Mr. Chair, certainly I would beg to differ with the minister on this point of strong enforcement on this. It is voluntary. It is weak.
One of the committee members had a suggestion about the phone number people might use to complain. This is based upon complaints, and I would ask Canadians who are watching, how many of them know that direct to consumer advertising for pharmaceuticals is illegal? How many Canadians know that if they complain something might be done about it? How many Canadians know the phone number? There was a joke at our committee about this phone number, that because it was so well hidden it was a state secret. Nobody knew whom to phone, so how can Health Canada enforce something that people do not even know how to complain about? It is a very passive approach.
While the American advertising does come over the border into our living rooms, I think this is a perfect example where we do not want to lower ourselves to a lower standard that is happening somewhere else. Instead, we want to set the standard and have these rules, which we to have, and enforce them vigorously.
On these three things, I do not expect the minister to manage to do all of this in a couple of months. I do not want it to appear that I have foolish expectations; however, we are now in the process of preparing the next budget and the Department of Health has had the committee's report for several months now.
The report is based upon the premise that it is our responsibility to keep Canadians safe. I put that as a high priority item, so my question is, does the minister have his officials costing out our recommendations and is the minister planning on including those additional resources in his budget requests for the next fiscal year?
We understand that it will require more people even to answer the phone for the complaints on direct to consumer advertising and more money to advertise the telephone number. There is a variety of ways and we are going to need more people hired at Health Canada to do this work. My question is about how much it is going to cost. Do we know yet? Is anybody working on it? Are you planning to ask for that money?