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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”Brain injury is life-altering and often devastating for the individual and their family. Bill C-277 brings hope to the millions of Canadians living with the impact of brain injury ensuring they receive supports and services as needed and when it’s needed. A National Strategy on Brain Injury is desperately needed. This is a historic moment for the community. “   

 –        Janelle Breese Biagioni CEO, CGB Centre for Traumatic Life Losses

 

“I support Bill C-277, National Strategy on Brain Injury, to help secure regular funding for our programs and services. Our programs focus on rehabilitation to maximize the functionality across all domains and education on awareness for every unique individual to reach their full potential. We teach strategies to compensate where they need assistance and make adaptations when necessary. The recovery journey is life long and securing regular funding is necessary to ensure we do support survivors across their lifespan. By having funding for prevention, it will minimize the number of people who will need treatment after an injury occurs which will reduce the burden of brain injury for individuals, their families, and society.”        

  –       Chris Rafuse, Executive Director of the Cowichan Brain Injury Society

 

"The Concussion Legacy Foundation of Canada applauds Parliamentarians from all parties on passing Bill C-277 today at second reading. This is an important next step to ensuring that a national strategy on brain injury is realized for all Canadians. We look forward to contributing to the study of this Bill at Committee Stage and providing valuable insights to the issue at hand. Brain injury can happen to anyone at anytime and all Canadians deserve a strategy to ensure it is preventable, and treatable. We must continue to conduct research on CTE to fully understand the causes and treatment options available.”

 –       Tim Fleiszer, Executive Director of Concussion Legacy Foundation of Canada

 

“From concussion to stroke to severe traumatic brain injuries, the chronic nature of many brain injuries is often the root cause of challenges such as mental health, addictions, unemployment and homelessness. A national strategy will help to improve awareness, prevention and treatment as well as the rehabilitation and recovery outcomes of individuals and families living with the effects of brain injury.”

 –       Michelle McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, Brain Injury Canada

 

CBIS gives me HOPE. There have been times in my life during my recovery where it was so dark but the programs at CBIS like the Drumming program, individual guitar lessons, and the art program that give me purpose; allows me to write and reflect on how far I have come and can still go. The National Strategy on Brain Injury will secure funding for the programs (like those) offered at CBIS.”      

–       Lisa, Duncan, BC

 

“After my stroke, CBIS became my second home and a source of calm and support at a very scary and sad time in my life. Without their programs, understanding and compassion, I don’t know whether I would have made the progress that I did. CBIS needs a national strategy on brain injury to help secure funding.”  

 –       Wes, Duncan, BC

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2024 Your Favorite Spot in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford calendar contest

If you would like to share your favorite spot in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford and have it included in the 2024 edition, submit your photo.

Submit your photo(s) by email to: [email protected]

Put CALENDAR PHOTO in the subject line.

Include the following information in your email:

  • Your name
  • The location of your photo
  • Your address, including postal code
  • A brief (40 words or fewer) description of your photo

Deadline to submit is September 1st, 2024

Important guidelines for submitting photos

Each year, a number of photos are disqualified from consideration because the image size is too small, or the images include humans. Following are some hints for choosing and submitting a winning photo:

  • Photos must be high resolution - at least 1MB.
  • Do not send directly from your phone. Image files are compressed by phones when they are emailed.
  • Upload your photo(s) to a computer or tablet before sending.
  • Attach the original high resolution image to the email (send as an attachment).
  • Pick a photo that will work with the shape of the calendar. Landscape is the best option.

Official Rules:

  1. Your favorite spot must be in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding.
  2. Photos must be in jpg or tiff format.
  3. Photos cannot include humans.
  4. No more than 3 photos per household may be submitted.
  5. Photos must be colour and at least 1MB in size.
  6. Deadline to submit is September 1st, 2024

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.

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