For World AIDS Day, members of the three
main parties made statements to mark the day. Note the tone in the various statements
– especially the self-congratulatory tone of the Conservative statement.
Davies (NDP): Mr Speaker, on this World AIDS Day
we remember those who have died of AIDS and express hope for the 34 million
people who are still living with HIV/AIDS as the rate of new infections and
AIDS-related deaths continue to decline. On behalf of the NDP, we want to thank
the many organizations and people in Canada whose dedicated and inspiring work
has helped here at home and abroad. Advocates on the front line are providing
critical services and education that makes a real difference to the lives of
those living with HIV/AIDS. They need to know now that their funding is secure.
We also express our concern that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS faces its
greatest challenge yet. Funding to this organization has been drastically cut
due to the global financial crisis, and it is more important than ever that
Canada uphold its commitment to this effort. The potential to end the AIDS
crisis is within our collective grasp. This is a challenge that, if we face it
together, I believe we can overcome.
Joyce Murray (LPC): Mr Speaker, over
the past decade, British Columbia has begun to turn the tide on HIV and AIDS.
The key has been treatment as prevention, a strategy developed by the BC Centre
for Excellence in HIV/AIDS that calls for widespread testing for HIV and immediate
treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy. New evidence shows that
the treatment as prevention strategy is so successful it could stop the spread
of AIDS. Think of that. In our lifetime, zero new infections. Expanding the
treatment as prevention strategy is critical to curbing the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The pivotal first test is in Swaziland, where a shocking one in four adults are
infected. The world is committed to cutting Swaziland's new infections in half
over 10 years, but it needs funding. Canada must pitch in and support this
pilot project. What better time than on World AIDS Day for Canada to honour its
pledges to the under-funded Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Treatment as prevention
is an innovative, made-in-BC beacon of hope. It is time for Canada to finally
support this strategy in Canada and globally so we can move toward a world
Ron Cannan (CPC): Mr Speaker, today is
World AIDS Day. Canadians, my family included, will be wearing a red ribbon to
acknowledge those who have died and the courage and spirit of those who are
living with or are affected by HIV/AIDS. We are proud of the work our
government has accomplished to help combat HIV/AIDS here in Canada and around
the world. This year our government is investing over $72 million to support
prevention, care and support programs for HIV/AIDS across Canada. Today we
announced $17 million for five new innovative research teams dedicated to
accelerating the development of a safe and effective HIV vaccine. Partnered
with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada is a world leader in our
work towards the development of a safe, effective, affordable and globally
accessible HIV vaccine. It is also Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week. Aboriginal
people continue to be identified as one of the most HIV-vulnerable groups in
Canada. As we have heard, working together we can stop HIV and AIDS.