House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vaccine.

Topics

Literary Awards
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is the week of francophone literary awards. The Robert-Cliche award, the most prestigious award for young Quebec writers, was won by Olivia Tapiero for her novel, Les Murs. This young woman, who is only 19, chronicles the difficult life of an anorexic teen attempting yet again to commit suicide.

The Quebec writer of Haitian origin, Dany Laferrière, was recognized once more: this morning he won the Médicis award in the French-language novel category for L'Énigme du retour. He is the second Quebecker to win this illustrious prize from France; Marie-Claire Blais won in 1966.

I would also like to mention two other major French literary awards. The Goncourt, the Oscar of French-language literature, was won by Marie NDiaye, for her book Trois femmes puissantes, and the Renaudot was awarded to Frédéric Beigbeder for his novel Un roman français.

On behalf of all Bloc Québécois members, I wish to congratulate these very talented francophone authors, who have taken their places among the great authors of Quebec and French literature.

Cape Breton Highlanders
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to defending Canada and democracy, Cape Bretoners have always been ready to step up and do their duty. They have served in every major conflict in the last 100 years.

Cape Bretoners take pride in their home grown unit, the 2nd Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders. In late World War I, it distinguished itself at the Battle of Vimy Ridge with the capture of Hill 145, considered a pivotal enemy stronghold.

During World War II, the Cape Breton contingent took part in the Italian campaign, including the breaching of the Hitler Line that opened the road to Rome and the Gothic Line, which included the taking of Coriano Ridge. Later deployed to northern Europe, the Highlanders fought hard in helping to liberate Holland.

Today, Cape Breton reservists have voluntarily served in Afghanistan with distinction.

I call upon the House to commend the Cape Breton Highlanders for their selfless defence of our freedom.

Canadian Olympic Athletes
Statements By Members

November 4th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the countdown is on. The Olympic Winter Games are only 100 days away.

These will truly be Canada's games as we all welcome the world to Vancouver and to Whistler. This will be a celebration of excellence in the true north.

Not only will VANOC stage the best games ever, I am confident that our Canadian team will be our best ever too. Last winter, our Canadian athletes shattered the record and brought home the most World Cup medals that our country has ever won across all sports in one season.

Canadians from coast to coast to coast are proud to support our athletes by wearing our red mittens. Our government is providing practical support for Canada's team through the “Own the Podium” program, and in February we will see the results.

I ask all members of the House to raise their voices and raise their mittens to show support for our Canadian athletes.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and France, began purchasing vaccines at the beginning of May. Thirty-five countries purchased vaccines before this government woke up.

Why? Where was the Prime Minister? Why does he show up for a photo op to announce the construction of a piece of sidewalk but is nowhere to be found when it comes to Canadians' health?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are following the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. Quite frankly, the statistics speak for themselves. Vaccine is more available in Canada than anywhere else in the world.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we keep hearing that the vaccine is available, so why are there shortages? Why are clinics closing? Why are people waiting eight hours in line? There is a disconnect between what the Prime Minister is saying and the reality on the ground.

Two weeks ago, the health minister said that the vaccine would be available to all Canadians by November. Now it is pushed on until Christmas. Local authorities cannot plan because they cannot predict a reliable federal supply of this vaccine.

When will the Prime Minister take his responsibilities and not only give the provinces and territories the predictability they need, but also the resources?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the government has been very clear about when and how many doses will be rolled out. Next week there will be an additional 1.8 million doses available, which will bring the total to 8.5 million doses.

The provinces are in the process of distributing this. It is the largest and quickest mass vaccine program in Canadian history and, of course, we will do everything necessary to support their efforts in this regard.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General reported yesterday that for four years the government has failed to prepare an emergency preparedness program that would coordinate the activities of government in a time of national crisis, such as a national H1N1 pandemic. There is still no plan to coordinate activity across government.

Does the Prime Minister agree with the Auditor General's findings and, if so, when will the government present the plan that she requires and that it committed to provide?

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course, the vaccination program is being run under the national pandemic plan, not under the emergency response plan, so the Leader of the Opposition has his facts confused in this regard.

In terms of the emergency preparedness plan, the government has been operating and road-testing that plan through a number of incidents, including the Manitoba floods, and we will be finalizing that plan in the near future.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the pandemic is the first thing the Auditor General mentions in her report.

For $45 million, the Conservative government could hire 3,000 extra nurses, double the number of vaccination sites or extend the hours of operation to accelerate flu vaccinations. The priority is to get more people vaccinated faster.

Why are the Conservatives putting up to $45 million into partisan signs on everything from trains to doorknobs instead of helping people fight the flu?

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I sometimes wonder whether the member for Wascana just makes it up as he goes along.

What we are doing is moving forward with an unprecedented partnership with the provinces, territories and municipalities on infrastructure projects in every corner of the country, from coast to coast to coast, and, like previous governments, we are ensuring that those investments are communicated to the public.

We have an important responsibility in these tough economic times to report back to Canadians on the great success and the number of jobs and opportunities that are being created from coast to coast to coast.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, it gets worse. While millions of Canadians cannot get vaccinated, the Conservatives are not only wasting up to $45 million on useless signs, but they actually want two signs, not just one, on every project, and they are sticking municipalities with a big part of the cost: local tax dollars forced to finance Conservative propaganda.

Will the Conservatives now cancel their wasteful sign campaign and put those dollars into fighting the flu?

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, what we are seeing is a sign of co-operation, a sign that the provinces and territories are working constructively with the federal government, a sign that we are putting partisan politics aside and are working constructively to create jobs and to build infrastructure.

Within the last half hour, I had the opportunity to meet with the great mayor of the city of Regina. We have a great partnership with Regina. We are spending almost $93 million on infrastructure, and we are proud of it.

We will continue to work hard and get the job done.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the bill concerning self-employed workers contains provisions regarding parental leave. But self-employed workers in Quebec are already entitled to parental benefits through the Quebec government's parental insurance plan.

Will the government admit that there is an overlap when it comes to parental benefits, and will it compensate Quebec?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this new program introduced by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development is a voluntary program funded by the premiums paid by self-employed workers.