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Cariboo Prince George MP defends PTSD bill to Senate

Williams Lake Tribune - 6/5/2018

Moments before he was set to discuss his post-traumatic stress disorder Bill C-211 with the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence Monday afternoon, MP Todd Doherty received word another paramedic had taken his life.

"I got another message about another paramedic and veteran who took his life yesterday and when I was in my office on Sunday writing my presentation I got a text message about another paramedic that took their life," the Cariboo Prince George MP told the Tribune.

"I get these messages every single day."

Doherty said he told the Senate it has been 353 days since 254 members of parliament stood and passed the Bill C-211 unanimously and it's just languished all that time while there have been countless lives lost.

"When I was talking to the Senate Committee, behind me I had Mary and Stephen Rix and today is the one-year anniversary of when their son Christopher Rix, a Peel paramedic of almost 20 years, took his life. They were here in Ottawa on June 16 last year when the bill was passed only days after their son had killed himself."

Doherty said he told the Senators if they don't think his bill will save lives, they should talk to the Rixes because they will tell them it would have saved their son's life.

Aside from Doherty, several others addressed the Senate, including Dr. Patrick Baillie, president of the Canadian Psychological Association and Colonel Colleen Forestier, director of Mental Health, Canadian Forces.