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Opinion

Trudeau government gives stronger role to federal intervention in health care

The Trudeau government’s actions in health policy have demonstrated a return to a more interventionist stance by the federal government, one that involves a more deliberate steering of provincial health and social services delivery through spending and performance assessment.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured at a 2019 campaign event. During the campaign, the Liberals promised $6-billion over four years for pharmacare and to improve public access to doctors and mental health services, note Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, Rachel McKay, and Antonia Maioni. The Hill Times photograph by Sam Garcia

Canada’s “Fathers of Confederation” were men of their time, which is why, among other things, “health” was not seen as a primary responsibility for governments, and certainly not the Dominion (federal) government. This is not surprising, given that at the time, medical care was not particularly effective nor sought after, and health and social matters were of a local nature, to be addressed by family, charity, and religious communities.

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