The House

CBC Radio's The House: Does Canada need more private health care?

On this week’s show: Former Saskatchewan finance minister Janice MacKinnon and Melanie Bechard, chair of the group Canadian Doctors for Medicare, debate the prospect of increased privatization in health-care. Deborah Lyons, former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan, reflects on the year since Kabul fell to the Taliban. Plus — our summer series brings us to Toronto to talk with rookie Liberal MP Michael Coteau.

Here is what's on this week's episode of The House

A person is brought into the emergency department of Toronto General Hospital on Aug. 4, 2022, after it issued an alert about staffing shortages in its critical care unit. (Carlos Osorio/CBC)
Former Saskatchewan finance minister Janice MacKinnon and Melanie Bechard, chair of the group Canadian Doctors for Medicare, debate the prospect of increased privatization in health-care. Deborah Lyons, former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan, reflects on the year since Kabul fell to the Taliban. Plus — our summer series brings us to Toronto to talk with rookie Liberal MP Michael Coteau.

Health care in critical condition

Health-care systems across the country are under strain and ERs are being forced to close in some communities due to staffing shortages. Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones said this week "all options are on the table" to improve the situation and she did not rule out more privatization. 

Dr. Adam Hofmann, the CEO of Algomed Clinics, talks to The House about why he believes his private clinics in Quebec and Nova Scotia help the public system. Then, Dr. Melanie Bechard, who chairs the group Canadian Doctors for Medicare, and former Saskatchewan cabinet minister Janice MacKinnon, now a professor at the University of Saskatchewan School of Public Health, discuss the pros, cons, and nuances of public and private delivery of health-care services.

The House hears from the head of a group of private primary care clinics who says his company actually helps the public system. Then, health-care policy experts Janice MacKinnon, former Saskatchewan finance minister, and Melanie Bechard, head of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, debate the pros and cons of privatization.

Afghanistan: One year later

It's been almost one year since Kabul fell to the Taliban, changing the course of a country where Canada, and others, spent years trying to build a framework for democracy. 

On the eve of the anniversary The House sits down for an exclusive interview with Deborah Lyons — Canada's ambassador to Afghanistan from 2013-2016 and more recently the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative to Afghanistan — to talk about the political dynamics in the country now, and whether Canada needs to re-think its approach to the Taliban to ensure humanitarian aid gets through to the people who need it most.

On the eve of the anniversary of Kabul’s fall to the Taliban, The House sits down for an exclusive interview with former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan Deborah Lyons to discuss how the country has changed and whether Canada should shift its approach.

Backbenchers' backyards

It's summer, and that means MPs are back in their ridings: attending BBQs, talking to constituents and maybe taking time off to enjoy the warm weather. This summer, The House is visiting MPs in their ridings to hear about their constituencies, what got them into politics and what they hope to achieve in Ottawa. 

In this instalment of our "Backbenchers' backyards" series, we travel to Don Valley East in Toronto where rookie Liberal MP Michael Coteau represents the neighbourhood where he grew up.

In this instalment of our “Backbenchers’ backyards” series, we travel to Don Valley East in Toronto where rookie Liberal MP Michael Coteau represents the neighbourhood where he grew up.

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