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Letter to Prime Minister Jean Charest

Letter to Prime Minister Jean Charest

May 25, mind 2011

Monsieur Jean Charest
Premier of Quebec
Édifice Honoré-Mercier
835, for sale boul. René-Lévesque Est
3e étage
Québec (Québec) G1A 1B4

Prime Minister Jean Charest, prescription

We wish to draw your attention to a long-standing critical situation of neglect in Québec that requires your urgent attention.

People in Québec, who have been suffering from a medical condition known as Environmental Sensitivities, do not have their basic human rights respected. They do not have access to physicians trained in Environmental Medicine nor do they receive appropriate care in hospitals or clinics. Social services do not take this disability into account leaving s vulnerable and without support in a time of need. Insurance companies do not cover required medical needs and requests for disability are routinely turned down. The onus of proof of harm is upon the who is too ill to defend him or herself properly.
It is tragic that the few forward-thinking doctors, who adhere to the Hippocratic Oath and correctly diagnose and treat s suffering from this condition, are often investigated and persecuted because the condition is not officially recognized in Quebec. The diagnosis, however, is recognized in other Canadian provinces such as Ontario and Nova Scotia as well as other countries around the world such as Germany, Austria and Japan, in addition to having a diagnostic code with the World Health organization (WHO).

According to Statistics Canada (2007) up to 3% of Canadians have reported a diagnosis of Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivities from a medical doctor. The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) 2005, Statistics Canada, found that just over 170,000 Quebecers reported MCS when asked about ‘long term health conditions that have lasted or are expected to last six months or more and that have been diagnosed by a health professional.’

In a world where pollution has pervaded the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat, it is not surprising that the human body will react adversely. It is therefore vital that Governments step up and care for the victims of a contaminated environment.

People suffering from Environmental Sensitivities are referred to as the ‘canaries’ of our society, because they are similar to the canaries in the coalmines of yesteryear. They are sounding the alarm that the toxins are building to dangerous levels. Without proper government stewardship, there can only be an increase in illnesses related to the pollutants in the environment in the future.

See the chart to the side for a breakdown of the affected population in QUEBEC. In Canada, these numbers exceed that of many other better known chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, HIV AIDS, Epilepsy, etc. Yet, this large population is underserviced by both medical and social services. Community groups such as ASEQ-EHAQ, who provide help, are grossly underfunded. Neglecting to address the issue adequately now, will cost more in the long run (Fox et al, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Volume 13, Number 2, 2007, pp. 223–229).

May is Environmental Sensitivities Awareness and Education month. On May 12th, Environmental Sensitivities Day, ASEQ-EHAQ held a conference. Experts from the Ministry of Health were invited. Another conference will be held on May 28th. The keynote speaker, Dr. John Molot, MD CCFP FCFP, is an expert in this field. Following the conference we will march from Concordia University, to your office on 2001 Avenue McGill College, where Dr. Amir Khadir will speak on this issue.

Since our numerous attempts to communicate with the Ministry of Health on this condition have proven futile, we look forward to hearing from you concerning the immediate action that you will undertake in order to recognize and provide adequate relief for people suffering from this medical condition. We are requesting that you please address this urgent situation. It is inhumane to let people suffer in this manner and to deny their most basic right to health care. Attached please find our list of Needs.

Thanking you.

Yours sincerely,

On behalf of the Board of ASEQ-EHAQ

Rohini Peris


  1. Specific Needs of People Suffering from Environmental Sensitivities
  2. Description of Environmental Sensitivities