Canada's NDP


March 4th, 2024

Health Minister Mark Holland, Take Tuberculosis Prevention Seriously

Dear Hon. Minister Holland

Tuberculosis disproportionately affects Indigenous communities and immigrant communities, an issue which your government has consistently failed to deal with. We are writing to you today, so your government takes seriously the issue of tuberculosis drug shortages and the housing crisis within Indigenous communities.

Despite global advancements in tuberculosis treatment, including the development of safer, and more effective regimens, the lack of improved access for Canadians is a clear policy failure of your government.

Rifampin, the single most crucial drug for tuberculosis treatment, regularly runs short in Canada. Additionally, the absence of essential medications like bedaquiline and delamanid in the Canadian market poses significant challenges to tuberculosis treatment, impacting current regimens and hindering the effective management of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Your government has also neglected to address the housing crisis, particularly in Indigenous communities, as part of the effort to combat tuberculosis. Experts agree, without adequate housing overcrowding exacerbates the spread of tuberculosis.

It is outrageous that, despite global strides in improving tuberculosis treatment, Canadians continue to face obstacles in accessing vital drugs. The fact that rifapentine is not approved for use in Canada, crucial for treating latent TB infection (LTBI), especially in Northern, remote, and Indigenous communities with elevated LTBI rates, serves as a glaring example of your government's failure in ensuring healthcare for Indigenous communities. We demand immediate and decisive action to address these shortages, ensure equitable access to essential TB drugs, and address the housing crisis in Indigenous communities.


MP Niki Ashton Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MP Lori Idlout Nunavut, MP Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway