April 4, 1957 (22nd Parliament, 5th Session)


Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. Nicholson:

Let me point out that the province of Manitoba, for example, according to the information given by the minister a year ago, would have to raise $5,700,000. But the minister also advised us that in Manitoba they are now paying $3,347,000 to the Blue Cross and $691,000 to private insurance companies, and that individuals were themselves contributing $3,762,000. In other words, the people of Manitoba are now paying $7,800,000 for hospital care, and if they came under this program they would only be paying $5 million.
In the province of Nova Scotia, the minister told us, they would have to raise $2,400,000. But they are now paying $1,085,000 to the Blue Cross, half a million dollars to private insurance companies, and $1,719,000 which individuals are contributing for hospital care. So in Nova Scotia they would save about $900,000 if they came into the plan.
New Brunswick would be able to save about $2 million.
The province of Prince Edward Island was not able to provide an estimate of what they now pay, except to the Blue Cross and the private insurance companies; but it would appear to me that if the minister had been doing an active job during the past year he

Health Insurance
would make some progress toward persuading a province such as Manitoba, which will save nearly $1 million, to enter the scheme when it comes into effect.
The people of Manitoba are citizens of Canada. The federal treasury does not get money in a mysterious way. The federal government is prepared to roll on and introduce a national hospital program which will become available as soon as we have six provinces in it, and all the minister has to do now I think, is to convince his colleague the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources and his friend the premier of Manitoba that they are putting brakes on progress in Canada by holding up this scheme.

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