MS Society of Canada takes to Parliament Hill to press for further action in support of Canadians impacted by multiple sclerosis
Focus on secure employment and income supports and accelerated investment in MS research
Toronto, ON – April 26, 2016 – From May 2-4, 2016 representatives from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and members of the MS community will meet with a range of parliamentarians in Ottawa to launch MS Awareness Month (May). This will be an invaluable opportunity to bring forward issues of the utmost importance to Canadians impacted by the disease – for which Canada has the highest rate in the world. Tangible recommendations to improve employment supports for people affected by MS (e.g. extend the duration of EI benefits from 15 weeks to 26 weeks to match compassionate care benefits) and to accelerate government’s investment into research for progressive MS (e.g. to develop effective disease-modifying therapies for progressive MS, for which there are currently no treatments available) will be at the forefront of these discussions.
MS Society representatives will have in hand the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) report titled “Leaving Some Behind: What Happens When Workers Get Sick” to share during one-on-one meetings with Members of Parliament (MP). The IRPP report highlights the need for a fundamental renewal of Canada’s income, disability and employment support system. Containing both long-term directions and immediate reforms, the report calls on the federal government to act as a champion for these identified and necessary improvements. Reforms include improving the coordination of basic definitions and program parameters across the disability support system and enhancing the breadth and quality of disability insurance coverage within the labour market.
Parliamentarians are also invited to a meet-and-greet on the evening of Monday, May 2 (5:30pm; Commonwealth Room, House of Commons), to learn more about how the MS Society is taking bold action to end Canada’s disease. And at 1pm on Wednesday, May 4, the annual Carnation Pinning Ceremony will take place in the House of Commons foyer where MS Society representatives, members of the MS community and party representatives Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre), David Yurdiga (Fort McMurray-Cold Lake) and Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby South) will present carnations, a symbol of hope for people with the disease, to MPs as they enter the day’s session. Following the ceremony, MPs involved in the ceremony will present members’ statements calling for support for the cause from fellow parliamentarians.
To help the MS Society advocate for the government’s support of people impacted by MS, the public may visit endms.ca where they can join a letter-writing campaign highlighting key action points.
About multiple sclerosis and the MS Society of Canada
Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system comprising the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. It is one of the most common neurological diseases affecting young adults in Canada. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, and the unpredictable effects of MS last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides services to people with MS and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or for more information.
Lindsay Gulin, MS Society of Canada
1-800-268-7582 ext. 3245