A new motion brought forward by our local MP is looking to help people who suffer from an episodic disability.
MP for Fort McMurray – Cold Lake David Yurdiga and his wife Kathy have been working on changing federal laws to help people who have an illness such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cancer, and more.
He tells Mix News the motion looks to give these people job and financial security.
“The current legislation, as we see it, you’re either disabled or you’re not and the problem is with episodic disabilities it’s in between, sometimes you’re disabled sometimes you’re not – it creates a lot of challenges for people in the workforce, even getting a disability pension.”
Yurdiga says he’s heard from ‘thousands’ of Canadians on the issue.
“We heard stories from people who lost their job because one day they’re perfectly healthy then all of a sudden they’re unable to work for a number of days, weeks, and even months, so a lot of times the flexibility in the workforce isn’t there.”
He adds they’ve also heard stories of people trying to get assistance from the government but ended up being turned away.
Meanwhile, the motion also hits home for the Yurdiga’s as Kathy was diagnosed with MS back in 2004. She ended up losing the use of her right hand and couldn’t perform all of her job’s requirements.
She says her situation was very favourable at the time as they had their own company.
“If I was working for somebody else and I call them up and say ‘can you get somebody in the office who can help me or I need to take time off work until I’m recovered,’ not every employer is accommodating in that way,” added Kathy.
The motion passed second reading last Friday and is now in front of the standing committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities who will be speaking with witnesses.
The document is expected to be tabled in the House of Commons on May 16, 2019.