Idea alert

by Aaron Wherry

NDP MP Sana Hassainia proposes increasing EI for parents who have twins and triplets.

The NDP is hoping for all-party support for a private member’s bill that would double parental leave for the parents of multiples … “This is not something partisan,” said Sana Hassainia, the NDP MP for Vercheres-Les Patriotes who will introduce the bill. “It’s something all Canadian citizens with twins or triplets can benefit from.”

Her bill ultimately seeks to amend the Canada Labour Code so that employees can take up to 72 weeks of parental leave in the event of a multiple birth or multiple adoption. The weeks can be divided between the two parents, used in its entirety by one parent or taken consecutively by each parent. It also amends the Employment Insurance Act so that parents of multiples and parents who adopt multiple babies at the same time can receive up to 70 weeks of parental benefits. Parents of multiples are currently entitled to the same 35 weeks parents with a single baby receive.

Ms. Hassainia was involved in a small kerfuffle earlier this year when she brought her infant son into the House.




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Idea alert

  1. Now that’s family values. Seems to make sense, especially given that women carrying multiples have to leave work sooner and often have premature babies. That first year goes by fast when you have to use up a fair chunk of the time before the babies are even home!

    • Too true. My daughter has twins and she had hoped to work until very close to their birth but she was ordered onto bed rest for the last couple of months.

    • Diane, if a woman has to leave work early she should be on “sick leave” rather than maternity leave. Therefore, her EI should not kick in until after the babe(s) are born. Women have too long been taken advantage of. In Alberta, maternity leave is 52 weeks of full EI benefits and employers are not allowed to charge them for their portion of the “extended benefits” while they are off. This of course was not established until one woman “sued” and won a judgement. When I was young and pregnant with my first baby….25 years ago…my employer…the government…wanted me to pay them the cost of my benefits for dental etc. before I left on leave even though they were going to bring in a temporary employee who got NO benefits while I was off. At that point maternity benefits in Alberta were 25 weeks. We have come a long way baby….only because someone challenged this bs in court!

  2. It has been called a baby bonus, a Family Allowance, and all kinds of other things in the past. It is simple recognition of the costs of raising a family; and replacing the population. There is nothing wrong in the state supporting this.

    But to wrap it around Employment Insurance? It should be called Unemployment Insurance and it should not be encompass a child support scheme. I say bullshit.

  3. Hmmm……this is a tough call for the reason that overwhelmingly the multiple births in Canada are due to invetro fertilization and the choice to implant multiple fertilized eggs so that the couple will not have to go through the process multiple times. Therefore, this isn’t a “chance” happening for most people but rather a choice they have made. What if you chose to implant 4 eggs and all survive? Should you get twice as much time off as a person who only implanted 2 and had twins? Invetro fertilization is something that needs to be examined in this country in terms of how it is funded – it is not funded by public healthcare and therefore is very expensive, leading people to have multiple fertilized eggs implanted – leading to premature babies that cost the system alot of money in the long haul. I think the NDP should look at getting changes made to the funding of invetro fertilization instead of EI for multiple births…it would money better spent.

    • This is garbage. The point is creating better quality of life. Regardless of how multiples were conceived, the end of the day you’re left with two babies and a hell of a lot less sleep and more stress. A little more support would go a long way.

    • Maybe these people that are chosing invitro are having a hard time conceiving. Last time I checked the population of canada was on the decrease, hense we were having immigrants come into canada to live. Why not have our own breed instead, regardless of which way they choose to do it. Also, it’s money out of their own pocket to pay for the invitro, so why not take that chance because they may never be able to conceive again or pay for it rather. I am pregnant with twins now, it’s natural however I do not agree with your agrument. Maybe a bit more sympathy should be shown for mothers and fathers raising two at a time. Has anyone thought about when the mother has to go back to work and daycare for 2 at the same time is pretty much half or more than half a paycheck. So what’s the point? If we had a bit more time at home to help raise them, it would help financially.

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