Green party leader Elizabeth May is calling on the government to develop a national strategy for improved treatment of Lyme disease, saying Canada's standards for diagnosis are outdated and lag far behind those in the United States.
The Saanich-Gulf Islands MP tabled a private member's bill on Thursday calling for a national conference of public health officials, researchers and patient advocates as a first step toward developing a national strategy for diagnosing and treating the disease.
Lyme disease is caused by three species of bacteria transmitted to humans via ticks. Early symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic circular rash, shaped like a bull's eye, around the bite.
The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme) expressed strong support for a private member's bill mandating a new national strategy on Lyme disease, to be introduced today by MP Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands).
"This bill responds to the failure of existing guidelines to reliably detect and treat Lyme disease,' said CanLyme President Jim Wilson. "Current policies make access to treatment subject to confirmation by a flawed test, resulting in refusal of diagnosis to many people with Lyme."
Lyme disease remains a clinical diagnosis, as stated on the Public Health Agency of Canada's website and in medical literature, as there are no accurate confirmatory tests available for all types and strains of Borrelia.
The opposition parties, calling the government's omnibus Budget Implementation Bill, "an abuse of power," gave notice last week that they will table more than 1,200 amendments to the bill which was returned from the House Finance Committee at report stage. In the end, there will likely be more than 700 amendments, setting off possibly hundreds of hours of consecutive hours of roll call House voting. The New Democrats tabled 503 amendments, the Liberals 506 amendments and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May tabled 200 amendments. The Budget Implementation Act is 425 pages long and will amend some 70 Canadian laws. The opposition parties say the bill should have been split up, which is why they will fight it. The federal Conservatives may not like it, but this is down-in-the-trenches democracy at work.
Members of Parliament are bracing themselves for a marathon session of voting this week as the opposition puts forward 871 amendments to the Conservative government’s budget bill.
Having failed to persuade the Tories to split the 425-page bill and having failed to compel them to accept any changes when the bill was studied in committee, the votes mark the final act of protest by the opposition before the legislation inevitably passes and MPs return home for the summer.
That the Conservative government will pass its omnibus budget bill has never been in doubt.
Similarly, its refusal to strip the nonbudgetary items from the 425-page bill was never in question.
Such is the privilege of a majority government.
But as the House of Commons prepares to hit the home stretch with the budget bill front and centre beginning Monday, the question will be how much political capital the Conservatives will have spent by the summer recess in order to pass this mountain of regulations the way they were determined to do it.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have his majority, but like other prime ministers before him who crafted such victories, he did not win a majority of votes.
A marathon round of voting on the Conservatives’ massive federal budget implementation bill will go ahead this week after Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer rejected an attempt to rule it out of order.
Scheer was responding to a motion put forward by MP Elizabeth May, the Green Party leader, who argued Bill C-38 should be set aside because it was not in the proper form for legislation tabled in the Commons.
Green party Leader Elizabeth May is justified in her concern that our leaders do not understand climate science. If they did, they would be telling us climate change is arguably the most complex science we have ever tackled and we are many years from being able to meaningfully forecast climate.
The prepared text of Speaker Scheer’s ruling on Elizabeth May’s point of order.
I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised on June 5, 2012 by the hon. Member for Saanich—Gulf Islands (Ms. May) regarding the form of Bill C-38, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures.
It’s not often that a single MP can significantly affect important events on Parliament Hill, much less hold a majority government to account for its actions, but Green Party leader Elizabeth May aims to do just that this week, and should be commended for her effort.
Ms. May plans to spearhead a campaign intended to derail or delay the Conservative government’s effort to pass its Brobdingnagian budget bill. The bill has enraged and dismayed many Canadians, not only among the opposition parties but among many Canadians upset at the government’s blatant attempt to steamroll Parliament by stuffing dozens of important changes into one piece of legislation, which it hopes to force on the country via its majority status.
Ontario needs to address the elephant in the room that is preventing us from modernizing and improving our school system. With schools facing extraordinary financial and social pressures, we need to have an honest conversation about the best way to deliver quality education that brings together all our diverse students.
That conversation must include ending wasteful duplication by merging the best of the Catholic and public school boards.
Green Party leader and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands Elizabeth May will be front and centre Monday as the opposition pulls out all the stops in its bid to alter the muchmaligned Conservative omnibus budget bill.
Without official party status and the ability to sit on parliamentary committees, May is one of the few MPs who can introduce new substantive amendments during the report stage and, with support from the Liberals, she's planning to put forward upwards of 200 of them.