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Question period: Jacques Chaoulli

Physician, amateur lawyer, private health care activist

Peter Jaworski - July 11, 2005

Born: January 31, 1952, Paris, France. Physician, amateur lawyer, private health care activist.

Western Standard: You represented yourself before Canada's Supreme Court and argued that medicare's ban on private insurance, which forces patients to suffer long waits for medical care, is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. How do you feel about the fact that the court ruled essentially in your favour?

Jacques Chaoulli: That is a historic day, not only for Canadians, but also for people living in all welfare states around the world. They could benefit if they would be willing to get my expertise to tell them how to break down an obligation made by a state to a citizen to finance a health plan designated by the state, and give the freedom to an individual to opt out and choose freely any health plan he feels fit for him.

WS: Many have interpreted the ruling to apply only in Quebec. Do you agree with that conclusion?

JC: No. After reading the judgment, I definitely believe, based on legal arguments I could expose, that this judgment applies to all of Canada.

WS: What arguments?

JC: Those legal arguments would be exposed in a context whereby I would have a previous business agreement with private investors for the establishment of private health care outside Quebec. In other words, I am not going to give for free to my potential competitors my expertise on that specific point. I hope you will understand.

WS: What role do you think unions played in your case?

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