End Genetic Discrimination in Canada

Target: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Goal: Protect citizen rights by making genetic discrimination illegal.

It is currently legal in Canada to deny a service based on genetic risk of disease. With no genetic discrimination laws in place, Canadians who are at risk for various diseases are being denied employment, life insurance, and other important rights. The Canadian government must create anti-discrimination legislation to end this injustice.

As knowledge of genetics continues to grow, more and more citizens in Canada are experiencing discrimination based on the genes they have inherited. A recent study found that 40 percent of Canadians at risk for Huntington disease have experienced blatant discrimination, and this is only one of many inheritable disorders. While laws in the United States and Europe have been put in place to ban this practice, Canada has yet to create the necessary legislation. As a result, insurance companies and even employers have the right to request family history of disease, as well as results of genetic testing. Because of this, many citizens are unwilling to undergo potentially life-saving genetic tests for fear that the information will be used against them.

To deny a person services or employment based on possible and uncontrollable risk of disease is unfair and speculative. Furthermore, genetic test results are personal and should not be accessed by employers or commercial insurance companies. The citizens of Canada must be protected from this injustice. By signing the petition below, you can ask Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to introduce legislation that bans genetic discrimination.


Dear Prime Minister Harper,

All developed countries have created legislation that bans genetic discrimination, with the exception of Canada. As a result, your citizens are plagued by the discriminating practices of insurance companies and employers, all of which have legal access to personal genetic information. The Canadian people have shown a regrettably low tendency towards genetic testing, which is potentially life-saving, simply because they are afraid that the information will be used against them. As scientific knowledge of genetics grows, this injustice only becomes worse.

Your people must not be denied their rights to basic services because of the genes they have inherited. The effects of genetics are speculative and out of human control. Furthermore, genetic information is personal, and should not be made public information. Please protect the citizens of Canada by introducing legislation that will end genetic discrimination.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: svilen001 via stock.xchng.

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