The federal Conservative government’s record of fiscal prudence is at an end. What else can you say about a government that would rather pump taxpayers’ money into coliseums for professional hockey teams than fund clinical trials into potentially life-saving MS treatment?
More research is needed, as soon as possible, on the so-called liberation treatment. Hundreds of Canadian are now leaving the country to receive the treatment in Europe and Mexico (see story on page 18). The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the MS Society of Canada are against the treatment, stating that it may cause stroke and heart complications. Yet MS patients, suffering on a daily basis with a disease that can cause extreme pain, fatigue and the loss of basic muscle function, are not dissuaded. They are paying thousands for the chance at a normal life.
Whether the liberation treatment is proved safe or not, the government has an obligation to look into it. If the treatment is proven to work, even in rare circumstances, it will give some semblance of normalcy to people who desperately crave their lives back. If it is proven an unfit treatment for anyone, think of the lives and life savings that can be saved.
The governments of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Saskatchewan, will proceed with clinical trials of their own. It is the right thing for them to do, and we should all thank them.
This way the federal government can get back to planning corporate welfare for a sport that pays its players millions for 15 goals and 100 penalty minutes.