House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was grain.

Topics

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the government bases its flu planning on the best advice of medical experts, including the chief medical officer.

The immediate priority is seasonal flu vaccination. Canada will ensure that there is enough vaccine for every member of our population. That vaccine will be widely available the first week of November, as the government has said all along.

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is not doing the seasonal.

In the United States, officials are distributing doses of H1N1 flu vaccine to health care workers, children and people who care for babies younger than six months old. Not surprisingly, pediatric offices in Canada are already getting calls from anxious parents who want the vaccine for their children now.

Could the Prime Minister justify why Canadian children, the most vulnerable among us, must wait a full month longer than American children? Will he guarantee today that they will not have to wait longer still?

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is kind of amusing to see the Liberal Party now vaunting the U.S. health care system.

As has been said all along, the government will ensure that the vaccine is available in the timeframe that the medical experts have advised. That will be available to all the Canadian population.

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the health minister says that this is not a race but vaccinations should be done before a disease hits.

While other countries hurry to protect their citizens, the Conservatives say that there is no rush. They say that they have a plan but it is just a very slow one. Why? Did they order too late? Is it the clinical trials?

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer yesterday said, “Waiting for that data...is no reason to delay making sure people have the first dose and provide as much immunity as possible”.

Why did the government actually plan a premeditated delay?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is following the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer. What we have here is a party that stands for absolutely nothing and is therefore trying to play politics with a public health issue.

What the Liberals should do, instead of playing this two-faced game where they pretend to support tough on crime legislation but block it in the Senate, is go down to the Senate and tell their own senators to be honest with the Canadian people, to pass that legislation and stop letting criminals get away.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, confusion, confusion, and more confusion. The health minister's responses have confused the Canadian public.

Dr. Wilson, Canada Research Chair in Public Health Policy, said that there is so much confusion about the H1N1 vaccine that, when it does become available, he is not sure that Canadians will want to be vaccinated.

Why does the Minister of Health not launch an effective public information campaign to clear up all this confusion?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are on schedule with the vaccine. For the last three months we have said that the vaccine will be available the first week in November. The Chief Public Health Officer has advised us, as well as all Canadians, that the vaccine will be available the first week of November.

I do not know why the member cannot understand that. We have been saying the first week of November for the last three months.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, aboriginal Canadians represent 4% of Canada's population; 18% of those hospitalized due to H1N1 were aboriginal; 15% of those requiring stays in ICUs were aboriginal; and 12% of deaths were among aboriginal people.

Could the minister explain the overrepresentation of aboriginals in these sad statistics and what specific actions are being taken to save their lives?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we implemented the 2006 pandemic plan, which includes the first nations communities.

In budget 2006, we invested $1 billion to increase our preparedness to respond to the public health issues, such as the flu pandemic, as well as planning for first nations pandemic planning.

I have spoken to Chief Atleo with regard to issues that challenge first nations communities and will continue to work with the first nations communities to address the health issues.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

October 8th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was the Bloc Québécois that came up with the idea of an independent employment insurance fund. When the Prime Minister was the leader of the official opposition and we met behind closed doors, he said he agreed with our proposal. Now, in its latest economic statement, the government is forecasting a surplus of $18.9 billion between 2012 and 2015. Yet it is the fund itself that sets EI contribution rates, so it is impossible to predict a surplus.

Either the government knows the future contribution rate in advance or there is a mistake in its forecast table. One of the two pieces of information is false. Which is it?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, employment insurance premiums will be set by an independent board, as provided in our legislation. One very important bill for unemployed Canadians is currently before this Parliament, and I encourage the Bloc to support these benefits for the employed and unemployed workers of Canada.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister can tell us how many unemployed workers will be affected and where, we will think about it. For the moment he is unable to give us that information. I would like to come back to his statement that contribution rates are set by an independent institution.

If that is true, how can he forecast that there will be a nearly $19 billion surplus between 2012 and 2015? Where did he get these figures? What is he basing them on? Either he knows the contribution rate in advance or his table is not true. One of the two pieces of information is a lie. Which is the lie?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, under the bill that is before the House, Quebec's benefits will be proportional to the rest of the country. The Bloc leader's position is just as irresponsible in this case as it is in the case of child trafficking. These are important benefits for the unemployed and workers in Quebec, and the Bloc leader should stop playing politics at the expense of workers and the unemployed.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' refusal to given an honest answer proves that the government definitely intends to have the unemployed pay for the deficit by plundering the projected surplus in the employment insurance account, as the Liberals did before them. According to the government's own figures, $18.9 billion will be picked from the pockets of the unemployed between 2012 and 2015.

Why tax employment and why have the unemployed pay down the deficit?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, for this year and next, employment insurance premiums will be frozen at $1.73 for $100. In difficult economic times what does a responsible government do? It creates measures to support those who lose their jobs. We have proposed four such measures in recent months and the Bloc voted against each one. The Bloc stubbornly refuses to provide assistance to the unemployed who desperately need it during this recession.