Mr. Speaker, I welcome the member to the House.
The member has made many misstatements and misrepresentations of the truth. We know the Bloc's agenda is to break up Canada but that is not good for the people of Quebec or of Canada. This is turning into a classic example why that is the case.
Pandemics do not respect provincial borders or international borders. However, in her comments the member seems to suggest that pandemics do respect provincial borders. I will let the people of Canada and Quebec make their own assessment on that.
The member said that there was no need for the federal government to play a role and that somehow we were creating more bureaucracy. In fact, Health Canada and the health minister are ensuring that, within the powers and with the resources that exist, we are better streamlining them in order to deal with a crisis. The member seems to neglect that fact.
In public health, the provinces and the federal government have a joint responsibility, although the provinces do have direct responsibility for hospitals and health services.
I will give one of many examples where this member's argument falls apart. Within public health, we have a national microbiology lab in my home city of Winnipeg which is Canada's only level 4 lab. This lab is routinely called upon to support provincial health authorities detecting potential disease outbreaks. The lab has world experts and facilities to test for these kinds of deadly disease outbreaks. No such lab exists in Quebec.
Is the member suggesting that the people of Quebec should somehow go without the services this lab provides? That may be the Bloc's point of view, perhaps, but the Government of Canada's point of view is that the health of Quebeckers is just as important as the health of all Canadians, which is why we invested a billion dollars in pandemic preparedness in this week's budget.
Why does the Bloc Québécois philosophy put the health of Quebeckers in jeopardy, particularly in regard to the level 4 microbiology lab in Winnipeg ? What is Quebec going to do? It needs those services. It is important that Canadians work together to protect each other because Canada is about mutual support.
I ask the member to comment on the microbiology lab and how Quebec would deal with that without the Public Health Agency.