Premier makes announcement at UW Prescription drugs are now free for those aged under 25

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Kathleen Wynne, the Premier of Ontario, has been touring around campuses in Ontario to let make a huge announcement regarding the new budget which she called “a balanced budget.”

Kathleen Wynne speaks at the BomberShelter Pub in Waterloo. Photo by Meehakk Mulani.

Wynne spoke at the University of Waterloo on May 3 at the AHS building. She was accompanied by Kathryn McGarry and Daiene Vernile.

Wynne discussed the uncertainty of the future.

“We’re leading economic growth in the country… but not everybody is sharing that equally, and that what our fair hydro bill was about… that’s what our fair housing act was about… it’s what free tuition is about.”

Wynne announced that “starting January 1, 2018, all people [of the age 18 to 24] will be able to access free prescription medicines. Four million young people in Ontario will have access to free medication.”

She went on to discuss why the age selected was encompassing individuals 18 years of age to 24 because “young people may not be covered by their families benefits and they may not have benefits covered by work.”

The prescription pills being made accessible to young people include, but are not limited to medication for mental health and birth control.

“It was very critical to us to have the coverage go far enough into the young adult’s life that they would get the coverage they need. We know that the best thing would be to have a national Pharmacare plan that would cover everyone his is a big step in that direction” said Wynne.

She also discussed “guaranteed basic income. [The province has] launched a pilot in 3 communities: Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay. This is going to run for 3 years… [The purpose of this is] because there are people who cannot work for various reasons.”

“Basic income is something that has been talked about for 35 years and it is something that I think we need to gather evidence, and see if there is a better way supporting people who are not able to take part in the economy to help them to get there – that is basically what the basic income pilot is about” explained Wynne, regarding the pilot project.

Wynne made clear that the program is universal and that “no matter what your income in this province you have access to a great healthcare system,” in response to why Pharmacare is open to all income earners.

The 42nd provincial elections is set to take place on June 7, 2018; Wynne is running for re-election.

Feds President, Antonio Brieva, had the opportunity to speak to Premier Wynne before the event. He “asked her to consider throwing her government support behind Peggy Sattler Private Members Bill – Bill 26.”

Bill 26 would require all employers to provide their employees with adequate training and information on domestic and sexual violence in the workplace.

“This would ensure all staff and faculty on campus with student-facing roles are trained on prevention in UW’s policy 42, which is the sexual violence prevention policy. Which also has listed the protocols and pathways of reporting and disclosing sexual violence” said Brieva.

Breiva also asked “Kathleen Wynne to mandate that Smart Serve Certification be expanded to include bar-specific, bystander intervention training. Because as we’ve seen where there is higher level of alcohol there is a higher risk of sexual violence to occur, so we want to ensure bar staff are geared with the tools to intervene in a safe manner.”