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House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provisions.

Topics

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not think it is a moral issue that lives are on the line, but I can tell her that every Canadian who is dealing with cancer today does think it is a moral issue. People are being told that they have to wait in line for diagnosis and treatment. What do we have? We have a minister who is playing one-upmanship games with another minister in the cabinet.

This is so wrong. A minister wants to roll the dice on an issue that is so fundamental. What the hell is wrong with those people?

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I am not sure I heard the hon. member right, but I hope he did not use that word. He should have known to refrain from such excesses.

The hon. Minister of Health is rising to respond to this question.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this is a serious issue. I have been in regular contact with my provincial and territorial counterparts. For the last 18 months, my department has been working very closely with the experts in the provinces and territories on contingency measures.

Some of the strategies being used by doctors include triaging patients to ensure that when alternatives are available, they are used, and working flexible hours when they receive the Tc99. This way they can maximize the use and minimize the delay. There is also the sharing of supplies between rural and urban centres. These are some of the measures that we are taking with the provinces and territories.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, now that the courts have ordered a tape of the natural resources minister to be made public, we know that she saw this national health crisis, one she appears to be unable manage, as an opportunity to boost her career. I cannot believe the minister does not relate to the anguish of Canadians waiting for their cancer diagnostic tests.

Would she tell Canadians exactly what she finds sexy about cancer and the devastating impact it has on their lives?

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated, this government has done much work on the issue of medical isotopes.

As the hon. members knows, the comments associated with me were made on January 30, well before this current issue that we are dealing with. What it does show is that we have been considering this issue in a very serious manner since November 2007. We all take it very seriously. Indeed, being an individual who has had to deal with cancer in my life as well in terms of my family members, I certainly feel the pain and I certainly feel the empathy.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the minister has just said, many people in this House and in Canada have family members who have been victims of cancer.

For this reason, the Coalition Priorité Cancer au Québec has expressed concern over the lack of information to reassure those with cancer and their families.

The minister must understand that Canadians are worried about their cancer diagnosis. She must explain how she could use the term "sexy" in talking about a national health crisis, when thousands of Canadians depend on these isotopes. How—

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The Hon. Minister of Health.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am in regular contact with my provincial and territorial counterparts on this issue. We have to remember that I have to work very closely with the provinces and territories, which are responsible for the delivery of health care, as we deal with the situation.

An ad hoc group of health experts prepared a report on lessons learned from December 2007. I am pleased to say that all the recommendations within Health Canada's mandate have been implemented. We have improved communications by developing a communication notification protocol. We are ensuring physician engagement in decision making.

Public TransitOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport claims to support urban transit, so Toronto made but one request for infrastructure spending: new streetcars. The minister's response? Profanity. He told Torontonians in a word or two where we could go.

Is this what we can expect from a minister of the Crown? When will he apologize to the mayor, the council and, most important, the people of Toronto?

Public TransitOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I was speaking out of frustration and I certainly expressed that. This morning I phoned Mayor Miller and apologized. The mayor and I both agreed to look to the future, to continue to build on the important investments that we need to make in public transit. We have committed to work with him over the next few weeks to make it happen.

Public TransitOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we know about frustration, especially today.

A vulgar attack on the people of Toronto is unacceptable, in public or in private, by a minister of the Crown. We are once again hearing the true feelings that the government has for Toronto. However, Torontonians are thick-skinned. All we want is our fair share, and that fair share will help the rest of Ontario and Canada. Spending on transit in Toronto creates jobs in this country.

When will the minister stop attacking and start working with the people of Toronto?

Public TransitOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the member opposite exactly when.

We did that when we announced more than a billion dollars to support the expansion of the Spadina subway. We did that when we invested a quarter of a million dollars in GO Transit. We did that when we announced in our budget support to refurbish Union Station. The Prime Minister did it two weeks ago when we committed to support the Sheppard line.

This government is making an unprecedented commitment to public transit in the city of Toronto, and the best is yet to come.

Royal Canadian MintOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is a real sieve. A minister forgets secret documents at his girlfriend's, another minister leaves behind documents in a television studio and loses compromising cassettes and, to top it all off, the Royal Canadian Mint cannot account for gold ingots worth millions of dollars.

Will the Prime Minister indicate what emergency plan he intends to put in motion to deal with this serious crisis of incompetence?

Royal Canadian MintOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Yes, Mr. Speaker, the Mint has lost track of precious metal and that is why we brought in an external audit.

This morning I found out that the Mint will not be able to reconcile all of the missing money with the audit. I have instructed the Mint to bring in the RCMP to examine this matter in a fulsome way.

Royal Canadian MintOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, to fight the deficit, the Minister of Finance is asking citizens to tighten their belts.

Should the minister instead be tightening his controls to prevent money from disappearing from the vaults and helping people cope with the crisis?

Royal Canadian MintOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, we all are very concerned and want to make sure that the Mint is dealing with taxpayers' funds in an appropriate way. It is a crown corporation and works at arm's length.

I have instructed the Mint to bring in the RCMP to make sure that there is thorough examination of what has been going on.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

June 9th, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the board members of the regional conference of elected officials in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean area are very bitter because the government is not taking any action to deal with the crisis in the forestry sector. The vice-chair of the conference said that people are exasperated by the situation and that there has to be movement before June 18.

Will the government finally realize that the forestry sector needs accessible loan guarantees now?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, Canada Economic Development, together with the Province of Quebec, announced assistance totalling $200 million for forestry work over the next two years. Also, Export Development Canada has confirmed that there is access to credit, contrary to what the Bloc has said.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the FTQ regional representative agrees with the regional conference of elected officials and deplores the fact that this government makes so many announcements and gives so many speeches, but does absolutely nothing. Assistance for the forestry sector is never available.

Will the ministers from the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region ever do their jobs and ensure that loan guarantees will really be available to the forestry sector?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, Economic Development Canada contributions have saved 8,000 jobs in Quebec's forestry regions. By providing loan guarantees, creditor insurance and other credit facilities to all Canadian businesses, EDC is confirming our government's desire to support the forestry industry.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, we heard today from the Canadian Breast Cancer Network that it is appalled by the frivolous attitude and the lack of respect of many elected officials on the severe shortage of isotopes that is affecting Canadians. It says that the large gaps in the Canadian health care system should not be seen as opportunities to make political points.

How is the Minister of Natural Resources able to look in the eye of someone who has just been told he or she has cancer? When will people get their tests?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, yes, the shortage is very serious. Canadians can have confidence that we are taking the steps that are necessary to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Together with the provinces, the territories and medical experts, we have actively planned for disruptions by working with isotope experts to develop guidelines on dealing with the shortage. We are using all regulatory powers, such as the special access program and clinical trials, to ensure that alternatives are available for Canadians.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me put a human face on the crisis for the minister.

Over 60 times every day in Canada, a woman is called back to her doctor's office and told that she has cancer. She is told that her treatment depends on the results of a bone scan. Right now she is being told that no one can tell her when that bone scan will be. Her treatment will have to wait.

In January the Minister of Natural Resources said she would fix it. Could she explain why the situation is worse than ever, and why women with breast cancer will have to wait? When will they get their tests?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this is indeed a very serious issue for the points put forward by the hon. member.

I can tell Canadians what we are doing. Since November 2007, we have put together a plan to deal with isotope reductions in terms of contingency planning as well as reaching out to the global community.

Currently AECL is undertaking an inspection, progressing to repairs of the NRU in order to start the process again there. Globally we are co-operating on increasing supply.

The Minister of Health has shown leadership on H1N1 and is showing leadership again on medical isotopes in working with--

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Pierrefonds--Dollard.