The PC Party is the only Party that supports introducing a three-digit mental health crisis line. This solution recognizes that when someone is in a crisis, it can be hard to remember a ten-digit number. This policy will save lives.
On March 24, 2021, the PCs introduced An Act to Establish a Crisis Hotline for Mental Health Emergencies to make 9-8-8 a reality during the Spring Legislature sitting
Iain Rankin’s Liberals mocked the need for the existing mental health crisis to be simplified to a three-digit number:
“We heard about how there is no three-digit number. The member for Halifax Needham rightfully said that 211 and 911 will transfer you, and they will help you deal with those issues, and 429-8167 is the number for the mental health line. If you are not in Halifax, it is 1-888-429-8167. I am very surprised that all members of the Legislature do not know that number. It is a very simple number, 429-8167”. - Brendan Maguire, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Liberal candidate for Halifax Atlantic
Gary Burrill’s New Democrats also diminished the idea of a three-digit crisis line, despite not being able to remember the existing number.
“The PC caucus seems to be putting forward a crisis line as the alternative which is, in fact, a service that already exists. We have a 24-hour line that folks can call. It is a confusing number - I do not know what the number is, but it is there.” - Susan Leblanc, NDP candidate for Dartmouth North
On December 11, 2020, the idea of a 9-8-8 mental health crisis line was unanimously approved in concept by all parties in Canada’s House of Commons.
In July of 2020, the United States’ Federal Communications Commission approved changing their 10-digit mental health crisis line to 9-8-8. The transition is expected to begin in 2022.