Madam Speaker, the first order of good government is do no harm. I will go back to my business experience at the Chamber of Commerce. Before we would roll out a new program for our membership, we would first test everything that could possibly go wrong. If something did not work, we did not roll it out across the board to our entire membership base. The same principle should have applied to Phoenix.
Again, this program will not work the way the members expect it to. For example, Spinraza is a medication for SMA sufferers. I have a young constituent, Evan Palmer, who is in a wheelchair. For the longest time, the CADTH recommendation was to not cover him because he was too young and therefore not deserving of it. Every year he would wind up in a PICU bed at the children's hospital. A PICU bed costs about $10,000 a night. Therefore, for 30 days a year, it would cost $300,000. The medication was $150,000.
When I went to the minister of health in Alberta and made the business case for it, he said that I was absolutely right and that this should be done. Thanks to my local MLA Matt Jones, the minister in Alberta ignored the recommendation of CADTH, this regulatory body, and went ahead and negotiated a great deal for constituents like Evan Palmer to get access to the medications they needed. A business case can be made, but do no harm in the first place.