Mr. Speaker, the answer is as follows:
a) Compensation to those infected by hepatitis C through the Canadian blood system has been provided by numerous sources. Approximately 6000 individuals were compensated through the federal/provincial/territorial agreement reached in 1999 to compensate those infected from January 1, 1986 to July 1, 1990. Individuals infected outside this window have received compensation through the insolvency of the Red Cross and depending on the province, from their provincial governments.
b) There is no definition of “full compensation”. One way to interpret full compensation is when the Courts have approved compensation packages as being in the best interests of the class and fair. The 1986-1990 class has received a generous compensation package and approximately 6000 individuals have received it.
c) If this is intended to mean those who are waiting for compensation from the federal government, the exact class size would be determined through the eligibility criteria of a final settlement agreement.
d) The Government of Canada fully intends to proceed with its commitment to provide compensation to those infected with hepatitis C through the blood system. Discussions are taking place with counsel representing those infected before January 1, 1986 and after July 1, 1990. Much work is taking place at the present time to make progress on a settlement and a compensation arrangement. Given that this is a negotiation, no firm date can be given as to when a final agreement will be reached, but the government is committed to compensating the class as quickly as possible.
e) Both parties in the negotiation have agreed that the substance of the discussions would remain between them, and stay at the negotiating table. I must respect this agreement but I can assure you that significant work is underway at the present time to make progress on a final settlement agreement. Discussions are taking place and we will compensate the class as quickly as possible. The most recent negotiating session was held May 24-26, 2006.