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MP MacGregor's Bill C-277: National Strategy on Brain Injuries Act, passes unanimously at second reading vote

For immediate release

June 12th, 2024

 

NDP: A National Brain Injury Strategy will shine light on “invisible epidemic”

 

OTTAWA— On Wednesday, with a vote of 324 in favour and zero against, NDP MP Alistair MacGregor’s plan to create a national strategy for prevention, treatment, and awareness of brain injuries passed unanimously at second reading in Parliament.

 

“This is an important step forward for an initiative that started locally,” MP MacGregor said, “This work came about because of the passion and lived experience of several of my constituents, and I am so proud and grateful for their work. I especially want to thank Janelle Breese Biagioni from the CGB Centre for Traumatic Life Losses, Chris Rafuse from the Cowichan Brain Injury Society, and local advocate and brain injury survivor Kyle Mockford, among many others. Working together with community groups across Canada, Bill C-277 has become a national campaign for greater awareness, prevention, and treatment of brain injuries.” 

 

Experts say that many who experience traumatic brain injuries go undiagnosed and untreated because of stigma and lack of awareness. Even if they receive treatment, the current state of brain injury services and supports across the country is characterized by fragmentation, isolation, and chronic underfunding. Often, support services for families and brain-injury survivors operate as non-profit organizations with little or no government funding. Some of these organizations are teetering on the brink of closure.

 

“Well over 1.5 million Canadians have suffered a traumatic brain injury, and the long-term effects can be devastating,” said MacGregor. “Among them are an estimated 1 in 8 Canadian women, who have experienced a traumatic brain injury because of gender-based violence. I’m happy to see a national brain injury strategy get support across party lines.”

 

Bill C-277 has been endorsed by medical experts, people with lived experience, Brain Injury organizations across the country, and local municipalities including Duncan, Langford, North Cowichan, Nanaimo, and the City of Victoria.

 

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Natural Health Products C-368

I am proud to provide you with an update on the progression of Bill C-368, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (natural health products). I was very pleased to add my name as a joint seconder to the bill, as many constituents have been in contact with my office on this file. Your advocacy has given me the opportunity to better appreciate and understand the importance of NHPs to people in our community. I want to thank you for your continued efforts that have led to this moment. It is because of you that we are seeing progress on this file.

NHPs have a long history of use in Canada as a low-risk and affordable way of promoting health. New Democrats know that they must remain accessible to all Canadians. Meanwhile, we also know that NHPs need their own regulatory framework and category to certify their safety and to make sure they remain available to the millions of Canadians that use them. Unfortunately, through their 2023 Budget, the Liberals snuck extensive regulatory changes for NHPs into their legislation. Thankfully, Bill C-368 will reverse that. The Liberals voted against this bill. It was thanks to the votes of the NDP that this bill will be brought forward to the Health Committee to be examined by MPs to ensure that NHPs remain accessible for all Canadians.

I made the following remarks during my speech in the House of Commons on the bill at Second Reading:

“I want to congratulate the NHP community and industry, which have been very actively engaged on this issue through their work. I really want to single out the local businesses in my riding of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford and the constituents who live on Vancouver Island. I congratulate them for their advocacy, for stepping up to the plate and for engaging me as their elected representative, because it has worked. I am proud to say that, in this place, as their elected representative, I will be pleased to vote to send Bill C-368 to committee.”

You can watch my whole speech below.

MP MacGregor calls on Liberals to reverse decision to end recreational fishing in Port Renfrew

On Tuesday April 30th during question period I urged the Liberals to reverse their decision to expand the no-fishing zone to include Port Renfrew.

If their decision goes through, Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht First Nation’s economy will be devastated. Recreational fishing brings in over 26 million dollars per season to the community. I have voiced my concerns with the Liberal’s decision on this before, creating an online petition that promotes science-based regulations for recreational fishing at Port Renfrew.

These abrupt salmon fishing closures will impact over 100 small businesses, and yet the Liberal government has failed to provide clear data to justify this sudden decision. Our government needs to consider the communities that will feel the impacts from their decisions, yet they have refused to share their data and conduct proper consultations with the people of Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht First Nation.

 You can watch the full video, and a response from Parliamentary Secretary for the DFO  here.

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