Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the hon. member for Vancouver East took a moment or two to put the question so that I could pull myself together. I am quite overwhelmed and very grateful.

I appreciate that there were changes made at committee. I do not believe that they take anything away from the thrust of the bill, but as with any piece of legislation, we will have to remain vigilant.

I know that the current Minister of Health is very committed to this, but the bill will require initiatives from the Minister of Health to hold a conference. That conference will gather expertise from the health and medical community and the Lyme disease patient community and, of course, engage at some level the federal, provincial, and territorial ministers for health.

One amendment changed that process from a six-month mandatory window from the point of passage to twelve months in order to incorporate and provide flexibility for the fact that Bill C-442 would mandate ministerial consultations at a very significant level.

We just have to commit that there is goodwill here. There is an intention to make a difference for people. We have all learned a great deal from the Lyme disease patient community. There are people whose lives have been cut short. They cannot do the job they used to do.

One of the most heartbreaking cases in my own riding is that of a young man who wrote to me and who I saw on Boxing Day. He had not been well enough to come down the corridor on Christmas morning to watch his girls open up their Christmas presents.

The sense of urgency is with us. In the spirit of goodwill, we will monitor this bill and keep pushing in a friendly fashion. We will not let the bill just sit on a shelf. I believe that is the motivation of the Minister of Health, as it is for my hon. colleague, the official opposition health critic.