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Kitchener-Waterloo chapter distributes pharmacare materials at farmers market

The Council of Canadians Kitchener-Waterloo chapter had an information table at the Kitchener Farmers’ Market on May 27 to promote our demand that the Trudeau government implement a national pharmacare program that would provide universal access to prescription drugs for everyone in this country.

The Kitchener-Waterloo area is represented in the House of Commons by four Liberals: Bardish Chagger (Waterloo), Marwan Tabbara (Kitchener South-Hespeler), Bryan May (Cambridge) and Raj Saini (Kitchener Centre), who incidentally has been a pharmacist in Kitchener for more than twenty years.

Last week we released the results of an Environics poll that found 91 per cent of Canadians would support the Trudeau government moving forward on pharmacare. That poll also found that 42 per cent of respondents said if the Liberals did so, “I’d be more likely to vote Liberal in the next election.”

Despite that, Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt has commented, “Pharmacare is not anywhere near the top of the federal government’s to-do list at present. Health Minister Jane Philpott has been saying repeatedly that her mandate, as far as it concerns drug prices and availability, is limited to getting better deals within the status quo.”

That article adds, “The Commons health committee has been studying the idea of a national pharmacare program off and on since late 2015. But neither Philpott nor her government has shown much enthusiasm for the committee’s work — at least so far.” That committee is expected to release a report with recommendations this fall.

Sixteen Council of Canadians chapters took action over the past several days to promote pharmacare.

They highlighted in their messaging that:

1- We would save money. Pharmacare would save Canadians approximately $14 billion a year by reducing administration costs and giving us stronger buying power to negotiate better prices for medications.

2- Everyone would be covered. Right now 10 per cent of Canadians – approximately 3.5 million people – don’t have even basic drug coverage.

3- Companies would pay less. Data shows that Canadian companies spend about $200 million per week on prescription drug costs incurred by employer drug plans.

To tell the Prime Minister and Health Minister it’s time for pharmacare, please go to on our online action alert here.