Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, delivered the Federal budget bill on March 22. The expectation is high that debate on the bill will lead to a vote of "no confidence" and trigger a general election.
Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) Bill C-393
On March 9, 2011, Canadian music artist K'naan, former UN Ambassador for Aids Stephen Lewis, and prominent NGOs (MSF, Oxfam) celebrated the passage of Private Members Bill c-393, Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) through the House of Commons. The Bill amends and simplifies CAMR which was established to enable Canadian generic drug manufacturers to supply affordable versions of patent protected drugs for the treatment of AIDS and other infectious diseases to third world countries. To date CAMR has been a disappointment. Navigating the complex and cumbersome engagement required with Government and brand name pharmaceutical companies has been next to impossible. Only on one occasion has a generic manufacturer successfully navigated the complexities of CAMR. The Bill's supporters have created momentum; however, successful fast passage through the Senate prior to an election call is unlikely and the Bill could die on the order paper.