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LETTER: New tax system would ensure access to health care

Your recent editorial – Health care is not a partisan issue – is an important message at this time of intensified partisanship in both the U.S. and here in Canada. Your call for a major systemic change to strengthen our health-care provision – rather than more fiddling around the edges – is bang on.

Nowhere is this change more important than creating a more comprehensive approach that would give about 9 million Canadians without dental coverage access to this vital service.

Both the Canadian Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association have called for access to quality dental service for all children and the elderly – regardless of income – and all Canadians on low or medium income without coverage.

Every MP, whether Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green or independent, enjoys a golden health care package – including dental care and drug coverage – paid for by the taxpayers.

All MPs, except the Conservatives, support the introduction of dental care, however, the Conservatives oppose not only dental care but also national pharmacare which many vulnerable people desperately need. Is this hypocrisy or simply incoherent thinking by a party that wishes to become a new government and cut taxes with no indication of how the most vulnerable would have their health-care needs met?

The need for a new, fair tax system has never been greater. Multi-billion-dollar subsidies of wealthy oil corporations and grocery chains making record profits surely must end. Huge tax loopholes have been revealed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) including the massive tax avoidance of wealthy corporations and individuals. Two PBO reports on the 2019 tax year found that rich citizens avoided paying at least $6 billion and wealthy corporations at least $25 billion thanks to their use of foreign tax havens in that year alone.

Honest, hardworking Canadians pay their taxes – why should many of the wealthiest avoid paying their fair share just because they can hire costly tax lawyers and accountants? A new, fair tax system would ensure that vital health care provision – and other social determinants of health such as decent accommodation and healthy nutrition – are possible for the many, and not just the few.

Ron Faris