About Your Candidates
The 2019 federal election will be held on October 21, 2019. The campaign period is a golden opportunity to get our message out to future Parliamentarians about the value of a robust health research and innovation ecosystem to the country and what is needed from them to sustain and promote it.
The last federal election on October 19, 2015 produced a majority Liberal government. The Conservatives became the Official Opposition after leading the government for more than nine years. The current party standings in the House of Commons are: Liberals 177 seats, Conservatives 96 seats, the NDP 41 seats, the Bloc Québécois 10 seats, Green Party 2 seats, Independent members 7 seats, the People’s Party of Canada 1 seat, the Canadian Cooperative Commonwealth 1 seat.
Generally speaking, political parties will likely focus on these key issues during the 2019 campaign:
- Liberal – Reducing the burden on the middle class, pharmacare, job creation, climate change, infrastructure, seniors, gender equality, rural connectivity, affordable housing.
- Conservative – Reducing taxes, balanced budget, carbon tax, energy project approvals, ethics, immigration and secure borders.
- NDP – Social inequality, electoral reform, pharmacare, corporate tax increases, climate change, affordable housing.
Focusing on health policy specifically:
- Pharmacare is positioned to take up much of the oxygen for the healthcare debate.
- Cost will drive the debate on pharmacare. The Conservatives are expected to introduce an alternative pharma plan as a counter to the Liberal and NDP plans. The Conservatives recently signaled a five-year return to budget timeline, which would allow for an investment in the program.
- Seniors are on the radar for all three major parties. The youth-focused Liberal government created a ministerial post for seniors late in its mandate, and other parties are expected to include this issue in their platforms. The Conservatives are considering initiatives to address seniors’ homelessness; and support services are a focus for the Liberals.
- Indigenous health services are a focus for the Liberals and NDP. The Liberals have invested massive figures in social services and healthcare for rural and remote communities, as well as Indigenous communities in urban centres.
- Access to healthcare is a focus for all parties including the Green Party. The Liberals appointed a rural minister partway through their mandate and are identifying potential commitments to rural health access.
- Mental health investment is poised to be a Liberal commitment. The Liberal-lead health committee recently completed a study on farmers’ mental health.
- Cuts to health spending in Ontario are being watched closely by the Liberals, who are eyeing an opportunity to make up the gap being created by the Ford government.