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House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vaccine.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem, led by the hon. member for Halifax.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary ProgramStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize 25 youthful delegates from Ukraine who have visited with us during the past eight weeks. They are here, in members' offices, to gain valuable perspectives on Canada's most important democratic institution: the Parliament of Canada.

These young people, representing the Canada-Ukraine parliamentary program, embody the highest ideals of achievement and community service. These young people, like Roman Bits from my office, are the future leaders of Ukraine.

Canada and Ukraine are inextricably linked forever by prior migration. Fully one in thirty Canadians is of Ukrainian descent, as are my wife, daughters and granddaughters.

Ukraine holds a special place in the hearts of Canadians. Canada was the first country in the western world to accord diplomatic recognition in 1991 to an independent Ukraine.

As the young emissaries depart, we wish them well and say to them, Mnohaya lita.

HealthStatements By Members

November 4th, 2009 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the emergency debate on the H1N1 pandemic was necessary, but it was an emergency that should never have been, a debate that should never have been necessary, resulting from the government's own skewed priorities, mismanagement and confusion.

There were five concrete recommendations: one, restore the $400 million pandemic reserve from the 2006 budget to support additional medical staff for vaccinations and patient care; two, reinforce the underfunded and overextended public health system; three, support emergency planning to help local health authorities cope with large lineups, shortage of vaccines and needed health care workers; four, divert the $60 million being spent on partisan political advertising to a public awareness campaign; and five, put an end to diversionary constitutional babble that prevents the responsibility to protect from being implemented.

Robert GagnéStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute to Robert Gagné, a big-hearted man who has been giving of his time as a volunteer for 53 years.

Born into a modest family of five children, Mr. Gagné began volunteering at the age of 13. He is involved with a wide variety of organizations in both the sports community and the social sector. He provides support, comfort and a sympathetic ear to young people, seniors and people who are ill or in need.

A deputy grand Knight of Columbus in Terrebonne, he was a finalist four times at the prestigious Griffon d'Or gala. Recently, he was recognized as volunteer of the year by the Table des aînés de Lanaudière, which presented him with a medal.

Mr. Gagné, you are a great man. Your generosity does you credit, and the community of Terrebonne thanks you. My Bloc Québécois colleagues join me in extending our heartfelt congratulations to you.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month and New Democrats are incredibly disheartened by the Conservative government's failure to address violence against women.

A year after the United Nations CEDAW report made recommendations that Canada do more to protect women from violence, we have seen little action. The report chastised the federal government for failing to fully investigate missing and murdered aboriginal women. It also called on the federal government to fully fund women's shelters and other support services and, finally, the report called on the federal government to further protect victims of domestic violence.

The women and children of this nation have the right to expect safety and security in their communities, and they have a right to expect the government to uphold that safety. Instead, the Conservatives have taken key steps to eradicate the voices of women in this country. They have stopped funding and have wiped out many organizations that lobbied and assisted women in the fight against violence against women.

This action has had a silencing effect on women's voices and has limited the ability of women to lobby for the adequate support—

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale.

United States Ambassador to CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, on October 2, Canadians were delighted to receive the new ambassador from the United States, David Jacobson.

As the representative of our nation's closest friend, ally and trading partner, Ambassador Jacobson embodies the hopes and dreams our two nations share for a bright North American future. Ambassador Jacobson has already been busy touring the country from coast to coast and, as we can read on his blog, he has already had some pretty incredible experiences in our great land.

As a co-chair of the all-party border caucus and as the member of Parliament for the busiest border crossing in western Canada, I look forward to working with Ambassador Jacobson on a variety of areas of mutual concern. In particular, I look forward to working with him on ways that we can improve the efficiency and security of our borders.

On behalf of all the members of the border caucus, I want to warmly welcome Ambassador David Jacobson to Canada.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, this Friday is the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflicts.

War poisons the air, water and land. It destroys governance and conservation efforts and leads to the exploitation of natural resources and the mass killing of species, driving them to extinction.

The world has a responsibility to protect but it does not have an obligation to act. We have a judicial mechanism but no enforcement mechanism. One of the great challenges we have is to establish that enforcement mechanism.

Canada and the Liberal government were leaders in the establishment of a responsibility to protect. The Conservative government has failed to lead on after that, to lead and develop a responsibility to protect. If we do not do it, the people and the environments in conflict will pay a fatal price. This we must not allow to occur.

Take Our Kids to Work DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, each year on the first Wednesday of November, thousands of grade 9 students participate in Take Our Kids to Work Day.

Now in its 15th year, this program sponsored by The Learning Partnership sees approximately 250,000 students across Canada take part in a day-long job-shadowing experience. It connects young people to the world of work with the goal of giving them the opportunity to explore career options.

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Take Our Kids to Work, The Learning Partnership along with Scotiabank launched a six-week national online photo contest. After tremendous response, a winner was chosen for the ultimate dream job photo contest.

With the dream of one day becoming a manga artist, a Japanese-inspired comic designer, a grade 9 student from Claresholm, Alberta, Chandler Blott won with over 4,000 votes. The prize was a two-day trip to Ottawa to meet our Prime Minister today. Chandler, who from the age of three has lived in a silent world, communicates through her creativity.

Please join me in thanking and congratulating my great-niece, Chandler Blott.

Canada PostStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, municipal officials in the riding of Berthier—Maskinongé are worried about the future of their post office. I have received resolutions from Lanoraie, Yamachiche, Saint-Didace, Saint-Cuthbert, Saint-Étienne-des-Grès, Saint-Alexis-des-Monts, Maskinongé and Saint-Justin demanding that their post offices remain open.

As well, petitions are circulating in order to make the federal government aware that the people in these communities want to keep this essential service.

The minister responsible for Canada Post must confirm in no uncertain terms that the moratorium on closing post offices will be maintained and that fire, an expired lease or the retirement, illness or death of Canada Post staff will not be used to get around the moratorium.

The municipalities and the people of Quebec and Berthier—Maskinongé deserve an official commitment from the federal government.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our Conservative government introduced legislation that will provide self-employed Canadians with access to EI special benefits so they no longer have to choose between their family and work responsibilities.

This bill will have a positive impact on the lives of 2.6 million self-employed Canadians who are so integral to our economy. But do not take it from me; listen to what Canadians are saying.

Richard Phillips from the Grain Growers of Canada applauded the initiative and said that for a lot of young farm families, this could be the difference between whether they stay on the farm or leave the farm.

Catherine Swift, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said that the initiative would fill a “glaring gap” for people who run their own business, especially women.

And there are many more examples.

Canadians want to know whether the Liberal leader will continue to vote against hard-working Canadians or for once will do the right thing and work with this government to support Canadian families.

Media Literacy WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is national Media Literacy Week.

Youth in Canada are extremely tech savvy and interact with media on a daily basis. Whether surfing the Internet, listening to music or playing video games, young people have an amazing ability to learn and use a variety of media platforms and connect with friends, family and people around the world.

However, Media Literacy Week seeks to remind us that despite how technology savvy they are, young people still require guidance and mentorship to develop the critical thinking skills they need to become responsible and engaged citizens as well as responsible media consumers.

Hosted by Media Awareness Network and the Canadian Teachers' Federation, Media Literacy Week encourages parents, educators and community leaders to integrate and practise media and digital literacy in their homes, schools and communities.

This year's theme, media literacy in the digital age, emphasizes the multiple literacy skills needed by today's youth for accessing, evaluating, creating and distributing digital media content.

I applaud the Media Awareness Network and the Canadian Teachers' Federation for their hard work in creating a dialogue about the ongoing challenges and opportunities that online media present for our young people.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-50 aims to extend access to employment insurance by 5 to 20 weeks for long-tenured workers.

This fourth measure follows the assistance announced by our government a few months ago to help the unemployed. It offers financial assistance directly to workers while they look for new jobs.

Just yesterday in the House, the Bloc decided to keep its promise of “No, no, no” and it did not support Bill C-50, just as it has not supported any of our government's good initiatives.

The Bloc is failing in its commitment to properly represent the people of its ridings. It is abandoning all Quebec workers when it obstructs the work of the House.

This time, the Bloc is clearly abandoning workers in the manufacturing and forestry sectors who desperately need help. I am talking about people who have worked hard and contributed to the employment insurance plan for years, who are now unemployed and have families to take care of and bills to pay.

Our Conservative government is taking action to help the workers hit the hardest by the global economic crisis. Quebeckers and Canadians can be sure that we have the interests of their families at heart.

Northern and Rural CanadiansStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, northern and rural Canadians deserve real support. They are worried about their livelihoods and their communities. They are concerned about essential services that could be taken away.

Many people across northern Manitoba, in Flin Flon, The Pas, Cross Lake, Leaf Rapids, Lynn Lake and other communities are concerned about losing their postal service and are saying no to reductions and privatization of Canada Post services.

They are concerned about the health care in their communities and the real shortage of doctors.

They are asking for affordable housing and they are asking for support for the industries which they support through their work; support for family farms and rural infrastructure; support for miners and forestry workers when it comes to putting a stop to foreign buyouts and agreements that sell our jobs; and support to fishers who, as seasonal workers, ask for supportive legislation in the area of EI and pensions.

The NDP stands proudly for northern and rural Canadians. We fight for people in our regions. While the Conservatives pay lip service, we fight for the justice and the services we all deserve.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, today, members of the House will stand to vote on my private member's bill to end the long gun registry.

The registry has not cracked down on criminals like the Liberals said it would. Instead, it has targeted hard-working farmers, hunters, sports shooters and aboriginals.

The Liberal leader and the leader of the NDP have made it clear. They will continue to support this waste of taxpayer money.

Some opposition MPs have decided that they will represent their constituents' wishes and tonight they will vote to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. They are to be commended. I hope this will be the case for all MPs who have ever told a constituent that the long gun registry should be scrapped.

Across this country, concerned long gun owners, police officers and Canadians have expressed discontent with this boondoggle.

It is time for members in the House to do what our constituents have asked us to do and end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

Literary AwardsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is the week of francophone literary awards. The Robert-Cliche award, the most prestigious award for young Quebec writers, was won by Olivia Tapiero for her novel, Les Murs. This young woman, who is only 19, chronicles the difficult life of an anorexic teen attempting yet again to commit suicide.

The Quebec writer of Haitian origin, Dany Laferrière, was recognized once more: this morning he won the Médicis award in the French-language novel category for L'Énigme du retour. He is the second Quebecker to win this illustrious prize from France; Marie-Claire Blais won in 1966.

I would also like to mention two other major French literary awards. The Goncourt, the Oscar of French-language literature, was won by Marie NDiaye, for her book Trois femmes puissantes, and the Renaudot was awarded to Frédéric Beigbeder for his novel Un roman français.

On behalf of all Bloc Québécois members, I wish to congratulate these very talented francophone authors, who have taken their places among the great authors of Quebec and French literature.

Cape Breton HighlandersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to defending Canada and democracy, Cape Bretoners have always been ready to step up and do their duty. They have served in every major conflict in the last 100 years.

Cape Bretoners take pride in their home grown unit, the 2nd Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders. In late World War I, it distinguished itself at the Battle of Vimy Ridge with the capture of Hill 145, considered a pivotal enemy stronghold.

During World War II, the Cape Breton contingent took part in the Italian campaign, including the breaching of the Hitler Line that opened the road to Rome and the Gothic Line, which included the taking of Coriano Ridge. Later deployed to northern Europe, the Highlanders fought hard in helping to liberate Holland.

Today, Cape Breton reservists have voluntarily served in Afghanistan with distinction.

I call upon the House to commend the Cape Breton Highlanders for their selfless defence of our freedom.

Canadian Olympic AthletesStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the countdown is on. The Olympic Winter Games are only 100 days away.

These will truly be Canada's games as we all welcome the world to Vancouver and to Whistler. This will be a celebration of excellence in the true north.

Not only will VANOC stage the best games ever, I am confident that our Canadian team will be our best ever too. Last winter, our Canadian athletes shattered the record and brought home the most World Cup medals that our country has ever won across all sports in one season.

Canadians from coast to coast to coast are proud to support our athletes by wearing our red mittens. Our government is providing practical support for Canada's team through the “Own the Podium” program, and in February we will see the results.

I ask all members of the House to raise their voices and raise their mittens to show support for our Canadian athletes.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and France, began purchasing vaccines at the beginning of May. Thirty-five countries purchased vaccines before this government woke up.

Why? Where was the Prime Minister? Why does he show up for a photo op to announce the construction of a piece of sidewalk but is nowhere to be found when it comes to Canadians' health?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are following the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. Quite frankly, the statistics speak for themselves. Vaccine is more available in Canada than anywhere else in the world.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we keep hearing that the vaccine is available, so why are there shortages? Why are clinics closing? Why are people waiting eight hours in line? There is a disconnect between what the Prime Minister is saying and the reality on the ground.

Two weeks ago, the health minister said that the vaccine would be available to all Canadians by November. Now it is pushed on until Christmas. Local authorities cannot plan because they cannot predict a reliable federal supply of this vaccine.

When will the Prime Minister take his responsibilities and not only give the provinces and territories the predictability they need, but also the resources?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the government has been very clear about when and how many doses will be rolled out. Next week there will be an additional 1.8 million doses available, which will bring the total to 8.5 million doses.

The provinces are in the process of distributing this. It is the largest and quickest mass vaccine program in Canadian history and, of course, we will do everything necessary to support their efforts in this regard.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General reported yesterday that for four years the government has failed to prepare an emergency preparedness program that would coordinate the activities of government in a time of national crisis, such as a national H1N1 pandemic. There is still no plan to coordinate activity across government.

Does the Prime Minister agree with the Auditor General's findings and, if so, when will the government present the plan that she requires and that it committed to provide?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course, the vaccination program is being run under the national pandemic plan, not under the emergency response plan, so the Leader of the Opposition has his facts confused in this regard.

In terms of the emergency preparedness plan, the government has been operating and road-testing that plan through a number of incidents, including the Manitoba floods, and we will be finalizing that plan in the near future.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the pandemic is the first thing the Auditor General mentions in her report.

For $45 million, the Conservative government could hire 3,000 extra nurses, double the number of vaccination sites or extend the hours of operation to accelerate flu vaccinations. The priority is to get more people vaccinated faster.

Why are the Conservatives putting up to $45 million into partisan signs on everything from trains to doorknobs instead of helping people fight the flu?