The Role of Health Care in the 2021 Canadian Federal Election

By: Charlotte Bourke

The COVID-19 pandemic has put Canada’s universal health care system to the test. Aside from the extreme stress on the health care system to handle patients with COVID-19, the pandemic has also exposed weaknesses in the universal health care system. Throughout the pandemic the country has grappled with even more pronounced shortages of health care workers, lengthy wait times for medical appointments, and inadequate care for those in long-term care homes (CMA 2021). The pandemic has also pointed to broader problems with the nation’s health care system such as unequal access to health care, mental health care, and pharmaceutical products—as well as the structural barriers that drive these inequalities (CMA 2021).

The urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic and the systemic stress that it exacerbated makes health care a top priority in the upcoming 2021 Canadian Federal Election. All three major political parties agree that increased funding of health care is necessary, although they differ on where the money will come from and where it will be prioritised (Rabson 2021). Moreover, as vaccines are distributed across the country and provincial borders are reopened, Canadians are paying close attention to the party’s plans for mitigating health care crises in the future. Overall, the issue of healthcare will be top of mind for voters and party leaders alike in the 2021 Canadian Federal Election. Among the many lessons that the pandemic has taught the world, it has undoubtably shown the importance of building an adaptable, robust and equal health care system.



Canadian Medical Association [CMA]. (2021). Election policy platform. Canadian Medical Association. Retrieved from

Rabson, M. (2021). Public or private: Canada's perennial debate about how to solve health care. CTVNews. Retrieved from