Liberals, NDP Multi-Year Supply and Confidence Agreement: Key Areas of Interest for Physiotherapy Professionals

Background:
On March 22, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announced an agreement that will see the NDP support the Liberal government until 2025[1]. Both parties have agreed to “Delivering for Canadians Now: A Supply and Confidence Agreement[2] from March 22, 2022, until when Parliament rises in June of 2025.

During two separate news conferences, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh addressed that this agreement is to advance the shared priorities of Canadians. These shared priorities include[3] [4]: (1) the health care system; (2) affordability for Canadians; (3) climate change and jobs (4) workers; (5) Reconciliation; (6) tax system; and (7) enhancing the democratic system.

Agreement Details:
The high-level “Delivering for Canadians Now: A Supply and Confidence Agreement[5] [6] includes:

  • An agreement that lasts until Parliament rises in June 2025.
  • The NDP would support the Liberals on confidence and budgetary matters (e.g., budgetary policy, budget implementation bills, estimates and supply).
  • The Liberal Party would govern for the duration of the agreement;
  • The NDP would not move a vote of non-confidence, nor vote for a non-confidence motion during the term of the arrangement.
  • Both parties agree to the work done by Members of Parliament at Committees and would communicate any issues that would impede the government’s ability to function or cause unnecessary obstructions to legislative review, studies, and work plans at committees.
  • The Liberals, in return, would support elements of the national pharmacare and dental care programs.
  • Both parties will work collaboratively on shared policy objectives before the next election.

For complete details of the agreement, please see here.
 
Key Areas of Interest for Physiotherapists:
The announcement has implications for physiotherapists as it details that the Liberals and NDP will work collaboratively to follow through on “elements” of the health care system, national pharmacare and dental programs. Details of the agreement as it relates to the health and well-being of Canadians include [7] [8]:

Health Care System:

  • Recognizing that health systems have been stretched because of COVID, the parties realize that additional ongoing investments will be needed in the immediate future to address these pressures.
  • Parties will work with the provinces and territories to determine how to deliver better health outcomes for Canadians, including more primary care doctors and nurses, mental health support, aging at home, and better data.

Long-Term Care:

  • The tabling of a Safe Long-Term Care Act to ensure that seniors are guaranteed the care they deserve, no matter where they live.

Pharmacare:

  • Continuing towards a universal national pharmacare program by passing a Canada Pharmacare Act by the end of 2023
  • Tasking the National Drug Agency to develop a national formulary of essential medicines and bulk purchasing plan by the end of the agreement.

Dental care:

  • Launching a new dental care program for low-income Canadians.
  • Starting with under 12-year-olds in 2022, then expanding to under 18-year-olds, seniors and persons living with a disability in 2023, then full implementation by 2025.
  • The program would be restricted to families with an income of less than $90,000 annually, with no co-pays for anyone under $70,000 annually in income.

Reconciliation:

  • Additional investment in Indigenous housing in 2022. It will be up to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities to determine how housing investments are designed and delivered.
  • Accelerating the implementation of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People with Indigenous partners.
  • Creating a standing Federal-Provincial-Territorial table on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People to facilitate and coordinate this work.
  • Providing support for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities who wish to continue to undertake the work of burial searches at the former sites of residential schools.

Workers:

  • Ensuring that the ten days of paid sick leave for all federally regulated workers starts as soon as possible in 2022.
  • The parties would introduce legislation by the end of 2023 to prohibit the use of replacement workers, “scabs,” when a union employer in a federally regulated industry has locked out employees or is in a strike.

Next Steps for CPA:
The announcement has significant implications for health care its delivery, and the CPA will explore the specifics of this agreement with the parties as more details emerge.

Physiotherapy is detailed in “A Prescription for Canada: Achieving Pharmcare for All,” and we will work with the parties to understand the full oversight of these changes.

The party platforms differ in their approach to health care for Canadians. We will seek clarity about what this means for physiotherapy as it pertains to strengthening the health care system. The CPA will also work in partnership with our allied partners and stakeholders to determine the policy outcomes for our membership.

The CPA will continue to monitor this new agreement, and we will share more details as we learn more.

Resources:

  • CBC News. March 21, 2022. Liberals, NDP leadership have tentative deal to support Trudeau government to 2025. Retrieved online.
  • Conservative Party of Canada. March 21, 2022. Statement from Conservative Leader Candice Bergen on NDP-Liberal Coalition.
    Retrieved online.
  • CPAC. March 22, 2022. PM Trudeau Announces Deal with NDP for Support on Confidence Votes. Retrieved online.
  • Government of Canada. March 22, 2022. PM Release: Delivering for Canadians Now. Retrieved online.
  • NDP. March 22, 2022. Release: Delivering for Canadians Now. Retrieved online
  • NDP. 2021. Platform: Taking Better Care of Each Other. Retrieved online
  • Liberal Party. 2021. Platform: Forward for Everyone. Retrieved online.
     

[1] CBC News. March 21, 2022. Liberals, NDP leadership have tentative deal to support Trudeau government to 2025. Retrieved online: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeu-jagmeet-singh-working-together-1.6392756
[2] NDP. March 22, 2022. Release: Delivering for Canadians Now. Retrieved online: https://www.ndp.ca/news/delivering-canadians-now
[3] Government of Canada. March 22, 2022. PM Release: Delivering for Canadians Now. Retrieved online: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2022/03/22/delivering-canadians-now
[4] NDP. March 22, 2022. Release: Delivering for Canadians Now. Retrieved online: https://www.ndp.ca/news/delivering-canadians-now
[5] Government of Canada. March 22, 2022. PM Release: Delivering for Canadians Now. Retrieved online: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2022/03/22/delivering-canadians-now
[6] NDP. March 22, 2022. Release: Delivering for Canadians Now. Retrieved online: https://www.ndp.ca/news/delivering-canadians-now
[7] Government of Canada. March 22, 2022. PM Release: Delivering for Canadians Now. Retrieved online: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2022/03/22/delivering-canadians-now
[8] NDP. March 22, 2022. Release: Delivering for Canadians Now. Retrieved online: https://www.ndp.ca/news/delivering-canadians-now