Mr. Speaker, as the member is aware, we have had these debates for some time on pharmacare, on drugs and on patented medicine. This is an issue which keeps coming in and out of our lives. It dies down and then it comes back again.
If Parliament is concerned about the shifting burden of our health care system in pharmacare costs versus the human resources costs, we should debate this. Why is there no debate? Why are we not raising it? We have the tools to do this and get the facts on the table. Perhaps that is what should be done by way of either an emergency debate or possibly a motion from one of the parties for a day long debate within the House. I agree.
With regard to providing some sort of leave program for caregivers, that is precisely one of the motions I put forward on February 2. However, it would be under the employment insurance scheme and would provide full benefit. In addition, I added the proviso, and I think the member will agree, that during that period of time those caregivers would not be penalized in terms of their Canada pension plan credit. When they withdraw from the paid labour force, they lose the opportunity to continue to participate in earning pensionable years. I think that is really important. I agree very much though with regard to providing that relief to family members who provide care.
The member will recall that the motion I put forward was for those who provided care in the home to preschool children, the chronically ill, the aged or the disabled. It was a petition I gave in this place for about three years, which probably amounted to a couple of hundred times.
When families take care of their loved ones who are in need, that benefits us all. It relieves the stress and it relieves the utilization, the demand on the limited resources that we have. It may be a better model for some. I think the member is nodding that he agrees. We need to continue to build the flexibility and the options for Canadians to provide care to their family members when that care is necessary.