All Hands on Deck for Pharmacare!
Pharmacare legislation could be coming sooner than expected – as early as next week. We also heard disturbing indications the Liberal government could go back on their commitment to a drug plan that covers all Canadians, because they think voters don’t care. So the next couple days are absolutely critical for people like you and me to let the government know that we want universal pharmacare or bust!
Together we need to remind key government actors – cabinet members, and a few target MPs – that voters are paying attention, and if they introduce a pharmacare bill tailored to protect Big Pharma’s profits, rather than provide for people, it’s going to hurt them in the next election.
This is an all hands on deck moment — our movements have been fighting to bring coverage for medicines into our public health care system since Medicare was established more than 60 years ago, and your voice is needed, right now, to help get it across the finish line.
Having our voices heard now is so important. During my meetings with MPs in Ottawa this week, many told me they haven’t heard from their constituents about pharmacare, and that makes them feel like it’s not a priority issue. In these last few days before the legislation arrives, we need to make sure MPs know that you want to see universal pharmacare, and you expect them to live up to the promises made to deliver it.
Summary of the Pharmacare Check-in (recording link below)
- Campaign update from Nik:
- We are gathering very good intel from both sources close to the NDP and report backs from the Canadian Health Coalition lobby days last week. The NDP is committed to the red line they’ve drawn over universal pharmacare, and the Liberal caucus is split on universality.
- Negotiation between NDP and Liberals still going, and the big sticking point is whether it will be a universal program or one that just covers the uninsured. The latter is pushed by Big Pharma and the insurance industry. Discussion also includes what will be covered by the initial roll out, and it sounds like oral contraceptives and diabetes medications are what’s on the table.
- The phone calls we’re making are having an impact: Since a week ago, we have made 4000+ calls to MPs and key cabinet ministers. This is thanks to the incredible mobilizing work from chapters and organizers on the ground. MP offices are telling us that these calls are effective in bringing the pressure!
- Sharing the calling tool to your network
- Please continue to share the calling tool far and wide in your network. Personal touch makes a big difference, so send a personal text, email, message, etc. encouraging people in your network to make the calls and share the calling tools.
- If you are member of a union local, faith group, other community organizations, etc., ask them to share the call tool with their network.
- Link to call tool is here: https://canadians.org/action/pharma-phone-mp/
- There is an email from Nik this morning titled “Keep on fighting for pharmacare”. You can forward that along.
- Phone outreach to Council of Canadians members
- Since last week, we’ve also built an elaborate but effective phone tree. Chapter members and key organizers in the pharmacare campaign have also been making calls to Council of Canadians supporters, asking them to use the calling tool to call their MPs and cabinet ministers. These are people who have engaged with the pharmacare campaign through phone zaps, town halls, letter writing, sharing personal stories, etc, and live in target ridings. It won’t be cold calls!
- 32 people have been making nearly 800 calls to Council supporters in the last 7 days. And it works! We saw 4000 phone calls made to MPs because of this outreach strategy.
- Can you help us make more calls? Each list is between 15-20 names, probably takes an hour to get through, and there is a step-by-step guide and script to help you along the way.
- Please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org/ 613-355-6957) or David (email@example.com/ 778-998-5493) if you have an hour or even half an hour to make some calls.