Statements & Speeches

COVID-19 Pandemic – Mental Health (Question Period)

June 25, 2020

Hon. Judith G. Seidman: Honourable senators, my question is for the government leader in the Senate.

On May 3, the Prime Minister announced $240 million to develop, expand and launch virtual care and mental health tools.

On June 3, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology heard from witnesses representing three leading mental health organizations: the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Strongest Families Institute and the Canadian Psychiatric Association. These witnesses said they had not been consulted by the government on its announcement and had not been provided details on the funding.

Leader, could you tell us which organizations, if any, were consulted prior to the government’s announcement on May 3? Has the money under this program begun to flow to mental health care providers? If so, how much has been allocated so far, and to which groups?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question. I’m not in a position to answer the specifics of your question. I will certainly make inquiries and I would be happy to report back to the chamber.