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The Liberal Party of Canada North Okanagan Shuswap Electoral District Association : A statement following the reported remarks by Colin Mayes on homelessness and mental health

Posted on October 30, 2014

Statement for Immediate Release from the Liberal Party of Canada North Okanagan-Shuswap Electoral District Association

Dateline: 29 October 2014, Vernon, British Columbia.

In the light of recent remarks from Colin Mayes, Conservative Federal MP for the North Okanagan-Shuswap, regarding the homeless and mentally ill, the Liberal Party of Canada Electoral District Association (EDA) reminds everyone in the region of the resolutions adopted at the 2014 Liberal Policy Convention.

These resolutions buttress a balanced approach to Canada’s development, including a national framework for mental health and an affordable national housing strategy, as well as environmentally sustainable economic and infrastructure investment. The Liberal EDA urges voters to research the issues and form their own opinions of the right approach to these complex societal problems in advance of the 2015 Federal Election .

We believe that the views expressed by Mayes, and generally by the Conservative Party of Canada are simplistic and ill-informed, and intended for media consumption, rather than any meaningful attempt to resolve the underlying housing and mental health issues that exist in every region of Canada.

Extracts from the 2014 Policy Resolutions follow:

“WHEREAS access to affordable quality housing is a first step in reducing poverty, hunger and homelessness, especially among vulnerable populations including low income seniors, new immigrants, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities and illness;

WHEREAS mental illness affects one in five Canadians;
WHEREAS mental illness is the largest single contributor to the burden of disease, leads to significant morbidity and early mortality (through suicide and impact on other medical illnesses) and substantively contributes to negative social, civic and economic outcomes for Canadians;
WHEREAS most mental illness is preventable and treatable;
WHEREAS only 5.5% of Canada’s health care budget is allocated to mental health services, despite the recommendations of the World Health Organization to allocate 10%;
WHEREAS the current Conservative government has announced plans to cut the rate of increases to health care spending by half starting in 2013;
WHEREAS delegates to the LPC January 2012 convention unanimously approved a motion to develop a national housing strategy that includes measures to address homelessness and recognized that there is a correlation between homelessness and mental health/addiction;
BE IT RESOLVED that a new Liberal government will implement and fund the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s report: “Changing Directions, Changing Lives: A Mental Health Strategy for Canada”

For more information contact
Cindy Derkaz
Liberal Federal Candidate for the North Okanagan-Shuswap in 2015
cderkaz@telus.net or phone 250 252 2684