Mr. Speaker, I would like to complete my colleague's question. The question that he asked in the House at that time was clear. I will even take the time to read it, “How dare the federal government interfere in the management of health care across Canada when it is not even able to properly manage what comes directly under its jurisdiction?”
I will certainly inform the member of our position with regard to health care. I am pleased to have the opportunity to respond to his question. He has suggested that the federal government wishes to intrude upon the proper business of the provinces and territories in managing and planning health care delivery. The facts do not support the assertion that the federal government is, or has any intention of, micromanaging the health care system.
We have received the report of the Commission on the Future of Health Care, and our first response has been to sit down with the provincial and territorial health ministers to discuss the recommendations made by Mr. Romanow. We are looking to find common ground and identify the priority areas that are important to all the provinces and to the federal government and on which we can reach an agreement with the provinces and territories. This has always been our intention and this is the goal that the health ministers and first ministers are striving to achieve.
Again, we stand ready to make new investments that will assist the provinces and territories to continue to develop their health care systems to meet the present and future needs of Canadians.
We firmly believe that pointing fingers at one another will lead us nowhere and that we need instead to work together toward common objectives. That is what we intend to do and that is what the first ministers will be discussing when they meet on February 4 and 5 of this year.
We believe in the importance of partnership. Gone is the time when every jurisdiction was just looking out for itself and pointing fingers. I can assure the member that we do not intend to micromanage the health care system with the provinces. However, Canadians want to know how investments in health care will be used. I believe that we all have an obligation, whether at the federal or provincial level, to be accountable to Canadians, and we will do that. I am sure that, working with the provinces, we will succeed in reaching our goal.