Editor, The Times:
Recently, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP Cathy McLeod voted against Bill C-398, legislation that sought to amend the Patent Act to provide drugs for international humanitarian purposes. In doing so, she helped to stop the legislation from being created.
Taking her lead not from AIDS activists, scientists and humanitarians, but directly from the prime minister, McLeod has prevented Canada’s generic drug manufacturers from providing inexpensive life-saving medicines to Africans suffering from AIDS and other curable diseases who can’t afford brand-name medicines. International health experts say Canada’s failure to pass this bill has condemned thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people, to die needlessly.
Stephen Lewis, Canada’s well-known humanitarian and AIDS advocate, summed it up: “So, in the great choice in life, [the Harper government] have chosen patent protection over the lives of children. And, that’s about as perfidious as you can get as a government.
Canadians from all walks of life supported this bill. McLeod and Prime Minister Stephen Harper sided with Big Pharma.
Editor’s note: Michael Crawford was the local federal NDP candidate in 2006, 2008 and 2011.