MPs to vote on health care privatization next Monday, March 6
Members of Parliament will be asked to vote on the privatization of public health care in response to a motion put forward by Canada’s New Democrats.
Tabled by NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, the motion calls on MPs to “express disappointment” in the Prime Minister for calling Ontario’s plan to outsource hospital services to for-profit clinics a form of “innovation.”
“Allowing cash-for-care corporations to operate here is already bleeding family doctors, nurses and surgeons out of the public system. And expanding the role of for-profit corporations in health care delivery will finish the job — gutting public hospitals and clinics, forcing everyone to wait much longer,” said Singh in a statement.
The motion will be put to a vote on Monday, March 6, 2023 (following Question Period, sometime between 3:15 and 3:20 ET and available to watch on ParlVu). It will place the Liberals in a bind since they want to be seen as public health care champions, but they are unlikely to vote in favour.
According to the CBC, Adam van Koeverden, parliamentary secretary to the health minister, told reporters, “We cannot vote in favour of a motion that expresses disappointment in the prime minister who’s working hard with ministers and premiers right across the country to improve health outcomes.”
Here is the text of the motion:
That, given that,
(i) during the 2021 federal election campaign, the prime minister was harshly critical of the Conservative Party of Canada proposal to encourage “innovation” in the health care sector by expanding for-profit provision of publicly funded services,
(ii) the prime minister has now dramatically changed his position and has lauded as ‘’innovation” Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s proposed expansion of for-profit clinics,
(iii) for-profit clinics would poach workers from the public system and lead to longer wait times,
(iv) there are multiple public reports of two-tier health care in Canada, where people are charged for faster access to care, such as family doctors or surgery,
the House call on the government to:
a) express disappointment that the prime minister has promoted Ontario’s for-profit health plans as “innovation”;
b) ensure that recently announced health care funding is not used for to the expansion of for-profit health care, but instead be used to rebuild and innovate within the public system by hiring more staff and reducing wait times; and
c) enforce the Canada Health Act and immediately move to close loopholes that allow for the growth of two tier health care in Canada.