Liberals make hay about Erin O'Toole's videotaped comments on private health care

The interviewer, however, says that a clip tweeted by the deputy prime minister cut out one of O'Toole's key statements

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      The Liberals are coming under some criticism over social media for editing a video that shows Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole speaking about the benefits of private health care.

      In the July 15, 2020 video, O'Toole said that if Canada wants to see innovation in health care, it will have to find "public-private synergy and make sure that universal access remains paramount".

      According to the interviewer, Kate Harrison of Summa Strategies, the Liberals edited O'Toole's statement about the need to ensure universal access.

      The video was tweeted by Liberal deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland.

      Freeland later tweeted the full video of O'Toole's answer, which you can see below.

      This video released by the Liberal Party of Canada is 2:17.

      After declaring his support for retaining universal access, O'Toole went on to praise former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall's changes to diagnostic imaging. It enabled the private sector to play a role in addressing wait times.

      "I thought that was a brilliant move to show the public at large there's going to be an overall benefit because everyone's wait times will go down," O'Toole said. "But people will be able to access services and that capital will come in to drive efficiencies, drive innovation."

      Not everyone was thrilled with Wall's approach. The left-leaning Broadbent Institute criticized the policy for siphoning off physicians and technologists from the public to the private, parallel, patient-pay system, thereby undermining equality of access.

      O'Toole, however, cited the Supreme Court of Canada's controversial Chaoulli decision in 2005, which upheld a citizen's legal right to pay for private health insurance to cover the cost of medical treatment due to long wait times through the public system.

      He acknowledged that this was a civil case and it didn't necessarily apply to the entire country. In fact, because one of the judges did not making a ruling on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in this case, it doesn't.


      After this article was posted, Twitter posted a warning about one of Freeland's tweet, describing it as "manipulated media".

      The Liberals disagree with Twitter's assessment.

      The Conservatives have asked Elections Canada to launch its own investigation, accusing the Liberals of spreading "misinformation".