Elizabeth May’s Act to create a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease passes House of Commons

Elizabeth May’s Private Members Bill, C-442, An Act respecting a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease, has passed through 3rd reading with the unanimous consent of the House of Commons. Bill C-442 will now be referred to the Senate, where it will be sponsored by Senator Janis Johnson and taken up in the fall.

First introduced in June 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 their experts, in order to promote greater awareness and prevention of Lyme disease, to address the challenges of timely diagnosis and treatment, and to push for further research.

“I am immensely thankful for the support of my colleagues on all sides of the House in helping us to pass this bill,” said the Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands. “Today marks an important step toward better diagnosis and treatment for Lyme disease sufferers in Canada. Lyme disease is a growing problem in this country, and we urgently need health ministers, medical experts and patient advocates working together to find solutions.”

Although it is rare for Private Member’s Bills to clear the House of Commons, Bill C-442 has received support from all parties in the House, in addition to the Canadian Medical Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation.

Lyme disease is an infectious disease that is carried and transmitted by ticks. During the Health Committee’s study of Bill C-442, the Public Health Agency of Canada provided expert testimony forecasting a possible 10,000 new incidences of Lyme disease in Canada each year by 2020.