Community Papers

Grannies support Bill C-398

Comox Valley GRAN (Grandmothers Advocacy Network) was formed to work for changes in Canadian policy.

They want to help the many, many grandmothers in Africa who are caring for millions of AIDS orphaned children. They rallied in Courtenay on Nov. 1 to support Bill C-398 that is now before Parliament.

As part of the rally, they delivered a Basket of Good Wishes full of toys for children and cards and letters in support of health and well-being for everyone, not just the First World.

Bill C-398 would make it possible for affordable generic drugs, manufactured in Canada, to be exported in the event of a genuine medical emergency. The AIDS epidemic in Africa is just such a medical emergency.

The changes brought about by this bill would not cost the government of Canada or Canadian citizens a single dollar, and yet it would create a valuable new source of the affordable medicines desperately needed in the hardest hit areas of Africa.

Scientists studying HIV/AIDS have determined that if the anti-retroviral drugs are widely available, the transmission rate of AIDS will drop by as much as 96 per cent. That puts the eradication of AIDS within reach within a single generation.

But we need affordable medicines. And we need the political will to stand up to the pharmaceutical firms that oppose this bill.

So far, Bill C-398 has received support from all parties including many Conservative backbenchers.

To show your support for Bill C-398, go to www.medicinesforall.ca and send a letter to Parliament. Or write to Prime Minister Harper and John Duncan and let them know that you care about Bill C-398.

— Comox Valley GRAN

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