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Evidence of meeting #33 for Health in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was dave.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Dammy Damstrom-Albach  President, Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
Jennifer Fodden  Executive Director, Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line
Denise Batters  As an Individual
Brian Mishara  Director, Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide and Euthanasia, Université du Québec à Montréal, As an Individual
Marnin Heisel  Associate Professor and Research Scientist, Department of Psychiatry and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Western Ontario
Clerk of the Committee  Mrs. Mariane Beaudin

March 8th, 2012 / 10:35 a.m.

The Clerk of the Committee Mrs. Mariane Beaudin

Tell me if I am incorrect. So it would read:

That the committee undertake a study on improved drug safety measures and develop a federal plan to address the current drug shortage; that it hold at least five (5) meetings on this study to hear witnesses, including the Minister of Health; and that it report its findings to the House of Commons.

Is that right?

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

Thank you.

Discussion? Madam Quach, go ahead.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Thank you.

I accept my colleague Dany Morin's friendly amendment. I feel that it is very important, given that we have been asking the government, specifically the Minister of Health, questions in the House about a plan to address the drug shortage.

I am sure you must know that Sandoz Canada, located in Boucherville, Quebec, is reducing its production at the moment. We know that, in mid-February, the United States Food and Drug Administration contacted Sandoz Canada and told them that they were not complying with quality standards for the drugs and that improvements had to be made in its production chain. The company agreed to make them. Then there was a fire. Since Sandoz Canada is the main supplier of medications to Quebec, specifically for surgery and for injections, more than 60% of the surgeries in two hospitals, those in Hull and Gatineau, were cancelled. In addition, a number of patients have to wait to have their treatments and to get their medications because of the impeding shortage.

At the moment, there is no plan to help those people. The minister said that she was going to import drugs. While we are waiting, we need a plan. It is very important that there be a plan—

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

Ms. Quach, I don't mean to interrupt you, but if we want to get the motion through—it's a very important motion. If everyone is going to have a 15-minute speech, we will run out of time. We've got about six minutes.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

A point of order.

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

I want to make sure, if you watch the time...this is a very important motion and I'd like to get it through today. That's all I'm saying.

If you run out of time, you're going to be disappointed. I just want to make you and all of the members aware of that.

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

A point of order, Madam Chair.

I feel that you showed a lack of respect towards my colleague Ms. Quach when you rushed her and implied that she was making a 15-minute speech. She has the right to express herself in this committee and to explore her thoughts in depth.

Perhaps the clerk could tell us how long Ms. Quach spoke for. I feel that it was nowhere near the 15 minutes mentioned.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

Dr. Morin, I'm just trying to....

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

I have not finished, Madam Chair.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

No, just for one moment. I'm trying to explain to you.

That's not a point of order, number one. Number two, I'd like to get this motion done. I've left this committee business open. This is an extremely important motion. If I don't get it done in the next five minutes, we will go on to the next meeting. So it depends on how much value you put on this motion. I'm trying to get it through. I'm trying to kindly remind you that none of us can do a 15-minute speech because we won't get the motion through. That's the only thing I'm saying.

If you want to talk it out and not pass it today, that's your prerogative.

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Once again, Madam Chair, I feel that our right to speak and to explore our thoughts in depth is not being treated with respect when our Conservative colleagues—

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

There is no point of order.

Dr. Carrie.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

I do want to thank my colleague for bringing up the issue of supply. I do agree that it's an extremely important thing that we bring forward. My understanding is that there was some conversation and the NDP was okay with the scope of what we did propose. There may be a slight difference, I believe. The NDP would like to have the minister here. One of the major differences, though, that I would point out is that the minister is coming here—I think at the next meeting. My colleague is open to ask the minister questions at the next meeting.

This particular issue with the supply is a little bit different from the safety issue. I think that is the issue we can deal with promptly. So I would ask the clerk to read out again what I put forward to see if that is acceptable to the NDP.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

I think we have to deal with Dr. Morin's first. If you have more discussion, we have two choices. You can continue to discuss or we can vote and go on to the next one. The first motion that came through...Ms. Quach. It's a very, very good motion; we all agree to that. We just want to make some decisions here, because this is the process. We only have four minutes.

Do you want to go to the vote now on this motion, or do you want more discussion?

Dr. Morin.

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Thank you for giving me the floor again, Madam Chair.

I feel that we all, on both sides of the table, are in favour of my colleague Ms. Quach's motion and we want to get it through. But we have to have the time to discuss it. As you have mentioned several times, the motion is very important. That is why I do not want to rush things.

I am very pleased that my Conservative colleagues are finally agreeing to take action on drug safety and the drug shortage.

As for the NDP, Ms. Quach raised the matter in the House for the first time on November 22, 2011. She was speaking to the Minister of Health on that occasion. I can even quote her words, which shows the extent to which drug safety is important for the NDP. She asked this question: “When will the Minister of Health require pharmaceutical companies to disclose this vital information to protect children who depend on these drugs?”

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

Thank you.

Can we vote on this motion now? We're going to run out of time. We won't be able to get Ms. Quach's motion through.

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

I have not finished, Madam Chair.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

Can I have a show of hands?

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

No, Madam Chair. It is a very important motion.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

Okay, then, Mr. Morin, you don't want to get the motion through. You want to keep talking.

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

No, I did not say that. On the contrary. Madam Chair, I have to remind you that you decided to set aside five minutes before the end of the meeting in order to discuss the meeting. If you had set aside more committee time in order to discuss it, I would have been delighted and each member of the committee wishing to speak could have done so without being constrained by time.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

Well, 15 minutes, with all due respect, is usually lots of time to push a motion through. Can we vote on this now?

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

I haven't finished speaking, Madam Chair.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joy Smith

You don't want to vote on it now.

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

We are not going to vote before I finish saying what I have to say.