Canadian Health Coalition Winter 2019 Newsletter


Campaign Newsletter

Winter 2019

Forty years ago, Tommy Douglas wrote in a letter: “Unless there is a concerted effort to apply pressure on the Federal and Provincial governments, the erosion of Medicare will continue unabated and might even be accelerated. Our best hope lies in the Canadian Health Coalition…for the preservation and extension of Medicare. “

Canadian Health Coalition

The Canadian Health Coalition was founded in 1979 out of deep desire to keep our health care system public and universal. We have continued to work towards these goals for the past 40 years and are proud to see public health care as one of Canada’s greatest social equalizers. We hope you enjoy reading our latest campaign updates.

Successful Lobby for Pharmacare

On January 29, 2019, armed with their red folders, our 109 advocates from across Canada braved the snow and cold and met with 110 Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green and Bloc Québécois Members of Parliament (MPs)! The lobby was an opportunity to join our voices in advocating for the federal government to take action to implement a pharmacare program that is universal, public, portable, comprehensive and accessible.

The MPs were receptive and eager to hear what we had to say. Overall, we feel they were much more familiar with the issue of pharmacare than they were a few years ago. They asked some interesting questions. Many MPs were willing to commit to taking concrete action and signed our pharmacare pledge. We will be following up with all of them shortly.

We ended the lobby day with our first non-partisan parliamentary reception, “A Conversation About Pharmacare”, co-sponsored by Assistant Deputy Speaker Carol Hughes (NDP), Liberal MP Bill Casey and Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu. It was great to see MPs work across partisan lines to sponsor this event and remind our advocates that their voices are important.

Join our 40th Anniversary Celebration

Fundraising Gala & Dinner

On April 2, we will be holding a Gala and Fundraising Dinner at the National Arts Center in Ottawa. Our goal is to celebrate 40 years of Tommy Douglas’ legacy and vision for public health care and to raise funds to support our ongoing work. We invite you to show your support and network with all the great people who are part of the CHC community at this memorable event. Buy your tickets here.

Guardians of Public Health Care Awards

Do you know a labour activist, scholar or community leader who has done tremendous work on an issue related to protecting and expanding public health care that has a national focus or national implications? Nominate them here for a Guardian of Public Health Care Award before March 1. The successful candidates will be invited to travel to Ottawa to receive their awards at the Canadian Health Coalition’s 40th anniversary gala on April 2.

Calling All Writers

We are inviting everyone who loves to write to mark our important milestone by writing an essay showcasing how far Canada has come around the issue of public health care over the last 40 years. Essays must be under 600 words and the submission deadline is March 12. The winning essays will be rewarded with a cash prize. Find out how to send us your submission here.

For Students Only

We are also inviting young, budding filmmakers to mark our 40th anniversary by creating a video that reflects on the importance of public health care in Canada. We will reward three videos with a cash prize. Find out more about how to send your submission here.

Make sure to share this information with students you know.

Open Letter to Canada’s Health Ministers

The Ontario Health Coalition, in partnership with the provincial and territorial health coalitions and the CHC, is inviting organizations to sign on an open letter to Canada’s Health Ministers to tell them to uphold the Canada Health Act, stop private clinics, and protect patients against unlawful user fees and extra-billing for health care.

Private clinics undermine public health care and equal, universal health care for all Canadians by billing public health plans and also billing patients extra user fees, sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars for medically needed care. This is unlawful under the Canada Health Act and it causes hardship and growing inequity.

We need your help to bring an end to the unlawful extra-billing of patients by private health clinics and stop the privatization of health care services. Please help us have as many organizations as possible sign this important open letter.

February 12 is the National Day of Action for #HealthCareForMigrants

There will be rallies across the country on February 12 to call on the federal government to stop the denial of health care on the basis of immigration status. You can find more information here about events in your community. The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) recently issued a landmark decision condemning Canada for denying access to essential health care on the basis of immigration status. The UNHRC’s decision condemned Canada’s existing discriminatory policies, and found that Canada had violated the right to life, as well as the right to equality and freedom from discrimination. The CHC has signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, the federal Minister of Health and the Minister of Immigration on this important issue. You can read the letter here.

Update on the Research Roundtable

The CHC and the Research Centre for Social Innovation and Transformation at Saint Paul University held a research roundtable on November 30-December 1, 2018. This event connected leading and emerging researchers from both academic and community contexts to share knowledge on health care policy and advocacy. It also aimed to build an integrated network in support of a national pro-public health care movement grounded in equity and human rights.

We wrote a report about the event, which you can read here. We plan to hold a similar event in the Fall of 2019.

Support Our Work

The Canadian Health Coalition’s ability to advocate for public health care in Canada is a direct result of your generous financial support. Please consider a one-time or
a monthly donation to show your support for our work to defend and expand public health care. Note that due to our strong and successful advocacy work, government rules do not allow us to issue tax receipts.


We have big plans for the coming months: We have been invited to present in front of the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology about Bill S-252, the federal bill to ban payment for blood and plasma donations; we’re developing a seniors care campaign; we’re getting ready for the federal election later this year; and we’re continuing to call on the federal government to adopt a pharmacare program that is universal, public, portable, comprehensive and accessible. We will also keep a close watch to ensure the federal government enforces the Canada Health Act.

Donate to the Canadian Health Coalition here.

If you’d like more frequent updates on our campaigns and these important issues, be sure to follow our Facebook page.

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