CV #7(B): Raj Saini Introduced M-132, Lobbied By Big Pharma

Saini is listed many times in connection with the Lobbying Commissioner’s Office. Many of those communications reports are with pharmaceutical companies who are lobbying him.

Saini is a board member for the Canadian International Council. Here are the main founders that is lists. Some of these names should be familiar.

1. Raj Saini’s LPC Profile

A proud resident of Kitchener-Waterloo, Raj Saini has owned and operated an award-winning small business for nearly 20 years. His success as a small business owner comes from his focus on helping people achieve their health goals using evidence-based protocols to enable healing and encourage healthy lifestyles.
A committed and active supporter of local organizations, Raj works tirelessly to engage his community in politics and international affairs. He is a proud Rotarian of many years, a board member of the Canadian International Council, Waterloo Region branch and a long-time champion of Liberal values. He is passionate about improving the local economy, creating jobs and promoting the health and well-being of Kitchener Centre’s residents through intelligent, fiscally responsible environmental and health policy.
Raj earned his Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy from Boston’s Northeastern University.

The above is taken directly from his profile. Let’s get into the issues that exist here, and why they are a problem.

2. Saini Co-Owned A Pharmacy

In 2017, Saini pandered in Parliament on the issue of World Pharmacist’s Day. No shocker, given his personal and professional stake in the industry.

KITCHENER — As a pharmacist, Raj Saini says he learned a few things about serving all segments of society. After getting elected to the House of Commons, he wants to keep doing that, but with a larger customer base — about 102,433 people, to be exact.

That’s the most recent census information available for Kitchener Centre, the riding that Liberal MP-elect Saini will represent after winning last Monday’s federal election in his first run at public office.

As the co-owner of the independent Greenbrook Pharmacy, it should come as no surprise that nothing tops Saini’s list of priorities as he heads to Ottawa more than the need for a national pharmacare policy.

Fewer and fewer Canadians have benefits that cover the costs of prescription drugs and those rising out-of-pocket medicine expenses are the missing link in the country’s universal health care coverage, he said.

Raj Saini is a pharmacist, and co-owns one as well. While there is nothing wrong with this (and is admirable) the strange connections shown later are a cause for concern.

In 2019, Saini rehashed the same old Liberal campaign promise for universal drug coverage. In all fairness though, the LPC has been campaigning on it since 1993 and has never delivered on it.

3. Saini Lobbied By GAVI In 2019

Jason Clark, who works for the firm Crestview Strategy, lobbied Saini on March 8, 2018, on behalf of GAVI. GAVI is the Gates-funded Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations. This was after Saini had introduced M-132, and prior to the Committee hearings in Parliament.

4. Other Pharma Lobbying MP Saini

All of these records can be verified by searching Raj Saini’s name in the Office of the Lobbying Commissioner of Canada. This is by no means all of the records, but shows a pretty good indication of who he has been speaking with.

Remember, it’s legal as long as it’s documented.

5. Canadian International Council


What makes the CIC unique is our network of 15 branches across seven provinces. This gives us a presence, in local communities, that is unparalleled in Canadian global affairs.
Thanks to this presence, Canadians from all walks of life, all ages, political opinions, and professions can discuss and learn about international affairs and contribute their views. In reflecting on the ideas and interests of a broad constituency of Canadians, the CIC demonstrates that our country’s foreign policy is not an esoteric concern of experts but benefits from direct citizen involvement.
As thousands of people join in an ongoing series of events and online discussions, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The result is a national conversation on our country’s role in the world.
We engage our members and the public to join the conversation through three types of activity: they can attend events, read our research and can share their opinions online.

Saini’s profile states that he is a Director at this organization (the Waterloo Branch). However, in searching him on the internal search, it doesn’t appear that he has contributed any publications to the organizations.

It’s interesting though: to be a Director at this group, which is looking for global solutions (on many issues). Saini introduced M-132, which will increase research and distribution of pharmaceuticals both in Canada and abroad. Certainly this is consistent with CIC’s agenda, but hard to tell if it is influencing the motion.

6. MP Saini Introduced M-132 In 2017

For a speech on passing M-132.
The text is below

Motion Text
That the Standing Committee on Health be instructed to undertake a study on ways of increasing benefits to the public resulting from federally funded health research, with the goals of lowering drugs costs and increasing access to medicines, both in Canada and globally; and that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House no later than one year from the time this motion is adopted.

Submissions Lodged

Dates Of Meetings
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Witnesses suggested to the Committee that the federal government could address these challenges by increasing its investments in health research; promoting the creation of innovative alternative models of pharmaceutical R&D; and establishing strategic priorities for pharmaceutical R&D in line with both domestic and international population health needs.

(ii) Repurposing of Existing Drugs Dr. Keith Fowke, Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Manitoba, told the Committee that federal funding of research focusing on examining ways to repurpose existing drugs that are safe, affordable and globally available to treat new conditions is another possible approach of reducing the costs of drug development, while ensuring affordable access to treatments. He explained to the Committee that his CIHR-funded research on HIV/AIDS examined the role that aspirin could play in preventing the spread of infection by reducing inflammation in cells in the genital tract that are susceptible to the HIV virus. His research showed that aspirin reduced the number of HIV target cells in the genital tract by 35%, which is paving the way for clinical trials in this area. Dr. Fowke recommended that CIHR continue to support innovative fundamental research that focuses on the repurposing of existing widely available generic drugs for the treatment of new conditions, an approach that reduces timelines and costs for R&D as these medications already exist

C. Develop a Strategic Framework for Federally Funded Health Research in Canada and Abroad
Finally, the Committee heard from both Drs. Nickerson and Yusuf that the federal government needs to develop a strategic framework that identifies priorities for health research funding that focuses on population health needs both in Canada and abroad. Though various federal government departments and agencies, including CIHR, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Global Affairs Canada have proposed priorities for federal health research funding both nationally and internationally, witnesses indicated that there is a need to review and better coordinate health research priorities across government to determine whether they are meeting population health needs. This priority setting would help identify areas where the federal government should target its investments in pharmaceutical R&D, which would leverage Canadian expertise across governments, universities, industry and civil society.

It cannot be overemphasized that these reports focus not only on cheap drugs for Canadians. They also are directed to the world at large. Presumably they will be sold at low rates, but since it’s not specified, they could be donated. Those are quotes from the November 2018 report that was released.

7. MP Saini Attended MIX Grand Opening

KITCHENER, ON, Jan. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX), Canada’s first industry-led hub for medtech startups, celebrated its official launch and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, January 10, 2020 at its Kitchener headquarters. Mr. Simon Kennedy, Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science & Economic Development provided the keynote address on what infrastructure is required to help retain and successfully scale Canadian medtech startups. Honoured guests included Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, Member of Parliament Raj Saini, Member of Parliament Tim Louis, and industry leaders including prominent medtech CEOs, investors, hospital administrators, and government officials.

MIX, spearheaded in June 2019 by Intellijoint Surgical CEO Armen Bakirtzian, joins the powerful community within the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor to offer Canadian medtech companies an environment to grow locally and go to market globally. MIX Residents have a unique opportunity to retain ownership in early stages and succeed by leveraging MIX resources to avoid early stage pitfalls and post-prototype growing pains. The successes of Intellijoint Surgical, which celebrated its landmark 10,000th surgery in April of last year, and other successful Canadian medtech strategic advisors, help illuminate the path to bootstrapping as an alternative to acquisition by, for example, global medical device and pharmaceutical companies or packing up and moving operations to the United States.

“We are experiencing a tech boom right across our region,” adds Tim Louis, MP for Kitchener Conestoga. “We excel at IP development, and have a global reputation in high-tech manufacturing – from automotive to aerospace. But we understand that more must be done to cultivate local successes. When IP leaves the country, we miss out on future opportunities, as well as the potential spillover effect from high-tech research. MIX will certainly help to address some of those gaps.”

Since the June 2019 announcement of its founding, MIX has already received dozens of inquiries from interested companies seeking to become part of the community. This will ensure Bakirtzian meets his commitment to fill the incubator’s office space with mature startups that would most benefit from peer-to-peer information exchanges over the course of their minimum 18-24 month occupancy. “We are committed to helping ‘grow our own’” says Bakirtzian, “and it starts with ensuring the most promising medtech startups have a home here at 809 Wellington Street where they can thrive and scale.”

MIX, the Medical Innovation Exchange, had it’s grand opening, on January 10, 2020. MP Saini was one of those in attendance. Since its launch, MIX has focused it’s services on the coronavirus epidemic, which happened very shortly afterwards. What a great, but coincidental timing this is. Here is another article covering the launch.

Bakirtzian and MIX’s inaugural Residents want to galvanize these realities for the medtech space and their many peers in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Their vision also includes addressing tough questions about healthcare procurement policies, which impact the domestic healthcare market, and channels to access more mature sources of funding. They are keenly aware of the immediate and broader impact of their work.

“Canada is a place where innovation thrives – especially here in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.” says Raj Saini, MP for Kitchener Centre. “We offer one of the best economies in the world for new business ventures as well as small and medium enterprises. And medtech is an area rich in intellectual property — something Canadians lead at developing. But we need to improve at commercialization. Of patents filed in the past two years, 60% ended up with global companies within a year.”

“We are experiencing a tech boom right across our region,” adds Tim Louis, MP for Kitchener Conestoga. “We excel at IP development, and have a global reputation in high-tech manufacturing – from automotive to aerospace. But we understand that more must be done to cultivate local successes. When IP leaves the country, we miss out on future opportunities, as well as the potential spillover effect from high-tech research. MIX will certainly help to address some of those gaps.”

MIX, the Medical Innovation Xchange, doesn’t actually do any research itself. Instead, it is a hub, or a place of centralization for others to research. Although this is just starting out, it will be very interesting to see where things lead.

8. Waterloo Corporate Welfare

Today, Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced a contribution of $2.57 million for Nicoya to scale up operations and accelerate growth into new markets.

“This FedDev Ontario investment in Nicoya is wonderful news for Waterloo Region. Twenty-nine good-paying, highly-skilled jobs will be added in our community, and our thriving biotechnology and health sciences cluster will be strengthened. Our government is committed to ensuring the competitiveness of our region both at home and abroad.”
– Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre

Off topic, but Saini handed out $2.57 million to create 29 jobs, or more than $88,000/per job. Great use of taxpayer money.

9. Issue With Saini’s Connection

Raj Saini is a licensed pharmacist, but he has also been lobbied by drug companies (among others) for his entire time in office. One of those parties was GAVI, the Global Vaccine Alliance that is largely financed by Bill Gates and his Foundation. On the surface at least, these look like a clear conflict of interest.

Saini introduced M-132, to get the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health to study ways to increase pharmaceutical research. The people who appeared before the Committee and give submissions have vested interests in seeing this go ahead.

M-132 could be totally coincidental, but consider how it looks. The motion is introduced in 2017, the hearings are in the fall of 2018, and the recommendations are adopted in March 2019. Later that year, Event 201 would be held and the coronavirus “pandemic” would be unleashed.

How convenient it is that the Parliamentary hurdles were cleared in time for drug researching to be advanced.


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