Chilliwack/Ottawa – On Friday, Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack—Hope seconded Conservative colleague Todd Doherty, MP for Caribou—Prince George’s Private Members’ Bill C-294, to implement 9-8-8, a national suicide prevention hotline in virtual Parliament.
Statistics show that every 24 hours on average, 11 Canadians take their own life. Another 275 attempt to end their lives.
On December 11th, 2020, the House of Commons passed a motion introduced by MP Doherty, through unanimous consent, to bring a national 3-digit suicide prevention hotline to Canada:
“That, given that the alarming rate of suicide in Canada constitutes a national health crisis, the House call on the government to take immediate action, in collaboration with our provinces, to establish a national suicide prevention hotline that consolidates all suicide crisis numbers into one easy to remember three-digit (988) hot‐line that is accessible to all Canadians.”
“It’s been 147 days since we passed my 9-8-8 motion in the House,” stated MP Doherty. “Since then, we’ve lost an estimated 1600 people to suicide. Another 40,425 have attempted suicide.”
The new bill introduced makes one addition to the Telecommunications Act and gives the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) one year to dedicate a three-digit suicide-prevention service.