The following letter was submitted to the Tri-City News by Bonita Zarrillo, MP for Port Moody-Coquitlam.
The NDP’s Dental Care plan in Budget 2022 is a big win for Canadians.
I am very happy to see a full fiscal commitment to the single largest expansion of public healthcare in Canada in over 50 years! This will improve the health and lives of millions of people.
The Pharmacare plan is also welcome.
The NDP used our power to negotiate this important program into the confidence and supply agreement, and now Canadians are seeing the benefits of our leverage in this budget.
When implemented it will make life more affordable and create healthier communities across Canada.
New Democrats are truly thankful to every person working in the paid and unpaid care economy, including the heroes working in healthcare.
We know the past two years have been difficult for these workers. This budget does not even come close to providing enough healthcare funding.
Our healthcare system is under great strain and more long-term federal funding is needed. We will continue to call on the federal government to address its declining share of healthcare spending in Canada. I do welcome the funds to address surgical and diagnostic backlogs and to create a dedicated Mental Health Transfer.
Other welcomed Budget measures include reform of rental housing construction that will bring more affordable rental homes to communities, quality childcare, a pilot project to address menstrual equity, and the fairness tax the NDP has been calling for on banks and life insurance groups.
I am deeply disappointed in the lack of commitment to persons with disabilities as well as the lack of new funding to implement the calls for action for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.
The expansion of fossil fuel subsidies is shocking. The Liberal government’s continuing subsidization of oil and gas corporations is particularly disconcerting following the recent, dire climate mitigation report from the IPCC.
As we celebrate Canadians’ healthcare wins in Budget 2022, we know there is much, much more to do. The NDP will continue to do the work — and use its leverage — to make life better for everyone that lives in Canada.