Elizabeth May presents a petition on COVID-19 ‘long haulers’

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2021-04-13 10:19 [p.5473]

Mr. Speaker, I present a petition started by a number of my constituents, but with wide support across Canada.

It deals with the critical ongoing health issue of thousands of Canadians who experienced COVID-19 and are now considered not infectious, but they certainly are not recovered. They are sometimes referred to as long haulers. Sometimes people refer to the illnesses they suffer as long COVID. The petitioners urge the House to consider the many ways in which they are not able to access help or benefits. One of the problems, of course, is referring to someone who no longer has active COVID as recovered. It is completely inaccurate.

The petitioners ask, in brief, for the following things. They ask that the Government of Canada recognize this is a health condition with serious implications, and that it be labelled as such so that people who are suffering have somewhere to go to identify their problem; they ask that there be a registry so that Canadians from coast to coast to coast can be accurately counted, and so we know the extent of the problem; they ask for research into how they can be treated and helped; and they ask for clinics for people who are suffering, because the health effects range from mental confusion and significant damage to organs to being unable to work for months. In fact, some people have been unable to work for more than a year at this point.

The petitioners ask the Government of Canada to move, to help and to provide much-needed medical assistance and financial support to people suffering from COVID many months after they are no longer infectious.