Promises are not negotiating chips; they are promises. Why has the government abandoned true negotiations with the provinces and why has the Prime Minister adopted the Stephen Harper approach to health care?
Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.): Actually, Mr. Speaker, the Stephen Harper approach to health care consisted of writing a cheque and then not checking to see whether it was actually spent on health care. Canadians expect that the new money invested by the federal government into health care be actually spent on health care.
On top of that, we have made commitments to work with the provinces to invest in home care, because Canadians know that what we need is a system that cares for the sick and elderly, and that demonstrates the kind of collaboration within provinces and with the federal government that did not happen for far too long.
Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminsterâ€”Burnaby, NDP): Mr. Speaker, how do we take care of the sick and elderly when the Liberals are cutting $5 billion a year from the health-care escalator by 2020, just like Stephen Harper? Same old, same old.
The Prime Minister will not even sit down with the premiers. He is adopting Stephen Harper's rather insulting approach to provinces. So much for real change.
The premiers have made a good-faith proposal to give time to get Canadians out of this immediate health care crisis. We need a simple answer: Will the Prime Minister delay the Harper cuts for a year, yes or no?
Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are looking forward to investing $21.5 billion in health care over the next five years of new money, and the only expectation we have is the expectation that Canadians have: that this money be actually spent on health care. That is what the previous government missed out on when it was investing in health care.
We know that health care money must flow to health care. That is what Canadians expect. That is what the provinces expect as well.