Member of Parliament Georgina Jolibois (Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River released this statement to mark Alzheimer Awareness Month:

"The NDP has always called for better support for Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and their families including northerners. In 2012 former NDP MP Claude Gravelle introduced the bill C-356 – the National Strategy for Dementia Act. Unfortunately, his bill was defeated in May 2015 by a single vote: 140 to 139. The bill was opposed by a majority of Conservative MPs. The current government needs to advance health care while undoing decades of Conservative and Liberal cuts.

Stephen Harper left important health issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease without resources or leadership, and the new Liberal government has not done anything to correct it, this is just as the number of Canadians living with the conditions is expected to double. The NDP’s vision for health care, where you need it, when you need it, includes a major effort to lower the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia on Canadians and their families.

This Liberal government should and must work with provinces and territories, and invest money to create a national Alzheimer’s and Dementia Strategy that must:

  • Support screening, early diagnosis and treatment to help slow progression of the conditions;
  • Improve resources for newly diagnosed patients and their families to access needed care;
  • Fund additional Alzheimer’s and dementia research, ensuring that activities are being coordinated to maximize resources and results.

To ensure the effectiveness of a national strategy, a Canadian Alzheimer’s and Dementia Partnership should be created. This will bring governments, researchers, the Alzheimer Society and others together to maximize support for patients and families, while reversing the damage of consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments.

The NDP will continue to call for a bold public health care strategy for Canadians. "