Like The Hub?
Join our community.

‘Chaos at every level’: Reporter Laura Osman on the Emergencies Act inquiry and why health care will be big news in 2023

Podcast & Video

This episode of Hub Dialogues features Sean Speer in conversation with Canadian Press journalist Laura Osman about the policy and political issues that dominated 2022, such as the trucker convoy and invocation of the Emergencies Act, and the ones that are likely to be significant this year including health care, the Liberal-NDP parliamentary agreement and Conservative efforts to make inroads with women and younger voters.

You can listen to this episode of Hub Dialogues on Acast, Amazon, Apple, Google, Spotify, or YouTube. The episodes are generously supported by The Ira Gluskin And Maxine Granovsky Gluskin Charitable Foundation.

Amal Attar-Guzman is the Hubs podcast producer. Support young journalists like Amal by making a one time charitable donation to The Hub. Thank you!

SEAN SPEER: Welcome to Hub Dialogues. I’m your host, Sean Speer, editor-at-large at The Hub. I’m honoured to be joined today by Laura Osman, a Canadian Press reporter on federal politics and policy with a particular focus on health care, immigration, and, in recent months, the government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act. We’re recording today’s episode near the end of 2022, and it will air early in 2023, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to get Laura’s perspective on the past 12 months on Parliament Hill, as well as some of the issues and topics that she anticipates will dominate the coming year. Laura, thanks for joining us at Hub Dialogues.

LAURA OSMAN: Thanks so much for having me, Sean.

SEAN SPEER: I mentioned that you cover the health-care beat for the Canadian Press. Let’s start there. We have something approaching a health-care crisis in the country. There’s also a growing conflict between Ottawa and the provinces over who pays for it. What are the main sources of the intergovernmental squabble that we’re seeing?

LAURA OSMAN: The context is that we’re coming out of this massive pandemic. Health-care workers are really burnt out. Many of them are leaving the industry. So we have a situation where part of this is a result of this totally unforeseeable global pandemic, but a lot of this also has roots in a situation that was developing before the pandemic started. So all throughout the pandemic, we had the federal government pitching in with one-time funding just to deal with the crisis. But as things are continuing, we’re seeing this is going to be a long-term problem that requires long-term money. You can’t hire people with a one-time cheque. You need to know that the source of money is going to continue. So the provinces want to see an increase in the federal health transfer—not unreasonable considering they have to do a lot of hiring.

They also feel that the government’s share of health funding has been falling steadily over the years as the overall cost of health care has gone up faster than the federal health transfers have, and they want to see the federal government paying its fair share. At the same time, the federal government just feels that the system is not working. The way that we’re doing health care in Canada is not sustainable, and they’re not wrong either.

If you look at the chart on health-care spending, it just goes up and up and up into infinity. We’ve got an aging population, and it’s going to get worse and worse. So essentially what the federal government is saying is: “We have to change the way that we do business in health care in Canada.”

Well, that’s difficult to do when it’s not your jurisdiction. It’s the province’s jurisdiction, and so essentially what they have now is a squabble over control because the federal government wants to dictate some terms for new money. You have to do things differently and the provinces are essentially telling them back off, this is a shared jurisdiction. Your job is to pay and our job is to do the health care, and that’s where we’re at and it’s landed them in a bit of an impasse.

SEAN SPEER: The prime minister told you in an interview last week that he’s not prepared to “throw money at the problem”, and, as you say, Laura, that it’s “time to improve the system.” The one piece of the puzzle though that’s been hard to discern from the outside looking in is what is the federal government’s actual position in these talks? That is to say, what specific ways does it envision the system being improved? What, in other words, are the types of conditions that it would like to put on incremental federal transfers to the provinces and territories for health care?

LAURA OSMAN: That’s the key question, and when I talk to provincial health ministers they say they don’t know the answer. They say the terms haven’t been clearly outlined to them. When I talk to people in the federal department, what they tell me is that they want to be able to talk through the ends. They want to talk through what we need to accomplish here before they even talk about money. It’s really just about how they’re framing the conversation. The federal government wants to see more money for training nurses, they want to see teams-based health care, they want to see more health care done outside of the hospital.

One major piece of the puzzle that’s missing, a major weakness in Canada’s federal system, is data sharing between the provinces. We just don’t do that very well. It was a huge, huge hindrance during the pandemic. It probably cost lives, the fact that we were not able to share information between the provinces.

That’s a major element that they want to address as well, but they’re not putting it in terms like, “If you do this, we’ll give you this.” That’s where I think the miscommunication is happening between the provinces and the federal government, because as far as the health minister is concerned, Jean-Yves Duclos said: “All of the provincial health ministers agree, we know what needs to be done.” It’s just that they won’t put it down on paper before they agree on the dollars and cents, and that’s where they’re just not getting along.

SEAN SPEER: It leads to the question, how do we get out of this impasse? If Ottawa wants greater federal involvement in health care, including, for instance, some form of conditional funding, and if provinces like Alberta and Quebec to say nothing of the others, aren’t in the mood for a greater federal role in their jurisdiction, what do you foresee happening? What’s the path to a resolution? If I can put it bluntly, who is likely to blink?

LAURA OSMAN: I think that, and this is just based on past experience, is that the provinces will blink first because the federal government is holding all the cards. They have all the money. It’s up to the provinces to decide whether they’re going to leave money on the table or not. The way things have worked out in the past, there have never been conditions attached to the Federal Health Transfer before. That’s really not how business is done in Canada between the federal and provincial governments when it comes to health. There are the principles set out in the Canada Health Act, things like accessibility and equal access across the country, things like that.

But in terms of deliverables, that’s really not part of it. You can’t put service standards into the Canada Health Transfer. What they’ve done in the past is when the federal government wants to have a say in how health care is done, they signed individual agreements with each province, bilateral agreements. That requires a province to break away from the group and agree to that first. Last time, it was New Brunswick, and the government was able to sign an agreement based on more money for home care, which was a big priority for them at the time.

In the past, we’ve seen bilateral agreements for reducing wait times under the Martin government. I think that that is probably the path that the government thinks that they’re on right now, which is that they’re going to continue to have discussions with the health ministers until they can eventually work out a deal with one province and the rest will hopefully follow. That could be—this is total speculation—why the prime minister will not meet with all the premiers on this issue, because he wants to meet with them one-on-one.

SEAN SPEER: That’s a really interesting insight, Laura. Just as an aside, it wasn’t long ago that people thought it was impossible that Ottawa would get 10 agreements on child care with the various provinces. As you say, they eventually fell like dominoes, so I think your instinct is probably right, that if what’s past is prologue, we might see the federal governments start to incrementally chip away at the different provinces with some of these side deals.

Let’s move on to a separate but related health care issue and that is the new dental benefit, which of course, was a major deliverable—frankly of the few deliverables in terms of the government’s parliamentary agreement with the New Democrats. I want to ask about the state of that arrangement in your view. What has been the policy and perhaps more importantly, political consequences, for the New Democrats?

LAURA OSMAN: I love talking about the dental care deal so much. Thank you for asking. I really have been having fun digging into this because there are so many levels to it. There’s the policy, and then there’s the politics. I think on the policy level, what we have is that the NDP has not received what they’ve asked for yet. They asked for a federal dental insurance program, starting with coverage for kids by the end of this year. The federal government did start working away on that and quickly discovered that they were not going to be able to accomplish that.

Just given the speed that the government works in, the amount of consultation they have to do, the fact that this is again, essentially provincial jurisdiction, and so they have to tread very carefully. Also, dental care is really, really complicated. We have private insurers through employers. We have provincial programs. No one wants to be the first payer. If you don’t do it properly, every other system is going to collapse and the federal government’s going to be paying the whole bill.

The stakes are pretty high, actually, even when we’re talking about just low and middle-income families. That was really tough. They had to have that conversation with the NDP, and in the end the NDP agreed to this dental benefit instead, which is essentially a cheque for families who make under a certain income and don’t have their own private insurance, they can get a cheque to help take care of their kids’ teeth. This is a program that when I talk to economists, they’re not very impressed with it. It was thrown together quickly. It feels a little bit like the CERB, where you get the money right away and then you’re held accountable for it after.

There’s always the risk you’re going to get a clawback, that you’re going to get audited, that you didn’t actually qualify in the first place but you thought you did. There’s also the issue that dentists don’t want to be helping their patients navigate the Canada Revenue Agency. That’s not a good system. There are some issues, but it’s a short-term program. We’ll see how it plays out over the next year or so while in the background, the government tries to stand up a full-fledged insurance program.

I think that’s going to be really interesting to watch. Politically, I think that there’s the potential for this supply and confidence deal to be a bit of a poisoned chalice for the NDP because what you’re essentially saying to voters is you can have your cake and eat it too. You can get all the NDP policies while voting for the Liberals. The Liberals are going to be rolling out all of these policies.

The line between NDP and Liberal policy is going to become blurred. The Liberals are going to be able to take credit for a lot of this. What government is going to be the one that delivered dental care? It’s going to be the Liberal government. What government is going to be the one that delivers on pharma care if they get that far along, it’s going to be the Liberal government.

It’s a risk for the NDP. It has paid off in the sense that it’s made them a lot more relevant in this session. They have a lot more power in that sense, but they really only have one move now, which is to threaten to pull out of that deal. If they want those priorities, they’re going to have to stick with it.

I don’t know that we’re really going to know whether this was a good idea or not until the next election but there is always the risk that people are going to fall away from the NDP because they’re getting what they want out of the Liberals. If they’re a progressive voter and they don’t want a Conservative government and the Liberals are a better bet and they get the NDP policies. That sounds great for a super-progressive voter.

SEAN SPEER: We’ll talk about the recent Mississauga-Lakeshore by-election later in the conversation, but it may, as you say, Laura, foreshadow some of the inherent political risks for the New Democrats in this supply agreement with the government. Do you have a sense Laura, what New Democrats on Parliament Hill think about the agreement? Do you think it will stay durable in 2023? Perhaps more importantly, what about the leadership of Jagmeet Singh? Is there reason to think he may face growing pressure from within his own party over the coming 12 months?

LAURA OSMAN: I think the future of Jagmeet Singh will probably be determined in the next election. Because it’s going to be a referendum on this supply and confidence deal for the NDP, I think, whether it worked out in their favour politically or not. Either way, they’re going to be able to say that they got a lot done. That they were able to push the government to deliver certain things like hopefully their dental care program.

Hopefully, that works out for them. There are other smaller things that they’re able to hold the government to account on. It’s just a little bit tricky when they want to push back on the government and yet they’re propping the government up. It’s hard to be in both positions, and we’re seeing that tension a little bit right now with health care.

How can Jagmeet Singh hold Justin Trudeau to account for not doing anything on health care when it’s in his deal? Giving more money to the provinces is in the supply and competence agreement, but there’s no amount of money, there’s no timeline, and there are no specifics. The only move he has is to pull out and that’s politically a lose-lose.

I think that the New Democrats are struggling a little bit with that to play both sides of the issue. I do think they’re genuinely gratified to be getting some of these things done. Dental care is such a huge deal for them. To see that moving forward because of the work of their leader, I think, is gratifying. Whether that pays off in terms of votes is a totally different question and a much more complicated one that we won’t know the answer to for a long time.

SEAN SPEER: Let’s turn the conversation to what was arguably the biggest political issue in Canada in 2022 and something that you’ve covered very closely, and that’s the trucker protests and the invocation of the Emergencies Act. You sat through and observed the parliamentary inquiry on the government’s decision to invoke the Act. What did we learn from the public inquiry? What are the big takeaways for you?

LAURA OSMAN: Oh, my goodness, it was six weeks of testimony that went for more than a full workday every day, without stop. I can’t describe to you what it was like. It was about something that was so intense to cover in the first place but to relive that every day was so intense. I think that the biggest takeaway for me, first of all, just on the face of it, was the level of chaos at every single level that was happening, right? Within the protests themselves, there was no order, there was infighting—it was crazy from within.

Then the response to it was surprisingly chaotic. At the city level, they just did not know how to respond. The local police were totally overwhelmed. They didn’t have a plan two weeks into this thing they could even work with. The lack of coordination between police services of different levels was really strange. Just as a Canadian citizen, you just assumed that these things work better. Then getting a look behind the curtain and thinking, “Oh, goodness, no, it doesn’t work at all.” [chuckles] It surprises you.

At the provincial level, we didn’t hear from the premier during the Emergencies Act inquiry. He didn’t want to provide his evidence. He did not want to be at the table during these tripartite meetings. There were no tripartite meetings because the provinces, it just wasn’t present. Then the federal government was struggling to find ways to intervene but had this jurisdictional problem where they’re not really allowed to. They really have limited capacity to get in there.

It was quite dysfunctional from top to bottom. The other big revelation, of course, was about whether the government was justified in invoking the Act according to the letter of the law. That’s a matter for legal minds greater than mine to figure out, but it was really surprising to see that the government didn’t abide directly by how most people would understand the law, which is that it has to reach a certain threat threshold that falls under the definition under the CSIS Act of a threat to the security of Canada.

To see that it didn’t meet that threshold, but that the government felt that they could have a different interpretation of that language, and that would be fine, it’s very confusing, I think, for the average person to understand. There is certainly the risk that Justice Rouleau, who is the Commissioner, will decide that actually the government wasn’t legally justified in invoking the Act, and what are the repercussions of that going to be?

SEAN SPEER: Can I follow up just with a wonky question? This is the first time that the government has invoked the Emergencies Act, and so in turn the first time that the Act’s provisions around a post-invocation public inquiry were carried out. It seems to me there was an open question about how the federal government would choose to interpret expectations of a public inquiry. Would it be done through a parliamentary committee, for instance, or some other means? How would you characterize the public inquiry process in terms of its comprehensiveness, in terms of the federal government’s participation, including senior political figures like the prime minister and the deputy prime minister, but also, Laura, in terms of the sharing some of the background materials that informed government decision making during, as you say, a rather chaotic process?

LAURA OSMAN: It seems like it was quite thorough, although I will say that it’s also quite rushed. That’s partially not anyone’s fault. Justice Rouleau had to have surgery that delayed the process of it. The inquiry happened later than they would’ve liked and it had to move faster than they would’ve liked.

There were thousands, and thousands, and thousands, and thousands of pages of documents. We got to see things like text messages between ministers at different levels of government. We got to see inside people’s notebooks, the notes they were taking during these meetings. We got to see things we would never see otherwise. We got to hear testimony from people we would never hear from otherwise. The prime minister’s advisors—it’s not just the prime minister who’s being held to account here. It’s also the people who work for him.

It was an unprecedented level of transparency. Of course, there could always be more transparency. Often the documents were redacted for various reasons. The lawyer who represented the Freedom Convoy organizers often argued for some of those documents to be unredacted. In many cases they were.

There wasn’t necessarily anything super juicy under those black blocks, but it was nice to see that the commissioner would rule in favour of that because they were looking for maximum transparency.

It’s interesting actually because I interviewed Perrin Beatty who actually drafted the legislation before the inquiry began. I just wanted to know from him what was your intention when you drafted this legislation and you created all of these conditions after the invocation. There needed to be an inquiry, there needed to be a committee. What were you hoping to accomplish there?

He said he was thinking about the last time the War Measures Act was invoked and the fact that the government was able to tell people “If you only knew what we knew, you would agree with us.” He didn’t want that to ever be the case again. He wanted people to know what the government knew and make their own decision. That was the spirit that the Act was written in. I think that was the spirit that the commission was carried out in.

The trick is that the crucial piece of evidence here is the legal advice that the government received on how to interpret the legislation when it came to what that clause about a threat to the security of Canada actually means. The government got some legal advice and they felt that they could interpret it differently than what I think the average person would think the interpretation is.

We don’t know what that advice was. We’ll never see it. The commission will never see it. We are left with “If you knew what we knew, you would think this was fine.” [laughs] I think that the commissioner’s ruling is going to be really important here because ultimately it’s his call whether it was justified or not based on the mountains and mountains of evidence that they got.

SEAN SPEER: Let me ask one final question on this particular subject. Having reported on this story so closely over what is a period of months now from the original protests to the conclusion of the public hearings, what do you think the whole episode tells us about the state of our politics, and what if any long-term consequences do you think there will be?

LAURA OSMAN: We started to notice a change during the last election when there was first talk of vaccine mandates from the Liberals and Justin Trudeau. They were speaking about the possibility of bringing in vaccine mandates for travel, for work. That’s when we started to see really angry crowds. The threat level at his rallies went way up.

He had to cancel appearances. I think that’s where the trouble started. At least that’s where it kind of reached a certain threshold that you couldn’t ignore it anymore. I think it’s escalated from there. I think the Freedom Convoy was a manifestation of the same sentiment that we saw during the election. Partly it’s related to the pandemic. I hope that part of it will die down now that those restrictions are gone and hopefully they don’t come back.

Because hopefully the pandemic, we’re able to get past it from here. I do think, though, that division, that disdain that people at least felt that the government felt for them—they were being treated with disdain, that they were being treated as less than for their own personal choices, that their ability to earn an income didn’t matter to the government. Those hard feelings are going to last, right? Both sides are making political hay on it. That division is motivating for people and it gets votes.

We’re seeing that play out on both sides. We saw Pierre Poilievre make nice with the Freedom Convoy. I remember there was a moment in the leadership debate where the candidates were arguing over who supported the truckers more. On the flip side, we have the Liberals falling over themselves to paint the truckers as not only dangerous terrorists but also racists and that it’s wrong and bad to support them. That division escalates and it’s going to outlast the pandemic. I think we have to figure out a way to heal that moving forward, but that doesn’t seem to be the way our politicians are headed.

SEAN SPEER: As you say, Laura, the only political figure who didn’t seem like he wanted to make political hay out of this episode is Ontario Premier Doug Ford. We can only speculate on why he chose to try to remove himself from what ultimately became a highly polarized debate.

I mentioned the Mississauga byelection earlier. I want to take that up now if that’s okay. We’re having this conversation about a week after the result in which it’s fair to say the Liberals won a big victory. I was struck that after more than seven years in office, the government continues to attract high-quality candidates like a former Ontario finance minister, and win elections in crucial ridings in and around the city of Toronto. What does that tell us? Laura, what do you attribute Prime Minister Trudeau’s staying power to, and how has he avoided the kind of infighting that has bedeviled the Liberal Party in the past?

LAURA OSMAN: That’s such a great question because often political parties after they’ve been in power while they just get tired and they lose steam, and they lose good people, and they start to lose support. We’re not really seeing that happening with the Liberals. I think that there are a few reasons that the party seems so united. I think one, and this is speculation on my part, and I don’t have a special insight into the party, but just in terms of my personal theories, I think one is that the Liberals are motivated because they see a genuine threat in the Conservative Party. They see that as a genuine threat to their ideal vision of Canada. When you have a common enemy, it unites you and motivates you. I think we’re seeing that, especially with Pierre Poilievre taking up the leadership.

I think that is a genuine threat to progressive voters and people who feel they have a certain vision for the way they want the country to be and that Pierre Poilievre would destroy that vision. I think as well there are no real superstars in the party who would be next in line for the throne unless you think perhaps Chrystia Freeland. There’s no one for a faction to form behind. Chrystia Freeland has said she does not want the top job, and if that’s true, then who else would it be? You have Minister Joly who has been performing quite well in the foreign affairs portfolio, but she isn’t necessarily ready to be prime minister. I think that the party isn’t split along loyalty lines and old and new blood. They really just have their one-man for now.

SEAN SPEER: I asked about the Liberals’ performance in the by-election. I have to ask about the Conservatives’ performance. I’ve seen analysis that the riding of Mississauga-Lakeshore ought to be within the Conservative target seats if they want to win the next general election. How should we think about the outcome in terms of what the Conservative Party needs to do between now and then?

LAURA OSMAN: You also think about how Doug Ford swept the GTA as a Conservative government and why can the federal government federal Conservatives not do the same? I think it wasn’t really a fair race for the Conservatives this time around in that they just elected a new leader. They’re not well set up yet. They’re still setting up house. I think that they were not out campaigning. I think they didn’t want to look like they were trying to win and then lose. I think that would have been more embarrassing for them.

In some ways, they knew that this wasn’t theirs to win. There was a superstar candidate running against them with a much higher profile. I do think, though, that the Conservatives are going to have to start to look that way. They’re going to have to start to think about “How do we win over voters in the GTA? Do we need to change our communication style? Do we need to think about what issues that we’re going to run on?”

There’s a supplying confidence agreement there to try to prevent an election until 2025. That deal could fall apart at any time. The Liberals could realize that it’s an advantageous time for an election at any time and call an election. The Conservatives really need to just think about how they’re going to win those voters over.

I have seen a change in the last two weeks from the Conservatives in terms of their communications. They’re getting their face out there more, and to their benefit. I think we saw Raquel Dancho come out and talk about gun legislation. We saw Pierre Poilievre come out and do a scrum about the contract that the Liberal government signed with a company that’s owned by a Chinese parent company to do anti-espionage work. He had a great line for it. It’s great as a journalist to have more opposition voices in our stories when the Conservatives will come out and share their perspective. I hope that we continue to see more of that.

I think the strategy of speaking directly to supporters may be less advantageous when you’re trying to win a general election and you’re trying to win over people who aren’t already in your camp. Perhaps that was a strategy. Perhaps that’s something we’ll start to see more of going forward.

SEAN SPEER: As a follow-up question, we’ve seen a series of polls in the past week or so which suggest the Conservative party is underperforming with older voters, which is a bit counterintuitive, and has a real problem with women voters. What issues or messages should we look for from the Conservatives as evidence that they’re trying to deal with those demographic challenges between now and the next election?

LAURA OSMAN: I think we’re already seeing it a lot with the affordability messages. The way that the Conservatives are going after middle-income families, I think, really speaks to that. Those are the issues that matter to middle-income people in the GTA, for example. It’s how much do groceries cost? How much does gas cost? Those are bread-and-butter Conservative issues that they should be able to win people over on. I think that as inflation starts to go down hopefully in the new year, the Conservatives may have to start looking around a bit for other ways to jump on that issue. Because in a way, Pierre Poilievre was gifted that just as he took over the leadership. Without that, where are they going to go? Because things like Chinese interference are another major issue for the Conservatives but they’re not necessarily things that are going to win votes.

The Liberals have been taking a page out of the old Conservative playbook in terms of giving people money. The child benefit sends money to parents every month or every year. Then you have the daycare deals where people are getting rebate cheques on their daycare. These are things that moms like to see. This is a thing that women voters appreciate. The Conservatives have to start to compete on those terms as well.

SEAN SPEER: Let me ask you a penultimate question. We’ve talked about some of the biggest issues of 2022. What issue policy-wise or politically surprised you over the past 12 months?

LAURA OSMAN: What surprised me? Oh my goodness. I think that the devotion to Ukraine wasn’t surprising but I think that the way that the government has thrown themselves all in on that conflict took me back a little bit. We’ve seen the Russian invasion of Ukraine territory before without this huge response from Canada. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has had all of these spinoff effects all over the world. We’ve seen famine in Africa, we’ve seen the energy crisis in Europe, and I was with the prime minister while he was going from summit to summit. He went from the Commonwealth heads of government in Rwanda to the G7 in Germany and then to NATO and Madrid, and Canada was really at the forefront of a lot of those summits in terms of “How do we deal with these crises that are happening as a result of this invasion?”

Canada also really wants to be seen as Ukraine’s main best friend and ally. I think that’s interesting to see. I think it’s interesting that Canada’s working so hard to be seen in that light when we don’t necessarily have the means to be the heavy hitters in these situations. I think the way that other nations start to lean on Canada for their energy needs in Europe is going to be really interesting to watch unfold because obviously, the government wants to start transitioning away from fossil fuels. But in some ways, that’s exactly what Europe needs right now to get off Russian oil. Seeing Canada so heavily involved in those conversations was a bit of a surprise for me. It was a little bit unexpected.

SEAN SPEER: Final question: what issue or topic would you recommend that our listeners pay attention to as we head into 2023? What’s the sleeper issue, Laura, that you think has the potential to have an oversized influence on our politics?

LAURA OSMAN: I think the one issue that we have to start to pay a lot of attention to is some of these offshoots of the health-care conversation. Obviously, right now our health-care system is on the brink of crisis if it’s not in crisis already, but there are other issues related to it that are going to start to come up down the line. We’re going to start to see a real issue with long-term care as people get older. The government needs to think about that this year.

They’ve promised legislation on that coming out of the pandemic, when we saw people in long-term care so heavily affected by COVID-19, the safety of long-term care homes, but also the availability of long-term care homes and the question about whether we want people in long term care homes to begin with. These are all things that the government is going to have to start to deal with, and they promised legislation sometime in the next year or so to that effect. Which is, again, provincial jurisdiction.

It’s tricky territory for them. I think pharmacare is going to start to come up again, namely the cost of drugs. We just saw changes to the way the government regulates the price of drugs in Canada and how that might affect the availability of really brand-new therapeutics. I think that’s going to be really important, especially for people with rare conditions. There’s a lot happening in the health care space beyond just the crisis that I think people are really going to have to start to pay attention to.

SEAN SPEER: That’s a great answer. A lot of insight as there’s been throughout this whole conversation, Laura. We’ll have to have you back later in the year to look back on 2023, and all of the issues that challenged us, interested us, and surprised us. Laura Osman, Canadian Press journalist, thank you so much for joining us at Hub Dialogues.

LAURA OSMAN: Thanks so much for having me, Sean. I’ll be back anytime.