International Humanitarian Activists rally in support of accessible medicines for all
Toronto, March 8 – Just hours before the third reading vote on legislation to reform Canada’s broken Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR), international humanitarian activists Dr. James Orbinski, Stephen Lewis and Juno Award-winning artist K’naan will be visiting Parliament Hill to urge MPs and Senators to support Bill C-393. They will be joined by representatives of organizations responding to AIDS in Canada and the developing world. After seven years of waiting, it’s finally time for Canada to fulfill its pledge to the developing world and make affordable medicines available for people dying of treatable diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
During the final hour of debate on Bill C-393 last week, MPs voted to restore the critical “one-license solution”, ensuring CAMR will become more streamlined and workable should the bill pass. MPs will be voting at 6:00 p.m. EST tomorrow — Wednesday, March 9 — on the proposed legislation international aid workers, human rights organizations, physicians, faith leaders and health activists say will save thousands of lives. If the House of Commons approves Bill C-393, the legislation will go immediately to the Senate and focus will turn to ensuring quick passage of this non-political, humanitarian initiative.
- Richard Elliott, Executive Director, Canadian HIV/ AIDS Legal Network
- K’naan, Juno Award-winning artist and humanitarian activist
- Stephen Lewis, former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa
- Fanta Ongoiba, Executive Director, Africans in Partnership Against AIDS
- Dr. James Orbinski, Chair in Global Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and Co-Founder of Dignitas
What: Press conference to highlight what’s at stake in the fight for Bill C-393
Where: Charles-Lynch Press Conference Room, Centre Block of Parliament, Ottawa
When: Wednesday, March 9th at 11:00 a.m. EST
Why: To urge MPs to pass Bill C-393 and for the Senate to quickly follow suit
Bill C-393 is sponsored by MP Paul Dewar (NDP, Ottawa Centre) and has attracted support from MPs belonging to all caucuses in Parliament, but faces strong opposition and the vote at third reading is expected to be close.
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