Canada’s unions step up pharmacare campaign this Labour Day

August 31, 2018

This Labour Day, Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to get it right on pharmacare by creating a single-payer, universal prescription drug program for Canada.

Labour Day offers Canadians an important opportunity to reflect on the legacy of unions, to take stock of our progress and to commit ourselves to working together for a fairer future. Canada’s unions work to raise the standards for every worker, from higher wages and pensions, to better safety standards. This year, unions are working to improve the health of everyone in Canada by campaigning for universal pharmacare.

Since launching a national campaign on pharmacare last year, the Canadian Labour Congress has seen significant progress, including the creation of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare by the federal government last spring.

“We’ve gained incredible momentum on pharmacare,” said Hassan Yussuff, CLC President. “We’ve been working closely with health coalitions, nurses unions, business groups, and a variety of medical professionals to start this overdue conversation in cities and towns right across the country. What we’ve heard time and again from Canadians is that pharmacare is the unfinished business of health care and it’s about time we get this done.”

Yussuff said that proposals by the insurance industry and Big Pharma won’t save Canadians, businesses or government money, but they will help increase those companies’ already high profits.

“More than 100,000 people across Canada have taken action to support universal pharmacare, and those numbers are growing daily,” said Yussuff. “We’ve said all along that patchwork coverage that varies from one province to another isn’t working for people in Canada, and a fill-in-the-gaps approach to pharmacare just isn’t good enough.”

The Advisory Council has launched both online and public consultations on pharmacare, and Canadians should take the opportunity to send their feedback to the government. Studies have consistently shown a majority of Canadians are struggling to afford to pay for their prescription medications, or worry about being able to afford it in the future.

“We’ve made great strides towards universal pharmacare in Canada. The government is listening, so now is our chance to get it right,” said Yussuff. “The right way forward – the only way that pharmacare will really work in Canada – is with a single-payer, universal program that covers everyone with a health card and delivers savings through bulk-buying.”

National pharmacare is both sound economic and social policy, that will have a positive impact on our communities,” Yussuff added.

For more information on the campaign visit aplanforeveryone.ca.

Related Articles

Canada’s unions stand with India’s farmers and farm workers

Canada’s unions stand in solidarity with farmers and agricultural workers in India as they continue to protest recent reforms to agricultural laws that deregulate the industry and leave farmers and farm workers vulnerable to exploitation by international corporations. “Deregulating local produce markets will have a devastating impact on farmers, farm workers and food security in India,” said Canadian Labour Congress…
Read More

Human Rights Day: equitable COVID-19 recovery requires investment in care

Canada’s unions are marking International Human Rights Day by calling for long-term investments in the care sector. “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights” is the United Nations theme for this year’s International Human Rights Day, which is observed December 10. “It is critical that Canada’s COVID-19 recovery efforts tackle the human rights failures that have been exposed by…
Read More

Workers with disabilities must help shape Canada’s Disability Inclusion Strategy

Canada’s unions are marking December 3 – the International Day for Persons with Disabilities –by calling on the federal government to include persons with disabilities in Canada’s economic recovery strategy. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s unions have collaborated with disability rights coalitions like the Include Me Campaign, to highlight the unique challenges and barriers faced by persons…
Read More