Madam Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's thoughtful remarks. For a second there, I thought he was a New Democrat.
What an apology for inaction we just heard. It is a classic Liberal position to say that they believe completely in universal pharmacare, but just not yet. There were a number of errors in the member's statement. For instance, he commented that the motion calls on the government to move immediately or thoughtlessly. It does no such thing. For any Canadian watching, the motion calls on the government to commence negotiations with the provinces within one year. That is to start discussions within a year with a view to implementing national pharmacare. That is not irresponsible. In fact, I drafted this motion specifically to give the government enough time.
By that time, the report of the committee will have been issued. In fact, it will be out in a month or two. However, we already know two basic facts. We know that millions of Canadians are not covered and we know that pharmacare would save billions of dollars. My friend refers to the details, including working out what is covered in the formulary, whether it will be a single-payer system or a stand-alone federal system, and what the federal-provincial cost sharing details will be. He is absolutely right that those details need to be worked out. How do those details get worked out, except at a federal-provincial table?
This really amounts to another statement by the current government to the effect that it has convinced Canadians it is progressive by talking a good line, but never actually doing anything. We are not going to get pharmacare in this country unless the federal government shows leadership and calls on the provinces to sit down and roll up their sleeves and start talking about it.
While the government dithers and delays because it is a little complex, what does my hon. colleague say to those Canadians right now whose lives are being shortened in some cases and who are dying because they do not get access to pharmaceuticals because they cannot afford them?