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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Madam Speaker, to begin with, I am surprised that this member heard my speech considering the fact that he carried on a fairly long, loud conversation with somebody else while I was speaking, which disturbed me greatly. Other than that, I will try to answer his question.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Larry McCormick Liberal Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It is probably the last day in the House and I see some smiles opposite. I proudly say, when I go back to my riding or across this country, that I do have friends in all parties of this House. However, it is not right to make a comment like that. In the six years that I have been here, it would be untrue for me to say that I have not been interrupted vocally and loudly during one of my debates.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I am afraid that is not a point of order.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Madam Speaker, I will try to answer the question put by my hon. colleague.

We have been informed by the provincial health ministers that they have asked, on several occasions, for a meeting with the Minister of Health and the Prime Minister on this issue and have always been refused. The dates keep being put off and are being put further and further in the future.

The government, through the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health, should be concerned about the health care in Canada. All Canadians believe it is in a crisis, contrary to what the health minister may think. The government has had seven years to deal with this deteriorating health care system and it has done exactly the opposite. It has let this thing go and go, to the point where the provinces now have to take matters into their own hands and do things themselves. All one has to do is to look at bill 11. Whether we agree with it or not, the provinces had to take things into their own hands and finally do something.

Just look at the inquiry that the province of Saskatchewan has to do because the Liberal government is not showing leadership on this issue.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Madam Speaker, I appreciated a lot of what the deputy critic said about health care, and he said it so well.

Does the deputy critic have the same interpretation as I do concerning the fact that the Minister of Health got up today and said that he was going to oppose this motion. The motion says that health care is not sustainable in its present form, the status quo is not an option and that the health care system is in crisis.

By saying he is opposed, is he in fact saying that the status quo is just fine, that it is sustainable and that there is in fact no crisis? It seems to me that is what he is saying, or what the Liberal members across, who will be opposing the motion, will be saying with their vote. They should really think about their vote if that is the message that they are sending today.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Madam Speaker, I must say that I was appalled to hear the minister's comments. It was like me going to my doctor with a severe case of pneumonia and him giving me a sugar pill instead of penicillin. That is the way his speech came across today. It was syrupy sentimentalism. It spent a quarter of the time on the American system. We do not want to hear about the American system. We do not want the American system. We want a fixed, made in Canada system. We have people in the House who are willing to work toward that solution. We would like the Liberals to get on board.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington.

I am pleased to participate in a dialogue in the House today on our health care system. It is the most important challenge that members of parliament have before them. Some may describe it as crisis, others will describe it as a challenge, but I will describe it as dynamics.

Canadians understand that we are not a static nation and it is a truism to say that the status quo is not an option, which is part of the motion before us.

We are a dynamic system now. We do have an aging society. The technology of medicine has changed dramatically. The cost of pharmacare is very significant now and it is growing because of the technology of drugs. As an example, there is a drug called TPT which is for heart attack victims. It costs something in the range of $3,000 for one dose, whereas the standard drug used in the past for heart attack victims cost only a few hundred dollars.

There is no question that the members and the motion are correct, the status quo is not an option. I cannot imagine that anything that we have in Canada will remain the same forever and a day. We obviously have to respond.

Part of the premise of the motion, which I think the prior speaker stated when he closed off his speech, was what positive role has the federal government played on behalf of health care. The member's answer was “nothing”.

As a member of parliament and a member of the health committee throughout the 35th parliament and for the last year or so, I have taken a special interest in the issue of health. Prior to becoming a member of parliament, I served on the board of directors of my local hospital for nine years. I was vice-chairman, the treasurer and I was involved in the finances. After nine years I felt very comfortable that I had an idea of what the costs were of delivering health care through a hospital to Canadians, our constituents. When I became a member of parliament I wanted to follow through on the experience I had in my community and become part of the health committee.

One of the first things that happened in the health portfolio, and in direct response to the member's rhetorical question about what the federal government has done, in 1994 the National Forum on Health was established. That was exactly what the government had included in its platform of the 1993 election. The forum had health experts from all across Canada who spent two years consulting with each and every vested interest group in the health care sector to determine what the state of health care was, to determine what resources were there and to determine what the needs or deficiencies were.

One of the significant things that they found about the health care system was that, in their words, “There seemed to be enough money in the system”. At that time, the forum reported that there could be as much as $11 billion of waste in health care spending because of how it was being spent. It was not being spent wisely. It was not getting good value for the dollar. The forum identified a need to change the system and to start thinking about what fundamental principles had to be dealt with in order that our health care system would continue to be dynamic.

Much of the debate that has gone on so far has had a lot to do with money. Members will know that the province of Quebec had, from the 1998 budget, some $800 million available for health care which was in a bank account in Toronto. This money was never used. The province of Ontario was sitting on $400 million that it never used. The province of Newfoundland was sitting on money that it had not used, money that was was transferred and available to it immediately as a result of the budget initiatives in 1998.

I do not think members here will argue with the premise that dollars alone are not the solution. We have provinces that are in surplus positions. How can they say they need the money? If health care is the number one priority of Canadians, why is it that the provinces have priorities which do not match those of the people themselves? Why does Ontario say that its priority is to give $4.3 billion in tax cuts to Ontario taxpayers when they are also saying that health care is in a crisis. If health care is in a crisis, why have the provinces not responded? The money was there. If it was simply a matter of money, they would have done it.

By their actions alone, the provinces do not agree that there is a crisis. The provinces do not agree with the premise of the motion. However, they do agree, as do all Canadians, that we do have some challenges. The health care system has to respond to the growing realities of Canadian society, an aging society, a society where technology is taking over and non-invasive practices are taking place. The costs of MRI machines and CT scanners are substantial. Canadians have to understand that the cost of pharmacare is growing.

When I was first on the board of directors of the Mississauga Hospital, the average length of stay per patient was something like 7.2 days. During the nine years that I was on the board, the average length of stay of a patient at the Mississauga Hospital went down to 4.8 days. Concurrently, the 650 bed hospital was reduced down to 550 beds. However, at the very same time that 100 beds were reduced, and this is a significant number of beds, they concurrently introduced an ambulatory care system that provided day surgery. Instead of people arriving at the hospital a day before the operation, being there for their operation and then convalescing at the hospital, this was eliminated with the ambulatory care system. People now come in the day they need surgery and convalesce at home. However, this has created other problems and other challenges for us to deal with.

As all members know and understand, if patients have shorter lengths of stays in hospitals and convalesce at home, this puts a tremendous burden on families because they are supposed to be there to provide support. Home nursing care may not be readily accessible. There may be some difficulties in providing that kind of service. These are some of the challenges that we have to face.

What else has the federal government done? In 1993 we started with a $42 billion deficit. There was no question that we had to deal with that fiscal crisis so that we could sustain the kind of health care, and social program and support systems for Canadians that reflected the values of Canadians. As soon as we fixed that, what happened in 1998? Some $11.5 billion was injected into health care. In the last budget, $2.5 billion went into health care.

The health minister has met with his provincial counterparts, exactly what the motion says we should start to do. We cannot agree with the motion because we cannot say we should start doing something that we are already doing. To agree with the motion would be to say that we have not done anything.

We have met and negotiated with the provinces. Tomorrow there is another meeting. Canadians will be pleased to know that in September there will be another first ministers meeting that hopefully will bring to a conclusion the negotiations between the federal government and the provincial governments on the next step.

Let me assure everyone that the next step will not just be the transfer of money. It will be how we are going to make our health care system more dynamic so it better meets the present needs of Canadians.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I wanted to put some propositions to the member about the big squeeze the federal government made in the reduction of transfer payments concerning the health care envelope.

Was it in the parental mode saying that it knew best, implying that Canadians were getting too much health care, that the provinces were actually wasteful and that the federal bureaucrats in Ottawa knew how to run local hospitals in a much better way? Was it implying that there was a lot of slack and excess in the system because of what the federal government gave? Is it asking now for a more dynamic system, yet saying it is not money?

How are the five principles of the Canada Health Act going to be enhanced and maintained unless we are prepared to give the provinces the wiggle room? The federal government cannot have it both ways saying that it is going to cast things in cement but it is not going to give them much more money and it is not going to give the provinces who have the constitutional jurisdiction to deal with health care any wiggle room either.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Madam Speaker, the member implies that somehow the federal government operates hospitals. He should know that the provinces have the responsibility for the administration of the health care delivery system. The federal government's responsibilities are to maintain the five pillar principles of the Canada Health Act.

The member also should know that in 1993 the transfers to the provinces for health care were about $28 billion. In 2000 the transfers to the provinces for health care will be $30 billion, more than they were in 1993. Over the last two years there has been a full 25% increase in the cash.

The member should also know that the federal government has made it very clear that there is more money available for health care. The federal government will be contributing more money to health care. All we need to do is make sure that the health care money that is going to be transferred to the provinces will be spent wisely and that there are standards that can be monitored so that all people, whether they be in federal or provincial governments, will have the means to demonstrate to all Canadians that their health care dollars, their tax dollars, are being spent wisely.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Madam Speaker, I listened to my colleague's remarks with great interest. I know of his knowledge of the financial side of health care. It is my understanding that although Canadians are more than willing to pay for good health care, the most economical way to deliver good health care to all citizens is a single publicly funded system. Would he care to comment on that?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Madam Speaker, that conclusion was reached by this House in its discussions on Alberta's bill 11.

The Canadian Alliance party is demanding that Canada look at some of these innovative two tier models. The fact remains that the two tier philosophy of the Canadian Alliance would create longer waiting lists and would be more costly and less productive for Canadians in terms of health care. That is a fact based on those jurisdictions in which there is a parallel private two tier health system.

There is no question this government is committed to the principles of the Canada Health Act: universality, portability, accessibility, comprehensiveness and publicly funded, to the exclusion of the two tier health system that is being proposed by at least one Canadian Alliance leadership candidate. One of the reasons the Canadian Alliance web page on the health initiative is blank is that its members have not decided what they will do until they find out who their leader is.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry McCormick Liberal Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington, ON

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to the number one concern of Canadians and that is health care.

I want to take the time to recognize the great work of the health care professionals in my riding and across Canada. We live in a better country because of the work of our professionals. In rural and small-town Canada they often go the extra mile without a lot of thanks and I say thank you.

One of the key roles of the Government of Canada is helping Canadians to maintain and improve their health. It does so in several ways, most notably by ensuring the continuing availability of our publicly funded health care system.

Providing leadership in the areas of health protection and promotion, the federal government fulfils its mandate in health through various approaches, always respecting the primary roles of the provinces in health care delivery. For example, it contributes financially to the provinces and territories in support of their health care systems and through fiscal measures for individuals such as health and medical expense allowances.

It interprets and enforces the principles of the Health Care Act. It ensures that Canadians have the benefits of timely access to safe, effective drugs and products, and that Canadians are protected from health risks associated with pharmaceuticals, blood products and various medical devices and consumer products. It conducts and funds health research. It develops national disease control strategies in collaboration with the provinces and territories. It ensures access to the community based health care services for first nations and Inuit.

When exercising its leadership and responsibilities in the areas of health promotion, disease prevention and overall management of risks to health, the federal government acts in the spirit of partnership with the provinces and in collaboration with health stakeholders and Canadians.

Some recent concrete examples of federal-provincial collaboration include the development of a strengthened blood system in Canada, intergovernmental action on tobacco control and smoking cessation, and initiatives such as the health transition fund supporting provincial-territorial innovations in home care, pharmacare, primary care and better integrated health services for all Canadians.

The Government of Canada often acts as a facilitator and at times as a co-ordinator on health issues with pan-Canadian dimensions. It has done so on a range of issues in the past, for example to support the development of universal health insurance dating to the 1940s and research and support in areas including child, maternal, mental and dental health also dating to the 1940s. In fact, there is a long tradition of federal-provincial co-operation in the health sector.

The principles and values which have long guided the federal government in intergovernmental collaboration in the health arena are also consistent with those outlined in the social union framework agreement.

An excellent current example of the benefits of federal-provincial co-operation are two initiatives announced recently by our federal Minister of Health. They are the innovations in rural and community health and the Canadian health infostructure partnerships program, known as CHIPP. Both initiatives are meant to ensure that all Canadians no matter where they live in Canada have access to top health care.

The innovations in rural and community health is a $50 million investment. Two-thirds of this money will go toward supporting innovations in community health care such as access to home and community care, affordability and accessibility of pharmaceuticals, and improvement in integrated service delivery.

Another $11 million will go toward rural health. The objectives of the rural health grants and contributions programs are to promote integration and accessibility of health services, to explore ways to address workforce issues and to examine system reforms to improve the delivery of health services.

Health Canada has been working closely with the provinces and territories in the development of our rural health grants and contributions program to identify areas of shared concern. All provinces and territories agreed that the objectives and priorities for the funding program complement and support their own.

The Canadian health infostructure partnerships program, CHIPP, is a two year $80 million shared cost incentive program which will support the implementation of innovative applications of information and communication technologies in the health sector. It will focus on two priorities: telehealth and protected electronic patient records.

Telehealth is a key element in improving access to health services for all Canadians, especially those in the rural and remote areas. It represents a great opportunity for our country to improve access to care, as well as to develop a cutting edge industry.

Electronic patient records will also facilitate improved patient care through improving the integration of services, avoiding needless tests, and better prescription benefits.

As chair of the rural caucus on this side of the House and as someone who lives in a rural area of Canada, I have had the opportunity to speak to a lot of my constituents and often with other rural Canadians across the country, about the health care challenges which face rural and remote Canada. We know about the difficulties that rural areas have in attracting and keeping health care professionals.

After a long period of consultation we recommended to the Minister of Health that an effort be made to move to multi-use or multidisciplinary primary care approaches. The minister supported our recommendations and I thank him. It will be a priority area of discussion at the federal-provincial level. May I also say that I am delighted that the Canadian Institutes of Health Research interim governing council has recommended the creation of an office of rural health to promote and support rural health research.

These are only a few ways that federal, provincial and territorial co-operation has produced results in this country.

Let me conclude my remarks by saying that Canadians no matter where they live expect health services of the highest quality. They want their governments to work together and not play politics. They want them to come up with lasting solutions to ensure the future of publicly funded health care. The Government of Canada is committed to federal-provincial partnerships to serve the health care interests of all Canadians.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member will have five minutes for questions and comments when debate is resumed on the motion.

Legacy Of LoganStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Richardson Liberal Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to present what is happening across Ontario on the development of a history during the millennium period.

As part of Canada's ongoing millennium celebration, I was fortunate to attend a book launch for the Logan township history book entitled Legacy of Logan .

The lifeblood of any community is the people who live there. The Legacy of Logan has captured that mood. The book covers the area's history from the beginning of the Canada Company to the present by providing rich detail on the lives of everyday people from the area, such as farmers, businessmen, war veterans, teachers and clergy, and the institutions they created.

Special congratulations go to Barbara Scherbarth, the chair of the Logan Township History Book Committee, and especially to Hilary Machan who worked tirelessly to edit the 700 page tome. Congratulations to all those in Logan Township.

Progressive Conservative PartyStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Gary Lunn Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, once again we are reminded why the federal Tories went from 211 seats to two in the House. The House leader of the fifth party has tabled motions to reduce the operating expenditures of specific government departments. Let us look at these specific motions.

The Tories want to take $1 billion out of health care. They want to slash the operating budget of our military by $7 billion. However, when it comes to the mismanagement of the human resources department which has been wasting taxpayers' dollars all year, would the Clark Tories significantly reduce that department? No.

Once again Joe Clark is proving just how out of touch he is with ordinary Canadians by gutting health care, destroying our defence department, yet ensuring there is plenty of money to continue with the legacy of the billion dollar boondoggle in HRDC. With policies like that, it is no wonder that 130,000 people have signed up to join the Canadian Alliance in hopes of a new government, a change they have been looking forward to for a long time.

National Infrastructure ProgramStatements By Members

June 15th, 2000 / 1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted that the government is going ahead with a national infrastructure program in co-operation with the municipalities and the provinces.

The federal funds were committed in the budget. The government is negotiating with the provinces to determine how the program will be conducted.

I urge again that the municipalities play the major role in the selection of projects which qualify under the program. I also urge that, where appropriate, colleges and universities be able to participate, as they did in our first national infrastructure program.

There is a crisis in the core funding of colleges and universities across Canada, despite considerable increases in federal funding. Infrastructure support would help with this crisis. Colleges and universities are a key part of the infrastructure of Canada.

National Public Service WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, during this National Public Service Week celebrating valuable contributions that federal public servants make, I was happy to attend an awards ceremony where the Nunavut team was honoured, among others.

Public servants from all government departments, plus our Nunavut organizations who worked so hard in the creation of Nunavut received an award of excellence for their outstanding contribution. The award was presented by the President of the Treasury Board. These hard-working individuals were creative and dedicated to the creation of Nunavut. Their efforts helped to change the map of Canada. Helping to create Nunavut is an achievement they can certainly be proud of.

I also want to take this opportunity to wish all of my colleagues a good summer.

Mutna

Laurie ThronessStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, as you know, it is the opposition's job to hold the government accountable. We have been doing that for the last 20 weeks on the HRDC file.

Today I would like to stand in my place and acknowledge the sterling work of our HRDC researcher, Laurie Throness. MPs look good mostly because their researchers and assistants help them to look good. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, you can attest to that fact. We appreciate Laurie's work. He has become an expert in the use of the Access to Information Act, so much so that the department is now stonewalling and denying his requests.

Laurie Throness is a dedicated public servant. We appreciate his work and Canadians owe him a great debt of gratitude for what he has done.

Mayor Of HullStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, Habitat, paid a very special tribute to his honour the mayor of Hull, Yves Ducharme, appointing him special advisor to the United Nations.

Mr. Ducharme is the only mayor in North America to sit on the UN local authorities advisory committee, a body set up by the UN to consolidate the role and increase the involvement of cities in the Habitat program.

As the ambassador of the City of Hull to the world, Mr. Ducharme will thus have the privilege of sharing his expertise on urban development with the mayors of such cities as Moscow, Barcelona, Venice and Johannesburg.

I therefore take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Ducharme on this prestigious appointment and I am sure he will worthily represent his citizens in providing advice on the challenges and opportunities in growing urbanization at the dawn of the new millennium.

The Prime MinisterStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, so our Prime Minister in a speech in Berlin to an international audience proposed, with a straight face, Liberal compassion as an example to the world as a whole. History does not say whether his host, Chancellor Schroeder, managed not to laugh when he heard this astounding remark. Liberal compassion—mind boggling.

The man who savagely cut benefits to the unemployed, the man who, despite a unanimous request by the National Assembly, refuses to discuss extended parental leave for all couples, the man who is largely responsible for the staggering number of poor children in Canada, this man dares set himself up as an example of compassion to the world. What arrogance, in what contempt he must hold his peers in order to dish out such revolting untruths.

Let us be fair, however. One category of citizen has benefited from Liberal compassion: the shareholders of our major banks. The Minister of Finance is giving them tax relief to the tune of $500 million.

Our Prime Minister's compassion is for billionaire companies. Everything for the rich and as little as possible for the poor. More of a hypocrite than that is not possible.

CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year, one of the oldest and most respected NGOs in the area of human rights, the American Jewish Committee, honours one country for its contribution to human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

This year, that country is Canada, and the award was presented to His Excellency, Raymond Chrétien, Canada's ambassador to the United States, on Monday evening at the Canadian embassy in Washington.

Canada was selected because of its human security program, its respect for religious diversity and collective identity, and its fight against racism and anti-Semitism.

As the guest speaker, and the day before I was to speak here on Bill C-19, I devoted my speech to the human security program, focusing on the protection of civilians during armed conflict.

The Canadian AllianceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you, my colleagues in the House and all Canadians for the opportunity to serve as the Leader of the Opposition for these last three months. It has been a great honour, and it has been a great spring.

I want to thank the House of Commons staff also for their excellent service to us. I also thank my entire staff who have worked so hard to help me and our whole caucus team.

We have kept the Prime Minister under the glare, shaking in his boots. He has been running for cover over the billion dollar boondoggle, backbench revolts and leadership brawls. It must be a terror to sit on that side of the House these days.

Summer will arrive next week and it is going to get even hotter for the government. Over 150,000 members of the Canadian Alliance are going to unite the bright and elect a new leader. I want to wish our new leader the very best.

We are dedicated to achieving what Canadians want but what Liberals cannot give—the best economy, the best democracy and the best society in the best country—the Canadian Alliance.

Meridian TechnologiesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the good news continues for the town of Strathroy as the doors to the world headquarters of Meridian Technologies were opened last Saturday.

The new global technology centre is 24,000 square feet of advanced engineering, planning and program design departments, serving all of its factories around the world.

The firm's CEO, Paolo Maccario, stated that the new Strathroy plant is the cradle of knowledge for Meridian worldwide.

The company has six plants around the globe, including one in Strathroy since 1980, producing a variety of aluminum and magnesium parts for the auto industry. A seventh plant is currently under construction.

For a town of 12,000 people, Strathroy certainly has something to celebrate, as Meridian's new technology centre is just one of several new factories and expansions that have been announced in the past year.

This is another outstanding example of global firms recognizing the qualities of a rural community.

The Wave 94.7 FmStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, jazz enthusiasts in Hamilton are celebrating now that The Wave 94.7 FM has been approved by the CRTC. This new station has decided to locate on Hamilton Mountain in my riding.

The station is the first in Canada to use the new adult contemporary or smooth jazz format. The station is going to spend $25,000 annually to promote and showcase jazz in the Hamilton area.

It is because of this government's commitment to small business that The Wave 94.7 FM is able open its doors and provide full time work for approximately 20 people. These new employees will have the challenge of building a successful new radio station from scratch.

I am sure all hon. members will join me in congratulating the people at The Wave 94.7 FM and wish them a successful launch for this new station.

PrivacyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Louise Hardy NDP Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government has collected and disseminated private information on Canadian citizens. This Liberal government takes private income tax information and gives it to HRDC. It takes sensitive health care information and records and gives them to HRDC to use against Canadians. Courtesy of this government, a young woman's medical history, social insurance number and income tax information was posted on grocery store bulletin boards.

Who gave Revenue Canada the right to pass out confidential information, and why can the government misuse this information while MPs have to get ministerial approval to get public speeches they have made?

These tactics are something we would expect of a military regime, not a democracy.