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December 5, 2019

Trudeau must commit to universal pharmacare following Throne Speech, say nurses

Media Release

December 5, 2019 (OTTAWA, ON) – The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is expressing disappointment with today’s Speech from the Throne, which failed to make a clear commitment to implement a pharmacare program that is unequivocally public, universal and single-payer.

“Prime Minister Trudeau must stop hedging on pharmacare and follow the evidence overwhelmingly supporting a public, universal and single-payer program,” said Linda Silas, president of the CFNU. “The Liberals need to read the report of their own Advisory Council and follow its clear recommendations and timelines to deliver real pharmacare for everyone in Canada.”

The Trudeau government launched the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare in 2018. Council chair, Dr. Eric Hoskins, released its final report this past summer, recommending a program that is public, universal and single-payer as the best option for Canada.

“After more than 20 years of reports, commissions, studies, consultations and polls supporting universal pharmacare, Trudeau must act to make his commitment to this program clear. Nurses and people across the country can’t afford to keep waiting in uncertainty,” said Silas.

The CFNU and approximately 150 other national, provincial and territorial organizations recently signed on to a statement calling on the federal government to immediately implement pharmacare that is universal, public, single-payer, accessible, comprehensive and portable.

“People in Canada have been waiting and suffering without real pharmacare for too long. Only a universal program will save lives and billions of dollars annually. This money is desperately needed elsewhere in our health care system, as we heard loud and clear from Canada’s premiers this week,” said Silas.

“Nurses are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to do the right thing for Canadians and commit to real pharmacare now.”


The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing nearly 200,000 nurses and student nurses, and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in public health care.

For more information:
Lauren Snowball
Communications Officer, CFNU