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 services.

Topics

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I must say that it was impossible for the poor member for Mercier to hear the minister's answer to her question. That has been a problem, not only at this end of the House today. So, we could do with a bit more order, please.

The hon. member for St. John's West.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans brags that the European Union is allowing one of the two Portuguese trawlers caught in violation of fishing regulations on the Grand Banks to return home: home, not to a Canadian port. This is the trawler that cut loose its nets. What choice does it have but to return home? How can it fish without a net?

What excuse can the minister drag up to explain why the second trawler is not being called home or, better still, towed to a Canadian port?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, it is not at all surprising to me that the hon. member would take a defeatist attitude toward this issue considering his leader's attitude toward Atlantic Canadians.

We are taking a serious, strong attitude toward this. The fact is that last week there were 14 ships out there fishing in the area of the moratoria species and now they are not fishing in that area. We forced them away. Today there are only four vessels left in the area at all, and they are all in the areas where they are allowed to fish.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, if the government had been listening to this member, we would not have a problem today.

In February 1990 in Charlottetown, the Prime Minister said he would impose sanctions against Portugal, Spain, France and the United States for overfishing around Canada when he came into power. That is a whale of a commitment, but who does he think he is codding? Because after 14 years, we still see what is going on. How can we trust a Prime Minister who ignores such an important issue until he finds himself up to his neck in sharks a week before an election?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague knows that this line is nonsense. He knows that this in fact has been a priority of the Prime Minister for a long time. When I was appointed Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Prime Minister made it very clear to me that this was an important priority. It has been a priority for me and for this government and it will continue to be.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

May 11th, 2004 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Could the minister give the House his reaction to the abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners by the U.S. forces in Iraq?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the other day in the House the Prime Minister was asked a similar question. Canadians, the House and the government condemn, absolutely, the treatment of those prisoners in Iraq.

We welcome the fact that the United States government, the Senate, the House of Representatives and other American authorities are doing their best to rectify a terrible situation and one that has had an impact on the difficult situation in Iraq.

We in the House and we in the government urge all of us to look at the fact that what we need are clear international norms and international rules with enforceability so that all people can be protected at all times, which is why this government has the international policy that it has.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Supply
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to mention that I will no longer be sharing my time with the member for Vancouver East. Instead, I will be sharing my time with the member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore.

Some of the things to which we have been speaking very passionately and to which we will be speaking in the upcoming election are, first, the issue of restoring 25% of federal funding to health care; and second, the issue of a comprehensive home care program and pharmacare program for Canadians.

The NDP believes that we should be preventing future illness by restoring funding to participaction and banning trans fatty acids, a significant risk factor in heart disease.

Along with its health platform, the NDP will be working on its environmental platform, previously released, to provide cleaner air and reduce health care costs through renewable, pollution free energy and sustainable funding for public transit and rail.

Another one of our major issues is the idea of changing the law to stop public money paying for the private for profit delivery of health care and plugging loopholes in the law that allow more diagnostic services to be provided privately for profit.

Halifax is home to a new private for profit MRI clinic that opened in 2002. The clinic was not opened by the Leader of the Opposition. It was opened under the Liberals, just like private for profit MRI clinics in Quebec, private for profit home care in Ontario, private for profit hospitals in Alberta and rapidly expanding private for profit clinics in British Columbia.

It is a fact that the Liberals have allowed private for profit delivery to grow by neglect when they cut health care funding and ignored Roy Romanow's practical solutions. Liberals have allowed private for profit delivery to grow by design; by changing the Canada Health Act and refusing to enforce it, and by agreeing to some of Ralph Klein's radical privatization in Alberta.

Upon being appointed Prime Minister, the Prime Minister appointed a parliamentary secretary for P3 privatization and a former corporate lobbyist for private for profit health care providers to key positions in his government. He also, in both the throne speech and the budget, refused to mention public delivery of health care or the Romanow commission. We feel that those are very telling absences.

If Canadians want to see Paul Martin's 10 year plan for health care they should look at the last 10 years of growing privatization and ignored innovation. Nobody is going to be fooled by another vague promise from Paul Martin's Liberals because if Liberal promises--

Supply
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Dartmouth knows she cannot refer to hon. members by name. She will want to refrain from such activity. It is an apparent breach of the rules.

Supply
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

I apologize, Mr. Speaker.

If the Prime Minister's 10 year health care plan is something that we should be taking seriously, we should have a look at his last 10 years of growing privatization and ignored innovation. That seems to me to be the record that we have to be taking to the people in the next few weeks in terms of an election.

I will return to the issue of home care for a minute because that is an issue that is critical to people in Dartmouth and in all of Nova Scotia.

Canadians made it very clear in the Romanow submissions that home care services were too important to be excluded from the definition of insured health services under the Canada Health Act. Much of the care that was once provided in a hospital or in physician's office has moved to a patient's home. The care is still medically necessary but is provided in a different setting.

Why do the Liberals think that type of care should not be covered, or worse, why do they think it should be provided by for profit businesses?

Statistics show that for profit delivery of health care, regardless of the setting, results in reduced outputs for the patients.

I want to read from the Romanow report. It states:

--a comprehensive analysis of the various studies that compare not-for-profit and for- profit delivery of services concluded that for-profit hospitals had a significant increase in the risk of death and also tended to employ less highly skilled individuals than did non-profit facilities

In his report, Roy Romanow called home care the next essential service. It is the fastest growing component of the health care system and provides comfort and independence to the people who use it. It costs less than equivalent care in a hospital or in a long term care facility while improving the care and quality of life of patients.

The NDP wants to implement a public non-profit system of home care based on the successful Manitoba model. Since care in a hospital can cost from $9,000 to $16,000 more per patient per year than community based home care, this plan makes economic sense.

In my role as NDP critic on the status of persons with disabilities, I have heard over and over how important our health care system is to persons with disabilities. Groups, such as the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, have asked for a national system of disability supports, including home care or support to help people with disabilities with their quality of life.

Right now, many people with disabilities cannot access adequate home support for their needs. In some provinces, home support is only available after an acute health emergency. People with disabilities literally have to be sick enough to go to a hospital before they can get any support in their homes, and then the home care only responds to the acute medical emergencies, not an ongoing disability.

In other provinces, there is a monetary limit to how much home care a person can use per month. People with a disability must pick and choose which services they will give up each month so that they do not go over their limit.

In other situations, access to home care is linked to eligibility for other programs. For example, someone who is injured at work can access a home care program as part of workman's compensation, while a young person with a disability who wants to live independently in his or her own home is not able to.

There are many startling examples of people with disabilities finding today's health care system insufficient to meet their needs. This is the true danger of a not for profit system of health care. People with disabilities are disproportionately poorer than other Canadians, so if for profit health care costs increase, it will affect them more than ever.

The NDP is very clear and passionate about its commitment to a not for profit, publicly delivered health care system which will include pharmacare and home care in its new evolution in the years going onward.

Supply
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from Dartmouth has been a tireless advocate of health care, not only for her own family and her community but for those people with disabilities as well.

I have one simple question that the Liberals and Conservatives find very difficult to answer. Do they believe in publicly delivered health care?

Why does the member think those two parties have such great difficulty answering the question on whether they think health care in this country should be publicly delivered?

Supply
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, what we seem to have witnessed over the last two terms in the House of Commons is a connection of disturbing proportion between the government side and the official opposition. There seems to be a consensus that it is acceptable to allow for profit health care to take place. Roy Romanow and many studies around the world have shown that for profit health care does not provide effective, efficient or reasonably priced health care benefits for the population.

The idea is to allow for profit companies to get into our health care system and make that additional 15%. That is the money we all hear is the sacred trust that private companies have to make at the end of the day. That additional money comes out of the pockets of individual Canadians in user fees. Some people cannot even go to hospitals or to doctors because they cannot afford those additional costs.

As profits in for profit health care companies increase, we see a decrease in the health status of Canadians

Supply
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I know my colleague mentioned the lack of adequate services for disabled people within the health care system. In listening to what a number of Liberals have said, we would probably get an argument that the Canada Health Act does not specifically say that we have to provide those kinds of services. Maybe they are not medically necessary or they are not mentioned in the Canada Health Act.

There is certainly an understanding among most Canadians that when types of services are needed, we expect it to be delivered. How would she respond to some of the comments that came from the Liberal side about only reflecting what is absolutely in the Canada Health Act, somehow leading to a misunderstanding of what they see as medically necessary?