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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was terms.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 2019, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

November 2nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, that sounded like a multi-pronged question.

In terms of the six million doses of vaccine, what is particularly important is that a good proportion has gone to the north, almost enough to cover every citizen in the north.

Given the time to transfer to health care facilities, to target the rural and more isolated communities was very important. I am sure the nurses, the physicians and other workers in public health are getting those vaccines out as quickly as they possibly can. I know that they ramped up their personnel to do that.

I also have to reflect on the member's comment. My background is in health care and part of my role was to work with pandemic planning. I can remember four years ago that part of our pandemic planning within our health authority and within our province was to look at our capacity and consider worst case scenarios in terms of what it would mean for our ICU and what it would mean for respirators. That work was done a few years ago in many of our health authorities and hospitals.

November 2nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, perhaps someone could ask me that excellent question.

I stand behind this government's solid approach to managing this H1N1 outbreak and to our comprehensive, forward-looking pandemic plan.

Tonight, I will focus my remarks on vaccine timing and availability.

I can think of no more eloquent a response for those who have expressed doubt to our capacity to manage the outbreak and to note the facts. To date, six million doses of adjuvanted H1N1 flu vaccine have been delivered to the provinces and territories. That is currently more H1N1 flu vaccine per capita than any other country in the world, more than the United States, Great Britain, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, or anywhere else.

More to the point, we have ordered enough H1N1 flu vaccine for every Canadian from coast to coast to coast who needs and wants to be immunized. No one will be left behind. And, yes, that H1N1 flu vaccine, a safe and effective vaccine, will be available to Canadians in a timely way.

We have not cut corners on safety in order to rush product to Canadians. We have acted in a responsible and deliberate way that balances the need to ensure a safe and effective vaccine is available and the need to stay ahead of the outbreak. That is a tough balancing act, but I believe we have the balance right.

Last week witnessed the beginning of the largest mass immunization campaign in Canadian history. That campaign, slated to start in early November, actually began ahead of schedule, on October 26.

We moved more quickly because our early warning systems told us the nature and pace of the second wave of the outbreak had changed.

We moved more quickly because we could draw on the knowledge, expertise and experience of an extensive global network of regulatory agencies and public health experts to assess H1N1 flu vaccine safety and the effectiveness across different populations.

We moved more quickly because our regulator and our vaccine manufacturer had worked closely together to define both the expectations and the process to be followed to approve a vaccine for a novel influence of flu virus, but in advance of this outbreak so we can move more quickly if the situation required this.

We moved more quickly because the context had changed and the health and safety of Canadians was at risk.

Because we knew it would be impossible to vaccinate everyone at one time, the Government of Canada in co-operation with the provinces and territories jointly determined sequencing guidelines for the distribution of H1N1 flu vaccine. This was done to ensure that vaccine programs could target priority groups first, allowing those who need the vaccine most to get it first.

As per the agreed upon guidance, these priority groups are: people under the age 65 with chronic conditions; pregnant women; children six months to less than five years of age; people living in remote and isolated settings or communities; health care workers involved in pandemic response or the delivery of essential health care services; and household contacts and care providers of persons at high risk who cannot be immunized or may not respond to vaccines.

I want to assure members that the Government of Canada, along with the provinces and territories, has been working diligently to distribute and administer the H1N1 flu vaccine as quickly, safely and broadly as we possibly can.

The Government of Canada provides important technical information, guidance and the real time support provinces and territories need to make informed decisions about when, how and to whom to administer the H1N1 vaccine.

Provinces and territories, which have the lead responsibility for administering the vaccine, rely on this extraordinary partnership to make clear and consistent information available to health professionals and ordinary citizens. We are moving forward together.

Canada's vaccine supplier, GSK, has informed us that the vaccine supply being shipped across Canada will be lower next week. In order to meet our request to produce a supply of unadjuvanted vaccine for pregnant women, the company had to switch over its vaccine production fill line.

Without getting overly technical, the formulation for unadjuvanted vaccine differs slightly from that for adjuvanted vaccine and the vial size is also different.

Switching production from one vaccine to another and then re-calibrating fill-lines and retesting output for quality takes about three to four days. That resulted in reduced vaccine availability for November 2. However, normal vaccine production has already resumed and our output should return to normal by next week.

As some who is not a member of a high risk group, it is without hesitation I would prefer to wait a few extra weeks to ensure that pregnant women are protected. It is also important to note that every batch of vaccine is quality tested before it is shipped to the provinces and territories. Lots that do not meet the quality standards are not released, which can have an impact on the weekly number of doses distributed.

The Government of Canada has been in constant touch with GSK and the provinces and territories and is sharing information with the provinces and territories on each week's supply of vaccine as soon as it is available.

There has been constant communication both at the working level and at the senior management level to share information on both availability and possible delays. We are working together with one goal in mind, to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Indeed, by the end of last week, six million doses of vaccine had been delivered. That is more vaccine per capita than any other country in the world.

I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for the many health care workers working at clinics. These are very challenging and unique circumstances they are working under. Jurisdictions are giving more vaccine per day than they have ever given in history. I am very pleased to see many thousands of Canadians on the priority list getting their vaccines.

It is important to take a global perspective. Diseases do not respect borders. This is a worldwide pandemic. Many countries around the world are beginning their vaccine campaigns and each are facing different challenges in getting their populations vaccinated. However, it is important to remember that Canada is in the very fortunate position and we remain hopeful to have every Canadian who needs and wants to be vaccinated by Christmas.

Scientific studies show that the vaccine is safe and effective. We know that from clinical trials conducted in several countries around the world.

The H1N1 flu vaccine is produced in a similar manner to seasonal flu vaccines, which have been used safety and effectively in Canada for many years. The vaccine contains an adjuvant, which is an ingredient made of naturally occurring oil, water and vitamin E that boosts the body's immune response and increases the vaccine effectiveness. The same adjuvant was tested in 45,000 people and did not identify any safety concerns for healthy adults or children.

Now that immunization has begun, the Public Health Agency of Canada will work with provinces and territories to produce weekly reports of all reported adverse events associated with the H1N1 vaccine. This reporting will be done through the existing system, the Canadian Adverse Events Following Immunization Surveillance System. This system is supported by health care professionals who report adverse events to their provincial-territorial public health offices, which share the information with the agency. This existing system will be supported by additional projects that will provide more detailed data specifically about the H1N1 flu vaccine.

The Government of Canada will continue to work with its provincial and territorial partners to ensure that all Canadians have the information they need to make informed decisions about immunization. Most important, we have stayed on message to get the vaccine.

Unlike in the era of our grandparents, we are truly fortunate to live in a time when we have a capacity to mount a quick and robust response to emerging viruses.

November 2nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, tonight we have heard a lot of conversation around the role of the federal government. I would like to hear her perspective in terms of the importance of us having a very good working relationship with the province.

Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act October 27th, 2009

Madam Speaker, it was good to hear my colleague express what was valuable about this bill. She is in a very unique position to comment on this bill given her former role as a police officer. Since I came to the House in 2008, like she did, there has been a constant threat of unnecessary elections. I would really like to hear from my colleague, what does that do these important pieces of justice legislation?

Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act October 27th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I certainly recognize and acknowledge my colleague's comments regarding the fact that it is a changing world and there is the need for new tools in the 21st century.

Does the member have an example that he could share in terms of something that might happen and how these tools could facilitate justice for the victims?

Status of Women October 22nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberal Party made more spending promises with no plans on the funding. From a 45-day work year to a national child care program, the Liberals continue to promise to spend billions.

Canadians know that this must mean the Liberal leader's plan must include raising taxes. Could the Minister of State for the Status of Women please respond to these reckless promises?

Petitions October 20th, 2009

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to present a petition today from my constituents asking the government to repeal the long gun registry which continues to be burdensome for our rural community.

Justice October 7th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, since 2006, provincial attorneys general have urged the government to restrict the ridiculous awarding of double credit for the time criminals spend in pretrial custody.

We introduced Bill C-25 to limit the amount of credit given at a ratio of 1:1 for each day served in pretrial custody. Despite that fact, Bill C-25 passed the House unamended. Liberal senators are threatening to amend this bill.

I ask the Minister of Justice, if this bill is amended, what message would this send to Canadians?

Pink Ribbon Charity Ball October 5th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I was proud to attend the 12th annual Pink Ribbon Charity Ball in Kamloops this past month and I would like to pay tribute to its founder, Anthony Salituro.

When Anthony learned the devastating news that his aunt, Josephine Bruno, was diagnosed with breast cancer, he decided to hold this event. Fortunately, Josephine survived with treatment, but Anthony was so moved by this experience he decided he personally had to do something to help others who face this terrible disease.

On his initiative, with a handful of friends and family, he started the Pink Ribbon Charity Ball, which has now become one of the largest fundraising events in Kamloops. Anthony has raised over $300,000 for cancer research and spent countless days organizing this beautiful event that honours and celebrates survivors as well as those who are not as fortunate, with a candle lighting ceremony.

Anthony's efforts show how one person can do extraordinary things to improve the lives of others in his community and his country. I know Anthony's efforts will help eradicate this disease that affects so many lives.

Employment Insurance September 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, yesterday members in the House voted on second reading of Bill C-50. This bill was introduced by our Conservative government to provide extra weeks of support through EI to long-tenured workers who have been hardest hit by the global recession. This is the fair and right thing to do. This bill is yet another way that our government is helping unemployed Canadians.

Could the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development please provide the House with an update on Bill C-50?