NDP Liberal PM thinks he knows best

Regular readers and subscribers of my weekly MP reports know that I usually pose a question on a specific topic at the end of each report.

I want to express my gratitude to the many citizens who take the time to share their thoughts and views on these questions. I read every single comment and find this feedback invaluable in guiding my work on your behalf in Ottawa.

This week, I have an important question to discuss. But first, let’s provide some background.

Recently, the Liberal and NDP partnership announced a deal for a federally-administered national pharma-care program. At the time of writing this report, the details have not been publicly released, so the exact workings of this program are currently unknown.

However, we do possess some general information relevant to this topic.

Firstly, healthcare is a service provided at the provincial level. In British Columbia, we have the Fair PharmaCare program. This program assists with the cost of numerous prescription drugs and some medical supplies, such as insulin pumps, ostomy supplies, and certain prosthetics, based on income.

In Canada, many provinces offer provincial programs similar to the enhanced pharmacare coverage provided by companies like Pacific Blue Cross. These costs are often shared or entirely covered by the employer.

The Province of Quebec has already indicated that they might withdraw from the Liberal/NDP pharmacare program, raising the question of whether Quebec will have the right to withdraw with full financial compensation. Similar views have been expressed by the Province of Alberta.

One concern some people have is that if a national pharmacare program is implemented, private sector employers might stop offering enhanced pharmacare benefits to their employees, leaving them to rely on the federal program instead.

This concern arises from the belief that the federal program might not provide as generous benefits and could also be more expensive for taxpayers to maintain. Consider the $60 million that the Trudeau Liberals spent developing the ArriveCan app, which is reportedly under an RCMP investigation. The fact that the Information Commissioner is also investigating allegations of large amounts of deleted documents, suggesting these concerns are well-founded.

Eight years ago, this government was advised by its consultants not to launch its new payroll system until all the issues were resolved. Despite investing over $500 million, the Phoenix federal payroll program still pays some federal public servants inaccurately and inefficiently.

The truth is that despite Prime Minister Trudeau significantly increasing the size and cost of the federal public service since taking office, Canadians often do not receive better services. In fact, many citizens have experienced a serious decline in services.

My primary concern is that Canadians may end up with an inferior Pharma-care plan that provides less coverage, costs more, and establishes a huge new bureaucracy in Ottawa.

I have a few questions for you this week:

Do you already have Pharmacare coverage?
If so, are you content with your current Pharmacare coverage, or do you think a federal Pharmacare plan would be beneficial to you? Why or why not?

I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll-free 1-800-665-8711.