Recent policy announcements from the Liberal Party and the NDP during the past week of the current campaign are substantial enough to alter or enhance the grades awarded to each party as part of the CFPC’s federal election review.
The Liberal Party’s announcement of planned investment into social infrastructure – particularly on affordable housing – demonstrates a strong commitment to ameliorating housing pressures that contribute to negative health outcomes. The announcement of $20 billion over ten-years explicitly recognizes impact that poor quality and unaffordable housing has direct bearing on a person’s health. Previous statements on this front already afforded their policies on National Homelessness Plan a grade of green, but this extra level of policy detail enhances the positive potential of this policy prescription.
The NDP has made a number of health care announcements that result in improved grades in three areas: Child and Youth Strategy, A Family Doctor for Every Canadian and Timely Access. The recently announced $100 million fund for mental health for children and youth is an explicit and significant investment in this area. The NDP’s announcement of a $500 million investment to enhance access to primary care by building clinics and recruiting health professionals to underserved areas also upgrades the party’s original grade of yellow to green in the areas of Timely Access and A Family Doctor for Every Canadian. The policy recognizes that timely access to high quality care is not equitable for all Canadians around the country and proposes targeted steps to remove the barriers created by insufficient physical infrastructure and a lack of service providers in rural and remote areas.
The CFPC continues to call on all parties to offer their prescription for more federal leadership in health care. The CFPC will continue to review new policy announcements by any party and amend current grades when warranted and communicate these changes as they occur.