Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe that the Conservative member thinks that the 20% of Canadians who do not have access to medications because they cannot pay for them represent a small percentage.
One in five people cannot meet their own health needs. That is serious and the result of the federal government's inability to establish a universal pharmacare program. It is the parliamentary budget officer, not I, who said that it will result in savings of $4 billion.
Another statistic is that, over the past 12 years, Canadian spending on prescription drugs has surpassed that of all other comparable countries, including the United States. The cost of medications has increased by 184%. A Conservative government was in power over the past 12 years. The Liberals are now in power, but so were the Conservatives. Why was nothing done?
The Conservatives often speak of the economy, which is of the utmost importance to them. We know we would be saving a minimum of $4 billion a year. Some say that the savings could range from $4 billion to $11 billion. If Conservatives consider themselves good money managers, why did they not find a solution that would keep the prescription drug costs down, to the benefit of all Canadians? It seems to me that Canadians' health should be paramount.