Mr. Speaker, first of all, it must be pointed out that the Canada Health Act exists with its fundamental principles. Nowhere in the agreement do the provinces question that. We could ask ourselves whether the Canada Health Act is properly worded, but this is not the purpose of the debate we are having today.
Nobody has indicated a willingness to go against these fundamental objectives. The premiers, in the first sentence of the press release issued following their meeting in Saskatoon on August 7, confirmed their resolve to maintain and improve the universal health care system for all Canadians. That was the first sentence of the premiers' press release. It seems to me that there should be something in there to satisfy the member.
This being said, it is one thing for the Liberals to rise in this House and say they want to protect the fundamental principles of the Canada Health Act. However, this borders on hypocrisy if the provinces are not provided with the means to meet the criteria.
What good does it do if, in theory, you have some strong legislation, but, in practice, you do not provide the means to enforce it. I have absolutely no doubt that all of the opposition parties will agree on this issue and that several government members will share that vision or, at least, will hopefully realize that, while they talk about setting standards, they do not provide the money needed to meet those standards.
The best people to watch over the quality of our health care system are not the hon. members of the Liberal Party, but the citizens who, along with the various provinces, will put pressure on the government and their local representatives who are involved in the health care system. The best watchdogs for our health care system will always be the people and not some opportunistic politicians who do not put their money where their mouth is.