Mr. Speaker, I certainly agree with the hon. member. It is way past the time that we in Canada had an honest, open and fair debate about the future of health care. I appreciate the fact he has recognized that the leader of the Conservative Party has been forthright in expressing his opinions on where Canada should go in the health care field. However, I have a few questions for him in the interest of adding to the openness of the debate.
I watched a discussion of a panel on television last night. His colleague from Vancouver East was asked whether the NDP proposed that existing private clinics, such as MRI clinics and other clinics that provide health care services for Canadians, be shut down. Is that the NDP's position? His colleague from Vancouver East did not answer the question.
My colleague mentioned jumping the queue and also stated that if we were not careful, there would be a second tier. I would suggest to the member that there already is multi-tiered health care in Canada. If we are going to be honest about it, then let us talk about it.
When Canadians are faced with terribly long waiting lists, partially because of inadequate funding from the federal government, they seek other means. If people are told by their doctors that they might have tumours, but they might have to wait six months to have an MRI in Canada, or they could go to the United States, pay a few thousand dollars and get one next week, what would people do? They would try to access other health care services. If that is not another tier, then what is, even if it does not exist within our borders? It is a situation where those who can beg, borrow or plead with their banker to get the money, if they do not have it in their bank account, would consider to find out what their true health is.
He mentioned adequate funding in his speech. Could he attach a number to that? What is the amount of adequate funding that would solve all the woes of Canada's health care system?