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NATIONAL PHONE ZAP: Click to call your MP to not back down on pharmacare for all

Update February 23, 2024: Thank you to everyone who made calls to Members of Parliament, PM Justin Trudeau, and key ministers, with your urgent message of support for public, universal pharmacare – our calls made a difference!

The announcement we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived: the Liberals and the NDP have reached a deal on pharmacare that Jagmeet Singh has called “historic.”

We welcome the news of universal coverage of diabetes and birth control medication through a single-payer public system – an important expansion of Canadian Medicare. We are, however, also awaiting details about the draft legislation that is to set out the framework for a national pharmacare program. 

TALKING POINTS / SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT

Hi, my name is [name], I live in [city/riding] and I’m a supporter of the Council of Canadians.

(Mention any support you may have given the MP / their party in the past, if relevant: voting, donating, volunteering, etc.)

I’m aware that the federal pharmacare plan is mere days away from being introduced.

As one of your constituents, I want to say that I fully support public, universal pharmacare, and I expect you to do the same.

I know you may be hearing false narratives from Big Pharma or insurance lobbyists about pharmacare. I’m calling to show you that your constituents are paying attention, and if you don’t support a proper public, universal pharmacare program, it’s going to hurt you in the next election.  

Only a universal, public, and comprehensive pharmacare program can ensure equal access to medicines for all while lowering excessive drug prices and reining in the power of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. We can’t allow a partial program that only covers some people. We need pharmacare to be modeled after our health care system – universal, for everyone.

Starting with universal coverage for essential medicines would cost just $3.5 billion per year and make a huge difference in the lives of millions of Canadians.

(Share any experiences you may have had with extra billing, unaffordable drug costs or examples of privatization of health care from your province)

(If the MP is a Liberal: I’m disturbed to hear that your government, under pressure from corporate lobbyists, has refused to agree to a universal pharmacare plan.

This is what the Liberal government’s own experts recommended in 2019 and what the federal government committed to do in the supply-and-confidence agreement. Additionally, the Council of Canadians recently did some polling and found that 78% of Liberal voters support universal pharmacare, and 56% of undecided voters do too.)

(If the MP is NDP: I’m glad your government is supporting what the Council of Canadians has been calling for and are staying firm on pharmacare being a universal program. The Council of Canadians recently did some polling and found that 92% of NDP voters support universal pharmacare, and 56% of undecided voters do too.

I hope you will recognize that your own constituents are calling for a universal program, and I am asking you to raise these concerns with the Health Minister as soon as possible.

Thank you.

Additional optional talking points

Here are some additional points on public, universal pharmacare and what the federal government can do to stop privatization that may be useful when you are talking with your MP or their staff:

On pharmacare for all

  • Our public Medicare system does not cover the cost of prescription medicines, leaving many patients on the hook to pay for necessary drugs unless they’re in a hospital.
  • People are struggling to pay for essential medicine. They are splitting pills or skipping taking their meds altogether, leading them to get sick and in the hospital’s Emergency Department.
  • One-in-five people report they do not have private drug insurance – from low-paid workers to self-employed entrepreneurs. Immigrants and racialized people are hit especially hard.
  • Drug prices are so high in Canada that even people with insurance often struggle to pay for their medications.
  • In 2019 after extensive consultations, the federal government’s Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, led by Dr. Eric Hoskins, recommended: “the federal government work with provincial and territorial governments and stakeholders to establish universal, single-payer, public pharmacare in Canada.”
  • The Hoskins plan will expand Medicare to provide universal publicly-funded and publicly-delivered drug coverage to everyone in Canada, based on their medical need and not their ability to pay.
  • Not only will pharmacare save lives, many families would save hundreds, and potentially thousands of dollars each year, too. Employers will save money on private health coverage costs, while provinces and territories will reap billions of dollars in savings through bulk purchasing of pharmaceuticals.

Don’t Hang Up!

Note: We will randomize the order in which these contacts are called to reduce busy signals.

  • Your Member of Parliament, based on your address (Contacts)
  • Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Hill Office, 1-613-992-4211 
  • Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Constituency Office, 1-514-277-6020 – Papineau
  • Mark Holland, Health Minister, Hill Office, 1-613-995-8042 (Forwards to Humera Khan)– Ajax
  • Mark Holland, Health Minister, Health Canada, 1-613-957-0200
  • Chrystia Freeland, Finance Minister, Department of Finance, 1-613-369-3710 – University Rosedale
  • Chrystia Freeland, Finance Minister, Department of Finance, 1-613-369-3710
  • Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport of Canada, Hill Office, 1-613-995-0580 – Honoré-Mercier
  • Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, Hill Office, 1-613-992-1020 – Beauséjour
  • Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Labour and Seniors, Hill Office, 1-613-992-0927 – St. John’s South – Mount Pearl
  • Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Hill Office, 1-613-992-6022 – Central Nova
  • Yasir Naqvi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Hill Office, 1-613-996-5322 – Ottawa Centre
  • Arif Virani, Minister of Justice, Hill Office, 1-613-992-2936 – Parkdale—High Park
  • Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Hill Office, 1-613-995-1225 – North Vancouver
  • Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages of Canada, Hill Office, 1-613-992-4524 – Edmonton Centre