Framework on Palliative Care in Canada Act

An Act providing for the development of a framework on palliative care in Canada

Sponsor

Marilyn Gladu  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill.

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment provides for the development of a framework designed to support improved access for Canadians to palliative care.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Palliative CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 12th, 2018 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present two petitions.

The first petition asks Parliament to establish a national palliative care strategy. It highlights that in the last Parliament, a motion was unanimously passed calling for the government to create a national palliative care strategy, and that in this, the 42nd Parliament, Bill C-277 passed unanimously, saying that it is impossible for a person to give informed consent on assisted suicide and euthanasia if palliative care is not available. The petitioners are calling on Parliament to establish a national palliative care strategy.

June 7th, 2018 / 7:45 a.m.
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Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Once again, Ms. Gladu, we were very pleased, as the government, to be able to support your bill, Bill C-277, and we're very keen to move forward on its implementation and the work that needs to be done in that area.

We certainly recognize that all Canadians want to stay home as long as they can, but to do so, we certainly need to make sure they have the quality care and necessary care they need to live the rest of their days in comfort. Those support services are absolutely critical. We are very pleased, as I've indicated, to support Bill C-277 and to work on the development of a framework that promotes palliative care.

I was also very pleased that we were able to make some announcements this year, and I believe you were with me for the funding announcement of $6 million for Pallium Canada. Those monies were put in place to expand existing services, called the learning essential approaches to palliative care program. That money will go specifically to front-line service providers, like ambulance attendants or EMTs, to provide them with the training they need so that when they go to homes, especially in rural areas where they can provide direct services to people at home, they will be able to provide people with the additional quality services they need so they won't have to go to community centres or hospitals to receive those services. We're certainly moving forward in that direction and making sure that investments are made in that area.

I was also pleased that we've invested $184.6 million over the next five years to improve home palliative care for indigenous communities. We recognize that an awful lot of work needs to be done in that area, and we certainly recognize that those investments will help moving forward.

Finally, we recognize as well that research is key in this area, so we're investing over $2.8 million over the next four years to support two research teams, which I'm sure you're probably well aware of. We certainly want to generate high-quality research and evidence to inform professionals in health care with respect to best policies as we move forward in end-of-life care and the policies that we need to put in place.

Finally, Mr. Chair, with respect to the investments that we've made in home care in budget 2017, $6 billion has been put aside, and I'm in the process right now of completing bilateral agreements with provinces and territories. In the ones that I have seen thus far, palliative care services are absolutely mentioned in those, as well. They may not be a line item in the budget, but we certainly know that provinces and territories, especially with our aging population, and people who want to make sure they expand palliative care services see it as a priority.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

May 31st, 2018 / 4:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to be here to speak to this budget implementation bill. My speech today will be called “promises, priorities and plans”. When we put a budget together, we should consider the amount of money we will need to keep all the promises we have made. Of course, there is not an endless amount of money in the world so there is a need to prioritize those promises we have made to ensure we hit the important ones and put those first.

Then it is important to have plans. We all know that without plans, we may spend a lot of money and not really accomplish anything, which we have seen an incredible amount of from the Liberal government.

With respect to promises, one of the early promises made by the government, which we hear repeatedly, was that it would run very small deficits, a small deficit of $10 billion in the first year, coming to balance in the fourth year. However, we have seen double that deficit in the first year, double the deficit in the second year, and triple that deficit in this budget. There is no end in sight with respect to balancing the budget. It is certainly not going to be in the fourth year of the mandate. Now it looks like it may not be until 2045. This is promise was broken into about 1.5 trillion pieces.

The other thing is that a lot of promises were made that were extremely important to rural communities across Canada. The first one was the restoration of home mail delivery, which for people who are living in very rural places, especially those who are elderly, is a very important service.

Even more important than that was the promise about infrastructure money. Members can remember that we were going to spend infrastructure money to create jobs and get the economy going, and that money was going to be spent on roads and bridges in municipalities. This is a critical thing in ridings like Sarnia—Lambton, where we have a lot of roads and bridges that need to be fixed, and the municipality certainly does not have the money to fix them. I was disappointed with the last budget when the government took $15 billion from those municipalities and put it into the infrastructure bank. Of course we have seen nothing come out of that whole situation.

Then there was the Asian Infrastructure Bank to which the government gave another half a billion of taxpayer dollars to build roads and bridges in Asia, which is not helping the rural community at all. Thus was another broken promise.

One of the most disturbing promises broken by the government was that of openness, transparency, and a higher ethical standard. Every time we ask questions about what is in this budget, such as the carbon tax that is outlined heavily in the budget, the government refuses to say how much it will cost the average Canadian taxpayer. The average Canadian taxpayer wants to know. If it is not a bad number, then why is it afraid to say it? Obviously, if it does not want to tell Canadians, it is because it is bad news.

Beyond not telling them how much it will cost, it will not even tell us what it will accomplish. The environment minister has been asked multiple times at committee, and here in the House, what kind of a greenhouse gas reduction she expects from this, and she has no answer. There is a huge amount of money being spent in the budget in this area. There is a huge amount of tax that will be paid by Canadians, yet there is no openness and transparency from the government with respect to those issues.

The government promised not to use omnibus bills, and here we are again with this huge budget bill. So many things have been snuck into this bill that if we did not really read all the pages, we might not be aware of them. My colleagues to the left have already talked about the medicinal marijuana issue and the taxes associated with that. However, more so, there is language in the budget bill that suggests that if people had a drug information number, they would be exempt. The fact remains that there is no drug exemption number for any medicinal marijuana because of the variability of all the components. Therefore, that is just another misrepresentation in the budget bill.

With respect to the taxes on cigarettes' portion of the bill, there is an escalating tax that continues to go up in perpetuity, without any parliamentary vote and without Canadians being able to talk about that. This is the same kind of deceptive tax that was put on beer and wine. It is fine for the government to put a sin tax on something when it wants to, but when it wants to hide a tax in there that continues to go up and generates revenue for the government, and it sneaks it onto page 324, Canadians may never get to that.

Therefore, there is no openness and no transparency in omnibus bills.

As members know, I am a passionate advocate for palliative care, so I was very excited when the government said it would spend $3 billion on home and palliative care in the 2016 budget. Then the government updated the 2017 budget and said that it would spend $6 billion over 10 years. It was a little more paced out, but at least it was something. I was really disappointed to see the word “palliative” removed from the 2018 budget. It was taken out altogether, even though the government supported my private member's bill, Bill C-277, on consistent access for palliative care for all Canadians. Surely, if we want there to be consistent access, we know we will have to plan something to back up that promise and put money in the budget. I was very disappointed there was nothing in the budget on that.

I will go to priorities.

One would think that in a country with one person out of six being a senior, maybe seniors would be a priority, but no. The Liberal government took position of minister for seniors away, and there is relatively nothing in budget 2018 that will help seniors, many of whom really struggle to afford to live and pay for many of the things they need, such as cataract surgery, perhaps hearing aids or dentures. I certainly heard this when I went door to door. A priority has been missed.

Then there is the agriculture sector. Agriculture is hugely important in Canada. Everyone can agree that we need to eat. This is one of our largest industries. What is the government doing? First, it is loading all kinds of bureaucracy on the Canadian agriculture industry that does not apply to other people. It has taken away pesticides without any replacement. Those very pesticides are used by countries that then import their food to Canada, putting us at a competitive disadvantage. Most recently, it decided it would not allow the sale of premixed feed that contains antibiotic. This product has been sold safely for quite a number of years. Again, it is a burden on our industry that is not on other industries outside of the country that ship products into Canada.

There is very little support for research in agriculture, very little support for the industry overall, and total betrayal when it comes to the agreement that was made with respect to the TPP, that farmers would be compensated for the quota they had to give up. That is gone. They still have to give up the quota, but they do not get the compensation. It is another broken promise for the agriculture industry.

Regarding health care, the government's priorities are really screwed up. The government putting $80 million in a budget to get people to stop smoking tobacco is a wonderful thing. However, to then put $800 million in the budget to get people to start smoking marijuana just does not seem like the right message from a health point of view, especially when we consider the danger to children.

Then there is the $7-billion slush fund. I am not sure what kind of priority that is backing up in an election year, but I can only guess. That is a disappointment as well.

Then there are plans. We do not see any plans. We have talked about how there is no climate change plan and no answers on the carbon tax. What about NAFTA? The Liberals have known for over a year that tariffs could be put on the steel industry. There is no plan and no money in the budget to address that whatsoever.

What about this $4.5-billion pipeline? Members can hear that my voice is a bit hoarse from having a $4.5-billion pipeline that is 65 years old being shoved down my throat. Where was the plan for that in the budget? It is missing.

Overall, when we look at this budget, we can see that when it comes to promises, priorities, and plans, the Liberals have broken their promises, their priorities are definitely screwed up, and they have no plan to achieve anything. That is a super disappointment.

HealthOral Questions

May 4th, 2018 / 11:50 a.m.
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Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that Canadians want to stay independent as long as possible and if they need services, they want to receive them within their home. In addition to the Canada health transfer payments, we have invested more than $6 billion to provinces and territories to ensure that better home care and palliative care services are in place. We recently announced $6 million to Pallium Canada to increase capacity to deliver palliative care to communities.

I look forward to working with provinces and territories as we move forward in the implementation of Bill C-277. We certainly want to make sure that the provisions of the bill are put in place.

Palliative CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 1st, 2018 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present two petitions today.

The first petition relates to a national palliative care strategy. It highlights that 70% of Canadians who need end-of-life palliative care do not have access to it. The petition also points out that it was this Parliament's decision, passed unanimously, to create a national palliative care strategy in support of Bill C-277.

The petitioners call on every member in Parliament to support palliative care and respect the international definition of palliative care by the World Health Organization that palliative care neither postpones nor hastens death.

Financial Statement of Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

March 20th, 2018 / 4:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Madam Speaker, to get 10 minutes to talk about budget 2018, when I first got elected, I would have thought was a long time, but now it just does not seem to be that much time.

This budget was not well received by most Canadians. I am going to talk about health care, infrastructure, and some of the spending. I was always told that when one is bringing a critical message it is good to make a sandwich and say something nice at the beginning and something nice at the end. Therefore, I am going to say something nice at the beginning and something nice at the end.

The thing I will say at the beginning is that I was pleased to see that the response for science to the Naylor report was a good one. As the former science critic for our party, that was something I was looking for. I do not have anything bad to say about that, but now I will turn to the other issues.

The first topic of discussion of course has to do with palliative care. I was surprised that the word “palliative” does not appear once in this budget. After seeing the word “palliative" in budget 2017, and considering the unanimous support of the House of Commons and the Senate for my bill, Bill C-277, regarding palliative care, I was surprised that the word was not mentioned in this budget.

In 2017, the federal government proposed investing $6 billion over 10 years for home and palliative care, as well as $5 billion over 10 years to support mental health initiatives. These investments included improving home care services in Canada, as well as palliative care. In other words, there was $11 billion for mental heath, home care, and palliative care. However, budget 2018 announced different investments, specifically $11 billion over 10 years for provincial and territorial governments to support home care and mental health, but not palliative care. There is no mention of palliative care.

Palliative care is a necessary but extremely underfunded service in our country. By leaving palliative care out of the budget, the government is ignoring the needs of many desperate Canadians who need financial support not only to improve their living conditions, but also to help ease the burden on our health care system.

The second issue has to do with mental health, dementia, and PTSD. As with palliative care, budget 2018 fails to make investments in mental health care. As I mentioned earlier, only $11 billion was earmarked for mental heath, including home care. That is not enough. Canada is still in crisis, and we must do everything we can for all those in need.

To make matters worse, the federal government is investing only $20 million over five years and only $4 million a year after that for Canadians with dementia. Over 400 million Canadians have dementia, including Alzheimer's, and this disease disproportionately affects elderly women. That amount is simply not enough. Given our aging population, we need to prepare and invest in quality programs.

I would like to thank my colleague on this side of the House for all of the work he has done regarding injuries and post-traumatic stress. I believe that it is thanks to him and his efforts that investments were made in this area. However, the government is proposing to invest only $10 million over five years to create a pilot project. Research and pilot projects are important, but so are services for all those who are living with PTSD. I believe that this is a step in the right direction but that the government needs to do a lot more.

Another point worth noting is the $20-million investment, and $6 million a year going forward, to improve mental health supports for offenders in federal correctional facilities. Those funds are intended specifically to enhance supports for women inmates in those institutions.

Despite those small investments, the government is also proposing to provide $10 million over five years for the Mental Health Commission of Canada to assess the effects of cannabis use on Canadians' mental health.

The Liberal government is doing everything it can to control and limit cigarette use, yet it wants to legalize marijuana as soon as possible, despite knowing the mental damage it can cause to users. This $10-million investment proves that the government recognizes the dangers associated with cannabis, yet it is going ahead with full legalization anyway.

What really struck me in this budget is where the government put the priorities in terms of health. There is $80 million in the budget to get people to stop smoking, but there is $800 million in the budget to get people to start smoking marijuana. That seems like the wrong priority. At the same time, while people are dying across the country in the opioid crisis, there is $40 million a year being put toward that crisis. Again, in comparison to the legalization of marijuana, it just does not seem to be the right priority at all.

I talked about my disappointment that palliative care was not even mentioned in this budget. I had approached the minister with a plan for once the framework was put together to build palliative care infrastructure across Canada. When we talk about the infrastructure spending that was promised by the government at the beginning, that was the whole reason for going into deficit. However, it does not seem that the money is flowing to the municipalities. What could be a better example than my riding?

Most members know that on January 11, the Canadian Coast Guard decided not to close the channel, which it normally does when ice floes are heavy, and the resulting push from the icebreakers crushed the Sombra ferry causeway. That border has been shut since January. The Minister of Public Safety is in charge of the CBSA, which makes $3.3 million in duties from that crossing every year. I approached the minister to get the repair money to put that back together. At first there was no response, but then a denial. I approached the Minister of Transport, who has the responsibility for the trade corridor funding. Again, there was a refusal. I approached the infrastructure minister, who seems to be looking for somewhere to spend $186 billion. I only need $2.5 million. Certainly, he could spend it on the restoration of the Sombra ferry crossing, but again, that was refused.

Combat engineers in my riding said that if the Minister of National Defence decides that it is in the national interest, he could send them to repair the bridge. They had done that in Laval and Guelph, and they could do it elsewhere. Again, there was a great opportunity, but the Minister of National Defence turned me down. I have escalated this to the Prime Minister's Office, but nothing has been done. When the government states that it wants to spend money on infrastructure and the municipalities, it falls on deaf ears for me and my constituents, who feel that there is no infrastructure money for the Sombra ferry restoration in Sarnia—Lambton.

That said, at the beginning of my speech I gave some commentary about the things I thought were missing in the budget, and said that I would say something nice at the end. I have a couple of nice things to say.

I was glad to see a reference to the thalidomide issue. We know there are people who did not qualify for their thalidomide claims because they could not produce the paperwork. I have brought this to the attention of the Minister of Health, and I am pleased to see that this has been put into the budget. No dollars were associated with it, but I am trusting that money will be parcelled out to those people who deserve compensation.

Other than that, the only other happy news is that most of the spending has been pushed out into the years after the Liberal government will have been defeated.

Financial Statement of Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

March 20th, 2018 / 11:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate your leadership. I will be sharing my time with the incredible member for Milton.

It is a real honour to make comments today regarding the 2018 budget.

Canadians are looking to the budget with great hope that the government will be responsible in its spending, that its focus and priorities will be balanced and prudent, and that it will be careful with their tax dollars. The budget is about what we do with the resources, the taxes that are collected by the government from Canadians. Are taxes going to go up or down? Will things become more expensive and less affordable?

This is a political place where we have very interesting debates at times. However, it is important that we listen to some of the experts. One of those experts is the Parliamentary Budget Officer. It is important that we rely on the unbiased professional critique of this budget.

We have seen huge announcements in this budget. This is the third budget that the Liberal government has introduced. It has one more budget to bring in, in another year. Is the government doing a good or bad job? Is it responsible or irresponsible? We have seen hundreds of billions of dollars in announcements that have been made over the last almost three years, and the Parliamentary Budget Officer has provided an important critique.

After the budget was presented, it was recently reported that budget 2018 provides an incomplete account of the changes that the government has made to its $186.7 billion infrastructure spending plan. The PBO requested the plan, but it does not exist. Roughly one-quarter of the funding allocated for infrastructure from 2016-17 to 2018-19 was not spent and will lapse. The money was announced but was not spent. The mystery for Canadians is how these announcements can be made, how we can have a growing deficit, a growing debt in Canada, yet the money is not being spent. Where is this money going?

The Fraser Institute provided an analysis on this budget. It stated:

In the midst of serious concerns over Canada’s economic prospects, and challenges emerging from the United States, [the] Finance Minister[’s]...2018 federal budget does nothing to address these problems. In some respects, the budget makes matters worse by continuing the government’s self-destructive policies of chronic deficit-financed spending and new taxes on entrepreneurs.

It does not sound good.

Andrew Coyne stated:

Once upon a time the federal budget was about the budget of the federal government. It was an annual opportunity for Parliament and the public to examine the federal government’s program of expenses and revenues for the coming fiscal year.... All that is now in the past.

It sounds like what the Prime Minister said at the beginning, that budgets balance themselves. We all know they do not, and it is no mystery why we have this growing problem.

John Ivison of the National Post wrote, “as the Liberals have proven over the past two years, policies are adopted to get elected, not necessarily to be implemented.” We continue to hear announcements of hundreds of billions of dollars with no action taken.

I am particularly concerned that there is almost no mention of seniors in the budget. I am the critic for palliative care and income security for seniors. I listened intently to my colleague on the other side when he spoke about seniors. In budget 2018, there is no mention of seniors. He spoke about the national housing plan. That is reliant on the provinces buying into that plan, but the provinces have not bought into it. Again there are a lot of big announcements and confetti in the air, but no substance in those announcements. Just as we heard from the Parliamentary Budget Officer regarding the billions of dollars for a national infrastructure plan, that is fizzling. The Liberals are not getting it done.

As for seniors, the mystery is why there is no priority for seniors. We have heard announcements about how important seniors are to the government, but in the budget document, they are missing. There is no mention of seniors and the importance of seniors, except for one time. There is no minister advocating in cabinet for seniors. In the shadow cabinet on this side, in the official opposition, we have two members of Parliament appointed to deal with the issues of seniors. Why is that? It is because we have a growing aging population, and it is very important that we take care of our Canadian seniors. At least it is on this side of the House. Therefore, we encourage the government, as do stakeholders across Canada, to appoint a minister for seniors so that there is a strong voice at the cabinet table. Because that voice is missing, seniors continue to be ignored.

There were dollars in the previous two budgets for palliative care. Palliative care is end-of-life care that Canadians need. Seventy per cent of Canadians who need palliative care do not have access to it. That is why, with the passage of Bill C-277, this Parliament unanimously supported providing palliative care, but we have to have the dollars appointed to it in the budget, and they are missing. The dollars used to be there. They are gone. Hopefully the government will consider an amendment to its budget to include those dollars again for palliative care, because we will continue on a trajectory where we have Canadians not having the palliative care that is needed.

The healthy seniors pilot project was announced for New Brunswick on page 173. I would suggest another amendment to include the west. Where are most Canadian seniors going to retire to spend the last years of their lives? It is on the west coast in the Vancouver and Victoria areas. The west coast is where the climate is much more favourable. Accessibility is better year-round. Flowers actually are growing right now in that area, and people have already started to cut their lawns. Spring is coming to this cold, white area, but that is where seniors like to retire. Why was the west not included in a pilot project? It is because this is the government's riding. It is a partisan appointment, and dollars were appointed based on politics, not on the needs of seniors.

The other issue is the Canada summer jobs program, mentioned on pages 56 and 250. We had a very sad vote here in the House yesterday. Each of us, as members of Parliament, have received our list of applicants. I am going to be digesting that and going over it carefully, but it has really changed. It is not on par with previous Canada summer jobs programs. I looked very carefully, and it is primarily for commercial applications. The not-for-profit organizations have provided job experience and are very important to bless our communities. It is all gone, it appears.

I am concerned that this has affected my opportunity to carry out my responsibility as a member of Parliament. Every year for the last 14 years, I have gone over that list. Because of the government's discrimination against Canadians, because of its bias, it has introduced the new values test. Quality job experiences for our youth have been lost. It is not fair. It is not equitable. There are going to be fewer job opportunities because of what the government has done. It is not on par with previous years. Hopefully the government will consider an amendment to that too.

Palliative CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 15th, 2018 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present three petitions to the House today, the first being on palliative care.

The petitioners acknowledge that 70% of Canadian residents that need end-of-life palliative care do not have access to it. They are calling on Parliament to support Bill C-277 to ensure that every Canadian that needs palliative care has access to it, and that palliative and hospice care do not hasten nor postpone death.

HealthOral Questions

February 12th, 2018 / 3 p.m.
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Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my friend and colleague the member for Cumberland—Colchester for his hard work on this matter.

As my colleague highlighted, in addition to Canada's health transfer, our government is providing $6 billion to provinces and territories to support better home care and palliative care services. We were also pleased to support Bill C-277.

Earlier today, I was very pleased to announce an additional $6 million in funding to Pallium Canada to train additional health care providers so that they can provide services to Canadians when at home. Bilateral agreements are in the process of being signed, with already two being done and many more to come in the very near future.

HealthOral Questions

February 9th, 2018 / 11:55 a.m.
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Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we know that the majority of Canadians want to stay independent and receive the care they need within their homes. Quality in palliative care is critical to making this happen.

In addition to the Canada health transfer, our government is providing $6 billion in federal funding directly to provinces and territories to better support home care, including palliative care. Our government was pleased to support Bill C-277, and looks forward to working collaboratively with provinces, territories, and stakeholders as we move forward. Also, I am in the final stages of completing some bilateral agreements with several of the provinces and we look forward to working again with them.

November 7th, 2017 / 3:40 p.m.
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Student, School of Nursing, Trinity Western University, As an Individual

Melissa De Boer

Social inclusion and quality of life for Canadian seniors also extends to dying well. Nurses advocate for dying well as an extension of living well. It is estimated that 90% of Canadians will require care and support at the end of life, yet currently less than a third of Canadians are estimated to have access to high-quality palliative care services. Palliative care must extend beyond care for those who are dying from cancer to also support those who are dying from chronic conditions.

Professor Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham is involved with a University of Victoria research team led by Dr. Kelli Stajduhar on end of life care for persons who are under-housed. This research is showing how dying happens in the cracks between our health and social services, and that end of life care is often provided by volunteers and shelter staff who know little about how to care for the dying. Other times, vulnerable seniors are dying alone on the streets.

Bill C-277, a framework on palliative care in Canada, is a chance to address this. We need a coordinated approach to palliative care, coordinated across sectors, jurisdictions, and levels of government. Linking a national seniors strategy with a national home care plan and a pan-Canadian palliative care strategy will ensure that a shared-care model is coordinated, comprehensive, and effectively administered across governmental sectors.

June 5th, 2017 / 9:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

I apologize, Madam Speaker. That was my error.

The article states that:

The man advising [the Prime Minister] on building a new infrastructure financing agency was told the body could take on a “significant” amount of risk to help projects come to fruition.

The agency would “help bear a significant portion of the risk” in a project if the government took on an equity stake to make a project more attractive to private investors, says a confidential briefing package prepared for special adviser Jim Leech.

The Feb. 20 briefing document says the bank could take on debt that allows other debtors to be paid first in order to provide a “loss buffer” to the private sector, or invest on an equal footing “at concessionary terms.”

That latter reference could mean giving a private partner exclusive rights to use and receive revenue from a piece of infrastructure, like a rail line—such as the arrangement between the U.K., France and the private companies involved in the Channel Tunnel.

With reference to the infrastructure bank, we have asked time and time again in the House of Commons if there will be risk to the government and to the private sector. All the opposition side, whether the official opposition or members of the NDP, has heard is that the only person on the hook for this will be the taxpayer. The only way we were going to get this type of information was through an access to information request, and it was requested by the Canadian Press. The government has backgrounders on information and it is not willing to share because it is against its mandate and agenda. We see that with the carbon tax and the infrastructure bank. We are asking for some transparency on behalf of taxpayers. Somebody needs to be the voice of the taxpayers.

By no means am I an economist. I like to look at things as simply as possible. I am looking at information from the Fraser Institute, which noted that in 2016-17 the combined debt of the federal and provincial governments will be $1.4 trillion. I know we have talked a lot about this. People have said that deficits do not matter. We have heard that over and over again. However, when the government continues to spend greater than the revenues received, it will matter. It will have an impact on those things that are vital and important to Canadians, our top priorities.

If we know we are spending billions of dollars, a lot of which is money that we have borrowed, imagine when we have to start paying interest on that, money that could benefit Canadian society. I believe the cost would be over $37,000 per person if we were to divide the debt among everybody. That is more than the cost of my new car. That means everybody would be able to buy a brand new car as of today. I want to put that into perspective, because most families are buying a used car or cannot afford a car at all.

The government is spending all of this money. If we are looking at $62.8 billion just in interest in 2015-16, let us put that into what really matters. The member who sits beside me could buy the Toronto Maple Leafs 62 times over. Everybody knows how wealthy the Toronto Maple Leafs team is. Our debt is 62 times the worth of the Toronto Maple Leafs. We could buy 315 F-35 fighter jets. Would that not be wonderful for our troops? Instead, we have to worry about a debt that will continue on.

I look at the effects this will have on our generations. We talk about the debt, but we really do not understand the effects of that debt. What will that mean to the future of our health care system or our our educational system? How will that affect the environment, something so important to the government? How will that affect the government if we spend all of the money today? Later on we will be unable to afford anything. It concerns me because as we move forward with the great plans of the government, all we see is debt. We have already discussed that the debt we are accumulating is all on borrowed money. Who is going to pay this debt back? Debt and deficit do not seem to be key words for the government, but for most families it is.

As the critic for family, children, and social development, what would happen if we budgeted that way in our own homes? We would lose our cars, houses, and everything we ever owned. We cannot max it out time and time again. This is what the government is doing.

A lot of times when we have this conversation, the government of the day will reflect back to the spending of the previous government when we went through a global economic downturn. There was one in 2008, 2009, and 2010. We were the first country to recover, and we did so very well. I would like to thank the late Minister Flaherty for doing such a phenomenal job in the work that was done in Canada. Out of that spending, there were new arenas, new roads, new facilities for our communities, and a lot of growth in the economy as we went forward.

Now we are spending for the sake of spending and it does not make sense. We are not in a global recession when we need to go up against huge debt. I do not know why the government is putting our future in debt time and time again. The next generation will pay for this. When we look at medical care, such as palliative care, as Bill C-277 put through, why are we not investing in things that are really important to Canadians? Why are we not investing in long-term plans? We are spending so much money. I could talk about the $130,000 spent by the Prime Minister to travel abroad. Something as simple as that reflects respect for Canadian taxpayer dollars, and we do not see that.

I will bring this back in layman's terms. A lot of times when we talk to Canadians, we often talk about such big numbers, and they cannot grasp it. We are talking about miles and miles of money. If we laid it down, how much would it look like? A lot of times Canadians cannot put it into perspective because it is so grandiose. We want to do a lot of things in Canada and I am really fearful of where this ongoing debt and bad plans, such as the infrastructure bank and all of the other things that are planned, are going to put our country. It is going to put our grandchildren far behind the eight ball. What is going to happen to their education and health care? These are so important that we have to step back and ask ourselves how we can do it better. We are spending and spending and there is no plan to get back to a balanced budget.

Again and again, the opposition side has asked the government for its plan to get back to a balanced budget. Unfortunately, I do not think any member on the government side has actually said there is a plan. All we are hearing is 2035, 2055, or whenever it may be, but it will not be in two or three years, as it should be. When the government was elected, you said there would be a $10 billion deficit and I am not sure why you, time and time again—

Framework on Palliative Care in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

May 30th, 2017 / 6:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Madam Speaker, it has been heartwarming to see the way members of Parliament have worked together, from the beginning when the all parliamentary committee first studied palliative care, to the work of the Special Committee on Assisted Dying, to the discussions and the many heartfelt testimonies in the House from all parties as we studied this, to the amendments at committee and the collaborative way people worked together to bring improvements to the bill, to the Minister of Health who pledged $11 billion for home care, palliative care, and mental health care in the 2017 budget. This is how Parliament ought to be, addressing needs of Canadians and doing it in a way whereby we work together and come up with a better solution.

A growing number of individuals of all ages in Canada suffer from chronic pain or deadly diseases. Palliative care services can replace a wide ranges of services, such as short-term care, home care, crisis care, and psychological or spiritual assistance services.

Canadians need palliative care. It is hard to know how much palliative care is really available because the data is not that good. We have heard discussion tonight about the need to do more in collecting data on this situation. At least 70% of Canadians have no access to palliative care. We do not have enough palliative care physicians. Certainly from a cost perspective, palliative care done in different ways, by home care, by paramedics, can reduce the cost from $1,100 a day in a hospital down to $200 for hospice or $100 a day or less a day by paramedics. There is an opportunity to get more with our health dollars.

When the bill went to committee, the members were very happy about the language around the defining of service. We modified some language to clarify the federal and provincial jurisdictions. We had discussion around the collection of the research data and made a slight adjustment there. We had some great additions to restore the secretariat for palliative care to ensure that action was driven as we move forward into the future. I was very happy with the amendments that were brought because they made the bill stronger. I think this measure will be supported in the Senate.

Everyone has shared a personal story and throughout all the times I have been here, I have never shared any stories.

First, I thank the member for Langley—Aldergrove for being my seatmate when he was on the Special Committee of Assisted Dying and for giving me a book called It's Not That Simple, which talks about palliative care. It was made me interested in bringing this bill forward.

Within my riding of Sarnia—Lambton, we have a hospice called St. Joseph's. My father-in-law died of cancer, and he was in hospice. As I watched him wilt away like a sparrow, at least he was surrounded by a caring environment. He was pain free. He was surrounded by his family. I began to appreciate the services. We have 20 palliative care beds, a great hospice, and an integrated home care system. To find out that most Canadians did not have that was just a shock to me.

I am happy to see the bill move forward. This is the right direction.

I want to thank the many organizations that supported the bill throughout its journey. I want to read them because there are so many. It is just amazing. These organization include the Canadian Medical Association; the Canadian Cancer Society; the Canadian Nurses Association; the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians; Pallium Canada; ARPA; the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association; many member hospices like Bruyère Continuing Care, St. Joseph's Hospice, West Island Palliative Care Residence; the Heart and Stroke Association; the Kidney Foundation; the ALS Society of Canada; the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists; more than 50 organization members of the Coalition for Quality Care and the Interfaith Groups, including the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Canadian Council of Imams, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Armenian Prelacy of Canada, the Canadian Conference of Orthodox Bishops, and the Ottawa Muslim Association Ottawa Mosque. I thank them all for their ongoing promotion and support of the bill.

It is these kinds of organizations across our country that will help us to integrate palliative care and leverage our best practices.

I want to also thank all my colleagues for their support and encouragement. I want to encourage everyone to vote yes to Bill C-277.

Framework on Palliative Care in Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

May 30th, 2017 / 6:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Madam Speaker, it is a honour to speak to Bill C-277. I want to congratulate the member for Sarnia—Lambton on her good work.

I was honoured to sit on the special legislative committee that dealt with assisted suicide and euthanasia in response to the Carter decision. From that came a number of witnesses who highlighted two prominent needs.

First, there has to be a national palliative care strategy in Canada to prepare for our aging population. People who need palliative care are primarily elderly, at end of life. People do not have to be old to die, though. Palliative care provides those basic, dignified needs of people at the end of their lives, whether they are young or old.

The second issue was that we needed to provide conscience protection for physicians and health care institutions.

I am thrilled the member for Sarnia—Lambton received a low number in the private members' business draw and was able to have this bill presented. I am also thrilled this basically has been unanimously supported in the House and will very soon go to the Senate, with some very constructive changes.

This is needed in Canada. Right now there are more seniors in Canada than there are youth. One in six Canadians is a senior. In 12 short years, and I have been here 13 years, one in four Canadians will be a senior. Right now, 70% of people who need palliative care do not have access to it; 30% do.

As a civilized democracy, a western democracy, we need to provide for the basic needs of dignity. In testimony we heard different terms. We heard “medical aid in dying”, which is not assisted suicide. It is helping somebody die by reducing the pain and making them comfortable. That can be through visitation, drugs, palliative sedation, or medical apparatus. There is a number of ways.

I was shocked that our medical professionals received very little training in palliative care or end-of-life care. There is a very large interest in taking care of babies, in pediatrics, but for geriatrics, not so much. Babies are very cute. We desperately need to train Canadians in geriatrics.

With the massive change in our demographics in Canada, the aging population, where one in four will be a senior, it is not possible to build enough care facilities. Therefore, we need to train people so we can provide that home care.

Palliative care includes all of that, medical care and required infrastructure. We need to create this national seniors strategy. Again, I thank every member in the House who supports Bill C-277.

Then we need the investments in the infrastructure and the training to see this happen. The aging population is coming. It will be here in 12 years. We are not ready for it. I encourage the government and I thank it for supporting the member for Sarnia—Lambton and for its commitment to this bill. We all look forward to the investments in the next budget. Next spring when the government introduces the budget, there have to be those investments.