Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the hon. member about the Canada student loan provisions in division 22 of part 4 of this omnibus bill. Why would we be continuing to charge interest on student loans at all, given that when they were brought into this place under the government of Lester B. Pearson, there were no interest payments on student loans? We should actually be eliminating both tuition and student loans.
Now that the question of pharmacare has been raised, I have to say it is quite galling to hear that we need more evidence despite the reports that have been done by experts, not just within this Parliament but, for instance, by the Pharmacare 2020 report. That report was a collaboration of the leading experts across Canada, who pointed out that we would save $7 billion a year by moving to universal pharmacare.
I would suggest to the hon. member that it is not ramming anything down anyone's throat for the federal government to create a bulk-buying agency that would buy pharmaceutical drugs along a formulary that meets the needs of Canadians and not those of big pharma, that would bring down the prices, and that would then allow the provinces to decide if they want to buy drugs more cheaply through a federal government universal plan or to go out on their own if they would like to and pay more. There is nothing that keeps the price of drugs down when individual provinces go to large pharmaceutical companies and pay far more than any other jurisdiction around the world.
I would caution hon. members on the government side not to oversell the inadequate measures toward pharmacare in this budget.