April 7, 1987

PC

Mr. Blenkarn

Progressive Conservative

Did the Government incur any expense with respect to the recent visit of the Red Army Chorus to Canada and, if so, what was the (a) total amount (b) amount spent on (i) hospitality (ii) transportation (iii) hotels?

Topic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   VISIT OF RED ARMY CHORUS TO CANADA
Permalink
LIB

Philip Derek Lewis

Liberal

Mr. Doug Lewis (Parliamentary Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council):

The Government did not incur any expense with respect to the recent visit of the Red Army Chorus to Canada.

Topic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   VISIT OF RED ARMY CHORUS TO CANADA
Permalink
PC

Marcel Danis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The questions as enumerated by the Parliamentary Secretary have been answered.

Topic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   VISIT OF RED ARMY CHORUS TO CANADA
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LIB

Philip Derek Lewis

Liberal

Mr. Doug Lewis (Parliamentary Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 83 could be made an Order for Return, the return would be tabled immediately.

Topic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   QUESTION PASSED AS ORDER FOR RETURN
Permalink
PC

Marcel Danis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Is it the pleasure of the House that Question No. 83 be deemed to have been made an Order for Return?

Topic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   QUESTION PASSED AS ORDER FOR RETURN
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   QUESTION PASSED AS ORDER FOR RETURN
Permalink
LIB

Mr. Boudria

Liberal

1. Did the Prime Minister visit Japan, China and South Korea in May, 1986, and, if so, what was the total cost to the taxpayer of the trip including aircraft tickets, charters, ground transportation, technical help, hotel rooms, etc?

2. Were any aircraft chartered and, if so, in each case (a) from which company (6) what was the make and model (c) at what cost (d) what was the cost for landing fees in each country?

3. (a) How many persons accompanied the Prime Minister (b) what were their names and specific roles?

4. Were recorded video cassettes sent to the Prime Minister during this period and, if so (a) by what means (b) at what cost, and was such cost borne by the taxpayer?

5. Where there any entertainment costs associated with the trip and, if so, what was the cost in (a) Japan (b) China (c) South Korea?

Return tabled.

Topic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   COST OF PRIME MINISTER'S TRIP TO ASIA
Permalink
LIB

Philip Derek Lewis

Liberal

Mr. Lewis:

Mr. Speaker, 1 would ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Topic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   COST OF PRIME MINISTER'S TRIP TO ASIA
Permalink
PC

Marcel Danis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Shall the remaining questions be allowed to stand?

Topic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   COST OF PRIME MINISTER'S TRIP TO ASIA
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

April 7, 1987

Topic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   COST OF PRIME MINISTER'S TRIP TO ASIA
Permalink

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

PATENT ACT


The House resumed from Thursday, April 2, consideration of Bill C-22, an Act to amend the Patent Act and to provide for certain matters in relation thereto, as reported (with amendments) from a legislative committee, and Motions No. 3 (Mr. Dingwall, p. 4820), (Mr. Orlikow, p. 4820), and Motions Nos. 5, 11, 13 and 15 (Mr. Dingwall, p. 4820).


NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (N.D.P. Deputy House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lome Nystrom (Yorkton-Melville):

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to rise to participate in today's debate.

Bill C-22, the Act to amend the Patent Act, is a very important Bill. There is a series of amendments before the House at this time, Motions Nos. 3, 5, 11, 13 and 15 as well as Motion No. 4 standing in the name of the Hon. Member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Orlikow).

Mr. Speaker, it is important to have a debate on the issue of patents here in Canada. It is very important for Canadians. I was here in 1969, seventeen years ago, when the legislation was adopted by the Trudeau Government. At the time, we were discussing the issue of pharmaceutical products here in Canada, and the price of drugs in Canada was much higher than in the United States. If I am not mistaken, we were paying about 15 per cent more for drugs in Canada than in the United States. When the Trudeau Government, with the support of the New Democratic Party, proposed allowing generic drugs, there was a very big difference between the Canadian price and the American price.

According to the report by Prof. Eastman, who made an exhaustive study on the subject, ever since the legislation on generic drugs was adopted there has been a tremendous drop in drug prices here in Canada. We are now paying about 20 per cent less for drugs than in the United States. So seventeen or eighteen years ago, the big difference between Canada and the United States was that we were paying 15 per cent more, and now we are paying 15 or 20 per cent less for the same drug, the same pharmaceutical product, Mr. Speaker. That is a good thing for Canadians, for senior citizens in Canada and for large families. We must not forget that in our country many people live in poverty and it will be very difficult for these people to cope with an increase in the price of drugs.

Mr. Speaker, there will also be a further increase in costs for the provincial governments if Bill C-22 is adopted, because many provinces now have a medical insurance plan for drugs. If prices go up, the cost of these plans will also go up in provinces like Saskatchewan, for instance. Saskatchewan already has a massive deficit, and this would be just one more problem for the Saskatchewan Legislature.

Patent Act

The motion standing in the name of the Hon. Member for Winnipeg North proposes to amend the Bill in a very positive and progressive way following the advice of Dr. Eastman's very well-meaning and well-researched report published back in the spring of 1985.

Under the present legislation, the Conservative Party, bowing to the wishes of the pharmaceutical lobby and the huge American multinationals, wants to get rid of generic pharmaceuticals that allow Canadians to pay less for drugs here in Canada than Americans pay in the United States. The Conservatives want to give those companies 10 years of patent protection for new drugs and seven or eight years of patent protection for drugs in varying states of regulatory approval. There will now be 10 years of protection for the Conservative Party's friends in the big multinational drug corporations.

The motion of my friend, the Hon. Member for Winnipeg North, proposes to reduce the 10-year period to four years so that after four years, there could once again be competition from generic companies to bring down the price of drugs for ordinary and average Canadians from coast to coast. That is a good amendment for ordinary Canadians. It is good for the poor people of Kamsack, the unemployed in Yorkton, the native people on reserves in my riding, and for the Saskatchewan deficit.

I cannot understand why the Conservative Party is going to bat for the huge American drug industry, trying to fatten their wallets. Why? Because the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) wants to make a free trade deal with President Reagan and the U.S. Congress. There is no consensus in Canada going in that direction. All those public opinion polls, the ones that ask fair questions, show that people do not want to go in this direction.

Our present legislation is very popular and Canadians want to keep it. In September, 1984, they did not elect the Government to go in an extreme right-wing conservative direction by giving more and more to foreign multinationals. They got rid of the Liberal Party because they were tired of 20 years of the Liberal Party. They did not vote for a free trade arrangement with the United States which would jeopardize our sovereignty and independence. They did not vote for this kind of legislation which is the first step in that direction.

I want to make another point. I have had many farmers, including Conservatives, Liberals and NDPers, come to me in the last year and a half and say they want to expand the generic legislation to cover farm chemicals as well. Farmers want freedom from paying excessive prices for farm chemicals to big multinationals like Dow and Monsanto. They want the right to produce generic farm chemicals and bring down the price so they can get those chemicals at cost.

This legislation before us today will not only hurt Canadians in the price they pay for drugs, it will set back a campaign by farmers to have the right to produce their own chemicals at

April 7, 1987

Patent Act

cost. That is wrong. The farmers should have that right through their own organizations and co-operatives, or with provincial Governments in joint ventures. If we pass this Bill then farmers, along with other consumers, will lose an important right. I appeal to my friends in the Conservative Party to listen to the people who elected them in 1984 and not proceed with this Bill. If they do, then they should accept this extremely reasonable amendment.

I want to once again read Motion No. 4 so Members will understand what it means. It says:

"for sale for consumption in Canada until the expiration of four years after the

date of the notice of compliance."

Instead of giving free rein for 10 long, long years to foreign multinational drug companies so they can gouge the people of Canada by charging whatever they want for their new pharmaceuticals, instead of allowing them to fatten their wallets at the expense of the poor and the elderly, my colleague from Winnipeg North wants to reduce that monopoly to four years. After that time a new company can produce the same drug at a reasonable cost on paying a reasonable royalty.

Who do we represent here? I say we represent the ordinary, average Canadian. That is what the NDP does. The Conservative Party is in third place in the polls because they represent the wealthy, the rich, the privileged, indeed the big businessman in the U.S. There has never been in the history of Canada a political party in Government which has been in third place. That is the most unpopular Government in the history of Canada according to the Gallup poll. Little wonder.

I notice that the Hon. Member for Selkirk-Interlake (Mr. Holtmann) has come into the House on crutches. Perhaps he met one of his constituents who was angry with his Party because they are trying to charge higher drug prices.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PATENT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
Permalink
PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

He kicked an NDPer in the head and broke his ankle.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PATENT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
Permalink
NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (N.D.P. Deputy House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

Dr. Eastman said that getting rid of generic pharmaceuticals in Canada will mean ordinary Canadians will pay more. This is simply because the Conservative Party wants its friends who own the big drug companies to get bigger profits and bigger dividends. It is about time they were turfed out of office just as the public opinion polls suggest. It seems to me every time the Conservative Party forms a Government in this country they so alienate the Canadian people that they are out of office for 20 or 30 years after that. Back in the 1930s R. B. Bennett destroyed the Conservative Party for 20 years. Then it happened again for another 20 years. This time it will happen for a couple of generations.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PATENT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Maurice Brydon Foster

Liberal

Mr. Maurice Foster (Algoma):

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have an opportunity to speak on Motions Nos. 3, 4, 5, 11, 13 and 15 because they get at one of the most serious flaws in this Bill. They deal with the question of not only putting a patent on the process but on the product itself. This is extremely important. If you look at the information provided to us by the biotechnology companies, Cangene in Mississauga, Ontario,

point out that this legislation will remove that protection. Only the process would be patented. Presently, companies like Cangene can produce drugs because only the process is patented, not the actual product. I hope the Government, when it comes to vote on this part of the Bill, will agree with small companies like Cangene and act to keep them in business.

There is a tremendous market out there for the kind of technological breakthroughs which companies like Cangene produce. For example, protein-based pharmaceuticals accounted for something like $2 billion in the world market and about $50 million here in Canada. In the future it will expand to some $250 million in Canada and $10 billion around the world. If we take away their right to produce generic drugs then we are simply turning that market over to the multinationals.

It is obvious that the Patent Act amendments are part of the free trade negotiations. We hear the Government talking about how great free trade will be. However, we will be imposing billions and billions of dollars of additional costs on families for pharmaceuticals. The increase will not be imposed on civil servants or Members of Parliament who have pharmaceutical drug programs attached to their jobs. They will not be imposed upon people who work for large companies and have unionized collective bargaining arrangements. They will be imposed upon the poor and the weak who do not have such protection. Four million of these people will be paying higher drug prices if this legislation is passed.

The Canadian Drug Manufacturers Association estimates that if this Conservative program is put in place profits for the multinationals will rise by $3.5 billion over the next nine years. For every $3 made by the multinationals $1 will go into R and D. The Government promised that 3,000 jobs would be created. Using Statistics Canada figures, the loss of $3.5 billion in extra profits means a loss of 90,000 man-years of employment or about 9,000 jobs. The Government is talking about creating 3,000 jobs if this legislation is passed. However, an article in The Sault Star of December 17, 1986, is headlined: "Cleaners among 'quality jobs' to flow from new drug patent rules". The article reads in part:

But a document prepared last spring by Andre's department estimates only 1,700 of nearly 3,000 jobs-about 57 per cent-will be created in the professional category and filled mainly by PhD-level applicants.

Another 650, or about 22 per cent, are classed in the document as "technical," meaning they will go to laboratory technicians and require the services of someone with community college training or an undergraduate degree in science.

The remaining 620-around 21 per cent-will be filled by "others," which Consumer Affairs spokesman David Watters defined Tuesday as managers, cleaners, animal keepers, statisticians and clerks.

Of the 3,000 jobs we end up with only 1,700 for high-level research people. We will end up with a massive loss through this legislation because most of it is going to profits and there is no commitment in the legislation for jobs at all. As a matter of fact, the large multinational pharmaceutical companies can

April 7, 1987

just take the extra profits and run. There will be no benefits to Canadians.

Even the Minister would not claim that the additional costs of $3.5 billion over the next nine years will benefit Canadians significantly through jobs. This is just part of the free trade negotiations.

President Reagan's top adivsers are from the large multinational corporations. They tell the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) that he must impose an additional $3.5 million on the Canadian people so that the multinational corporations can make many extra millions of dollars from Canadians who have been protected from this since 1969. The benefits are simply not there with regard to jobs. The down-side for Canadians is tremendous in additional costs to low-income and elderly people who are not protected by drug programs.

The Government had a complete format before it. The Eastman Report laid out a middle ground which would provide incentive for scientific research in drugs and pharmaceuticals. It recommended a royalty program for a three or four-year period and special royalties beyond that for people who did scientific research.

That the Government wants to jump on the bandwagon of the American multinational corporations shows the tremendous power which President Reagan and his advisers have over the Prime Minister. I find it unbelievable that when the Government is running at 22 per cent in the polls it is trying to curry favour with the American multinationals and socking it to ordinary Canadians who are not covered by drug programs.

Cangene is a small Canadian high-tech company operating near the riding of the Hon. Member for Brampton-Georgetown (Mr. McDermid). I do not understand why the Member would want to put such a company out of business.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PATENT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

Nonsense. They won't be out of business and you know it. That's utter nonsense. Be honest.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PATENT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
Permalink
LIB

Maurice Brydon Foster

Liberal

Mr. Foster:

The company has made it very clear that it will be put out of business by this legislation. It has lobbied the government and the opposition caucuses. If the Government does not accept this amendment it will be putting companies like Cangene out of business and the Hon. Member knows it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PATENT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
Permalink
PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

Nonsense. They're doing much better than you and I.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PATENT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
Permalink

April 7, 1987