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Join the MS Society of Canada in Advocating for Support for #LifeWithMS

  • National News Release
  • Announcement

Online campaign asks Canadians to join in solidarity and engage local MPs to fight for improved income and employment, increased access, and investment in health research for people living with multiple sclerosis


Toronto, ON – September 7, 2018 – The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada asks you to join together in support of Canadians living with and affected by multiple sclerosis by taking part in the online campaign to improve #LifeWithMS from now until the end of October. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, making it crucial for Canadians to unite their efforts in advocating for improved income and employment, increased access, and investment in health research for people living with MS.

With a click of a button, the MS Society has made it easy to let local MPs know the realities of living with MS. By visiting mssociety.ca/lifewithms and typing in their name and address, Canadians can find their local representative, add their personal comments about #LifeWithMS and click send. Once the message has been sent, advocates can share their participation in the campaign via social media by using #LifeWithMS to encourage their networks to write to their local MPs.

The unpredictable, episodic, and progressive nature of MS creates serious financial and practical challenges for Canadian families who live with this disease. Sending a letter to your local MP ensures key decision makers know that greater support is needed for those affected by the disease.

“We hope to send more than 5,000 letters this fall to ensure MS is top of mind for MPs representing us across the country,” says Benjamin Davis, president, Atlantic Division and National vice-president, government relations. “On average, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with MS every day. That’s thousands of people each year who are not only dealing with the realities of a chronic disease, but who are also navigating complicated income and employment support services and issues of accessibility. We need to do better.”

The advocacy efforts of the MS Society have made an impact. On May 30, 2018 Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray – Cold Lake, Mr. David Yurdiga, put forth a Private Member’s motion (M-192) focused on episodic disabilities like MS. This online advocacy campaign asks all MPs to support this motion.

In addition to this, on June 20, the federal government tabled the Proposed Accessible Canada Act, which includes “episodic” in the definition of disability.

These are positive steps forward, but we need to continue to press Canada’s government to focus on improving #LifeWithMS. The online advocacy campaign focuses on the following priorities:

  • Making Work… Work – by supporting Mr. Yurdiga’s Private Member’s Motion M-192 focused on episodic disabilities such as MS.
  • Make Health Research a Priority – by continuing to invest in fundamental research and my recognizing and supporting the unique role health charities like the MS Society and patients play in the health research ecosystem.
  • Make Ends Meet – by improving income and disability supports for people with MS who are unable to work or can only work on an intermittent basis such as making the Disability Tax Credit refundable.
  • Make Access a Reality – by passing the proposed Accessible Canada Act, increasing access to treatments, and investing in comprehensive care and housing.

For more information on the policy priorities and to get involved, visit mssociety.ca.

About multiple sclerosis and the MS Society of Canada

Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world with 11 Canadians diagnosed with MS every day. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system comprising the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40 and the unpredictable effects of the disease last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides programs and services for people with MS and their families, advocates for those living with MS, and funds research to help improve the quality of life for people living with MS and to ultimately find a cure for this disease. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or for more information. Join the conversation and connect with the MS community online. Find the MS Society on Twitter, Instagram or like our page on Facebook.

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CONTACTS:
Jennifer Asselin
MS Society of Canada
Jennifer.Asselin@mssociety.ca
T: 1.800.268.7582 ext. 3144

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