HAMILTON — The federal New Democrats plan to make pharmacare a central issue in the next election if the Liberals do not meet the bar the opposition party has set for legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
The confidence-and-supply deal that sees the NDP supporting the minority Liberals on key votes in the House of Commons says the government will introduce a bill to create a framework for national pharmacare this year.
NDP members have drawn a line in the sand by passing an emergency resolution at their policy convention in Hamilton this weekend that says the party should withdraw its support if the Liberals do not commit to “a universal, comprehensive and entirely public pharmacare program.”
The New Democratic Party’s national director, Anne McGrath, says getting a bill that has teeth will be her party’s biggest priority as parliamentarians return to the House of Commons following a Thanksgiving break.
And that if the NDP ends up walking away from the deal over the issue, then it is ready to make it a ballot-box issue in the next campaign.
The NDP’s health critic, Don Davies, say pulling out of the deal does not mean the party will push to trigger an election, but instead would consider whether to support Liberal legislation one vote at a time.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2023.
The Canadian Press