It’s Election Day! Today Ontarians will go to the polls and the decisions made will affect our lives – and the lives of generations to come.
One word: VOTE.
Exercise your democratic rights. Speak for yourself – and for those who don’t have a voice. Make an informed choice. Vote.
And alas, today is also a very important day for OHIP for IVF; the government we elect has the power to help 1 in 6 couples realize their dreams of having a child… or perhaps provide a serious roadblock. Hello… $550,000 in savings, remember?
Earlier today, I had a brief Twitter conversation with the esteemed Ann Douglas, Toronto Star columnist and author. She provided this very helpful link: a snapshot of what party leaders have to say about #OHIP4IVF. Take a peek:
Q: Should OHIP cover fertility treatments for infertile couples?
NDP: Somewhat agree
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath welcomes the report from Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption […] “Women who are struggling to start a family and people who are trying to adopt a child face a tremendous amount of challenges in Ontario.
The government should be supportive and break down those barriers,” said Horwath. […] “Expanding OHIP coverage for in vitro fertilization will save half a billion dollars over ten years to incorporate the Panel’s recommendations,” Horwath said.
Source: NDP supports fertility and adoption recommendations (August 2009)
Our government knows we can do more to help Ontarians take the amazing and brave step of becoming a parent. We asked the Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption for their recommendations on both adoption and infertility. Their report was very thorough and offered 51 recommendations on infertility. We continue to review the recommendations on IVF funding within the context of our current fiscal situation.
We take the Expert Panel’s recommendations very seriously. We have already started to move forward reforms to the adoption system, making it easier for families to adopt and doing more to help children in foster care be adopted into permanent families. And we are now starting to move forward recommendations related to infertility awareness, diagnosis and treatment.
Source: Statement from the Ontario Liberal Party to Vote Compass (August 2011)
PC: Somewhat agree
But I can’t help but compare that to the Quebec government and Premier Jean Charest, who, during their recent election, promised to maintain Quebec’s leadership in Canada for providing support for couples facing fertility challenges. Just a few months later, the Charest government not only delivered, they exceeded that promise by announcing full funding for three in vitro fertilization cycles.
I’m sure that this is welcome news for those in Quebec who find themselves in this very unfortunate position, both emotionally and otherwise. Certainly, I’ve received letters from many of my constituents who have made this kind of comparison between the recognition and the opportunity provided by the Quebec government and the silence that we have in Ontario on this issue. As the minister mentioned, the government did make a promise in 2007. We certainly await those recommendations becoming public.
But I also want to draw to the attention of the minister that receiving recommendations doesn’t always guarantee, in our experience, that you are actually going to act on them. The important thing for people in Ontario is to be aware of this expert panel, but I, along with them, will be holding the government to account on making some kind of decisions, having received these recommendations. It forces me to ask if this is just another example of gesture politics, or are we really going to see something that supports people in the province?
Source: Legislative Assembly of Ontario, May 11, 2009, Ontario PC MPP, Julia Munro (May 2009)
For all those who support Conceivable Dreams, the OHIP for IVF Coalition, and those couples who are so desperate to conceive, I ask that you carefully weigh the party leader’s responses before making your decision today.