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House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was security.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. It is impossible to hear the hon. member. There is too much noise today. The hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve has the floor, and I want to be able to hear him.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, Apotex produces a drug that has yet to be approved by Health Canada and that infringes the rights enjoyed by Bayer under the Patent Act.

Does the minister realize that, by signing such a supply contract with Apotex, the government has encouraged a company to infringe the Patent Act and produce drugs that have not been approved by his own department, Health Canada?

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I already announced yesterday, Apotex intends to return to the Government of Canada all of the money we spent on the pills.

I note too that the government of the United States is moving in the same direction regarding patents in order to protect public access to the drugs necessary.

Yesterday, the Government of the United States announced it is examining Cipro patent protection for Bayer, because health protection is vital.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, what Apotex has done in no way alters the fact that the minister is delinquent, guilty of breaking the law.

He must explain how his officials ended up signing a contract with Apotex when it was not entitled to produce the drug or stock it under legislation we passed in this parliament.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, if the officials made a mistake, it was made in good faith. What counts is that they acted and reacted to protect the public.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, little or none of the money that was announced last week by the government for the RCMP will be used to hire new agents.

This was confirmed yesterday when the commissioner of the RCMP came before committee. He said that it could use more money. This contradicts the solicitor general's assertion that the RCMP is adequately resourced.

I ask the solicitor general, will the RCMP, given its increased responsibilities and mandates, be receiving additional funds to hire and train more frontline officers for the fight against terrorism?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have told my hon. colleague in the House many times, just under $2 billion has been allocated to the public safety envelope.

My hon. colleague is also well aware that the commissioner of the RCMP said quite clearly yesterday that he was fully able to fulfil his mandate.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, he also said that they were having to risk manage the threats and that they were also taking certain responsibilities off the table.

I would like to ask the solicitor general about the $10 million in increased funding for CSIS over the past few years. Virtually all the funding restored to CSIS has gone into new technology. According to a former high ranking CSIS member, the intelligence operations are in desperate need of skilled analysts to go through the mountain of information they have.

Will the solicitor general ensure the necessary analysts are hired so that all the information CSIS gathers--

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. solicitor general.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

I am not sure, Mr. Speaker, who is the high ranking official my hon. colleague is talking to, but the individual I talk to is the director of CSIS. The director of CSIS has indicated to me that he has the funds to fulfil his mandate. If any more funding is required, it will be supplied.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, before opting for a drug that had not been approved, the Department of Health must have conducted a very thorough check at Bayer to make sure the company could not meet the demand.

My question to the Minister of Health is very simple. Could he tell us who conducted this check in his department and who was contacted at Bayer?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I already mentioned, Bayer stated twice last week that it could not provide the necessary drug. Under these circumstances, officials immediately took action to protect the health of Canadians and ordered pills from Apotex.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Health was so concerned about public health, can he tell us why he ignored the advice of his own public servants who, 14 months ago, on June 2, 2000, told him that a stock of antibiotics should be built up in case of a bioterrorist attack for which the minister and the department had no emergency plan?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this shows once again how cautious Health Canada is.

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the justice committee heard today that, unlike the British legislation, the Canadian anti-terrorism legislation has no mechanism to provide for review of the minister's absolute power to deny Canadians the right to access information in the hands of the government.

Why has the minister decided to deny the privacy commissioner the right to review her unfettered right to hide information from Canadians?

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before in the House, the power to which the hon. member refers is an exceptional one to be used in limited circumstances.

Let me say that I know the committee is hearing very interesting information in relation to proposed clarifications or modifications of those provisions. We as a government understand how important this legislation is and therefore I look forward to the advice and recommendations provided by the committee on this very important matter.

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the justice committee heard from the privacy commissioner that the minister's legislation contains a back door that will gut Canadian privacy legislation. Other jurisdictions, including Great Britain, have not resorted to this draconian measure that the Minister of Justice feels is necessary to control Canadians.

Will the minister commit today to amending the legislation to permit an independent review of her unfettered power to hide information from Canadians?

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what I commit to today is to listen carefully and attentively to the advice and recommendations from both the House standing committee and the Senate committee.

If in fact it is possible to improve this legislation, we on this side of the House are more than willing to engage in that discussion.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. In response to a question this afternoon he indicated that he will soon be tabling a budget in the House.

As we are entering uncertain economic times, does the minister's department have the required information to deliver a budget this year that will present both a current picture of the economy and where the economy is heading?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question is very much to the point.

The fact is that the impact of September 11 was quite serious. There is obviously a great deal of short term uncertainty out there. It will be very important for us to have the national accounts so that we can see what in fact occurred following September 11.

At the same time it is necessary for us to be able to lay out the financial underpinnings of a fight against terrorism, the fight for national security here at home, the military fight that is taking place outside our borders. We definitely will be in a position to provide all of the information and a full accounting.

HealthOral Question Period

October 24th, 2001 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, regarding the anthrax drug fiasco, the health minister certainly was justified in trying to find a way around his government's regressive legislation on drug patents and to try to get a cheaper generic version of Cipro.

Ironically in the United States it was the threat of a patent waiver from congress that convinced Bayer to lower its price to $1.60 per pill in Canadian dollars. Compare that to the $2.50 per pill that this government will now pay Bayer.

Given what has just happened in the United States, could the Minister of Health tell us if he is going to actually keep this contract with Bayer or does he have some other plans now?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I have already observed, the Americans are going in the same direction we were talking about earlier in the week which is looking at the connection between patents and profits at a time of urgent public need.

I can tell the member there is no price mentioned in the agreement with Bayer. The fact is that I have written to the president of Bayer today to say that we expect that Canadians will get the benefit of the same reduction in price that the Americans are provided with. I fully expect that will be the case.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the health minister will agree that the government is now paying the price for its blind support for multinational drug corporations.

He will know that Bayer has used the automatic two year delay clause in our patent legislation four times to tie up processing patents for Cipro in the courts since 1993. If the government had acted to rid us of that clause which the supreme court called draconian, a cheaper generic version of this drug might have been available to Canadians as early as 1995.

Will the health minister today at least agree to review the patent legislation with a view to making sure that cheaper generic drugs are available?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker--

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

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