House of Commons Hansard #157 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was businesses.

Topics

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the province of Ontario announced hepatitis C compensation for every single victim. No lawyers. No hassle. Just help. Does that not prove Premier Harris has more compassion for hepatitis C victims than this minister has in his whole body?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was barely able to keep a straight face during that question. He knows along with everybody else in this House that it means no such thing.

To judge the measure of a government's commitment, look at what the Government of Canada has done. It has dedicated $1.3 billion to help. In terms of those before 1986 and after 1990, we have taken the position that those who are sick should get care, not cash; they should get treatment, not payment. That is the approach taken by this government. We believe it is in the interests of those who are sick.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, Premier Harris made the promise of compensation for all the victims and today he delivered. This Liberal health minister made the promise of compensation for a few victims and what has he delivered? Zip. Nothing.

Do his actions not prove who really cares more for the victims of hepatitis C? I am not interested in rhetoric.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, when I met some weeks ago with my provincial counterparts in Regina I offered to share the cost of medical services not covered by insurance so that no one who contracted hepatitis C through the blood system would have to pay out of pocket. I offered up to $300 million to share that cost. I have yet to have agreement from the minister of health for Ontario.

I wish Ontario would join with this government in making sure that those who are sick are looked after properly. In Ontario today it can cost up to $10,000 to get interferon, the only drug that can be used. Will the Government of Ontario not work with us to provide care to the—

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

November 23rd, 1998 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development keeps saying there is nothing wrong with Liberal EI reforms. In my national tour on EI I am hearing a different story from Canadians. In P.E.I. alone 4,000 islanders are now waiting six weeks to have their claims processed. Does the minister believe this situation is acceptable? Does he still believe there is nothing wrong with Liberal EI reforms? If not, what is the minister going to do to correct the situation?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what I keep saying is that this reform has been such an important one for Canadians that we as a government will monitor very closely its impact and we will make the right changes when they need to be made, as we did not too long ago with the small weeks to address the concerns of my Atlantic colleagues.

A number of problems have been raised. We used to talk about the gappers. There used to be 7,500 gappers. That was the big problem the NDP kept talking about. We are now down to under 2,000 gappers because we have been working at it. We are solving the problems one after the other—

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I trust the new minister from New Brunswick will be more sensitive than her colleague to the fate of the unemployed.

In my travels across the country, I met a young unemployed New Brunswicker who confided in me about his despair. He had accumulated 22 weeks of work, but this is not enough for a first-time worker to be eligible for benefits. The young man is no longer able to meet his payments. He is feeling suicidal.

What does the new minister from New Brunswick intend to do to put an end to this discrimination being suffered by unemployed young people?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, at the present time we have an hours-based system. The hon. member is well aware that there are many seasonal workers who benefit from the new system because they work a high number of hours over a short time. That is because, in the past, people were covered for only 30 or so hours per week and if they got up to 60, the rest were not covered.

There are a number of situations where people are benefiting considerably by the new program. The program was necessary, and we continue to monitor labour market developments, to keep right on top of them. I will be extremely open to any suggestions the hon. member may wish to make to us after he has toured the rest of the country.

Year 2000
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, with just over 400 days to go, the year 2000 is quickly approaching. If the government has not properly prepared there could be serious problems in the delivery of essential services that Canadians expect from their government.

Will the President of the Treasury Board assure this House today that the federal government will be well prepared for the coming of the new millennium?

Year 2000
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board is sparing no effort to be ready for January 1, 2000. At present, on government-wide critical systems, the government is 70% ready.

However, we will not leave anything to chance. We are continuing our efforts and we are hoping that in the next few months we will be able to complete work on all the critical systems in the government so that Canadian voters will be well served.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, tonight this House will vote on restoring $2 billion of the $7 billion the Liberals have slashed from health care.

The Prime Minister has an opportunity to declare a ceasefire on his attack on health care by calling off the whips for tonight's vote.

Will the Prime Minister cease attempts to prevent Liberal members from voting the will of their constituents on tonight's vote to put $2 billion back into health care?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve.

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, while Quebec's Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms prohibits discrimination based on social condition and the legislation of seven other provinces tends in the same direction, the Canadian Human Rights Act is completely silently on the topic.

Will the Minister of Justice undertake to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act so as to prohibit discrimination based on social condition?