Libby urges the Conservative government to work with the provinces to improve health care

House of Commons
January 30, 2012

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Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives failed in their commitment to the 2004 health accords, including expanding home care, reforming primary care, and getting prescription drug costs under control.

Now the Prime Minister has made the situation worse by telling the premiers that he will unilaterally reduce the Canada Health Transfer.

Fixing our health care system must be done by collaborating with the provinces. That is what Canadians expect.

Why is the government slamming the door in their faces?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, as stated before, our government is committed to a universal, publicly-funded health care system. Unlike the previous Liberal government, which gutted health care transfers, we have actually increased funding to record levels. We have also announced a long-term, stable funding arrangement with the provinces and the territories that will see transfers reach historic levels of $40 billion by the end of the decade.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives cannot escape the reality that their take it or leave it ultimatum is in direct opposition to the principles of the Canada Health Act.

Canadians are rightly worried that it will lead to greater privatization, undermining the foundation of Medicare. Canadians do not want to see one health care system for the wealthy and one for everyone else.

I ask again, why is the government abandoning its leadership role in health care and making Canadians pay the price?

What happened to its commitment to accountability?