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“Tick Talk” with MPP Ted Arnott

MPP Arnott supports call for action on Lyme disease

Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott is expressing disappointment with the Government’s inaction on the development of a Provincial Framework and Action Plan to fight vector-borne diseases such as Lyme disease.

In June 2015, the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 27, Provincial Framework and Action Plan concerning Emerging Vector-Borne Diseases Act, 2015, a Private Member’s Bill brought forward by Haldimand-Norfolk PC MPP Toby Barrett. The Bill required the Government to develop a Provincial Framework and Action Plan for vector-borne diseases such as Lyme disease.

“It’s been more than a year since this Bill was passed unanimously by the Ontario Legislature. Why haven’t we seen any action?” Mr. Arnott asked.

Vector-borne diseases are infectious diseases transmitted by the bite of infected blood-sucking arthropod species, such as mosquitoes, ticks, or blackflies. The most common vector-borne diseases in Ontario are Lyme disease and West Nile virus.

According to the Toronto Star, the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Ontario more than doubled last year, with 304 confirmed cases and an additional 54 probable cases.

“Toby Barrett has been a real leader on this issue and done a lot of important work. He deserves credit for his efforts,” Mr. Arnott said. “I support what he’s saying. The Government needs to get moving.”

Halton Hills resident Keith Poullos, one of the founding members of the GTA Lyme Disease Support Group, agrees that the Government needs to take action.

“The Ontario Government needs to start taking Lyme disease seriously,” Mr. Poullos said. “They’ve done nothing to help people with Lyme disease. They need to start now.”

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