Canadian Medical Association

The Canadian Medical Association, along with the Canadian Association of Social Workers, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the Canadian Nurses Association are calling on the producers of the upcoming federal leaders’ debates to include health and health care as a distinct debate topic.

In a letter sent today to the Canadian Debate Production Partnership, the group stated the following:

Given the concerns of Canadians, we were disheartened to see that the issue is not part of your line-up for the upcoming Federal Leaders’ Debates. Even if it is meant to be lumped into a catch-all category like ‘services to citizens’, this is an unfortunate oversight, clearly disregarding what Canadians want to hear about from their political leaders. 

Dedicating some time to exploring how party leaders intend to address what matters most to Canadians – from caring for an aging loved one to procuring mental health services for youth at risk or even accessing the most basic publicly funded health services — seems to be an essential element of a leaders’ debate.

We, the undersigned, respectfully request you add health and health care as a distinct category in your debate line-up.

This call for health to be included as a distinct category comes just days after the release of a new Ipsos poll which found that more than half of Canadians polled (55%) were dissatisfied with how political parties are addressing health care, a figure that jumps to 68% for those over 55.

The media partnership responsible for the two-hour English-language debate — scheduled for the evening of Oct. 7, 2019 — announced this week that the debate will be divided into five themed blocks: affordability and economic insecurity; environment and energy; Indigenous issues; national and global leadership; and polarization, human rights and immigration.

The French-language debate has been scheduled for Oct. 10, 2019. It will cover economy and finances; environment and energy; foreign policy and immigration; identity, ethics and governance; and services to citizens.

Both debates will take place before a live audience at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec.

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