Breaking News: Genetic Discrimination To Be Outlawed in Canada

March 9th, 2017 by FFB Canada

Last night, our federal parliament voted overwhelmingly in support of Bill S-201. It was a landmark victory against genetic discrimination.

The protections afforded by this bill will become part of the Canadian Human Rights Act and Canadian Labour Code to outlaw discrimination, particularly by insurance companies or employers, on the basis of a person’s genetic profile.

Canadians will soon be able to pursue genetic testing without the risk of losing or being denied insurance coverage. This is an incredible benefit for those living with blinding eye diseases, including those who are enrolled in or would like to join the Foundation Fighting Blindness Patient Registry. The FFB Patient Registry is a tool that connects patients to clinical trials. Learning your “genetic diagnosis” is an important step toward identifying the clinical trials that might work for you.

As part of the Genetic Fairness Coalition, the Foundation Fighting Blindness met with Canadian senators and members of federal and provincial parliaments over the past 8 years to advance this legislation.

We want to extend our profound gratitude to members of our FFB community who stood before government committees and the media and shared their personal experiences with genetic discrimination, as well as to all of our supporters who continually urged their local MPs to support Bill S-201.

The bill will now move to the Senate of Canada for final confirmation.

Together, we fought for a more fair and equitable future for all Canadians.


Our Director of Research, Dr. Mary Sunderland, will discuss this victory and research stories from our most recent e-newsletter, and answer your questions on Facebook Live this Friday, March 10, 2017 at 3PM EST. Like our Facebook Page and tune in at that time to take part.