Canada must not sign away our sovereignty on health care, but that is exactly what some of Canada’s leaders are trying to do. And there is tremendous pressure from around the world to make us do it.
The International Treaty on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (WHO Pandemic Treaty) is due to be signed in May 2024. A meeting of WTO members was held in December 2021, and a second meeting is set for no later than August 1, 2022, when the wording of the treaty will be drafted.
The treaty includes 190 countries and would be legally binding. The treaty defines and classifies what is considered a pandemic and this could consist of broad classifications including an increase in cancers, heart conditions, strokes, etc. If a pandemic is declared, the WHO takes over the global health management of the pandemic.
This treaty has very serious implications for our national health sovereignty. Under this treaty, Canada would essentially be surrendering our national health sovereignty to the WHO when it comes to responding to pandemics.
I am not opposed to working with our allies around the world when it comes to fighting pandemics, but there are many reasons why Canada absolutely cannot sign this treaty.
First of all, to even consider signing on to an international treaty before holding an inquiry into the consequences of our own response to COVID-19 is foolish. We must learn the lessons from the past two years and establish better best practices for the future.
Of even more concern, if this treaty is enshrined, the WHO would be in full control over what gets called a pandemic. They could dictate how our doctors can respond, which drugs can and can’t be used, or which vaccines are approved. We would end up with a one-size-fits-all approach for the entire world. Canada is a vast and diverse country with regional differences. A one-size-fits-all response to a health crisis doesn’t even work across Canada, let alone the entire globe.
We should also have serious reservations about the changing role of the WHO. The original goal was for sovereign nations to pool their resources to help combat malaria, Ebola, and other health issues largely harming those in the developing world.
Instead, the focus has not only changed to include pandemic responses in sovereign nations like our own, but a major part of their funds now come from private donors, like the Gates Foundation. It’s not controversial to say that private donors come with private interests.
We must be vigilant in protecting our healthcare system from potential private interests, and we must maintain sovereignty over our pandemic response.
It is vital that Canada has no part of this treaty, that we develop our own pandemic strategy, and that we invest in our healthcare system to create robust pandemic response infrastructure.
If Canada is to take the lead in standing up to the WHO and those who would like to see a one-size-fits-all global health response, it will take backbone and experience.As a lawyer with international experience, I am best suited to address this global encroachment on our sovereignty and to protect the things that make us truly unique – including the independence of our health care system.
Do you agree? Let me know here!