Personal Data

Oakville North--Burlington (Ontario)
Birth Date
January 1, 1971
Email Address
businesswoman, city councillor, community activist

Parliamentary Career

October 19, 2015 -
  Oakville North--Burlington (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 47)

June 18, 2019

Ms. Pam Damoff (Oakville North—Burlington, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reflect on our accomplishments of the last four years: the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years, one million jobs created by Canadians and 300,000 kids lifted out of poverty.

I am proud of my work on the status of women committee to help shape a national gender-based violence strategy and my work on the public safety committee on legislation that will transform our national security landscape, eliminate administrative segregation from prisons and introduce a common-sense approach to firearms.

My office's young women in leadership program has connected over 150 young women with career mentors. Our government supported the Terry Fox Research Institute with a $150-million commitment toward cancer research. As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, I note we are moving forward on pharmacare and healthy active living.

I am immensely privileged to represent Oakville North—Burlington. Here is to another four years of good work on behalf of all Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Liberal Party of Canada
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June 17, 2019

Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a), (b) and (c), natural health products have been regulated under the natural health products regulations since 2004, and Canadians now have access to more than 150,000 licensed natural health products. The government is committed to preserving access to a wide range of health products, while making sure that Canadians have the information they need on the product labels to make informed health choices. Health Canada is dedicated to being reasonable, thoughtful and deliberate in how it develops its policy proposals and how it implements any changes.

Since fall 2016, departmental officials have conducted extensive consultations with a diverse range of stakeholders to gain their perspectives and concerns on proposed changes to the natural health products regulations to improve the labelling of natural health products, and the food and drug regulations to modernize the oversight approach for non-prescription drugs. Health Canada has received input from over 4,500 consumers, industry, health care professionals, academia and many other interested stakeholders. This engagement will continue as proposals advance over the coming months to further seek stakeholders’ perspectives and collaboratively work with them on potential solutions.

With regard to the natural health products regulations, Health Canada is proposing changes to improve the labelling of natural health products to make labels easier to read and understand, help consumers make informed decisions about their health and the health of their families, and reduce avoidable harms associated with confusing or illegible labels. Under this new proposal, labels would require a standardized product facts table, a minimum font size and appropriate colour contrast. This proposal is targeting spring 2020 for pre-publication in the Canada Gazette, part I. To support this proposal and its implementation, Health Canada has been engaging stakeholders extensively and has been meeting individual companies representing tens of thousands of natural health products on the Canadian market, to identify any challenges with implementing the proposed labelling changes and working in collaboration with stakeholders to identify potential solutions. Furthermore, Health Canada will publish its proposed guidance on labelling changes in June 2019 to seek additional feedback on the proposed changes prior to formal consultation in Canada Gazette, part I.

In April 2019, Health Canada published its findings from public opinion research on improving self-care product labelling during in-person public consultations held across Canada in 2018: “Consulting Consumers on Self-Care Product Labelling: A Report on What We Heard”,

With regard to the food and drug regulations, Health Canada is proposing changes to modernize the oversight approach for non-prescription drugs, which range from cosmetic-like topical products to higher-risk products such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. This proposal would introduce simplified market access pathways for lower-risk products and reduce regulatory burden for industry. This proposal is targeting spring 2020 for pre-publication in Canada Gazette, part I.

The regulatory modernization proposals, as described above, are outlined in Health Canada’s “Forward Regulatory Plan 2019-2021”:

More information on the proposed regulatory changes and how stakeholders can get involved can be found in “Next steps on the self-care products initiative”, at

Health Canada remains committed to continue to engage stakeholders throughout the regulatory modernization process.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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June 17, 2019

Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is with regard to the bill and its importance for the corrections system. We had rigorous debate during committee hearings. A number of significant, not minor, changes were made at committee. The Senate has also made some changes to it. My understanding is that the only thing we are debating when the bill comes back is the Senate amendments. We have had rigorous debate on the bill itself. It has received support from the parole officers union and from the correctional officers union, which recognize the importance of getting this legislation done due to court challenges.

Could the minister speak about the importance of this legislation and what we are actually debating here?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Corrections and Conditional Release Act
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June 17, 2019

Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to offer the government's support for Motion No. 173, brought forward by my colleague, the member for Brampton South. I would also like to commend the member for her dedicated work on this important public health issue. She has been a tireless advocate and has ensured that diabetes and the work that needs to be done remains top of mind for all of us. She introduced a motion at the Standing Committee on Health to study this issue, which resulted in a very substantial report from that committee, and now she has brought forward this motion.

Motion No. 173 would declare November of each year diabetes awareness month. This would be another example of Canada showing leadership in helping those with diabetes. This is leadership that dates back to the discovery of insulin almost 100 years ago by Dr. Frederick Banting, from my home town of London, Ontario, and Dr. Charles Best.

Support for Motion No. 173 would also complement the recognition of November 14 as World Diabetes Awareness Day, which already takes place in Canada. A diabetes awareness month would create more awareness and understanding among all Canadians about this disease, what it is, how is can be prevented and how it can be managed.

Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that can hamper a person's ability to fully participate in the economic and social life of Canada. If left uncontrolled, all three forms of diabetes can lead to serious complications, and for some, premature death.

There are three types of diabetes. Type 1 is not preventable. Gestational diabetes, which occurs in pregnant women, usually disappears after delivery, although it does lead to an increased risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Close to 90% of diabetes cases in Canada are type 2, which is preventable. It is why a diabetes awareness month could have a great impact from an awareness and education perspective. Through greater awareness, we could help stop type 2 in its tracks. This would include drawing greater attention to how Canadians can address the risk factors for diabetes, including physical activity, unhealthy eating, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol.

It is important to recognize that it can be challenging for some to address these risk factors for diabetes. They are often tied to issues such as income, education and the social and physical environments in which a person lives. These issues can result in a person having more difficulty accessing and affording healthy foods or undertaking regular physical activity.

The government support for Motion No. 173 aligns with recommendations from Diabetes Canada's diabetes 360° plan to promote healthier environments. It also complements this recommendation put forth by my colleagues on the Standing Committee on Health:

explore options to improve public awareness and education on diabetes, particularly through community programming, including public awareness of the relationship between nutrition and diabetes

Over three million Canadians, or 8.6% of the population, have diagnosed diabetes. Some population groups have higher rates of diabetes than others, including men, first nations and Métis people, people of African and South Asian descent and people with lower income and education levels.

Healthy eating has a significant impact on the health of Canadians and on the health care system. It contributes to obesity and to the onset of chronic diseases like diabetes.

Also challenging is that Canada's food environment can make it difficult for some Canadians to make healthy eating the easy choice. Less than half our teenagers report eating enough fruits and vegetables. First nations children living off reserve and Inuit and Métis children experience higher levels of food insecurity than non-indigenous children. Preliminary studies are also starting to show that the risk of Inuit developing type 2 diabetes has increased significantly in recent years.

The Government of Canada has been taking action through our healthy eating strategy. Led by Health Canada, the government has strengthened nutrition labelling on food products and has eliminated industrial-produced trans fats in foods.

The launch of the new Canada food guide, which is based on scientific evidence and facts, not only proposes a wide range of nutritious foods for Canadians but emphasises that healthy eating is more than just the foods one eats. It promotes lifelong healthy eating habits by encouraging people to prepare healthy foods at home and to eat together and it offers creative resources to help Canadians do so.

The government is also investing in promising community-based partnerships through the Public Health Agency of Canada's program called promoting healthy living and preventing chronic disease through the multi-sectoral partnerships. Funding delivered through this program has leveraged additional investment from non-taxpayer resources, which has enabled the government to increase the reach and impact of its funding. Funded projects, such as farm to school: Canada digs in; kid food nation; and APPLE schools are helping Canadian youth and children to eat better by building their food literacy skills and to have fun while learning.

The government is also investing in FoodFit, which provides low-income adults with hands-on food skills, tips for preparing affordable and nutritious meals, group physical activity and goal-setting to help participants eat well and lead healthier lifestyles.

Finally, our food policy for Canada sets out a vision that will help Canadians and the communities in which they live access food that is healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate and locally produced. This includes support for food security in northern and indigenous communities and support to reduce food waste.

Diabetes awareness month would also be an excellent opportunity to promote and reinforce efforts to get Canadians to move more and sit less. While Canadian adults report being more active now than in the previous decade, we know Canadians still are not getting enough physical activity. Only 18% of Canadian adults are meeting the 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity guideline per week, or the equivalent to biking for a little over 20 minutes a day. As well, only 40% of children and youth are meeting their recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Of them, girls are less active than boys.

The government recognizes that we cannot solve the issue of getting Canadians more physically active alone. In June 2018, the government joined the provinces and territories in releasing a report entitled “A Common Vision for Increasing Physical Activity and Reducing Sedentary Living in Canada: Let's Get Moving”. Federal, provincial and territorial governments and a wide range of organizations and partners worked together to develop this policy framework. The common vision is catalyzing efforts across Canada at national, provincial, territorial and local levels to put in place actions to help Canadians get more physically active.

Through budget 2018, $25 million over five years is being invested to support Participaction to increase participation in daily physical activity among Canadians through the Let's Get Moving initiative. Participaction is working with governments, communities and organizations from other sectors to change social norms through long-term and coordinated public education and engagement to increase physical activity. I recently participated in the community better challenge, run by Participaction, to identify Canada's most physically active community.

Another project funded through this program, which will help get Canadian girls moving more, is FitSpirit Healthy Lifestyles for Teen Girls. This eight to-10-week training program for girls empowers them to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and to celebrate the completion of the program by collectively completing a five-kilometre running challenge.

In her 2017 report, entitled “Designing Healthy Living”, the chief public health officer of Canada highlighted that how we design and build where we live, work, study and play is key to improving physical and mental health for all.

With this objective in mind, the Public Health Agency of Canada has invested in projects such as Housing for Health. Housing for Health will combine improvements to neighbourhoods in cities with health promotion programming and encourage community engagement to increase physical activity, healthy eating and social interaction among residents in their communities. This project is an excellent example of how partners from diverse sectors can work together to encourage active and healthy living.

In closing, the government believes that recognizing diabetes awareness month would benefit all Canadians. It would help to increase awareness about this chronic disease, which can help reduce the stigma attached to those living with it.

I would like to again thank the member for Brampton South for sponsoring the motion in the House, and I am thankful for the opportunity to show the government's support for it today.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Diabetes Awareness Month
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June 6, 2019

Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order to do with decorum during question period.

Yesterday, the member for Lethbridge stood and asked that the rules be upheld equally in this place and claimed that members on this side were heckling her. As we know, it is an issue during question period when members are heckled. The Minister of Democratic Institutions sits very close to me and every time she stands, she is heckled loudly. Today, I could not even hear her answer, and yet she sits two seats away from me.

I would ask that members show a little more respect for each other in this House and if we could have more decorum in the House.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Points of Order
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