House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Madam Chair, two weeks ago the Prime Minister went on a campaign-style tour of Ottawa small businesses and stopped at the Big Rig Brewery. On that very same day, they applied for and received a licence to produce hand sanitizer.

What is the average delay for a hand sanitizer licence at Health Canada?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Health

Madam Chair, I just want to thank the hard-working officials at Health Canada, who have managed to accelerate approvals for products that Canadians are making to help with COVID-19, including hand sanitizer and many other products.

The average time for approval now is between one and seven days.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Madam Chair, what I'm saying is that the average is much longer than the same-day delivery service they received at Big Rig.

Does the Minister believe that a PM's photo op is a good reason to prefer one business owner over another?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Patty Hajdu Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Madam Chair, I reject the implicit allegation in that question. In fact, there is a very strong wall between the regulators at Health Canada and politicians for a very important reason. As members know, I have been asked in the House numerous times why things are taking too long, or why they are happening too quickly in this case. Neither is subject to any influence by me, as the Minister of Health. In fact, they are solely within the control of Health Canada regulators, and that is important—

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Madam Chair, did anyone from the PMO discuss the licence application with the brewery?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Patty Hajdu Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Madam Chair, not to my knowledge. As I said, the regulators act independently of politics.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Madam Chair, did anyone from the PMO talk to Health Canada about the application?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Patty Hajdu Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Madam Chair, to the best of my knowledge, this decision was made independently, as they have all been, by the regulators at Health Canada. It is an important wall that exists for an important reason.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Madam Chair, was there any direction, implicit or explicit, direct or indirect, from the government, the PMO or the minister's office, to Health Canada to expedite this licence?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Patty Hajdu Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Madam Chair, Health Canada regulators act independently. The regulators and assessors determine their decisions based on the safety of Canadians, and that is it.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Madam Chair, I will be sharing my time with the member for Essex.

In my riding of South Surrey—White Rock, the BNSF and VIA Rail tracks remain a decades' long environmental and safety hazard. The trains run frequently. They reach unsafe speeds. They often carry dangerous goods and thermal coal and are subject to frequent landslides. With increased access to the beaches and foreshores, people are trying to cross the tracks more than ever. There are two viable, safer, alternate routes that would actually reduce the transport time by 30 minutes.

What are the ministers of transport and the environment doing to provide safer routes for the environment and residents?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Madam Chair, as you know, rail safety is my number one priority. I am very proud of the fact that we conduct over 33,000 inspections and audits of our railways throughout a typical year. We will continue to do so to ensure the highest level of safety possible.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Madam Chair, I am asking specifically about South Surrey—White Rock.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, QC

Madam Chair, it applies to South Surrey—White Rock just like any other part of the railway system in Canada.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Madam Chair, residents of my riding suffer from rare diseases, as other Canadians do across the country. There are life-saving medications and hopeful therapies that can extend the health and life of those with ALS, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy and more. Health Canada should work co-operatively with the FDA and health authorities in other countries to streamline Canada's approval process. For those in life or death situations especially, what is the Minister of Health doing to assist in bringing new disease-modifying medications such as Radicava and Trikafta to Canada?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Health

Madam Speaker, I am extremely proud of a government that is focused on the affordability of and access to medications. In that vein, as the member knows, we have been taking steps that have not been taken before in this country to ensure that people have access to the medications they need.

On the issue of Trikafta and other life-saving drugs that are not available in Canada, we are standing by and are ready to work with the manufacturer. We urge it to apply to market that drug in Canada. I urge the member to encourage her constituents, and in fact all constituents across Canada, to work with the company to encourage it to apply—

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

July 8th, 2020 / 1:30 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Chair NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member for Essex.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Lewis Conservative Essex, ON

Madam Chair, at the onset of COVID-19, the Prime Minister promised that no individual or business would be left behind. My hometown of Kingsville in my riding of Essex and our neighbours in Leamington were the last two municipalities in all of Canada to remain in stage one, but as of yesterday, they finally opened under phase two. Canadians are compassionate people. They understand that when others struggle, the rest of Canada comes to their rescue. The very businesses that step up when community groups ask for their support need our help today.

Will the Prime Minister commit to immediate targeted help for the hard-hit businesses in Kingsville and Leamington?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mona Fortier LiberalMinister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Madam Chair, from the beginning of this crisis, we have taken action in the interest of all Canadians and all regions of the country.

We created customized programs to make sure we get through this crisis, and we will keep delivering that for small businesses, workers and Canadians.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Lewis Conservative Essex, ON

Madam Chair, businesses in Kingsville and Leamington are weeks behind the rest of the country. They need a financial lifeline now. They need help.

Here is what the government can do: It should immediately institute our back-to-work bonus to help reopen our businesses and get people back to work, refund the GST to all businesses that have remitted it this year and stop collecting it for the rest of the year.

Will the Prime Minister commit to these measures so that these businesses can get back on their feet immediately?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Madam Chair, here is what the government is doing for businesses in Essex and Leamington: the wage subsidy, the rent relief program, the CEBA account, and also support through the FedDev agency.

If my colleague has specific issues with businesses in Essex and Leamington, please come and let us have a conversation, because FedDev is there to help.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Lewis Conservative Essex, ON

Madam Chair, I will keep it brief.

I really want to thank the member opposite. I will be calling your office. Thank you so very much, and I look forward to those conversations. We are starting to get somewhere for Leamington, Kingsville and Essex. Thank you, minister.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Chair NDP Carol Hughes

I would remind the member to address the questions directly to the chair.

Is there a brief response from the minister?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mélanie Joly Liberal Ahuntsic-Cartierville, QC

Madam Chair, I thank the member for the thank you.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Chair, I want to begin by expressing my relief that the attack on Rideau Hall where both our Governor General and the Prime Minister and his family live ended non-violently and that Corey Hurren was taken into custody.

I would like to ask the hon. minister and the Prime Minister about the following names: Chantel Moore, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, D'Andre Campbell, Ejaz Ahmed Choudry and Rodney Levi, who, not meaning any harm to anyone, were killed during the process of a wellness check. They are dead. They were all indigenous, black or racialized Canadians who are now dead.

Is it not time to have a federal inquiry into the use of wellness checks to ensure that the people who are being cared for do not end up in the morgue.