When Tommy Douglas introduced universal healthcare to Canada, his vision was for a complete, head-to-toe, comprehensive healthcare system that lefts no one falling through the gaps. Canada is the only developed country in the world with a universal health care system that doesn't include universal coverage of prescription drugs.
Being able to see a doctor does not help if one cannot afford their medication. I have met a senior, who at 80 years old, must blend all their food to survive because they do not have teeth. Mental health support is inaccessible to too many people, often with devastating impact. It should be a no-brainer that a complete healthcare system includes prescription medication, dental care, vision care, and mental health support. With rising costs, it is more important than ever that healthcare is accessible and affordable.

Can’t afford your medication? Universal public pharmacare saves money and lives.

Canadians are paying more for prescription drugs than citizens of other OECD countries, with one in eight Canadians between 55 and 64 saying they cannot afford their medication. Nearly 2 million Canadians couldn’t afford to fill their prescriptions in the last year. And for many people that means more trips to the doctor or the hospital – hurting their health, and costing more in the long run. No one should have to choose between paying for their medicine, or paying for their or their families’ other basic needs.

HANSARD: Discussion on mental health, housing and Constable Shaelyn Yang

I will build on what I heard from my colleague about the need for the social determinants of health to be addressed, because that is intrinsically linked to both our physical and mental health.
The reality is that there are so many people in our communities who do not have access to basic supports that should be a basic human right, such as housing. When people cannot access housing, they are in turmoil. Pregnant mothers feel so hopeless because they cannot have access to housing that they take their lives.
I have had situations in my own riding of Vancouver East where mothers and families who are trying to get away from domestic violence are not able to access housing. There is desperation when sending them back to the abuser because they have no other choice. I have met mothers who lost their children, and not because they are bad parents but because they do not have access to safe, secure and affordable housing. Let us imagine for one moment the trauma associated with that. What does that do to their hearts, to their minds and to their mental health? Those are the realities that people have to live with every day across Canada and most definitely in my riding of Vancouver East.

MEDIA RELEASE: New Democrats Force the Liberals to Act: Wins for Everyday Canadians

MEDIA RELEASE: New Democrats Force the Liberals to Act: Wins for Everyday Canadians

Whether it’s sky-high rent and housing costs, gas pump gouging, or record-high grocery bills – working families are feeling the squeeze of inflation as big box stores and CEOs earn massive profits. At the NDP caucus retreat in Halifax last week, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh reiterated ​urgent calls for inflationary relief measures ​to address the affordability crisis.
New Democrats used their power in the minority parliament to get wins for everyday people, forcing the Liberals to finally agree to ​take action on a historic expansion of Canada’s healthcare system through the establishment of a dental care program for families earning less than $90,000 without insurance and an increase to the Canadian Housing Benefit – real measures that will help household budgets. 

MEDIA RELEASE: New Democrats Force the Liberals to Act: Wins for Everyday Canadians

MEDIA RELEASE: New Democrats Force the Liberals to Act: Wins for Everyday Canadians

Whether it’s sky-high rent and housing costs, gas pump gouging, or record-high grocery bills – working families are feeling the squeeze of inflation as big box stores and CEOs earn massive profits. At the NDP caucus retreat in Halifax last week, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh reiterated ​urgent calls for inflationary relief measures ​to address the affordability crisis.
New Democrats used their power in the minority parliament to get wins for everyday people, forcing the Liberals to finally agree to ​take action on a historic expansion of Canada’s healthcare system through the establishment of a dental care program for families earning less than $90,000 without insurance and an increase to the Canadian Housing Benefit – real measures that will help household budgets. 

MEDIA RELEASE: NDP MPs fighting against toxic drug related deaths, while Liberals ignore expert advice

MEDIA RELEASE: NDP MPs fighting against toxic drug related deaths, while Liberals ignore expert advice

"Families in Vancouver and across British Columbia have experienced the devastating toll of the toxic drug crisis. Thousands of families have lost loved ones – these are preventable deaths," said NDP MP Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East). "Successive Medical Health Officers in BC, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and family members have called out Canada's current drug laws. They are ineffective, do not give people the help they need and disproportionally harm marginalized communities. The cost of inaction is people's lives – we need to act now."  
 
"Over the last two years, we've seen a drastic increase in toxic drug-related deaths and hospitalizations across Canada," said NDP MP Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway). "The status quo is clearly not working. Substance use and addiction are health, not criminal matters. It’s critical that we follow the evidence and shift to the health-based approach that Bill C-216 is proposing."  
 
“I am proud to support Gord John’s Bill C-216 and thank him for putting it forward. The criminalization of drugs has had an unfathomably negative impact on the health and well-being of far too many people in this country,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “It unfairly targets those who are homeless, experiencing mental health issues, and racialized and Indigenous communities. This bill is a chance to take a more compassionate approach - ensuring drug users end up in health care, not handcuffs.”
IN THE NEWS: Global News - Advocates rally in support of abortion rights in Vancouver

IN THE NEWS: Global News - Advocates rally in support of abortion rights in Vancouver

Vancouver-Mount Pleasant NDP MP Jenny Kwan also addressed the crowd.
She told Global News that while what is happening in the U.S. is “horrifying,” Canadians should remain focused on the right to access safe abortion here.
“While it is true that abortion is legal here in Canada, the reality is that many communities do not have access to abortion services, and sexual health services for the LGBTQ2+ community, for the trans community is also not available if you happen to live in a remote community, in a rural community,” she said.
Kwan argued the Liberal government is not doing enough to ensure abortion services are available to Canadians everywhere, pointing to the battle in New Brunswick over Clinic 554.
New Brunswick’s provincial government refuses to fund abortions at the clinic, the only facility in the province providing surgical abortions outside of a hospital.  In response, the federal government withheld some health transfers to the province, but the clinic’s operator was forced scale back services.
IN THE NEWS: CTV - The day after the deal: MPs voice their views on the Liberal-NDP agreement

IN THE NEWS: CTV - The day after the deal: MPs voice their views on the Liberal-NDP agreement

NDP MP Jenny Kwan said that while the deal doesn’t include all of the policies the NDP want progress on, “it is about getting as much as we can for the people who need the supports and services,” and she and others will continue to fight for more.

“That’s what this agreement is about, getting as much as we can,” Kwan said. “Imagine—if 25 New Democrats can get us this far—what a majority New Democrat government can do.”

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