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Our leaders' debate must include health care

The themes for the English Federal Leaders’ Debate on October 7 have been announced and they do not include health care.  Affordability and economic insecurity; environment and energy; Indigenous issues; national and global leadership; and polarization, human rights and immigration are certainly important, but why doesn’t health care make the list – especially when it is voters’ top concern? 

According to the latest Ipsos Reid survey four in ten Canadians rank health care (42%) as their top issue when deciding who to vote for, followed by cost of living (41%), taxes (28%), climate change (28%) and the economy (28%).

Regionally, health care remains among the top issues, with half (52%) of Atlantic Canada residents ranking it in their top three most important issues, followed by 45% in Quebec, 43% in Ontario, 40% in British Columbia and 39% in the Prairies. Canadians over the age of 55 are most concerned with health care, with half ranking it in their top 3. Canadians 35-54 years old are concerned as well, with 44% placing the same importance on health care and 45% on the cost of living.

On top of this, a whopping 67% of Canadians say it’s likely a party’s plan to improve access to primary care (family doctor/GP/nurse practitioner) will be a deciding factor for who they cast they vote for this October. Ipsos found no significant difference in findings across demographics, suggesting this is a universally important issue for Canadians.

So why isn’t health care getting its due in this debate? We think it must – so we have started a petition demanding that the Canadian Debate Production Partnership include health care in the debate. You can sign the petition here.

Canadians have questions for our leaders: let’s make sure we get answers.

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