June 25th, 2024

‘Let’s call it for what it is’: Tory bid to focus pharmacare bill fails at committee

By The Canadian Press on May 28, 2024.

Conservative MP Todd Doherty rises during Question Period, Wednesday, September 28, 2022 in Ottawa. The  Conservative party's attempt to focus the governments pharmacare legislation on the birth control and diabetes medications were blocked by Liberal and NDP members of Parliament's health committee Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – Conservative MP Todd Doherty says the federal government is offering “false hope” to Canadians with a national pharmacare bill that will not initially apply to a broad range of medications.

The Liberals and NDP, who collaborated on the program, say the bill is a “framework legislation” that will guide a future universal and single-payer plan.

But to start, the bill includes a program that will cover only diabetes medication and contraceptives.

Doherty and other Conservative MPs moved 40 amendments at a House of Commons committee Monday trying to alter the focus of the pharmacare bill to make it more clear it is restricted to just those two types of treatments.

Doherty told the committee the legislation is not a pharmacare bill, and that it offers “false hope” to people who need help to afford other medications.

The committee rejected those amendments and passed the bill with only minor changes, leaving just one stage of debate left to complete in the House of Commons.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2024.

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