CAS has written to each political party for the 2019 federal election asking them their position on HIV in Canada. Read our letters and the parties’ responses below:
Liberal Party of Canada (LPC):
Read the LPC’s response here.
Unfortunately, CAS is very disappointed by the LPC’s answer to our letter.
The community-based HIV sector in Canada has consistently asked the federal government to publish a breakdown of the $87 million that they state they are spending on HIV and other STBBI annually. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network published a 2018 report on the millions of dollars that have been withheld or diverted from the current federal AIDS strategy since it was launched in 2004; the Liberal government has done nothing to remedy this gap in funding.
The June 2019 report from the Standing Committee on Health recommended, “the Government of Canada [to] increase total funding for the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada to $100 million annually”. It must be noted that the Committee’s recommendation is to spend $100 million per year solely on HIV, not including other STBBI. Even if the government was allocating $87 million per year to HIV and STBBI, it is not nearly enough, as indicated by the Committee.
In terms of harm reduction funding, the $30 million that LPC has pledged to harm reduction funding for HIV is not a reoccurring fund; therefore, while this funding might be useful for initiating projects, without sustained funding it will be impossible for harm reduction for HIV to become a reality in Canada. As for their Action Plan, CAS wrote a position statement (which can be found here) after it was published detailing some of the issues that we found with it, including its vagueness.
Ultimately, CAS finds that this response completely avoided the questions asked in our letter, and is discouraged by the LPC’s lack of concrete action on funding HIV in Canada.
Our letter (available in French only):
Read the Bloc’s response here (available in French only).