In the birthplace of Medicare, NDP Tom Mulcair is making another significant healthcare-related promise in Saskatchewan.
After being greeted by cheers and whistles in a packed room at the Regina Senior Citizens Centre, Mulcair revealed his plan to introduce a universal prescription drug plan.
“We’re going to take concrete steps to lower the cost of prescription drugs right across Canada,” he said among a space filled with orange supporters and seniors.
The high cost of prescriptions can be devastating, he said Friday morning, the day after the leader’s debate on the economy in Calgary. He added that he’d work with the provinces and territories to reduce those costs, which could be controlled through bulk purchasing. If elected, the NDP would invest $2.6 billion over four years to help make the proposal a reality.
“With a national plan, we can drive down the costs of prescription drugs for Canadians and we can save provinces as much as $3 billion annually,” Mulcair insisted.
Seniors in the room were pleased with the news.
“Long term, this is actually going to save us a lot of money,” believed Jim Olesen.
“It sounds feasible to me,” said Linda Norheim.
“I think Pharmacare is long overdue. Our healthcare system has deteriorated so bad.”
Long-Gun Registry Backtrack
Mulcair is rethinking his stance on whether to reinstate the long-gun registry. Not even a year ago, he explained how he would be looking into reviving the registry in some form.
He was quite clear at the time.
“There has to be a way to get this done in a way that ensures public protection without going overboard which is one the other one did. Our obligation is our starting point. We are working right now with teams. We’re working with people who are in the field to make sure that we build the best system possible,” he said in December outside an NDP caucus meeting.
“The result for us is that the police are able to track every gun in Canada. That’s the result. We’re looking at the means. We know that the means that the Liberals put in place cost over a billion dollars was not very effective and had some serious problems with it.”
However, Mulcair is now backtracking on his position. When asked by News Talk Radio whether he thinks Canadians want another long-gun registry, he changed his tune.
“The NDP is categorical. We will not be bringing back any gun registry, period,” he assured.
Reporters did not get the chance to ask any follow-up questions.