Mr. Chair, it's a privilege and honour to present a petition led by Cathy Van Herwaarden from the Parksville-Qualicum Retired Teachers' Association. They're calling on the Government of Canada to develop a comprehensive pan-Canadian single-payer and universal pharmacare program that ensures all Canadians can access medically prescribed necessary medications and supplies regardless of their ability to pay.
They cite that the cost of prescription medications and necessary medical supplies in Canada is excessive and varies greatly between provinces and territories. They cite also that the cost of prescription medications and medical supplies is continuing to rise significantly every year. They state that too many Canadians cannot afford to purchase their prescription medications and/or medical supplies or have to choose between purchasing prescription medications and medical supplies or providing for food and shelter. They cite that it's time now for a single-payer, universal pharmacare program for all Canadians.