Final arguments begin today in the Charter challenge against public health care

The outcome will determine the future of health care in Canada 

Ottawa, ON: A Charter challenge against public health care that began in 2009 is finally reaching its conclusion. Final arguments in the Cambie Surgeries Corp et. al v. A.G. of British Columbia will be presented in court starting today and will conclude on December 6.

“This case is crucial for all Canadians. Providing high-quality medical care to those who need it rather than those who can pay the most is a central feature of Canadian health care. That’s what is being challenged here,” said Melanie Benard, the National Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Canadian Health Coalition.

Brian Day, president and CEO of Cambie Surgeries Corporation, has been using the courts in British Columbia to try to gain the ability to charge higher fees for surgeries and to get paid by both the public system and private insurance. If he gets his way, the door will be opened for the privatization of medically necessary health care in Canada.

Day is arguing that the laws that protect public health care in British Columbia are denying patients their right to life, liberty and security of person under Section 7 of the Charter. He claims the case is about addressing wait times, but really it’s about increasing profits.

“The defendants and the intervenors have shown that a two-tier health care system costs more and it only benefits the wealthy. Private, for-profit health care damages the delivery of public health care and it doesn’t solve the wait time issue,” said Benard.

“Effective solutions exist to address wait times within the public system,” she added. It is crucial to all Canadians that we protect our public system so that health care continues to be provided based on people’s needs and not on their ability to pay.”

Day’s side begins presenting its final arguments today and the defence begins on November 25. A final decision is expected from the court early in 2020.


For more information:

Pam Beattie
(289) 828-5251

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Canadian Health Coalition