Tracey demands the Liberals stand up for national pharmacare in NAFTA talks

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the dairy industry knows that the government is selling them out.

The cost of drugs in Canada is already the second-highest in the world. One in five Canadians say a member of their household cannot afford prescribed medications. We know big pharma is pushing for restrictive intellectual property rules, which will further sky rocket drug prices. Corporate lobbies want expanded investor-state provisions allowing them to sue our government for public policy that is good for our country.

Will this Liberal government stand up for Canadians and refuse a revised NAFTA that prevents us from implementing a national pharmacare program?

Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, our government knows how proud Canadians are of our public healthcare system, and rightly so. This is something we always keep in mind, sitting at the negotiating table. We also know that affordability of, and access to, prescription drugs is an essential issue for Canadians. We are working closely with the provinces, territories, and our partners to provide lower drug prices and timely access to medicine. Public healthcare is a key Canadian issue in the NAFTA talks.