Local MP John Rafferty rose in the House of Commons yesterday to introduce his second private member’s bill on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
If passed, Bill C-569 would commit the federal government to developing a national strategy for the treatment and prevention of FASD.
“FASD is a serious, but entirely preventable, public health issue and a national strategy is long overdue,” Rafferty said in a prepared speech to Parliament.
Rafferty said he has taken up the FASD issue because he has been asked to do so by several constituents and local groups in Northwestern Ontario.
“They’ve shown me the way forward and asked for my help, so I am more than happy to contribute to their efforts in any way that I can in Ottawa,” he noted.
While C-569 will not be debated before the next election, Rafferty said he hopes the tabling of the bill will get people in Ottawa talking more about FASD as a public health issue, and encouraged other MPs to adopt this bill as their own.
“Some MPs will have a chance to have a bill debated before the next election, so I am encouraging them to take this bill as their own,” he noted.
“We need a national strategy to combat FASD sooner than later,” Rafferty stressed.