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Tue, March 14, 2023 10:39 AM | OSRP (Administrator)

The Ontario Society of Registered Psychotherapists (OSRP) calls on Government to Take Action now that three parties have expressed support

The Ontario Society of Registered Psychotherapists (OSRP) calls on Government to Take Action now that three parties have expressed support

TORONTO, March 15, 2023 — An association of 1,200+ psychotherapists across Ontario calls on the federal government to remove the inequitable GST/HST requirement for counselling therapists and psychotherapists by immediately passing legislation to make therapy services tax-free in Canada. 

This month, bipartisan calls to end the bureaucratic semantics behind this tax have reached a crescendo of consensus. 

The March 2023 FINA Report from the Standing Committee on Finance, Chaired by Liberal MP Peter Fonseca, recommends that the Minister of Finance: "Exempt counselling therapy and psychotherapy from the application of GST/HST."

On March 9 2023, MP Stephen Ellis, Conservative Shadow Minister for Health, introduced his own Bill C-323 to exempt all mental health professionals from GST/HST. As he noted, “It makes no sense for psychotherapists and mental health counsellors to be subjected to this kind of taxation when physicians, psychiatrists, registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, and social workers are all exempt.” 

In December 2021, a bill was tabled by NDP MP Lindsay Mathyssen to amend the Excise Tax Act and make psychotherapy services tax free — Bill C-218 — but a budgetary bill also must be tabled to make the change, something noted in the Coalition’s petition, signed by nearly 14,500 Canadians, and tabled this past March 6. The government has 45 business days from the tabling of the petition to respond in writing, but the Coalition hopes for action, not just more words, as soon as possible. 

“Now more than ever, Canadians deserve a mental health care system that provides them with the resources and supports they need in an accessible, and affordable fashion,” said Ms. Mathyssen. “I am pleased to be sponsoring a Bill to make that a reality, and to be supporting this campaign.”

Members of three national parties appear to have aligned on this issue. As noted in Ellis’ announcement: “According to Health Canada statistics, nearly one-quarter of Canadians over the age of fifteen self-report having unmet mental health needs. The services of a psychotherapist or a mental health counsellor are just as important to the health of Canadians and their families as those of a nurse or family doctor.”

And the toll of mental illness is an economic one as well. The Mental Health Commission of Canada estimates that the economic cost of those living with untreated mental health struggles is more than $50 billion annually.

“Increasing access to mental health services by eliminating this tax will result in saving far more money than would be taken out of the GST/HST revenue,” says Dr. Natasha Tuletta-Bowman, Co-Chair of the OSRP’s Advocacy Committee.

“Given everything that Ontarians from all regions, including BIPoC, LGBTQ+, Differently-Abled, Senior, Youth and Child Ontarians, have been through in the past few years, this is something that matters now more than ever,” says Rachel Fulford, a member of the National Coalition for Tax-Free Therapy.

“The government can easily demonstrate its commitment to supporting the mental health of Canadians by eliminating the tax on psychotherapy and counselling therapy services.” 

To learn more, and to send your letter of support calling on the government to remove the GST/HST requirement for counselling therapy and psychotherapy (almost 2,000 have already been sent via the site), visit


Media Inquiries: Rachel Fulford, Co-Chair, Advocacy Committee

For more evidence, and the story behind this inequitable tax, please visit: RESOURCES @


[1] Recommendation 32, p. 53 Committee Report No. 10 - FINA (44-1) - House of Commons of Canada

[2] Video: Bill C-323 read in House of Commons by MP Stephen Ellis


[4] Mental Health Commission of Canada (2018 & 2014). Making the Case for Investing in Mental Health in Canada and Strengthening the Case for Investing 

[5] Ensuring all mental health services are tax exempt would result in a financial cost of 0.0004% of Canada’s total estimated budgetary revenue in 2023-2024 (15 Million per year).

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