The 2021 federal election will be held on September 20, 2021. 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 21, 2019 produced a minority Liberal government, with the Conservatives continuing as the Official Opposition. The current party standings in the House of Commons are: Liberals 155 seats, Conservatives 119 seats, the Bloc Québécois 32 seats, the NDP 24 seats, Green Party 2 seats and Independent members 5 seats.
Generally speaking, political parties will likely focus on these key issues during the 2021 campaign:
- Liberal – Managing the pandemic; jobs and economic growth; affordability for the middle class; climate change and clean energy; childcare; Indigenous reconciliation; and status of women.
- Conservative – Jobs and economic recovery; mental health; accountability and ethics; pandemic preparedness; balanced budget; and targeting rank and file union workers.
- NDP – Universal pharmacare and dental care; curbing inequality; supporting workers; environment and climate change; diversity, equity and inclusion; and affordable housing.
Focusing on health policy specifically:
- Health and Wellness: Health is currently front-of-mind for all Canadians. While the Liberal government hasn’t moved on universal pharmacare, the issue of drug prices is certainly alive. Expect health to feature prominently.
- Innovation and Science: Vaccine development has put the benefits of investing in science front-and-centre for many. The Liberals have recently announced a biomanufacturing and life sciences strategy and the Conservatives have released initial plans to invest in the creation of a Canada Advanced Research Agency. Expect all parties to frame innovation as a means of achieving much needed economic growth.