Media Release

The Canadian Cancer Society welcomes Liberal Party commitment to extend the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit


The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) welcomes the Liberal Party of Canada’s commitment to extend the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit from 15 to 26 weeks if re-elected.

The proposed extension would support Canadians who have been diagnosed with cancer and need to take time away from work to seek treatment.

“We know when Canadians face cancer, their struggle is not just medical but also financial. An extension to the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit will reduce the stress of financial burden experienced by people with cancer and will allow for them to focus on getting well,” says Kelly Masotti, Director, Public Issues, CCS.

The Canadian Cancer Society is also encouraged by the Liberal Party’s proposed actions to increase investments in pediatric cancer research, continue investments in home care and palliative care, develop a national pharmacare program, and create a National Institute for Women’s Health Research.

“We look forward to hearing more details about these proposed improvements and working with all parties to improve the lives of people with cancer,” says Masotti.

In June, CCS released a set of recommendations for all political parties to adopt that will directly support people living with cancer and also prevent more people from ever being diagnosed, specifically:

  1. Extend the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit from 15 to 26 weeks so that people going through cancer treatment have the same amount of time off as those who care for them.
  2. Help hold the tobacco industry accountable for the damaging health effects of tobacco use by requiring that they pay Health Canada $66 million annually to recover the cost of programs to reduce tobacco use.
  3. Close the gaps in coverage for take-home cancer drugs so that all Canadians can have equal access to cancer treatment drugs, enabling them to undergo treatment in the comfort of their home.

CCS is encouraged by the Liberal Party’s commitment to one of its key recommendations.

The Canadian Cancer Society has a long-standing history of providing a complimentary role to the healthcare system. Canadians turn to CCS for practical, emotional and psychosocial supports including information about the services available to them, such as the availability of the Sickness Benefit. With 1 in 2 Canadians expected to develop cancer in their lifetime and over 200,000 Canadians living with cancer today, federal government leadership is required to ensure that Canadians have access to the care and support they need in the setting of their choice.

About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:
Nuala McKee
Manager, Public Engagement & Advocacy Communications
Canadian Cancer Society
National Office
Phone: 416-934-5324