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November 23rd, 2014

NDP urges compensation for Thalidomide survivors

The NDP is urging the government to provide fair compensation to survivors of the Thalidomide tragedy – victims who have struggled for decades with the tragic consequences of using this drug, which had been approved by the Canadian government as a safe drug for use by pregnant women to deal with morning sickness.

“For over 50 years, Canadian victims of Thalidomide, and their families, have dealt with severe side effects, pain, and hardship – suffering that has mostly been invisible to Canadian society. It is time that this changed,” said Libby Davies (Vancouver East), NDP Health Critic.

Canada was slow to pull this drug from the market, leading to a larger number of Canadian victims. And while many countries, including Germany and the United Kingdom, provided ongoing compensation and support to Thalidomide survivors, Canada’s government failed to follow suit.

“We have tabled a motion calling on the government to provide the victims with the support they need as they continue to deal with the tragic consequences of using this drug,” concluded Davies. “It is time for Canada to do the right thing and I hope we can count on the support of all parties to get Thalidomide survivors the help they deserve.”

The text of the NDP’s motion:

That, in the opinion of the House: (a) full support should be offered to survivors of thalidomide‎; (b) the urgent need to defend the rights and dignity of those affected by thalidomide should be recognized; and (c) the government should ‎provide support to survivors, as requested by the Thalidomide Survivors Taskforce.