February 23, 2024

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Drug Insurance |  The bill can’t be passed before the end of the year, the Liberals warn

Drug Insurance | The bill can’t be passed before the end of the year, the Liberals warn

(Ottawa) House of Commons government leader Carina Gould warned Tuesday that the Liberals will not succeed in passing a bill on pharmacare by the end of the year, even though they have pledged to do so in part in their agreement with the New Democrats (NDP).


“I don’t think we will be able to agree on that before the end of the year, but we will certainly work,” said Ms.me Gould during a press scrum on the corridors of Parliament.

The two parties are still ironing out the details of a bill and are having “productive” discussions, he added. “I’m sure we’ll get there. »

In a support and confidence agreement between the two parties concluded last year, the NDP agreed to support the minority Liberal government in key votes in the Commons.

One of the pledges liberals made to win support from New Democrats was to pass federal legislation on pharmacare by the end of 2023.

Before going into question period, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated the government is ready to introduce a bill, but it wants to make sure it satisfies the NDP first.

“We’re open to talking to them and trying to make sure it’s as ambitious as possible, in the right way,” he said.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland released an economic report last week that introduced new safeguards on the size of the federal deficit in coming years, leaving little room for new spending before 2027.

Asked if the federal government could still offer a universal drug insurance plan, Mr. Trudeau responded.

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“We will continue to work responsibly […] “To make sure Canadians can stay healthy,” he said.

NDP House Leader Peter Julian, for his part, indicated that the New Democrats are hopeful that a bill on pharmacare could be introduced before the House adjourns in mid-December, even if it is not passed before the holiday break.

“But the reality is that the government needs more time,” he admitted, describing discussions with the Liberals as “constructive”.