Universal Child Health Care

Health Canada is the federal department of the Government of Canada responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and improve their health.

Health Canada is committed to improving the lives of all of Canada's people and to making this country's population among the healthiest in the world as measured by longevity, lifestyle and effective use of the public health care system.

In partnership with provincial and territorial governments, Health Canada provides national leadership to develop health policy, enforce health regulations, promote disease prevention and enhance healthy living for all Canadians. Health Canada ensures that health services are available and accessible to First Nations and Inuit communities. It also works closely with other federal departments, agencies and health stakeholders to reduce health and safety risks to Canadians.

Through its administration of the Canada Health Act, Health Canada is committed to maintaining this country's world-renowned health insurance system which is universally available to permanent residents, comprehensive in the services it covers, accessible without income barriers, portable within and outside the country and publicly administered. Each province and territory administers its own health care plan with respect for these five basic principles of the Canada Health Act.

Initially, when universal health services became a reality in Canada, the federal government of Canada paid for about 50% of the cost of the health care for Canadians. That has dropped to about 10% with the provinces / territories paying the balance.

Parents plead for treatment to aid sick kids
Health ministers asked to provide drug coverage for rare disorders

The Toronto Star, DENNIS BUECKERT, Canadian Press, Oct. 23, 2005

Health ministers were confronted yesterday by desperate parents who say governments are condemning their children to death by refusing to cover drug treatments for rare disorders.

Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman had briefly left the closed-door meeting on a bathroom break when he found himself being introduced to Jasmine Sekhon, 7, who suffers from a rare condition called MPS, or mucopolysaccharide.

"I need my IV back," Jasmine told the minister, referring to intravenous infusions that have proven effective in treating the debilitating and eventually fatal condition.

"Well that's what we're working on here, today," said Smitherman, offering the first indication that coverage of rare conditions is on the ministers' agenda for their weekend meeting. Read More ..

October 16 - World Anti-McDonald's Day

Every year there is a Worldwide Anti-McDonald's Day on October 16th [UN World Food Day] - a protest against the promotion of junk food, the unethical targeting of children, exploitation of workers, animal cruelty, damage to the environment and the global domination of corporations over our lives. Launched in the UK in 1985 by London Greenpeace, the October 16th international protests have continued to grow, despite - and maybe even because of - McDonald's notoriously unsuccessful legal efforts to silence their critics with libel writs.

McLibel Trial - McDonald's fails in libel lawsuit

The McLibel Trial is the infamous British court case between McDonald's and a former postman & a gardener from London (Helen Steel and Dave Morris). It ran for two and a half years and became the longest ever English trial. The defendants were denied legal aid and their right to a jury, so the whole trial was heard by a single Judge, Mr Justice Bell. He delivered his verdict in June 1997.

The verdict was devastating for McDonald's. The judge ruled that they 'exploit children' with their advertising, produce 'misleading' advertising, are 'culpably responsible' for cruelty to animals, are 'antipathetic' to unionisation and pay their workers low wages. But Helen and Dave failed to prove all the points and so the Judge ruled that they HAD libelled McDonald's and should pay 60,000 pounds damages. They refused and McDonald's knew better than to pursue it. In March 1999 the Court of Appeal made further rulings that it was fair comment to say that McDonald's employees worldwide "do badly in terms of pay and conditions", and true that "if one eats enough McDonald's food, one's diet may well become high in fat etc., with the very real risk of heart disease."

As a result of the court case, the Anti-McDonald's campaign mushroomed, the press coverage increased exponentially, the McSpolight.org website was born and a  feature length documentary was broadcast round the world.

www.mcspotlight.org website

Health Cards

(also called Care Cards), are a charge card for health services and are a provincial responsibility. Charges on the account of the care card are paid by the corresponding provincial / territorial government administration authority.

For information on how to apply for a health card, click on your province or territory of residence below:

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island Newfoundland & Labrador Nunavut
& Northwest Territories