More threads by sweetanise

Tax drinks to help those with mental illness, say senators
Last Updated Tue, 09 May 2006 17:12:00 EDT
CBC News

The government should add a five cent tax on alcohol drinks to cover the $5.36-billion cost of providing support and housing for people with mental illness, a Senate committee recommends.
A Senate committee recommends that mental illness be treated on par with other serious illnesses.

The Senate social affairs committee released its final report, entitled Out of the Shadows at Last, on Tuesday after a three-year study on mental health and addiction.

The report's authors call for the creation of a Canadian Mental Health Commission to campaign against the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.

Liberal Senator Michael Kirby headed the committee, which made 118 recommendations.

Kirby said he was "shocked by how fragmented our system of mental health care is, and saddened by the effect of that fragmentation on persons living with mental illness.?

Committee members also recommend building 57,000 more units of affording housing for people living with mental illness, a cost they suggest could be covered by increasing the excise tax on alcohol by a nickel a drink.

A total of $5.36 billion in federal funds should be given to provinces and territories for the 10-year transformation of the mental-health system, said Conservative Senator Wilbert Keon, the committee's deputy chair.

About one-fifth of the population will experience a mental illness at some time in the lives, the committee said.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association applauded the report.

"It has stated, for the first time in a national context, that the services available to patients with psychiatric illnesses ? illnesses that are always distressing, often disabling, sometimes crippling and all-too-often fatal ? must be treated with the same seriousness and supports as physical illnesses of equivalent severity," said the association's president, Dr. Donald Milliken, a psychiatrist based in Victoria, B.C.

Canada is one of the few major countries without a comprehensive plan for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of mental illness, the Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Initiative noted in its support for the report.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Nice sentiments but a dumb idea, in my opinion.

People are already taxed to death in this country. Why not use some of the taxes they already collect every time we turn around and use them where we need them instead of wasting them on new fancier furniture nobody needs every end of fiscal year? or throwing it away to buy votes?

Why is it we seem to be able to find millions of dollars of tax money to support sports and the arts and there's no money to be found to open a few more beds or programs for the mentally ill?

I am not debating that mental health programs are hugely underfunded. I'm arguing that the government already has plenty of money in taxes now - what they need to learn to do is spend it where it's needed instead of where it will buy the most votes. :mad:


I agree that the tax is not a good idea...I don't know specifics about Canada's situation but it sounds like a sin tax. Alcohol and cigarettes are always scapegoats...

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Another view:

Cheap beer for the mentally ill
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

This is almost a joke because it's so funny
I mean, c'mon hosers - what's the real important thing here?

A Senate committee is recommending raising taxes on beer, wine and alcohol to pay for $536 million a year in mental health initiatives.

The Senate social affairs committee also proposes the creation of a permanent Canadian Mental Health Commission in its final report, entitled "Out of the Shadows at Last."

Its mandate would be to educate Canadians about mental health. The commission would also create a national Knowledge Exchange Centre and would oversee a 10-year national anti-stigma campaign.

Another notable recommendation in the report was the development of 57,000 affordable housing units for people living with mental illness.

This is where it gets really funny...

The cost would be funded by raising the excise tax by five cents a drink. That translates to five cents a beer, 25 cents on a bottle of wine and 85 cents on a bottle of alcohol. The change would not apply to light beer. In fact, the Senate report recommends cutting or eliminating taxes on drinks with a lower alcohol content.

Whattttt??? Light beer!? What the hell?

"We understand that change costs money," said Liberal Senator Michael Kirby, the head of the committee. "The committee's proposal to increase the federal excise tax on alcohol by a nickel a drink will help to shift consumption to lower-alcohol products while also covering most of the cost of the proposed Mental Health Transition Fund."

Okay, and after this forecasted 'shift of consumption of lower-alcohol products', don't you think there will be more than enough money made which would go towards covering the cost of the fund?!

Sounds like a good idea cloaked in a greedy plan.


SSC Chief Executive Officer Mary Jardine encouraged Ottawa to move quickly* to implement the committee's recommendations, particularly the establishment of a Canadian Mental Health Commission.

"The sooner these measures are put in place, the sooner we will begin to see improvements for all Canadians living with mental illness," she said.

* Move quickly - get your cheap booze while you can because if you can't stomach a 0.5% brew, you're going to have to grin and pay extra for it.

Hmm. Extra money coming from a population who enjoy a glass of wine with their food or a pint with friends will now have no choice but to fork over that extra cash to help the mentally ill.

Will this float just beneath the radar screen of my fellow Canadians?

Raise prices on alcohol? The smokers I know are already grumbling about the high price of cigarettes, now this?

Sure, the initiative is there, the plan sounds like a good one, but what a way to go about collecting more money from taxpayers who are now grumbling about the choices they made with the Harper government in terms of the federal budget and what he plans to do with it...

Hmm, I know a good way to funnel more money into beating stigma and educating people about mental illness - how about limiting the spending of the Govener General, and the rest of those buffoons who suck in millions of our hard earned cash dollars like a light beer going down the hatch on a hot August afternoon?!

And as in terms of mental illness awareness, I guess late is better than never, and it's about time, but perhaps a little too late for all of the people I knew who took their lives too soon, and others who still live in the ominous shadows of a stigma which needs to be lifted. We need more people like Margret Trudeau and Mike Wallace to come foward and use their influence to shake the movers and money-makers so they can begin to make a difference!

And that's my 10 cents.


David Baxter said:
Why not use some of the taxes they already collect every time we turn around and use them where we need them instead of wasting them on new fancier furniture nobody needs every end of fiscal year? or throwing it away to buy votes?

I completely agree with you. I actually read this article in the Sun this morning and thought to myself...yes increasing awareness of mental illness and help with the costs but don't we already pay enough taxes. Why can't the government just find the funding other places instead of having to increase the taxes.

I just don't get it....yet...I understand their efforts.

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