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May 7th, 2024

Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives refuse to give free medications to Canadians

OTTAWA—On Tuesday, Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives voted against getting free birth control to 9 million Canadians and free diabetes medications for 3.7 million Canadians. The NDP secured these measures as a first step in a national pharmacare framework.

“Canadians deserve a government who makes their lives more affordable and takes every step to help them stay healthy,” said NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. “Nearly one-in-four Canadians have reported splitting pills, skipping doses, or deciding to not fill or renew vital prescription medications due to their high costs. This is completely unacceptable. Instead of helping millions of Canadians, the Conservatives are more interested in protecting the profits of big pharma and insurance companies. New Democrats know who’s side we’re on—hardworking people and their families.”

Singh had urged the Conservatives to withdraw their amendment to the Pharmacare Act but on Monday, Poilievre refused and remained steadfast on blocking these measures that would lower costs for millions of Canadians.

The last Conservative government cut $43.5 billion from the health care system and gave $60 billion in tax cuts to CEOs and wealthy corporations.

“Pierre Poilievre has been clear where he stands, and it’s not with Canadians. He doesn’t want you to have free, life-saving medications. He doesn’t want women to have more choices about their health with free birth control. He doesn’t want people spending thousands of dollars a year on diabetes medications and devices to get these things for free. Meanwhile, he’s had dental and drug coverage –paid for by the public— for his entire career.

“New Democrats are focussed on lowering costs for you and your family. Unlike the Conservatives, we believe without question women should be able to make decisions about their health without facing barriers like cost.”