Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak on Bill C-13, an act to establish the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, to repeal the Medical Research Council Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.
This legislation stems from an announcement made initially in the budget of last February, when the health minister mentioned plans to establish a virtual network of research institutes. Then, the latest federal budget announced that an initial amount of $65 million would be earmarked for fiscal year 2000-2001, to be followed by an additional $175 million. If we add all these figures to the existing budgets for the Medical Research Council, we can see that the government's objective is to raise the total amount to close to $500 million.
The act also provides for the establishment of all that is required to manage these health research institutes, so that these facilities can be operational the beginning of April 2000.
The act includes several parts. Some clauses state the objects of the CIHRs. Others, such as clauses 6 to 11, deal with the organization of the CIHRs. Others still deal with the governing council, including its establishment. A series of other clauses include transitional measures or consequential amendments to other acts.
Of course, no one can be opposed to the idea of allocating money for research. Everyone agrees that it is extremely important to conduct health research. Various subjects have already been proposed as being worthy of study, such as aging, research into arthritis, musculoskeletal development, cancer, muscle biology, heart disease and so on.