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During this month’s all-candidates debate at NVIT, all five candidates were asked about their party’s plan for medical, dental and pharma-care.

*Candidates are listed in the order they responded to the question

Robert Mellalieu, Green Party of Canada

“Our healthcare system in Canada needs to have dental care in the worst way, along with all the other things the health program should be covering. One of the things the Green Party has been purposing for years, and now the other parties have adopted is a full-on pharmaceutical program.

A lot of people say that’s going to cost a lot, and it’s true. But that money will help small businesses because right now a lot of small businesses include a pharmaceutical plan in their employer benefits. That will reduce the overhead of small businesses if the government and all of us collectively make that contribution to the pharmaceutical plan. We’ll do this by using a crown corporation and we can buy in bulk.”

Mary Ann Murphy, Liberal Party of Canada

“In budget 2018 we took the first major steps in establishing a national pharma-care program by already establishing the drug agency to oversee it and establishing the first medications to be covered. What we’re looking forward to in the next term is taking another big step forward with pharma-care, establishing more covered medications. It’s necessary because we pay almost the highest prices in the World for both generic and speciality drugs.

Although we’re not promoting a dental program because I’ve done so much work in the field of aging and healthy aging, my greater concern ultimately would be to advocate for hearing aids to be covered.”

Joan Phillip, NDP

“The NDP does have a plan to cover pharma-care. So, by taxing the one per cent, the mega-wealthy, the ones worth over $20 million, we will generate $70 billion over the next 10-years. We’re talking a holistic program, not just dental but mental health and so on. We want to ensure that people are looked after from head to toe. That also includes looking after our seniors, looking after children with universal daycare. We have this universal plan so people can be looked after from cradle to grave.”

Dan Albas, Conservative Party of Canada (Incumbent)

“What I’m hearing at the doors, when I speak with people in our riding, the top two concerns I hear is, number one I can’t get a doctor, number two I’m having trouble getting a referral. Sometimes that referral is to an expert, sometimes that referral is waiting in line for a simple CT or MRI scan.

The Conservatives have said we’re going to make sure there is money for healthcare and social transfers, we’re going to guarantee those increases go forward. We are also going to inject $1.5 million into provincial and territorial budgets to buy CT and MRI scans.”

Allan Duncan, People’s Party of Canada

“Right now, the provinces have jurisdiction over the delivery of healthcare. The Federal Government would like to transfer all of the jurisdiction over to the provinces so that they have control over their own programs. They can collaborate with other provinces if they like on the purchase of pharmaceuticals or things like that.

So, we would transfer the jurisdiction of healthcare to the provinces and also the ability to raise GST for themselves. This should allow the provinces to innovate and reach local needs.”

For the full platforms visit the Party’s websites.

Canadians head to the polls on October 21.

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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