March 4th, 2024

NDP and Liberals set new deadline for introduction of pharmacare bill

By Laura Osman, The Canadian Press on December 14, 2023.

The New Democrats and the Liberals have agreed to a new March 1 deadline to table pharmacare legislation in the House of Commons of part of their supply and confidence deal. Health Minister Mark Holland arrives to a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – The NDP and Liberals have agreed to a new March 1 deadline for the federal government to introduce pharmacare legislation in the House of Commons, as part of their supply-and-confidence deal.

The minority Liberals had promised to pass a law by the end of the year that would set the foundations for a future pharamcare program, as part of their political pact with the NDP to secure support on key votes.

But so far, the parties have not been able to come to a consensus on exactly what that framework should look like, which has stalled negotiations.

New Democrats say they have insisted on a universal, single-payer program, while the Liberals have repeatedly cited the need to be fiscally responsible.

NDP health critic Don Davies says in a statement that the parties must get the legislation right, especially given the high cost of living many Canadians are struggling with.

The House of Commons is scheduled to rise for the holidays by Friday and return on Jan. 29.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2023.

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