me on three occasions. That is what motivated me to create this petition.
The impressive number of signatures that I have collected demonstrates without a doubt the importance of changing the Employment Insurance Act so that people with serious illnesses can count on more substantial government assistance than is available today. Canada is far behind most Western countries in this regard. We must show more compassion for those who fall ill and require longer term care. I would like to thank Senator Claude Carignan for his help in the Senate. I am even more determined to increase the pressure on the federal government, and I ask that you do the same by writing to your MPs and senators.
Between now and the fall, when we can follow the emerging political debates more closely, we must continue to gather signatures in every province. I’ll be waiting once again for the piles of your envelopes!
Again, I must thank the Canadian Cancer Society, the Coalition Priorité Cancer au Québec and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers for their continuing support. My sincere thanks also go to all the other unions, organizations and businesses that have supported me, each in their own way.
Special thanks go to the owners and employees of the Cliniques de Réadaptation Universelle who have recently offered their support for my initiative. Their thirteen clinics will help me to gather more signatures by distributing my petition and will help me personally by allowing me to receive free treatments that I would obviously be unable to afford otherwise. My heartfelt thanks to them for their support. For more information, visit http://www.readaptation-universelle.com/english/home.htm.
Lastly, I want to thank each of you for standing with me. By working together, we can change this law. I’m already confident that we are on the right track.
Thank you and good luck collecting signatures!