The Liberal government’s plan to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) in Canada’s North by 2030 deserves recognition and applause. It is a concrete step toward fulfilling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise in 2017 to support the United Nations Sustainment Development Goals.
Trudeau’s speech at the UN General Assembly last year showed a clear understanding that the SDGs apply not just to the poor countries “out there” but to the poverty and injustice that persist within our own borders.
The shockingly high incidence of TB in Indigenous communities in Canada is simply the most egregious example of this overlap. It makes ending TB a priority in achieving the SDGs in Canada.
Trudeau must now take this commitment back to the UN, to the High Level Meeting on TB in September 2018.
Eradicating TB globally will require not only comprehensive improvements to public health care but also the assurance of basic needs such as adequate housing and food security.
Canada is uniquely positioned to be at the forefront of these global efforts.