MP Duncan Supports Bill to Implement 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention Hotline

CORNWALL, ON – Local Member of Parliament Eric Duncan (Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry) has officially co-seconded legislation to implement an easy to use, three-digit 9-8-8 national suicide prevention hotline. The bill was introduced by his Conservative colleague Todd Doherty (Cariboo-Prince George) as a Private Member’s Bill (C-294) in the House of Commons.

This past December, MP Doherty successfully passed a non-binding motion in the House of Commons that gained unanimous support for establishing a national 9-8-8 suicide prevention hotline in Canada.

The bill would ensure collaboration with the provinces and territories to establish a national suicide prevention hotline that consolidates all existing suicide crisis numbers into one easy to remember three-digit (9-8-8) hot‐line accessible to all Canadians. The legislation would give the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) up to one year to dedicate a three-digit suicide-prevention service.

With this important initiative, Duncan has reached out to local municipalities to seek their support in bringing 9-8-8 to Canadians across the country. Municipalities received a draft resolution of support for the initiative to be presented to their respective Councils in hopes of gaining support from all levels of government in the fight
for mental health.

Unfortunately, suicide ideation has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a nationwide survey, 44% of Ontarians reported experiencing an eroding mental health with little to no resources available in the province. With suicide being the second leading cause of death among young individuals, this 9-8-8 national initiative would save lives across generations.


“We have seen the devastating impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the mental health of Canadians, and unfortunately, our national suicide rates continue to rise. In addition to needing a drastic increase in front-line mental health counselling and services,

We need a simple and easy to remember three-digit number that people can call if they’re in trouble and need help. Assistance should only be three digits away. This bill will save lives, it’s as simple as that. We need to get it set up and activated urgently.”

– Member of Parliament Eric Duncan (Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry)

“We know that every 24 hours, 11 Canadians die by suicide and approximately 275 Canadians attempt to end their lives. We also know that suicide is the second leading cause of death of young Canadians. These are troubling statistics, but what is more concerning is that these figures represent the reality pre-pandemic.

Since we passed my 9-8-8 motion in the House, we have lost an estimated 1,600 Canadians to suicide. Another 40,425 have attempted suicide. It shows clearly that there is an urgent need to provide more easy and direct supports to Canadians. We can’t afford to wait months, or years, for this to happen. Now is the time for

– Member of Parliament Todd Doherty (Cariboo-Prince George)


For more information:

Rachel Loif
Legislative Intern
Office of Eric Duncan, MP