Bruce HALLIDAY

HALLIDAY, Bruce, M.D., C.C.F.P., F.C.F.P., F.R.C.G.P. (Hon)

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Oxford (Ontario)
Birth Date
June 18, 1926
Deceased Date
January 1, 2011
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Halliday
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=f7f0538c-2368-4c9f-96f0-324dc3e40d16&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
physician

Parliamentary Career

July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Oxford (Ontario)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Oxford (Ontario)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
PC
  Oxford (Ontario)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
PC
  Oxford (Ontario)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
PC
  Oxford (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 90 of 93)


June 13, 1975

Mr. Halliday:

He was a Hamiltonian, and he made one of the finest speeches I have ever heard. He pointed out the dangers we are getting into as a society, and that we are taking away all the responsibility from the individual. We are giving individuals all across the country this, that,

[Mr. Halliday.)

and the other, and the hon. member for Northumberland-Miramichi has the gall to say that this is a right of the people. Of course it is a right. That is a motherhood statement, but people have responsibilities, and I have not heard anyone here today suggest that there are responsibilities which the people of this country have to assume if they want to have the right to good quality health care.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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June 13, 1975

Mr. Halliday:

The third and final matter I wish to speak about is personal responsibility in health care. When the minister was in Montreal earlier this week, unfortunately he arrived one day too late. If he had been there one day earlier he would have had the privilege of listening to Sir Edwin Leather, K.C.M.G., Governor and Commander in Chief of Bermuda, a parliamentarian in Britain for 15 years, who gave one of the most excellent speeches I have ever heard.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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June 13, 1975

Mr. Bruce Halliday (Oxford):

Madam Speaker, before launching into the words I wish to say this afternoon I should like to compliment my colleague, the hon. member for Athabasca (Mr. Yewchuk), for bringing this motion before the House. I think the motion is so well worded that it bears restating. It reads as follows:

That this House regrets the government's failure to give adequate priority to matters which directly affect the health of Canadians, and in particular for its relative downgrading of the health research budget, and its failure to assume proper responsibility in the area of food and drug safety.

The hon. member who introduced this motion discussed it in great detail. I was really worried about the minister as I sat here and noted his concern about the points being made by the hon. member for Athabasca. I saw in him certain signs which worried me; I was apprehensive about the signs of reactive depression I saw in him. Then when he arrived late for the sitting this afternoon I became even more disturbed. But all of us must have some build-up or be paid a compliment once in awhile and I wish to compliment the minister in all sincerity. Three days ago I had the pleasure of listening to him in Montreal when he very admirably represented our country before representatives of 87 other countries of the world. He was a member of a panel discussing the subject entitled "International Understanding-What can one man do". I say quite sincerely that he acquitted himself in very fine fashion.

For the information of the House, I might say that some 20 years ago the minister was a Rotary International Fellow and indeed a fine ambassador for Canada. I think he was talking in this broad field three days ago in Montreal when he discussed international understanding. I believe we have in him a budding new secretary of state for external affairs of this country.

There are three parts to this motion. The last part deals with some specifics in respect of the food and drug safety problem. I wish to allude to four of these which have entered our discussion. They are listed in a small book entitled "Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties". The first drug referred to is called Afagon "C", known as a type of tonic to build up people. Among the ingredients are amino acids, arsenic, strychnine and ascorbic acid. The precautions to be taken are the following:

Keep out of the reach of children. Contains strychnine. Do not exceed recommended dosage. Indiscriminate use may be dangerous, especially in the case of elderly persons.

The second drug is one of a similar type, called Hemosomaton. In this case, also, precautions are indicated. It contains iron, arsenic and glycerophosphates. The warning is as follows:

Contains strychnine. Do not exceed stated dosage. Indiscriminate use

June 13, 1975

may be dangerous, especially in the case of elderly persons. Oral iron preparations may aggravate existing peptic ulcer, regional enteritis and ulcerative colitis.

One of the implications in respect of the safety of the drugs listed in this compendium which are available is that they are dangerous particularly in the hands of children. I hope the minister and the officials of his department will look into this matter in some detail.

Two other drugs bear mentioning at this time, because I think the people of Canada are being subjected to drug advertisements that not only delude them and encourage them to spend money but that encourage them to buy drugs which are potentially dangerous.

I refer first to a commonly used facial cream known as Noxzema facial cream. Some years ago one of the leading dermatologists in southwestern Ontario told me there is not one single company that makes more business for him than the Noxzema company. He was referring, of course, to the dangers of contact dermatitis which arises from the use of this particular compound.

The second drug is even more popular. It is known as Vicks. Perhaps you remember having had it used on you when you were children. The father of pediatrics in Canada, the man who built the first children's hospital in Toronto, and the second one also, used to teach us students who put Vicks on children's backs, that one might as well put a postage stamp on their backs. Yet we are allowing and encouraging citizens to spend millions of dollars a year on drugs of this type.

This is some of the information that the department should be studying. But there are more important areas than this, and I am referring to some areas that are of broad concern across the country, matters which cannot be handled by a province and cannot be handled by Canadian citizens as individuals. I speak here of three different areas that I want to discuss this afternoon briefly. The first one is in regard to medical manpower; the second one is in regard to the quality and provision of health care; and the third one is in regard to personal responsibility in the provision of health care.

For a number of years we have been hearing that the federal government is spending funds on trying to determine the status of medical manpower across the country. We are still awaiting a meaningful report on this, and we are worried about the rumours that are spreading that this report will be most inadequate. For instance, in deciding the present ratio of family physicians, as opposed to specialists, to the population, apparently the group studying this matter are going about it in a very simplistic manner. They are identifying the number of specialists across the country, which is very easy to do, and subtracting the number from the gross total number of physicians. They arrive at a figure which they say represents the number of general practitioners or family physicians in Canada. This is a meaningless figure and could not be further from the truth.

I took the opportunity in committee not too many weeks ago of bringing this matter to the attention of the Minister. I told him that, for example, in British Columbia there is an error of some 40 per cent in the figure which they

Food and Drug Safety

present. At that time I did not have the figures with me and I was not able to give specifics, but since that time I have acquired them and I find that it is even worse than I intimated to the minister at that time.

If one looks at the federal manpower inventory for 1973 which was published in 1974, and if one considers the province of British Columbia, one finds that they list a total of 1,946 general practitioners, which gives you a ratio of one GP to 1,217 people in the province. From information obtained from British Columbia we learn that at the University of British Columbia the Health Manpower Research Unit under the direction of Dr. Anderson took a much more realistic view in approaching this whole problem.

It is obvious that physicians who are not specialists are not all GPs. Many of them are doing administrative medicine, many are interns, and you cannot count them as part of the medical work force of the country.

If you take a realistic approach and try to establish how many are practising, functioning GPs, you do this as they did in British Columbia, by referring to the provincial medical scheme figures. They chose the figure of $20,000 gross earnings as the figure they would use as being the average earnings of a person practising family medicine. They said that a person earning less than that was obviously not doing much general practice. They got the figure of 1,270, which represents the number of true general practitioners or family physicians in B.C. So the margin of error there is not 40 per cent but closer to 53 per cent.

I think we must ask ourselves whether or not the government is looking ahead. We heard the hon. member for Northumberland-Miramichi (Mr. Dionne) this morning give us a long list of the accomplishments of governments in the past. I assume he included past Conservative governments in his list. We must start to look ahead. We cannot be satisfied with the situation as it has been in the past. We must also look ahead in trying to predict the manpower situation for the provision of health care in the future.

We must decide first of all how we want health care provided in this country, whether totally by specialists, or basically by family physicians augmented by specialists where necessary. The government has failed to give any leadership on that in terms of trying to delineate what the people of Canada want. It appears to me, and to many people who are looking ahead, that what the country needs is health care provided by general practioners and, where necessary, we need specialists. We must try to determine how many of each brand of physicians we will try to train. Apparently the present government is not interested in doing this.

The manpower study being undertaken should look to the future, not backwards. I hope that when figures come out in the future we will see something with a prospective approach to it rather than a purely retrospective approach. As my colleague says, we should not adopt a purely urban oriented approach. That is a good point.

I want to talk now on the second matter, that is, the quality of health care. The hon. member for Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands (Mr. Douglas) stressed the need for practising preventive medicine, prophylactic medicine. I

June 13, 1975

Food and Drug Safety

think there is some truth in this, but we are spending in this country more money per person than most other countries in the world, and more money in relation to our gross national product, and yet the hon. member for Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands thinks we should be spending more money still. What we need to do is to take a look at the money we are spending now and try to decide whether it should not be spent more effectively. In other words, what we need to do is try to get quality out of our health care, and not provide more and more to people and encourage less responsibility on the part of the citizens of this country.

As the hon. member for Athabasca has said, we need to spend more money on research. Relatively speaking, we have been spending scads of dollars on epidemiological research, clinical research, and basic science research. But what we have been neglecting are two other areas of research, namely, educational research and operational research in the areas of health care delivery. I think those latter two areas are the ones on which we should be spending more funds.

I heard a very distressing comment recently on this matter of quality control of health care. It may be a rumour and perhaps the minister will confirm or deny it, that an American named Dr. Lawrence Weed, who is famous for developing a program of problem orientated medical records, is being offered a job by our government which will cost us to the tune of $5 million, to develop a quality care research program here in Canada. I have heard this both confirmed and denied. It alarms me to think that we have to go to the U.S.A. to find adequate medical personnel to assess the quality needs of the people of this country. I know many physicians and researchers in this country who would be more than delighted to have a small share of that $5 million to study the problems of quality care in medical research in Canada.

I think the Ontario Medical Association not many years ago on their own initiative launched a program to assess quality health care. They bogged down completely because of lack of funds. Now we have the rumour that the federal government is offering $5 million to an American to tell us what quality health care is. I think it is a shame.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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May 29, 1975

Mr. Bruce Halliday (Oxford):

Madam Speaker, at the outset may I say we have heard several erudite speeches this evening and these have dealt well with the philosophical and ideological implications of Bill C-16. I should like to take a few minutes to deal with a number of practicalities and suggest ways of solving certain problems. Along with my party in general, I support this omnibus bill

Status of Women

which appears to be an attempt to provide equality of status as between males and females in our society.

I should like to make a few comments about the amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act as applied to maternity cases, and the manner in which benefits are given out. I might say I question whether this omnibus bill is the appropriate place for these amendments. Successive ministers in this government have promised to bring in amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act of 1971. It appears they have failed to produce them because undoubtedly they were afraid of being defeated in the House. Again, they have talked about amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act, and there certainly is a need for a whole series of them. They were to have been brought in some time ago, but there is still little evidence that the government intends to move in this direction.

The cost of maternity benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act is one which remains approximately the same from year to year. In 1973, according to the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Committee, almost $67 million were expended in benefits. Certainly maternity benefits do not rise or fall with unemployment rates to nearly the same extent as regular benefits. It is interesting to me that sickness benefits paid out in 1973 amounted to a little more than $80 million.

The proposed changes are, indeed, welcomed. The records of the committee studying the Unemployment Insurance Act of 1971 show that the need for these changes was brought to the attention of the minister at that time. The answer then was that the requirement concerning the eight weeks previous to the confinement and the seven weeks after the confinement was in keeping with established international labour legislation. I would be interested to hear whether this international legislation has taken a different course, or whether there is new thinking on these matters.

Eligibility to receive maternity benefits under the act rests, first of all, upon the ability to provide a medical certificate. This would, presumably, not create any difficulty for most people, but there might be a few cases in isolated areas where pre-natal care is carried out by medical personnel who do not hold medical degrees, and in such circumstances it might be difficult to get such a certificate easily. I hope provision will be made in the regulations to take care of any hardship cases which might arise.

The second criterion of eligibility requires the applicant to have worked for at least 20 weeks within the year preceding the claim or since the last unemployment insurance claim. This is at variance with the regular benefits which may be obtained after only eight weeks of regular employment. The 20-week stipulation is in line, I believe, with the sickness provision, but it does create significant problems for claimants if they get caught in certain anomalous positions. For instance, if a woman temporarily collecting unemployment benefits becomes pregnant and then finds work but is unable to continue so as to accumulate 20 weeks of employment, because of her pregnancy she will not be eligible for any benefits even though she is a permanent member of the work force and a bona fide working person. I do not know what might be done in cases such as this, but possibly a careful framing of the

May 29, 1975

Status of Women

regulations might be of help. I should like to hear from the minister on this point; we should certainly look carefully at this aspect in committee so that untoward hardship may be avoided.

Again, difficulties might arise in cases where a woman is an active member of the labour force at the time of conception. Human nature being what it is, few women remember precisely when they became pregnant, and as the months go by they become even more hazy as to when conception occurred. Most rule of thumb methods used to identify this date are based upon the date of the woman's last menstrual period. However, this is not a reliable guide due to the extreme variations in the physiological activities of women.

Most full time pregnancies are considered to last approximately 280 days, but again there seem to be wide variations. There is the celebrated case in English jurisprudence in which, in a paternity suit, the court accepted a gestation period of well over 300 days. Therefore the regulations governing the eligibility of maternity benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act should be looked at carefully to prevent situations arising which will deprive people of their benefits through peculiar circumstances.

Further, in the pay-out of benefits considerable difficulty arises for recipients of maternity benefits. Pamphlets underline the fact to the recipient that "Your benefit payments begin after you have served the required two week waiting period". This statement is not only misleading but somewhat fallacious. Eligibility begins after a two week waiting period, but payment will not be received until five to seven weeks after the applicant's interruption of earnings. Nowhere is this fact documented and, as a result, many families budget on the expectation that they will be receiving benefit payments two weeks after application.

In other words, a single parent family, or family with no visible income outside that of the woman's, may go for up to two months without receiving any benefits or any income. The only alternative is welfare. However, when UIC benefits are viewed as insurance and a "right", as the government proclaims, this is really a poor alternative.

In this area the government might consider whether the waiting period prior to receiving benefits could be speeded up. Certainly there are individual cases where, if the mother were the only wage earner in the family and were closely tied to her work for necessary income, she would suffer considerably. A change of the benefit period, which is something that I mentioned as being deficient in the old act, is to be welcomed. Benefits can be collected to a maximum of 15 weeks. However, this period was broken down to a maximum of eight weeks previous to confinement, then one week of confinement, and six weeks after confinement.

Babies have a habit of arriving early, due to the uncertainty of the mother as to her exact dates. Complications may arise leading to an early delivery, and in many cases late delivery. By and large, women prefer to work closer to their date of confinement and really, in many cases, they need extra weeks after the confinement rather than before

the confinement. Certainly in a fair percentage of maternity cases the mother may have had unusual complications, or her infant may have developed problems that make it important that she has more time out of the work force after her confinement, both to provide for her own health and that of her child. Certainly this provision is welcomed, and it should certainly have been included in the first place. I think it is fair to say that it was the rigidity of bureaucratic thinking that prevented it from being put in previously.

This bill also removes the built-in work disincentive in that the woman who worked closer to her date of confinement was penalized in favour of those who took leave early. Therefore in the whole concept it has become fairer and, as such, will be welcomed.

Finally, turning to eligibility for regular benefits, several problems arise. Recipients of maternity benefits become eligible for regular benefits when the child is seven weeks old. In certain areas the recipient becomes eligible only when she is actively looking for work and can produce a certificate that child care arrangements have been made.

A survey in the Ottawa-Carleton region by phone turned up the following. There are very few day care centres, and of those surveyed only three made provision for a seven week old child. They all thoroughly discouraged the admission of the seven week old child. Of the estimated 1,000 children under three months, only five are receiving day care. Furthermore, most child day care centres contacted have an average waiting period of four months. In other words, this stipulation under the provision for maternity benefits would essentially disqualify the average mother from receiving any benefits after the initial six week period. I believe this is one area where further government input should be made. Certainly if the woman is a single family parent she may have great difficulty.

So, in summary, Mr. Speaker, this bill does offer improvement over the status quo, but there are indeed some snags which ought to be removed from these amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act as proposed in Bill C-16.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (STATUS OF WOMEN) AMENDMENT ACT, 1974 MEASURE TO ESTABLISH EQUALITY OF STATUS FOR MALE AND FEMALE PERSONS UNDER CERTAIN STATUTES
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May 15, 1975

Of the first 280 applications for the federal grant of $500 to new home buyers that were received in the London Office of CMHC, how many (a) were approved (b) were rejected (c) are pending?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
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