ESSEX – Local MP Tracey Ramsey and MPP Taras Natyshak hosted a successful townhall meeting last night at Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens in Kingsville discussing Lyme disease. 


“Lyme disease is a growing concern here in Essex and we have been identified by the federal government as a ‘High Risk’ area,” stated Ramsey. “This townhall was an opportunity to inform residents of the dangers of this disease, the importance of prevention and also what both the federal and provincial governments are doing on this issue” added Natyshak.


Earlier this year, the federal government released a Framework following a National Conference in Ottawa, that was attended by local Windsor/Essex advocates. “After having met with local residents affected by Lyme disease and National groups in Ottawa, it was clear that the draft Framework proposal was a complete betrayal of the suffering of Lyme patients. I wrote to the Minister of Health requesting she delay the Framework release as it was clear that none of the patient input was reflected in the document and it sadly raised more questions than it answered.  The final Framework was a slight improvement, but I firmly believe it should be a basic right of people to be diagnosed and treated here at home instead of having to seek expensive treatment outside of Canada,” said Ramsey.


"Too many families have been affected by this increasingly prevalent disease without the adequate support and treatment from our healthcare system. It's time for governments of all levels to take Lyme disease seriously and support families with best practices and timely treatment," said Natyshak.

Ramsey and Natyshak welcomed Michael Mantha (MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin) as their guest speaker to the townhall last night to talk about his work on the issue. “We’re making progress because of tireless advocates that keep pushing for change to happen.  Ontario needs to fight Lyme disease with a stronger province-wide strategy. Acknowledgment, acceptance and care are the next steps, “ said Mantha.


Also in attendance at the townhall was Executive Director of the Sun County Lyme Disease Awareness Support Group, Cheryl Abbate.  “Now more than ever it is urgent to learn about tick-borne illness including Lyme due to the ever increasing tick populations and new tick species moving into our area,” said Abbate. “We know there is no cure for Lyme disease once it becomes chronic.”