The Canadian Abortion Rights Action League is claiming to have found a company interested in manufacturing RU-486 in Canada. Discussions are said to have already taken place between the U.S. Population Council, CARAL and the potential manufacturer.

But Joanne Ford of Health Canada told the Vancouver Sun recently that there have been no submissions from drug companies interested in marketing RU-486 in Canada. “We can’t consider a drug until a submission is made,” she said. She did, however, confirm that there have been several meetings during the past few years with interested parties to determine what would be necessary to have the drug approved in Canada.

B.C. Health Minister Penny Priddy, meanwhile, used the slaying of Buffalo abortionist Barnett Slepian as a vehicle for pushing the federal government to hasten approval of RU-486 in Canada. Priddy said the legalization of the drug would “significantly reduce the risk” to abortion providers. She added that she wishes B.C. could bypass Health Canada and bring RU-486 directly into the province.

She criticized federal Health Minister Allan Rock for not moving on the issue, and claimed that Exelgyn, a company that holds worldwide rights to RU-486, has written to Rock expressing interest in selling it in Canada. Rock wrote back to Priddy recently to scold her for suggesting he’s done nothing to approve RU-486, and said he replied last May to Exelgyn.

Two years ago, then-B.C. Health Minister Joy MacPhail announced that her government would provide $60,000 for clinical trials of RU-486 at B.C Women’s Hospital, but the tests never took place.