Special to TideChange

Two important proposals are under discussion in parliament, affecting seniors and pharmacare, according to North Island-Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney.

Blaney has been a member of the committee investigating the gaps in current programs for seniors and the committee has tabled a report that recommends for a national strategy. In a recent media teleconference, she revealed that the the Minister has agreed that more needs to be done, but is proposing that the entire government should be involved. Blaney disagrees. She believes a dedicated, pan-Canadian strategy is needed, as the existing system, spread over several departments, leaves too many gaps.

A national strategy for universal pharmacare is also under discussion. Blaney said that the house committee supports this and she hopes for action. She commented that a universal pharmacare program would save Canada $4 billion a year, and ensure that everyone is able to access the prescription drugs they need, without worrying about the cost. This would also provide savings in the form of fewer hospital visits.