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Ontarians have a lot to be happy about, since this bill guarantees their job security and allows them, worry-free, to be a caregiver when they need to be.

– Natasha Mistry, Manager, Public Policy & Stakeholder Relations

A lot of advocacy work is behind the scenes, and often people don’t see that until a big announcement is made. But we saw great progress in advocacy this year.

– Aida Fernandes, Chief Science & Education Officer

A Bill to Help Caregivers - a First for Canada

Not every disease gets equal treatment under the law. Many in our community have fought hard to get the same benefits and rights as people facing other chronic diseases, but progress has been slow.

In April 2014, an important gain was made for people with Crohn’s and colitis when Bill 21 passed in the Ontario legislature. The Leave to Help Families Bill is the first of its kind in Canada. It allows family caregivers up to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave from work to care for loved ones with chronic conditions. It also allows up to 37 weeks of leave to care for a sick child.

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada collaborated closely with the Ontario Caregiver Coalition to draft the Bill. These efforts were rewarded with the successful passing of the Bill and the inclusion of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis as chronic diseases in this legislation.

Making a Difference

Gus from British Columbia has fought a long, tough battle with Crohn’s disease. It was made even harder when he was denied a disability pension because Crohn’s disease does not officially fit the definition of a disability in Canada.

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada provided letter-writing advice and a list of people for Gus to contact – which helped him win his fight and obtain his disability pension.

This is great news for Gus and his case is an important step forward in our fight to get Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis officially recognized as a disability in BC – and Canada.


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