House of Commons Hansard #81 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no arrangement has been announced as yet for compensation of hepatitis C victims. An announcement will be made very soon.

What will be announced I understand will be in co-operation and through an agreement with the provinces. I am sure that what will be announced is intended to be fair and reasonable. I ask my hon. friend to wait until the announcement is made. Then he will have something to talk about. Right now he is just blowing smoke.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Neylan Dallie, of Pointe-Claire, Quebec, received a transfusion of contaminated blood in 1981 during childbirth. This made her so ill that she underwent a liver transplant in 1994. Since then, the public system has abandoned her.

Why is the government now abandoning her as well, without compensation?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is abandoning no one. As the Deputy Prime Minister has just indicated, there is communication between the Minister of Health and his counterparts at the provincial level in order to come together with a package that will address all of the issues associated with hepatitis C and the contamination, the unfortunate incidents that happened in the last decade.

We are very serious about the way we are approaching this matter. We are very concerned about all of the factors that are part of it. I urge the member to wait until tomorrow when the announcement—

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Macleod.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, just prior to 1986 Ron Smith of Calgary was involved in a major car accident. He had multiple transfusions. He is so ill today that he cannot even play with his four children. Ill not from his car accident but from contaminated blood and hepatitis C.

Why has the Prime Minister not forced the uncaring health minister to provide compensation for every single victim?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as recently as a year ago this matter, regrettable as it is, was not even on the table. The Minister of Health made it his personal objective to ensure that the issue of hepatitis C contamination was brought on the table with his counterparts at the provincial level. They are working together on a package that deals with the issues on the medical side as well as all other issues.

I do not think it is fair for any member of the House to play on the emotions of people who have suffered this terrible tragedy. We are engaging in a resolution that we hope will solve all the problems.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the treatment of victims in Canada's blood scandal by the government has been unequalled. All hepatitis C sufferers in this tragedy deserve equal treatment with the HIV or AIDS victims who suffered the same fate.

Why is the minister discriminating against those who contracted hepatitis C before 1986? Why will he not agree to compensate them too?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is expected that as early as tomorrow there will be a package for hepatitis C victims announced on behalf of the federal, provincial and territorial governments.

I suggest that the hon. member wait until tomorrow. Then he can raise questions based on the actual program. Right now he is taking up the time of the House on matters we are not in a position to talk about.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the people who sent letters to me about this issue will accept the minister's response at all. This could be a scandal as great as the tainted blood scandal itself.

I have received numerous letters from people who are in this situation. Why are they to be denied compensation, a chance for a better life from this government which refuses to abide by the very recommendations of its own report?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, at the risk of sounding repetitive, the negotiations are still ongoing. The announcement has not been made.

I think it is pretty shoddy politics to try to pit one group of sufferers against another. The government is trying to resolve an issue that has been longstanding. I urge the member to be patient and to address the issues to the House tomorrow. As they come up with specific questions, they will get specific answers.

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

March 26th, 1998 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of the provisions of the multilateral agreement on investment, more commonly known as the MAI, impact directly on provincial jurisdictions.

I am thinking of the clauses on social matters, labour standards, the environmental clauses and the cultural exemption, all of which are areas of exclusively provincial jurisdiction, or in some cases shared jurisdiction at most.

Under the circumstances, will the Prime Minister make a formal commitment to call a conference of the premiers as soon as possible, before he proceeds any further?

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Liberal

Julian Reed Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. friend knows, the negotiators are constantly in touch with every province apprising them each time a set of negotiations takes place. The province of Quebec has equal access to all the information, as does every other province in Canada.

I understand that a statement was made in Quebec today. We are not yet in possession of the text. When we are, we will be able to comment on it more fully.

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, nothing my hon. colleague has said prevents a first ministers' conference from being held, and in my opinion the situation demands it.

During the NAFTA debate, the Liberals, in opposition at the time, demanded a major debate in this House in order to discuss all matters relating to that agreement. I am not speaking of an opposition day, but rather a debate on the government's position if there is such a thing.

Could the Prime Minister or the parliamentary secretary commit to a real debate in this House on all the implications of the MAI?

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Liberal

Julian Reed Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as far back as February 19, the federal and provincial trade ministers met for a third discussion of Canada's objectives and the bottom lines for the MAI. The positions advanced by Canada in the MAI negotiations reflect the discussions that took place at that time.

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

International concern over the MAI is growing.

In this context, will the Minister for International Trade not recognize that this agreement concocted by the OECD, the club for rich countries, is very likely to penalize the poorest countries and that it would be better therefore to start negotiations afresh under the auspices of the World Trade Organization?