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NDP table legislation to create universal pharmacare program

Last Updated Feb 24, 2020 at 11:38 am PDT

FILE - NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh talks to reports on Parliament Hill following a caucus meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Summary

Leader Jagmeet Singh criticizes Liberals for dragging their feet on pharmacare

Party says proposal is based on the principles of Canada Health Act

Bill doesn't specify a particular arrangement for funding provincial and territorial governments

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he will table a bill today calling for a universal pharmacare plan.

The party, which has been promising to table this legislation for some time, says its proposal is based on the principles of the Canada Health Act.

The bill doesn’t specify a particular arrangement for funding provincial and territorial governments that would have to administer the drug plan, but instead would give the federal government authority to negotiate with them.

It does lay out conditions the provinces and territories would have to meet to receive funding, including making drug coverage widely accessible.

The Liberal government also promised a pharmacare plan in the last election, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau included the initiative in Health Minister Patty Hajdu’s mandate letter in December.

Singh has criticized the Liberals for dragging their feet on pharmacare and encouraged them to sign on to his bill to make it happen by 2022.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2020.

-The Canadian Press