By: Surjit Singh Flora
Today, Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South and Chair of the All-Party Diabetes Caucus joined representatives from the City of Brampton, including Mayor Patrick Brown, Council Members, MPs, MPPs, representatives of national organizations and grassroots teams, for the city’s commemoration of World Diabetes Day.
Mayor Brown issued a commemorative proclamation recognizing November 14 as World Diabetes Day in the City of Brampton. Dynacare, a local business offered free diabetes testing to Bramptonians attending the event.
Also, Mayor Brown, congratulated MP Sonia Sidhu, for her dedication and passion on her recent legislation that will create a national framework for diabetes. I am pleased to join community leaders today as we celebrate World Diabetes Day. November 14th was chosen in honour of the birthday of Canadian Sir Frederick G. Banting, who, along with Dr. Charles Best discovered insulin 100 years ago. I appreciate the efforts of Peel Public Health, Diabetes Canada, Dynacare and community organizations for their continued health promotion and disease prevention strategies to address the increasing rates in our community.”
In Brampton, almost every sixth resident lives with diabetes or prediabetes. 11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. The number of diagnoses has doubled in the last 20 years.
While Dr. Naveed Mohammad, President and CEO, William Osler Health System said, “William Osler Health System provides care to a diverse and rapidly-growing population experiencing the highest prevalence of diabetes in Ontario. The impact of diabetes on the Brampton community cannot be understated and we are working collaboratively to provide awareness and prevention tools, and to support patients in managing their diabetes effectively.”
Also, Vito Ciciretto, CEO, Dynacare said, “Dynacare is proud to be a part of the World Diabetes Day recognition activities at Brampton City Hall, and to be able to offer access to our mobile clinic to provide free diabetes screening to Brampton residents. Providing health and wellness solutions to the community is in our DNA as a healthcare organization, and we are committed to working together with our partners to tackle the important public health issue of type 2 diabetes.”
MP Sidhu worked closely with members of the city council, Mayor, and the local community. In 2019, MP Sidhu introduced a motion for the House of Commons to recognize the event federally and to declare November as Diabetes Awareness Month.
2021 represents a significant anniversary for the fight against diabetes. It is the centennial of the discovery of insulin by Sir Frederick Banting and his colleagues at the University of Toronto in 1921. This discovery remained one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the twentieth century, led to Banting being awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, and has saved countless lives. In 1991, the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization selected November 14th, Banting’s birthday, as the first World Diabetes Day.
In July, both houses of Parliament unanimously passed MP Sidhu’s private members bill, C-237, the National Framework for Diabetes Act. The bill requires that the government work with the provinces and territories, indigenous groups, and other stakeholders to create a national plan to fight diabetes. The strategy will aim to coordinate awareness, education, funding, treatment, and research. In its 2021 budget, the government committed $25 million toward creating this framework.
MP Sidhu worked as a healthcare professional for eighteen years before being elected to Parliament, where she now serves as Chair of the All-Party Diabetes Caucus. In this role she has worked to raise awareness about issues surrounding diabetes among her fellow parliamentarians through presentations by researchers and advocates. She also conducted a cross-country consultation in 2019 and has represented Canada at several international events.
Sonia Sidhu, said, “The discovery of insulin is one of Canada’s most lasting contributions to the world, and today we celebrate those who made it, as well as those who continue to research for a cure. We also celebrate those who live with diabetes, recognize the support that is provided by their loved ones, and honour those who have been lost. We have always been leaders in this fight, and I am so happy to see that our community in Brampton is continuing this tradition. There’s a lot more for us to do together and we will continue to do more. I want to thank all community members who are joining us in this fight.”