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Jagmeet Sighn calls for emergency debate

The NDP leader is calling on the House of Commons to hold an emergency debate on health care privatization. His request follows decisions by the Ontario and Alberta governments to increase surgeries in private for-profit clinics.

The American for-profit model that Doug Ford and Danielle Smith are proposing will only make everything worse, they are going to cannibalize the public system, causing doctors and nurses to go to private clinics, that neither improves the situation, nor increases the number of health care workers which is what we need. We are not surprised that the conservatives and Pierre Poilievre celebrate this approach and support it, because that is their little book, to let the public system languish and use it as an excuse to then bring in the private sector as the saviors, which is completely false. But if I'm surprised that Justin Trudeau now supports Doug Ford's privatization, it's a big change in stance. The NDP's vision is very different from that of the Conservatives and Liberals. We believe we should invest in public and universal health care, hire more health care workers and defend the system we have. That is why today we are calling for an emergency debate on health care privatization, we are at a tipping point, what is at stake is our health care system, the decisions we make today will define the kind of health care system we will have for decades to come.

As announced by the NDP leader, he took the issue to Parliament this afternoon where he confronted the prime minister on the issue and questioned him on why he had changed his mind about the public health care system. This was Trudeau's response.

I am not surprised that the Conservatives support this approach, they believe in privatization, but I am surprised with the Prime Minister, why the change?

The Liberal government and I have been very clear, we defend the public health system and with full compliance with Canada's health law. This is an issue that matters to all Canadians, and it definitely matters to us and we will continue to defend it. We continue to negotiate with the provinces to make sure they have more family doctors, better mental health support, lower waiting lists, support Canadians who need emergency care, and we are going to make sure that the health law is fully respected.

The Canada Health Act received Royal Assent on April 1, 1984. Through this Act, the federal government ensures that the provinces and territories comply with certain requirements, such as free and universal access to health care.

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