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MP Yurdiga, wife, urge support for people with episodic disabilities

Last Updated Nov 30, 2018 at 6:21 am MST

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Health Minister Rona Ambrose escort new Conservative MP David Yurdiga in the House of Commons in Ottawa on September 15, 2014. Conservative MP David Yurdiga says people suffering from episodic disabilities face inequality in Canada and are treated differently under Canadian law and he wants to change that. Yurdiga says he wants to see legislative and policy changes that would ensure those living with Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy, arthritis, and other episodic disabilities be protected by policy to ensure they can stay in the workforce and have better access to programs they need. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Conservative MP David Yurdiga says people suffering from disabilities that worsen and ease aren’t treated fairly under Canadian law and he wants to change that.

Yurdiga says he wants to see legislative and policy changes that would ensure those living with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, arthritis, and other “episodic” disabilities are protected, can stay in the workforce and get better access to programs they need.

Yurdiga’s wife Kathy was diagnosed with MS in 2004 and she says she still wakes up every day wondering whether she will be disabled.

The Fort McMurray-Cold Lake MP says his family had a support system when his wife first had difficulty using her hands, including those who worked with her in their family business and their children.

But Yurdiga says he’s heard from thousands of Canadians living with episodic disabilities who have been forced into disability systems that don’t allow them to work.

Yurdiga introduced a motion in the House of Commons in early November that calls on the Commons’ human-resources committee to study the issue. The committee discussed the topic for the first time today. Yurdiga says that’s a first step but his goal is stronger laws.

The Canadian Press