(left-right) Renate Weigel, Trudy Thorgierson, Alistair MacGregor, Donna Cameron
The Council of Canadians Cowichan Valley chapter met with NDP Member of Parliament Alistair MacGregor to discuss the need for a national pharmacare program that would provide universal access to prescription drugs for everyone in this country.
Chapter activist Donna Cameron tells us, “Trudy Thorgierson, Renate Weigel and myself met with our MP, Alistair MacGregor, on May 25th. We presented the information from the Council of Canadians about a national pharmacare plan. Alistair is an NDP member so was already aware of all the issues and fully supportive. He said he would pass our information along to Don Davies, the NDP health critic.”
During the 2015 federal election, the CBC reported, “The NDP plans to spend $2.6 billion over the next four years to ‘work towards a plan to support universal comprehensive public drug coverage for all Canadians’, if it takes the Oct. 19 vote.”
The Liberals criticized this commitment as ‘another multi-billion dollar health care promise’ even though a Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) study says that universal access to prescription drugs would cost governments an extra $1 billion a year, but would save Canadians $7.3 billion.
Toronto Star columnist Thomas Walkom commented, “[The details of the NDP plan] remain vague. Still, it’s worth noting that neither Justin Trudeau’s Liberals nor Harper’s Conservatives had come up with anything at all on this front. ‘It’s the most comprehensive kick at the can we’ve seen’, says [Danielle Martin, one of the authors of the CMAJ pharmacare study]. ‘I’m thrilled they’re bringing it to the table.'”
More recently, Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt has commented, “Pharmacare is not anywhere near the top of the federal government’s to-do list at present.”
Our aim is to change that – through meetings with MPs and other actions.
To tell Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Health Minister Jane Philpott it’s time for pharmacare, please go to on our online action alert here.