Mr. Speaker, it is great to be here today, to be back in Ottawa in Parliament getting back to work.
As we expected, the speech today had a lot of good lines and platitudes in it. However, as we speak, literally thousands of Canadians are standing in lines across the country and are being turned away because Health Canada has no plan or timeline when it comes to reviewing rapid testing options for them. Meanwhile, our allies are making good progress on it.
The United Kingdom, for example, has a home testing option that has been available for months. In Germany, its medical experts are months ahead with respect to approvals on more testing options.
The federal government should have known this by now. Its own co-chair of the immunity task force, Dr. David Naylor, has said, “It’s suboptimal for Canada to be heading into the fall without a suite of rapid-test options, and without clarity about use of test substrates other than nasal swabs.”
Today in Huntsville, Premier Ford of Ontario said this about Health Canada, “Health Canada, we need your help...I just can’t stress it enough, all I’m hearing is crickets from Health Canada right now on these saliva tests. These...tests make it easier to test people, especially kids.”
For the thousands of Canadians who are frustrated about the testing process, including some of our premiers, my question for the hon. member for Bourassa is this. Could he advise parents, children and people across the country of a specific date and timeline that we can expect the government to ensure that a full review process happens as fast as possible to help provinces and to help Canadians?