Robert Alfred CORBETT

CORBETT, Robert Alfred

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Fundy--Royal (New Brunswick)
Birth Date
December 14, 1938
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Corbett
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=aa4f6101-0038-477c-8c4c-7323743534ab&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businessman

Parliamentary Career

October 16, 1978 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Fundy--Royal (New Brunswick)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Fundy--Royal (New Brunswick)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
PC
  Fundy--Royal (New Brunswick)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
PC
  Fundy--Royal (New Brunswick)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
PC
  Fundy--Royal (New Brunswick)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 121)


February 22, 1993

Mr. Corbett:

Mr. Speaker, the workers at Marine Atlantic will know, not only because of my fondness for maritime traditions and the sea but also because of the excellent service they and Marine Atlantic have given the residents of Prince Edward Island and the travelling public over the years, of the efforts that I have exerted on their behalf to ensure the continuity of those jobs.

I believe with substantial confidence that Marine Atlantic will work to ensure that a significant number of the 600 jobs the hon. member is referring to-although I am not certain that figure is not a little on the high side-will be assimilated into other phases and areas of the work place, either with Marine Atlantic or in the operation of the bridge after it is completed.

We are looking at the passing of an era. There is no question about that. What we are replacing it with is an opportunity for additional industry and additional infrastructure, whether it be in tourism or related areas either

Government Orders

in Prince Edward Island or in New Brunswick. There will be the creation of an infrastructure to support the bridge. It is possible that an entirely new community may be developed just somewhat north of Cape Tormentine, which will also provide opportunities for additional jobs.

In the final analysis, if one did a model of the economic scale we would come to the conclusion that not only will the majority of the workers who the hon. member has expressed a concern for-and I know that concern to be genuine having served with him on the transport committee and know that he is very dedicated to the community that he represents-will not only be assimilated into new and exciting jobs and possibilities but that many more hundreds of jobs will become evident as we proceed with the project and the project becomes a reality.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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February 10, 1993

Mr. Corbett:

I certainly am pleased to have the opportunity to speak in this debate on Bill C-301 dealing with amendments to the Financial Administration Act. My interest is specifically with regard to the final section of the proposed bill.

At the outset I should relate to the Speaker that I am particularly interested in this bill because it is of specific interest to those in my community who are involved in the small business community.

I think it is terribly important that we have an opportunity to participate in the development of the organization of Canada's economic development in a small business way. Let me say that I think it is important that this bill be given at least a fair hearing in this Chamber. Clause 4 states:

February 10, 1993

Private Members' Business

Section 64(1) of the said act is amended by striking out the words

"December 31" and substituting therefor the words "October 30".

The change to the Financial Administration Act that is being proposed here is to move forward the deadline for tabling the public accounts from the present date of December 31 to October 30.

I think that there are all kinds of opportunity for all of us to appreciate. We can as small business people and as the small business community particularly can make suggestions to the government as to how it might improve or make things more appropriate from the perspective of dealing with our particular businesses and more substantially from the point of view of how we should deal with our day to day regime.

However, it is also important to recognize that the government has responsibility to the fiscal community as a whole. That is why I would suggest that we have to take into account the entire aspect of this particular bill.

Mr. Speaker, the government, as you are well aware, is always open to new ideas about ways in which management processes can be improved and government can be made more accountable to the Canadian public. These new ideas come from a wide variety of sources. I am sure you are aware, Mr. Speaker, that views are commissioned by the government and come from recommendations of parliamentary committees, one of which I am a member, the transport committee, audits by the Auditor General and in some instances even from members of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, which we have often said that we were open to. Hopefully we will have an opportunity of hearing more constructive suggestions as we move along.

Today we are debating a suggestion for changing the timing of the tabling of the public accounts which was made by means of a private member's bill put forward by a member of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, the hon. member for Kent. While we welcome the suggestions of the hon. member and we applaud his diligence in the pursuit of improved management processes in our country we do not always necessarily agree. That is what our democratic society is about and certainly is what this House is about. We do not always agree with ideas that are put forth. This is an excellent opportunity to suggest alternatives.

The hon. member's suggestion to bring forward the tabling debate of the public accounts from December 31 to October 30 is an example of what we on this side of the House, and myself as being a private member, not a member of the government but a member of a party who supports the government, are not in concurrence with. We do not agree with the idea and would like to put forth our reasons why.

In order to understand why we disagree with the hon. member on this point it is important to understand the context in which he is proposing to make changes to the Financial Administration Act.

I should explain that the Financial Administration Act provides the legislative basis for financial management and control in government. I hope that the House will bear with me because I am not a technical person, a technocrat, or someone who is intimately involved with the department. I do not have intimate knowledge but I can only share how I feel about this particular bill. Therefore I will ask the House to bear with me as I go through the process.

The act originated in 1991 and in that year there was passage of Bill C-91, which was entitled an act to amend the Financial Administration Act and other acts in consequence thereof.

That is obviously material that would be well beyond most of our capacities to be able to digest. It is certainly beyond my capacity to digest as an ordinary civilian who is only interested in being the representative of the people in my constituency of Fundy-Royal. The entire concept is something that we should all be concerned about. I know that we should talk about things that are somewhat more considerate of the people who we represent.

Let us go back to things that are entitling us to develop conversations with reference to the bill itself. The delays, which I am told are not important, that we have been encountering in the past years have been primarily caused by external factors mainly beyond government control.

The Auditor General has been involved with things that are of interest to all of us. We should be cognizant of his report. I would suggest that a deadline of October 30 could impede the full resolution of issues that we want to deal with in the House. For this reason I am totally

February 10, 1993

opposed to the tabling deadline of October 30. I would have to vote against any suggestions before the House saying that we should change that deadline to October 30.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT
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February 10, 1993

Mr. Bob Corbett (Fundy-Royal):

Mr. Speaker, I would appreciate some instruction from the Chair as to the time limitations.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT
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September 9, 1992

Which government department produced a bookmark with the logo "With the future in mind" and how many were produced and at what cost?

Topic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
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May 5, 1992

Mr. Bob Corbett (Fundy-Royal):

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this debate.

Private Members' Business

It is a very special occasion for me because it marks the first anniversary of the new addition to the Corbett family, a grandson, my first grandchild today. He was bom in Montreal, Quebec, and he is the Corbetts' newest Canadian.

The motion that we are concerned with today is the decision to close the drugs directorate's laboratory activities in the Natural Products Section and Drug Residue Section of the Bureau of Drug Research, Health Protection Branch.

A stringent review of the priorities within the drugs program was conducted immediately following the budget of February 1991 in reaching the decision. I can tell you that the reduction in laboratory work is a reflection of limited available resources and not of the quality or intrinsic importance of the studies that have been conducted in these areas.

It is the responsibility of pharmaceutical manufacturers and the medical device industry to invent new products for the Canadian market and the government encourages industrial R and D. The Health Protection Branch's role is to review the information provided by the industry.

The government took action in 1987 in support of enhanced pharmaceutical research and development in Canada when changes were made to the Patent Act. Bill C-22 granted drug patent holders a period of market exclusivity of seven years against manufacturing in Canada and 10 years against importation. In response, the innovative pharmaceutical industry made a public commitment to increase its R and D expenditures as a percentage of sales to 8 per cent by 1991 and to 10 per cent by the end of 1996 from the then existing level of 4.9 per cent. This commitment represented new spending on pharmaceutical R and D totalling $1.4 billion over the 10 year period.

I think it also appropriate at this point to mention that not only do the pharmaceutical companies that are represented by this group represent a commitment to Canada's R and D research, but as well, the generic industry that is well represented in this country and contributes handsomely to the pharmaceutical industry in the nation contributes significantly to employment levels and to the pharmaceutical prestige that this country has in the international community. We should

Private Members' Business

make every reference and opportunity to encourage those people as well.

As reported by the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, total R and D expenditures by pharmaceutical patent holders increased from $165.7 million in 1988 to $281.3 million in 1990. The R and D to sales ratio rose from approximately 6 per cent to approximately 9 per cent in this period. According to data from the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association, basic research increased to a total of $70.1 million in 1990 from $30.3 million in 1988. Government policies to enhance intellectual property rights in this area have resulted in the pharmaceutical industry becoming a major source of total research funding in the health field.

The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association of Canada established its Health Research Foundation which broadly covers the various disciplines involved in research in pharmaceutical therapy in the late 1980s. Most of the foundation's awards are matched by the Medical Research Council through the university-industry program.

The government took steps in 1988 to enhance health research in Canada with the introduction of the Medical Research Council University-Industry Program. Since the inception of the program, a total of $44.4 million has been provided, of which industry provided 58 per cent and the government, through the MRC, 42 per cent. The average value of the awards has been about $400,000. More than 90 per cent of the industrial participants in these programs are pharmaceutical companies, with the remainder mostly medical device companies and a few computer companies.

Government initiatives toward enhancing health research in Canada have been successful and productive. The mandate of the Health Protection Branch, while encouraging the development of a first class industry and academic research community in Canada, is primarily directed toward the review of information provided by manufacturers who wish to introduce products on to the market. To this end it conducts in-house research in support of product review in those areas perceived to be of the greatest urgency and priority.

The drug review program is under external assessment at the present time and a report is expected in the next

few months. Matters under consideration include the nature of product review and how reviews can be more expeditiously conducted while maintaining assurance of the protection of the Canadian public. Comparisons will be made of the review and supporting research infrastructure as it exists in Canada with the counterpart systems in place in comparable jurisdictions in the EEC and the U.S.A.

The issues being deliberated by the committee also include various regulatory options and program resourcing. The department will await the tabling of the final reports before embarking on any strategic planning of resources for the medical devices program and drug review program.

The department's approach continues to be to maintain a strong and adaptable component of laboratoiy research in support of health protection programs in Canada. The scientific capacity of the Bureau of Drug Research continues to be strong and flexible. There is a broad base of expertise with built-in adaptable laboratory capability.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
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