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MP-Report

Compassionate care benefits

A core focus for our Government since our election in 2006 is providing support to Canadians when they need it the most.

That is why our Government is enhancing compassionate care benefits in the 2015 balanced budget. 

Compassionate care benefits, provided through the Employment Insurance (EI) program, is available to individuals temporarily away from work to care for a sick family member with a significant risk of death.

Effective January 3, 2016, Canadians will have access to an enhanced compassionate care benefit which will allow claimants to collect up to 26 weeks of benefits, up from the current six weeks. The benefits can also be taken within an expanded period of 52 weeks (up from 26 weeks) and can be shared between family members.

This will require an investment of up to an additional $37 million annually and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to helping families receive the support they need as they care for loved ones at end-of-life.

This is only one example of what the Government is doing to help Canadian families at this difficult time in their lives.

Since March 24, 2013, the Helping Families in Need Act has allowed parents to suspend the payment of their EI parental benefits if they become ill or are injured, to collect EI sickness benefits and to resume collecting the balance of their parental benefits thereafter, if needed.

In 2014, the Government allowed the same flexibility to claimants in receipt of EI compassionate care benefits or EI benefits for parents of critically ill children.

Understanding the role palliative care also plays at these times in the lives of families, between 2006 and 2013, the federal government invested more than $43 million in palliative care research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

In addition, in 2011 and in 2013, the government committed $3 million to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association for the development of community-integrated palliative care models and $3 million to the Pallium Foundation of Canada for palliative care training to front-line healthcare providers, respectively.

Budget 2015 includes a further $14 million over two years to support the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement. One of the Foundation’s priorities for the funding will be evaluating and disseminating data about best practices in palliative care services.

As noted by our federal health minister Rona Ambrose, our Government understands the difficult challenges faced by Canadian families when they are caring for loved ones who have fallen seriously ill and that is why the Government continues to work with provinces, territories, and stakeholders to continue to help make improvements in end-of-life care and help meet the future care preferences of Canadians.

To all those including family members, care professionals and volunteers in Kelowna-Lake Country who are helping others at this critical time in their lives, thank you.  You are providing much-needed support at a difficult time and it is the most meaningful thing you can do for someone you care about.

 

Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country and welcomes your feedback at [email protected]



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About the Author

The Honourable Ron Cannan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country in January, 2006. He was subsequently elected in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. He is a member of the Conservative Caucus.

On September 13th, 2012 Ron was summoned to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and will provide advice to the Government as a member of the Priorities and Planning Sub-Committee on Government Administration.

Ron successfully uses his experience and knowledge as a long-time Kelowna City Councillor and regional government representative to be an effective and enthusiastic champion for his riding and his constituents.

His greatest satisfaction comes from helping local organizations and citizens obtain the support they require from Ottawa. 

He is also dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure that the growing and vibrant communities in his riding continue to thrive and prosper.

He is proud of the partnership and cooperation between federal, provincial and municipal governments which have resulted in significant infrastructure projects including upgrades to Highway 97, expansion of the Kelowna International Airport, a new horticulture strategy for fruit growers, obtaining a full service passport office for Kelowna and addressing critical economic issues such as labour skills shortages.

He works closely with the local Chambers of Commerce and once a year arranges meetings for the Chamber with Cabinet Ministers and senior policy staff in Ottawa to move forward important local issues such as crime prevention and labour skills shortages.

He is also an ardent champion for important community initiatives including homelessness, mental health, women’s resources, and support of arts and culture.

On Parliament Hill, Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade since 2006 supporting initiatives which will broaden the economic opportunities for local businesses and businesses Canada-wide.

In previous parliamentary sessions Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates, Veteran’s Affairs, Human Resources and Social Development, the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee, and the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans.

Ron is also involved in a variety of inter-parliamentary organizations: he is Vice Chair of the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, and a member of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship group.

As Chair of the Conservative Wine Caucus, Ron works with his colleagues across the country to promote the wine regions of Canada.  Ron tabled Motion 218(formerly Motion 601) which supports direct to consumer purchasing of Canadian wine. His motion became Bill C-311, sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which was passed into law on June 28th, 2012.

Prior to entering politics, Ron developed a diverse business background as a small business owner and had several years experience in marketing and sales management working with corporations including Coca-Cola, Costco and Corus Entertainment.
 

Very active in his community, Ron has been a Director for both the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Central Okanagan Hospital Board. Ron also served on the Okanagan University College Access to Training Advisory Board, the Glenmore Elementary School Parents Advisory Council, and the Kelowna Christian School Fund Raising Committee. He was co-founder of the Okanagan Volunteer Festival. Currently Ron is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna and, along with his wife Cindy, was the honorary Chair of the 2012 Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Ball.

Ron lives a family-oriented and active lifestyle with his wife Cindy. He is the proud father of three daughters and grandfather to three grandsons. His hobbies include music and sports.



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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