The internet is a powerful thing. Below is a video made this morning, edited this afternoon, up on YouTube within hours of the event to highlight the need for the passing of Bill C-393 on January 31.
This post, and our quick response, is part of PositiveLite’s continuing coverage of this important issue, most recently here.
Here is what the organizers said about their plans for today . .
"A coalition of students and community members will board a subway car and ‘die’ in unison as part of a flash mob protest in support of Bill C-393. This action is organized to call attention to Canada’s ongoing failure to keep its promise to improve access to HIV medicines in developing countries. Participants - sprawled out on the floor and seats of the subway car- aim to represent the lives lost due to a lack of access to medicines, and to pressure the federal government and all members of Parliament to stay true to their promise as this issue comes up again in the House of Commons.
Currently, two-thirds of people with HIV in low- and middle-income countries – 10 million people -- lack access to affordable life-saving anti-retroviral drugs that are standard care in rich countries such as Canada. In 2004, Parliament unanimously created “Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime”, pledging to help supply developing countries with lower-cost, generic drugs. But it has failed to deliver, and now Parliament must act on the opportunity currently presented before it.
Bill C-393, a private member’s bill before Parliament, attempts to fix the broken CAMR by cutting through the red tape blocking its use. The bill’s “one-licence solution” would allow generic pharmaceutical companies to distribute low cost AIDS medication to multiple countries in need, without having to get multiple licences for each country and each drug order.
Recently, a Parliamentary committee stripped this “one-licence solution”, the core change needed to CAMR, from Bill C-393. If Canada is serious about keeping the promise made by Parliament six years ago, to help increase global access to medicines, this key provision must be restored by the House of Commons as it resumes debate on the bill tomorrow, Monday February 1st.
Monday, January 31st, Parliament reconvenes and Bill C-393 will be one of the first issues discussed.
Keep the promise: repair Bill C-393 and fix CAMR. Millions of people need medicines now, they can't afford to wait; and we, as concerned Canadians, won't stand by while they are forced to do so."