Canadian Medical Association

Throughout this election campaign, polls from Ipsos to Nanos to Forum Research report that health care is among the top five issues Canadians care most about. Of course, this is something we’ve known for a long time. Canadians are increasingly nervous about the future of the health care system and are clear: health and health care is one of their key ballot box issues.

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. Nothing less will do. In the words of your Commissioner while he was residing at Rideau Hall: Contemplare Meliora. Let’s strive for a better world and create a smarter, more caring nation. This starts with health and health care. Canadian lives depend on it.


Dr. Sandy Buchman, MD, CCFP (PC) FCFP, President, Canadian Medical Association

Claire Betker, RN, MN, PhD, CCHN(C), President, Canadian Nurses Association

Jan Christianson-Wood, MSW, RSW, President, Canadian Association of Social Workers

Dr. Paul Sawchuk, MD, MBA, CCFP, FCFP, College of Family Physicians Canada


  • The Right Honourable David Johnston, Commissioner
  • Rosemary Barton, CBC News
  • Susan Delacourt, Toronto Star
  • Dawna Friesen, Global News
  • Lisa LaFlamme, CTV News
  • Althia Raj, HuffPost Canada


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