Judy WASYLYCIA-LEIS

WASYLYCIA-LEIS, Judy, B.A., M.A.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Winnipeg North (Manitoba)
Birth Date
August 10, 1951
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Wasylycia-Leis
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=b8338fd5-94de-48ce-971f-e4fc26d1575f&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
organizer, policy adviser

Parliamentary Career

June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
NDP
  Winnipeg North Centre (Manitoba)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
NDP
  Winnipeg North Centre (Manitoba)
  • N.D.P. Deputy Caucus Chair (January 1, 2003 - July 1, 2004)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
NDP
  Winnipeg North (Manitoba)
  • N.D.P. Deputy Caucus Chair (January 1, 2003 - July 1, 2004)
  • N.D.P. Caucus Chair (August 1, 2004 - January 19, 2009)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
NDP
  Winnipeg North (Manitoba)
  • N.D.P. Caucus Chair (August 1, 2004 - January 19, 2009)
October 14, 2008 - April 30, 2010
NDP
  Winnipeg North (Manitoba)
  • N.D.P. Caucus Chair (August 1, 2004 - January 19, 2009)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 365 of 368)


October 30, 1997

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it has been a major disappointment for Canadians to have the Minister of Health cave in to the tobacco industry. He says he had no choice but he did. He has a choice to be the minister of tobacco or the Minister of Health.

We wonder today why he chose to be the minister of tobacco. Specifically, would he at least agree to hold off on his amendments exempting race cars until December 4 when the European Union votes to ban tobacco advertising?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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October 29, 1997

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my comments today flow from my question to the Minister of Health on October 3 pertaining to the influence of multinationals over this government's drug policies and drug pricing policies. Perhaps the fact that we are discussing this issue on the same day that the Minister of Health publicly caved in to the tobacco industry says it all.

There is a very disturbing pattern taking place with respect to Liberal style government and Liberal legislative priorities. The influence of multinational corporations over policy development and decision making is apparent in every area and pervasive throughout this government. On every turn the public's interests have been subsumed by commercial interests.

Whatever happened to the idea of government as an instrument of the people, as a truly democratic institution reflecting the collective interests of society, the institution protecting the common good? It is increasingly apparent that this government is beholden absolutely to the big corporations, the bankers, the stockbrokers and the bondholders in the global community today, that it is no longer able to distinguish between the public interest and the commercial interest. Nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to drug policy.

I do not think anyone can dispute the fact that this government is absolutely controlled by the big brand name drug companies. Let me refer to the evidence, the complete flip-flop by the Liberals on Bill C-91 legislation to extend patent protection to 20 years for multinational drug companies. When in opposition Liberals stood up and talked about government siding with multinationals on drug policy. What did they do when they became government? They simply carried on with Bill C-91.

That brings me to my second concern. What did they do when the standing committee reviewed this issue last year? What happened to the draft report of that committee? Why was it watered down so that all meaningful recommendations were eliminated?

Third, let us mention the elimination of the drug research lab, the one independent bureau we have in this country for research into drugs. This government eliminated it and put the responsibility into the hands of the drug companies.

Let me also point to the refusal of this government to ensure that the work of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board is open and transparent.

Finally, let me refer to the backing away by this government from a promise made as recently as the last election for a national drug plan. In that campaign the Liberals promised to look at a publicly funded, universally administered single payer drug plan, provided nationally. What did we get in the Speech from the Throne and what have we heard from the minister and this government since then? They are looking into the feasibility of studying the possibility of better access to medically necessary drugs.

My question today is why has this government changed its mind so quickly on such an important program to Canadians. Is it so much influenced by the big brand name companies and by the money that those companies provide the Liberal coffers that it cannot put in place good public policy?

Why has this government not taken seriously the concerns we raised in the House on October 3 about an obvious and apparent conflict of interest with employees from its own Patented Medicine Prices Review Board—

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   National Shipbuilding Policy
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October 22, 1997

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, on October 6 I posed a question to the Minister of Health as a follow-up to a number of other questions pertaining to the cuts to the drug and food research labs in the health protection branch of the Department of Health. These cuts took place on the sly, in secret. They were not presented to parliament, not presented publicly, but done in the dead of summer by the Minister of Health at the very time he was announcing publicly that cuts were over.

Since the cuts were carried out in July, which I might add were not announced publicly contrary to the minister's statement on September 24 when he suggested he was placing a moratorium on the whole area.

The information about the cuts and the news of the devastation to our health protection branch came about as a result of conscientious scientists who are concerned about the health and safety of the drug and food supply of Canadians. It came about as a result of public pressure and as the result of political outcry. It also came about as a result of good in depth research by the media.

At the beginning of this Parliament the minister succumbed somewhat to that pressure and announced a moratorium on some of the cuts and proposed changes. Today, one month later, the Minister of Health puts out a release announcing that he would do what he said he would do on September 24, 1997.

It will probably come as no surprise to members of the House that our concerns are still as relevant, as serious and as deep rooted as they ever were. Despite this announcement Canadians remain deeply concerned. Let me give four quick reasons for that concern.

First, in terms of this decision and on every decision of crucial importance to Canadians the government has operated on the basis of a very secretive, very undemocratic and almost despotic approach.

Second, for three to four months the government caused a great deal of uncertainty and instability to reign over the health protection branch. That uncertainty was demoralizing to scientists and upsetting to those who value the work they are doing and want to contribute to society.

Third, the drug research lab remains closed. There has been no attempt by the government to address that issue. It is of deep importance to the health and safety of Canadians on matters pertaining to drugs.

Fourth, we are still left with a very large question. Is the announcement today but a temporary reprieve from a much longer term, very deep rooted agenda to move toward privatization and deregulation in the health protection branch as a whole?

I conclude by referring to a document from the department which outlines proposals to look at cost saving measures, privatization and ways to reduce the liability of the department, all contrary to the original purpose of the health protection branch and contrary to the very significant role performed by the drug and food research labs. Certainly it is contrary to the intent and spirit of the Food and Drug Protection Act.

I remain concerned and I look forward to the government addressing these issues on an urgent basis.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canada Co-Operatives Act
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October 21, 1997

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, this week marks the struggle by Canadian women to be recognized as legal persons in their own country. It reminds us of one thing and that is just how much the federal government has reduced women to the status of non-persons.

Are women persons under the law when the government will not honour the law of pay equity? Are women persons under the law when the government leaves women without protection from a violent partner? Are women persons under the law when the government terminates all women's career counselling centres? Are women persons under the law when the government offloads responsibility for health care on to the shoulders of women and their families? Are women persons under the law when the government denies women the right to a pension in their own name? Are women persons under the law when the government has relegated the vast majority of women to part-time, short term, on call, low skill and low paying jobs?

No, women are not persons in the full sense of the word under the government. Let today be a call to action to reverse this trend to ensure women their right to live in safety, in security and with dignity.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Women's Rights
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October 6, 1997

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, almost two weeks ago the Minister of Health announced a moratorium on cuts to the drug and food research lab and specifically promised to undo the food research reductions that he had ordered in July. Twelve days later the affected research labs are still sitting idle, knowledgeable scientists are leaving the country and Canadians are unprotected in the event of a bacteria attack in Canada's food system.

Will the minister commit today to giving back to the scientists the equipment he took away in July so that they can get on with the job of protecting Canada's food supply?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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