Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank colleagues on both sides of this House for the kind words and prayers during my recent medical bout with cancer. I would also like to thank the physicians and staff of the Odette Cancer Centre of Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital.
I am very grateful for a positive outcome, but I am grateful as well for insight provided by medical professionals on a crucial matter of public health.
Colleagues will recall that while vaccination programs are a primary responsibility of the provinces, our government provided funding in the 2007 budget for a national vaccination program to immunize adolescent girls against the human papillomavirus, HPV. My doctors advise that the program should now be extended to cover boys, that otherwise we can expect a spike in the incidence of HPV cancers in men in coming decades.
I am delighted to report that the Minister of Health has told me that she will take this matter under consideration.