February 24, 2021

Local Liberal and Conservative MPs vote to deny Canadians Universal Pharmacare

This afternoon, Liberal and Conservative MPs voted against the NDP’s Bill C-213, An Act to Enact the Canada Pharmacare Act, which would lay out the path to establishing a universal, single-payer, comprehensive and public pharmacare plan.

With 1 in 5 Canadians unable to afford the medication their doctors prescribe and COVID exposing the gaps in our healthcare, a national pharmacare program is needed now more than ever.

“Local Liberal and Conservative MPs have proven that they do not have Canadians’ best interests at heart,” said Churchill –Keewatinook – Aski MP Niki Ashton. “Canadians overwhelmingly support a pharmacare program. Why aren’t the Liberals and Conservatives listening to their constituents?”

“Every year, thousands of Canadians are forced to put their health at risk because they can’t afford to pay for their medication,” said Winnipeg Centre MP Leah Gazan. “Canadians need a pharmacare program so they don’t have to choose between feeding their families and paying for their medication.”

The Liberals have been promising to implement universal pharmacare for over 24 years and yet, they have never acted on it. With polls showing that Canadians overwhelmingly support pharmacare (88 per cent support), this opposition by Liberal and Conservative MPs remains even more baffling

“Even before the pandemic, Pharmacare was the best way to save money and get life-saving medication into the hands of Canadians in need. Now thousands and thousands more Canadians are without coverage because they lost their job due to COVID,” said Elmwood-Transcona MP Daniel Blaikie. “Liberals clearly don’t get it. We need a government that does.”

New Democrats believe that we must do better. Just as our party led the fight to establish universal public health care for all Canadians, we are leading the fight to expand Medicare – to include quality prescription drug coverage for everyone, regardless of your job, where you live, your age, your health status, or how much money you make.

Canadians, and Manitoba families, deserve so much better.