Robert Joseph OGLE

OGLE, Robert Joseph, O.C., S.O.M., B.A., D.Cn.L, LL.D., J.C.D.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Saskatoon East (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
December 24, 1928
Deceased Date
April 1, 1998
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ogle
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=45e90540-93ee-4744-a312-0b927d261bda&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
missionary, priest

Parliamentary Career

May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
NDP
  Saskatoon East (Saskatchewan)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
NDP
  Saskatoon East (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 73 of 74)


October 15, 1979

Mr. Ogle:

From that beginning in Saskatchewan in 1962 the notion of a medicare scheme spread to other provinces. However, that came after. Because there was a problem of magnitude-medicare would affect everybody-a former prime minister, now deceased, the Right Hon. John Diefenbaker, made an historic decision and appointed in 1961 Mr. Justice Emmett Hall to study the health needs of Canadians. I believe the resulting report should seriously be looked at again by all Canadians because that document outlines the basics of medicare.

Some of the recommendations in that report have been put into effect, but many have never yet been attempted. There are visions in that document which have not really come to light anywhere as yet, but I invite one and all to look again at that document. In the document there were four basic principles which were necessary to have a medicare scheme function. The first was that there should be comprehensive coverage; everyone should be in the scheme. The second principle was that there should be universal availability; that it would be possible for everybody to receive health care. The third was that there should be portable benefits; one could travel from one place to another and still be taken care of. Finally, it should be administered by a central, non-profit administration. That has worked, more or less, in different places and in different ways, but in the last year or so I feel that obvious cracks have begun to appear in the system. Doctors are now opting out, which has a different wording in different places. There is double billing or something else, which is to say that the system is not being followed. Premiums are now going to be charged in Newfoundland, for instance, which again goes against the very basic nature of the medicare idea.

When things like this begin to happen, we have a dangerous situation on our hands. To draw an analogy, the four principles to which 1 referred could be regarded as something like the legs of a chair. If one leg of a chair was shorter than the others, the chair would be wobbly and a very uncomfortable place to sit. If one began to cut the legs so that a balance could be obtained by giving up a part of one of the legs, the chair really would not become balanced. A more critical situation would develop, finally causing the person sitting on the chair- and I do not know what words I can use in the House-to fall to the floor. That is what will happen with the medicare scheme and plan unless something of a drastic nature is done to stop the erosion that is taking place.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
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October 15, 1979

Mr. Ogle:

In my nomination speech and all through the campaign that I carried out for many months I stated in that first speech, and many times afterward, that it was my intention to defend human life from its conception until its natural end. In doing so I tried to lay down quite simply the fact of my basic belief in human rights which has been expressed by many members of this House already in this session. My basic belief is that each human being has been given the right to life and that this right continues until they naturally die. These rights are sometimes of an individual nature and sometimes of a collective nature. They ought not to be infringed upon at any time.

Now, both in our country and in the world infringement of human rights continues. During that short space of time that we human beings have to live on this planet, you and I, Mr. Speaker, and all others have somehow or other to struggle and fight to see that the rights of all human beings are safeguarded, and one of the rights that I consider to be basic to each of us is the right to health. That right encompasses and takes into account all the other human living conditions that are necessary to make it possible for a person to live as a healthy person. And when 1 speak of health I speak not only of the physical health which we all hope to have, but also of the psychological, moral, spiritual and emotional health which makes it possible for a human being to live as a human being and, more important, makes it possible for a nation to live as a healthy nation and the world to live as a healthy community of nations. So when I speak of health, I do not speak merely of the medical state which so frequently is used as the whole standard; 1 speak of the whole integrated reality that makes up the well-being of all people.

As 1 have said, it is one of my basic personal convictions that the right to health is one of the most important rights we have as human beings, and that if we as Canadian citizens want really to make a mark at the United Nations it is important that we show the way with a model of ourselves rather than with a pointing of the finger at others who have so far not reached that level of health.

It was basically because of this that 1 was disappointed in the Speech from the Throne. 1 found quite quickly that there was not a single mention of health or the social principles and bases which are needed to bring about a healthy society. The question of health and more specifically the question of medical care have in no way been totally settled in this country. A

The Address-Mr. Ogle

former member of Parliament of my party, Tommy Douglas, said this past weekend in Toronto that he believes that there is a grave danger for our country because the medical care system we now have is under serious pressure and could, in a sense, disintegrate. In the next few minutes I would like to direct some of my remarks to that particular problem and crisis. I agree that it is one of the main problems in our country today.

In passing 1 will say that the right to health is not listed as such among the rights of the United Nations, but in article 25 a much broader stand, what I like to think of as rights across the board, was stated as follows:

Every human being has the right to a standard of living adequate to ensure his health and well-being, as well as those of his family-particularly as regards their need for food, clothing, shelter, and medical care, as well as the necessary social services...

In May, 1977 at the World Health Assembly our country went on record when it adopted the global health goal, which is as follows;

That the main social targets of governments and the World Health Organization in the coming decades should be the attainment by all citizens of the world by the year 2000 of a level of health that will permit them to lead a socially and economically productive life.

I personally feel we should keep that goal before ourselves all the time.

In the coming years there will be many areas of health about which I would like to speak. One of them will be the whole question of human nutrition and food. 1 have lived part of my life in the developing world. I have lived with starving people whose main problem was lack of food, but I think that wc and people like ourselves who live with bounty but who many times are overfed and undernourished must seriously look into the whole question of food as it is used and eaten in our country. We must look critically at artificial foods and ingredients which make "natural" food anything but natural food.

On the question of medicare once more, I have heard various speakers in the past week in this House refer to medicare. Many of them claimed that they had a great deal to do with its founding, but I personally had the experience of living very close to the heart of the medicare crisis of 1962 in Saskatchewan when the first universal medicare plan in North America came into effect. The battle began on July 1 of that year and continued until July 23. There was a basic tearing apart of many people because of the intensity of that head-on struggle, but it finally resulted in a signed declaration in Saskatoon on July 23 which gave the province of Saskatchewan the first medicare plan in North America.

At that time I was younger than I am today, of course, but by a particular accident of fate I was living directly between the two sides. The government of Saskatchewan was headquartered in the Bessborough Hotel, and the medical profession was headquartered in the medical building just a few hundred yards down the street. Directly in the centre of that was the old Catholic Centre of which I used to be the director. During those 23 days I literally lived in no man's land.

190

October 15, 1979

The Address-Mr. Ogle

However, at the end of the 23 days there had been a basic social change in the history of our country. I feel now that those 23 days had a great influence on my life in relation to many other social questions. It was an education to be there and to see that finally social change of a basic nature came about only when a group of people had in themselves a vision and, more than a vision, the courage to bring about that vision even though everyone seemed to be against them.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
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October 15, 1979

Mr. Ogle:

Mr. Speaker, I am very much aware of the fact that a plan has been put into effect to study the future, but I would like to suggest that once the gate is open and the cows are out, it is too late to close the gate. In view of the fact that in addition to the situation in Newfoundland, over 40 per cent of the doctors in Prince Edward Island have opted out of medicare and 18 per cent to 20 per cent of doctors in Ontario have done likewise, will the minister now bring legislation into this House to reverse this serious cutback in health services in Canada and allow the former 50-50 formula to be reintroduced in order to avoid the current crisis?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HEALTH AND WELFARE
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October 15, 1979

Mr. Ogle:

Mr. Douglas also said that there should be no opting out. That was a very clear principle in the Hall report.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
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October 15, 1979

Mr. Ogle:

The second group of people consisted of the priest and the Levite, officially good people going down to the temple to pray. They saw the man, but he had a problem, he was half dead and this might make them unclean so that they could not pray, the law would not let them pray. Their principle of life was: What is mine is mine. But the poor Samaritan did not know all those rules; all he knew was that there was a person in distress, a person in need. So he stopped, and not knowing it all, picked him up, put him on his animal and looked after him. The last person's principle of life was: What is mine is ours. That is what I believe.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
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