Statement made on 09 May 2012 by Senator Jane Cordy
Hon. Jane Cordy:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. A national strategy on mental health was released by the Mental Health Commission yesterday. That was a great day for those of us who have a special interest in mental health and mental illness. It was certainly a great day for those of us who served on the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology that produced our study Out of the Shadows at Last, which dealt with mental health, mental illness and addictions.
Last night on CPAC, I watched an interview with Dr. David Goldbloom, the new Chair of the Mental Health Commission. He did an excellent job of explaining the new national strategy. Then, I watched an interview with Minister Aglukkaq.
The minister stated that the Conservatives brought in the Mental Health Commission. That is true. Those of us who were on the Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee were delighted that the government accepted that recommendation.
The minister went on to comment at the close of her interview that the Mental Health Commission was not supported by opposition members.
Some Hon. Senators: Shameful.
Senator Cordy: That comment was worse than misleading; it was blatantly false. I would call it a lie, which it was, but that would be unparliamentary language, so I cannot call it a "lie."
An Hon. Senator: Go ahead.
Senator Cordy: However, as a member of the Senate committee that recommended the creation of the Mental Health Commission, I find this offensive.
The minister is making mental health a partisan issue. Senators on both sides of this chamber feel passionately about doing the right thing for those with poor mental health. Yesterday was a prime example when statements were made about Mental Health Awareness Week by senators from both sides of the chamber, and no one made those statements partisan.
Will the leader please ask Minister Aglukkaq to apologize for her public comments, which are false and an insult to senators from both sides of this chamber who are working on this issue?
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