Friday, December 12, 2014

Senate Unanimously Passes Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act


PRESS RELEASE  12 December 2014

Canadian Senate Unanimously Passes Elizabeth May’s Federal Framework on 
Lyme Disease Act 

OTTAWA - Elizabeth May’s Private Member’s Bill, C-442, the Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act, was passed unanimously at third reading by the Senate the morning of Friday, December 12. The bill now awaits Royal Assent by the Governor General for it to become law.

Elizabeth May, O.C., M.P.

“I am so thankful to my colleagues in the Senate, especially the bill’s sponsor Senator Janis Johnson, for passing C-442,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands. “This victory belongs to all Canadians coping with Lyme disease and their loved ones. This bill never would have been passed into law without their advocacy and willingness to tell their stories.”
First introduced in June 2012, Bill C-442 was passed unanimously with multi-partisan support in the House of Commons in June 2014.  It will establish a framework for collaboration between the federal, provincial and territorial Health Ministers, representatives of the medical community, and patients’ groups to promote greater awareness and prevention of Lyme disease, to address the challenges of timely diagnosis and treatment, and to push for further research.

“The hard work of Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose and the entire Lyme community were instrumental in making this bill a reality. I am also grateful to Senator Kelvin Olgilvie, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, who helped to move C-442 through the committee process, after it was delayed by the shooting on October 22,” added Ms. May.

“C-442 is now the first piece of Green Party legislation in Canadian history,” stated Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Thunder Bay – Superior North.  “I am proud of the way Elizabeth was able to work across party lines to pass the first Green Party bill. The passage of this bill will make such a tangible difference for those dealing with Lyme disease.”

Although it is rare for private member’s bills to be passed through both the House and Senate, Bill C-442 has received multi-partisan support from Senators and Parliamentarians, in addition to the Canadian Medical Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation.

“Now that the bill has passed, I look forward to working with all relevant interest groups and governments, under the guidance of Health Minister Ambrose, for the national conference to develop the federal framework to deal with this dreadful illness,” concluded Elizabeth May.

http://elizabethmaymp.ca/
-30-

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Lyme Disease before Canadian Senate December 12


Advisory
Elizabeth May's Lyme Disease Legislation Expected to Move to Third Reading in Senate Tomorrow
OTTAWA  –  The Senate is expected to take up Elizabeth May's Private Member's Bill C-442, the Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act, at third reading tomorrow
The Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology unanimously referred the unamended bill to the Senate on December 10.

Third reading is the final stage of a bill's passage through the Senate. If the bill passes third reading, it will await Royal Assent, at which point it will become law.

Date: Friday, December 12, 2014
Time: Between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM EST
Location: Senate, Ottawa ON
Please note that the meeting is subject to change. Further details will be provided as they become available.
To access a live audio stream of the Senate debate, please visit:

Earlier news ---

Bill C-442 is carried in the Senate:
Listen to testimony of December 3rd, 2014 as posted on CanLyme's website
Elizabeth May, MP  (begins after intro)
Jim Wilson, CanLyme  (starts at 56:18 on time-bar)
Dr. William Bowie, AMMI,  (starts at 1:03:55 on time-bar)


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lyme Disease Bill discussion going forward TOMORROW (Oct 22, 2014)

Elizabeth May to testify before Senate Committee regarding Lyme Disease Bill

October 21, 2014
Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich­Gulf Islands, will testify before the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology tomorrow as the sponsor of Bill C-442, An Act respecting a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease.

Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Time: 4:15 PM (Eastern)
Location: Room 2, Victoria Building, Parliament of Canada

First introduced by Ms. May in 2012, Bill C-442 will establish a framework for collaboration between the federal, provincial and territorial Health Ministers and the medical community, along with patients and experts.

The bill is sponsored by the Hon. Senator Janis Johnson and was drafted in order to create greater awareness and prevention of Lyme disease, to address the challenges of timely diagnosis and treatment, and to push for further research.

Note: Elizabeth May will speak at the Wednesday meeting at approximately 4:15PM ET.  To view her presentation which is being livestream, click on the following link:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/sencommitteebusiness/CommitteeMeetingSchedule.aspx?parl=41&ses=2&Language=E&comm_id=1047

List of Witnesses
Wednesday, Oct 22nd, 4:15PM ET

Elizabeth May, sponsor of the Bill
Dr. William Bowie, Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia (Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Canada)
Dr. Daniel Gregson, President (Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Canada)
Jim Wilson, President and Founder (Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation)

Thursday, Oct 23rd, 10:30AM ET
Robbin Lindsay, Head, Field Studies, Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens Division, National Microbiology Laboratory(Public Health Agency of Canada)
Dr. Marc Ouellette, Scientific Director, Institute of Infection and Immunity, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Qu├ębec(Canadian Institutes of Health Research)
Steven Sternthal, Director General, Centre for Food-borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (Public Health Agency of Canada)

(Original post  http://elizabethmaymp.ca/elizabeth-may-testify-senate-committee-lyme-disease-bill )

Sunday, May 18, 2014

CN Tower green for Lyme Disease

Groups in green -- but covered in jackets, scarves and coats against the unseasonal chilly weather at the foot of the CN Tower! That was the scene in the heart of downtown Toronto, Ontario on the evening of May 17, 2014.  We gathered to wait for the promised green lights on the CN Tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere.

 Little groups gathered, some greeting others and generally just talking, catching up, making new connections and finding support networks as we waited for darkness.


 Around us were thousands of young people, running around in very scanty outfits, getting ready for a concert in the Rogers Centre (formerly Skydome). We were amazed, and pulled our jackets closer around our shoulders!


 Robin from City TV arrived and took footage of the gathering while we settled in for a group picture. He received an education during the interview, for sure! He left with pictures of the large tick we found on the dog in Whitby last year (see this blog post), a T-shirt from the Brampton LymeWalk, tick cards and brochures from CanLyme to hand around the office. There was a news clip on the 11 o'clock news, with great footage of the Toronto skyline with the green tower standing proud and tall above the buildings and glistening on the water of Lake Ontario.

These collages just try to show the groups of people, the photographers trying to get a good shot (and a chilly bum in the process), Arno chatting to Robin and the scene at the foot of the tower. Hopefully the passers by took notice, and some did stop to talk and ask questions!

Collages created to combine shots -- click on the picture to see a bigger view.


Combination picture of the tower as it got darker can be seen below. Not an easy picture to take, for sure,
but more are coming. This is just a sample to show what happened in Toronto. Many couldn't attend, so the 30 who were there really represent hundreds of people suffering from Lyme Disease, too sick to get out, too weak to get around by themselves, and probably too depressed to even consider joining others.

May the day come, soon, that we all might stand up and get the treatment we deserve to get well again, to reclaim the months and years that were stolen from us because of this treatable, preventable illness, and that there will be research done to give the answers we are still trying to find ourselves.

MAY: Lyme Disease Awareness Month. 

 

 *Green prayer shawl made by good friend Sue.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Green Niagara Falls and CN Tower this weekend

This weekend, May 16 - 18, 2014, will be a big one since more than 50 Lyme Disease Awareness events all over the world will be happening! Here is an interactive map as well as several posts about events happening worldwide (Link will open in a new window CLICK)


Here in Ontario, there will be green lights on the CN Tower on Saturday, May 17. The lights will be visible when it gets dark enough and will stay the whole night apart from the usual red and white lights on the hour, every hour, to honour Canada. Picture below was taken when we attended the green lights at the CN Tower in 2013, trying to get the attention of any media. This year, as usual, media was slow in reporting this event. Only 680 News so far gave some notice about the green lights on these Canadian icons. 


For two blocks of time of 15 minutes each, at 10: 30 pm and 11 pm on Saturday night, there will be green lights on both the American and Canadian falls of Niagara Falls. Picture below was taken when a large group attended - more pictures elsewhere on this blog if you look in the search box. 



IN THE NEWS:  Very interesting article in the little magazine, "Prevention", by Katherine Harmon Courage. The article explains why one man volunteered to have 8 of the blood-sucking ticks attached to his leg, to help with research.  LINK 


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Third annual Brampton LymeWalk

Hard to believe, but the LymeWalk is over! Once again a success, thanks to friends, volunteers and people trying to give the help and support we Lymies so desperately need.

Some pictures help to tell the story. The T-shirt features our usual Brampton tick and the Lyme green awareness ribbon.


People started arriving from around 9 am, many to register in person because they had a lot of trouble registering on the Running Room website. Tables were set up with information about other Lyme groups, to share and connect. 


Of course the Lyme Mobile was there to be admired, draw attention, be photographed and lead the Walk once we started! Thanks as always to Colony Ford for this wonderful tool to create awareness. 


People gathering around the registration table, buying white T-shirts, making donations for bracelets or green T-shirts and decals for a vehicle or window. 


The help of my patient, supportive husband is invaluable with all these Lyme awareness events!


Various green decorations made their appearance to get the point across! This young girl sported bright green nail polish and partenered that with one of the green silicone bracelets. 


Even the dogs had green ribbons! 


I made earrings out of green silicone bracelets. Green socks, shoelaces and sunglasses featured on several participants. 


Thank you to so many helpers and friends who gave their time! 


The silent auction table had many items, but several were not sold. Kijiji might have to help out here!


Time for pictures before the start of the Walk. 


The Lyme Mobile nosing through to lead the way!






Remember that the CN Tower in Toronto, both Falls in Niagara Falls and the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie will be bathed in green lights for Lyme Disease Awareness on Saturday, May 17th from around 9 p.m. There will be groups of people wearing green at each of these locations to hand out information, make noise, take pictures and to create awareness about this fast spreading disease. 

  • View some pictures from 2013, when the CN tower went green and we attended in good spirits, despite the sudden cold! LINK  of some digital pictures and (2) LINK of SLR pictures
  • Pictures from 2013 when Niagara Falls went green: LINK 

NOTE: There are T-shirts available if anyone would like to order one to be mailed. There are green shirts from our previous events as well, available for a donation and shipping costs. Most sizes left are L, XL and XXL

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Niagara Falls and CN Tower will go GREEN again!


Final confirmation received today --- once again, both Niagara Falls and Toronto's CN Tower will run green lights for Lyme Disease Awareness!

The date for both these lighting events this year will be the same: MAY 17, 2014.
(Arranged by LymeWalkBrampton.ca )

The postcard on the left can be used to advertise and let people know so they can plan to attend one of these lighting sessions, or view on webcams.

Brampton's Lyme Walk will be held for the third year. Registrations and more can be done online. People can register as individuals, as a family group of up to six members, or get a group of ten together and register as a corporate group.
http://LymeWalkBrampton.ca 

T-shirts can be purchased separately, or bring your own from previous events. Wear green!!

The walk in the park is not a difficult one. Usually we start the walk around noon or so, once everyone is there. If someone is too weak to walk, please bring a wheelchair or walker along. It takes only around half an hour to complete the walk but sometimes others walk around the whole park, or complete the circuit more than once. It is very relaxed. The mission is more to bring Lymies, their friends and caregivers together to share stories and build relationships.

Register and ask friends and family to sponsor you, no matter where they are. Tax receipts are issued and all donations are paid over once a month, with a small fee to handle everything. Registrations include a number to pin to clothing and to keep as a souvenir! Bring a picnic and chairs or blankets to enjoy in the park afterwards, meet with family and enjoy everything that is there to see, experience and discover.

BramptonLymeWalk is part of the WorldWide Lyme Disease Awareness effort. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

HAPPENINGS!

Things are really happening! I'm tempted to change the name of this blog to be "Meerkat's Hope" - instead of just a "heap" of information. What do you think?  Especially if you read on about the news below!
The heading can then look like this

GOOD NEWS!!

Quoted from a post by Elizabeth May, MP, about Bill C-442*:

Since tabling the bill for First Reading in June 2012, my office has been inundated with letters of support. Many are from those suffering the effects of Lyme disease.  Many are from Canadians who have travelled to the U.S. to obtain treatment. I have also heard from many Members of Parliament, from all sides of the House, who hope to see it become law.

The bill is also supported by health professionals, such as the College of Family Physicians of Canada. In a letter to me, November 21, 2013, Eric J. Mang, Director, Health Policy and Government Relations, of the College of Family Physicians of Canada wrote:
The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) would like to commend you for presenting Bill C-442, National Lyme Disease Strategy.
“The CFPC supports further studying the economic and health impacts of Lyme Disease to ensure that Canadian physicians have the necessary tools and knowledge at their disposal. Guidelines produced as part of the strategy should include the input of family physicians and available to all primary health care providers.”
Bill C-442 will be going to Second Reading debate on Monday, March 3, 2014. I hope all Canadians will read the bill, and ignore efforts to distort its very sensible, scientifically sound approach. With non-partisan, and compassionate support, we can get the bill to committee and consider any changes that meet the concerns of all impacted by what can be a tragic illness.
 (~ My bold and highlighting ~ Marlene)


POSTERS TO SHARE - LYMEWALK May 10, 2014

The popular Brampton LymeWalk (stroll, roll, etc) will be held for the third time this May! And this year, all registrations are online. No matter where you are, you can join in, register, sponsor, donate and take part virtually. Even if you can't leave your bed or your town, join in to show support and solidarity with Lyme Patients everywhere.

The Walk is part of the WorldWide Lyme Awareness effort (or call it Protest if you like).

Here are posters or graphics you can download to share, please. One can be printed upright (portrait) and the other can be printed long / flat / landscape. Or they can be printed back-to back if you wish. Click on the small image to open in a new window, and then save or print from there.

Of course, you can refer anyone to this blog post to get the images themselves.

Thank you to everyone for comments via email or direct notes when stopping by this blog.

See about Bill C-442 and why we need such a bill HERE.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Help create a National Lyme Disease Strategy



On March 4th, 2014, the House of Commons will begin debate on Elizabeth May's Private Members’ Bill C-442, an Act to Create a National Lyme Disease Strategy. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP.
Original document in PDF format: CLICK
Today, Elizabeth May is asking for your help in making a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of Canadians. On March 4th, 2014, the House of Commons will begin debate on my Private Members’ Bill, C-442, an Act to Create a National Lyme Disease Strategy.

Many of you are already too aware of the shortcomings of the Canadian medical system in dealing with Lyme. And while not a panacea, Bill C-442, if passed, would bring together Canada’s Health Ministers, medical professionals, scientists, and the advocates for Canadians with Lyme Disease to work toward common goals: increasing awareness and prevention, ensuring accurate diagnoses, tracking the spread of the disease, and establishing national standards for the care and treatment of Lyme that reflect best practices.

This is not about politics, it is about helping the thousands of Canadian families who have had their lives turned upside down by this terrible disease. We have received strong indications of support from the NDP and the Liberals, and many Conservative Members of Parliament have similarly expressed their willingness to stand behind this important initiative. We are cautiously optimistic that this plan can succeed, but we can’t take anything for granted.

We need you to help make sure that this Bill becomes law. Members of Parliament will be back home in their communities during the week of February 17th and, during this time, we are asking you to meet with your MP to share your story, help educate them about Lyme, and explain to them why Canada urgently needs a National Lyme Disease Strategy. Please go to www.greenparty.ca/lyme-disease to call your MP and schedule a meeting during the February 17th constituency week.

Many of you have already shared your stories with us, and we urge you to continue to do so. Please go to www.greenparty.ca/lyme-disease to write how Lyme has impacted your life of that of your loved ones, and why Canada needs a National Lyme Disease Strategy.

Finally, if you haven’t already, please add your name to the online petition and, if you are able, please print out the paper petition and collect signatures in your community. These petitions will be tabled in the House of Commons, and shared with other Members of Parliament who have indicated their support for Bill C-442.

Thank you for taking action. If you would like more information about Lyme Disease or Bill C-442, please go to www.elizabethmaymp.ca/national-lyme-disease-strategy.

With hope,
Elizabeth May

OTHER DOCUMENTS WITH LYME IN THE NEWS
  • The newest STD: Lyme?  Link
  • Vancouver Island Hawk spreading Lyme Disease Link  Quote: “Even though this tick doesn’t bite humans, it perpetuates the infection and helps hold it in nature,” Scott said. “It helps build the population or infection in the tick population.” - See more
  • Why our bad winter is actually good Link 


Monday, January 06, 2014

LymeWalk 2014


This year's Brampton LymeWalk is already booked and awaiting registrations and donations!

Please mark the date: May 10, 2014 at Chingaucousy Park.

You can register, donate, ask friends to donate or sponsor, create groups or teams - all online.
No matter where you are in the world or in Canada, you can take part while at the same time helping to spread awareness about this debilitating disease. On LymeWalk Day, wear anything green and send your picture to friends, family, our Facebook group or anywhere you have connections to show community and unity with Lymies everywhere.

People have also asked how they can arrange their own LymeWalks elsewhere in Canada. If you set up your own LymeWalk, we can slot you in with the main page, using the same backbone to receive registrations and donations. Contact me (see Contact link above on this blog) and we can set you up.

MAP, INFORMATION and REGISTRATION LINKS: http://www.lymewalkbrampton.ca/

The Faces of Lyme disease need to be seen, to show through sheer numbers how important this issue is. We need doctors to be aware and to do early diagnosis, we need better and more secure testing, we need awareness, and we need protection for doctors and patients alike. Most important: Patients need to be treated in Canada instead of having to spend hundreds of dollars and countless hours to travel to doctors in the USA.

Other stories to read:

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