Imagine moving from one province to another and finding that the costs of your prescription medications aren’t covered in your new home. While the Canada Health Act provides for comparable levels of medical care from province to province, the same is not true when it comes to paying for life-saving medicines, including HIV meds...NDP health critic Libby Davies says if the Martin government had attached funding conditions for a pharmacare strategy back in 2004, the Harper government wouldn’t be dragging its feet now. Still, she says, the Conservative government should move forward on the matter now. “I think it’s very unfair, and in fact one could argue that it’s very discriminatory and completely contrary to the Canada Health Act, that depending on where you live or on your income, that you may or may not get the drugs that you need for HIV/AIDS,” says Davies. “To me, that’s structural discrimination. It’s more evidence of why we’ve got to fix this, and we shouldn’t be waiting until 2014.”
Links to news articles written by or about Libby Davies.
There is now enough evidence to proceed with clinical trials for the controversial vein-opening therapy for multiple sclerosis known as the Zamboni procedure, the federal government says...NDP health critic Libby Davies said the announcement is a "step forward" but agreed that it should have been made months ago. "It's taken the government an incredibly long time to even get to this point," she said. Davies also said this won't put an end to the political pressure MPs in Ottawa have been under to help patients access the treatment. She said the health minister should disclose all relevant information related to this decision, and provide more details about how the clinical trials are going to operate, and how much money will be dedicated to them.
OTTAWA - The Conservative government will fund clinical trials of a controversial multiple sclerosis treatment -- often referred to as the "liberation treatment" -- after it heard new scientific information this month...NDP health critic Libby Davies said she expects public and political pressure to mount because people want more details about when trials will begin.
The federal government is looking to put the debate over a controversial multiple sclerosis treatment to rest once and for all. Faced with sharply divided opinions among medical experts and intense lobbying efforts from politicians and patients – many of whom have gone abroad for the treatment – Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced Wednesday that the government will fund clinical trials of a vein-widening procedure that’s being used to treat the symptoms of MS..."I think there is some disappointment that it’s taken the government so long to move on this,” said Libby Davies, NDP health critic.
Opposition parties are criticizing the Harper government’s latest budget, which contains few changes from the fiscal plan introduced before the federal election this spring...“I really feel like they’ve kind of ignored these very basic quality of life issues that more and more people are facing and struggling with.” The Vancouver East MP said health care and housing are among those key issues. “I’m hugely disappointed and actually hopping mad that they just don’t get it about housing,” said Davies. “It’s not like the money isn’t there, because they’re giving away billion in these corporate tax cuts,” she added. “It’s all about how the pie’s made up and how it’s divided.”
OTTAWA — If Canada wants to improve its health-care system, it should start by better organizing all the bits and pieces of crucial information that confound doctors, patients and administrators, says the Health Council of Canada. The council is responsible for monitoring progress on a 10-year federal-provincial health accord that infused provincial systems with $41 billion in federal money in 2004. In its latest evaluation released Tuesday, the council said that many provinces have laid the groundwork for better-quality health care in some areas. But progress is patchy, varying greatly province by province. Information on the system's health as a whole — let alone that of individual patients — is unreliable...The report is a call for a stronger federal role in health care, especially in pharmaceutical strategy, said NDP health critic Libby Davies. "The federal government has been absent," Davies said. "The report expresses concern about the patchwork effect. Some provinces have made progress on some issues, other provinces on other things. But what is it that holds it together? It's got to be the federal government."
OTTAWA - Pumping more cash into the health-care system won’t fix it without better planning and clear goals, the Health Council of Canada said Tuesday. Its latest report card on the health accords struck by the feds and the provinces in 2003 and 2004 indicates gains made in the past seven years can be tied directly to governments setting specific targets and following through on those commitments...NDP health critic Libby Davies is encouraged by gains highlighted in the report, but says the Conservatives have dropped the ball on pharmacare. “The glaring issue is the lack of leadership and participation of the federal government,” she said.
OTTAWA- Canada's official Opposition has unveiled a 42-member strong front bench that features a large Quebec contingent, an impressive number of women and a mixture of old and new faces. Vancouver's Libby Davies stays on as an NDP deputy leader but will also be the new health critic... Moving a party stalwart such as Davies to health -it was relative newcomer Megan Leslie's beat previously -is indicative of the importance the position holds for the NDP. Layton said Davies will lead the call for more doctors and nurses and monitor negotiations surrounding the new health accord the government will need to strike with the provinces by 2014.
OTTAWA - Opposition leader Jack Layton rolled out his starting lineup Thursday -- a squad he says can compete against Prime Minister Stephen Harper's front bench...The NDP says its shadow cabinet mixes "new energy with experience," but the party is relying heavily on members of its old guard to manage high-profile positions. As House leader, Mulcair oversees the party's day-to-day operations in Parliament. With 59 MPs under his watch, the Quebec lieutenant is also co-deputy leader alongside veteran Libby Davies. Layton says Davies' health file is very important because negotiations for a new health accord are set to get underway in 2014.
With a large caucus alongside her, NDP MP Libby Davies says she is excited to be returning to the Hill. “I’m looking forward to our first caucus meeting, to meet many of the new MPs, but particularly the young folks,” she says. “I’m so excited about the role they’re going to play, and energize the place, and maybe turn Parliament on its head, which would be a good thing. I think it’s going to be pretty fantastic.”
After all the drama and tension of a landmark election, Canadians probably needed a little comic interlude. The NDP provided one, although quite unintentionally. They served up the whimsical story of Pierre-Luc Dusseault, 19, whose upset victory in Sherbrooke, Que., made him the youngest MP ever, and meant he’d have to forgo his summer job on a golf course. Then there were the three McGill University students who will have to suspend their studies after surprising even themselves by capturing Quebec seats...Layton spent much of his first post-election news conference fending off questions about the scant experience of these and other rookies in his much enlarged Quebec contingent. With the collapse of the Bloc Québécois, an astonishing 58 NDP MPs from the province were elected on May 2, up from just one, Montreal’s Thomas Mulcair, before the election. But if all the attention on Layton’s youth brigade suggested an NDP caucus characterized by dewy-eyed campus idealism, that’s a misleading impression. In fact, the front benches of the second party in the House—traditionally seen as a government-in-waiting—will feature many tough-minded former union leaders. “We have some pretty major labour folks,” says veteran Vancouver NDP MP Libby Davies. “That’s a connection to a very solid base of activism, an understanding of politics and how it works."
OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada is hearing arguments in Ottawa Thursday for and against the operation of Vancouver's Insite heroin-injection centre...The Conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to extend the exemption in 2008 and the group operating the facility has been successfully fighting the decision in lower courts. But NDP Drug Critic, and MP for Vancouver-East Libby Davies, says the facility - the first of its kind in Canada - saves lives. "I find it appalling that the federal government has fought Insite every step of the way." Davies said. "The Conservatives are so rigid on their own ideological position, that they refuse to look at the overwhelming scientific evidence, more than 20 studies, that show Insite is part of the solution."
"This is going to change so many things," veteran New Democrat Libby Davies said in the aftermath of her party's breakthrough on election night. "I think it's a whole new ball game. It's going to be a whole new kind of politics." That could be true (please let it be true), but a number of things have to change radically, starting with the way the media leap on every unscripted comment, from every politician, declare it a gaffe, then set about finding other politicians to denounce it.
Vancouver housing advocates say they’re planning a campaign over the next month to press for year-round funding of temporary homeless shelters in the city. Vancouver East MP Libby Davies and Vancouver city councillor Ellen Woodsworth joined a crowd of advocates in front of the closed Fraser Street temporary shelter today (May 6).
Davies said she was honoured to be Vancouver East's MP and proud of NDP leader Jack Layton's successful campaign. "Who can believe it? We are the official opposition," she said during her victory speech. "And who can believe what's happened in Quebec? It's incredible. Change is taking place. I think it is about new politics. Canadians are so sick and tired of the scandals and the games and the insider stuff. They wanted a leader they could trust. They wanted a leader that they know will follow through on commitments and hold the Conservatives to account. I can commit to you today that we will be the best official opposition that you've every seen in this country." Davies added that the election results highlight "more than ever" that the electoral system needs to change to better reflect the will of voters.
OTTAWA - With an election call possibly just weeks away, the Conservative government has suddenly found itself on its heels after devastating rulings from the Speaker that found the Tories have breached the privileges of MPs...NDP House leader Libby Davies said her party welcomed the rulings, noting the finding on costs is particularly important. "I think we have seen a government that has behaved in a very arrogant way on so many occasions, that they are withholding basic information that members of Parliament were elected to deal with. The ruling upholds that basic premise that in order for us to do our job, to represent the public interest, we need to have full information."
OTTAWA - The Harper government has lost two key rulings by the Speaker, who ruled it has breached the privileges of MPs. The political setback delivered by Speaker Peter Milliken stood in the House Wednesday afternoon is bound to heighten partisan tension and increase speculation about a spring election..."We're going to look at the budget when it comes forward," said NDP House leader Libby Davies on Wednesday. "If there are confidence motions that come forward we'll obviously discuss that very seriously in our caucus."
OTTAWA — The Harper government has lost two key rulings by the Speaker revolving around whether it has breached the privileges of MPs, and the political setback is bound to heighten partisan tension and increase speculation about a spring election...NDP House leader Libby Davies said Wednesday that there are a lot of rumours and speculation about what could happen in the coming days. “For us, the NDP, we’re acting in a very responsible way. We’re going to look at the budget when it comes forward.” “I mean, if there are confidence motions that come forward we’ll obviously discuss that very seriously in our caucus and make a decision on what we’ll do but we’re not into the speculation game.”
OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper leads an anti-democratic government that cannot be trusted, his political opponents charged in the wake of a pair of key rulings Wednesday that could precipitate a general election that could be called as early as March 23...NDP deputy leader Libby Davies said her party will also attack the Conservatives for abusing the democratic process in a spring election."Whenever the election is, (this) really strikes at the heart of the credibility of this government and whether or not you can trust Stephen Harper," Davies said.
OTTAWA - K’naan, the Juno Award-winning musician whose song Wavin’ Flag was Coca Cola’s anthem for the 2010 World Cup, will be on Parliament Hill on Wednesday to urge MPs to pass Bill C-393. He will be joined by Stephen Lewis, the former United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, and James Orbinski, the founder of Dignitas International, a medical humanitarian organization...Bill C-393 was introduced by now-retired MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis but was essentially orphaned when she left federal politics to take a run at the Winnipeg mayor’s job. All bills need sponsors as they move through the various stages of debate and, if the Conservatives – who oppose the legislation – had refused to let it change hands, it eventually would have died. NDP House Leader Libby Davies persuaded the other parties earlier this year to allow her NDP colleague Paul Dewar to be recognized as the bill’s new sponsor, a move that kept it alive.