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e-4183 (Business and trade)

Initiated by John Fulton from Fonthill, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • In March of 2021, Biolyse requested that COVID-19 vaccines be added to Schedule 1 of the Patent Act. Over six hundred days have passed, with the Government of Canada refusing to action this request;
  • Responding to a global pandemic in a way that minimizes both the loss of life and the potential emergence of new, more contagious and deadly variants requires that as many people around the world have access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics as quickly and safely as possible;
  • From the early days of the pandemic, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers have prioritized profits over saving lives by restricting supply in low and middle-income countries, leaving large numbers untreated;
  • Under Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR), Canadian manufacturers can apply for compulsory licences to produce and export lower-cost versions of life-saving products to low-and middle-income countries that lack the manufacturing capacity to respond to public health emergencies;
  • The first step in granting a compulsory licence is to have the requisite product added to Schedule 1 of the Patent Act; and
  • The October 2022 House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development report recommended that the Government of Canada immediately add COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and (therapeutic) treatments to Schedule 1.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and the Minister of Health to recommend to the Governor in Council, as per S.21.03(1)(a) of the Patent Act, to immediately add COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics to Schedule 1 of the Patent Act, thereby permitting export under CAMR for humanitarian reasons.

Response by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): THE HON. FRANÇOIS-PHILIPPE CHAMPAGNE

Canada remains committed to supporting access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, as well as strengthening health systems, through a range of near-term mechanisms and initiatives, including investments of over $2 billion in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and its COVAX Facility. To this end, the Government notes Canadian investments of $45 million to scale-up regional manufacturing capacity through the mRNA Technology Transfer and Manufacturing Hub program in South Africa and the Pan-American Health Organization vaccine manufacturing platform. These efforts aim to increase and diversify access to mRNA vaccine production capacity in low- and lower-middle income countries.

With respect to Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR), the Government will continue to monitor the international environment and global health needs, taking into account manufacturing capacity, global supply issues, and practical benefits. The Government notes that global vaccine supply exceeds demand and that Canada has increased support for vaccine roll-out and health systems strengthening in order to help countries turn vaccines into vaccinations.

Open for signature
November 9, 2022, at 10:43 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
February 7, 2023, at 10:43 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Dean Allison (Niagara West)
February 15, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01147)
Government response tabled
March 31, 2023
Photo - Dean Allison
Niagara West
Conservative Caucus