Last night, hundreds of Canadians gathered in Toronto to celebrate the Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien’s 50 years of public service. How many politicians can make such a claim? It is not his longevity alone that is worth celebrating; Mr. Chrétien’s contribution to Canada's history, the legacy that he left behind, is extraordinary by any measure.
As Canada’s Minister of Justice, he negotiated a then-controversial Charter of Rights and Freedoms with provinces, territories, and with federal opposition parties. In this role, he demonstrated profound skills of leadership, of compromise, and of finding common ground. Today, that Charter is the gold standard by which many countries gauge a democratic balance between legislation and the rights of the people against arbitrary whims of governments.
OTTAWA, ON - Liberal Health Critic, Hedy Fry, issued the following statement today on the G8 Health Ministers’ meeting on dementia:
“At the G8 Health Ministers’ meeting, dementia is on the agenda. It is a pity that Canada is one of the few G8 nations without a Dementia Strategy. This is why in our 2011 platform the Liberal Party of Canada laid out a clear, comprehensive Dementia Strategy.
“Our plan had several components:
Awareness, Education and Prevention to support families and combat social stigma of dementia.
Research with $100 million targeting new treatments and...
VANCOUVER– The Liberal Health Critic, Dr. Hedy Fry, issued the following statement today on World AIDS Day:
“We are at a defining moment in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Today, on World AIDS Day, it is time to reflect on the history of this pandemic and to assess our progress and our failures.
“We can say with some certainty that an HIV and AIDS-free generation is within our grasp. Great strides have been made in the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS , and we should recognise that Canadian research and innovation has played a notable part in these important and recent advances.
“We have the expertise and capability in this country to end the HIV pandemic in our lifetime. Sadly, the current federal government has been slow to embrace or accept any Canadian scientific innovation; many individuals are consequently deprived of universal access to treatment, care and support they need.
I write to you today as World AIDS Day approaches. We are at a defining moment in the fight against HIV and AIDS: an HIV and AIDS-free generation is within our grasp. It has never before been clearer and more emphatic that the implementation of the recently World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed, scientifically-proven made-in-B.C. Treatment as Prevention (TasP) strategy is the answer.
The TasP strategy, initially proposed by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) in 2006, advocates for widespread HIV testing and facilitated early access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for all HIV-infected individuals. The benefits are twofold: sustained HAART treatment decreases the amount of HIV virus in the blood and sexual fluids to undetectable levels, thus preventing morbidity and mortality, and equally as important, dramatically reducing the likelihood of HIV transmission by more than 95%.
With the unwavering support of the British Columbia government, the BC-CfE has been an exemplary case study of how far TasP can go to change the face of HIV & AIDS. Consider this, in B.C. in 1992, at the peak of the epidemic, more than 800 people per year were diagnosed with HIV and at least one person was dying every day from AIDS. Since then, the number