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e-3181 (Health)

Initiated by Angella MacEwen from Ottawa, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • India and South Africa have brought a motion forward at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to temporarily waive certain parts of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement around COVID-19 medical technologies;
  • If the member countries of the WTO approve this temporary waiver, it would help ensure production of sufficient quantities of affordable COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines, which would increase the global supply of these goods, benefiting the global pandemic effort;
  • Without the waiver, low- and middle-income countries don't have the ability to manufacture vaccines, and any countries will have to rely on pharmaceutical companies and wealthy countries for charity, or go without access to lifesaving medicines and technology;
  • Pharmaceutical companies have received unprecedented taxpayer funding to help develop COVID-19 vaccines; and
  • Many countries are now facing new and more contagious variants of COVID-19, making the global deployment of vaccines even more urgent.
We, the undersigned, people of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to support the proposal from India and South Africa for a waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19 at the WTO TRIPS Council without delay.

Response by the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rachel Bendayan

The Government of Canada continues to actively work with all international partners to reach a rapid and just end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our government recognizes the integral role that industry has played in innovating to develop and deliver life-saving COVID-19 vaccines, and firmly believes in the importance of protecting intellectual property (IP).


Canada remains committed to finding solutions and reaching an agreement that accelerates global vaccine production and does not negatively impact public health, including being ready to discuss proposals on a waiver for IP protection, in particular for COVID-19 vaccines, under the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Canada will continue working closely with all WTO Members, including engaging on new proposals from any Member or group, in seeking a consensus-based outcome to address any IP challenges created by COVID-19.


Since the introduction of the IP waiver proposal, Canada has actively worked with partners to identify barriers to vaccine access—many of which are unrelated to IP, such as supply chain constraints. For instance, Canada is actively engaged in the work of the Trade and Health Initiative at the WTO, which aims to strengthen global supply chains and support the delivery of essential medicines and medical supplies, including vaccines, around the world. Canada has also encouraged the WTO Director General’s efforts to enhance the WTO’s role in global dialogue with the pharmaceutical sector towards accelerating the production and distribution of affordable, safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines and other medical products in coordination with the World Health Organization and other relevant organizations.


Canada has always been, and remains, a strong advocate for equitable access to vaccines and medical supplies around the world through our support for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and the COVAX Facility. To date, we have announced $1.3 billion to support low- and middle-income countries to access COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments because we understand that the pandemic is not over anywhere, until it is over everywhere.


The Government of Canada continues to support a robust, multifaceted, and global effort to address the pandemic, one that draws upon all of the necessary resources and tools available in the international rules-based trading framework, as well as new mechanisms for global cooperation on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical products. As equitable, timely and affordable access to testing, treatments, and vaccines will be critical for controlling and ending this pandemic, Canada remains committed to continued engagement with all members of the international community to find solutions to these global challenges.

Open for signature
February 24, 2021, at 11:20 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
March 26, 2021, at 11:20 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood—Transcona)
April 21, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00850)
Government response tabled
June 4, 2021
Photo - Daniel Blaikie
New Democratic Party Caucus