Chapter activist Berta Gaulke and Bill Casey's riding office assistant.
The Council of Canadians North Shore chapter delivered our new pharmacare report and materials to Liberal MP Bill Casey's riding office in Truro.
Chapter activist Berta Gaulke tells us that Casey was willing to meet with the chapter, but scheduling issues presented obstacles. That said, Gaulke says someone from the chapter should also be near one of his two constituency offices in the large rural riding of Cumberland-Colchester on the weekend to try to speak with the MP.
The Globe and Mail has reported, "Elected as a Progressive Conservative MP in 1988, in a slightly redrawn version of the [Cumberland-Colchester] riding, Mr. Casey joined the Harper Tories in the 2003 merger. In 2007, however, he was kicked out of caucus when he opposed the Harper budget for what he saw as a broken promise over the Atlantic Accord. In 2008, after opposing the Harper budget, he ran as an independent, winning with 70 per cent of the vote. In 2009, however, he left the House of Commons after he was diagnosed with both malignant melanoma and prostate cancer."
After battling back against cancer, Casey ran again in the October 2015 federal election and won as a Liberal.
Significantly, Casey is the Chair of the 10-member multi-party House of Commons Standing Committee on Health.
Earlier this month, Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt commented, "The Commons health committee has been studying the idea of a national pharmacare program off and on since late 2015. As recently as February, in fact, the committee was hearing from experts on how a national drug plan might fit into the Constitution. But neither [Health Minister Jane] Philpott nor [the Trudeau] government has shown much enthusiasm for the committee’s work — at least so far."
Council of Canadians chapters are meeting with MPs this week to help build momentum for substantive federal government action on pharmacare.
To tell the Prime Minister and Health Minister it's time for pharmacare, please go to on our online action alert here. To read our pharmacare report and learn more about this campaign, please click here.