Lyme disease strategy still needed in Ontario

(VIDEO)

QUEEN'S PARK - Sarah Campbell recognizes Lyme Disease Awareness Month and calls for government action.

Ms. Sarah Campbell: May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Unfortunately, yet another year has passed and nothing has been done by this government to effectively tackle the issue.

When Lyme is not treated early or is left untreated, it is an unspeakably awful disease that wreaks havoc on every system of the human body, eventually resulting in paralysis and death.

Recently, I asked this government what steps it was taking to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat Lyme disease in Ontario in light of a bombshell 10-year tick host study that was released which cited that there are eight species of Lyme-carrying ticks in the Kenora area. Kenora is already known to have the highest infection prevalence ever reported in Canada.

Despite this damning new information and despite the fact that Lyme disease is spreading—we’re anticipating that about 10,000 Canadians will be infected by the year 2020—this government has done nothing other than create a Lyme disease awareness plan.

An awareness plan does a disservice to the families in the Kenora area who are worried about contracting Lyme and it is a slap in the face to many people across Ontario who are suffering with this debilitating disease and who are forced to personally incur thousands of dollars of expensive treatments in the United States.

It has been nearly two and a half years since this House passed my colleague from Algoma–Manitoulin’s motion calling for a concrete and robust strategy to combat Lyme disease.

When will this government stop stalling and throw a lifeline to Lyme’s many victims, present and future?