Friday, December 12, 2014

Senate Unanimously Passes Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act

PRESS RELEASE  12 December 2014

Canadian Senate Unanimously Passes Elizabeth May’s Federal Framework on 
Lyme Disease Act 

OTTAWA - Elizabeth May’s Private Member’s Bill, C-442, the Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act, was passed unanimously at third reading by the Senate the morning of Friday, December 12. The bill now awaits Royal Assent by the Governor General for it to become law.

Elizabeth May, O.C., M.P.

“I am so thankful to my colleagues in the Senate, especially the bill’s sponsor Senator Janis Johnson, for passing C-442,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands. “This victory belongs to all Canadians coping with Lyme disease and their loved ones. This bill never would have been passed into law without their advocacy and willingness to tell their stories.”
First introduced in June 2012, Bill C-442 was passed unanimously with multi-partisan support in the House of Commons in June 2014.  It will establish a framework for collaboration between the federal, provincial and territorial Health Ministers, representatives of the medical community, and patients’ groups to promote greater awareness and prevention of Lyme disease, to address the challenges of timely diagnosis and treatment, and to push for further research.

“The hard work of Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose and the entire Lyme community were instrumental in making this bill a reality. I am also grateful to Senator Kelvin Olgilvie, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, who helped to move C-442 through the committee process, after it was delayed by the shooting on October 22,” added Ms. May.

“C-442 is now the first piece of Green Party legislation in Canadian history,” stated Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Thunder Bay – Superior North.  “I am proud of the way Elizabeth was able to work across party lines to pass the first Green Party bill. The passage of this bill will make such a tangible difference for those dealing with Lyme disease.”

Although it is rare for private member’s bills to be passed through both the House and Senate, Bill C-442 has received multi-partisan support from Senators and Parliamentarians, in addition to the Canadian Medical Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation.

“Now that the bill has passed, I look forward to working with all relevant interest groups and governments, under the guidance of Health Minister Ambrose, for the national conference to develop the federal framework to deal with this dreadful illness,” concluded Elizabeth May.

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