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.

Parliament Video: Speech on NDP motion “Place people and the planet before oil and gas company profits”

May 17, 2022 - I make a speech on the NDP's Opposition Day motion calling on the government to: (a) stop using Canadian taxpayers’ money to subsidize and finance the oil and gas sector, including by eliminating financing provided through Crown corporations such as Export Development Canada, and excluding oil and gas companies from the $2.6 billion Carbon Capture Tax Credit, by the end of 2022; and (b) re-invest savings from both these measures in renewable energy and in help for Canadians struggling with the high cost of living. Canadians are paying almost $2 per litre of gas at the pump, while oil and gas companies are making record profits. Meanwhile Canada spends 14 times more on financial support to the fossil fuel sector than it does for renewable energy, even though it has failed to meet any of its climate targets to reduce carbon emissions over the last 40 years. There is no Planet B. We must do everything we can today to ensure that the planet will be inhabitable for future generations. The government must do the right thing and place people and the planet over oil and gas company profits now.:


MEDIA RELEASE: Jagmeet and the NDP deliver results that will save many Canadians up to $1,700

OTTAWA – The budget released on Tuesday shows how Canada’s NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and New Democrats have used their power to deliver results for Canadians at a time where people desperately need help with the cost-of-living. With another doubling of the GST rebate and dental care for children under 18, people living with a disability and seniors, millions of Canadians are going to save $1,700.

“Today’s budget shows that when New Democrats use our power, we get real things done for people,” said Singh. “This is a difficult time for Canadians. The cost of everything is up. That’s why we fought for a budget that saves you money and creates good jobs with better wages. Justin Trudeau voted against dental care twice and he didn’t want to double the GST rebate, but we didn’t take no for an answer. We fought and we got those things for working people. And if Pierre Poilievre had his way in this budget, there would be no dental care. Your pension, and the services that your family relies on would be cut to benefit the big bosses.”

HESA#38: Committee debate on Bill C-31 Cost of Living Relief Act, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing

In a different committee.... I don't normally sit on this committee, so I'm a bit bewildered as to how this committee normally works. I don't know if this is how it always works. In any event, this is my first time sitting on this committee. In the committee I sit on, which is the immigration committee, there have been many times when the Conservative members challenged the chair. Sometimes they succeeded and sometimes they didn't.

All of that is to say that it is within members' rights to do what they wish to do and then follow the procedures accordingly. Nobody is usurping the rules here. We are following the rules as they are.

Getting back to the issue at hand, the purpose of this amendment is.... In my community of Vancouver East, for example, there are a lot of people who pay room and board. Sometimes they're students. Sometimes they're seniors. Sometimes the amount they pay is not the 25% that is deemed in this legislation. What I intended to do was come up with a number that better reflects the actuality of how much they pay, so that more people would qualify. I will admit that I am trying to get more people to qualify. That is my sin here. I am trying to do that.

If the Conservatives don't like that and don't support it, which is exactly where they are, they're entitled to that and to vote against it, accordingly. However, to somehow suggest that I'm trying to usurp the rules, Mr. Chair, is offensive and it is just not true.

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.

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