APR 19, 2017 — Last week, my friend Sue Faber and I (Jennifer Kravis) packed up our bags, and we took a trip to Ottawa, for the purpose of bringing the voices of 40,000 Canadians to our Government.
In January, Sue Faber started the Lyme Letters Campaign, calling on Canadians affected by Lyme disease to write a letter to federal Health Minister Jane Philpott, and send them to Sue, so she could collect them, and ensure they were brought to the attention of and delivered to, Minister Philpott.
She has over 2,300 letters. We also have just under 40,000 signatures on this Petition, and over 10,000 comments. We have been so moved by the messages we have received, we felt we had to do everything in our power to ensure these voices are heard beyond the two of us.
So - we booked a trip to Ottawa last week on short notice, with nothing planned, and no meetings booked. Our plan was to sit on Parliament Hill for 2 days and do everything in our power to ensure your voices were heard.
It was a fantastic success – we were able to secure meetings with 13 different MPs and/or their assistants, from ALL parties – Green Party, NDP, Conservative and Liberal. All the MPs we met with are listed at the end of this note. If any are YOUR MP, I would recommend a follow up meeting or phone call with them, to reinforce the messages we relayed. In terms of the Framework on Lyme disease, it’s not clear that your MP will be able to do anything. But, this issue is only going to get more and more serious, so it is critical that representatives of ALL parties are aware of what is going on. Our message was that this is an urgent health crisis, and must rise above partisan politics so that all concerned MPs can work together on this issue and raise a united voice.
This Petition is a very powerful tool. We were able to search the comments by city, and pull out a summary for every MP of just THEIR constituent voices. Calgary for example, has over 300 comments to date! We also gave them a copy of the full comments, which is several inches thick, double sided.
I’m attaching our video summarizing our trip and what we learned. This will take you to the LymeHope facebook page and please click “Follow” to receive our continued updates.
We are also attaching below the letter that MP Kevin Waugh, PC (Saskatoon) wrote to Minister Philpott on our behalf. We are so grateful, and plan to follow up and make a similar request to each MP we met.
Unfortunately, despite numerous requests for a meeting, Minster Philpott has not yet responded to us. We did however, meet with her assistant, which was fantastic as I’m sure her assistant would have briefed her afterwards.
Every MP and assistant we met, was visibly moved by what we had to say. Our biggest takeaway is that a face to face meeting with your MP is very valuable, we discovered that despite best efforts to keep up, they receive so many emails you cannot guarantee your email or letter has been read.
Sue and I are considering a second trip to Ottawa to continue sharing these powerful voices. It’s clear that many MPs really have no idea how serious or widespread this disease is.
We would like to send out a special thanks to Tamara House, Rose Lazzara, Carrie Weiss, Lesley Fleming, Kristy Giles, Suzanne Shillington, Tiffanie Gallant and her mom for coming out and standing in the cold with us, bringing lunch, visiting to say hi and helping this trip to be a success.
Please continue sharing this Petition and urging others to sign and comment. Thank you for your continued support and interest.
Jennifer Kravis & Sue Faber
The Lyme Moms
MPs we Met:
MP Elizabeth May, Green Party, Saanich-Gulf Islands, BC
MP Ed Fast, PC, Abbotsford, BC
MP Neil Ellis, Lib, Bay of Quinte, ON
MP Karina Gould, Lib, Burlington, ON
MP John Brassard, PC, Barrie, ON
MP Karen Ludwig, Lib, New Brunswick
MP Don Davies, NDP (Health Critic), Vancouver, BC
MP Len Webber, PC, Calgary, AB
MP Raj Saini, Lib, Kitchener-Waterloo, ON
MP Dan Ruimi, Lib, Pitt-Meadows-Maple Ridge, BC
MP Kevin Waugh, PC, Saskatoon-Grasswood, SK
Assistant to MP Mark Gerretson, Lib, Kingston and the Islands, ON
Assistant to MP Colin Fraser, Lib, Nova Scotia
Assistant to Health Minister Jane Philpott, Lib, Markham-Stouffville, ON