Freedom Party of Ontario


For immediate release

"Universal" Health "Care"


Opposition's comments constitute a moral failure: McKeever

May 9, 2006, Oshawa
- Freedom Party leader Paul McKeever today said a proposed plan to remove restrictions on the private purchase, in Ontario, of cancer drugs not covered by the province's drug plan exposes some of what is wrong with Ontario's ban on the purchase of private health insurance and services. 

"Yesterday," said McKeever, "Minister Smitherman said that the proposed policy would '...make access to those products available for even more people by reducing to the bare minimum any additional costs that they might have to incur'.  Minister Smitherman is misrepresenting the policy.  In reality, the proposed policy is for the government to end its current practice of forcing patients to incur higher travel expenses to obtain these drugs.  The proposed policy would not confer a benefit in the form of a reduced cost.  Rather, it would end the practice of increasing costs: it would end a government-imposed penalty.  That penalty is the same one imposed on the purchase of every insurance policy, good or service that Ontario patients travel to the USA to get from the private sector. 

"To say that the penalty is wrong for the purchase of these cancer drugs would be to admit that the penalty is wrong, period.  To my mind, adopting the policy would be moral progress, but it would beg for a broader application of the same relief.  What's wrong for cancer drugs is wrong for health care in general. Nobody should have to go to the USA simply to spend their own money on health insurance, health goods or health services. 

"The moral righteousness of the proposed policy highlights the vile nature of Ontario's various bans on the purchase of private health insurance, goods and services within the province.  For decades, Ontario's Progressive Conservative, Liberal, and NDP governments have told us that if not everybody can swim, the government must tie everyone to the deck of the HMCS OHIP and force everyone to sink along with her.  Mass suffering and murder, they have told us routinely, are morally superior to the survival and happiness of some.

"I welcome the proposal to lift the ban on the private purchase of life-prolonging cancer drugs within Ontario", said McKeever.  "It is morally right for a person to pursue their own health and happiness by virtuous means.  Earning the money one needs to pursue ones own health and happiness is certainly virtuous.  Government should not be punishing virtuous behaviour.

"I must add, however, that Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition has utterly failed to stand up for Ontarians in this matter.  Reportedly, Progressive Conservative leader John Tory's purposely ambiguous criticism of the McGuinty government with respect to the proposed policy was that:

“The bottom line is it is allowing some people to go and pay for their own drugs, and others will not have access to those drugs because they can’t pay...You can call that whatever you want, but I think they (the Liberals) have called it certain things in the past, and now they’ve suddenly decided that doesn’t apply anymore.” (Source: Toronto Star)

"However, the issue is not whether the Liberals are about to change their minds.  The issue is whether they are right to do so.  No doubt Mr. Tory would call it electorally prudent for the Progressive Conservatives to act only as an eraser and never as a pencil but, to my mind, his decision not to take a stand on the policy itself is best judged with two words: moral failure.  Ontario's sick and dying deserve better."

For further details, contact:

Paul McKeever, Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario
e-mail: e-mail
Office: 905-721-9772
Cell: ***-***-****


This media release distributed to all major news media and to Ontario's MPPs.

Freedom Party of Ontario
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