Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, has seconded a bill to make it more affordable for Canadians to receive mental health services.

Last week, Dr. Stephen Ellis, the Conservative Shadow Minister for Health, introduced Bill C-323. If passed, the bill will amend the Excise Tax Act to exempt mental health counselling and psychotherapy services from the goods and services tax.

“The purpose of Bill C-323 is simple: to reduce the financial burden for individuals seeking to access mental health services,” said Maguire.


At present, counselling therapists and psychotherapists are the only regulated mental health service providers that must remit tax on their work.  Physicians, psychiatrists, registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, and social workers are all exempt.

“The services of mental health practitioners are just as important to the health of Canadians and their families as those of a nurse or family doctor,” said Maguire.


According to data from Health Canada, nearly one in four Canadians over the age of 15 report that their mental health needs are not being met.

“This is the reality despite the Liberal government’s promise to transfer $4.5 billion to the provinces through the Canada Mental Health Transfer – a promise which has yet to materialize,” Maguire added.