World AIDS Day - Getting to Zero

01 DECEMBER 2014

(FREDERICTON, NB) – The following statement was issued by Green Party Leader and MLA for Fredericton South, David Coon, in recognition of World AIDS Day and Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week.

The theme of World AIDS Day this year is Getting to Zero: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

Not that long ago, those goals would have seemed impossible. When the disease hit our consciousness in the 1980s it was shrouded in misinformation, and the political action needed for change was hampered by apathy and prejudice. It took grassroots efforts around the world, such as those initiated by AIDS New Brunswick, AIDS Moncton, and AIDS Saint John, here in New Brunswick, to overcome those barriers.

"Getting to Zero means no one will lose a friend, a spouse, or a family member to HIV-AIDS ever again. It also means those living with HIV-AIDS will no longer know the pain of being stigmatized. I invite all New Brunswickers to imagine that future with me on December 1st, while holding dear the memory of those we have lost to this disease," said Green Party Leader David Coon.

Mr. Coon calls on both levels of government to adopt the three goals of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths by supporting the grassroots organizations and public health professionals working in our province and overseas to help make Getting to Zero a reality.


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>Living within Our Ecological Means

A culture of cooperation, caring and understanding is essential to ending violence in our society. Rehabilitation rather than vengeance must be the goal of our justice system.

> Local Self-Reliance

We must have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to contribute to the common good, which requires that all have the capacity to participate in community life.

> Real Democracy

Everyone must have equal access to the necessities of life and be treated with dignity and respect. Treaties with First Nations must be honoured.

> Social Justice and Equality

We must be able to participate in decisions that affect our lives and be guaranteed that our votes are reflected in the make-up of the Legislative Assembly.

> Active Citizenship

Our communities should be in control of their own destinies, supported by strong local economies, and sustained by local sources of food and renewable energy.

> A Culture of Peace and Respect

We must live within the ecological limits of the Earth, while meeting our needs without threatening our children's future or the survival of other species.

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