OTTAWA, May 29 (LSN) – Yesterday, Health Minister Allan Rock announced permanent federal funding for AIDS programs of at least $42.2 million per year without any requirement for review of the programs. The unprecedented step caught even the liberal media off-guard. Other diseases kill more Canadians, but research and treatment for them receive far less government support, leaving some to wonder whether Rock’s announcement reveals questionable priorities on the government’s part.  For example, from the time it was recognized in the early ‘80s until last summer, AIDS has claimed the lives of 11,046 Canadians. The federal government will now provide permanent, non-reviewable funding of $42.2 million for AIDS programs. During the same period, breast cancer has been responsible for the deaths of about 75,000 Canadians. The government provides only $5 million for this disease, however. The grant is also not permanent, and is subject to regular reviews.  Rock has dismissed such concerns. “I think it’s insidious to start comparing diseases,” he said. “I don’t think we should take a calculator out and decide which is the most important disease.”


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