February 16, 2016
NDP Statement on the Zika Virus Outbreak
NDP Health Critic Don Davies made the following statement after requesting an Emergency Debate in the House of Commons on the Zika Virus Outbreak:
“Today, I made a formal request to the Speaker of the House of Commons for an Emergency Debate in Parliament on the Zika virus outbreak.
Canadians are alarmed by reports of the “explosive” spread of the Zika virus throughout the Western Hemisphere. Over 23 countries are now reporting Zika transmission and the World Health Organization has called it a “public health emergency of global concern.”
Possible links exist between this mosquito-borne virus and two serious health conditions: microcephaly, a birth defect causing abnormally small heads in newborn infants resulting in brain damage, and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a complex neurological disorder affecting individuals of all ages. Already, several Canadians have contracted the virus while travelling to Zika-hit countries, and reports suggest the virus could be transmitted through sexual contact and blood transfusions.
With every day that passes, Canadians are asking more questions about what the Zika outbreak means to them, how to protect themselves and what the Canadian government is doing to keep the public safe. I believe that Parliament should respond quickly to this public health threat facing Canadians.
While I am disappointed that the Speaker ruled against my request for an Emergency Debate, I am reassured by his decision to leave the door open to a future discussion by MPs on this pressing topic.”