MAY Advocacy Corner
Brought to you by Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs Rachel Fulford and Dr. Natasha Tuletta-Bowman
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NEW LETTER TO FINANCE MINISTER -- FROM MP MATHYSSEN!
Please find the May 11 letter from MP Lindsay Mathyssen to MP and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland re: GST/HST on therapy.
Your support, and your signatures, are referenced in this letter.
Here is the correspondence from OSRP Advocacy Committee Member Daniel Farb, RP, sharing his informative video with MP Mathyssen, and her reply to which she attached the above letter to the Finance Minister.
MP Mathyssen clearly understands this issue. She writes: "The response given by your department was extremely disappointing...I would like to know how your department came to the conclusion that psychotherapy and counselling therapy involves different services?"
We will keep you updated on any progress by posting ASAP on this Advocacy Corner, so please check back for more.
The CCPA-ACCP and the Tax Free Therapy Coalition have released a statement in both official languages – please click HERE for more.
It’s obvious to everyone that your letters to MPs are making a difference.
And now there's a video making a difference too!
OSRP Advocacy Committee member extraordinaire Daniel Farb, RP, created and narrated this entertaining and Informative piece on the GST/HST exemption issue.
It’s the video you didn’t know you needed!
Please post and share widely.
As reported HERE in the March 28th Central, and ongoing since then, several MPs and their staff have advised that their offices have been flooded with GST/HST exemption letters.
The newly-merged Advocacy Committee + HST Task Force met April 14, and brought renewed energy to meeting with politicians and decision-makers, now that we are all fully briefed on this important issue.
WHAT CAN I DO?
WHAT IS OSRP DOING?
Important actions and meetings are arising from your activism, and we will keep you informed of all new developments.Click here to read the Finance Committee's recommendation, echoing bills from two opposition parties, and our press release!
MP Stephen Ellis’s Private Member’s Bill C-323, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (mental health services), received its second reading on April 25.
Read the transcript of the complete debate, with PC and NDP members pushing the government on all fronts to change this unfair tax for good:
Here are some key quotes from MPs:
"...what can we do to help support all Canadians? We can modify the Excise Tax Act and eliminate the taxes on psychotherapy services and mental health counsellors. Even though we may say this is not a huge issue, we have an opportunity to do something. The government needs to look at opportunities so we can stop talking, make a difference and do something to help the health of Canadians." - MP Stephen Ellis, introducing the Second Reading of his Bill
MP Ellis's answer to the first question, from the Speaker of the House:
Next question (similar) got the following response from Ellis:
"The Bloc Québécois is really pleased to support Bill C‑323 to make a real difference in the lives of those who need help and to offer them a GST exemption." - MP Mrs. Claude DeBellefeuille (Salaberry--Suroit, BQ)
"I want to talk a bit about our party's history on this. A 2017 NDP-sponsored bill would have removed GST from psychotherapy services. Bill C-218, sponsored by my colleague from London—Fanshawe, would also have removed GST from psychotherapy services. It is currently out of the order of precedence, so, again, we commend our colleague for moving this forward. The same colleague from London—Fanshawe presented a petition to the House of Commons to remove GST from counselling therapy and psychotherapy services. That petition received over 14,000 signatures. When the Conservatives' order of precedence comes forward, we do like it when they take NDP bills. This is something we are just starting to get used to." - MP Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni, NDP Health Critic, who seconded MP Lindsay Mathyssen's Bill first read Dec 2021 in the House.
Unfortunately, all 14, 244 signatories to the HoC petition have by now received a disappointing message from the Finance Minister.
This message is not new and has been received by her constituents and other letter-writers for years. This does NOT mean that our cause is hopeless.
As reported HERE in the March 28th Central, and ongoing since then, several MPs and their staff have advised Advocacy Committee members that the volume of letters to MPs has been noticed.
Important actions and meetings are arising from your HST activism, and we will keep you informed of all new developments.
The Ontario Society of Registered Psychotherapists (OSRP) continues to call on the Federal Government to Take Action now that three parties have expressed support.
Click here to read the Finance Committee's recommendation, echoing bills from two opposition parties, and our press release!
The newly-merged Advocacy Committee + HST Task Force met on Friday April 14, and brought renewed energy to attending meetings with politicians and decision-makers, now that we are all fully briefed on this important issue.