Canadian Health Coalition’s report on activities and campaigns for 2022-23
The Canadian Health Coalition has published its Report of Activities and Campaigns for 2022-23. What follows is the introduction to the health coalition’s successful year of campaigns and activities by Chairperson Pauline Worsfold, RN.
Dear colleagues and friends,
To begin, let me thank you and your members for your steadfast support of the Canadian Health Coalition. I am overwhelmed by your kind generosity when we reach out to you to join in our mission to defend and expand our cherished Medicare.
We are working hard to fulfill Tommy Douglas’ dream of public health care. As he wrote in 1979, “Unless there is a concerted effort to apply pressure on the Federal and Provincial governments, the erosion of Medicare will continue unabated and might even be accelerated. Our best hope lies in the Canadian Health Coalition…for the preservation and extension of Medicare.”
A year of success and growth
The Canadian Health Coalition has been growing dramatically this year, which is improving greatly our influence with decision-makers and opinion leaders in Ottawa.
In 2022-23 we were joined by three more organizations: SEIU Canada, the Canadian Federation of Students, and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), who bring new energy to our common table.
Additionally, the Board of Directors increased our staff capacity to improve our media profile, and develop stronger relationships in Québec.
The Board has also approved an ambitious digital campaign to recruit thousands of new supporters to turbo-charge our campaigns.
Our work this year is guided by five key priorities (in no specific order):
- Increase health care funding and enforce the Canada Health Act
- Implement pharmacare
- Legislate enforceable national standards for long-term care
- Stop privatization and remove for-profit from health care, including in long-term care
- Eliminate systemic racism from health care
The next three years will be crucial for our work together. The Liberal-NDP agreement announced in March 2022 could finally give Canadians access to life-saving medicine through a national universal pharmacare program. This is huge!
Health and Hope 2025
To achieve the most significant expansion of public health care in a generation, the Canadian Health Coalition launched a 3-year strategic plan we called Health and Hope 2025.
The goal of Health and Hope 2025 is to achieve the full delivery of health care commitments made in the Liberal-NDP agreement before its conclusion in 2025, including public dental care, universal pharmacare, frontline health care investments, and safe long-term care.
The terms of the Liberal-NDP agreement are viewed as a minimum goal, and we will work to ensure the strongest delivery possible on these commitments, and beyond.
The campaign will be waged on three strategic fronts: the media, in Ottawa, and in our communities. That’s why we are investing in improved communications – such as our popular newsletter of public health care news delivered each week to nearly 10,000 people in both official languages. This year we were sought out by journalists from every major news outlet in the country, including CTV, CBC, Global, The Globe and Mail, the Hill Times, and more.
In Ottawa we have focussed our advocacy efforts on reaching and influencing parliamentarians through online and face to face meetings, committee appearances, and when necessary, rallies on the Hill to make our presence known and our demands heard.
A year of action
This year has been one of our most active in recent times. We have mobilized our supporters at every opportunity to push for public health care. Here are some selected activities that you have seen on the news, and read about in your inbox:
- We organized over 300 supporters and leaders for a rally against privatization and calling for pharmacare on Parliament Hill outside the meeting of the Prime Minister and Premiers.
- We brought together over 100 volunteers to lobby more than 60 parliamentarians for pharmacare.
- We joined members outside of Canadian Blood Services in support of voluntary plasma collection.
- We provided media commentary at the meeting of Premiers in Victoria. • We organized supporters and spoke to MPs outside the Liberal Caucus retreat in St. Andrews, NB.
- We were the first of hundreds of organizations to present to the Commons Finance Committee in advance of the 2023 Budget.
- We worked with allies and our legal team to defend the right of migrants to access public health care.
Looking ahead, the Canadian Health Coalition will continue to draw upon the incredible strength within our movement to fulfill our mission. The Board and its working groups provide an invaluable table to share information, develop analysis, and take action, together.
I am grateful to the incredible members of the coalition, our devoted Board members, and our experienced staff – because it will take all of us working together to confront successfully the voices of privatization and profit, and to champion the needs of everyone in Canada for accessible health care.
Thank you for everything you do for public health care.