The Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium and Brain Injury Canada Advocate for Bill C-277

For Immediate Release May 1, 2024

The Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium and Brain Injury Canada Advocate for Bill C-277

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium (CTRC) and Brain Injury Canada today urged Members of Parliament to support the passage of Bill C-277, the National Strategy on Brain Injuries Act, as it approaches its second reading in the House of Commons. This important legislation aims to develop a comprehensive national strategy for brain injury awareness, prevention, treatment, rehabilita.on, and recovery.

The proposed bill is backed by findings from the CTRC and Brain Injury Canada position paper Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A Lifelong Condition, which highlights the prevalence of trauma.c brain injury (TBI) and its impact on marginalized populations and people of all ages. Primarily caused by motor vehicle collisions in the younger population and falls among the elderly, TBI continues to be the leading cause of death and disability in children, youth, and adults under 40.

Findings in the report highlight the staggering, broad societal impacts of TBI:

  • §  Over 50% of Canada’s homeless population report a history of TBI
  • §  TBI patients are 2.5 ;mes more likely to be incarcerated
  • §  TBI disproportionately affects Indigenous Canadians due to poverty, inadequate housing, limited healthcare access, and inter-generational trauma
  • §  Among Canadian women who have survived intimate partner violence, 60% reported a TBI history
  • §  TBI is linked to a 50% increase in psychological distress and nearly triple the suicide attempt rate among school-aged Canadians
  • §  Post-TBI, the employment rate drops drastically from 75% to 13%
  • §  Contrary to older theories, new data links moderate to severe TBI to ongoing cognitive and neurological decline

“Brain injuries are life-changing experiences affecting millions of Canadians. Standardized national surveillance of brain injury data is essential for understanding and addressing the full scope of this issue,” said Dr. Alexis Turgeon, Co-Chair of the CTRC. “Bill C-277 represents a monumental step towards a coordinated response and enhanced support systems for those impacted.”


The Act mandates collaboration among federal and provincial stakeholders, as well as Indigenous communities, to establish preventive measures, enhance healthcare professional training, and improve research and data collec.on. Key initiatives include developing national guidelines and promoting education to foster a better understanding of brain injury management.

Dr. Jamie Hutchison, Co-chair of the CTRC, emphasized the urgency of addressing pediatric TBIs, stating, “Despite the persistence of cognitive, behavioural, physical, and emotional impairments throughout a person’s life—a profile aligning with the World Health Organization’s definition of a chronic disease—the Canadian healthcare system is currently geared towards managing them as a single event rather than a lifelong condition.

“The proposed legislation highlights the necessity of integrating mental health resources, addressing the broader social challenges associated with brain injuries, such as addiction and homelessness,” said Michelle McDonald, CEO of Brain Injury Canada. “We need Bill C277 to be passed for the 160,000 Canadians annually who sustain a TBI but often have to live without lifelong support.”


About The Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium

The Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium is a collaborative research group of healthcare professionals, researchers, and advocates aiming to improve patient care and outcomes for individuals with TBI.

About Brain Injury Canada

Brain Injury Canada is a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals living with brain injury.

Media Inquiries: Kathryn Hendrick,, (416) 277-6281