House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fair.

Topics

Auditor General of Canada
Routine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

Health Care
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, petitions continue to pour in from my riding of Hamilton Mountain, all of which address the urgent need for a national pharmacare program in our country. The petitioners point out that our goal ought to be a national drug plan that would enable all Canadians to enjoy equitable access to medicines and at the same time control the rising cost of drugs.

The petitioners are keenly aware of a report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which concluded that the existing patchwork of private and public plans in Canada is inequitable, inefficient and costly. The report found that Canada was the third most expensive country for brand-name drugs because it deliberately inflates drug prices in order to attract pharmaceutical investments.

Instead of tackling the issue head-on, the government is talking about privatization and user fees. Those are hardly the answers for an aging population that is already finding it difficult to make ends meet and whose retirement savings are again put at risk by yet another economic downturn.

The request by the petitioners is as straightforward as it is urgent. They simply want the government to acknowledge that there is a sound economic case to be made for universal public medicare and to get on with the job of developing and implementing a national pharmacare program.

While I know that the rules of the House do not allow me to endorse a petition, I will conclude by commending the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada for its timely leadership on this important issue.

Health Care
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I would just remind hon. members that the Standing Orders provide for a succinct explanation of the petition and I urge members to stick to that so we can accommodate more members who wish to present petitions.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Visitor Visas
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to present a petition today on behalf of individuals who have growing concerns regarding the number of visas that are being rejected. Quite often parents and close family members are attempting to come to Canada to participate in weddings and many other celebrations. However, too many visas are being denied.

The idea of multi-year, multi-entry visas is something that needs to be acted on. We know that it is there in principle, but it does need to be acted on.

The petitioners are asking the government to give special consideration to family members.

Asbestos
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present a petition signed by literally thousands of Canadians who are calling upon Parliament to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer the world has ever known.

The petitioners point out that more Canadians now die from asbestos than all other industrial causes combined, and yet Canada remains one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos in the world, spending millions of dollars subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to ban asbestos in all of its forms and institute a just transition program for asbestos workers and the communities in which they live. They also call upon the government to end all government subsidies of asbestos in Canada and abroad, and to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam convention.

Foreign Affairs
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition signed by Nova Scotians who are concerned about the fate of Mr. Philip Halliday. Mr. Halliday, a resident of Digby, has languished in a Spanish prison for 22 months without even having a trial date set. Friends and family will hold a rally in support of Mr. Halliday tomorrow and a strong turnout is expected. They have the same hope as the people who signed this petition.

The petitioners call upon the government to defend the rights of Mr. Halliday and take action to intervene on his behalf with the Spanish authorities.

The petitioners also call upon the Government of Canada to use diplomatic channels to ensure Mr. Halliday receives a fair and speedy trial, or immediate release based upon the length of his detention with no trial date and his continued deteriorating health issues.

Search and Rescue
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of a number of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and also residents of other parts of Atlantic Canada calling on the government to reverse its decision to close the marine rescue coordinating centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The petitioners point out that the rescue centre staff have a unique knowledge of the area, the ocean and the coastline. They are responsible for an area of 900,000 square kilometres. This rescue coordinating centre has the highest proportion of distress incidents in Canada and saves the lives of 600 people in distress each year.

The petitioners call upon the government to reverse its decision and to reinstate and keep the marine rescue coordinating centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. They are concerned that its closure will mean services will suffer and lives will be put at risk.

This is a very important issue in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The knowledge of the people at sea and the Coast Guard auxiliary that is available are very important to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

November 3rd, 2011 / 10:55 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 151 will be answered today.

Question No. 151
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

With regard to Infrastructure Canada, what was the estimate, prepared for the seventh report to Canadians, of the number of Economic Action Plan projects and the value of the federal contribution that would be affected by the government's December 2, 2010, decision to extend the stimulus construction deadline?

Question No. 151
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as part of Canada’s economic action plan, Infrastructure Canada is responsible for delivering the $4 billion infrastructure stimulus fund and the $500 million top-up to the communities component of the building Canada fund. These two programs benefited from the government’s decision to extend the stimulus construction deadline from March 31, 2011, to October 31, 2011. Two additional programs not managed by Infrastructure Canada, the knowledge infrastructure program and recreational infrastructure Canada, also benefited from the extension.

Although the seventh report to Canadians was released on January 31, 2011, it was finalized ahead of this date. At the time the report was finalized, provinces, territories, municipalities, and other partners had not yet submitted, as per the conditions of the extension, their requests for extending their projects beyond the original March 31, 2011, deadline to October 31, 2011. Details are presented on page 65 of the seventh report.

As such, figures on the number of projects seeking extension or the value of the federal contribution under Infrastructure Canada’s two programs were not included in the seventh report to Canadians. This was noted on page 66 of the seventh report: “Details on the value and number of projects that will be extended into 2011-12 will be known closer to the end of 2010-11 following receipt of estimates from provinces, territories, municipalities or other partners.”

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 142 could be made an order for return, this return would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is it agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 142
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

With respect to the venous system, and more particularly, chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI): (a) what, if any, steps is the government taking to address research questions regarding the venous system, including (i) what does the normal venous system look like, and, specifically, what does it look like in infants, children, and adults, (ii) can the veins, in particular the jugulars and the azygous, look normal, and the flow be abnormal, (iii) what is the normal range of flow through veins, in particular the jugulars and the azygous, (iv) how should normal range of flow through veins, in particular the jugulars and azygous, be defined, (v) what is the normal range of blood gases in veins, in particular the jugulars and the azygous, (vi) what causes venous pathology and when does it occur, (vii) theoretically, what is the complete range of possible vascular problems in the head, neck, chest, and spine, which ones might impact health, and specifically which ones might be linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), (viii) how does the complete range of possible vascular problems compare with those actually seen in patients, (ix) how should abnormal flow through veins, in particular the jugulars and the azygous, be defined, (x) how might abnormal blood gases in veins affect health in the short-term and long-term, (xi) what, if any, reflux is normal in veins, and, if some reflux is normal, what is the ‘tipping point’ to abnormal, (xii) can a catalogue of venous pathology (in the head, neck, chest and spine), abnormal flow, and potential health impacts be established, (xiii) what protects against abnormal venous pathology and abnormal flow, (xiv) who should receive venous protective measures, and when should protective measures be put in place;

(b) what, if any, steps is the government taking to address research questions regarding the venous system and MS, including, (i) can fluid mechanics predict where physiologic changes in the brain might occur, (ii) how does the neurologist’s understanding of flow through the brain compare with that of physicists, (iii) does decreased metabolism lead to hypoxia which may lead to endothelial damage and inflammation, (iv) what occurs first, inflammatory changes in the brain or iron deposition, (v) what role does reduced perfusion have in MS, (vi) does stenosis extra-cranially cause less perfusion in the brain, (vii) does stenosis extra-cranially cause morphological changes in the brain, (viii) do cerebral veins actually disappear over time, or is it merely a lack of flow that makes them look like they disappear in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies; (ix) what, if any changes beyond lesions, occur in the spinal cord of MS patients, as a result of reduced vertebral flow, (x) do vertebral veins show a similar disappearance over time, (xi) what percentage of MS patients show evidence of venous pathology, as compared to 'normals', (xii) what other venous abnormalities might MS patients have (e.g., bladder, intestine, kidney), might these abnormalities play a role in their disease, and, if so, how should they be imaged and treated, (xiii) what percentage of MS patients show venous abnormalities below the chest (e.g., May Thurner syndrome), and does this have an impact on their disease, (xiv) how does the vascular system of someone with benign MS compare to that of someone with relapsing-remitting, primary progressive or secondary progressive MS; (c) what, if any, steps is the government taking to address research questions regarding CCSVI and MS, including, (i) what is the prevalence of CCSVI in relapsing-remitting, primary progressive or secondary progressive MS, (ii) does CCSVI worsen over time with the progression of disease, (iii) does CCSVI play a role in MS, and, if so, how, (iv) is CCSVI specific to MS, (v) what are the potential health impacts of CCSVI in the short-term, medium-term and long-term, both with and without treatment; (d) what, if any, steps is the government taking to address research questions regarding CCSVI diagnosis, including (i) how do the results of MRI compare with those of ultrasound for diagnosis of CCSVI, (ii) what is the best way to image the venous system and the best way to image venous pathology, (iii) what are the limitations of current diagnostic tools to image the venous system, (iv) should intravascular ultrasound be used, and what are the benefits and the risks, (v) what is the learning curve for the various diagnostic procedures, and what should practitioners undertake to become sufficiently accomplished, (vi) can a standardized protocol be established for diagnosing CCSVI in MS patients, and when should MS patients be tested for CCSVI, (vii) can a standardized system for describing lesions (e.g., type, location) be established, (viii) what should be the decision-making process regarding whether to treat or not to treat (e.g., anatomy, flow, etc.), (ix) should arterial, venous and CSF flow be monitored, how often, and for what purpose, (x) should lesions and iron load be monitored, how often, and for what purpose;

(e) what, if any, steps is the government taking to address research questions regarding CCSVI treatment, including (i) what timescale is useful for treatment of CCSVI, (ii) what are the benefits and risks associated with treatment of CCSVI, (iii) what are best practices for treating each identified vascular problem, (iv) how should a successful CCSVI treatment be defined (e.g., valvular correction, reduction in stenosis, increased flow, improved blood gases), (v) can malformed jugulars and azygous be treated to achieve normal flow, (vi) can malformed jugulars and azygous be treated to achieve a normal range of blood gases, (vii) can jugulars and azygous be sufficiently treated to make up for poor vertebral flow, and, if not, what procedures can be developed to improve vertebral flow, (viii) should stents be used, and, if so, under what circumstances, (ix) what are the immediate complications of CCSVI treatment, and in what percentage of treatments does each occur for each identified abnormality, (x) what is the best follow-up anti-coagulant therapy, what are the potential risks, and what is the prevalence of complications, (xi) what are the best follow-up therapies, including, brain plasticity exercises, nutrition, physiotherapy, speech therapy, etc., and which therapies have the best associated outcomes, (xii) what are late complications, what follow-up is necessary to determine late complications, and in what percentage of treatments does each occur for each identified abnormality, (xiii) what treatments are available should a stent be occluded, either through hyperplasia or thrombosis, (xiv) what is the success rate of each identified treatment for an occluded stent; (f) what, if any, steps is the government taking to address research questions regarding determining the best CCSVI treatment, including, (i) is CCSVI treatment with the addition of pharmacological agents more efficacious than just the CCSVI procedure, (ii) what pharmacological agents could be used to treat venous inflammation, iron storage, and hydrocephaly, and could these agents be added to CCSVI treatment, (iii) what safe apparatuses could be developed to keep treated veins open, (iv) are vein grafts possible, and if so, on whom, and when should they be used, (v) is CCSVI treatment more efficacious with mesenchymal-derived or adipose-derived stem-cell infusion than just the CCSVI procedure alone, (vi) what methods might be added to reduce permeability of the blood-brain barrier, including pharmacological agents and stem cells, (vii) what are the effects of chelators on iron uptake and release from the brain, and might iron chelators be used as therapeutic agents;

(g) what, if any, steps is the government taking to address research questions regarding possible impacts of CCSVI treatment on MS patients, including (i) what impact does CCSVI treatment have on patients immediately, (ii) what impact does CCSVI treatment have on patients at 24 hours, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years, (iii) what does the magnetic resonance venography (MRV) of a treated patient look like at 24 hours, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years, (iv) what percentage of MS patients show functional improvement at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years, (v) what are the most appropriate scales to measure any health impacts following CCSVI treatment as reported by MS patients, (vi) do new scales have to be created to measure reported changes following treatment, (vii) which patients show the greatest improvement, and does early intervention allow for a better outcome, (viii) what are the treatment outcomes associated with each of the identified venous problems, (ix) what percentage of MS patients show a reduction in MS attacks and brain lesions following the CCSVI procedure, (x) what percentage of MS patients with little or mild blockage show improvement following the CCSVI procedure, (xi) for those MS patients whose conditions do not improve or become worse, why does this occur; (h) what, if any, steps is the government taking to address research questions regarding CCSVI re-stenosis and diagnosis, including, (i) what is rate of stenosis for each identified vascular abnormality, (ii) what changes should patients be told to look for to in order to recognize whether they are possibly re-stenosing, (iii) what diagnostic methods should be used after treatment for CCSVI, (iv) what diagnostic methods should be used to look for re-stenosis, and at what timescales; (i) what, if any, steps is the government taking to address research questions regarding secondary procedures for CCSVI, including, (i) are secondary procedures safe, and if so, how many, (ii) what should be the follow-up protocol for secondary procedures, (iii) should there be a methodology established regarding whether to do a secondary procedure or not; and (j) what, if any, steps is the government taking to address research questions regarding prevention in the next generation, including, (i) do vascular issues develop in utero, during childhood, or later, and what would be the best methods to discover circulation problems at the earliest time possible to avoid health impacts at a later date, (ii) might vascular birthmarks and tumours be an indication of potential vascular problems, (iii) might skin discolouration, skin abnormalities, and even proliferation of moles be an indication of an autoimmune or neural condition, (iv) might giving vitamin D to pregnant mothers reduce the risk of children being born with, or developing, vascular problems and other conditions and, if so, what dosage is appropriate, (v) do antioxidants, vitamin D and omega 3 reduce vein inflammation, (vi) will giving children and adolescents vitamin D reduce the risk of developing vein inflammation and venous hypertension and, if so, what dosage is appropriate, and what quantity should be recommended for a child with a family history of CCSVI, vascular problems or MS, etc., (vii) what would be the optimum time to undertake CCSVI treatment to avoid health impacts at a later date?

(Return tabled)