Mr. Speaker, the Canada Health Act prescribes a minimum amount of health care services to every province. It used to be that the federal government would fund 50% of that. The provinces always had the option of doing more over and above that.
For example, Saskatchewan under Allan Blakeney and the NDP, in the mid-1970s started a dental program for children up to 18 years of age through high school. That was free to every 18 year old and under in Saskatchewan. It was administered through the school system. It was a very good system. It drew raves from around the world. People were coming from around the world to study our system until the Liberal-Tory coalition of Grant Devine bankrupted our province and shut down the program.
Yes, there is some relevance to the comment with respect to the basic minimum requirements. However, the minimum requirements now are no longer 50%. They are far less than that.
Nobody I have talked to in Canada, except the Liberal MPs who are given their briefing notes by the Minister of Health, believes that we are spending enough on health care. Not a single Canadian believes that health care is funded adequately. Not a single Canadian whom I have talked to believes that the Liberal government is doing a good job in terms of health care.
Even the Liberal premier of Newfoundland, who is a former Liberal member of parliament and a former minister of the Prime Minister's cabinet, has gone on record as saying that medicare is in crisis, that there is not enough money and not enough federal attention being paid to it. We need a fix on medicare from the federal government. Where is it and when is it going to come? We need it now. Brian Tobin said this, a former Liberal MP and cabinet minister and the current Liberal premier of Newfoundland.
The hon. member raised a good point, but again this is the typical vision of the Liberals. They want to pass the buck. They do not believe they should take responsibility for their actions. When the manure hits the fan, they want to duck and blame somebody else, even though its their fan and their manure.
As soon as something good happens, like the NDP in Saskatchewan starting medicare and the dental plan for children, then the Liberals want to take credit for it when they fought tooth and nail year after year, to kill the medicare plan in Saskatchewan. The Liberals did. The Liberals right here fought tooth and nail. There were demonstrations in front of the legislative building. Ten thousand people were shouting, “Don't give us medicare because it is going to be too expensive. The doctors are going to go. Don't give us medicare because the big multinational corporations will not make as much money”. Whoops, we do not want to say that. That is what they did.
We brought in medicare in spite of the Liberals leading the charge across western Canada, spending thousands of dollars to defeat Woodrow Lloyd's government in 1964 because he had brought in medicare. What happened in 1964? Mr. Thatcher, the Liberal, became premier. He got elected as a result of Liberals across the country trying to fight medicare. What did he do? He embraced medicare. Mea culpa. It was, “Oh, we were wrong a couple of years ago and medicare may work”.