OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Conservative MP and leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis says Canada should “not” give away the “sovereignty” of the nation’s health care by signing a World Health Organization (WHO) pandemic treaty, the text of which is currently being written.
“Canada must not sign away our sovereignty on health care, but that is exactly what some of Canada’s leaders are trying to do. And there is tremendous pressure from around the world to make us do it,” Lewis wrote in a recent message posted to her campaign website.
“The (WHO) treaty includes 190 countries and would be legally binding. The treaty defines and classifies what is considered a pandemic and this could consist of broad classifications, including an increase in cancers, heart conditions, strokes, etc. If a pandemic is declared, the WHO takes over the global health management of the pandemic.”
The International Treaty on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response, or what is known as the WHO Pandemic Treaty, is due to be signed in May 2024 by many world governments.
This past December, the WHO’s World Health Assembly agreed “to kick-start a global process to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement or other international instrument under the Constitution of the World Health Organization to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.”
The group will meet again on August 1 to draft the exact wording of the treaty, which will legally bind signatory nations under international law to follow the conventions articles.
According to the WHO, it will hold public hearings to “inform its deliberations” and then deliver a progress report to the 76th World Health Assembly in 2023, and then “submit its outcome for consideration by the 77th World Health Assembly in 2024.”
In May 2024, the treaty is due to be signed.
The WHO says that the Health Assembly met in a “Special Session” that was the “second ever” since WHO’s founding in 1948 to adopt “a sole decision” titled “The World Together.”
“The decision by the Assembly establishes an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, with a view to adoption under Article 19 of the WHO Constitution, or other provisions of the Constitution as may be deemed appropriate by the INB,” the WHO says.
Article 19 of the WHO Constitution gives the “World Health Assembly with the authority to adopt conventions or agreements on any matter within WHO’s competence.”
In November 2021, Canada Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said that the government supports the creation of a WHO Pandemic Treaty.
The WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body is allowing the public to submit comments on its proposed Pandemic Treaty but only until April 13. Comments can be a maximum of 250 words.
Treaty has ‘very serious implications’ for Canada, says Lewis
Lewis says the WHO’s pandemic treaty, if signed, has very serious implications for Canada’s national health “sovereignty.”
“Under this treaty, Canada would essentially be surrendering our national health sovereignty to the WHO when it comes to responding to pandemics,” Lewis noted.
She also said while she is “not opposed to working with our allies around the world when it comes to fighting pandemics,” there are many reasons “why Canada absolutely cannot sign this treaty.”
“First of all, to even consider signing on to an international treaty before holding an inquiry into the consequences of our own response to COVID-19 is foolish. We must learn the lessons from the past two years and establish better best practices for the future,” Lewis said.
Lewis wrote that what she is even more concerned about is that the WHO “would be in full control over what gets called a pandemic.”
“They could dictate how our doctors can respond, which drugs can and can’t be used, or which vaccines are approved. We would end up with a one-size-fits-all approach for the entire world,” Lewis said.
Lewis wrote that as a country with many regional differences, a “one-size-fits-all response to a health crisis doesn’t even work across Canada, let alone the entire globe.”
Lewis: Canada must be ‘vigilant’ in protecting its healthcare system from ‘private’ interests
In her commentary regarding the WHO’s Pandemic Treaty, Lewis noted that Canada needs to be “vigilant” in making sure that its healthcare system is protected from “potential private interests.”
“We must maintain sovereignty over our pandemic response. It is vital that Canada has no part of this treaty, that we develop our own pandemic strategy, and that we invest in our healthcare system to create robust pandemic response infrastructure,” Lewis said.
Lewis added that when it comes to the WHO as an organization, there are “serious reservations” about how the group is funded.
“The original goal was for sovereign nations to pool their resources to help combat malaria, Ebola, and other health issues largely harming those in the developing world,” Lewis wrote.
“Instead, the focus has not only changed to include pandemic responses in sovereign nations like our own, but a major part of their funds now come from private donors, like the Gates Foundation. It’s not controversial to say that private donors come with private interests.”
Lewis wrote that if Canada is to take a lead in “standing up to the WHO and those who would like to see a one-size-fits-all global health response,” the nation must develop “backbone.”
“As a lawyer with international experience, I am best suited to address this global encroachment on our sovereignty and to protect the things that make us truly unique – including the independence of our health care system,” Lewis wrote.
Last week, Lewis became the first candidate to officially make it onto the final ballot for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC).
The CPC will hold its leadership vote on September 10. Thus far, more than 10 candidates have put forth their names in the race, including CPC MP Pierre Poilievre, whom many consider the frontrunner.
However, Lewis had a strong showing in the 2020 CPC leadership race, garnering 25 percent of the vote, and has strong grassroots support.
She also has a stellar pro-life and pro-family record as an MP.
Campaign Life Coalition gives Lewis a “green light” rating as a “supportable” pro-life candidate for her strong voting record in favor of life.