February 7th, 2020

NDP renews call for Ontario to recognize Eating Disorders Awareness Week

QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario NDP Culture and Women’s Issues critic Jill Andrew (Toronto-St. Paul’s) released the following statement renewing her call for the Doug Ford government to pass her bill (Bill 61) to recognize the first week of February as Eating Disorders Awareness Week:

“Ontario could be recognizing this week as Eating Disorders Awareness Week, but it’s not. It has now been more than a year since my private member’s bill to proclaim Feb. 1 to 7 Eating Disorders Awareness Week in our province passed second reading, and it’s wrong for the Doug Ford government to sit on its hands when we know people die waiting for treatment.

Recognizing eating disorders and eating problems in Ontario would mean ensuring the nearly half a million people in our province who are affected don’t have to keep struggling without help. We need to address the lack of beds, the lack of specially trained therapists, the lack of culturally sensitive supports and the long waits for treatment.

Ontarians who are struggling with eating disorders and eating problems deserve to know that help is on the way. I am calling on the Ford government to treat this critical mental health issue – intersecting with a host of other injustices including systemic pay inequity, insufficiently funded healthcare, violence against women, food insecurity and education cuts – with the urgency it demands and pass my bill to recognize Eating Disorders Awareness Week without delay.”

Building on her Bill 61 EDAW, on Dec. 5, 2019, Andrew tabled a motion demanding that the Doug Ford government adopt a Provincial Intersectional Gender Equity Strategy that includes thorough interministerial Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+).

“Whether it’s health care, housing, worker’s rights or education and awareness about eating problems, government legislation disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable populations,” said Andrew. “The government needs to be critical about these effects and the results of such analysis must be fully disclosed to the public.”