Mr. Speaker, I want to pick up where my counterpart from the NDP left off. It is on the hepatitis C question. We have spent the day on this issue and I think we will spend many more days on this issue because it is not resolved satisfactorily in the eyes of the Canadian people. Up to now it has not been resolved because we do have a number of victims left outside the compensation package. That is the point I am going to make tonight.
Obviously what the government has done is come up with a compensation package that covers only those victims within the time frame of 1986 to 1990. That is a flawed position simply because it leaves people outside the package. The question then becomes what happens if someone was infected on December 31, 1985. They would be left out. But if it happens to be a day later, January 1, 1986, they would be compensated under the plan as it now exists. That is absolutely wrong. There is no logic to it.
The government is telling us that a test did not exist. We have heard that numerous times from the Minister of Health, from the parliamentary secretary and from the Prime Minister. But that is flawed logic. That is not the case. A test did exist and was being exercised and conducted in the United States and Germany as two examples of jurisdictions that did use the test which would test for what is now known as hepatitis C. Let us not forget that. That is the logic that the government falls back on. It is flawed logic. A test did exist and we have said that over and over in the House.
The Government of Canada did not ascribe to that test until 1986, but the test was available. The test was fairly accurate. The test would have alleviated a lot of hardship on the part of a lot of Canadians who are now infected by hepatitis C if the government had used that test.
The other difficulty I have with the government's position, and this again is flawed logic, is it is saying it cannot compensate the victims outside of this package of 1986 to 1990 because there are too many of them. The minister suggests that it would actually bankrupt the Canada health system, the medicare system as we now know it. In other words, the government could not possibly pay for this many people.
In the Globe and Mail today a figure has been proposed, as has been suggested by hepatitis C groups for a long time, that the real numbers are not 60,000 victims but a mere 6,000 and possibly 10,000.
The point is the government can afford to compensate all victims.