After receiving unanimous consent for his Motion 110, Banff-Airdrie, MP Blake Richards is looking forward to the launch of a study which will evaluate ways to best support parents and families who have suffered the loss of an infant.
Richards was thrilled with the support the motion received from the House of Commons on June 8th and encourages people from across the country to now make sure the Human Resouces Committee hears their voice and opinions as they collect data this fall. "The focus we are putting on now is encouraging people to have their input through that committee. There are multiple ways, I would encourage people to go to my website www.blakerichards.ca as the different ways you can be involved are listed there. The other thing there is a link there to a petition that we are calling upon the government to ensure that legislation is brought forward following the recommendations of the committee."
Wanting to see the committee's recommendations actually implemented, Richards won't be happy until legislation is changed. "At the end of the day, I just don't want this just to be a study that is done and then gathers dust on a shelf somewhere. It needs to be something that is done and actual legislation being put forward and implemented to make sure that we are showing the support and compassion to these families that they need."
Although, Motion 110 was approved and extremely well supported, bringing forward legislation for final reading can be a slow and arduous process. "I am very familiar with where the potential roadblocks and stumbling spots are so we are trying to anticipate those things and make sure that we're not allowing them to become a problem. That is exactly why we are encouraging people to reach out and be involved in the committee process. The government needs to understand that families and those that have been affected won't be happy with just a study, sometimes government's believe they can maybe placid people a little bit and I don't believe they will be. We need to make sure that the message gets through to the government, now, so that when the time comes for them to move that they should be prepared and are able to do that and not get into a situation where the excuse is that they don't have time because they certainly do."
Anticipating recommendations from the study to come forward before the end of the calendar year; MP Richards believes that in the New Year when parliament resumes, it should be easy for the government to have the ability to bring forward the legislation. "That leaves plenty of enough time to pass the legislation before an election. I think that is critical because that momentum has started and the ball is rolling and sometimes an election can stop that and I certainly don't want to see that happen. So we'll be pushing to make sure in early 2019 that legislation is brought forward and acted on."
Motion 110 is a non-partisan private member’s motion which when adopted will have recommendations on how the government can improve the level of support for grieving parents.