October 29th, 2020
Petition — Protect Public Healthcare
Ottawa must protect healthcare for all Canadians
As a cancer survivor, I owe my life to our public healthcare system. I know firsthand the importance of universally accessible, publicly delivered healthcare.
However, healthcare is under attack in Alberta. Jason Kenney is cancelling contracts with doctors, corporatizing care, and privatizing medical services like surgeries. To privatize health care supports, he is laying off thousands of workers.
The federal government must stop privatization and keep healthcare universally accessible and publicly delivered. We need to stand up for public healthcare. If you agree, join me and sign the petition.
You can watch my full statement in the House of Commons here:
"Mr. Speaker, like millions of other Canadians, I owe my life to our universal public health care system. In 2017, I was diagnosed and successfully treated for cancer. In the years since, I have received regular diagnostic screenings and follow-up care thanks to a public health care system built on the fundamental value of freedom that all Canadians have, regardless of who they are, where they live and regardless of how much money they have, the freedom to access quality, publicly delivered health care.
Today in Alberta, health care is under attack. Jason Kenney and his Conservative government are making no secret of their attempts to dismantle the public system to which I and so many others owe their lives. In just a few months, Kenney's Conservatives have unilaterally cancelled contracts with doctors and opened the door for the corporatization of care. They have increased reliance on for-profit delivery of surgeries and are planning on spending $200 million for a private orthopaedic surgical facility. They have announced the privatization of health support services, resulting in the layoffs of 11,000 Alberta workers. Just last week, they voted to support a private two-tiered health care system that would allow the wealthy to access publicly funded services while everyone else has to wait for care. They have done all of this in the middle of a global health pandemic.
As a result of Jason Kenney's actions, physicians are leaving Alberta and rural and northern communities do not have access to health care. Medicine Hat is losing its maternity health clinic, where there are 6,000 to 9,000 prenatal appointments every single year and where more than half the babies born in that city are delivered.
Today, thousands of front-line health care workers across Alberta walked off the job to protest the cuts threatening Alberta safety. Health care is in crisis in Alberta and it is only getting worse. It should be obvious to all Canadians, especially now, that an American-style health care system is not the answer. If we did not understand how critical our public health care system was before COVID-19, we certainly understand it now.
While most of us watch in horror as thousands of Americans die every day from COVID-19 and millions lose their access to health care as they lose their jobs, Jason Kenney and the Conservatives aspire to turn our public health care dollars into private profit for his friends, for billionaires and for corporations. At this moment in time when quality health care is so clearly a moral and economic necessity when Canadians' lives are on the line, we should be expanding our health care system to better meet our needs, not allowing it to be dismantled. Too many families in Canada go without the medicine they need because they cannot afford it. The diagnosis may be free but the treatment is not. Too many families in Canada suffer because they cannot afford mental health care. Too many families go without dental care until they end up in the hospital with emergency services.
Instead of improving and expanding health care, we are forced to defend it from people like Jason Kenney, but defend it we must. The Canada Health Act is very clear. Canadians are guaranteed the right to health services without financial or other barriers. What will the government do to protect Albertans against attacks on our public health care and to protect the Canada Health Act?"