IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Why won't the government bring in real universal pharmacare now?

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Context : Supplementary Question

    M. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NPD): Monsieur le Président, un autre jour, un autre conflit d'intérêts est là. On a encore l'implication du sacré Morneau Shepell. Ce qui est clair, c'est qu'ils n'ont jamais eu l'intention de voler l'idée du NPD d'un programme national complet d'assurance-médicament. Les libéraux veulent plutôt saboter cette idée. Voler nos idées, ça va aider les gens, mais saboter nos idées, jamais.

    Pourquoi les intérêts des familles canadiennes passent-ils toujours derrière les intérêts de Morneau Shepell et des super riches?

    Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, that is a bizarre question. We think that the idea of actually having experts help us to come forward with a way that we can get pharmaceuticals to all Canadians is important.

    I guess members opposite would have us not have experts involved. I can tell the member what would happen if that were the case. We could have the NDP and the member for Carleton do the policy, because that way we would have no expertise at all.

    Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP): Mr. Speaker, they are not going to wait another 21 years because of Liberal waiting.

    Liberals promised yet another study one day and then literally the next day admitted that they have no intention of every bringing in universal pharmacare. The PBO says that Canadians would save over $4 billion per year. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians who cannot afford medication would be helped, and businesses would be helped by reducing costs. The only one not helped is Morneau Shepell. We need to act.

    The Prime Minister has not stolen the NDP plan, he has vandalized it. Why won't the government bring in real universal pharmacare now?

    Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Canadians are proud of our publicly-funded universal medicare system, one based on the individual's need and not the ability to pay. Yet, we recognize that there is certainly room for improvement.

     We have created a national advisory committee on the implementation of pharmacare with its mandate to study, evaluate, and ultimately bring recommendations to government on possible options. This initiative will build on the good work that has already been started by the HESA committee, and we look forward to the report that we will be receiving next spring.

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