Canadian conservatives—particularly these days under Pierre Poilievre’s federal leadership—say they embrace freedom, free enterprise, and limited government. But too often conservatives at the federal and provincial levels have abandoned these intellectual commitments in office. Their past and ongoing support for central planning in health care is a good example.

Canada’s health-care system is marked by a government monopoly on certain types of insurance and similar top-down restrictions on the delivery of health care itself. Conservative governments across the provinces have been unwilling to liberate Canadians from this dirigiste model.

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