Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is pledging to boost financial support to grieving parents as the election campaign enters its final stretch.

At a hotel in downtown Vancouver, O’Toole said Sunday that he would extend employment insurance benefits to mothers and fathers for up to eight weeks after the death of a child.

He says he would also provide up to eight weeks of paid leave after a stillbirth, and three days of paid bereavement leave in the event of a miscarriage.

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Currently, EI parental benefits end immediately following a child’s death and there is no specific bereavement leave for miscarriages or stillbirths under federal labour law, although women can be eligible for sick leave in the event of complications.

WATCH / Erin O’Toole on benefits for grieving parents

O’Toole pledges changes to Canada’s parental bereavement lawsDuring a campaign stop in Vancouver on Sept. 12, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says his party would extend parental leave and E.I. benefits for at least eight weeks after the death of a child. In the event of a miscarriage, they promise to provide three days of paid sick leave. 0:57

O’Toole said thousands of Canadian parents struggle with the loss of a child every year, and that a Tory government would “end the stigma” and give them the time they need to mourn. At his rallies, O’Toole has been pitching a more “compassionate conservatism” as he tries to win over parents with a focus on affordability and health care ahead of the election on Sept. 20. 

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