2013 National Award
The MADA NATIONAL award is presented to an individual who has displayed outstanding dedication or has been responsible for outstanding accomplishments of national significance in multiple births issues in Canada.
The 2013 National Making a Difference Award was presented to Sana Hassainia, NDP Member of Parliament from Quebec.
In November 2012, Member of Parliament Sana Hassainia introduced a private members bill, Bill C 464 for Parental Leave for Multiple Births or Multiple Adoptions. Her sole reason for presenting this bill was that she wanted to make a difference while she was an MP, and through her research she decided that the fact that Multiple Birth families do not receive extra benefits was simply not right. In her own words, “The birth of twins has exploded in the last 30 years in Quebec and across Canada. The phenomenon is growing, but assistance is not. It’s time for the government to support parents to ensure they have a good experience.”
For the last 7 years, MBC has been advocating through various avenues for this kind of recognition and change to EI parental leave benefits. Christian Martin has battled in the courts for years to change the current regulations for Employment Insurance benefits for families who have twins or more. Ms Hassainia heard about this work and was able to push the issue forward into the spotlight – not only in Ottawa, but across the country. In the course of introducing and rallying for this Bill, she was able to change many minds in Ottawa – not only in her own party, but in the Liberal party and others as well. The second reading of the Bill, held in March 2013, was very close and only lost by 10 votes. MBC has hope that in the future, the challenges faced by those raising more than one infant at a time will be recognized by the government; it is MPs like Sana Hassainia who can truly make a difference.
The MADA committee and MBC both feel that due to her proactive approach and her dedication to multiple-birth families across Canada, NDP MP Sana Hassainia is more than deserving of receiving the 2013 National Making a Difference Award.
Ms Hassainia had the following to say upon learning of her award:
“I am greatly honored with this Making a Difference Award. Obviously, I was one of many people who were nominated for this award, and I am sure that each of them is worthy of this prize. I am truly grateful to receive this prize and want to thank you for supporting me. For me, it is a recognition of our (my) hard work related to Bill C-464 on parental leave for multiple births.
I can't pass over the tremendous help Multiple Births Canada provided me with in the past year; it has been a pleasure for me to work along with this great organization and its fantastic volunteers and employees. Today, I am sure that the issue of parental leave for parents of multiple has gained a lot more media attention and public awareness, and soon I am sure that we will be able to complete our hard legislative work and see this bill become a law in Parliament!”