House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pandemic.

Topics

Governor General's Literary Awards
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate Victoria's 2009 nominees for the Governor General's Literary Awards: short story writer, Deborah Willis; children's author, Robin Stevenson; illustrator, Rachel Berman; and playwright, Joan MacLeod.

Victoria also has its own awards for adult and children's literature, won deservedly this year by Patrick Lane and Penny Draper.

My riding is home to an extraordinary community of writers from every genre, including Michael Prince, whose Absent Citizens is a superb account of disability politics and policy in Canada; and Katherine Gibson, biographer of artist Ted Harrison.

I am deeply grateful for these artists' contribution to Victoria and Canada's cultural fabric but I am concerned that the cost of living threatens the livelihood of many. I ask the government to make the arts an integral part of Canada's social and economic policy.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is focused on what matters: helping Canadians and their families weather the global economic storm.

We have taken responsive and responsible action to help unemployed Canadians through unprecedented investments in skills training, by introducing legislation to provide extra support to long-tenured workers who have worked hard and paid premiums for years, and by protecting over 165,000 Canadians' jobs through work sharing.

Our Conservative government remains committed to helping Canadian parents balance work and responsibilities.

I am proud that we will be keeping our commitment to provide self-employed Canadians access to benefits so they no longer need to choose between their family and their business.

The Liberal leader wants an unnecessary election that would harm our economic recovery. We will not let that happen.

When it comes to following through on commitments and standing up for workers and their families, Canadians know there is only one party in this House they can trust and that is our Conservative government.

Quebec Municipal Elections
Statements By Members

November 2nd, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, municipal elections were held in Quebec yesterday. In fact, for the second time in Quebec, 1,104 municipalities and cities simultaneously held elections in order to fill some 8,000 councillor, RCM reeve and mayor positions.

These elections were hotly contested in some municipalities and cities. Some opted for continuity, others opted for change. We should note that many women were elected and they form a majority on some municipal councils.

The Bloc Québécois would like to congratulate these men and women who have the courage of their convictions and decided to run for office. We would also like to congratulate the winners who, starting today, will be tackling the task of governing their municipality or city.

We wish each and every one a collaborative and most successful term of office.

ADISQ Gala
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the most important event of the year in the Quebec music industry was held yesterday in Montreal. Of course, I am talking about the 31st ADISQ Gala, where the Felix awards were handed out.

No thanks to the Conservatives, Quebec's music industry continues to impress, as the Liberal Party leader, who mingled with the crowd at the St. Denis theatre yesterday evening, can confirm.

Ginette Reno—known country-wide for her powerful voice—was honoured for her tremendous talent and went home with several statuettes.

The roots revival group Mes Aïeux was also amply rewarded for its folk tunes that take us all back to the bygone days of our shared history.

The next generation is also very promising. Performances by Coeur de pirate, Yann Perreau and Pierre Lapointe said it all.

Long live our music.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, on November 4, my private member's bill, Bill C-391, which would end the long gun registry, will be voted on here in the House of Commons.

I believe Canadians should know the facts regarding the bill, as opposed to half-truths and myths. Bill C-391 would only end the long gun registry, nothing more and nothing less. Defenders of the long gun registry want Canadians to think my bill would end licensing requirements. This is completely false and misleading.

Under Bill C-391, any individual who wishes to own a firearm would still require a complete safety course and background check, which would include any history of violence, and the police would have immediate access to who has a licence and where they live.

I do want to thank my colleagues from across the floor who have publicly supported ending the registry. They are listening to their constituents.

On Wednesday, my hope is that we will all listen to the voice of Canadians, pass Bill C-391 and finally bring an end to the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the federal government has two clear responsibilities. The first is to ensure a steady and reliable supply of vaccines for H1N1. The second is to provide leadership and information on a coherent pandemic response.

I would like to ask the government a very simple question: How could it have failed so miserably to execute these two critical responsibilities?

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our two primary concerns have been to ensure that we have a safe vaccine and that we have an effective vaccine. We are pleased to say that six million doses of H1N1 vaccine have been delivered to our partners in the provinces and territories. We will see even more delivered this week. The vaccine is being distributed as quickly as possible.

I am very pleased to report that on a per capita basis, Canada has more H1N1 vaccine than any country in the world. We will continue to work with our partners.

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the same minister did not even say on Friday that there had been significant reductions in the supplies of vaccines across the country. He did not report that to the House.

In August, the health minister said that no matter what happened this fall, they were well prepared.

If they are well prepared, why is there clearly not a sufficient supply of vaccines, no coherent information and absolutely no clear leadership on this important issue for Canadians?

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have seen significant leadership demonstrated by the Minister of Health. We have seen significant leadership demonstrated by Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Butler-Jones. We are working constructively with the provinces and territories and with public health nurses.

I am pleased to say that more than six million doses are already available to the provinces and territories. Let me confirm that there will be sufficient H1N1 vaccine available in Canada for everyone who wants to be immunized. This government will not leave a single Canadian behind.

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister had an opportunity to tell the House on Friday because he must have been aware that there were significant reduction in supplies to the provinces. He chose not to share that information with the House of Commons on Friday when he was fully aware of it. Those are the facts.

On the weekend, the Minister of Health was blaming the provinces. She was blaming the drug company. She was taking no responsibility herself for what took place. Why will the government not take responsibility for the files and the issues that are clearly right in front of it? Why will it not take that responsibility?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me indicate to the member opposite that I do not accept the premise of his question. We have seen the Minister of Health together with the Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Butler-Jones have an unprecedented amount of cooperation and partnership with the provinces and territories and with public health officials in every corner of the country.

We are pleased to report a number of things. One is that six million doses are now available. More will come this week. There will be a dose for every single Canadian who wants one. We are pleased to say that there are more vaccines available in Canada on a per capita basis than in any other country in the world. That is because of the partnerships with the provinces and the territories and the hard work of the minister and the Chief Public Health Officer.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, weeks ago when I spoke with public health officials across the country, they said they needed clear information on when the vaccine was coming and how much would come each week. They never received that information which they needed to plan. Now there are huge lineups at vaccination clinics. Clinics are short of vaccine. People are being turned away and clinics are being cancelled. Private for-profit clinics are getting the vaccine; thousands of needy Canadians are not.

When is the minister going to take some responsibility for these failures?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, for the last eight months we have been very transparent in the rollout of this vaccine. We have communicated with provinces and territories, including the critics. Six million doses were produced ahead of schedule. As soon as they were available and authorized, they were transferred to the provinces and territories for their rollout. We will see thousands more this week and one million more next week. We will continue to transfer them to the provinces and territories. They will be rolling out their vaccine programs by jurisdiction.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, they needed the security of the date they would get the vaccine and how much each week. They have not gotten that.

These delays and the absence of vaccines could have been prevented. What Canadians need now is for the government to take responsibility. Rather than putting the health of Canadians first, the Conservatives chose to make partisan ads their $100 million priority for the summer.

The government is blaming the provinces and blaming the drug companies. Canadians want reliable leadership. Why do they not get it from the minister?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Chief Public Health Officer and I have stated time and time again that we wanted to produce a safe and effective vaccine for Canadians. That was our number one priority, that it was safe and effective.

As soon as the authorization was issued, October 26, the provinces and territories were able to start the process of rolling out the vaccine. We had pre-positioned them in the provinces and territories so that they could respond quickly.

We are two weeks ahead of schedule. I will continue to work with the provinces and territories in the rollout of the vaccine.