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November 25th, 2014

Parliament will debate compensation for thalidomide survivors

Parliament will debate an NDP Opposition Day motion this Thursday calling for compensation for thalidomide survivors.

“Victims of thalidomide have waited for over fifty years to get the support they deserve,” said NDP health critic Libby Davies (Vancouver East). “I hope we can count on the support of all parties as parliament debates NDP’s motion in support of thalidomide survivors.”

In 1961, the Government of Canada approved the sale of thalidomide as a safe drug to treat nausea for pregnant women. The drug had tragic consequences for many families. The government has never apologized for the devastation it caused. After decades of discussing compensation, it provided an inadequate one-time payment to survivors.

“Canada’s thalidomide survivors are considerably worse off than their peers in other countries,” said NDP MP Djaouida Sellah (Saint-Bruno--Saint-Hubert). “Parliament now has a real chance to do the right thing and support the victims.”

Full text of NDP Opposition Day motion follows:

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.