House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Supply
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, does the member have any comments on the current court case winding through various levels of the courts? The case has to do with a charter challenge on the basis of discrimination and equality that attacks the principle that denies me purchasing services from a clinic in Vancouver where Canadians are being serviced by ICBC, accident victims or workman's compensation, and says that I cannot do that, which means I would have to drive to Bellingham, an hour south, and buy that service.

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, if there is a simple answer to that complex question, it is probably wrong.

This is part of the reason this debate is going on in terms of private for profit delivery. The ultimate question is, how do we provide the services that Canadians require when they need them? There are circumstances, clearly, when the timeliness of the need may require some other arrangements. I would see that as an extraordinary circumstance, not the norm.

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, how does the hon. member feel about what is happening right now in Manitoba to those who want to study to be a doctor and be part of the health care system if they are not pro-choice? We know what happened to the young man who said that he was against abortion. He was told that he could no longer study to become a doctor in Canada. I was truly shocked when I read that. I could not believe that we were doing this in Canada.

How does the hon. member feel about that situation?

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am familiar with that particular case where I believe the student would not be able to take his exam unless he, as a future obstetrician, would perform abortions. I do not agree with that position in terms of criteria, but, fortunately, the institution relented and understood there was a problem. It withdrew and that particular person was able to proceed with his education.

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, when the member for Mississauga South began his remarks he said that he was speaking about his own position. I am not sure if that was on everything he said or if at some point he began to articulate where his party stands. I am somewhat confused because I think either one supports our public health care system and the public delivery of services that have been ensured through that system or one does not.

We all recognize that there has been a huge encroachment on our public health care system and an enormous growth in these private for profit services and the delivery of those services.

The question I have for the member is, where does his party stand? It has been incredibly confusing.

I congratulate the member for Churchill who, as a member of the health committee, drew out the Minister of Health and actually made him articulate some of his own vision of where he thought health care was in terms of privatization. Maybe the member could enlighten us in terms of where his own party stands in stopping this encroachment of for profit private delivery of health care services because that is what we are seeing in almost every province.

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier in a question to the mover of the motion, the member for Churchill, I asked her to please give me an example of where there has been a matter under the federal jurisdiction, the Canada Health Act, of medically necessary insured services where there has been private for profit delivery of those services. The member was unable to give the House one example. I therefore understand why the member is confused.

I also want to indicate that when I said I was giving my view, it was the terminology that I was using, but the view of the Liberal Party of Canada is to vigorously defend the five principles of the Canada Health Act.

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Vancouver East.

It is a pleasure to take part in the debate today, especially on the day when the NDP leader, Jack Layton, is in Halifax delivering the health care platform for the New Democrats for the upcoming election. I would love to have been there but I am here instead taking part in this important debate that condemns the private for profit delivery of health care that the government has allowed to take root since 1993.

For the last 10 years, Canadians have been telling the Liberal government that they want innovative public health care that they can count on. I hear it all the time in Dartmouth. People do not want the long waiting lists. They fear the rising cost of drugs. They do not want to be put on a long waiting list for an MRI or for other kind of treatment. They want health care that they can count on and health care that will be there for them, their children, their grandchildren and their grandparents when they need it. That is a very simple and straightforward request.

There is no ambiguity in their statements and yet the Liberals have not listened to what people have asked over the last 10 years. They have been listening clearly to someone else. They have allowed for the private for profit delivery of health care to grow and, for practical solutions, to be ignored.

Today the NDP's platform has been released. We are saying that it is time to put new energy into health care and come up with practical solutions to fix the system and improve it, similar to the way Roy Romanow suggested changes and created solutions just over a year ago.

Included in the NDP's health platform are practical solutions for an innovative health care system that is improved through new ideas and investment, not privatization and not for profit delivery. The NDP is calling for restoring the federal government's capacity to act as a partner for innovation and practical delivery by increasing funding for health care to 25%, up from 16%, as recommended by the Romanow commission.

We are calling on government to prepare for the aging population and to relieve the burden on hospitals and families through a national home care program based on public and non-profit delivery. We are calling on implementing a pharmacare program to ensure Canadians have access to prescription drugs, starting with low income Canadians and people with catastrophic illnesses, and cutting health care costs through bulk buying of prescription drugs and clamping down on patent abuses by drug corporations.

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The member will have seven minutes after oral questions this afternoon.

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, during the weekend of June 18 to 20 of this year, the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry will conduct a variety of parades and activities in the city of Winnipeg.

One of these activities is to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the regiment's service to Canada. On August 10, 1914 the charter of the regiment was signed in Ottawa and in just over a week the regiment grew to 1,098 members.

Named after Her Royal Highness Princess Patricia of Connaught, the regiment is best known to the public as the Princess Pats or the Patricias.

The combat and peacekeeping record of the Princess Pats runs from World War I right through to last year's tours of duty in Bosnia and Afghanistan. Throughout this period, the regiment distinguished itself in a manner in which all Canadians take pride. The regiment deserves our thanks for duty well done.

It gives me great pleasure to offer my sincere congratulations to the Princess Pats on its 90th anniversary. While we will miss them in Winnipeg, we wish the 2nd Battalion well in its new regimental home in Shilo, Manitoba.

Equalization Payments
Statements By Members

May 11th, 2004 / 1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan is being seriously mistreated. Academics say that the current equalization formula is grossly unfair toward the province of Saskatchewan. Who is responsible for this gross inequity? It appears that our new Minister of Finance is the culprit.

Academics say the problem could be resolved by removing the formula's reliance on non-renewable natural resources and moving to a 10 province formula.

The minister's response is that the formula is far too complicated to change in any significant way. In other words, he is saying to the people of Saskatchewan that they may as well get used to being treated in an unfair manner.

The Canada West Foundation says that of all the western provinces, Saskatchewan has the highest degree of western alienation. With the unfair treatment that Saskatchewan people are receiving from the Liberal government, is there any wonder that my province is alienated?

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Community Council
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Community Council's initiative in organizing the conference on the “Quality of Life” in NDG last Saturday.

The all day event attracted over 150 concerned citizens of NDG. They spent the day discussing how to improve the quality of life in our neighbourhood, in our city and indeed, throughout the world.

They touched on a variety of subjects important to life in NDG, mainly housing, youth, environment, public safety, community relations with law enforcement, recreational services and finally, local democracy.

I was truly honoured to take part in this event as it is true grassroots community initiatives such as this one, by the NDG Community Council, that make our communities liveable.

Police Officers
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Her Excellency the Governor General presided over the third investiture ceremony for the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

The House will recall that this great honour was created in the year 2000 to recognize outstanding service by members of Canadian police forces.

I know that all members will share the sincere and heartfelt appreciation that I have for the selfless dedication of our men and women in uniform.

It is indeed a great privilege and pleasure to single out one recipient for specific mention. One of this year's recipients of this great honour is Chief Clarence “Butch” Cogswell of Saint John, New Brunswick.

I have known Butchy for many years and can personally attest to the fact that he is an outstanding police officer of the first order and truly deserving of every honour awarded to him.

The people of Saint John are fortunate to have such a fine officer in their service. I join with his friends and family in offering my hearty congratulations to him.

McMaster Children's Hospital
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 2 I had the pleasure of taking part in McMaster Children's Hospital Celebration 2004 in Hamilton.

McMaster Children's Hospital provides outstanding service and care for approximately 150,000 children every year. The 12th annual telethon raised $3.8 million that will be used toward establishing a neuromuscular and neurometabolic disease clinic. The funds raised will also provide the hospital with a neonatal echocardiography machine and ventilator.

This event would not have been realized without the support and involvement of those who generously donated their time and money. All participants should be proud of what they have accomplished.

I know that all the members will join me in applauding the efforts of the patients, staff, volunteers, corporations, and the Hamilton community for a successful telethon and celebration.

Member for Vancouver Kingsway
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure of working closely with my colleague, the hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway, when we were both serving on the executive of the national Liberal caucus.

My colleague was first elected in 1997 as the member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway. She has brought to Parliament her vast experience in community service and the spirit of diversity. As a recipient of the Order of Canada, she also made history by becoming the first Asian female member of our Parliament.

As a true model in her nation she inspired young people from all over Canada. As the chair of the northern and western Liberal caucus she strongly voiced the important issues and concerns of western Canada. She courageously and persistently sought the attention and support of the Prime Minister, ministers, and other members of Parliament in our national caucus on behalf of western Canada.

I would like to pay special tribute for her seven years here as a member of Parliament on issues dealing with immigration, economics, finance, health, human rights, and education. I invite all my colleagues to join me in wishing her happiness and peace in her future endeavours.

National Nursing Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the beginning of National Nursing Week. Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a reception at the University of Alberta launching the first bilingual nursing degree program in western Canada.

The University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing in cooperation with Faculté Saint-Jean offers this program to meet the educational needs of bilingual students helping to respond to the needs of French speaking communities in western and northern Canada.

This program is a major step in honouring Canada's commitment to provide health services in both official languages. As we know, language should not be a barrier to access to medical care.

On behalf of the official opposition, I wish to congratulate Dean Genevieve Gray, Faculty of Nursing and Dean Marc Arnal, Faculté Saint-Jean for pioneering this program. This proves once again that the University of Alberta is quickly becoming one of the finest universities in Canada.