Tory backbencher wants N.S. to pay for MS trial

A backbench Nova Scotia MLA wants the provincial government to support a controversial therapy for multiple sclerosis.

Government has previously said no

A backbench Nova Scotia legislature member wants the provincial government to support a controversial therapy for multiple sclerosis.

Alfie MacLeod, Tory MLA for Cape Breton West, tabled a private member's bill in the legislature Tuesday urging the NDP government to put up $5 million for medical trials for the treatment, known as liberation therapy.

It's not available in Canada or covered by provincial health insurance policies.

MacLeod was supported by a room full of people with the condition whose lives have been changed by a trip to Eastern Europe, Mexico or New York to have the treatment that involves angioplasty to help ease the flow in neck veins of blood from the brain to the heart.

MacLeod is a believer because his wife, Shirley, who has MS, has benefited from the treatment. 

"From my own personal experince, I believe in the liberation therapy," he said. "I only have to watch my wife Shirley get out of bed, get out of her wheelchair, get out of our car."

Evon Anderson from Truro had the treatment in New York in July.

"Today I am virtually pain free, and I will go home tonight and make supper and I will carry on with normal activities for the rest of the week ," she said.

Anderson said even if her results are only temporary, she would go and have the treatment all over again.

MacLeod also tabled a petition signed by more than 7,500 people who support clinical trials.

He said that if Saskatchewan can put up $5 million for clinical trials, than so can Nova Scotia.

In July, the NDP government said it's not interested in paying to study an unproven treatment.