Canada election: What federal leaders have pledged on health care

Canada’s federal parties are trying to win over voters by promising to both expand and revitalize the country’s health care.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, the Conservatives’ Andrew Scheer, New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and the Green Party’s Elizabeth May have made several health-care pledges.

Here’s a list of pledges leaders have made on health care.

Skip to promises made by:

  • Sept. 16: The Tories promise a children’s fitness tax credit and a children’s art and learning credit, with additional money for parents of children with disabilities.
  • Sept. 20: Scheer promises to spend $1.5 billion to buy new medical imaging equipment for facilities across the country. He also vows to maintain and increase health transfer payments to provinces and territories.
  • Sept. 30: A Conservative government would make it easier for thousands of people to get a federal disability tax credit, the party says.
  • Oct. 2: Scheer says that if elected, his government would appeal a Quebec court ruling that struck down parts of the Liberal legislation on medical assistance in dying as unconstitutional.

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  • Sept. 23: Trudeau pledges a national pharmacare program but doesn’t say how much it would cost to be fully implemented or when that would happen. He says the Liberals would invest $6 billion over the next four years to kick-start negotiations with the provinces aimed at improving a range of health-care services for Canadians.
  • Sept. 25:  Trudeau promises to “make high-quality health care a reality for all Indigenous people” by co-developing “distinctions-based” health legislation. He adds community infrastructure plans will be developed to meet “critical infrastructure needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities” over the next decade. A dollar figure was not attached to either announcement.
  • Sept. 29: The Liberal Party’s full platform is released, which includes other health-care pledges such as improving access to abortion and reproductive health care, mental health services and primary care providers.
  • Oct. 2: Trudeau said that if re-elected, his government would introduce new legislation to expand access to medical assistance in dying.
  • Oct. 15: Trudeau promises that a re-elected Liberal government would come to the rescue of an abortion clinic in Fredericton that could be forced to close its doors without the support of the province.
  • Oct. 18: Liberals say they will evaluate all existing and future government policies for their impact on disabled residents if voted back into power next week.

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  • June 16: Singh introduces his campaign platform, promising a range of policies, including a national pharmacare plan. The platform also pledges to declare a national health emergency on the opioid crisis and provide coverage for gender-affirming surgeries and health care for transgender people.
  • Sept. 12: Singh promises his government would provide federal funding for a new hospital in Brampton, Ont.
  • Sept. 18: Singh outlines his dental care plan, which would provide free dental care for households making under $70,000 per year, and some coverage of dental services for households making between $70,000 and $90,000.

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  • Sept. 21: The Green Party promises to address opioid deaths by declaring a national health emergency, decriminalizing drug possession, increasing supports for mental health and addiction and boosting funding to community-based organizations to test drugs and support drug users. The party also vows to ensure naloxone kits are widely available to treat overdoses.
  • Sept. 25: The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates the Green Party’s pharmacare program would cost $26.7 billion in 2020, something that took May by surprise.

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  • Sept. 15: Bloc Québécois releases its election platform, with several promises on health care, including a pledge to fight for a greater health transfer for Quebec, lower drug costs and a caregiver tax credit.

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— With files from the Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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