On behalf of an initiative of the Council of Canadians, a Nonprofit Organization, Dr. John Kirk, has brought together a number of Canadian personalities and organizations in support of a nomination of Henry Reeve’s medical brigades for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2021.
Dr. Kirk is a professor of Latin American Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax Canada, and a leading expert on the role of Cuban medical collaboration in the Global South. Dr. Kirk is also the co-author of two major books on Cuban medical internationalism, “Cuban Medical Internationalism: Origins, Evolutions and Goals,” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and “Healthcare Without Borders: Understanding Cuban Medical Internationalism,” (University Press of Florida, 2015).
Of the work of the Cuban doctors, Dr. Kirk said, “The Henry Reeve Brigade, made up of some 9,000 Cuban medical personnel providing specialized medical care in dealing with natural disasters and epidemics, has helped scores of countries since their founding in 2005. At a time when the entire planet is reeling from Covid-19, the Cuban brigades have provided medical support in 39 countries—in all continents. They have done more to help other countries—mainly in the Global South—than all of the G-7 nations together. Based upon their support during the Covid crisis, as well as the scores of other missions that they have been involved in (from helping people in the wake of hurricanes and earthquakes in Haiti to fighting Ebola in West Africa), they thoroughly deserve the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.”
After the Council of Canadians Annual Meeting in June, the organization issued a statement on nominating and endorsing the Cuban international health teams for their contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Since the emergence of the pandemic, Cuba’s medical professionals have sent 53 health teams to 39 countries throughout the world to assist with COVID-19 outbreaks to countries ill-equipped to manage the crisis.
“Cuba, a small country with a huge heart, has looked outwards and made a significant world-wide contribution to saving lives during COVID-19. This major contribution by the Cuban medical teams deserves our recognition as well as a Nomination for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize,” said Rick Arnold, executive member of the Northumberland Chapter of the Council of Canadians.
List of Canadians who have endorsed the Nomination of the Henry Reeve medical brigades for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize:
- The Hon. Lloyd Axworthy – Canadian politician, elder statesman and academic;
- Dr. Anna Banerji – Pediatrics and infectious disease specialist and Associate Professor at University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Faculty lead for Indigenous and Refugee Health;
- Jane Bunnett – Flautist, saxophonist and bandleader and jazz legend is a five-time Juno Award winner, invested in The Order of Canada;
- John Cartwright – Chairperson of the Council of Canadians Board of Directors and a long-time labour leader and social justice advocate. He is also the President of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council;
- George Elliot Clarke – Canadian poet, playwright and literary critic, known for chronicling the experience and history of the Black Canadian communities of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick;
- Bruce Cockburn – Canadian roots-rock legend, 13-time Juno Award winner, Officer of the Order of Canada, recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement;
- Elizabeth Hay – Prize-winning author of numerous novels, short stories, non-fiction and essays;
- The Rt. Hon. Michaelle Jean – Canadian stateswoman, journalist and a refugee from Haiti, was the 27th Governor-General of Canada and the third Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie;
- Dr. Noni E. MacDonald – Paediatrics infectious disease specialist and Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University, invested in the Order of Nova Scotia and in the Order of Canada, and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Society for International Health;
- MP Elizabeth May – Canadian politician who served as leader of the Green Party of Canada from 2006 to 2019. An environmentalist, author, activist and lawyer;
- Senator Pierrette Ringuette – The first francophone woman to be elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. In 2016 she chose to sit as part of the Independent Senators Group. Senator Ringuette is a member of several standing committees and is currently a Counselor of The Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas, Co-Chair of the Canada-Cuba Inter-Parliamentary Group;
- Svend Robinson – environmentalist and Canadian politician and Member of Parliament for the New Democratic Party;
- David T. Suzuki – Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist is a Companion of the Order of Canada and invested in the Order of British Columbia.
List of Organizations which have endorsed the Nomination of the Henry Reeve medical brigades for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize:
- Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research
- Canadian Society for International Health
- Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
- Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
- Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
- Common Frontiers
- Council of Canadians
- Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
- Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
- Sisters of Providence of Saint Vincent de Paul
- United Church of Canada
- United Steelworkers (USW)