Let me explain what this is all about, and let me first tell you that this is not only a Parkinson's issue, this is an issue that affects ALL Canadians, healthy or not. You see, Canada is the only Country in the G7 that does not have genetic fairness laws. We are not allowed to discriminate against race, gender, age, disability etc... but we can be discriminated against for our DNA. What this means is that an employer can not hire and/or not promote someone because of their Genetics. An insurance company can discriminate against us for our Genetics, potentially denying or increasing the premiums of that individual.
Now you're thinking ok that may be crazy but how does this affect me? I explain it like this, lets say you have a family member (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc...) who has heart disease or perhaps type 2 diabetes etc... Maybe they are morbidly obese, smoke, do not exercise, eat horribly and basically do not take care of themselves at all and this has resulted in said health condition. Would it be fair for you to be denied life insurance or given a higher premium than someone else because of that family member? Of course it wouldn't, but that's the reality in Canada. An insurance company, employer etc... can essentially discriminate against you for the 'possible' perceived future disability you may have. This is ridiculous and of course who's the only group fighting this legislation? You bet ya, the Insurance companies!!! They're claiming it will result in higher insurance premiums for all Canadians and all kinds of ridiculous things. When the reality is again Canada is the only country in the G7 that does NOT have this type of law and I'm pretty confident in saying that the bottom line isn't hurting for any of the insurance companies because of it. I don't see any of them going bankrupt because the US or other countries have these laws to protect their citizens. So if you are buying the crap the insurance companies are selling in regards to Bill S-201 then I have some ocean front property in Arizona I would like to sell you at a bargain!!!
I have two daughters Samantha is 8 and Izabella will be 5 in just a few days time. The likelihood of them developing Parkinson's is likely no greater than it is my neighbor (after all I'm not contagious). So why should they be denied life insurance or medical insurance or pay a higher premium because their mother has PD? Why in the future should they be denied a promotion or career opportunity because there's a "chance" they could get PD? We are not allowed to discriminate against someone for a visible disability and yet we can for an unseen one. This is all really quite ridiculous and it needs to change now.
I urge you if you are a Canadian share this blog post, tag your local MP's in it on social media, send them a letter or email. Explain to them that this legislation needs to be passed AS IS, no changes required. It's our MP's jobs to work for their constituents not to please the insurance companies that are donating to their party. This has been years we've tried to get this law passed and our politicians should not have the best interest in a multi billion dollar industries at hand, they should be focused on the interests of Canadian's and what is right. So please spread the word and we hope they do the right thing and vote YES for Bill S-201 with NO changes.
Please find a report from CBC who recently did a feature on this that I was a part of:
Become a Parkinson Ambassador: http://parkinsonambassador.ca/