The OAN sent out questions to the top three parties of the Canadian Federal Election regarding HIV issues. Of the three parties, only the NDP responded. You can download their reply here, or read below.


ndp Bruce Rankin, Co-Chair
Precious Maseko, Co-Chair
Ontario AIDS Network
296 Jarvis Street, Unit 5
Toronto, ON M5B 2C5
c/o Paul Lapierre, Executive Director
ed@ontarioaidsnetwork.on.ca

 

Dear Co-Chairs Maseko and Rankin,

Thank you for your letter of September 14, 2015 regarding the future of Canada’s HIV/AIDS
Strategy. We appreciate the opportunity to provide our position on key aspects of this important
issue. The New Democratic Party’s responses follow:

The National Response
Will you and your party commit to developing and implementing a new national HIV/AIDS
strategy?
Will you and your party commit to providing at least a dedicated $84.4 million to implement
the strategy? (The federal government committed to this figure in 2004, but has never fully
met its commitment)
Will you and your party commit to involving community-based AIDS organizations and
people living with HIV/AIDS in developing, implementing and monitoring the strategy?

New Democrats, and many other Canadians were scandalized by the Harper government’s
undercutting of HIV/AIDS funding in 2007, and its ongoing refusal to meet previously agreed to
commitments. When New Democrats grilled the government in Parliament, even as late as
November 29, 2007, they were still claiming they would deliver $84.4 million in funding the next
year.

But, crucial community-based program funding has still not reached its originally targeted
amount—hampering the ability to: provide on-the-ground harm reduction work, increase
prevention in vulnerable populations, and support those living with HIV/AIDS to help manage their
condition.

It is time to reset our programming and funding strategy for HIV/AIDS at home and abroad. A New
Democratic government will work collaboratively with HIV/AIDS organizations—particularly
community-based groups—on this important initiative and toward finally following through on
previous government promises.

Funding Model
Will you and your party commit to recognizing the unique and cost-effective role that
community based AIDS programs can play to make the strategy effective?
Will you and your party commit to fair, transparent and consistent processes to allocate
strategy funds?

New Democrats have a long and consistent record of supporting and working with communitybased
organizations and programs. Our very roots lie in Canadians coming together at the
community level to support each other. It is in our culture to reach out to those most in need at
any particular moment. We pride ourselves in working collaboratively to build a social safety net
that ensures no one is left behind to face life’s challenges on their own. And, we remain committed
to doing so in a way that maximizes the impact of available resources.

So when it comes to developing and strengthening the HIV/AIDS Strategy, an NDP government
is certain to solicit advice from and rely on the input of community-based AIDS programs. More
than any other party the NDP recognizes that to be effective, the HIV/AIDS Strategy requires onthe-
ground, evidence-based, community input. That’s why we fought hard for an HIV/AIDS
strategy, and why we strongly opposed the Harper cuts to this critical component.

Under an NDP government, the process of distributing and administering the strategy funds will
be fair, transparent, consistent and accountable.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss these important issues.

Regards,
Canada’s New Democrats