Time to get the 9-8-8 Suicide Hotline done

Almost 600 days ago the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion to designate 9-8-8 as the suicide prevention hotline across Canada. I’m proud to say it was one of my colleagues in the Conservative Caucus who put forward this motion and has been a relentless champion for it.

Municipalities and mental health organizations strongly supported moving to this number, as other countries are doing, versus the difficult to remember 1-833 number and five-digit text option that currently exists.

Makes sense! Yet the current federal government has failed to implement it 600 days later. Meanwhile the United States started operating their 9-8-8 national suicide and crisis hotline on July 16th.

Why the wait in Canada? There is tragic urgency to this. Eleven Canadians die by suicide each and every day, with another 250 attempting to end their own lives each day.

This is not a partisan issue nor is it a process that should take this much time. It’s well past time to get it done.

While we’re on the topic of phone lines, the recent outage by a major provider across Canada again reinforces the need for more competition and scrutiny in the telecom sector.

Why is it that Canadians pay among the highest cell phone and internet rates in the world? We pay more per gigabyte of data here in Canada than nearly anywhere else in the world, yet we are a G-7 country. This is unacceptable by all standards.

This problem is only worsened by the lack of competition between internet and cell providers in Canada, where a select few companies have a hold on the market. Less competition results in fewer choices and higher prices for Canadians.

As a Conservative, I believe in the free market and competition.

The Conservative Caucus will always advocate for putting consumers first and promoting competition and affordability in Canada’s telecommunications sector.

I hope everyone in Flamborough-Glanbrook is taking advantage of this post-pandemic summer to the fullest extent possible. We can see that in the record attendance at many public events and festivals, such as the Waterdown Oh Canada Rotary Ribfest and Lynden Canada Day parade. We do need a few solid days of rain for our farmers – we’re all hoping and praying for that.

Dan Muys MP - Flamborough-Glanbrook