Questions for federal candidates

The Report: January / February 2006 vol.27 num.1

These are sample questions; personalize your question and incorporate your own personal experiences to get clear answers from your candidates.

  1. Upon completing his extensive "Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada", Mr. Romanow concluded that advocates for greater privatization of health care and a parallel private system had provided no evidence that these approaches would improve and strengthen Canadas health care system.

    Given that the most recent, in-depth study of Canadas health care system concluded that a publicly funded, publicly delivered system delivers the best health care for Canadians, what do you think the Canadian government should do to strengthen such a system?

  2. Evidence from other jurisdictions, like the UK, shows that privatizing public health care facilities and services results in increased costs and decreased quality of patient care.

    What will your government do to stop the expansion of private, for-profit health care in Canada?

  3. Private, for-profit surgical clinics drain health professionals from the public system, contributing to the closure of public operating rooms and increased wait times for surgery in the public system.

    What will your government do to limit the expansion of private, for-profit surgical clinics?

    BCs health
    care team: not
    just doctors
    and nurses

    Voting eligibility
    Canadian citizens who are 18 years or older on election day are eligible to vote.

    When and where to vote
    Election day is January 23. Polling stations are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. The Canada Elections Act states that employees are entitled to 3 consecutive hours to vote, without loss of pay. To find out where to vote, check the voting card you receive in the mail, or phone your local Elections Canada office or a local campaign office.

    Advance voting will be held on January 13, 14 and 16. Polling stations for advance voting will be open from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm. For locations, check your voting card, or phone your local Elections Canada office or a local campaign office.

    Information about additional voting opportunities (e.g., voting by mail or at your local Elections Canada office) is available on the Elections Canada website.

  4. Most Canadians support access to medical services based on need, not ability to pay. Privatization creates a two-tier system where the rich can pay to jump the queue, while everyone else has to wait.

    What will your government do to ensure that all residents of Canada have equal access to medical services?

  5. Canadians are increasingly being required to pay out of their own pocket for diagnostic tests. These include some types of laboratory tests and medical imaging (e.g., MRI and CT scans), that are being provided in private, for-profit facilities.

    What will your government do to ensure that these services are both publicly funded and publicly provided, so that all residents of Canada will have equal access to these essential diagnostic tests?

  6. The current provincial government in BC is promoting the use of public-private partnerships to finance and operate some of the largest new health care facilities in the province, including the Abbotsford Hospital, St. Pauls Hospital and the Vancouver Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre. Evidence from other jurisdictions that have experimented with such "P3" health facilities shows they provide less service to patients, at a higher cost to the public.

    Will your government reinstitute public infrastructure funds for new facilities, so that health care facilities can be financed and operated by the public sector?

  7. The United States has a much greater degree of private, for-profit health care than Canada. The US pays far more per person for health care than Canada, yet millions of US citizens have no health care coverage. Private, for-profit health care drives costs up so high that many people cant afford to buy medical insurance.

    What will you and your party do to ensure that Canada does not end up with the sort of dysfunctional health care system that exists in the US?

  8. Recently, the Copeman Clinic opened in Vancouver. Patients must pay a membership fee of $2300 per year to access medical services at the clinic.
    What will you and your party do to ensure that medical clinics do not charge extra fees for medical care? Will you ensure that the Canada Health Act is rigorously enforced, and that clinics that charge extra fees are shut down?
  9. There is a world-wide shortage of many of the health science professionals who provide critical diagnostic, rehabilitation and clinical health services. These include Medical Laboratory Technologists, Medical Imaging Technologists, Respiratory Therapists and Pharmacists, to name a few.

    What steps will your government take to ensure there are sufficient numbers of these highly trained health science professionals, to continue providing essential health services to Canadians?

  10. Violence against women continues to be a serious problem in Canada. On average, 200 women each year in Canada are murdered by their husbands, partners or somebody they know. Thousands more are battered and abused. Many women continue to live in dangerous situations because theres no help and no place to go. If elected, will your party:

    1. Increase funding for womens shelters, transition houses, rape crisis centres and other important public services and community-based programs that support women trying to escape violence?
    2. Strengthen and enforce anti-violence laws?
  11. Research from the National Council on Poverty indicates that a disproportionate number of single people, single-parent families, the elderly, Canadians with disabilities and low-wage earners live in poverty. Women predominate in all of these groups.

    What will your party do to address the poverty that plagues these groups, and in particular, what will your party do to address the causes of poverty that are specific to women?