April 2, 1998

LIB

Nick Discepola

Liberal

Mr. Nick Discepola (Vaudreuil—Soulanges, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Conservative Party made an important decision that changes the political landscape in both Canada and Quebec. If he becomes leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, the work that lies ahead will have a definite impact on the future of Quebec.

The member for Sherbrooke will have to deal more closely with a government that wants to separate Quebec from the rest of Canada. We have no doubt that this leadership candidate will be able to convince Quebeckers of the benefits of being part of Canada.

As he was saying, he is well aware of the reality of both Canada and Quebec. His expertise will be a major asset in defending Quebec's interests within Canadian federalism.

We wish him and his family good luck and we will support him in his efforts and his commitment to make Quebec a society that is determined to protect and promote its culture and its language and to take its place within the Canadian federation.

Good luck, Jean!

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Member For Sherbrooke
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REF

Myron Thompson

Reform

Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the following are the words of Steven Harrison from my riding:

As you may recall I contracted hepatitis C in 1987 following a liver transplant. Because of the hepatitis C I had to undergo a second transplant in 1995.

My wife was nine months pregnant with our second child and I was dying. I had my second transplant and all was well until October 1996. Then all the symptoms of hepatitis C hit. Fatigue, weight loss and I lost my ability to work and support my family.

In past months the government has admitted liability and promised fair compensation. Last Friday the package was announced and what a disappointment. According to my math it worked out to approximately $50,000 total to each person. The deal made with AIDS victims from bad blood pays them $30,000 per year. Like them I am sick and I am dying from my disease. Why is my life worth less than theirs and why should my family live on welfare in poverty because someone in the Red Cross wanted to save some money. Please help!

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Mrs. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, three years ago my constituent, John Davidson, pushed his son Jesse in his wheelchair across Ontario. That 3,300 kilometre journey raised well over $1 million which was put toward research into genetic diseases.

Now John prepares for an even greater journey. Starting next Friday, April 10, in St. John's, Newfoundland, John Davidson begins his walk of a minimum of 30 kilometres a day for gene research, arriving in British Columbia hopefully 250 days later.

“Jesse's Journey—A Father's Tribute” is also dedicated to hard working fathers who constantly undertake to provide the best for their families and communities. John Davidson is such a father, and I will join him as he starts his journey.

I urge my colleagues across the House to welcome him in their ridings and Canadians everywhere to support him and his cause.

“Get ready Newfoundland, you are going to be first”.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   John Davidson
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NDP

Bill Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government appears to have learned nothing from its disastrous handling of the MAI. After many Canadians have expressed their opposition to the MAI and to the government's overall uncritical approach to trade and investment liberalization designed by and for the multinational corporations, the trade minister will soon be off to Chile for talks on a free trade agreement of the Americas.

Despite promises to do things differently this time, it appears that once again Canadians will have no say in the matter until things are well under way.

When will the Liberals truly engage the Canadian public in all the different globalization options instead of pursuing one particular model at the expense of all others? If they did so, I am sure they would find that Canadians would prefer something other than a race to the bottom presided over by corporate rulers.

Canadians would prefer a global economy that protects the workers, the environment and the right of democracies to choose from a variety of political options, not just those right wing ones enshrined in trade agreements.

Shame on the Liberals for repeatedly embracing what they repeatedly said they would not do.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Trade
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LIB

Ted McWhinney

Liberal

Mr. Ted McWhinney (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the late Maxwell Cohen was a long time professor of international law and dean of the faculty of law at McGill University, founding president of the Canadian branch of the International Law Association, co-chairman of the Canada-U.S. International Joint Commission and judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

He was a scholar and administrator with high imagination and intellectual courage with the capacity and will to innovate and to modernize outmoded classical legal doctrine.

As a scholar and writer he had a remarkable capacity for synthesis of disparate ideas and a sparkling literary style. He was throughout his lifetime on the leading edge of legal change. With his contemporaries, Percy Corbett, Horace Read and N. A. M. Mackenzie, he was one of the founders of international law in Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Late Maxwell Cohen
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BQ

Maurice Dumas

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Maurice Dumas (Argenteuil—Papineau, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the government of Quebec is announcing today its new aboriginal affairs policy.

In spite of their tough social and economic situation, aboriginals in Quebec are striving for self-government and self-sufficiency.

This new Quebec policy is more positive, open and beneficial to the aboriginals. It will provide them with greater recognition and the flexibility they need to develop as they have always wanted to.

The new policy brings the Government of Quebec closer to the aboriginal communities and setting up a process for a more harmonious relationship with the aboriginals of Quebec.

On the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Quebec aboriginal affairs secretariat, the Bloc Quebecois is proud to support this initiative undertaken by the Government of Quebec.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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PC

Charlie Power

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charlie Power (St. John's West, PC)

Mr. Speaker, each member of the House will acknowledge that educating our young people is key to creating a competitive country. Young people in Newfoundland know this as well and they have done something about it.

Today I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the students and staff of Bishop's College in St. John's West. Bishop's College high school and Nortel have recently been named the winners of a national education partnerships award by the Conference Board of Canada.

Bishop's College and Nortel worked together to create Vision 2000, which is a plan to create a model school for students using technology. This kind of initiative, ingenuity and creativity will make the country a tough competitor in the next millennium. I am proud to say that the students displaying such drive are Newfoundlanders.

One level three student remarked that the partnering provided students with the opportunity to make themselves into the kind of employees that employers were looking for.

Everyone here will agree that this is the kind of partnership that works and should be encouraged in all our communities.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Bishop's College
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BQ

Pauline Picard

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Pauline Picard (Drummond, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, imagine a world where cancer would just be a vague and sad memory. Impossible, you say. Yet, thousands of men and women in Canada and in Quebec share this dream.

Even though cancer is not yet a thing of the past, we have to realize that great progress has been made these last few decades. More and more, we understand and screen early symptoms of cancer more quickly and treat them before it is too late.

To put it in concrete terms, let me point out that the survival rate of children with leukaemia has jumped from 50% to 83% in less than 30 years. For testicular cancer, the survival rate has increased from 73% to 95%. The recent discovery of the gene responsible for breast cancer has revived the research for treatment and prevention of this terrible disease.

The fight must go on. This being cancer awareness month, I urge all members of this House and Canadians to find the way to overcome cancer.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Fight Against Cancer
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LIB

Paul Steckle

Liberal

Mr. Paul Steckle (Huron—Bruce, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, despite my best effort to maintain a modest demeanour, I find that I am once again compelled to be on my feet for the purposes of informing the House of the tremendous success of groups from within Huron—Bruce.

This past weekend, the Blyth midget and bantam hockey teams both skated their way to victory in the all Ontario championships in their respective divisions. These accomplishments, although not easy, were less than a total surprise to the residents of Blyth. In fact, in recent weeks the local newspapers have carried headlines such as “Midget Bulldogs keep on winning” and “Bantams poised to take OMHA title”.

Without question the success of the two teams is a direct result of the dedication and commitment of the players and coaching staff. I ask the members of the House to join with me in congratulating Blyth's championship teams. Once again Huron—Bruce manages to score the winning goal.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Hockey
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REF

Gurmant Grewal

Reform

Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the government needs transplant surgery. The Liberal government is chronically ill. It has made our health care system so sick it needs intensive care. The Liberals are not responding to therapy. They created a three tiered health system with a double standard.

First, there is the regular system that is sick and failing us. The second tier is where Canadians wait and wait for treatment, even three to four hours for emergency treatment in Surrey Central. Third, rich people get treatment in the U.S. anyway.

The Liberals decide who to help and who not to help: a double standard. The Liberals help some hepatitis C victims but not other hepatitis C victims.

Liberal backbenchers are squirming and crying out in pain because of their government's cruel and heartless torture of Canadians sick from tainted blood.

We do not have a health system in Canada. We have a sickness system. The Liberals have a health problem: they have no vision and they cannot hear.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Health
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LIB

Marlene Jennings

Liberal

Mrs. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Guy Bouthillier of the Société Saint-Jean Baptiste has taken ethnocentrism to new and dangerous heights by declaring that only Quebeckers who have a mastery of the French language should be allowed to vote in Quebec.

Mr. Jacques Parizeau also blamed the ethnic minorities for the Parti Quebecois' defeat at the second referendum.

When I think about it, after hearing the then deputy prime minister, Bernard Landry, also blame the ethnic vote and verbally abuse Anita Martinez by saying “Why do we welcome you in our country? So that you can vote no?”, I am not surprised to hear Mr. Bouthillier state that only those who have a mastery of the French Language should be allowed to vote.

Ethnocentrism and exclusion are values shared by Messrs. Parizeau, Landry and Bouthillier, but not by all Quebeckers.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Société Saint-Jean Baptiste
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Leader of the Opposition, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister assured the House that 13 governments were solidly behind his decision to abandon thousands of hepatitis C victims infected through the government's faulty blood system. Today it is starting to unravel. British Columbia Premier Glen Clark has had the courage to say “I am not at all comfortable with the compensation package”.

If Premier Clark is beginning to see that abandoning the sick is wrong, why can the Prime Minister not see it too?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I was privileged to be with the premier before his meeting with the press. He did not take that occasion to express to me that he was not in agreement with his own minister of health.

All I can do is repeat that the ministers of health speaking on behalf of their governments have all agreed to this deal. Perhaps there should be a conversation between the B.C. minister of health and his premier.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Leader of the Opposition, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, it is a sign of courage to admit when one is wrong. It is a sign of leadership to change course when one is doing the wrong thing.

Today Quebec is talking about a no fault insurance system for victims of tainted blood. Premier Clark says he is not at all comfortable with the compensation package and is beginning to rethink his position. Other premiers and provincial governments will likely follow.

Does the Prime Minister want to be the last government leader in the country to admit he is wrong, or will he start to lead?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, all governments had many occasions to discuss this. There were many meetings between all the ministers of health in the land. All the ministers, including the federal minister, submitted a referendum to the cabinet. The federal government put $800 million into the deal and the provincial governments only $300 million.

If they are not comfortable with this amount, perhaps they should match the federal contribution.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Leader of the Opposition, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to read some quotes about the hepatitis C tragedy.

Here is one: “Let's face it, if we are compassionate, we have to help these people”. Here is another: “When people are sick, you don't discriminate”. And this one: “We'll have to try to find a way. We're responsible”. Who said these things? The Prime Minister's backbenchers.

If the Prime Minister will not listen to the victims, if he will not listen to the premiers who are having second thoughts, if he will not listen to us, will he at least listen to his own members and change his mind on this decision?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we have had discussions on this. Everybody does not always agree with me every time. I wish they would, but that is not always the case. We have had discussions and we have a responsibility. We are meeting our responsibilities. The Minister of Health has given some extremely good reasons why we made this decision.

Between 1986 and 1990 there was a failure on the part of all governments concerning tainted blood and we have taken the responsible—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
Permalink
?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton North.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, this is about negligence and responsibility. Many Canadians got AIDS from Canada's tainted blood system. Those victims were all compensated, even those who contracted AIDS before there was a screening test available.

The Prime Minister agreed with AIDS compensation then and it is still being paid out. In fact, the Liberals demanded that compensation for all of them. However, now he refuses to show hepatitis C victims the same compassion.

When did the Prime Minister lose his ability to tell right from wrong?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, just to set the record straight, first of all the AIDS package did not cover everyone. In fact, it was left to us in this most recent announcement last week to include those who were infected by partners or parents. We completed what was started 10 years ago.

Second, the AIDS package as I see it from this distance of 10 years was based on exactly the same principle as the proposal we made for the hepatitis C settlement. Namely, at that time the government implicitly acknowledged fault or negligence in not having put systems in place to look for HIV contaminants in the blood. Same principle then, same principle now.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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April 2, 1998