October 17, 1968

LIB

Stanley Ronald Basford (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Basford:

I thank the house, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to complete my remarks so that the official speaker for the Conservative party can start his remarks the next time the subject is debated.

I have endeavoured to show that there is ample room for the Canadian drug manufacturers to meet competition from importers as designed by this bill. Apart from the above, the Canadian drug manufacturer, as a patentee of a drug, has three specific advantages over importers of the same drug. First, he will still enjoy a preferred tariff position. Second, he will receive a royalty required to be paid to him by the licensed importer in an amount to be decided upon by the commissioner of patents. Third, he will, as a practical matter, have a period of complete monopoly protection from the time his newly innovated drug is placed on the market, until such drug loses its "new drug status", except in the unlikely event that a competitor also clears the product as a new drug.

The regulations under the Food and Drugs Act require a manufacturer, before any sale of a new drug is permitted, to carry out costly and intensive tests, the results of which must satisfy the food and drug directorate as to the safety and efficacy of the drug. When so satisfied, the directorate issues a notice of compliance which allows the manufacturer to market the drug in quantity, and for that length of time necessary to ensure that no serious side effects of the drug may show up. This period of time is generally not less than five years, and during that time the product remains in new drug status. During this time no other manufacturer can enter the market and sell the same drug until he, too, receives a notice of compliance from the directorate. Experience has shown that a competing manufacturer will not normally seek a compulsory licence during the time a drug is in

Patent Act-Trade Marks Act new drug status, for the expense involved would not make such a procedure worth while.

In addition, quite apart from this expense, a competing manufacturer would doubtless have difficulty in interesting the limited number of doctors available who are qualified to do clinical testing in the job of repeating tests on a product, the results of which already would be basically known. For a period of approximately five years, therefore, the original manufacturer or creator of the drug enjoys full protection and can carry out his promotional program in a manner to gain for him maximum acceptance in the market.

I turn now to that other aspect of the bill which proposes an amendment to the Trade Marks Act. The present law is clear that an importer of a trade marked product into Canada may be sued for infringement by the Canadian owner of that trade mark, if the owner is manufacturing in Canada, whether that owner is a subsidiary of a foreign corporation or not and whether or not the product has been purchased by the importer from the foreign parent. This could apply in cases where an importer purchased drugs from a foreign country in their final dosage forms and which were labelled as trade marked products.

[DOT] (10:00 p.m.)

The proposed amendment deals with this situation. It provides that no infringement can be claimed where drugs bearing the trade mark of and manufactured by a related company in a foreign country are imported into Canada. For example, when a Canadian subsidiary and its foreign parent sell a drug product under the same trade mark in Canada and the foreign country, the Canadian subsidiary could not sue the importer for infringement when the importer purchases that product from the parent corporation for sale in Canada. This amendment will, however, apply in practice only in a limited number of cases where a wide margin of price disparity would have to occur before it would be worth while for the importer to consider the importing of such a drug as a reasonable business venture.

The Canadian drug manufacturers argue that many drugs, although identically trade marked and put on the market by their related companies in other countries, differ in composition, that their strengths may vary, and that inert substances used in the pill or

October 17, 1968

Business of the House

capsule form of the drug may alter its efficacy or even cause harm to the consumer. Again, this is a question of safety, and after the debate on C-190 we amended the old bill C-190 to meet this situation. As I stated before, this is the responsibility of the Department of National Health and Welfare; and I would repeat that my colleague, the minister, will explain how this new amendment works.

May I thank hon. members, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to go on for a few minutes after ten o'clock, and I apologize to them for this lengthy resume of the principle of this bill and the reasons which lie beneath its introduction. However, the debate under the original bill C-190 was so lengthy and inspired that I considered I would be remiss in my responsibilities to the house were I to make this statement on second reading too abbreviated. My impression has always been that there appears to be needless concern within the drug industry about the effects of the bill. We are merely seeking to make the competitive market work more effectively. I have also had in mind the large number of new honorable members in this parliament, and for their benefit, too, I have elaborated my remarks.

It has now been more than five years since the first recommendations on the high costs of drugs were reported, Mr. Speaker, and even more since it first became clear that drug prices in Canada were among the highest, if not the highest, in the world. I believe firmly that, following all that has been said, and after receiving almost identical recommendations from two commissions and a special committee of this house, we would indeed be failing in our duty as members if we were not to take this action in the public interest, with a minimum of delay.

Topic:   PATENT ACT-TRADE MARKS ACT EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY TO GRANT LICENCES
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PC

Gerald William Baldwin (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the government house leader has any exciting news to give us tonight about the business for tomorrow and Monday?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

Nothing exciting, Mr. Speaker. Tomorrow we will continue, as announced, with the estimates of the Department of National Health and Welfare, and on Monday we shall continue with the bill to amend the Post Office Act, taking the second reading and following stages.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg Norih Centre):

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the government house

leader if this means that the negotiations of the last two or three hours have come to naught. It is no secret when I say that we have been discussing the possibility of dealing with the Prairie Grain Advance Payments Act tomorrow on the understanding that it would finish tomorrow and that we would deal with the Farm Credit Act on Monday on a similar basis. If there has not been agreement as to the entire package we were discussing, I make the plea that at least we take the Prairie Grain Advance Payments Act tomorrow and have an order of the house tonight that all of its stages are to be concluded by five o'clock tomorrow.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

Mr. Speaker, I would be quite agreeable to having an order of the house that all stages of the Prairie Grain Advance Payments Act be dealt with at five o'clock tomorrow, and that all stages of the Farm Credit bill, which is now before the committee, be dealt with before the close of business on Monday. Perhaps we might have agreement about that.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Is that agreed?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner:

No, Mr. Speaker. I agree with the house leader that there is a necessity to pass this legislation, but we believe in taking one step at a time. We agree to there being an order of the house tonight to deal with the Prairie Grain Advance Payments Act tomorrow, with all stages to be completed at five o'clock. That we agree to. Let us take one day at a time.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

I think we

ought to deal with both matters. It would be to the advantage of the house.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION


A motion to adjourn the house under provisional standing order 39A deemed to have been moved.


PENSIONS-SUGGESTED USE OF COST OF LIVING BASE

NDP

Winona Grace MacInnis

New Democratic Party

Mrs. Grace Maclnnis (Vancouver-Kings-way):

Two afternoons ago I asked the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) the following question:

In the review of the various social security and allowance programs which the government is carrying out, will the principle be adopted of basing federal pensions and allowances on the actual cost of living?

October 17, 1S68

[DOT] (10:10 p.m.)

In the past there has been no attempt to base pensions and allowances on either the cost of living or the current standard of living. I think both these factors should be taken into account when reviewing base pensions and government allowances in the future. In the past, provision has been made on a basis of political expediency rather than social need.

Take old age pensions. There is not much relation between what it costs to live and what the old age pensioners get. My hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) pointed out a few weeks ago that nearly 60 per cent of Canadians 67 years and over have nothing to live on but their old age assistance pension, with the supplementary allowance to $105 a month. That is a large percentage of Canadians 67 years of age and over. The amount of the old age security pension plus the allowance totals $105 a month. Three years ago a committee of the Canadian Welfare Council stated that a single person at that time required $138 a month in order to live. The pension provided today for a single person is $105.

Consider the case of retired public servants. In May of 1967 a joint committee of the House of Commons and the Senate unanimously recommended that their pensions should be increased. My hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre has made attempt after attempt to get this question dealt with, and on each occasion he has been answered to the effect that the matter is under consideration-which means precisely nothing in terms of action.

Take war veterans allowances: In my own constituency there are many families headed by veterans who scarcely have sufficient resources on which to exist. It is not only a matter of basic food and shelter. Other people are living in a modern way; the pensioners know it, and they are appalled at the manner in which the rising cost of living is leaving them completely helpless because they can do nothing to raise their own standards-standards which depend entirely upon what is done here by the federal government.

As I say, the basis upon which pensions are fixed is wrong in the first place, because the structure depends on political expediency and pressure from outside. In the 11 years between 1957 and 1968, according to government figures, transportation costs have risen

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion by 19.2 per cent, the cost of shelter has risen by 19.3 per cent, the cost of clothing by 22.8 per cent. The cost of health services has risen by 33.3 per cent and the cost of food by 34.6 per cent. Pensions have never kept pace with these increases.

I therefore feel that on the ground of concern for people as well as for the sake of efficiency the government should start from the ground up and see that in future pension rates are determined, first, by what is necessary for a modern if modest standard of living and, second, by the cost of living itself. There should be an escalator clause to provide that when the cost of living increases the amount of a pension or allowance also increases automatically. This has not been provided for even in the payment of old age supplementary payments, which increase by a certain percentage regardless of what happens to the cost of living. There should be an attempt to place these things on a footing of what it costs to live in the light of the general standard of living and the capacity of our country to produce.

Topic:   PENSIONS-SUGGESTED USE OF COST OF LIVING BASE
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LIB

Rosaire Gendron (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Rosaire Gendron (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Health and Welfare):

Mr. Speaker, I believe that all the members share the ideal proposed by the member for Vancouver Kingsway (Mrs. Mac-Innis).

It goes without saying that on the government side it is not always possible to wholly translate one's ideal, one's good intentions into facts, since financial resources are required to implement those programs. Just as the most beautiful woman in the world can only give what she has, so with the government of the nation. The hon. member will surely admit that although the increase in the cost of living has not been checked completely, some corrective measures are being applied.

The old age security paid to 1,300,000 persons is adjusted according to the cost of living index subject to a 2 per cent maximum. The hon. member may perhaps object to the 2 per cent. Some day perhaps adjusting that 2 per cent ceiling may be indicated.

It must also be recognized that since all persons of 65 years of age will receive the pension by 1970, some form of adjustment is being applied in the case of persons of 65 to 70 years of age; this increases the number of pensioners and people who can benefit

October 17, 1968

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion from those services. Add to this the new legislation on the minimum guaranteed income supplement by which 735,000 persons profit. In the case of the Canada public welfare program, because it depends on a needs test, the adjustments to the cost of living are automatic.

Needless to say, all the governments in the world are now in the process of planning some co-ordination between their various welfare programs, with a view to covering the whole spectrum of needs and problems. I believe the hon. member will also agree that the Liberal government has been, not only in Canada but also in foreign countries, an inspiration in the field of social welfare.

Topic:   PENSIONS-SUGGESTED USE OF COST OF LIVING BASE
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POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT-DEFICIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO CANADIAN EDITIONS OF U. S. MAGAZINES

?

Malcolm MacInnis

Mr. Donald Maclnnis (Cape Brelon-East Richmond):

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday last something in the order of 18 or 20 questions were addressed to the Postmaster General (Mr. Kierans). To my knowledge not one member has been satisfied with an answer. Certainly no members of this party have received any information whatsoever as a result of the questions put to the minister. I might say that on that particular day the minister stated that he would welcome an opportunity to debate this issue. Why then does he withhold information from members when they request it? He refers to the members on this side of the house approaching this question on a motion. Representations have been made by all members who are concerned with this particular matter and the bill which the minister will be introducing in the house.

Representations have been made such as those of the hon. member for South Shore (Mr. Crouse) and the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave) on behalf of the 33,000 people who receive the Halifax Herald through the mails. The minister has flatly refused to provide any information to these members.

[DOT] (10:20 p.m.)

The minister has flatly refused to give members any information. He speaks on motions and talks about the fact that 35 Liberal members gathered to make representations. The inference left by the Postmaster General is that he has met with these people

and discussed this matter. Not too long ago he referred in this house to the warm reception he received. I suggested at that time it was probably a hot one. I indicate, as did members of the press, in reference to this Liberal caucus, that the minister was probably on the hot seat. There is no reason to believe that matters of departmental responsibility are considered any differently by Conservative members of the house than by the 35 members of that meeting. I suppose this indicates that we can no longer call at least those 35 members trained seals, because at least they have done their duty by bringing this matter to the attention of the minister.

Let me remind the Postmaster General, who is now smirking again, that he enters this house by the same process that every other member enters it, and it is time he began to realize that fact, get off his high horse and get down to business.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT-DEFICIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO CANADIAN EDITIONS OF U. S. MAGAZINES
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LIB

Raymond J. Perrault

Liberal

Mr. Perrauli:

That is an unparliamentary inference, and you know it.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT-DEFICIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO CANADIAN EDITIONS OF U. S. MAGAZINES
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PC

Donald MacInnis

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Maclnnis (Cape Breton-East Richmond):

We have now heard from the competing leader of the government. Having used my privileges, I do not intend to persist in explaining the facts to the satisfaction of my hon. friend here to the right. I will try to stay as close to parliamentary language as this situation permits.

What the minister stated in the house on Wednesday was far removed from the truth, and this fact is supported by Hansard at page 1151. He referred to the emotional approach of hon. members on this side of the house, and to his meeting with 35 Liberal members rather than a house committee. However, he did not make his later announcement in the house, but rather went to London, Ontario, and made a statement regarding his withdrawal from his earlier stated position.

His statement in the house was as follows:

I referred to a particular initiative on the part of some members of the Liberal caucus. I would be quite glad to be invited to any other group or caucus in this house.

And in the next column, almost directly opposite on the same page, I said:

Since the Postmaster General expressed a willingness to meet with any hon. members who represent constituencies faced with post office problems, and since a number of members have expressed an interest in this oifer, will the minister make himself available at five o'clock in my office and, if not, when?

October 17, 19G8

The minister smirked and laughed. It would not be proper for me to invite myself to his office. He asked for the invitation and he was offered one. The next day he came back into the house and made another statement, which was far removed from the truth, regarding this invitation which was offered him. This can be found at page 1210 of Hansard for October 16. Let me read part of the last paragraph in the first column, which states:

[DOT]-I may say I am meeting continuously with all sorts of bodies but have not as yet received any formal invitation or representations from the members of the opposition.

He said that despite the fact that the day before he was invited to a meeting with a group interested in this particular matter. Does the minister see anything in that to laugh and smirk about, in view of this statement which indicates a complete reversal of what he has said? What does the minister mean by a "formal invitation"? Must I come down to the house in a black tie, or present a formal document through whatever channels the minister decides are proper and formal?

It is time he realized that the members of this house are interested in this matter. They have suggested that he is on a hot seat as a result of his proposed withdrawal from a position he took in the house. He did not make the withdrawal in this house, but went to London, Ontario, to make public a fact which should have been made known to the members of this house. We should receive truthful statements from the minister, rather than complete denials or reversals of what he has said.

I would suggest that the minister adopt in this house an attitude that I understand is very difficult for the Liberals, in their arrogance; that is, he must come around, he must humble himself and stop talking down his nose and taking this attitude with members of the house. He should not come forward the day following this particular incident in the house and completely deny himself.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT-DEFICIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO CANADIAN EDITIONS OF U. S. MAGAZINES
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LIB

Eric William Kierans (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. Eric W. Kierans (Postmaster General):

Mr. Speaker, this comes rather as a surprise to me. I think most members of the house were witnesses to the invitation. It was not an invitation in the ordinary sense of the word, where two people try to get together and arrange a time that is mutually convenient for a group to meet. It was simply: Will you come at five o'clock this afternoon?-when I had other meetings to attend.

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion

I repeat that I would be very glad if the leader of the hon. member's caucus, whom I understand is the hon. member for Prince Edward-Hastings (Mr. Hees), would extend an invitation. I would be very glad to discuss clause by clause the articles in the bill, exactly as I have been doing, as is the Liberal custom, with the members of our caucus who are interested in this bill and demand explanations of particular articles, their meanings and possible effects. This is what I have been doing.

The 35 members referred to are a constructive group. They are very interested in understanding the bill, in making clear whatever differences they might have and asking if there are other ways in which we could approach the various objectives of the minister. I may say they are tremendously co-operative and have aided me enormously. This is the kind of constructive meeting to which I look forward-not a facetious invitation to "Come up and see me some time."

With reference to my dinner speech in London last evening, I would like to make it quite clear that this was arranged. The people of London invited me last August to be the speaker at their first annual civic dinner. I also have copies of that speech, from which I can prove that I said nothing more there, regardless of whatever interpretation may have been made, than I have said in this house.

I simply want to resume my position. Some weeks ago I made a declaration that the Post Office intended on February 1 to introduce a five day week. Since that time it has been pointed out to me by a number of people that this would have varying effects on different parts of Canada because we are a peculiar nation, geographically speaking; that in certain areas, rural areas in particular, this would have a different effect than in urban areas. A great deal of detail has been gone into, so that I may reconsider this entire position. This has been as a result of the constructive proposals put forward to me. We have not yet reached a decision.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT-DEFICIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO CANADIAN EDITIONS OF U. S. MAGAZINES
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October 17, 1968