Doug Eyolfson MP (born 1963) is a Canadian physician and Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of Canada for the riding of Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley. He was elected in the 2015 federal election. He is a member of the Standing Committee on Health, the Standing Committee on Veteran Affairs and the Subcommittee on Sports-Related Concussions in Canada. He is also the chair of the Manitoba Liberal Caucus.
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley
|Assumed office |
October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Steven Fletcher|
|Born||1963 (age 55–56)|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Alma mater||University of Manitoba|
Eyolfson was born and raised in Winnipeg, and studied medicine at the University of Manitoba. He worked for 20 years as an emergency department physician in Winnipeg. During his medical career he was a Flight Physician with Manitoba Air Ambulance, Medical Director of Manitoba’s Land Ambulance Program and Medical Director of the Province of Manitoba's EMS Medical Dispatch Centre.
Eyolfson was acclaimed as the Liberal Party's nominee in Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley on March 30, 2015, and took a leave of absence from his medical practice during the campaign. He stated that his reason for running for Parliament stemmed from his experience as an emergency physician where he saw the daily impacts of poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, and crime. Eyolfson won the election, unseating Conservative incumbent and former cabinet minister Steven Fletcher by over 6,000 votes in a huge upset.
Eyolfson introduced his first private member’s bill, C-373, an act respecting a federal framework on distracted driving in October 2017. Eyolfson’s private member’s bill would have the federal justice and transport ministers work with the provinces to create a framework aimed at deterring and preventing distracted driving. Eyolfson stated the reason he introduced the bill was due to his experiences as an emergency department physician where he treated multiple victims of distracted driving. The bill was defeated at Second Reading March 21, 2018.
In October 2017, Eyolfson sponsored S-228, the Child Health Protection Act in the House of Commons. The bill seeks to amend the Food and Drugs Act in an effort to fight childhood obesity by prohibiting the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages towards children. Eyolfson stated his previous experience as a doctor and his desire to take steps towards reducing childhood obesity and the risk of premature onset of chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease as his reasoning for sponsoring the legislation.
On April 18, 2018, the Standing Committee on Health tabled its report Pharmacare now: prescription medicine coverage for all Canadians. Eyolfson, a member of the health committee, helped draft the committee’s report. The committee made 18 recommendations it said could form a blueprint for a new single-payer, publicly funded prescription drug program for all Canadians. Eyolfson told the Winnipeg Free Press that a national pharmacare program would mean "the ability to bulk-buy [pharmaceuticals] would save billions of dollars a year," and could introduce provinces to newer, cheaper medications that are more effective. In his community report, Eyolfson stated, "It’s evident a National Pharmacare Plan would both save billions annually and save lives. As a result, I’m calling upon the government to fully implement a National Pharmacare Plan that is universal, comprehensive, evidence-based, and sustainable." 
Due to the rising number of incidents related methamphetamine abuse in Manitoba, Eyolfson tabled a motion for the Standing Committee on Health to study the impacts of methamphetamine abuse in Canada in order to develop recommendations on actions that the federal government can take, in partnership with the provinces and territories. The committee unanimously agreed to his study. Regarding the outline of the committee study, Eyolfson said, "the medical evidence says that if you’re dealing with drug problems, the number of things that need to be factored in go so far beyond the actual substance; you look at the root causes,” and that he also hopes the committee's findings will help lead to a federal strategy for dealing with meth that could include funding treatments, issuing recommendations to drug manufacturers, shaping the Liberals’ poverty-reduction strategy and restrictions on key ingredients without compromising its legitimate use.
On June 13, Eyolfson moved a motion at the Standing Committee on Health to initiate a study to address violence faced by healthcare workers. The committee unanimously agreed to his study. In a community report prepared by Eyolfson, he wrote that sixty one per cent of nurses report abuse, harassment or assault on the job over a one-year period which leads many to suffer from the effects of PTSD. And that from 2006 to 2015, there were nearly 17,000 violence-related lost-time claims for health care workers. In 2016, this cost Canada nearly a billion dollars as a result of absenteeism for full-time nurses due to illness or injury. In a statement in the House of Commons, Eyolfson said, “As an emergency room physician for 20 years, I would regularly be exposed to violence, even on two occasions having been assaulted myself… It is evident that there is a need for federal engagement on this issue, which is why I introduced a motion in the health committee to study and develop recommendations on actions that the federal government could take to improve violence prevention in health care.”
On March 1, 2019, Eyolfson tabled a petition in the House of Commons to address violence against health care workers. The petition had 8,743 signatures from every province and territory in Canada. His petition called upon the Minister of Health to develop a pan-Canadian prevention strategy to address growing incidents of violence against health-care workers. Eyolfson hopes that a national prevention strategy would continue to change perceptions that violence in workplace settings was acceptable. Eyolfson stated, "Part of it's a cultural shift. It was always just simply accepted that this was a 'part of the job…It took a long time for society, in general, to say that, 'No, this is not acceptable in the hospital workplace; this is not acceptable in any workplace.’"
In December 2018, the City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba and Government of Canada formed a tri-level task force to address the distribution of illicit drugs and the root causes of the province's meth crisis. Because of his experience in emergency medicine, Eyolfson was brought in to support the task force from a public health perspective.
|2015 Canadian federal election: Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley|
|New Democratic||Tom Paulley||2,842||6.0||-14.1||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||47,157||100.0||$197,421.64|
|Total rejected ballots||195||–||–|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+26.1|
|Source: Elections Canada|
- "Liberal Doug Eyolfson defeats incumbent Steven Fletcher in Charleswood". CBC News. October 19, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- Meet Doug Eyolfson, Liberal.ca.
- "Who is who in the Liberal caucus". Macleans.ca. 3 November 2015.
- Diana Moes VandeHoef, Profile: Dr. Doug Eyolfson, Doctors Manitoba.
- Local ER doctor acclaimed as federal Liberal candidate, The Winnipeg Free Press, March 31, 2015.
- "Doug Eyolfson, Liberal — Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley". CBC News. October 6, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- Eyolfson snatches Charleswood from Fletcher, The Winnipeg Sun, October 19, 2015.
- "LEGISinfo – Private Member's Bill C-373 (42-1)". www.parl.ca.
- "MP introduces bill to put distracted driving on fed's agenda". 25 October 2017.
- Comments, Posted: 10/18/2017 8:34 PM (18 October 2017). "Manitoba MP tables bill aimed at cracking down on texting motorists" – via www.winnipegfreepress.com.
- "LEGISinfo – Private Member's Bill C-373 (42-1)". www.parl.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
- Kirkup, Kristy (29 December 2017). "Legislation barring food marketing for kids likely to pass in new year".
- Geary, rea (29 January 2018). "Eyolfson working on public health, safety issues" – via www.winnipegfreepress.com.
- "Voter Information Service – Who are the candidates in my electoral district?". www.elections.ca.
- Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived August 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine