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View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Speaker, as the member knows, Quebec already has a pharmacare program in place. It could be improved by having federal contributions, but it is up to the Quebec government to decide how to administer it and how to improve the program that already exists.
However, in other parts of the country where there is no universal pharmacare, there is a real interest from the provinces. This morning I met with the Minister of Finance for the Province of Ontario, a Progressive Conservative. His primary concern is addressing the woeful cuts in health care funding, which happened under the Harper Conservatives and continue under the current government. Provinces want to see full health care funding restored. Beyond that, of course they are interested.
What government would not be interested in a program that allows people right across the country to access the medications they need, that saves businesses money, that saves society as a whole a lot of money and that allows for bulk purchasing? In New Zealand bulk purchasing led, in some cases, to the cost of pharmaceuticals being reduced by 90%. This is a win-win-win.
Yes, of course, some of the insurance companies want to maintain their profits. However, the government and Parliament should be acting in the national interest. That is why we are calling upon all parliamentarians to vote yes on this motion today.
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