The emergence of HIV/AIDS during the early 1980s brought a new disease to the attention of the public and health professionals. Controversy over the diagnosis and treatment of AIDS sufferers attracted sustained media attention. And when hemophiliacs and other blood recipients began to show symptoms of HIV/AIDS, the government faced a full-blown crisis because it had been subsidizing the Canadian Red Cross Blood Services since the 1950s. These challenges emerged just as the Mulroney government was cutting social funding for the provinces. In 1986, the Minister of Finance,Michael Wilson, indicated that he was capping health care expenditures. Once again, the provinces were outraged but, with their costs rising as well, they understood the motivation while deploring the impact. And the impact was great. In Saskatchewan, for example, the Grant Devine government eliminated the Medical Care Insurance Commission in 1987 and then attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to cap doctors’ earnings. In October 1988, nurses in the province went on strike for a week for improved wages, enhanced job security and the right to speak out about patient care. Non-nursing staff also went on strike that fall to protest the contracting out of services. To deal with these challenges the province appointed a Task Force on the Future Direction of Health Care — a tactic that almost all the provinces would use as they grappled with rising costs and declining revenues.