Canada's NDP

Skip to main content

November 27th, 2014

New Democrats pleased with government support of our Opposition Day motion for Thalidomide victims

The NDP welcomes the confirmation that the Conservative government intends to support our Opposition Day motion to compensate Canadian Thalidomide survivors, who have been fighting to get the care they need for more than five decades.

“Thalidomide is one of the worst drug scandals in the history of Canadian health care. It’s time the survivors of this tragedy get the compensation they deserve, so they can afford the long-term care they require to live with dignity,” said NDP Health Critic Libby Davies (Vancouver East).

MPs will be debating the motion today, and a vote is set to take place next week. The NDP anticipates all-party support for the motion, bringing Parliamentarians from all sides together on this important issue.

Thalidomide was a drug prescribed to pregnant women in the 1960s, resulting in severe birth defects and a lifetime of challenges many of us can hardly imagine. The Canadian government delayed recalling the drug, which remained on the market more than three months after being banned in the UK. An apology was never issued for the harm it caused the many victims, and sufficient compensation was never granted. This motion seeks to right the wrong that was done.

“Now in their 50s, it isn’t too late to offer compensation to the Thalidomide survivors, whose needs continue to grow as they age. It’s time we right the wrong, and provide much-needed support to survivors for the care they need,” added NDP MP Djaouida Sellah (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert).