To the Editor:

When Elizabeth May’s Private Members Bill C-442 received all party support and was passed unanimously by the Senate, Lyme sufferers all across Canada rejoiced. When a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Conference was held in Ottawa in May of 2016, many Lyme sufferers, some quite ill, made their way there and spoke up. Many others spoke up via the phone. By the end of the Conference, many of us had some hope that changes would be made to the way Lyme disease and co-infections are dealt with in Canada.

Unfortunately, the Draft Federal Framework on Lyme Disease, which was released on Feb. 7, showed us otherwise. The Draft Framework is inadequate. It does not resolve any of the issues being experienced by those being bitten by a disease carrying black-legged tick. In this regard, several initiatives have been started as improvements need to be made in how all stages of Lyme and co-infections are diagnosed and treated in this country. Lyme also needs to be included as a potential cause for long-term disability. There are also many that have been diagnosed with other things. Without adequate testing, or knowledgeable Doctors, many are suffering needlessly. Should this really be happening? Considerable science-based medicine now available. What (or who) is holding this issue back?

It has been said that by 2020, 80 per cent of Canadians will be living in a Lyme endemic area. Let’s do something.

It is not expected that you do them all (unless you really want to).

There are several initiatives underway at this time.

– A petition has been created via Change.org in response to the Draft Federal Framework on Lyme – https://www.change.org/p/minister-philpott-ticking-lyme-bom…. Please sign and share.

There are more than 32,000 supporters of the petition so far. Are you one of them? If not, you should be. Just read some of the comments to realize that Lyme in Canada is not rare, easy to diagnose and easy to treat. Do you really want you or a loved one to be next without Doctors suitable trained to diagnose and adequately treat all stages of Lyme and co-infections?

I’m not sure what number will make those in charge finally sit up and listen so let’s keep the petition going until they have no choice but to do so!

– A Twitter account called TickingLymeBomb (@TickingLyme) has been set up to blast tweets about the above-noted petition. Anyone with a twitter account please follow this account and retweet. Please ensure you use the hash tag #tickinglymebomb.

– There is a Lyme Letters Campaign underway – http://lymehope.weebly.com/lyme-letters-canada.html. Please consider writing a letter to the Federal Minister of Health, copy to your provincial Minister of Health, for this worthwhile cause.

– Comments are being received until March 8 on the Draft Federal Framework on Lyme – https://www.canada.ca/…/consultation-draft-federal-framework…. The Draft Framework basically advises what areas need work. There is nothing as to what will be done in the short and long terms as was discussed at the Federal Framework on Lyme Conference in May of 2016. You just have to watch a few of the Conference videos on the CanLyme YouTube page to know that the Draft Framework is seriously lacking.

– Initiatives are being organized across Canada for Sat., June 3. Each province could use more help with organizing. Each province needs for folks to get out on the 3 to support. Be VOCAL! More info can be found on the VOCAL – Voices of Canadians About Lyme” Facebook page or you can contact me – https://www.facebook.com/groups/657758067709230/.

– We need to get this info to the mainstream public. There are many suffering that are not on social media. If you have a website, an email list, a bulletin board, or other means to help out, please do so.

Let’s be vocal!

Thank you.

Donna Lugar

Nova Scotia Representative, Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, CanLyme