February 17th, 2021


OTTAWA –Today, the final hour of debate is being held in Parliament on Bill C-213. MP Peter Julian (New Westminster-Burnaby) is urging all MPs to support the passage of Bill C-213 when it comes up for a vote in the House of Commons on Feb. 24th, 2021. This legislation could be enacted this spring, a key step to allowing millions of Canadians who are struggling to pay for medication to receive the support they desperately need.

Canada is the only high-income country that has a universal healthcare system but does not include universal coverage of prescription drugs. Canadians pay the 3rd highest prices in the world for prescription medication. We need universal, public pharmacare to ensure that Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians can access the medication they need.

Before the pandemic, one in every five Canadians wasn’t taking the medicine they needed because they couldn’t afford to pay for it. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Canadians have lost their jobs and their workplace drug coverage. Nowadays, one in every four Canadians are forced to skip their medications, and as more people work on contract, are self-employed, or have jobs that just don't come with health benefits.

“Many are putting their health at risk every day because they don't have drug coverage and can't afford to pay out-of-pocket. Millions of Canadians are having to face the impossible choice between paying for food, rent or taking the essential medication that their doctor has prescribed,” said MP Julian. “Bill C-213 will help guarantee that every Canadian can get the medication they need.”

Universal public drug coverage has been recommended by commissions, committees, and advisory councils dating as far back as the 1940s.

This is an opportunity for the Trudeau government to work with the NDP to deliver the universal pharmacare plan people need in 2021.

Canadians who want to obtain more information about Bill C-213 and to express their support, please visit this page:


For further information, please contact: Doris Mah, Office of MP Peter Julian, at 604-353-3107 or [email protected]

Key Facts on the NDP’s Canada Pharmacare Act:
• The Canada Pharmacare Act is based on the recommendations of the Hoskins Advisory Council (along with other expert reports) and modelled on the Canada Health Act (CHA).

• Like the CHA, the Canada Pharmacare Act specifies the conditions that provincial and territorial prescription drug insurance programs must meet to receive federal funding. This includes tying federal funding to the core principles of public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility.

• Like the CHA, the Canada Pharmacare Act doesn’t prescribe a specific fiscal arrangement between provincial, territorial and federal governments. Rather, it lets the federal government negotiate with the provinces and territories.

• The Canada Pharmacare Act also asks the Minister to establish, in collaboration with provinces, an independent drug agency.

Key Facts on the Hoskins Report:
• Recommends that the federal government enshrine the principles and national standards of pharmacare in federal legislation, separate and distinct from the Canada Health Act.

• Recommends that the five fundamental principles of Medicare, embodied in the Canada Health Act, also be enshrined in federal pharmacare legislation: universality, comprehensiveness, accessibility, portability, and public administration.

• Proposes that this legislation come into force no later than January 1, 2022.

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