Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to speak to Bill C-356, an act respecting a national strategy for dementia. This bill speaks to the important issue of dementia, which not only affects Canadians living with dementia, but their families, friends, and caregivers.
We can all agree that the member for Nickel Belt is well-intentioned with this bill. He has done great work raising awareness of the challenges faced by all Canadians with dementia, and indeed in his very heartfelt speech that clearly articulated personal stories, and personal stories of families who have been impacted.
I want to highlight some of the areas where we have been taking action along the lines called for by this bill, before getting into consideration of what I think are some technical issues within it.
As we all know, Alzheimer's disease and related dementia most commonly affect seniors. However, dementia can also affect younger individuals. Younger people in their forties and fifties have been diagnosed with the early-onset form of the disease.
Our government recognizes the devastating impact that this disease has on Canadian families and the help they need to be able to care for their loved ones. By supporting research and data gathering, we are improving our understanding of Alzheimer's disease and related forms of dementia and how they are affecting Canadians.
Many countries around the world are facing similar issues, and we certainly are committed to working internationally to address the health and economic challenges of dementia and how to reduce the burden of this condition. That is why we have joined our G7 partners in addressing this growing challenge.
Together, at the 2013 summit on dementia in London, Minister Ambrose worked with international leaders to coordinate efforts with the aim of finding a cure by 2025.
Mr. Speaker, can you imagine a cure for this terrible affliction?
The momentum of the G8 dementia summit has been incredible, and we are investing in ongoing efforts to accomplish our goals. Canada participated in a series of international follow-up legacy events, and co-hosted one of these events here in Ottawa last September.
Beyond this international leadership, we have also been taking strong action here at home. While our federal focus on dementia is on research, data gathering, and awareness training, we have always tried to recognize the key role of co-operation with the provinces and territories, which are the primary providers of health care.
It is important to note that in a crucial way, we are actually already ahead of Bill C-356 when it comes to working with the provinces. At the federal, provincial, and territorial health ministers meeting in October of last year, Minister Ambrose was able to secure agreement from the provincial—
The electoral district of Nickel Belt (Ontario) has a population of 89,377 with 71,107 registered voters and 205 polling divisions.
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