Health Care Still a Burning Issue

Monday, May 10, 2022

Despite a flurry of rumours last week the election was not called. However speculation increases that the election will come this Spring and we are ready.

Last month I attended a speech by the Deputy Prime Minister, Pierre Pettigrew, during which he failed to mention publicly-delivered health care even once, but suggested instead that the government wanted 'flexibility' with the provinces. How can we be flexible with the provinces when Alberta's Ralph Klein has as his goal the implementation of two-tiered health care?

Canadians care deeply about Medicare. Pettigrew's speech underlines for me this government's inability to take decisive action on critical issues. Roy Romanow's Royal Commission eighteen months ago challenged the government to halt creeping privatization in health care. Under Paul Martin that privatization continues.

Canadians want to know their tax dollars are being used wisely. Spending millions of dollars on Royal Commissions and ignoring their work is not a responsible use of taxpayers dollars - especially when Canadians are demanding Medicare be protected now.

I was on CBC national television yesterday with Walter Robinson, the former head of the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation who is running as a Conservative candidate, and the former Premier of British Columbia, Ujjal Dosanjh, who is a federal Liberal candidate in the upcoming election. I asked Mr. Dosanjh why the federal Liberals have failed to set out an agenda to reverse the privatization of health care, or a decade of increasing greenhouse gas emissions by our country, in spite of our commitment to the Kyoto agreement. His response was to ignore the question and attack the NDP and Conservative Parties for being too left-wing and too right-wing.

I don't believe Canadians will vote for a fourth Liberal majority government on the basis that there is no credible alternative. Voters will not fall for this tired excuse from a government that has no new ideas. I think Canadians are prepared to send the Liberals a message by voting for local candidates who offer them a positive choice. That's what Jack Layton and his team of NDP candidates is doing across Canada.

That's what we will spend the next two months doing in Parkdale-High Park. Come, join us. This is an election where you will want to say you helped make the difference.