Fall Update from Friends of Medicare

Fall Update for Friends of Medicare

Hi everyone. If we haven’t met yet, I’m Barret Weber. I’ve been on the board of Friends of Medicare since 2015, and recently became Vice-Chair of the board.


A lot can happen in two years at Friends of Medicare and I'm happy to serve. Today, I want to provide an update on our recent activity now that everyone is back from summer fun.

Conference on Universal Prescription Drug Coverage

We’ve been working on organizing what’s shaping up to be a great conference on why we need a universal prescription drug plan in this country (that is, Pharmacare). 

Our conference is happening on Thursday, September 28 from 9 – 4 am in Edmonton. 

Details here.

We’re going to have great speakers including academics and advocates from organizations like the Canadian Health Coalition, the Canadian Labour Congress, and Alberta’s Ministry of Health.

You may know we’ve been working on this issue at the federal level for a long time now, and we are seeing some progress, with MPs of all stripes now in favour of this much needed expansion of the medicare umbrella. 

We think it’s time to also focus the conversation here in Alberta where we hopefully have the political will to show leadership on such an important issue. 

Seats are limited so please register ASAP and I hope to see you there!

2nd Annual Fundraiser

We had a great time at least years “A Toast to your Health(care)” fundraiser, so we’re doing it again! The same evening as our conference, Sep 28, at 7 pm, we’ll gather at the Chateau Louis. 

Your ticket is only $100 and gets you a drink ticket, delicious snacks, live music performed by the great Marco Claveria, access to our silent auction, and a special door prize. Get your ticket right away for this evening social, and thank you to everyone who has been supporting our work.

MLA Advocacy


Last year our members met with MLAs across the province to discuss 3 key issues:

We’ve had progress on all 3 issues this year, but our work is never done.

This year we are holding our advocacy training on October 3rd in Edmonton and October 5th in Calgary. 

Members living in outlying areas are welcome to join us there. Or if you’ve got a group of interested members in your region, talk to us about setting up a conference call.

This year we’re focusing on:

  • Universal prescription medication coverage
  • Continuing to build more public-long term care, and improving regulations
  • Private clinic billing, and ensuring the Canada Health Act is monitored and enforced

We provide the training, and help set you up with members in your area so you can support each other in meeting your MLA.

You can register online ASAP for Edmonton here, and Calgary here.

Health Ministers Meeting 2017

Stay tuned later in October as Canada’s Health Ministers will be meeting in Edmonton. We’re working on a few public events to highlight key areas of national and local interest for our public health system.

Council of the Federation


We'd like to thank our supporters and allies who attended our rally during the Council of the Federation meeting of Premiers in Edmonton in July.

Our efforts managed to help keep health care on the agenda, and learned afterwards that the Premiers had decided to call on Ottawa to “engage actively in discussions about establishing a national pharmacare plan.”

Well done everyone! This is encouraging, but of course we’re not done yet.

Equal Access to Medication for Trans Patients

You may have seen our release during Calgary Pride week talking about the excessive wait times for trans patients in Alberta needing hormone replacement therapy. There are informed consent approaches being used in other jurisdictions we could learn from and adopt to ensure we end discriminatory barriers to medicine for people who really need them. We have yet to hear any commitment from the provincial government to address this issue, so expect to hear more from us.

That’s it for now. We hope to see and hear from you over what’s shaping up to be a busy fall.

We're fighting to protect public health care in Alberta and far beyond and rely on your continued support! Thank you again!

ps If you aren't able to make it to our fundraiser you can still make a personal donation online to support our work.