Pharmacare buzz spreads to Red Deer, Alberta

AFUR Pharmacare activism


A Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Town Hall pharmacare meeting in Red Deer concluded on a practical note earlier this week, with moderator Pat Couture requesting help to convince one of their Conservative Members of Parliament, Blaine Calkins, to support the introduction of a universal drug plan for Canadians.

Representatives from health, seniors’ and labour groups at the meeting received briefings from the CLC, Friends of Medicare (FOM) and the Alberta Federation of Union Retirees (AFUR) about why and how to push for a universal drug plan, in advance of elections next year in Alberta and nationally.

“Participants walked away convinced about the need for pharmacare,” Couture said, “and of the need to convince Canada, along with the provincial and territorial governments, to implement a universal prescription drug plan by 2020 — one that covers everyone, regardless of their income, age or where they live.”

Pat Couture

“The town hall meeting helped focus on how to make pharmacare happen.” Pat Couture is an Executive member at large with the Red Deer and District Labour Council (RDDLC). She is also an AFUR provincial executive member.

Couture believes the momentum for such a plan is building, with the release of recent House of Commons report, recommending ways to establish it.

FOM representative Sandra Azocar provided an overview of what many groups are now proposing, while CLC representative Heather Erlen urged participants to become involved by joining the campaign in Red Deer.

AFUR President Lucien Royer said that seniors’ organisations have joined that campaign by helping to coordinate a petition campaign, with plans to lobby all MPs in Alberta.
Couture said pharmacare was now on the agenda for many activists in Red Deer. “We know that 92% of Albertans support a universal program, many who live in this part of the province and we aim to have their voices heard in the national debates about pharmacare” she concluded.

AFUR Pharmacare petition

Participants in Red Deer line up to sign and pick up pharmacare petition forms.



For further information on AFUR and the Pharmacare Campaign contact:

Lucien Royer, AFUR at 780-991-2264 or e-mail
Judy Lederer, CURC – Edmonton at 780-434-1690 or e-mail

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