My friend across the way is yelling at me. If he believes so strongly in the public health care system, why did the Liberals take $21 billion out of it in 1995? That is what I ask him. If they believe it is so wonderful, why did they take that $21 billion out?
Although my friend across the way can criticize me for what I am saying, I think he should look at his own actions and question whether they made sense, if he really believes in public funding of health care.
I conclude by saying that Bill C-71 has failed Canadians in a couple of important ways. I do not think it deals with the issue of improving our standard of living by giving us the tools to be more productive. We on this side would do that by cutting taxes. We have laid out a plan for tax relief which amounts to $2,000 for the average family of four. That is just a beginning. We would also dramatically reduce our debt and at the same time ensure that we improve our health care in Canada.
The second point I want to make is that the government has not addressed the health care issue. It has thrown some money at health care but basically has said to the provinces that it will not let them be creative and reform the system in a way that helps their people in their provinces. The provinces are answerable to the public according to the Constitution for health care. The federal government is saying it does not care how many people are on waiting lists for surgery. It will do it its way and relegate people to waiting in the hallways of hospitals. I think that is despicable.
I urge my friends across the way to adopt a new approach, an approach that is a bit more open minded to some of the things that have worked not only in the past in Canada but also in other countries around the world. If the Liberals did that, not only would they win the support of this party but they would also overwhelmingly win the support of hard pressed Canadians.