April 11, 2013

OTTAWA – Conservatives are hurting Northern Canadian communities and further isolating Canada on the world stage by withdrawing from the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS).

“They didn’t want to listen to the food rapporteur, now, they don’t want to cooperate with other governments on the important and unique health challenges our northern communities face,” said NDP Health Critic Libby Davies. “Canada’s withdrawal means that Northern Canadians will no longer benefit from this important source of information and cooperation on tackling problems such as the major spread of tuberculosis, alcohol and drug addiction as well as maintaining proper nutrition.”

The Northern Dimension is a critical forum for the study and promotion of healthy living and social well-being in Northern communities. It is a political initiative of the EU, Iceland, Norway, and Russia, along with multilateral partners such as the World Bank and the Arctic Council. Canada and the US have observer status. Canada’s withdrawal from the health and social well-being program comes as Northern Dimension tries to promote sustainable development by improving peoples’ health and social well-being.

“This marks the latest move by the Conservatives to further isolate Canada internationally only weeks after they unilaterally abandoned a UN convention on droughts and desertification,” said New Democrat Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar. “Sadly, this time they are hurting Canada’s good name by refusing to even pay their outstanding dues. Conservatives’ behaviour is embarrassing Canada on the international stage.”