Madam Speaker, when we look at the health care system we have to wonder what has happened and why so many ill people are on waiting lists today. When I had 4,000 men working at our shipyard back home, they were feeding their families and educating their children. They were happy. They added to the economy. Now I have them coming to my office, not just the men but their wives and their children as well. The stress they are under is affecting their health. They cannot work, go to college, elementary or preschool if they do not have their health.
It has to be a number one priority for the government of the day. I am really concerned about what is happening. When I look back at the cuts that have taken place since 1993, Mr. Hugh Scully, president of the Canadian Medical Association, stated that the increase did not take into account an increase in population, an older population, advances in technology or advances in knowledge.
I am disappointed that the government would make the cuts it has to health care. Back home in New Brunswick when the Liberal Party came into power and Frank McKenna was the premier, does the House know what he did to husbands and wives who were seniors? He brought in a policy that said if they had to go into a nursing home it did not matter where it was, that they had to take the first bed within 100 miles of where they lived. We had husbands in one home, 100 miles away from their families, and their wives 100 miles in another direction.
I had their children and relatives coming to me. They could not even go to visit their fathers or their uncles or their aunts. When Bernard Lord took over, the first thing he did was drop that policy. He said that the policy was inhumane and that if they had to go to a nursing home they would be together.
What has happened with our health care system is totally inhumane. I cannot believe it. My hon. colleague, our health critic, was the first person to bring before the House the hepatitis C issue. No one here mentions that, but he never gave up on it. Have they received their cheques? No. The only reason we were able to get any attention whatsoever was that the opposition side came together to fight for those people, but they still have not received a cheque.
Yes, only the government's lawyers have been paid. What has happened to human society? What has happened to us? We are no longer there. I am really disappointed.
I happened to get a hold of the priority resolutions that the Liberal Party will consider at its convention today. I am sure, Madam Speaker, that you would not agree with the No. 2 priority resolution, the legalization of marijuana. Guess where the health care issue is on the list. It is not quite at the bottom but it is No. 9. Homelessness is No. 29, next to last.
The priorities of this present government have legalization of marijuana as second on the list and health care as ninth. What has happened?
I do not know. I will not say what they are smoking. They will have to tell me what they are smoking. There is a real problem and we have been saying that from day one. When the government has its priorities in that order then we are in a serious situation. We truly are.
Let us look at what has happened to the military health care system. They did not put enough money into that either in the budget. I have risen in the House many times to discuss the ill effects and dangers of depleted uranium. Has the government ever done anything for them? No. It is just like hepatitis C. No, it has not.
When we are talking about transfer payments, the minister of finance for the province of New Brunswick is telling us that the amount of the transfer payments it will receive from the budget will only look after health care for three or four days. Where are the priorities of the government? We feel very strongly—
Madam Speaker, as you can hear, my hon. friends on the government side still do not have their priorities straight. If they had their priorities straight they would be standing and telling us that they would fight for money for health care.
We have to establish national goals. That has to be done because the Prime Minister needs to sit down with the premiers as well, not just the Minister of Health. The Prime Minister needs to sit with them, and he refused to do it. We cannot understand why he would refuse to do it.
The government has to discuss this issue. It has to create a longstanding credible system, not one that is here today and gone tomorrow depending on politics. As I stated when I first rose today, people cannot work, cannot go to school and cannot study. It is a terrible burden on all families. It is a terrible burden on society when this happens, but it happens. They are under stress, the stress the likes of which I have never seen.
In my riding which has the largest city in the province all CN men have been laid off because the rail passenger service was taken away. The coast guard was cut from 365 down to 65. The oldest sugar refinery in Canada was told that it would be closed down. That amounts to stress for all families.
A little boy and a little girl from high school came into my office just the other day and asked whether I could find their father a job. He was going to Nova Scotia and they did not want to move. Another person came in who was going to the United States. They do not want to move. They want to stay home. The only way they can do that is with good help. I wish to move the following amendment to the supply day motion:
That the motion be amended by adding after the word “House” the word “strongly”.