House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was unemployed.

Topics

Child Care
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. Oral questions. The hon. member for Labrador.

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, imagine that you, your child or your grandmother have H1N1. Imagine people who live in fear of the spread of this disease. Imagine being a community leader or health worker pleading for help, trying to prepare and too often doing so on your own.

What message does it send to people, their families and their community when the government will not send medicine but it will send body bags? Will the Minister of Health own up to her responsibilities and apologize for this shameful incompetence?

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I totally agree with the member for Labrador. What happened in recent events is unacceptable. It is incredibly insensitive and offensive.

The Minister of Health has ordered her department to conduct a thorough and immediate inquiry into this matter, and the results of that inquiry will be made public.

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, the body bag incident was indeed callous. It was disrespectful and insensitive. It brings to mind an episode from history in my own riding. There was an influenza outbreak. The colonial government at the time did not send help; it did not send medicine. It sent planks to make coffins and bury the dead.

That was 90 years ago. I would have hoped, as all Canadians would have hoped, that things would have changed. How can first nations, Inuit and Métis communities trust their health and well-being to the government? How can any Canadian trust their health and well-being to the government?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I again agree with the member opposite. It was unacceptable. It was incredibly insensitive. Indeed, it was offensive.

The Minister of Health put out a statement earlier today in which she was very clear that she finds this act to be totally inappropriate. She has ordered an inquiry from her department. She is incredibly concerned about it and she will make the results of that inquiry public for all parliamentarians and Canadians.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, last spring the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development visited Island Lake, Manitoba. What did he see? He saw limited water facilities and overcrowded, mouldy homes. What did he do? He did almost nothing.

The communities were soon hit with H1N1. They waited and waited for help. Little real help came, but body bags came. Will the outcry over this shameful response force the government to get serious about the real needs of Manitoba's aboriginal communities?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we share the outrage at what happened recently with this incident. It was insensitive, of course. It was objectionable, and it understandably got the reaction it did from the chiefs and communities involved.

We have an extensive program. For example, we announced $330 million in the budget for waste water treatment. We have announced additional funds for housing, both in the stimulus package and in the regular funding. We are working with first nations to do more to address some of these root causes.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the investments in housing that he mentioned have resulted in one house per community in Manitoba.

The children have returned to school and the parents are worried. We know very well how preparations are coming along in first nations communities: they have stalled. The Conservatives have had the whole summer to prepare the country for this pandemic, but they could do no better than to send body bags to Manitoba.

Do they not understand that it is their responsibility to protect the health of all Canadians?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, of course there is much to do in first nations communities across the country, especially in remote communities, to provide things like safe drinking water. When we came to office we had 197 communities with high-risk water systems that we inherited from the Liberal Party. We now have that down to less than 60.

Of course there is more work to be done. The hon. member says that nothing has been done. This summer alone, we announced 21 new schools to be built and hundreds of millions of dollars in new housing. There is always more to do, but I will not be lectured by a party that left us with 197 high-risk water systems.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned today that dozens of residents of Vancouver Island have contracted the H1N1 flu. The authorities have told doctors to stop testing for the flue because they are already overwhelmed.

When will these people get the help they need? When will this insensitive government finally accept its responsibilities?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health has taken great leadership with respect to H1N1. Her department and the Public Health Agency of Canada have done a significant amount of work in preparation, building on the work completed by the previous minister of health.

In recent days they have announced specific measures, giving priority to those communities which are the most vulnerable, and that is as it should be. We are obviously tremendously concerned for those most vulnerable for this and for our health care practitioners.

We will continue to work incredibly hard to ensure that all efforts are taken to combat this challenge.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

September 17th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during his visit to Washington, the Prime Minister talked to the American President about the dangers of protectionism. Under NAFTA, the American government does not have the right to engage in preferential purchasing, that is, buying only goods that originate in the United States. However, Mr. Obama's plan gets around the problem by forcing states and municipalities, which do not come under NAFTA rules, to buy American exclusively.

Does the Minister of International Trade realize that the real problem is not the buy American act, but rather the American President's plan?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, that is why our Prime Minister continues to tell the President of the United States that there is a problem. We also have solutions, which are supported by municipalities across Canada.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if I understand correctly, the Minister of International Trade agrees with my analysis.

However, the Prime Minister is proposing that the principle of full reciprocity should dominate trade relations between the United States and Canada. Such an agreement would prevent Quebec, the provinces and the municipalities from using preferential purchasing as a tool for economic development. Furthermore, Canada's position during the negotiations on free trade in 1988 and on NAFTA in 1992 was to maintain that privilege.

Does the Minister of International Trade realize that full reciprocity could have a very negative impact on small and medium sized businesses?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, clearly, it is very important that we strike a balance. That is why Canada's municipalities want to keep the doors open and also want reciprocity. Thus, they could have American representation and their companies, their businesses, could also present their infrastructure programs to the United States.