Last spring when families met with local MPs Dean Allison and Rick Dykstra, there was little thought that 10 months later, Parliamentarians would be debating how the federal government may come to the assistance of Canadians diagnosed with anaphylaxis.
Yesterday, however, not only did Members of Parliament discuss anaphylaxis in the House of Commons, but they also came together to urge the federal government to consider tangible steps towards reducing the risk of anaphylactic attacks and raising the general public awareness of severe allergies. The House of Commons debates can be found here:
This debate was significant for three reasons.
- There was support from all political Parties and statements from each, acknowledging the seriousness of anaphylaxis in Canada.
- There was recognition that the motion had a clear set of five action items that required consideration by MPs and government officials.
- There was a commitment by MPs to work together to advance the five policy areas raised during the debate.
Niagara-area MP Allison, who moved the debate motion, has been working with a group of Canadian families from across Canada to identify realistic measures that can help people with anaphylaxis. This group – the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI) – developed a five point policy agenda, which today is the focus of discussions with MPs and senior bureaucrats in Ottawa. (Here is the five point agenda backgrounder: http://www.nask.ca/files/5-Point%20Policy%20Items%20re%20Motion%20546.pdf )
In the weeks and months ahead, CAI supporters will continue to work with MPs and advance the discussions around safer environments for children and all Canadians who must cope with life-threatening allergies. (Stay up to date on the CAI awareness efforts on Facebook.)
IN THE NEWS – Niagara This Week on the Parliamentary debate – “Motion pushes for federal allergies plan”