Final push today before a vote that could mean life or death for millions

[OTTAWA] Internationally recognized and Juno award winning recording artist K’Naan met with Brian Masse NDP Industry Critic and the NDP Caucus today to make a final push for support NDP bill C-393. For 7 years Masse has championed this bill and tonight a crucial vote will take place that will mean the difference between life and death for millions.

“We have a choice tonight—we can choose to deliver on a promise made years ago to people in pain and desperate for our help or we can turn our backs on them. C-393 delivers on a promise Canada made long ago to address an unacceptable reality—as we speak people in the poorest countries of the world are suffering and dying from preventable and treatable afflictions like AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.” Masse explained.

C-393 seeks to rectify the shortcomings of the Canadian Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) by streamlining the process whereby affordable medicine reaches the world’s poorest countries. Under CAMR’s current format only one shipment of life-saving drugs has made it to the poor and the sick of the world—Canada has failed to deliver on a promise made over 8 years ago.

In addition to K’Naan former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis are on Parliament Hill today to demonstrate their support for the New Democrat “Medicine for All Bill”. They were joined at a press conference this morning by Fanta Onjoiba of Africans in Partnership against AIDS and Dr. James Orbinski of Dignitas International to urge Members of Parliament to pass Bill C-393.

Masse noted the scope of the support and attention for C-393: “It is incredible the reach and wide ranging support we have seen for this bill—from the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign all the way to rock stars. It is without a doubt a bill that transcends politics and demographics binding people around one simple cause—to help people in need. The credit for continuing the push to pass C-393 belongs to an entire community of people whose determination and righteousness are truly inspirational.”