FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2020
Ottawa, ON — The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) welcomes today’s ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada to uphold the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act. This is a victory for all Canadians, ensuring greater protection of their genetic information.
In response, CIJA CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel released the following:
“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is a victory for all Canadians ensuring that their most precious information – their DNA – cannot be used to discriminate against them.”
“We are grateful to our partners in the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness and to former Senator James Cowan and MP Rob Oliphant for their efforts on Bill S-201. This would not have happened without them.”
- CIJA is one of the leading members of the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness, which intervened in the Supreme Court case.
- Genetic testing is increasingly crucial in identifying possible predisposition to major illnesses and enabling patients to take preventive, life-saving measures. Until recently, Canadians who underwent potentially life-saving genetic testing could be compelled by insurance companies or employers to disclose their results. This exposed many to the possibility of having their employment or insurance coverage denied.
- The Jewish community is disproportionately impacted by this issue. For example, female Jewish Canadians of European descent (Ashkenazi Jews) are significantly more likely than other Canadian women to carry the BRCA marker connected with ovarian and breast cancer. This is why CIJA helped spearhead a coalition to pass Bill S-201 – an initiative led by former Senator James Cowan and MP Rob Oliphant.
- Since 2016, CIJA has advocated for increased protections for Canadians at risk for genetic discrimination, as a leading member of the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness (CCGF).
- More information on the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness (CCGF) can be found at http://ccgf-cceg.ca
- More information on CIJA’s advocacy on this file, including op-eds, social media initiatives, and statements are available here: https://cijaarchive.ca/priorities/preventing-genetic-discrimination/
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada