Thank you for your email. I fought to increase the federal spending this year on cancer treatment and care, and am happy to answer your questions on the steps we’ve taken.
The Liberal Party understands the extreme pressure that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our healthcare system, which directly affects cancer treatment and support. The Liberal government has already injected $4.5 billion in one-time top-ups to the Canada Health Transfer since the pandemic started, to help address the pressures and reduce backlogs for patient care.
Budget 2021 proposes funding of $3.0 billion over five years to enhance sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks, as previously committed to in the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion’s mandate letter. This extension, which would take effect in summer 2022, would provide approximately 169,000 Canadians every year with additional time and flexibility to recover and return to work. This will directly help cancer patients undergoing lengthy treatments and increase their EI benefits to reflect their complex care needs.
I personally advocated for funding to support research on pediatric cancer, which we saw in Budget 2021, which will invest $30 million over two years, to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to fund pediatric cancer research that can lead to better outcomes and healthier lives for young patients. The funding will support promising research projects with the greatest potential for fighting pediatric cancers.
I hope this helps to answer your questions. I encourage you to take a look at the Liberal government’s 2021 election platform and budget as well.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write to me.