Mr. Speaker, inadvertently. How is that?
The federal government, working in collaboration with the provinces and territories, achieved a historic national commitment on the future of publicly funded medicare. We have a written commitment from every premier and government leader from every province and territory in Canada, including Quebec, to uphold the principles of the Canada Health Act: universality, comprehensiveness, accessibility, portability and public administration.
They also committed that every penny of new dollars in the 1999 budget transferred from the federal government to the other jurisdictions would be used for health services. That guarantees the continued viability of a quality public, not private, health care system.
I spoke about provincial jurisdiction and I want to explain to the member what that means. The provincial government has the responsibility to see how its services are delivered. For example, doctors do not work for provincial governments. They are not provincial civil servants. Across the country lab services are provided sometimes by the ministry of health, sometimes by private sector corporations, sometimes by a municipality.
For many years in different parts of the country home care services are provided sometimes by not for profit corporations, sometimes by corporate entities. Nursing homes are sometimes private, sometimes are not for profit. The same is true for ambulance services.
This is called a mixed economy. It is up to the provinces to decide how those services will be delivered. We do not tell them how. Even if we do not like it, there is nothing we can do or say about it.