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Health care and the federal election: An ever-growing majority of Canadians open to enlarged access to private health care, according to a new Leger Marketing survey

Montreal, December 15, 2005 – According to a Leger Marketing survey commissioned by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), 58% of the Canadian population would agree to the State allowing speedier access to private health care for those willing to pay for it, while maintaining the current free and universal health care system.

An examination of the evolution of these results, shows that there is an upward trend in the proportion of Canadians willing to accept that the private sector play a greater role in health care. An April 2005 survey on the same question indicated 52% support.

This willingness is strongest amongst Quebecers (72%). But this open attitude also commands a majority in all regions of Canada (British Columbia 68%, Alberta 59%, the Prairies 51%, Atlantic Canada 52%), except for Ontario, which remains split down the middle (49%).

As for the spread over voting intentions, the survey indicates a majority in favour amongst Bloc québécois voters (72%), Conservative Party (65%) and Liberal Party (57%). NDP voters are the least in favour (39%).

Are electors poorly represented?

Valentin Petkantchin, the MEI Director of Research, notes that the federal political parties are less and less in touch with public opinion regarding the health care issue, which remains the voters’ Number One priority.

Mr. Petkantchin deplored the fact that “The willingness of Canadians to consider private health care continues to grow, but none of the political platforms being submitted to voters in the present election campaign contains any proposal in this sense.”

According to the Leger Marketing survey, of the majority of Canadians who indicate their openness to the possibility of private health care, 31% say that they would be more inclined to vote for a party that committed itself to allowing increased access to private health care.


The survey was carried out through telephone interviews of a representative sample of 1,500 English- or French-speaking Canadians aged 18 or over. The interviews were conducted from December 6 thru December 11, 2005. Using data from Statistics Canada, the results were weighted according to gender, region and language spoken at home, in order to ensure a sample that would be representative of the entire adult Canadian population. The maximum margin of error is ± 2.5 %, 19 times out of 20.

The detailed survey report may be consulted on the Institute’s Website.

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For information and interviews, please contact: Patrick Leblanc, Director of communications, Montreal Economic Institute, Tel.: (514) 273-0969 / Email: pleblanc@iedm.org

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