Research must follow scientific process

In response to a letter of March 2 I want to assure constituents that there are no dirty tricks being played by our federal government.

To the editor:

In response to Malcolm Roberts’ letter of March 2 (Parliament Dallies on Dirty Tricks while Canadians’ Health Detioriorates), I want to assure constituents that there are no dirty tricks being played by our federal government, especially when it comes to CCSVI and multiple sclerosis trials in Canada.

Our government is fully committed to supporting MS sufferers and their families and I can attest to the fact that not one parliamentarian took the vote on Bill C-280 lightly, knowing the struggles that Canadian families face as a result of MS.

When we first heard of the CCSVI treatment, a method proposed by Dr. Paolo Zamboni for imaging the veins in the neck and brain to look for blockages, I received a number of e-mails and telephone calls about the procedure. People were understandably anxious to learn when the treatment would be available in Canada and welcomed the news that Canada was moving forward with clinical trials announced in June 2011.

Since then, under the auspices of the Minister of Health, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has worked with its Scientific Expert Working Group to develop the terms of reference for the trial and, in November 2011, began the process of selecting, through a competitive and rigorous peer-review process, a research team to conduct the clinical trial.

The selected research team, which requires approval on their research protocol by their Institutional Ethics Review Board, is expected to be announced this month.  At that time we will have a better idea of how many patients will be recruited and where the study will be conducted.

Understandably for some, the process is not moving fast enough and C-280 raised their hopes that the trials could move faster regardless of the advice of our own scientific community and those working in the field internationally.

As one constituent who lives with MS wrote: “any federal dollars for research into any disease has to follow the established pathways for research. The current hysterical response to CCSVI is no reason to circumvent these proven procedures.”

I personally have friends and family who suffer from MS and I want nothing more than a cure to be available to them and all Canadians as soon as possible.  With respect to C-280 however, my colleagues and I have an ethical obligation to put patients’ safety first.

I continue to show my support for MS patients, their families and caregivers by speaking regularly with constituents and seeking advice from physicians within our community and in caucus.  Last week I also supported the motion of my colleague Leon Benoit, which sought to ensure patients suffering with MS have access to the information necessary in order to make more informed decisions on the management of their condition, especially if they are considering having the liberation therapy outside of Canada.

As I have done all along, I will continue to be a strong advocate for my constituents who live with MS.


Ron Cannan, MP

Kelowna-Lake Country

Just Posted

Accident at Highway 97 near airport

Fire crews and ambulance officials have responded to the scene

Kelowna motel robbed, suspect sought

The suspect threatened to harm the lone front desk clerk and demanded money.

Kelowna airport hosts accessibility event

Canucks Autism Network event brings families together to help deal with air travel

Penticton reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

West Kelowna neighbourhood fed up with criminal activity

Prowler frustrating West Kelowna residents

Heavy snowfall expected on Coquihalla

Snow forecast for mountain highways

Annett finishes season on the podium at Ironman Arizona

Penticton triathlete sets new course record on the bike

Cash donations create purchasing power

Salvation Army and food banks stretch a donated dollar a long way

Hergott: A pedestrian’s legal obligation

Lawyer Paul Hergott questions the moral obligation of pedestrians and motorists

Coyotes grab Okanagan boys title

George Elliott defeats Seaton in AA volleyball final, seeded third heading to provincials

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

Last day for shoeboxes at Kelowna Gospel Fellowship

Kelowna church has been gathering gifts for kids in need in countries around the world

Owls soar to Okanagan volleyball title

KSS girls win 4A championship for 12th straight year beating Pen Hi in final

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Most Read