Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC)
Mr. Chair, in my constituency I have a number of citizens who have been afflicted with this terrible tragedy. I have visited them in their homes and they have been to my office. They have come to me to tell me their stories. That is why I felt it so important at this late hour to come to the House of Commons to tell those stories to all members.
I have seen how bright, vibrant lives have been reduced to misery by the government's failure to properly test the blood that was being injected into the veins of Canadian citizens, ultimately poisoning them with an irreversible disease with which they now suffer and from which many have now died.
That is why I find it so enormously frustrating to see the government's failure to compensate all victims of this odious tragedy. The government has failed to compensate those who do not meet a very specific and limited criteria. I reject the reasons that back up that decision.
It is clear that the testing was available before 1986. It is clear that the government should compensate those people who were relying on the government to protect them.
It is more agonizing to learn that the compensation that has been set aside and allotted to the victims outside the years 1986 to 1990 has not actually arrived on their doorstep. That money was meant to provide victims with largely the basic medical necessities that resulted from their illness. Yet we learn that over $100 million has not been passed on to those victims, that it sits in some provincial coffers, that it has been used for general revenues by the provincial government. Indeed, that is outrageous.
I want to know, will the hon. member stand in this House and offer a clear remedy on how he and his party will finally hold the McGuinty provincial government in Ontario accountable for the roughly $130 million that has not been allotted to the victims? The money came from the federal government and was meant for the victims, but was intercepted halfway by the McGuinty regime and has been directed erroneously to general revenues. What will the government do to hold the McGuinty regime accountable for intercepting the funds that were meant to go to the innocent victims of this tragedy?
Topic: Government Orders
Subtopic: Assistance to Hepatitis C Victims