Former interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Bob Rae (who is also a former NDP Premier of Ontario), wrote an op-ed in the Globe and Mail calling for a national strategy on suicide to remember Chris Peloso who recently ended his own life. While Rae is undoubtedly moved by sadness at this tragic loss of life, he has failed to do his homework.
His suggestion assumes that suicide prevention does not already exist and that no one is working on it. The fact is that Canada passed the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention Act on December 14, 2012. Rae was still a Member of Parliament when this legislation was passed but, as one cynic said, maybe he was on a Rae Day when it was passed. For those too young to remember his tenure as the NDP Premier of Ontario, Rae Days refers to his 1993 Social Contract which imposed a wage freeze and mandatory unpaid days of leave for civil servants.
And of course Rae also does not seem to be familiar with the Mental Health Commission of Canada who are also working on suicide prevention and have developed a mental health strategy for Canada.
And, on Sept 10, 2013 Louise Bradley, the CEO of the Mental Health Commission addressed people on Parliament Hill in Ottawa for World Suicide Prevention Day. She talked about people requiring access to treatment services as a method to help prevent suicides.
The question then, Rae is not “why aren’t we doing anything about suicide prevention?” but “is suicide prevention effective?”.
by Marvin Ross, HuffPost Living