Mr. Speaker, I wanted to have an opportunity to put some more comments on the record with regard to hepatitis C. There have been numerous questions to the minister over the past few weeks.
The parliamentary secretary is here tonight. I guess maybe in an unusual sense we will have a little debate here if it is allowed. I will put a question or two to the parliamentary secretary which perhaps he could answer. I do not think that is breaching the rules too much.
My last question to the minister on this issue had to do with the working group established after the breakdown in talks between the federal health minister and the provinces regarding compensation for all victims outside the 1986 to 1990 package. No one would argue with that package in and of itself, but obviously the problem is that we have many victims prior to 1986 who were not compensated. Therein lies the problem.
We want to see this issue resolved. We want to see all pre-1986 innocent victims of the tainted blood supply compensated. It is as simple as that. Some provinces have indicated since the breakdown of the federal-provincial negotiations that they would compensate. They are on record and have obviously dedicated some funding to it.
I am hoping to get tonight basically a sense of what is happening at the meetings in Edmonton which are presently ongoing. We have heard everything from a complete breakdown in the negotiations to things are moving on, they are still talking and meeting and so on. We are hoping the latter is the case and that negotiations are continuing. I have to refrain from using the word negotiations because the minister says they are meeting and discussing. At the end of the day we are hoping that something will happen.
I hope the parliamentary secretary can bring us up to date on this issue because it is an issue that will not go away. I do not think Canadians will be satisfied until there is a compensation package that includes all the victims prior to 1986, some of whom contracted hepatitis C since 1990. Possibly the parliamentary secretary could bring us up to date.
In a country as generous as Canada and in a country which as I told the Canadian public time and time again in the House is rated No. 1 in the world we are seeking fairness for all victims.
Maybe the parliamentary secretary could deviate from the script a bit tonight and bring us up to date.