March 2, 2000

LIB

Peter Adams

Liberal

Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present another petition. It is from hundreds of women who are concerned about standards of mammography quality assurance in Canada.

They point out that Canada has the second highest incidence of breast cancer in the world. While the United States has mandatory mammography testing and standards, Canada has no legislation for mandatory mammography quality assurance standards. They call upon parliament to establish an independent governing body to develop, implement and enforce uniform and mandatory mammography quality assurance.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Rose-Marie Ur

Liberal

Mrs. Rose-Marie Ur (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am honoured to present this petition signed by hundreds of residents in Lambton county in my riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex. They urge the government to protest the actions of the Taliban in Afghanistan with women's rights now non-existent for work, education, health care and freedom of movement.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Gurbax Malhi

Liberal

Mr. Gurbax Singh Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions on different issues.

Pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to present to parliament a petition signed by 28 Canadians. Many young men and women between the ages of 17 and 21 continue to benefit from the enormously worthwhile, uniquely Canadian youth program called Katimavik. The participants come from all regions of Canada and share a remarkable sense of friendship.

The Katimavik program is in need of increased funding as well as an enhanced media profile if it is to continue its good work. Therefore the petitioners pray and request that parliament entrusts the government to greatly increase the current level of support for Canada's very own homegrown Katimavik program.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Gurbax Malhi

Liberal

Mr. Gurbax Singh Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to present to parliament a petition signed by 25 Canadians.

One in five Canadian children live in poverty. On November 24, 1989 the House of Commons promised to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. Therefore the petitioners call upon parliament to use the federal budget to introduce a multi-year plan to improve the well-being of Canadian children.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Gurbax Malhi

Liberal

Mr. Gurbax Singh Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I have the honour to present to parliament a petition signed by 26 concerned Canadians.

The use of the additive MMT in Canadian gasoline presents an environmental problem. It affects every man, woman and child in Canada. The use of MMT in gasoline has been known to cause emission control devices to affect engine performance and cause high levels of dangerous smog. Therefore the petitioners call upon parliament to set by the end of this calendar year national clean fuel standards for gasoline with zero MMT and low sulphur content.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Réginald Bélair

Liberal

Mr. Réginald Bélair (Timmins—James Bay, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, residents of Timmins, Kapuskasing and Val Rita wish to draw to the attention of the House that one in five Canadian children live in poverty. On November 24, 1989 the House of Commons unanimously resolved to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. Since 1989 the number of poor children in Canada has increased by 60%. Therefore the petitioners call upon parliament to introduce a multi-year plan to improve the well-being of Canada's children. They urge parliament to fulfil the promise of the 1989 House of Commons resolution to end child poverty in Canada.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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NDP

Bev Desjarlais

New Democratic Party

Ms. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition on behalf of thousands of people in the province of Manitoba who also call on the House to work at reducing child poverty. They recognize that in 1989 the House unanimously passed a resolution to eliminate child poverty in Canada. They had also hoped that this federal budget would be utilized to alleviate the child poverty problem. I am sure they were quite dissatisfied to see that did not happen.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Derek Lee

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 43 will be answered today. .[Text]

Question No. 43—

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

Gerald Keddy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gerald Keddy

What was the cost to the federal government of the Supreme Court of Canada R. v Marshall trial regarding treaty fishing rights?

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

Bob Nault

Liberal

Hon. Robert D. Nault (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Lib.)

Insofar as the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is concerned, the breakdown of approximate costs for the Marshall proceedings is as follows:

Operational expenses for DIAND:

Travel expenses—$7,000 Costs of meetings, review of documents and pleadings—$20,000 Expert report on the application of the royal proclamation in regard to the Atlantic provinces—$3,000

Subtotal—$30,000

Funding for Mr. Marshall's lawyer under the test case funding program—legal fees and disbursements for court of appeal and Supreme Court of Canada—$54,123

Total costs—$84,123

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

Derek Lee

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 10 could be made an order for return, the return would be tabled immediately.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed As Orders For Returns
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?

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed As Orders For Returns
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?

Some hon. members

Agreed. .[Text]

Question No. 10—

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed As Orders For Returns
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PC

Gilles Bernier

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gilles Bernier

With respect to the Québec ministerial tour taken by the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, the Minister of National Revenue, the President of the Treasury Board, the Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development) and the Secretary of State (Amateur Sport) from September 22 to 24, 1999, could the government advise the House of the costs of this trip including: transportation to, from and during the ministerial tour, accomodations, communications, meals, entertainment and alcoholic beverages for each of the ministers, their support staff and departmental staff?

Return tabled.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed As Orders For Returns
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LIB

Derek Lee

Liberal

Mr. Derek Lee

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed As Orders For Returns
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?

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed As Orders For Returns
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?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed As Orders For Returns
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NDP

Alexa McDonough

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

moved:

That this House calls upon the government to stand up for the Canadian value of universal public health care by announcing within one week of the passage of this motion a substantial and sustained increase in cash transfers for health beyond the inadequate sum announced in the budget and by taking the steps necessary to prohibit private for-profit hospitals and to stop the growth of private for-profit health services in Canada.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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?

The Speaker

I wish to inform the House that there is an error in the French text of the opposition motion, which may be found on page 19 of today's order paper. A corrigendum is available from the table.

I regret any inconvenience this may have caused hon. members.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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NDP

Alexa McDonough

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexa McDonough

Mr. Speaker, thank you for reading aloud the very important motion on health care which the NDP opposition has placed before the House today. Every member of the House will have an opportunity to vote on it before the day is out.

I would like to indicate at the outset that I am very pleased to share my time with the member for Winnipeg North Centre, the hardworking health critic of the New Democratic Party.

The motion, on which every member of the House will have an opportunity to indicate where they stand before the day is out, deals with the undisputed number one priority of the Canadian people namely, health care, and more specifically the threat to health care that is currently a reality in this country.

This week we saw a budget introduced in which the government of the day indicated to Canadians that their priorities do not count. How else can we interpret a budget that makes available one dollar in tax cuts for every two cents allocated to health care? The government knows there is a serious health care crisis happening across the country.

In Saskatchewan in the 1940s Tommy Douglas took the first important step toward the introduction of a universal, publicly funded health care system for Canadians. He issued some very important advice. He said not to ever ever make the mistake of thinking that the enemies of a universal health care system will have gone away. They may have gone into the shadows, they may be hiding out, but there will always be those who take the view that they personally or their friends can benefit from a for profit health care system; a health care system that takes no account of whether people happen to live in a province where health care is available to them on the basis of need, or where people do not have money in their pockets to purchase the health care services they need. There will always be people who will want to benefit from a two tier health care system that looks a lot like that health care system to the south of us today in the United States of America.

That was very good advice, because we have today the political fight of our lives under way to ensure that we preserve and strengthen through change a universal public health care system, the single greatest achievement of Canadians. I think it is the very thing Canadians value most about being a Canadian.

Some may think that fight is taking place between the federal Liberal government and some Canadian premiers, notably the premiers of Ontario and Alberta. The Canadian people know better. Canadians know that the fight is taking place between those who value and will work to preserve and strengthen the universal health care system and those who place it in jeopardy. They know that those who have put it in jeopardy include on the same side of this battle the federal Liberal government of the day, the Conservative governments of Ontario and Alberta and others who would seize the opportunity that the federal Liberal government has created to tear down that universal health care system.

The first blow to that system was given in the 1995 federal Liberal budget but we do not have time to talk about how we got into this mess. As members of parliament elected to represent Canadians who value our universal health care system, today we need to stand and vote to preserve and strengthen that system. Every single member of the House will have the opportunity later today to indicate which side of this battle he or she is on.

Because we do not have a lot of time before that universal health care system slips away, in order to move quickly and dramatically we must take some very specific concrete steps. Our motion sets out three steps.

We must first take urgent fiscal action. That means restoring the cash transfers for health care to a minimum of 25% of health care spending over the next two years.

Second, the federal government must take the necessary steps to prohibit private for profit hospitals. We have to draw that line in the sand. The federal Liberal government knows perfectly well that Ralph Klein and his government have been busy moving in that direction. At this very moment they are preparing to take the next step that would allow for the operation of private for profit hospitals. It is the thin edge of the wedge. We have seen what has happened with eye clinics in Alberta. Canadians have had their eyes opened to what that means in terms of a two tier system. We cannot allow that to happen in Alberta. We cannot allow Mike Harris who is watching with glee to think he too can move in that direction.

Third, the federal government must stop other health services, such as home care from being privatized as well. In the province of Ontario the excellent home care services that were beginning to be put in place, beginning to be integrated into a comprehensive home care system have been torn down. Why have they been torn down? Because the federal Liberal government gave Mike Harris the permission he needed to do it. It cut so much money in unilateral cuts to health care starting in 1995 and still has not restored those lost funds. The Harris government said, “We are going to take this as permission to begin delivering home care at the lowest possible cost. We are going to shift it on to a private system”.

Excellent experience, respected health care and home care workers like the VON, the St. Elizabeth Society and the Red Cross have literally been thrown on the human scrap heap to make way for privatized home care. It is not a pretty picture.

Today every member of the House, including every member from the provinces of Ontario and Alberta who knows what an ugly picture that privatized home care is, has the opportunity to make it clear that he or she is prepared to stand and fight for what Canadians want, and that is a universal, publicly funded health care system.

We know that every member of the House understands that is what Canadians want and we know that the health minister will stand to say “Yes, but it takes money”. Then let us talk about the money. Yes, it takes changes. Let us talk about the changes. But let no member of the House use the excuse of cowardice or dithering or delaying to fail to stand in his or her place today to support the NDP opposition motion that is before us to strengthen and preserve through change the health care system for which Canadians have worked so hard.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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March 2, 2000