Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bill C-464: Parental Leave for Canadian Parents of Multiples

If you haven't already read about this it heard about it on the news in the past few months, let me introduce to you Bill C-464; The NDP private member's bill would give Canadian families a longer parental leave up to 72 weeks in the case of multiple births or adoptions. Parents may also choose to receive parental employment insurance benefits for 35 weeks simultaneously, allowing the involvement of both parents. They could also choose to extend benefits to 70 weeks for a parent, depending on what suits them best.

This movement started this past fall when MBC was contacted by the office of Sana Hassainia, Member of Parliament for Verchères—Les Patriotes with the news that she was introducing a Private Member's Bill on November 7th in the House of Commons of Canada. Bill C-464 seeks to amend the Canada Labour Code and the Employment Insurance Act to increase the maximum number of weeks during which parental benefits can be paid, from 35 weeks to 70 weeks in the case of multiple births or multiple adoptions for qualified EI recipients.
It was debated at second reading in the House of Commons on Monday, February 4th, 2013. It is now heading to a third and FINAL reading on March 8th.
It's an important time for Canada's multiple-birth community, and while we may never personally benefit from changes to Parental Benefits it is certainly satisfying to know that someday others may thank us for drawing attention to a situation that is not fair and equal. Other families get two parental leaves when they have two babies in different years – time to bond with each infant and give their babies a good start on life – time to recharge and prepare themselves to return to work as productive employees – why should multiple-birth parents be treated differently?
Most importantly right NOW: we need to continue to support this effort by sending in signed copies of the petitions that you get here: English or French  (please do not scan or fax). As you complete each page please mail it to MP Sana Hassainia's office. The more signatures and the more pages you send before February 28th, the louder the voice of the Multiple Births Community in Canada becomes! So far they have only received just over 300 signatures - that is not enough!  Please forward this message and ask your friends, family or colleagues to support this Bill too!


It's our time as parents, caregivers and families of Multiples to be heard!
For more detail please feel free to review previous articles and information on the Multiple Births Canada website here, Media
Nina Garcia
Twins Plus Association of Brampton

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