April 8, 1957

CCF

Colin Cameron

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo):

Perhaps the minister has answered the question I am going to ask, and if so he will forgive me for asking it again. Can he tell us exactly what

the implication is in the reference to provincial boards being in force? Does that imply that there must be a hospitalization scheme organized and operating, or does it mean that the provincial legislation for it must have been passed and proclaimed?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

It means it must be proclaimed or otherwise in force.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Colin Cameron

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo):

That brings me to another point. If all that is required is for it to be proclaimed in order to permit the federal government to get the thing under way, what then would be the position if, for instance, one of the maritime provinces passed legislation, proclaimed it, and then discovered it was unable to go on with the operation of the plan? Would that let the plan fall to the ground again?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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?

Murdo William Martin

Mr. Marlin:

It would all depend on whether the legislation was in force, whether there was the necessary number of agreements. For instance, one of the reasons for this provision is that a province might say the premiums would be collected as of a certain date and the benefits would not be paid until six months hence. One province has been giving consideration to that possibility.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Colin Cameron

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo):

What would be the position if one province started the scheme and then found it was beyond its financial resources to continue it and so, perhaps, abandoned it? You would be reduced to the position in which you are now, of not having the required number of provinces.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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?

Murdo William Martin

Mr. Marlin:

It would depend upon whether there were agreements signed with all six; whether legislation in this province was in force, and if the other conditions were met there would be no question about the operation of this measure.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

It is one thing for the minister to say there was, in his view, merit in requiring six provinces to agree to this proposal before it would become operative. Otherwise, as he put it, we might not have five today. I submit, however, that it is quite a different thing now that we have the five for which apparently he was aiming, when he asks to carry this formula forward into this legislation.

The other comment I should like to make is one I wish to put in the form of a question. Has the minister considered the position in which he will be if a month from now there is still no sixth province? Suppose he feels he would like to recommend to his colleagues in the cabinet that the plan be put into effect. Is he aware of the fact he will not be able to do so because of the very rigid

requirement for six provinces which he has put into this legislation? Should he not give himself and his government, for the few weeks more they will still be the government, freedom of action with regard to this matter?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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?

Murdo William Martin

Mr. Marlin:

As we will be the government not only for the next four weeks but for the next four years, I have no worries on that score.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Nobody is going to take the minister's answer seriously. It is just another evasion. The minister does not like some of the questions, so he just evades them. I should like to ask the minister, if he is serious about this matter, to tell the house now which, in his opinion, is likely to be the sixth province, and when he expects it will agree. He has been talking vaguely about these meetings he is arranging. The house is earnest about this matter, and about wanting a plan and wanting it put into operation as soon as possible. Now, let us have an end to the minister's evasions, and let us get down to dealing with realities. When is this plan going to be brought into operation? When may we expect the sixth province to come in, and what province is that likely to be?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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?

Murdo William Martin

Mr. Marlin:

I cannot add anything more to what I have already said. ,

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

You have said nothing yet.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

I should like to ask a

question, and I have the merit of not having spoken on this matter yet. What is the answer to the question raised by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre? Is there some fixed objection in principle to the minister leaving himself some flexibility if he should desire it later, I will not say whether it is in four weeks or forty years? Is there some objection in principle; because if not, then the minister has entirely refrained from answering the question raised by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Has deliberately refrained

from answering it.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Shall clause 6 carry?

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Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

No. I am just an amateur. All these others are accustomed to asking questions from the minister and getting no answer, but I am not. This is my first experience. I should like very much to have an answer. The minister can do one of two things. He can explain to me that my question is not a reasonable question. If he cannot show that it is not reasonable, then I think he should answer it and I shall stand here waiting to be answered.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

I do not think my hon. friend's question is reasonable but my hon. friend is a reasonable man. I have already given an

Health Insurance

answer. The objective we have in mind is this. By insisting on this condition, we hope and we believe we will be able to get something approximating a nation-wide system. I am sure if we had not insisted on six provinces, we would not now have five.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

But you have five.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

I have every reason to be

optimistic that we will have more than six.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

May I take up the minister's last answer? He says he is optimistic that he will have more than five. Let us be a little more specific. I invite the minister to be a little more informative. When does he expect to have the sixth province, and which province does he expect it to be?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Frank Exton Lennard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lennard:

He does not expect it.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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April 8, 1957