Key Priority Areas

At this time, asthma has no cure. To live symptom free, people with asthma need clean unpolluted air and access to medicines. We are asking the Government of Canada to work together with our community on these key policy priorities.

Priority 1: A Sustainable Clean Air Energy Mix

Asthma Canada applauds the Government of Canada’s plan to establish a Pan-Canadian Carbon Pricing model by 2018. We support the initiative to accelerate the transition from coal power to clean energy by 2030. We also support the provision listed in the most recent federal budget that will phase out tax deduction to energy companies doing new explorations in oil and natural gas.

Sustainable, clean energy is necessary for the health, well-being and prosperity of all Canadians. There is no credible path to climate stabilization without a substantial role for clean renewable energies such as nuclear, hydro solar, wind, and geothermal. On behalf of people living with asthma, we support initiatives which promote clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The asthma community is calling on the Government of Canada to continue measures which improve air quality through investment in clean, sustainable energy sources and green technologies.

Priority 2: Choice and Access to Treatments

Currently, Canada is the only OECD country which has a national healthcare plan that does not include a national drug program for prescription medication[i].  Every year, Canadian prescription drug costs increase faster than that of all other OECD countries[ii][iii].

Asthma Canada supports the Government’s commitment to reduce costs and improve access to necessary prescription medications, as outlined in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to the Minister of Health.

We believe that all Canadians living with asthma should have equitable and timely access to prescription medications based on the best possible health outcomes rather than ability to pay.

The asthma community is calling on the Government of Canada to eliminate all gaps in drug coverage and ensure a wide range of treatment options are available based on best health outcomes. This will ensure that every Canadian has access to the medicines they need to lead the best quality of life possible.

Priority 3: Access to Medicines in School

Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood in Canada. Asthma is also the top reason why children are admitted to hospital. In Canada, over 20 children die every year from complications related to asthma.

After a concerted effort on the part of Asthma Canada and various advocacy partners, Ontario passed Ryan’s Law in 2015, which, among other provisions, gives children in Ontario the right to carry their asthma medications in school. However, there are no comparable laws in other provinces.

We believe that all Canadian children have the right safe and healthy conditions in school. All Canadian children should have the right to carry their asthma medication with them in school.

The asthma community is calling on all Provincial Governments in Canada to institute legislation similar to Ryan’s Law that will provide children the right to immediate access their asthma medicines in school, in order to ensure the safety of all children with asthma.   


[i] CMA Submission: National Pharmacare in Canada: Getting There from Here, Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, Canadian Medical Association (CMA), June 1 2016, pg.3.

[ii] “Pharmacare in Canada.” Pharmacare | Pharmacare | Issues. Canadian Doctors for Medicare, August 8 201,

[iii] Morgan, S. G., J. R. Daw, and M. R. Law. 2014. Are Income-Based Public Drug Benefit Programs Fit for an Aging Population? IRPP Study 50. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy