The good news: Our efforts are being NOTICED.
OSRP members, united in a National Coalition, have been effective and impactful.
See OSRP Facebook post of volunteers with Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett as just one example of helpful contact with changemakers.
But there is some not-so-great news. It doesn’t seem that the GST/HST Exemption for our profession is in the 2023-24 Federal Budget. This is disappointing, given the launch of the House of Commons petition in September 2022, and all the great work by OSRP members signing, sharing and sending letters to their MPs.
Members of the OSRP Advocacy Committee, buoyed by the Finance Committee recommendation to remove GST/HST on mental health services, and the new Bill introduced by MP Ellis, asked you to write LETTERS. And write you did!
Those letters, and all that pressure, opened the door to several extremely important meetings with government MPs/Cabinet Ministers, and with the Finance Minister’s staff.
Please keep writing your well-informed and respectful letters and emails to your MP, and/or politely engaging with them about this at virtual or in-person community gatherings — it really, really does help. We are building a coalition that includes government leaders!
From our meetings last week, we repeatedly heard:
- RPs have done a great job with our advocacy – MP offices were flooded with emails. We've gotten the message in front of all the right people. WELL DONE EVERYONE!!!
- Our cause is supported by MPs
- The GST/HST exemption would cost very little within the approx $433 Billion projected spend. $15 Million per year in tax loss for the government is a nominal expense, not overly impactful for any budget
- The change could be made outside of an annual budget announcement but –
- The issue is currently stuck. The challenge is with how the profession is defined differently in each province, related to the lack of clarity and consistency in a multi-provincial manner.
- If we can find a way to break this deadlock –
- Amendments to the Excise Tax Act exempting therapy will have to come from the Liberal government; they can't come from either of the two opposition bills, but debates on this issue will keep this on the agenda!
- In May/June, which we’ve been advised is ideal timing, we will reach out again to key folks in Finance to learn more about exactly how and why this is stuck, and try to dislodge it as best we can.
To join the Advocacy Committee please click HERE.
To read our updates, please visit our webpage ADVOCACY CORNER.