Mental Health CommissionPublished on 8 May 2014 Your Question Period by Senator James Cowan (retired)
Please press play to listen to the audio of this question. Please note that the audio is provided in the language in which the senators spoke. Senators may speak either official language in the Senate Chamber. For the full text of the translated exchange please click here.
Hon. James S. Cowan (Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, my question is another question that we received from the public, and it has to do with the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
The question is from Michael Da Silva of Toronto. Mr. Da Silva asks the following of the Leader of the Government in the Senate:
The importance of mental health to Canadians takes on numerous dimensions. Negative health outcomes not only affect the lives of those living with mental health concerns and their relatives, but can also have an impact on the economy and the rate of commission of acts many believe should be criminalized in the absence of mental health concerns. It is thus unsurprising that Canada’s right to health commitments at international law includes a blanket obligation to ensure people have the highest attainable standard of mental health and specific obligations to provide mental health planning and services. In recent years, the Mental Health Commission of Canada has played an important role in developing Canada’s response to this important issue. Perhaps most notably, they developed the first mental health strategy for the entire country, 2012’s Changing Directions, Changing Lives report.
Does this government continue to believe in the importance of an arm’s-length organization committed to the goal of ensuring the mental health of Canadians? If so, will it renew the mandate of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, which is set to expire in 2017?