Evidence of meeting #35 for Health in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was amendments.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

9 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, BC

I also think we're already doing much of this through Health Canada's framework, so I would think it would be redundant to put it in this bill as well.

9 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joy Smith

Ms. Davies.

9 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

I don't think it's redundant at all. I think it strengthens that clause. This clause is already talking about disseminating information about suicide, including information concerning its prevention. So I think it strengthens it to include information we already know about. It's not something you have to gather. There are studies. Information is available. It's a matter of getting information out to the public, out to different organizations, and including a broader framework about determinants of health.

So I think it helps strengthen the bill and makes us better understand that people's social determinants--the environment they live in, whether they're homeless or living on welfare and having enormous stress and anxiety--are all socio-economic factors that contribute to suicide risk and its prevention. So I think it helps strengthen the bill, and I hope the members might support it.

9 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joy Smith

Thank you.

Dr. Morin.

9 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

In view of what my Conservative colleagues have said, that is, that they are afraid this requires a royal recommendation, I would like to ask the legislative clerk whether this amendment does actually require a royal recommendation.

9 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joy Smith

No.

9 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

In that case, I am going to ask for a recorded vote. I think it is pretty hypocritical that the only argument my Conservative colleagues have against voting in favour of these good amendments to the bill is that they require royal recommendation, when it appears that it is not necessary for the great majority of these amendments.

I would like to know why you refuse, dear Conservative colleagues, to vote for these amendments.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joy Smith

Dr. Fry.

9:05 a.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Yes, I want to support this amendment. I think it does not require royal assent, as we heard, and it adds a couple of lines to spell out what the current piece of information, the current clause, asks for. It's just saying including information concerning its prevention. Information concerning its prevention has to do with understanding the root causes. If you don't know what the causes are, how can you prevent them?

So I think this is something we could vote for.

Madam Chair, I wanted to make a comment here with regard to my supporting this. We listened to many witnesses. They liked the bill but they felt that the bill fell short of being able to achieve any real results and outcomes, so they suggested that certain things be added. I can understand the royal assent piece, but I don't understand why, when the person who brought the bill forward likes some of these amendments and feels they strengthen his bill, that there's a vote against it. I don't understand it. If we listen to witnesses and then ignore what they say, why are we bothering? Why don't we just rubber-stamp every single thing that comes through this committee?

If you support something, you want to see it work. And if the intent of the person who brought it forward was to make sure that it did make a difference, as I know Mr. Albrecht wishes, then when he suggested some of these things are appropriate, I fail to understand why people would vote against it. I really don't understand that. I want to support Mr. Morin in that question, but I think somebody should explain why they think this is a bad thing to do.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joy Smith

Dr. Carrie, would you like to answer that?

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Oshawa, ON

Thank you very much. Yes, I would.

We're not arguing that things are good or bad. What we're discussing is Mr. Albrecht.... What you say about what Harold has said to you is hearsay, as far as I know. I spoke to Harold--

9:05 a.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Are you accusing me of lying?

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Oshawa, ON

No, no, no.

9:05 a.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

We did consult with the mover of the bill.

March 15th, 2012 / 9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Oshawa, ON

And so did we. And when we had it analyzed and discussed, he was supportive of our analysis.

If you listened to what I said earlier, and maybe I wasn't as clear as I should have been, the clause as it is right now states “disseminating information about suicide, including information concerning its prevention”. You're changing it to “disseminating information about the determinants of health” and then you're getting into “including economic status—social environment and access to health services—as risk factors for suicide”. You're getting very specific. You're getting into issues the provinces are dealing with. This is a federal bill, and we want to keep it within a federal scope. The way it's worded now I think is very clear.

By getting into these very specific concerns with how it's being defined here, my concern is that there might be some misinformation at different levels, because this is talking about provincial determinants.