Conservative MP and leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis has launched a petition calling on the Trudeau government to decline signing the World Health Organization (WHO)’s pandemic treaty.

The International Treaty on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response was proposed by the WHO in 2021 as an “international pandemic instrument” to increase collaboration between governments at all levels. 

Lewis warns that the treaty, which includes 190 countries, “would be legally binding.”

“It defines and classifies what is considered a pandemic and would give the W.H.O. legal power over Canada’s pandemic response, including the ability to force lockdowns and dictate which drugs or vaccines can be used,” her campaign website reads.

Government officials and the WHO will be meeting this month to discuss the treaty’s details. The WHO expects countries to sign the document by May 2024.

Lewis’s petition calls on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “ensure that Canada retain its healthcare sovereignty.” It also includes a call to prevent unelected WHO bureaucrats from wielding “decision-making power over Canada’s pandemic response.” 

Additionally, Lewis is demanding “a review of Canada’s COVID-19 response (and to) develop our own national pandemic strategy, and invest in our own healthcare system.” 

According to the Council of the European Union, the treaty would align international responses to pandemics under a single umbrella. 

“Neither individual governments nor the global community can entirely prevent pandemics,” the council writes. “But the international community needs to be much better prepared and better aligned in responding to possible future pandemics across the entire cycle of detection, alarm and response.

“The instrument would set out the objectives and fundamental principles in order to structure the necessary collective action to fight pandemics.”

Lewis and other critics have blasted the treaty as an attack on healthcare sovereignty. There have also been concerns about the WHO’s reliability and its connections to the Chinese government.

“The treaty could potentially affect our healthcare sovereignty,” Lewis told CBC last month. ”Canada needs its own pandemic plan. We need to put one in place for future pandemics. All these things need to be done by our own country. We cannot relinquish that responsibility to global organizations like the WHO.” 

Early in the pandemic, the WHO claimed that COVID-19 was not transmissible between humans despite the Chinese government having knowledge that it was. China has also used its influence to have Taiwan barred from the organization. 

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