Premier Kathleen Wynne released the following statement today after meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders:
“It’s an honour and a compliment that Senator Bernie Sanders chose to come to Ontario to learn more about single payer, universal health care. In our province, we take pride in a publicly funded health care system that is a true expression of our values of fairness, equality and compassion.
Our system is not perfect. The health care needs of our population continue to grow and evolve — and there is always more we need to do to stay ahead. In this period of rapid social and economic change, someone like Senator Sanders encourages us to think big, and take bold steps to build the kind of world we want to live in. And that’s exactly what we’re doing here in Ontario.
Starting in January, we’re making prescription medication free for everyone under the age of 25. This is the biggest expansion of Medicare in Ontario in a generation — and a major leap toward universal drug coverage in this country. But getting health care right isn’t an isolated thing in Ontario — it’s linked to everything we’re doing to create fairness and opportunity for people during these turbulent, uncertain times. Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, making college and university tuition free for hundreds of thousands of students, and doubling the number of licensed child care spaces — all of these things also have to be part of our plan for fairness and opportunity.
Like Senator Sanders, I firmly believe that we have a lot to learn from one another. I want to thank him for his visit, his insights, and the thought-provoking conversations we had over the last two days. His relentless advocacy reminds us all that when people stand up and demand better, we can make our province a fairer, better place for everyone.”