Wednesday, February 09, 2011


The following petition to the Conservative Party of Canada and our Conservative federal government comes from the Avaaz organization. Basically there is a piece of legislation, Bill C393, supported by all the opposition parties that would allow an exception to drug patent laws allowing generic drug manufacturers to make generic affordable versions of drugs for the treatment of AIDS in developing countries. In the service of big pharma the Conservatives are blocking the introduction of this bill. Here is the story and a petition asking that the Conservatives relent and allow lives to be saved even if it costs their corporate friend a bit of their profit..
Let Parliament Vote!‏

A bill is in Parliament that would make Canada a leader in the production of affordable AIDS drugs for developing countries. But the Conservative Party is trying to kill Bill C393 on a technicality, dashing dreams of affordable medicine for the world’s poor before Parliament even has a chance to vote.

The sponsor of the Bill resigned from Parliament last year. To move forward, Parliament has to unanimously approve a new sponsor. This is common, and usually happens without a fuss. But Conservatives are so determined to protect the profits of big pharmaceutical companies, they are refusing to agree to the sponsorship change.

A Canadian company, Apotex, has already pledged to produce and deliver affordable AIDS drugs for children across the world as soon as this Bill is passed. Let's raise a nation-wide call for Conservatives to respect democracy and let Parliament vote on Bill - C393. Sign the petition and forward to all of your friends:

The Canadian Access to Medicines Regime doesn’t work - bureaucratic hurdles make production of generic drugs too expensive. But the amendments proposed in Bill-C393 would allow Canadian companies to produce the AIDS drugs people need most, at prices that are affordable for those in developing countries. This Bill is the key to changing Canada’s role in world health provision.

So far, the NDP, Liberals, Greens and the Bloc have pledged to support the Bill’s sponsorship change - understanding that democracy requires honest and open debate in Parliament. Only the Conservatives have refused to support this necessary formality before the Bill undergoes rigorous debate and a fair vote.

Our outrage at this undermining of Canadian democracy - at a time when the legislation could literally save thousands of lives - can force the Conservatives to let Parliament vote fairly on this measure.

Canadian democracy has never been about quick tricks and technical maneuvering. Let’s insist Conservative politicians in Parliament support a fair and open debate about access to medicines. Call on the Conservatives to let Parliament vote.

With hope,

Emma, Ricken, Laryn, and the rest of the Avaaz team.


Children Can't Wait, Dying for Drugs in Devloping Countries (Can. HIV/AIDS Legal Network)

Fighting to get cheap drugs to Africa at critical stage (Toronto Star)

Procedural quagmire could kill dream of cheap AIDS drugs (Xtra)
Please go to this link to sign the following petition to the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party of Canada.

To Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada::
We call on you to pledge to support the sponsorship of Bill-C393. We urge you to stop undermining Canadian democracy and let Parliament vote on this important measure that would catapult Canada to the forefront of health provision for the world's poor.

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