Throne Speech: Promising commitments to lung health welcomed; more needs to be done

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Lung Association applauds the commitments delivered by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada during today’s Throne Speech. The re-affirmation of the federal government’s commitments to climate change and access to medication align with the Association’s advocacy Asks; however, items such as tobacco control and vaping were regrettably absent.

“We are very supportive of the government’s continued commitment to climate change and access to medication,” said Terry Dean, president and CEO, The Canadian Lung Association.  

“It is our responsibility to create a Canada where all Canadians breathe with ease – both literally as it relates to air pollution and figuratively as it relates to affordability and accessibility of care.”

No Canadian should struggle to have access to medication and his or her location or financial means cannot dictate the care he or she is able to receive.

Likewise, air pollution costs Canada more than 14,000 lives each year and causes countless respiratory difficulties. The Association echoes the government’s urgency in making air pollution a priority.

“Our goal is to create a Canada in which everyone can breathe with ease. Reducing emissions, incentivizing green economy and adding much needed oxygen into the air along with making healthcare and drugs accessible to all will allow us to get significantly closer to that goal.”

However, there are also notable omissions that need to be addressed in order to achieve a breathable Canada. The Association urges the federal government to continue to prioritize tobacco control and protecting youth from vaping.

While tobacco continues to be the number one cause of preventable disease and death in Canada, the re-popularization and accessibility of vaping products threatens to re-popularize smoking behaviour in a new generation. The Association continues to urge the federal government to implement an interim order to bring vaping products under the same types of restrictions that are in place for tobacco products in conjunction with dedicated funding for further research, surveillance, and public education.

The Association also calls for the establishment of an annual cost recovery fee on the tobacco industry that would provide a full reimbursement for the $66 million annual cost of the federal tobacco  strategy.

“We look forward to working with the government to ensure that lung health of all Canadians remains top of mind.”

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Page Last Updated: 05/12/2019