Mr. Speaker, I am sure you could never imagine that I would be speechless, but after hearing that dissertation and exhortation, and the equivalent of a Rick Mercer rant on the provinces, it is just embarrassing. The provinces understand the cash flow, the tax points and everything else and they know they are hurting.
In his reference to my province of Alberta he mentioned how oil rich we are. I would like him to know, although I am sure he does know this but forgot to mention it, that although we are certainly grateful for the fact that God put the oil there, only two provinces in this entire country pay health premiums: my province of Alberta and the province of British Columbia. And he has the nerve to stand up and say that the federal government is guiltless when it comes to health care funding, that it is all the provinces' fault and what terrible things they did.
We need to look at the sleight of hand. The accord that was signed was a five year agreement. When the government made its grandiose announcement of putting $2 billion more into the system, the agreement still had three years to go. He chastizes us for the math but I would like him to do the math on that. Why were those three years not agreed to? What it is doing is announcing $2 billion on the timeframe that still had three years left on it.
If I were him I would be embarrassed to go home and crawl off the plane and meet his premier at some function after being ragged on when the premiers, bless them, are trying to make do with such a pitiful amount of money to make sure that health care continues. He says that they have universal access. What he should have said was that Canadians have universal access to the lineups that they are in month after month, looking desperately for health care.
Could he please address some of this?