Don BOUDRIA

BOUDRIA, The Hon. Don, P.C., B.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Glengarry--Prescott--Russell (Ontario)
Birth Date
August 30, 1949
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Boudria
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=efec68a7-e1fd-490f-8b6a-95313440440c&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
public servant, purchasing agent

Parliamentary Career

September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
LIB
  Glengarry--Prescott--Russell (Ontario)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
LIB
  Glengarry--Prescott--Russell (Ontario)
  • Deputy Whip of the Liberal Party (December 1, 1988 - January 29, 1991)
  • Liberal Party Deputy House Leader (September 1, 1990 - November 1, 1993)
  • Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition (January 30, 1991 - November 1, 1993)
October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Glengarry--Prescott--Russell (Ontario)
  • Liberal Party Deputy House Leader (September 1, 1990 - November 1, 1993)
  • Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition (January 30, 1991 - November 1, 1993)
  • Chief Government Whip's assistant (November 4, 1993 - September 26, 1994)
  • Deputy Whip of the Liberal Party (November 4, 1993 - September 26, 1994)
  • Chief Government Whip (September 15, 1994 - October 4, 1996)
  • Whip of the Liberal Party (September 15, 1994 - October 4, 1996)
  • Minister responsible for La Francophonie (October 4, 1996 - June 10, 1997)
  • Minister for International Cooperation (October 4, 1996 - June 10, 1997)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Glengarry--Prescott--Russell (Ontario)
  • Minister responsible for La Francophonie (October 4, 1996 - June 10, 1997)
  • Minister for International Cooperation (October 4, 1996 - June 10, 1997)
  • Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (June 11, 1997 - January 14, 2002)
  • Liberal Party House Leader (September 22, 1997 - January 14, 2002)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Glengarry--Prescott--Russell (Ontario)
  • Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (June 11, 1997 - January 14, 2002)
  • Liberal Party House Leader (September 22, 1997 - January 14, 2002)
  • Minister of Public Works and Government Services (January 15, 2002 - May 25, 2002)
  • Liberal Party House Leader (May 26, 2002 - December 11, 2003)
  • Minister of State (Without Portfolio) (May 26, 2002 - December 11, 2003)
  • Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (May 26, 2002 - December 11, 2003)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Glengarry--Prescott--Russell (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 6 of 1683)


November 1, 2005

Hon. Don Boudria

Mr. Chair, I think the parliamentary secretary is totally correct. My approach to all this has been to focus on the issues that are important. They are not always the same ones that we see in the news.

For instance, about a year ago cameras were going gangbusters because there were two buses in Toronto with senior citizens getting out of the buses and coming from the U.S. to buy prescription drugs. It made for some great camera shots. At the same time, with one Internet pharmacy supplying 2,000 prescriptions a day we would have had to have a train about 20 miles long to accommodate that number of people if they had all come individually. Obviously that does not make much of a camera shot. A computer terminal just does not do it.

At the same time, it is not the busload that is the issue. Nor is it grandma who is in Florida going to see a doctor there because she is there for the winter. We have the doctor there confirming with the doctor in Canada that it is the grandma known by the doctor in Canada, that she is sick with that particular disorder, and that the doctor recognizes her and sees her all the time when she is back home. Then the doctor over there issues a prescription or some such instrument across the border.

That is not the issue. Nobody is trying to solve that so-called problem because it is not one. The real problem is that which affects the security of our drug supply and that is how I believe we have to address the problem.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Cross-Border Drug Sales
Full View Permalink

November 1, 2005

Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.)

Mr. Chair, I am pleased to take part in this evening's debate on Internet pharmacies.

Most hon. members would agree that I have been raising these issues in the House of Commons for a very long time. During the first year after I left cabinet, perhaps even longer ago than that, I was the only member to raise these issues in the House of Commons.

Many things still trouble me. I want to thank the parliamentary secretary and the minister for the plan they presented this evening, which is the first component in creating a drug supply network. This plan was overseen by the Minister of Health. It was a very good idea. We have to ensure the safety of the supply.

The second point is the need for enabling legislation under the Food and Drugs Act that would allow the Government of Canada to prohibit the bulk export of prescription drugs and other essential drugs when the health of Canadians is at stake. The hon. member for Hochelaga mentioned the section under NAFTA that is somewhat related to all this. At least this could be one of the reasons why that section was drafted that way. I intend to discuss this with the minister.

The third point consists in giving more teeth to the current provisions whereby any purchase or sale of prescription drugs should come as a result of consultations held between the patient and the medical practitioner. We must address this issue.

I heard a Conservative member in the House say that it is only those who have an axe to grind who think that the Internet prescription system damages the health care system. I believe I am paraphrasing the way the member put it.

However, Canadian Medical Association's statement on Internet prescribing in 2004 stated that “It is not acceptable for a physician to sign a prescription without properly assessing the patient”, except as indicated above, and there is a whole matrix of how this is to be done, and so on and so forth. This is the position of the Canadian Medical Association, hardly a group with an axe to grind.

Other people are also concerned with this whole business of prescriptions over the Internet in the kind of vacuum that we see now. Let me name a few from a press release that I have which dates back a year ago. I am sure the list is much longer now. It includes: the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities; the Canadian Pharmacists Association; the Canadian Medical Association and I just quoted from its report; the Association of Deans of Pharmacy of Canada; the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, would you believe, Mr. Speaker; the Manitoba Society of Seniors; Pharmacy Alliance for Canadians; and the Coalition for Manitoba Pharmacy.

Even within those jurisdictions, where these kinds of sales are going on in a very big way, certainly it is not supported by everyone there. The professionals in the health care sector say that this is going too far and that it is wrong. It is not me, not the member for Glengarry--Prescott--Russell. I am not a member of the Canadian Medical Association, much less the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, a province 1,000 miles from my constituency.

On top of that there is a whole number of pharmacies themselves, groups of seniors, and a large number of people, consumer groups and others who tell us that we have to be careful with all of this. They include: the Canadian Hepatitis C Network, Canadian Treatment Action Council, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, Best Medicines Coalition, Manitoba Epilepsy Association, British Columbia Persons With AIDS Society. Those are all consumers of medicine who are worried about this.

One cannot say that every single one of these organizations is wrong. Their concerns are legitimate when we start seeing runs on various products, whether they are caused by bulk sales which arguably of course is worse, or whether they are caused by Internet pharmacies all of a sudden selling thousands of prescriptions in an area where they were not selling any the previous year.

I read one example of 175,000 prescriptions where in the previous year only 10 doses of the same thing were sold. No one can say that increasing the sale of something and removing a product from this country where 10 units were removed last year and 175,000 were removed in a few months of this year, that it does not cause a shortage.

It is ridiculous to pretend that. That is not a bulk shipment at all. This has to do with the Internet pharmacies. Then someone says that the Internet pharmacies, after having seen the damage that they have done, have decided that they are not going to do this any more for a little while. That is hardly a redeeming value. Once one creates a mess and then says that one is not going to participate in the mess that one has created for a little while, to me is not good enough.

This is why I think that part of the program announced to us by the parliamentary secretary this evening is so vital, that is, when he says the government wants to establish a system whereby it will be possible to pinpoint one particular medication and say that is it, it is in the national interest that people not be allowed to send any more of this out of the country, whether it is bulk shipment, Internet pharmacies or anybody else, because it threatens the health of Canadians. That is why we are here.

To me, that is why it is so important. We cannot think of medication as little pills that look like candies, even though they do look like that most of the time. This is a very important component of the Canadian health care system. A member of my family is at home right now with pneumonia. She will be angry with me for raising this, but so be it. The prescription costs $100. I thought that was outrageously expensive, except that after three or four days of taking the medication she is getting better. Then what I thought was that about two hours in the hospital would have consumed twice as much as the $100. Maybe if we think of it that way, the medication, which we all think is too expensive, is not expensive if we compare it to the alternative.

The point I am making is how important all of this is for the well-being of Canadians. Prescription medication in particular is so very vital. I am leaving for South America with the Prime Minister in 48 hours to attend the Summit of the Americas, at least I think I am. I need to have a flu shot and a number of things before I leave. They are all provided to us. Countless other Canadians need medication: preventive, a vaccine, as I am going to get, and for treatment, in the case of others who are ill. We just cannot afford to be out of these products at any time. That is why I encourage the minister, as I have been doing for a long time, to be vigilant on this.

I thank the parliamentary secretary and the minister, too, of course. I listened attentively to the parliamentary secretary's presentation. He simply must continue on that track and be even more vigilant in protecting the health of Canadians.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Cross-Border Drug Sales
Full View Permalink

October 27, 2005

Hon. Don Boudria

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if you realize how glad I am to speak to this bill today. Without predicting the future, I can see it being adopted very soon.

Then I will declare that it was a kind of gift for me before leaving the House. Indeed, in a few months—or less, but I hope not—my duties in this place will come to an end. Before leaving, I would like to be able to say that I contributed to the protection of minority groups in our country. That is the object of the bill.

Of course, I am not the original author of the bill. All the credit for that goes to Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier, who, during so many years defended so well the interests not only of the French and English minorities, but also those of civil servants and many other groups. He also specialized in parliamentary law and he taught me a lot about procedure, besides what he taught me about minority rights advocacy.

All the credit then must be given to him.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the member for Scarborough Southwest, who gave me the opportunity to use his slot of time to debate this bill.

Later, the hon. member for Gatineau also wanted to contribute to speeding up the process by giving me the time that was allocated to her. That is why I can now begin the debate at third reading of Bill S-3. I thank the hon. member very much. I had the opportunity to thank her a few days ago, but I wanted to thank her again today.

I also thank the hon. member for Ottawa—Orléans, who supported the bill at second reading and who, today, wanted to support it yet again at the report stages and now at third reading. I truly appreciate his support.

I also want to thank the hon. members who sat on the official languages committee for several months dealing with this issue, members on all sides of the House. I extend my congratulations and thanks to all of them because I know that they all worked very hard on this bill.

I did not agree with the points of view of all of them, but that is okay. We are not here to always agree and of course even when we disagree, if our point of view prevails, then presumably it is that much stronger because it eventually triumphs over other points of view. In that respect, I want to thank even those who did not initially like the bill as much, but who, through the amendment process and otherwise, sought to improve the bill that is before us today.

In the next few minutes, I want to talk about the bill before us as amended. It certainly is quite different now. The purpose of the bill was to amend part VII of the Act, in other words, sections 41, 42 and 43. Two of these sections were to be amended by this bill, namely sections 41 and 43. However the bill as amended will change only section 41 of the Official Languages Act.

In the beginning there was concern about whether the bill set out to guarantee a process over a result. The committee discussed this at length with help from the Commissioner of Official Languages and her staff, who are not far from us right now—we are not allowed to refer to the presence of others in the House. They helped us a great deal in improving the wording of the bill in section 41.

As far as section 43 of the Official Languages Act is concerned, our colleagues from the Bloc, and perhaps others as well, made sure the bill did not interfere with provincial jurisdictions. The Commissioner of Official Languages thought it did not. This is what she said about the amendment to improve section 43:

Although I do not agree that this amendment could contradict the Canadian Constitution and thereby allow the federal government to act in areas that fall exclusively under provincial jurisdiction, if this amendment becomes an obstacle to passage of the Bill, I do not believe that it is essential and vital to preserve it.

The committee followed the recommendation made by the Commissioner of Official Languages and withdrew the amendment. As a result, section 43 of the Official Languages Act is no longer being amended. To those who were concerned that section 43 may interfere with provincial powers, even if this concern is unfounded, I am announcing that this amendment no longer exists. Now, only section 41 is being amended. This section refers solely to the powers of the federal government. This section is being improved, so we are also improving the section on government powers and nothing else, since nothing else is specified in either the initial section or in the amendment. So, the status remains unchanged, meaning that the obligations, even if there are more of them, remain those of the Government of Canada, as stated in the initial proposal. We all agree that it is the Commissioner of Official Languages, who has this role, along with her staff and all the experts. We must all recognize this.

I hope that, in the next few minutes—and I have the right to hope, even if I am not certain of the result—that my colleagues on all sides of the House will finally be able to unanimously support the bill as amended. By so doing, all the parties in the House would be unanimously confirming their desire to improve the rights of minorities in this country.

I grew up before section 23 of the Charter existed. At that time in Ontario, attending a French high school was not easy. It was almost impossible. That was my experience. Thanks to the adoption of this section, my children attended elementary, secondary and university in Ontario—my son even got a master's degree—without ever attending an English school. They did all their studies in Ontario. They had this right; I did not. I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that they have more rights than their parents did, just as my children had more rights than I did.

That is the way rights in Canada evolve.

I think that we will improve things in a few days. I want to tell my colleagues: if we are to do this, let us make it unanimous. That is what I want.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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October 27, 2005

Hon. Don Boudria

Mr. Speaker, with due respect, the member is wrong: she is talking about the obligations under section 43. In the bill, as it came back from committee, section 43 is gone. The amendment to section 43 has disappeared. Now, we are only amending section 41. The bill, at second reading stage, amended sections 41 and 43 of part VII. That part is deleted in the committee's report on the bill we concurred in 10 minutes ago.

We are now talking only about section 41 dealing with federal institutions. We are no longer talking about section 43, because it was deleted in committee, as my colleague may remember. So it is now section 41. Of course, she may get back to this with a supplementary question, but we are no longer talking about section 43. Indeed, we are no longer amending it, since it was deleted from the bill. The member can ask her colleague about this.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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October 27, 2005

Hon. Don Boudria

Mr. Speaker, I am doing my best.

Section 41 and 43 were declaratory. The bill makes section 41 enforceable while section 43 remains declaratory. This being said, the enforceable part—which means that it can be taken to the courts, etc.—will become an amendment to section 41 and not to section 43. This is not a fact. The member is incorrect. I am sorry but this is not what this is all about.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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