Mr. Speaker, Motion No. 47 is a very interesting motion. I read it carefully. There are many items and observations in this motion on improvements the governments of Quebec and the provinces need to make to long-term care. We know that many people suffered during the pandemic. We really need to keep their interests in mind when we legislate.
When I read the motion, my first thought was to grab my phone, open Google Maps and look at where we are, because I get the impression that the person who wrote this motion did not know that they were in Ottawa. Not only does this motion talk about Quebec and provincial jurisdictions at every turn, but, what is more, it contains factual errors.
We are told that health care is a jurisdiction the federal government shares with Quebec and the provinces. I find this motion absurd. In recent years, the federal government has suddenly become interested in health care. It has developed a passion for health care, for regulating health care and for imposing conditions on the provinces. The Liberals appointed a Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and now they want to attach conditions to health transfers and to microtransfers.
Now, the Liberals want to tackle long-term care when they have never, ever, managed such facilities, as I said before. This is absurd, because they are so interested in health care that, when the time comes to pay, they disappear. When it comes time to reach into their pockets, they disappear. When something is likely to cost even a penny, they disappear.
According to the Liberals’ perspective in this motion, health is a shared jurisdiction. They are gravely mistaken, since they have made it somewhat of a shared jurisdiction over the years by using a loophole in the Constitution known as spending power. Health care is so not a shared jurisdiction that they have to interfere in a roundabout way.
I will explain for the umpteenth time how the spending power works. The Liberals in Ottawa wake up one morning, read the Constitution and decide to interfere in health care. Once they have read the Constitution properly, they see that they do not have the right to legislate health care. They then think about how they can interfere in the provinces’ affairs and decide to tighten the purse strings and to clamp down on the provinces so hard that, sooner or later, the provinces will do what they tell them to do. That is what is known as spending power. That it what they are doing by imposing conditions.
That is the case with the Canada Health Act and many other legislative measures. They have invented these shared jurisdictions. This is really the power to hold up the provinces. It is literally an extortion power over Quebec, over sick people, people who are suffering, people who are victims of post-COVID downloading. It is a power the federal government gave itself to hold up these people who are suffering.
The Liberals are arrogant enough to tell us that health care is a shared jurisdiction. In any case, violating Quebec’s jurisdictions is certainly the exclusive purview of the federal government. I can attest to it.
It is funny, because the provinces and Quebec, the ones that know what health is all about, the ones that manage hospitals, the ones that work in this area all year long, are asking for increased health transfers. They are asking for unconditional transfers that will cover 35% of health care system costs. That is what the people who know what they are talking about are calling for.
Other people who also know what they are talking about include the witnesses who appeared before the Standing Committee on Health, of which I am a member. They told us that the Quebec and the provinces need more funding to carry out long-term reforms, particularly in home care and long-term care. The provinces should be able to make these reforms with increasing, stable and predictable funds.
In the past few weeks, no one has appeared before the Standing Committee on Health to ask the federal government to impose more constraints on the provinces because they need them. The government is proposing new constraints for the provinces, as if they needed them. The spending power is being used very liberally.
Only this week, the hon. member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, whom I have jokingly called “Dr. Spending Power,” suggested to the Standing Committee on Health that the federal government should hold back the funds until Quebec and the provinces have met the federal government’s immigration and medical staff targets.
I cannot make this stuff up. Quebec manages its economic immigration, and the federal government wants to reopen the agreements to interfere in our affairs. Now it is interfering in workforce training, when it cannot even run its own immigration department. IRCC cannot even bring in temporary foreign workers. The government cannot even process those applications in a timely manner, but it wants to tell us how to train our workforce. Quebec has always defended its administrative sovereignty tooth and nail with asymmetrical agreements, and the other provinces should follow our lead.
That is what the federal government’s shared jurisdiction is all about.
Over the years, the Liberals and Conservatives have cut health care funding so much that Quebeckers now believe they are the ones who can no longer manage health care. They are losing confidence in themselves and in their institutions and hospitals, because they do not realize that the problem comes from above. The problem comes from people who are interested in every aspect of health care except the aspect they are actually responsible for, namely taking the money and transferring it.
I will be honest. If the federal government were a good government and did its job like everyone else once in a while, and if the people on the other side were competent, which they definitely are not, we might be interested in hearing their advice on health care. I though they might be good at it and maybe I am prejudiced against the federal government and especially the Liberals, so I went to see the list of the federal government’s achievements in its own areas of jurisdiction.
Let us start with IRCC, which may be the worst immigration department of a G20 country. These people cannot bring in temporary foreign workers on time. Last December, our farmers were wondering whether they would get their workers, because the government was doing new labour market impact assessments, which had already been done in Quebec by the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail, Quebec's labour market partners commission. The federal government thinks that temporary foreign workers are going to steal our jobs when we are at full employment. That is how the federal government is doing in jurisdictions where it is supposed to be good.
Let us talk about passports. The federal government cannot get the printer to work, but it wants to tell Quebec and the provinces what they should do in health care.
Moreover, the government cannot even fulfill its military obligations toward its partners. It took the war in Ukraine to remind the feds that NATO exists and that normal countries take care of their army. The government does have time, however, to harass people about health care.
The Minister of Immigration is doing nothing about the airlift. We have been talking about it for weeks, and when the government finally woke up, it found three planes. We would have to put 50,000 people on each plane for that plan to work. However, the federal government has time to harass us about health care.
Let us talk about Phoenix. Some of the federal public servants whose work is being praised by the government have lost their home. Some are still refusing promotions today. They are refusing them because they are afraid that Phoenix will mess up their file. However, the government is telling Quebec what to do about health care.
Let us talk about KPMG. The minister does not even know that she is entitled to request an investigation. The Minister of National Revenue has not read her own act. However, the government is interfering in health care.
The Governor General drinks champagne while our indigenous peoples do not even have drinking water, but the government can tell us what to do about health care.