1,000 signatures reached
To: Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance
Remove GST/HST on Psychotherapy
Did you know that the government of Canada enforces GST/HST on counselling and psychotherapy?
Adding GST/HST to counselling and psychotherapy makes mental health and addictions services 5% - 15% more expensive and, therefore, less accessible to Canadians. The extra cost creates a barrier to essential mental health and addiction services provided by counsellors and psychotherapists - professionals specifically trained to deliver this service.
Why is this important?
Counsellors and psychotherapists are the only mental health professionals required to charge GST/HST! Other providers of psychotherapy include: psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses. All of these professionals are exempt from charging GST/HST. But not counsellors and psychotherapists. This discrepancy is unfair.
There are tens of thousands of counsellors and psychotherapists across Canada. Professional help is available. Yet counsellors and psychotherapists are out of reach for many due to the added expense of GST/HST. That expense can mean the difference between getting much-needed support or allowing mental health issues to go untreated.
In order to remove GST/HST for counsellors and psychotherapists, the Ministry of Finance required five provinces to regulate the profession. After the fifth province regulated it, however, former Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, rejected the removal of GST/HST, citing differences in regulated titles among the provinces. Some provinces call the service psychotherapy while others call it counselling. But the government had not made these titles a requirement for GST/HST exemption. The goalposts keep moving.
Mental health issues used to affect 1 in 5 Canadians. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, this figure has increased to 1 in 4. The pandemic has had a devastating emotional and financial impact on many. Removing this financial barrier to mental health services is needed now more than ever.
Let’s create the necessary national change and make mental health and addiction services more accessible - let’s finally get GST/HST on psychotherapy and counselling removed!