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February 24, 2021

Canada’s nurses frustrated by rejection of national pharmacare bill

Media Release

February 24, 2021 (OTTAWA, ON) – The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) expressed disappointment and frustration at the outcome of today’s vote on Bill C-213, An Act to Enact the Canada Pharmacare Act. Liberal, Conservative and Bloc Members of Parliament rejected the private member’s bill, introduced by New Westminster-Burnaby MP and NDP House Leader, Peter Julian.

“I am not only disappointed with the outcome of today’s vote, but I am left wondering how so many Liberal MPs can justify rejecting this bill,” said Linda Silas, CFNU president. “The bill closely mirrors a recommendation from the government’s own expert advisory council on pharmacare, which calls for federal legislation laying out the principles of a national universal pharmacare program.”

Despite the Liberal Party’s election promise to be guided by their pharmacare council’s recommendations – and recent commitments from the government to accelerate the implementation of a national universal program – people in Canada continue to await concrete federal action towards pharmacare.

“Bill C-213 offered an important step forward on the journey to establishing a national, universal, single-payer and public pharmacare program,” continued Silas. “While we regard today’s outcome as a missed opportunity, nurses will continue to press the government and all parliamentarians to embrace a pharmacare program based on the principles of public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability and accessibility.”

“Canadians overwhelmingly support national pharmacare, including members of the Liberal Party of Canada, who passed a resolution in support of it at their 2018 convention,” said Silas. “We are eager to work with this government in the weeks and months ahead to ensure everyone in this country has equitable access to the medications they need, especially in the midst of a global pandemic.”


For more information, please contact:
Lauren Snowball,, 613-868-5702