Mr. Speaker, we know the upcoming election will be on ethics. No place will that be clearer than in the debates around health care.
A few weeks ago the NDP presented the Liberals with its proposals to stop the erosion of public health care: prohibit provinces from using federal transfers to pay for private health care; ensure doctors working in the private system do not have billing privileges in the public system; and make it mandatory that provinces report on how transfers are used.
The Liberal response was disappointing. It began with the words “when private involvement threatens the integrity of the public system”. Doctors know private involvement already threatens our public system, which is why it was the focus of their annual general meeting this year. Nurses know the public system is threatened. That is why they are calling on all parties to support conditions on federal transfers that limit spending to not for profit health care. Health care advocates know a private system threatens universal access to care. That is why they are calling for strategies that support publicly delivered care.
The Liberals do not get it. After giving away $41 billion, they said that only future funding would have conditions attached. Their bold plan to protect health care was to fully enforce the Canada Health Act--