Taxing mental health care is a step in the wrong direction

Ted Hsu
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8af7389c0520392969ab6e329dbeb04fMany of you have written to me concerning the changes to sales tax exemptions for health services in the 2013 Conservative Budget. These changes meant that psychological assessments, reports and examinations are no longer exempt from federal sales tax.

From the start, the Liberal Party of Canada was concerned that the way these changes were written were overly broad and could serve as a barrier for those seeking access to mental health services. To fix the problem, we proposed an amendment that would ensure psychological assessments, reports or examinations would remain exempt from the sales tax. The Conservatives voted down our amendment.

We followed by opposing Budget 2013.

Two years later, the Canada Revenue Agency has confirmed that certain health care expenses, including mental health services, will no longer be exempt from taxation.  The Conservatives are still doing nothing to fix the problem.

This measure is yet another example of this government’s disregard for middle class Canadians and the financial realities of day-to-day life.

The Liberal Party strongly believes that it is the federal government’s responsibility to prioritize access to care, preventative treatments, and services for those affected by mental health issues. That includes removing barriers like this measure. With one in five Canadians experiencing a mental health issue during their lifetime, everyone is affected.

I’m proud to be part of a party that is committed to supporting all Canadians and crafting policies representative of Canadians’ priorities.