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House of Commons Hansard #72 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

Topics

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I think we will go directly to the question without unnecessary comments about the answers, the responses or whatever.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government has been in office for three and a half years and all the crises have happened on its watch, not on our watch. It is time to get serious.

Will there be new international isotope supplies guaranteed for Canada? How many are needed and—

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Natural Resources.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the member indicated that there were not any outages and there were not any difficulties on the Liberals' watch. The reality is in 2003 they understood that the world's hope for medical isotopes, the MAPLEs 1 and 2, were not going to work. It was a case of either being ignorant of the situation or not caring themselves.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment has invented a new concept: variable targets.

In 2007 in Bali, the government recognized the targets of 20% to 40%, using 1990 as the reference year. Yesterday, the Minister of the Environment said that only his target of 20% by 2020, using 2006 as the reference year, has always counted.

Is this hypocrisy and double-talk not proof that the minister's approach is biased in favour of the oil companies?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we can always expect a partisan attitude from the Bloc Québécois. Once again, the opposition is wrong. Our government is actively working to protect the environment.

Today at noon, I announced the creation of the foundation for the development of the carbon market and how it will work. Over the next 60 days, we will be holding consultations on this policy. We plan on introducing this policy in the fall, and the Bloc Québécois should work with us.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not the only one saying it. The Minister of Natural Resources has the same view of the environment minister, and that must be what she really thinks because she did not apologize. That is the reality.

Does the Minister of the Environment realize that his response in the House proves one thing, that the government does not care about international talks on climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe what the Bloc member is saying today. I just participated in a series of meetings in France, Norway and Denmark in preparation for the Copenhagen summit in December to fight climate change. I invited the Bloc Québécois to join me on this trip, but the Bloc prefers to play the armchair critic here.

CFB ValcartierOral Questions

June 10th, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to federal government documents, more than 71 sites on CFB Valcartier are contaminated with toxic or radioactive substances. After the scandal with TCE contaminated water, now we have new evidence of National Defence negligence and confirmation of its lack of concern with human and environmental health.

Does the Minister of National Defence not understand that it is high time action was taken and a plan put in place to decontaminate these sites?

CFB ValcartierOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the identification of the contaminated site at CFB Valcartier is proof of the Canadian Forces' resolve to always protect health and safety.

In fact, National Defence has had programs in place for a long time to locate contaminated sites and determine potential risks. When contaminated sites are discovered, National Defence takes all the steps required to mitigate any potential risk.

CFB ValcartierOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, some 23,000 people already—and many more to come—have signed a petition calling upon the federal government to acknowledge its responsibility for the contaminated water at Shannon, to compensate victims, and to clean up the sites in question.

What concrete actions will the minister take at last to reassure the members of the Shannon citizens' coalition, who are here on the Hill today.

CFB ValcartierOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, since there is a class action before the courts, it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment on this specific point at this time.

CFB Valcartier provides drinking water to members of the Canadian Forces and their families, as well as to the municipality of Shannon. In recent years, we have invested over $40 million in projects to improve and maintain the base water supply system as well as to help the municipality of Shannon improve its own system.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Natural Resources told Canadians that the isotope crisis was under control and that there was nothing to worry about. Yesterday, the president of the Ontario Association of Nuclear Medicine said that some hospitals will run out of medical isotopes by tomorrow or Friday.

Can the minister confirm that, yes or no?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the situation related to the supply will vary by day, by community and by provinces. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories to identify alternatives. The alternatives are there now, to be accessed by provinces and territories as they see the need. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories in addressing some of their concerns.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Natural Resources said that Canada was equipped to secure international supplies of isotopes. She claimed to have the international infrastructure in place to address the shortage. The minister has been trying to portray herself as leading and winning on isotopes, but Canadian cancer patients are losing precious time.

Will the minister admit she cannot predict how much of the shortage in Canadian hospitals can be made up by international suppliers?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated already that Canada has a leadership position with respect to the global supply. In fact, next week I will be chairing a panel at a conference in Toronto, which brings together, in one room, all the world leading producers of medical isotopes.

What is important is to show and indicate that we have close contact with the industry on this issue. Indeed, we can report from industry that next week more than 50% of normal supply will be available. We are going to keep in contact with the medical community and keep pushing out the information so Canadians know what is going on.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Actually, Mr. Speaker, Canada lost its leadership role under the Conservative government's watch.

Dr. Chris O'Brien of the Association of Nuclear Medicine warned that in 36 hours regional hospitals in Ontario would have no medical isotopes to do the tests they wanted to do. Smaller reactors will not enable us to fill this gap, nor will the international supply.

Where will these regional hospitals receive the isotopes they need to serve the patients who require their tests to save their lives?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, there are alternatives available to provinces and territories now, such as thallium, which is used for heart tests. More than half the medical isotopes used before were for heart scans.

These alternatives were identified by the medical experts on isotopes. They provided this list to Health Canada in 2007. We acted on that. That information and that product is available to the provinces and to the hospitals for access as needed.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fact is those comments by the minister are actually misleading the public. Some of these alternatives are going to work some of the time, but they are not going to work all of the time. That is what we are talking about here.

Patients do not want to hear more rhetoric. They do not want to hear wishful thinking. They want hard facts. They want a concrete plan on paper as to how Canadians will access the medical isotopes during their time of need.

Where is this plan and when will the minister release the plan to the Canadian public?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, 18 months ago we developed the plan on contingency measures that we could all take to mitigate the shortage of medical isotopes. That plan was developed in partnership with the experts on medical isotopes. We are moving on that plan. We have acted on that plan. We continue to implement that plan.

The plan includes using the alternatives that are available for procedures and testing in hospitals throughout the provinces and territories. It is available now. We will continue to work with the medical community to address what other options may be available.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, in August 2007 the Prime Minister referred to Nahanni Park expansion as arguably one of the most important environmental protection acts in a generation.

After a generation of Liberal neglect, as far as conservation and the protection of Canada's environment is concerned, could the Minister of the Environment share with the House some of this government's most recent successes on this file?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government introduced legislation to expand the Nahanni to over 30,000 square kilometres, which is six times its current size. We protect the ecosystem. We advance Nahanni's national world heritage status. We bring economic opportunities to the Dehcho, the Dene and the Métis.

As they are the only party to not yet offer support in the House, I ask the Liberals to get behind the Dene and Métis people to help speed this through the House of Commons so we might achieve the great act of conservation in a generation.

TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister and the leader of the Liberal Party are rolling out the red carpet for a leader who has the worst human rights record in the western hemisphere. In Colombia dozens of labour activists and human rights advocates are killed each year. Hundreds more simply disappear. Four million poor farmers have been forced off of their resource-rich land. All of this is done by brutal paramilitary thugs who are linked to the president and his regime.

The government wants to reward the president. Does the government not realize that the regime's hands are stained with blood?

TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I really wish the hon. member would stop hiding behind his ideology. The reality is the NDP has never supported a free trade agreement, including the auto pact.

The situation with Colombia is not going to be solved by isolating Colombia from the rest of the world. The situation in Colombia will be enhanced by free trade. There will be more jobs, opportunity and expansion of human rights under jobs and opportunity.