Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty is now looking forward to getting to work after his Bill C-211 passed its third reading in the Senate June 14.
The bill is an act respecting a federal framework on post-traumatic stress disorder.
“This is the only thing that has really stressed me out — getting this bill passed — because I wanted to be able to deliver it for those who are suffering,” Doherty told the Tribune Thursday.
Now the bill will require the Minister of Health to convene a conference with the Minister of National Defence, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, provincial and territorial government representatives, representatives of the medical community and patients’ groups for the purpose of developing a comprehensive federal framework to address the challenges of recognizing the symptoms and providing timely diagnosis and treatment of PTSD.
“Our team could not help but be impacted by the stories we heard along the way,” Doherty said. “Today marks the culmination of years of hard work. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the paramedics, first responders, firefighters, military, veterans, police and corrections officers who have courageously shared their stories with the country.
“To the Parliamentarians, Senators and numerous other groups who came forward to provide feedback about how Parliament can go about strengthening this legislation in the future, thank you. Without your voices, we would not be here.
“When most of us would head in the opposite direction, our heroes are the ones who run toward danger. These efforts can sometimes mean that they are left to deal with the haunting images, sounds and smells that can stay with these men and women for a lifetime.”
Doherty said, collectively, the government has taken the first steps to letting our brave men and women who put their lives on the line to support and protect Canadians and the country know they are not alone.
“Tomorrow is when the hard work begins,” he said.
“It will be up to the government to roll up their sleeves and begin putting forward a plan to ensure the successful implementation of this legislation. It is my hope that with the passing of Bill C-211 and the development of a national framework on PTSD, we can ensure that not another life is lost.”