‘Selinger is playing politics with sick peoples’ lives’: Stefanson


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Greg Selinger wants Tory leader Brian Pallister to tell Manitobans if he will have them start paying for cancer care drugs if elected.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/04/2016 (2538 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Greg Selinger wants Tory leader Brian Pallister to tell Manitobans if he will have them start paying for cancer care drugs if elected.

Selinger, who held a news conference in the living room of Teodora Cadeline on Boyd Avenue this morning, says Pallister’s agenda to “cut and privatize health-care services” could lead to some people fighting cancer to have to pay for their drugs.

“More than 6,000 Manitobans are diagnosed with cancer each year and that number is expected to go up by 40 to 50 per cent in the next 10 years,” Selinger said.

“Those families deserve a straight answer from Brian Pallister on whether their cancer-care services are at risk before they cast their vote.”

Later, deputy Tory leader Heather Stefanson slammed back saying Selinger’s campaign “had hit a new and shameful low.”

Stefanson said Selinger should apologize to cancer patients and their families.

“Never before have Manitobans been exposed to such a desperate campaign of fear and lies for a sitting premier and his government,” Stefanson said.

“Selinger is playing politics with sick peoples’ lives in a desperate attempt to get re-elected.”

Stefanson said she had lost her own mother to cancer.

“Desperate American politics has no place here in Manitoba.”

When asked if the Tories had plans to make cancer patients at home start paying for their drugs again, Stefanson said “we will not”.

The NDP government decided in 2012 to cover 100 per cent of the costs of cancer drugs for patients no matter if they are in hospital or not.

Cadeline said she was diagnosed with brain cancer in May and received chemotherapy and radiation in July. She earlier had breast cancer in 1991.

During questioning, she said at first she had to pay for her cancer drugs after she began receiving treatment and was at home, but after speaking to family members she told Selinger the pharmacy did not charge her.

“That’s great you received treatment so fast – we say we want Manitobans to be treated 60 days after diagnosis and you were,” Selinger said

Selinger said he hopes home coverage of the cancer drugs will not be at risk under the Tories.

“Brian Pallister has said there are no sacred cows when it comes to cuts… If there are no sacred cows be honest.

“It’s not good enough to be evasive. We have people like Teodora who have had enormously good services.

“We need (Pallister) to level with Manitobans.”

In a statement, the Tories said they have already promised to protect front line health care services.

As well, the Tories said they want to slash ambulance fees in half, keep and attract more doctors, add more personal health care beds, and start a dedicated stroke unit.

“At no time has the PC Party ever said, suggested, or even hinted at reducing patient access to cancer care treatment,” the statement said.

“We did not and we will not… For the Selinger NDP to use the cancer battle as a last minute fear tactic in an election campaign is beyond reprehensible.”


Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.


Updated on Saturday, April 16, 2016 1:05 PM CDT: Headline tweaked

Updated on Saturday, April 16, 2016 4:21 PM CDT: Tories reaction added.

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