House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Health
Oral Questions

September 29th, 2011 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss for Canadian seniors. It affects thousands of people.

The government agency in charge of evaluating drug costs is recommending a drug that costs seniors a staggering $1,500 a month instead of a drug which costs only $7 a month. Experts say these drugs are virtually identical.

Why is the government choosing to drain seniors' pocketbooks?

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the importance of affordable access to drugs as part of our quality health care system.

We work with the provinces and the territories, which are responsible for deciding which drugs are publicly covered. That is why we have consistently increased transfers to the provinces and territories, by over 30% since we formed government, so that they can continue to meet the health care needs of their residents.

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a government agency that is making these recommendations.

Clearly, switching to a cheaper drug would give seniors a much needed break and would save the government around $100 million a year.

I am sure the minister is aware of reports saying that the drug manufacturer is manipulating the supply to favour the costlier drug.

Why does the government continue to allow drug recommendations based on corporate profits and not on what is best for Canadians? Where is the plan for making drugs more affordable?

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, it is the responsibility of the provinces and territories to decide whether or not to provide their residents with a publicly financed drug therapy.

Many jurisdictions already offer catastrophic drug coverage to their residents. We have continued to increase the funding to the provinces and territories. Each jurisdiction will then decide how those dollars are allocated to meet their residents' needs.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, women's rights should not be open for debate, yet members of the government seem to think they are. The Supreme Court of Canada has clearly ruled that access to abortion is a fundamental right.

Either the Prime Minister has lost control of his caucus or his government's new policy is to outlaw abortion and turn back the clock on women's rights. Which is it?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, many individuals across this country and on all sides of the House have passionate feelings about this issue. However, the government has been clear. We will not re-open this question.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the impression today that we have literally gone back 20 years to a time when another Conservative government wanted to again criminalize abortion. This is not the first time that a member of the Conservative caucus has attempted to attack women's rights. This is becoming routine.

Will the Prime Minister put an end to these attempts and guarantee, once and for all, women's right to choose?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we have no intention of reopening this debate.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board refuses every day to answer questions in the House about his actions regarding the G8 legacy fund, but says now that he will appear before a committee. Canadians will be outraged if this is just another ruse to avoid scrutiny.

When the minister does appear before the Conservative-controlled committee, will all of his comments be in a public session? Will he agree to answer questions from all MPs? Will he finally answer for himself and stop using the foreign affairs minister as his mouthpiece?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Yes, yes and yes, Mr. Speaker, although I would be pleased to join the President of the Treasury Board at the committee as well and provide any helpful insight that I might have to offer to members who have questions.

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the last days of the civil war, the Government of Sri Lanka killed thousands of Tamil non-combatant refugees. International and United Nations human rights organizations have condemned the Sri Lankan government's cover-up. The government did nothing when thousands of people were butchered.

Will the Prime Minister take steps today to urge the Commonwealth to revoke Sri Lanka's membership until it holds the perpetrators to account and they are judged in international courts? Will he support calls from the international community for action against the Sri Lankan government?

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can say that the Prime Minister has spoken out loudly and clearly on this very important issue of human rights. I have certainly relayed the Government of Canada's position to both the high commissioner and directly to my counterpart, the minister of foreign affairs of Sri Lanka, to express our concerns on the lack of accountability for the serious allegations of war crimes, the lack of reconciliation with the Tamil community and with events that have taken place since the end of the civil war.

Canada will continue to speak loudly and clearly on behalf of human rights around the world, especially in Sri Lanka.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government does not seem to have a handle on its own tired talking points. Threatening to pull police off B.C.'s streets is not tough on crime. Issuing ultimatums to take it or leave it will not make our communities safe. Bullying the provinces is not leadership.

Will the minister stop playing games with public safety in British Columbia?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, perhaps what the member could do is start supporting some legislation that protects the people of British Columbia. In fact, in his riding people are concerned about crime.

As for the issue of the B.C. RCMP contract, there have been four years of intensive negotiations. The same fundamental terms and conditions that have been offered to British Columbia other provinces have accepted. Saskatchewan and Alberta have accepted and have said this is a good deal. Now it is up to British Columbia. It can accept the agreement, or it can choose other alternatives.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, all British Columbians are asking for is a fair deal on policing, one with more community input and better accountability. Instead, they are being offered ultimatums again today and a dangerously out-of-touch approach of one size fits all provinces.

While the government insults its opponents with cheap shots and threatens the Government of British Columbia, will the minister instead commit to negotiate in good faith and will the minister commit to stay at the table until a fair deal is reached?