Mr. Speaker, I would like to also express my gratitude to the hon. member for his wise and judicious chairing of the health committee. It is a pleasure to sit on that committee with him.
As I said in my speech, of course the mechanics of how this system would be delivered are a matter for negotiation between the federal government and the provinces. That is why the motion clearly calls on the Liberal government to commence negotiations with the provinces no later than October 1, 2018, in order to implement a universal pharmacare program. The New Democrats are calling on the government to take action. There have been a lot of words by the government. It is a government of good intentions, but it is a government of, frankly, no action.
We are asking the government to take action sometime with the next year. I chose that date because I think it is a reasonable amount of time to schedule a meeting between the federal government and the provinces to discuss whether we want a national stand-alone federal program, whether we want to fold prescription coverage into the Canada Health Act and have it covered just as all other medically necessary services are now, or whether there are other models as well.
What we do know is that, without a shadow of a doubt, millions of Canadians right now cannot get the medicine they need. We also know, without a shadow of a doubt, that a national universal single-payer pharmacare system will save billions of dollars. What more does the government need to spur it to actually start the process of taking action?