House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was air.

Topics

Drug Shortages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, hopefully the hon. member for Vancouver East will better understand the roles we all play in the drug supply process after last night's debate, my appearance in committee this morning and tomorrow's opposition day.

This is a serious matter, and our government respects the roles that each jurisdiction plays. We are not in the business of stepping into provincial and territorial jurisdictions.

I hope the hon. member will join this important debate and work with us, not against us.

Drug Shortages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this issue is not about jurisdiction; it is about the Conservatives not paying attention and not showing leadership. The fact is that the minister has refused to stand up and show the leadership that is required on this crisis.

The provinces are calling for the minister to act. Patient advocates and health professionals are calling on the minister to act. Will the minister admit that her voluntary plan has failed?

The Conservatives must expedite the Health Canada approval process and also guarantee the safety of Canadians.

When will the Conservatives listen to Canadians, not deny what is going on, and lead the effort to end these shortages?

Drug Shortages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have been working 24/7 to provide the support to the provinces and the territories, as we know how important this is to patients and their families.

I want to be very clear. It is the provinces and the territories that are best placed to determine what drugs are needed in their jurisdictions, and they are the ones that enter into contracts with the suppliers regarding their specific requirements. Our government's role is to assist the provinces and territories by informing them of approved Canadian suppliers for drugs when their current supply has not been met.

At the request of the provinces and the territories, we are fast-tracking approvals for international products without compromising our high standards.

Drug Shortages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Cancer Society has urged Ottawa to take its role seriously. The Minister of Health and her parliamentary secretary are completely ignoring our questions and are shrugging off their responsibilities. Health Canada has not been able to regulate the drug industry effectively. Yet that area falls under federal jurisdiction.

The outcome is that the lives of thousands of Canadians are at stake. Health experts and the provinces are asking the federal government to set up a system requiring the industry to disclose the drugs that might run out. That is straightforward.

Is the minister going to tighten up the regulations to avoid other shortages? Yes or no?

Drug Shortages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I stated earlier, our government's role is to assist the provinces and the territories by informing them of approved Canadian suppliers for drugs when their current supply has not been met.

At the request of the provinces and the territories, we are fast-tracking approvals for international products, again without compromising our high standards.

We are making sure that all of the important players are in contact with one another and that all have the latest information about potential or current shortages.

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, they refuse to do anything about the drug shortage, but when no intervention is needed, the Conservatives are right there.

Yesterday, the Conservatives tabled a special law to force Air Canada workers back to work in case of a strike or a lockout.

This is the third time in nine months that the Conservatives have bullied the workers out of their right to collective bargaining.

The government must encourage the two parties to negotiate. Will the Conservatives promise to stay out of the conflict and respect the fundamental rights of Canadians, yes or no?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as we indicated in the past, we are acting on behalf of the Canadian public interest, both in terms of the economy and in terms of the Canadian flying public.

To answer the question the member opposite put, I would, in return, ask him a question: will he support us to pass this legislation quickly through the House this evening so that Canadians can have certainty as to what is going on with air services?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, to bully the workers? The answer is no.

By taking this action, the Conservatives are sending a clear message to Canadians: the Conservatives are taking the employer's side, and to heck with workers' rights. The Conservatives must help both sides reach an agreement.

Can the Conservatives promise that they will not intervene in this dispute and that they will respect the fundamental rights of all workers, yes or no?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, ours is actually the only party here that is not picking a side. It is clear that the members opposite are choosing to support their big union bosses. That is why they are standing in the House.

It is quite clear, quite frankly, that the opposition will use delay tactics in order to make sure that hard-working Canadians, the Canadian public interest and this great economy will be derailed because of their connection with their union bosses.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

March 13th, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the government claims to care about political financing, pointing to Bill C-21, but its interest seems to stop when it comes to the riding of Vaughan. Three former members of the Conservative association there have each sworn an affidavit alleging that the Associate Minister of National Defence as a Conservative candidate kept two sets of books: an official one and a secret one that was used to bankroll nine other Conservative riding campaigns.

The government denies everything. Is it in fact accusing three Conservative supporters of perjury?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I will say that the hon. member goes to great lengths to try and make this question fall within the House rules of trenching on government business. I guess her implication is that Elections Canada somehow is not doing its job.

We actually believe that Elections Canada does its job. In this particular case, the comportment of the riding association and that of the candidate, the member for Vaughan, have been exemplary in following all the rules and requirements of Elections Canada.

Health
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, last night the government admitted that it knew about drug shortages six years ago. It also admitted that Health Canada had a similar mandate as the U.S. FDA to ensure access to a safe supply of necessary drugs. Yet in 2006, the FDA began a proactive drug shortages program with industry to anticipate, identify and manage shortages with mandatory reporting of sole-source producers.

Why did the minister wait so long to adopt the U.S. program, putting Canadians at risk with her wait and see approach?

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, during last night's very important debate, the hon. member for Vancouver Centre seemed confused about what roles the federal government, the provinces, territories and industry play in this matter. I hope she is better informed now and will be able to truly work with us, as we have indicated that this is an issue on which we all need to work together.

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, one day the Minister of Health said that having drug companies volunteer information about drug shortages has been effective, and then yesterday she told the House that the system failed to alert anyone of the forthcoming shortages at Sandoz until Health Canada officials stepped in. Which is it? Let us have some clarity. After all, the government's voluntary reporting system has failed and it is threatening the lives of thousands of Canadians across the country.

Instead of abdicating responsibility, will the minister implement a mandatory reporting system immediately?

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are working with the industry and health stakeholders to ensure that Canadians are informed on potential and actual shortages, which I initiated last year.

Sandoz has the responsibility to ensure that its customers are informed of anticipated shortages as soon as it becomes aware of a potential problem. Yesterday, I received a letter from the company saying that it will meet my demands for more accountability and post information about drug shortages online. It said that it would give 90 days' notice of any other drug shortages that arise in the future.This is encouraging. I hope that Sandoz will live up to its commitment.