October 3, 1997

REF

Reed Elley

Reform

Mr. Reed Elley (Nanaimo—Cowichan, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, over 25 percent of the population use or rely on natural health care products. These people have galvanized support for the right of Canadians to freely choose these products, and they want an answer.

Will the government change its current policy to permit the unrestricted use and access to safe alternative health products instead of making criminals of ordinary Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the challenge facing any government is to strike the right balance between regulation to protect consumers from fraud or abuse and, on the other hand, allowing Canadians freedom of choice for health related products. The government is determined to find that right balance.

Tomorrow in Toronto, I am going to be making an announcement that will make clear the intention of the government with respect to the approach toward herbal remedies and natural products in general. I commend it to the hon. member in response to his question.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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BQ

Caroline St-Hilaire

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

With respect to pay equity in the federal public service, the President of the Treasury Board said this week in the House, and I quote “We stand ready to apply the various judgments once they are made final”.

Is the President of the Treasury Board saying that he will not send a representative to the bargaining table and that he intends to use all the legal stalling tactics at his disposal to delay a settlement?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Pay Equity
Permalink
LIB

Marcel Massé

Liberal

Hon. Marcel Massé (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, once again, we have made over $1 billion in equity payments in recent years.

We have made an offer of $1,3 billion and we intend to leave this offer on the table, and when the unions are ready to negotiate, they have only to come back.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Pay Equity
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NDP

Libby Davies

New Democratic Party

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

There is a public health emergency in Vancouver's downtown east side. It is an epidemic of HIV infection, particularly among injection drug users, and Vancouver has now had the highest incident rate in the developed world. Death from drug overdoses is the number one killer for men and women aged 30 to 44.

Will the minister commit here and now to show the leadership that is called for in the national action plan?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have personal knowledge of the awful tragedy to which the hon. member refers. I have walked with the police of Vancouver through the back alleys of downtown Vancouver. I have visited the areas to which she has referred and I have seen people who have died as a result of abusing drugs and using dirty needles.

There is no one simple answer to this issue. The municipal government—and I have spoken with the mayor of Vancouver about it—the provincial government and the federal government must, as we are, work in co-ordination to provide social services, proper policing and treatment to those very much in need.

The hon. member has my assurance that we will continue in that effort.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
?

The Speaker

I believe there is a question of privilege. Does this matter arise from question period?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
REF

Bob Mills

Reform

Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, during question period today the foreign affairs minister suggested that he had called my office any number of times to get the list of people we are talking about.

We have been in our offices from 7.30 a.m. until about 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. every night and he has—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
?

The Speaker

I believe that is a point of debate, not a point of privilege.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
LIB

Bob Speller

Liberal

Mr. Bob Speller (Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, a report from the Canadian Branch Commonwealth Parliamentary Association concerning the 36th Canadian regional conference which took place July 12 to 18 in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Delegations
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REF

Garry Breitkreuz

Reform

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I have several petitions to present, so I ask for your indulgence as I go through them.

I am pleased to present two petitions with the signatures of 80 Canadians from my constituency who are concerned that their freedom of choice in health care is becoming increasingly curtailed and threatened by government regulation.

The petitioners request a number of specific amendments to the Food and Drug Act which would ensure that health foods and dietary supplements are not defined and regulated as drugs.

They request also that the only foods the Government of Canada may restrict from the market are those which are proven unsafe or fraudulently promoted and that in all cases the burden of proof shall be on the government.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Permalink
REF

Garry Breitkreuz

Reform

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the next group of petitions are signed by 58 of my constituents who are asking Parliament to make several changes to the way crimes of violence are treated in the law and by the courts.

They ask for the following changes. First, the law should require all bail hearings in crimes of violence to be presided over by a judge.

Second, the law should require money or security to be posted before the release of a person accused of a violent crime. Third, the law should hold agents of the crown directly accountable for the actions or omissions in permitting the release of offenders.

Fourth, the law should ensure that sentences reflect society's abhorrence for the criminal act in order to act as a true deterrent and to protect the public.

Finally, they ask that public safety be given a higher priority than the rights of the violent offender for early release. My hope is that the government listens to these petitioners.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Peter Adams

Liberal

Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from hundreds of citizens of the Peterborough region who are concerned about the impact of the Food and Drug Act and its use in a range of products, including vitamins, herbs and various minerals.

These citizens ask that section (3) of schedule A of the present Food and Drug Act be deleted so that true claims for any product that prevents, treats or cures any of the 46 specific conditions can be allowed.

I have another petition on a similar topic also from hundreds of constituents of the Peterborough riding who are concerned about freedom of choice in health care.

They are concerned that this choice is increasingly threatened by legislation and statutory regulations of the government. They ask that the Food and Drug Act be revised in various ways, including that the definition of food include dietary supplements and foods for special health uses and that the definition of drug be amended to read “drug includes any substance other than food”.

Finally, they request that the expression dietary supplement include any substance that is intended to improve or augment the nutritional quality of one's diet and may include tablets, capsules, powders or liquids containing one or more of the following ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an amino acid, an herb or other botanical or concentrate metabolite constituent, extract or combination of these ingredients.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Permalink
LIB

Derek Lee

Liberal

Mr. Derek Lee (Scarborough—Rouge River, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to christen this new bench in the House of Commons, close to the bar.

I have a petition from Canadians in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario who call on Parliament and the government to declare that Canada is indivisible and that Canada's boundaries should not be altered without a free vote of Canadian citizens or using the amending formula contained in the Canadian Constitution.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Permalink
LIB

Peter Adams

Liberal

Mr. Peter Adams (Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions On The Order Paper
Permalink
?

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions On The Order Paper
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions On The Order Paper
Permalink

The House resumed consideration of the motion for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session.


REF

Jay Hill

Reform

Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, before the important business of question period, and it is too bad there is not a little answer period as well, I was on a bit of a roll and it is really hard when interrupted to get back up to speed.

During my brief remarks I was congratulating you, the other speakers and all members of Parliament on their election or re-election to this august Chamber. I was remiss in not congratulating the new minister of agriculture on his appointment. He has a very difficult job ahead to convince his cabinet and his caucus colleagues to develop a new vision for the industry that will keep pace with the vision that is being developed out in the real world by the farmers.

Our party has been quite critical of the so-called 50:50 arrangement in the throne speech that has been put into place with a commitment by the government once we move beyond a balanced budget.

Two days ago an open line show was conducted in my riding of Dawson Creek. There were about 69 calls from Canadians. About eight and a half were in favour of increased spending for social programs, and about nine and a half favoured tax relief. Interestingly enough, 51 calls favoured debt reduction. That says to me this government is on the wrong track, that the majority of Canadians recognize the huge threat to the Canadian economy, indeed to the security of all Canadians, that $600 billion of debt represents.

They recognize it out in the real world and I suggest this government wake up and recognize it not only in the throne speech but in the way it governs this country.

Farmers in Canada will not survive because of government action but because of their own ambition, innovation and initiative. That is the way it has always been, that is the way it will always be. But this government can take some leadership, show some vision and help the farmers not only in my riding but across the nation to achieve their goals, and it is not doing it.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
Permalink
REF

Ken Epp

Reform

Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague from British Columbia on a wonderful speech. He made a number of commitments.

I was interested about the role of a member of Parliament. He talked a little about that, about the aspirations he had in representing his people here. I would like him to give us a little comment on the record of the Liberals versus the record of Reformers on listening to the people, responding to them and representing them in this House. That would be an interesting part to his speech which he really did not get into that much.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
Permalink

October 3, 1997