Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
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Privatization is the process of transferring ownership or control of a business or function from the public sector (government) to the private sector. It is based on the argument that governments should stop regulating and controlling industries and sell off government firms to private interests, because public control of industries such as utilities or government-owned corporations undermines economic growth. In the 1980s, neo-conservative economists, think-tanks and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative government advocated privatization of Canada’s industries and Crown corporations to cut federal spending, stimulate economic growth, increase competition within industries, and establish real prices and costs. In the health care sector, privatization through delisting services, outsourcing laundry, food preparation and cleaning activities, and creating private clinics aroused opposition from unions, women’s groups, consumer protection associations, the Medical Reform Group and the Friends of Medicare. As a result, media coverage of strikes, protests and public meetings convinced many Canadians that medicare was threatened by government-led privatization of their iconic medicare system.

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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010