Greetings NPF Members,

Recently the Institute released its newest report, ‘Charting the Path to National Pharmacare in Canada’. Greg Marchildon, a noted national and international expert on health policy, and Andrew Jackson, the Broadbent Institute’s Senior Policy Advisor, our co-authors, conclude that national pharmacare stands a much better chance at success if it is established as a federally-run single payer program. And success is critical: right now, millions of Canadians don’t take the medications they need because of lack of coverage.

Along with a historical overview of Canada’s history with pharmacare, the report provides a policy architecture for how Canada can move to a single payer program and who would benefit from doing so.

Canada remains unique among the world’s high-income countries with universal health coverage in that comprehensive pharmacare is absent in its national benefit package, even though a majority of Canadians, healthcare providers, labour organizations and employers support the program.

I hope that you’re able to read the report and share it with some others who might be interested in it.

Thank You!

Trish McAuliffe

NPF President


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Apply to become a member of the National Advisory Council on Poverty: Step 1. Overview

Step 1. Overview

On August 21, 2018, the Government of Canada released Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy with the vision of Canada as a world leader in poverty eradication. The Strategy introduces for the first time Canada’s Official Poverty Line (Canada’s official measure of poverty); sets targets to reduce poverty by 20% by 2020 and by 50% by 2030 relative to 2015 levels; and commits to the establishment of a National Advisory Council on Poverty (hereinafter referred to as “the Advisory Council”) to advise the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on poverty reduction. Further details about the Strategy can be found at Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development is launching a call for applications for membership of an Advisory Council, which would be composed of a Chairperson, a member with particular responsibilities for children’s issues, as well as members who have knowledge and experience of poverty-related issues. It would also include people living in poverty or with lived experience of poverty.

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Government of Canada announces next steps in national consultations on enhancing retirement security

Canadians are invited to provide feedback through the Consultations on enhancing retirement security page between now and December 21, 2018.”

Please share with your contacts.

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

News release

Securing Canadians’ retirements with input from Canadians

November 22, 2018                    Ottawa, Ontario                    Employment and Social Development Canada

Canadians deserve peace of mind when it comes to their retirement security.

That is why the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors, today announced the next steps in national consultations on enhancing Canadians’ retirement security.

The next steps in consultations are being launched following recent events in which pensioners have faced difficult circumstances, including reduced benefits as a result of their employer’s insolvency and an underfunded workplace pension plan. At the same time, bankruptcies and insolvencies have also presented challenges for small businesses, lenders and other creditors that are owed money.

Canadians are invited to provide feedback through the Consultations on enhancing retirement security page between now and December 21, 2018. The potential actions span a number of areas, including pension regulations, corporate laws, and insolvency and bankruptcy laws, and allow for the exploration of all available avenues to improve retirement security for Canadians. This could include:

  • measures to help ensure that employers maintain well-funded pension plans;
  • better alignment of corporate decision making with pensioner and employee interests; and
  • more transparency and fairness in insolvency proceedings.

In addition to the online consultations, the government will be conducting analysis and targeted outreach to stakeholder groups. Together, these activities will support the development of a balanced way forward in addressing retirement security for all Canadians.


“We have taken concrete action to strengthen public pensions, notably by restoring the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement [GIS] to 65 and by increasing the GIS for the most vulnerable single seniors. These consultations mark another step toward ensuring that Canadians can enjoy the retirement they deserve.”

– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors

 “Canadians shouldn’t have to worry about their pension security after working hard all their lives. We’re looking for a solution that will enhance Canadians’ retirement security and ensure everyone has the support needed to retire with dignity, while maintaining a competitive environment for business investment.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Our government is committed to helping all Canadians achieve a secure and dignified retirement, so that as they retire, they can focus on the things that matter – like spending time with their loved ones – rather than worrying about making ends meet. We want to hear from Canadians, including workers, pensioners and businesses, on this important issue. Their feedback will inform our choices on how to enhance retirement security for generations to come.”

 – The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • In Budget 2018, and in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, the government committed to consulting pensioners, workers and companies to support the development of a whole-of-government, evidence-based approach to addressing retirement security for all Canadians and protecting Canadians’ pensions.
  • The Honourable Filomena Tassi was appointed Minister of Seniors July 18, 2018, with a mandate that includes a commitment to consult stakeholders and coordinate the government’s work to strengthen the protection of workplace pensions, working jointly with the ministers of Finance, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Employment, Workforce Development and Labour


Annabelle Archambault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Seniors

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada

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Housing forum to explore better ways of living for seniors

Pat Steenberg looks at her three-storey Bank Street apartment and envisions a utopia for senior citizens, a community of friends aging in place, living together and supporting each other.

It’s centrally located, beside a park, a couple of blocks from the pharmacy and the grocery store and on good public transit.

But those damn stairs!

“We can all go up the stairs now, but when we’re 80 or 85, can we still do it?” asks Steenberg, 71. “We don’t need anything else, but why couldn’t there be some funding under the national housing strategy that could make a building senior-citizen friendly?”

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Following the money between patient groups and Big Pharma

This November 2018, CBC News story documents how rare-disease patient groups are working with the pharmaceutical industry to block Canada’s efforts to control rising prescription drug prices. Currently, Canada spends the third highest amount per person (after the US and Switzerland) on prescription drugs.


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