- MPconMar 13, 2015 11:10 am | Ontario, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock
The hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard will have three minutes today.
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 10:40 am | Ontario, St. Paul's
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to Bill C-356, an act respecting a national strategy for dementia.
According to the World Health Organization, there are roughly 35.6 million around the world who are currently living with dementia. This number is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050.
In 2011, 14.9% of Canadians aged 65 and older were living with cognitive impairment, including dementia. By 2031, this figure is expected to increase to a shocking 1.4 million people. Today we face the combined costs of dementia totalling $33 billion per year.
This is not something that Canadians can afford, both economically and socially, to continue to occur. We need to enact change by putting in place a national strategy for dementia.
The Liberal Party supports the need for a national plan to address Alzheimer's disease and all other forms of dementia. Canada today has almost as many diagnosed dementia patients as the United Kingdom does, at 847,000, despite a difference in population of 30 million. In B.C., more than 70,000 people have this disease, while another 15,000 people are diagnosed each year.
Canada pledged in 2013 to find a cure or treatment for Alzheimer's by 2025. As one of the only G7 countries still without such a strategy, our time to do so is running out.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada as well as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons and other related organizations are united in calling for stronger political leadership to battle this debilitating disease. They recognize society's need for our current government to support Canadians in their difficult battle against dementia, and to find a treatment for it.
Another associated organization, Baycrest Health Sciences and its' Rotman Research Institute (RRI), is also working to accelerate scientific research regarding dementia. This institute recognizes that a person's risk for dementia doubles every 5 years after age 65.
Their strong focus on the relationship between brain health and aging helps them to understand that as fewer people live to see these older ages, the number of Canadians with dementia could be cut in half if its onset were to be delayed by just five years. With the implementation of Bill C-356, such research could be carried out with promise for viable results.
Unfortunately, however, federal leadership is required for any such action on a pan-Canadian dementia strategy to occur. Once again, the current government is not doing enough.
In October 2014, Minister of Health announced she was in the “early stages” of discussions with the provinces to establish a national dementia strategy. The 2014 federal budget also promisingly committed new funding for research into age-related neurodegeneration. Sadly, this only represents a fraction of the resources truly necessary to even begin to focus on approaching this disease.
Alzheimer's disease puts enormous emotional stress on millions of families in Canada and costs our health care system billions of dollars every year. Delaying the onset of Alzheimer's by 2 years can save our Health Care system $219 billion over a 30 year period. A national strategy for dementia may be able to make an astounding difference in advancing research in order to work toward achieving this goal, which would diminish this enormous economic hardship and subsequently and, most important, improve the lives of affected Canadians.
As recently published in the Toronto Star, another possible solution has been proposed by the Alzheimer Society. This organization is recommending that an arm's-length not-for-profit organization be funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada at a cost of $30 million over five years. It would be responsible for research coordination, training for health care providers, delivery of health care services and education, including how to recognize early signs of the disease that affects people in their 40s and 50s. Such a program may provide a possible approach to relieving such aforementioned pressures.
In our last election platform, the Liberal Party of Canada laid out a clear, comprehensive strategy for tackling the issue of dementia. Along with directing attention towards economic issues, we focused on awareness, education and prevention to support families and combat the social stigmas of dementia.
The social implications of this disease are in equal need of many support services as related economic ramifications. Coping with the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia is exceptionally difficult.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada recently issued a report of mental health indicators that showed caregivers are facing enormous emotional stress caring for elderly parents and sick children. Many women are leaving the paid workforce in order to care for a loved one, their mother, their mother-in-law, their aunt. There are so many stories that we all know. Some end up having to take a lower-paying job in order to be able to meet the needs of the loved one and family member.
It is therefore necessary that we disseminate proper knowledge and the best practices possible in order to foster improvements in the quality of treatment and support for patients and families coping with these brain disorders, as we also work to ensure their economic security.
I commend Mount Sinai Hospital and the Reitman family for funding a unit there that supports the families of those suffering from Alzheimer's in order for them to give the best possible care. It is sometimes so difficult and frustrating for families to have to provide care without really understanding the frustration and how normal it is to feel that way.
The bill would require the minister to initiate discussions with provincial counterparts within 30 days of its coming into force in order to achieve its objectives of developing a national plan with national objectives.
I do not believe there is any strategy that can just be a laundry list of things the government is already dabbling in, which seems to be what the government thinks is a strategy. The strategy has to be what, by when, and how, and actually be able to identify the partners necessary to make the strategy work. Such a process would help to establish a method of receiving input from affected Canadians and would continue to support greater research and implementation of related technology.
Bill C-356 would also work with the international community in improving clinical guidelines in order to produce the best available practices for care, support and prevention of dementia.
By investing in both research and prevention of Alzheimer's we can delay its onset for as long as possible so all Canadians can live their lives to the fullest potential. We need the research and practice-based evidence in order to determine what is the best possible support we can give to the families of those affected.
We must work together to support the bill and most importantly, bring necessary aid to those so desperately in need.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 10:35 am | Ontario, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock
Order, please. I did not interrupt the parliamentary secretary the first time. This is the second time she has referred to the minister by her name. If she could avoid that, it would be appreciated.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 10:35 am | British Columbia, Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
Mr. Speaker, I apologize. I have been here in the chamber long enough to recognize that this should not be done.
The provincial ministers have begun planning a pan-Canadian dementia strategy. From a federal perspective, the initial focus of this collaboration will be on the coordination of research to advance the collective knowledge base on dementia. The provinces and territories will continue their own work on identifying best practices and on stakeholder engagement. An update on the strategy will be presented to Canada's health ministers for consideration and further direction at their next meeting.
This is truly important work. The crux of this bill is to require discussions with the provinces to set up a national strategy. Our government has already successfully negotiated with the provinces to begin working on exactly that. The work is under way, and we will continue to make progress.
The spirit and intent of this bill is also supported by current federal investments and activities on Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Many of the specific elements proposed in Bill C-356 that are within the federal role are currently being addressed. Research is needed to learn more about what causes dementia and the most effective ways to prevent, identify, treat, and ultimately, by 2025, cure it.
Since 2006, the government has invested over $220 million in research related to dementia, including $37.8 million last year. Our economic action plan announced ongoing investments of $15 million for the Canadian Institute of Health Research, CIHR, for the creation of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging and other health research priorities. Launched in 2014, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging is the national component of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research dementia research strategy. It is a prime example of how we are encouraging greater investment in dementia research and the accelerated discovery of treatments and solutions. Through the consortium, more than 300 researchers from across the country will forge ahead with their work to improve our understanding of dementia, how we can prevent it, and how we can improve the quality of life of Canadians living with dementia, and their caregivers.
Another significant piece of work is the national population health study of neurological conditions. In 2009, our government invested $15 million over four years in this study to better understand Alzheimer's disease and other conditions and their impact on Canadians and their families. Findings from the study were released in September 2014. This groundbreaking work fills gaps in information concerning the burden of neurological conditions, their impact on Canadians, risk factors, and the use of health care services.
Research on dementia and other neurological conditions is also being funded through the Canada brain research fund.
However, research for the future is not enough. We are also working to improve the lives of Canadians living with this disease now. In September 2014, the minister announced our intention to work with the Alzheimer Society Canada to establish a new program called Dementia Friends, which will be launched this year. It is an exciting program, and I think it will make an enormous difference. It was originally launched in Japan and the U.K. It will provide education and training to help Canadians learn the facts about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and how these diseases affect the people who live with them.
As members can see, we are making substantial investments to address the issue of dementia. While many are federal initiatives, there are also many examples of collaboration with the provinces and territories, not to mention the fantastic work being done at the international level. It is apparent that the federal government has addressed many of the themes in Bill C-356 and even some of the specific elements.
As I mentioned earlier, the minister has already secured an agreement with the provinces and territories on beginning to plan for a pan-Canadian dementia strategy that would guide our collective efforts. As I said at the beginning, I think we can all agree that this bill is very well intentioned. We have been taking action in a number of the areas laid out in it. However, with the provinces having already agreed to begin work on a strategy, many of our actions have progressed beyond what is called for in the bill, making some areas redundant.
There are also a number of technical issues with the bill. The Speaker has indicated that it would require a royal recommendation. As all members in the House know, those are extremely, if rarely, ever provided. In addition, some clauses in this bill needlessly infringe on provincial jurisdiction in areas such as health human resources and diagnostic capacity. From my understanding, conversations have not resolved all our concerns with these issues.
For these reasons and in order to respect the agreement the minister was able to secure in a co-operative fashion with the provinces, the government will not support the bill. Bringing in federal legislation to control discussions that have already happened in such a collaborative fashion is not respectful of the good work already being done.
Our government remains committed to taking strong action that will improve the lives of Canadians living with dementia, but we will do so in a way that respects provincial jurisdiction and continues to work on a pan-Canadian strategy to which they have agreed.
With that in mind, I would also like to note that my friend and chair of the health committee, the member for Huron—Bruce, has recently introduced a motion calling on the government to take continued action on dementia. This motion is yet another sign of how seriously our government takes the issue, and I look forward to debate on that motion. We will have to wait for the debate to occur, but I know my colleague fully respects the role of the provinces when it comes to health care. Perhaps it would be an opportunity for Parliament to make some further progress on this issue.
I know we are talking about something that is incredibly important to Canadians. We are talking about something with which the international community, the federal government and the provinces are grappling. I know there was a lot of conversation back and forth, but my understanding is the unresolved issues were too much of a challenge in terms of continuing at this time.
- MPndpMar 13, 2015 10:30 am | Ontario, Nickel Belt
I thank my colleague for that excellent question.
This bill was supposed to be presented in the House three weeks ago. The Minister of Health asked me to delay it until today so we could negotiate. We have negotiated, and I have here seven pages of amendments that were agreed to. All of the amendments that the Minister of Health wanted have been agreed to.
I am going to talk about one amendment. The Conservatives wanted to change the name of the bill, “an act respecting a national strategy for dementia”, to “an act respecting a pan-Canadian strategy for dementia”.
I do not care what they call it; I do not think the patients care what they call it, nor do the doctors or the caregivers. They can call it whatever they want, but do something.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 10:30 am | British Columbia, Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to speak to Bill C-356, an act respecting a national strategy for dementia. This bill speaks to the important issue of dementia, which not only affects Canadians living with dementia, but their families, friends, and caregivers.
We can all agree that the member for Nickel Belt is well-intentioned with this bill. He has done great work raising awareness of the challenges faced by all Canadians with dementia, and indeed in his very heartfelt speech that clearly articulated personal stories, and personal stories of families who have been impacted.
I want to highlight some of the areas where we have been taking action along the lines called for by this bill, before getting into consideration of what I think are some technical issues within it.
As we all know, Alzheimer's disease and related dementia most commonly affect seniors. However, dementia can also affect younger individuals. Younger people in their forties and fifties have been diagnosed with the early-onset form of the disease.
Our government recognizes the devastating impact that this disease has on Canadian families and the help they need to be able to care for their loved ones. By supporting research and data gathering, we are improving our understanding of Alzheimer's disease and related forms of dementia and how they are affecting Canadians.
Many countries around the world are facing similar issues, and we certainly are committed to working internationally to address the health and economic challenges of dementia and how to reduce the burden of this condition. That is why we have joined our G7 partners in addressing this growing challenge.
Together, at the 2013 summit on dementia in London, Minister Ambrose worked with international leaders to coordinate efforts with the aim of finding a cure by 2025.
Mr. Speaker, can you imagine a cure for this terrible affliction?
The momentum of the G8 dementia summit has been incredible, and we are investing in ongoing efforts to accomplish our goals. Canada participated in a series of international follow-up legacy events, and co-hosted one of these events here in Ottawa last September.
Beyond this international leadership, we have also been taking strong action here at home. While our federal focus on dementia is on research, data gathering, and awareness training, we have always tried to recognize the key role of co-operation with the provinces and territories, which are the primary providers of health care.
It is important to note that in a crucial way, we are actually already ahead of Bill C-356 when it comes to working with the provinces. At the federal, provincial, and territorial health ministers meeting in October of last year, Minister Ambrose was able to secure agreement from the provincial—
- MPndpMar 13, 2015 10:25 am | Ontario, Nickel Belt
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her excellent question.
The government has invested in dementia research. However, as I mentioned in my speech, it is going to take more than just research. Everyone is aware that, without research, we cannot solve the problem. Nevertheless, there are other things. We have to look after the caregivers, because home care is needed.
We have to keep our fathers and mothers at home for as long as possible because it has been proven that Alzheimer's progresses more quickly once patients leave their own homes.
- MPndpMar 13, 2015 10:15 am | Ontario, Nickel Belt
moved that Bill C-356, An Act respecting a National Strategy for Dementia, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
Mr. Speaker, I have been waiting a long time for this. I count it a privilege to stand in the House today to speak on my bill, an act respecting a national strategy for dementia.
I am aware of the millions of Canadians who are directly caught up in the web of Alzheimer's or dementia. I have also become aware of many Canadians and groups who, like me, want a national dementia plan.
It was over three years ago that I stood to introduce this legislation. I shared how this bill came to be by telling the story of my mother's seven-year battle with Alzheimer's, from 1997 until her death in 2003.
The Sudbury Star had profiled my family's experience and had in the headline the following comment: “I didn't know enough”. Truer words have never been spoken. Many others who have caregiving responsibilities thrust on them tell me that those words ring true.
In the past three years, I have learned plenty. First was the staggering statistic on how many people are affected, which is reflected in the “Rising Tide” report by the Alzheimer Society of Canada. There are 740,000 people with the disease. This number will double in a generation. The health care cost of $33 billion will soar to $293 billion in 2040.
Providing millions of hours of unpaid caregiving has forced people to cut back or leave work altogether, which harms them and our economy. I want to talk about that this afternoon.
I learned from the Canadian Medical Association that 15% of scarce acute care beds are occupied by people who could be placed elsewhere, and half of those are dementia patients. Beyond those important statistics, I have learned the real face of the problem.
Fran Linton, in British Columbia, wrote to tell me about her experience and that of her husband in dealing with Lewy body dementia. She wrote:
I am writing in the hope that what I present to you will enable people to see the person with dementia and their family as real people and not just statistics and numbers. We hear the staggering statistics of how many people in Canada have dementia and we hear that dollars are being invested in research. What needs to be heard is the daily impact of being a person living with dementia and those supporting the person with dementia. Our Canadian government needs to hear the reality of their world.
I have met these real people from coast to coast to coast in our communities. They are struggling with this enormous challenge.
I have learned that the real face of dementia is not just older people. Matt Dineen is one of the biggest champions for this bill and an actual plan. He could not be here today, but he is listening in. He is a 44-year-old high school teacher here in Ottawa. He and his relatives are now forced to raise three young children as his wife and their mom, Lisa, at 45 years old, is already in secure long-term care with frontotemporal dementia. Matt has met the Minister of Health.
I learned that 15% of dementia patients are under 60 years old. I have learned that we have a health care crisis and a social and economic crisis that we must address.
My legislation calls for leadership from Ottawa, working with the provinces and territories, which, of course, have primary jurisdiction duties for health care delivery.
I want this leadership from Ottawa to tackle five main elements: early diagnosis and prevention; research; a continuum of care for people and families in the home, the community, and institutions; real help for caregivers; and training for the dementia workforce.
On that last point, help for the dementia workforce, Michael Alexander shared with me the horrific story of his father's death in a nursing home at the hands of another Alzheimer patient. CTV, in a special report, said that there have been 60 such deaths in 12 years, a figure that is growing. Michael Alexander and his family want a real and national dementia plan.
I said I wanted to speak about the challenges caregivers face. Tanya Levesque is a woman in Ottawa looking after her mom. Here are some of the life and financial issues she has met with as a caregiver.
To take care of her mom, Ms. Levesque first had to take leave without pay so she could care for her at home. She will only have the option of leave without pay for five years. Money gets tighter and tighter as they try to keep her in her home and care for her. They draw on savings that were meant for later years.
She writes the following:
Following is a list of financial barriers I have experienced during my journey as my mother's caregiver: Unable to access my El benefits; I've been unable to qualify for social assistance; unable to claim the caregiver amount on my income tax, since my mother's net income is a few thousand more than what is listed; lack of subsidies for expenses which keep increasing (i.e. property tax, parking fees at hospitals for appointments, gas for travelling to appointments, hydro, water and sewage fees and more); I've changed my eating habits to save money, due to the increased cost of food, so my mother can eat well; and because of a lack of future job security, my retirement security is in question — I can't save, because I've chosen to care for my mother, who took care of me
Ms. Levesque, her mom, and others are watching today. Let us pass a real dementia plan as law to help those overwhelmed caregivers.
As I said, I introduced this bill over three years ago. I want to recognize the progress made by Canada since then, through the government working with a G8 initiative and also with our provinces and territories. Many would like that progress to be quicker, but it does deserve recognition.
Canada had come to the G8 summit called for by the U.K. prime minister without a national dementia plan. Several allies from leading economic nations had national plans. Canada has made several significant announcements on research that we support. Research will be the key part of any plan or response to this health care crisis.
Even though research can have an impact on other parts of the dementia challenge, research alone cannot help those with the disease, their caregivers, or the workforce. That is why our party has been insistent on a full, comprehensive strategy.
Canada needs a national strategy for dementia that comes from Ottawa, but one that respects provincial and territorial jurisdiction over health. One strategy tailored to the needs of each province or territory will be far better than 13 separate strategies implemented in isolation of one another. We want a national strategy that goes beyond research, to also help those now living with the disease, their caregivers, and the dementia workforce.
The Canadian Medical Association estimates that patients who should be elsewhere occupy about 15% of the acute care hospital beds across Canada, and one third of them are suffering from dementia. Lost in those numbers perhaps is the real human face of the disease—the moms, dads, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbours and work colleagues.
While an elderly face typifies most people dealing with dementia, 15% of those living with Alzheimer's or related dementia diseases are under 60. At every meeting we had on this bill, we found people who know someone directly affected as a patient or caregiver. It is a health challenge. It is a health care challenge. Given the current lack of money and resources for health care, it is a big problem for us to solve.
I have noted the work that the government is doing with the provinces and territories through the Council of the Federation.
In the past year, I have enjoyed several conversations with the current Minister of Health. I have respected her work on this file. I have been communicating with the minister and her department over the past month and have discussed possible amendments to the bill in committee to work collaboratively on changes that all parties could support. We have identified a way to have this legislation passed.
I look forward to hearing the government's position regarding possible support for a national dementia plan. I know she and all MPs have been hearing loud and clear from so many Canadians who want this to happen. We now have over 300 municipalities passing resolutions in favour of the bill. We have over 90 petitions tabled in the House of Commons in support of it.
There are so many people who say it makes sense. There is support from seniors, health care professionals, labour, and faith communities. Yes, the faith communities are very responsive to the bill, and they are very interested in seeing it pass.
In talks across the country, I have often talked about the non-partisan nature of this disease, how it strikes our loved ones, our mums, dads, siblings, grandparents, friends, neighbours, and work colleagues. Everyone, on all sides of the House, knows the story. I am astonished that wherever I go, everyone knows someone with Alzheimer's or dementia-related disease, or someone caring for them.
Let us do this for them. Let us do this for our country. Let us make history.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 10:15 am | Ontario, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock
Is there unanimous consent?
- MPconMar 13, 2015 10:15 am | Ontario, Newmarket—Aurora
Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you see the clock at 1:30.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 10:10 am | Ontario, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock
It being 1:15 p.m., pursuant to an order made on Thursday, February 26, 2015, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the third reading stage of the bill now before the House.
Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
- MPconMar 13, 2015 10:05 am | Ontario, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock
The hon. member for Alfred-Pellan has six minutes on debate.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 10:05 am | British Columbia, Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
Mr. Speaker, when the opposition members ask questions or make their remarks, they frequently say that we are not taking an evidence-based approach. They talk about Conservatives being hard-hearted and not caring. Quite frankly, I find that very insulting. This legislation specifically talks about the need for scientific evidence.
Everyone in the House has family, friends, or colleagues who have suffered the terrible ravages of addictions. I do not know that there is anyone who is not impacted.
What I particularly like in this piece of legislation is the linking of some intervention with the site, intervention in terms of rehabilitation or opportunities to help people break the path of addiction. Could the member talk about not only that but about some of the concepts the opposition members are putting out that are simply not true?
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:50 am | Ontario, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock
I remind all hon. members to direct their comments to the Chair.
The hon. member for Ottawa—Orléans.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:50 am | Ontario, Alma-Lac-St-Jean
Mr. Speaker, I do not know every community across the country. I know the community I represent in the House. I can assure the hon. member that the people of Orléans, Blackburn Hamlet and Carlsbad Springs would want these conditions to be imposed before the Minister of Health approved an injection site in any of those communities.
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 9:35 am | Ontario, St. Paul's
Mr. Speaker, this is again just purely ideologically driven instead of evidence-based, which is the way the government goes in all aspects, choosing ideology and pandering to its base rather than providing measures that save lives, save money and move in the right direction.
The government does not understand that so many people suffering from addictions are victims of child abuse and the kinds of things that cause people to end up going down this wrong and unhealthy path. They have not been able to trust people in authority, whether that be people in their homes, teachers and so forth. Insite has provided an opportunity for them to see a way through and develop a therapeutic relationship with a health care provider for probably the first time in their lives. It has allowed them to get into addiction treatment and safe housing. That is the way to create safer communities, and that is why the title of this bill is offensive.
- MPndpMar 13, 2015 9:35 am | Ontario, Thunder Bay—Rainy River
Mr. Speaker, I think my Liberal friend would agree that the Conservatives are taking Canada in the wrong direction with this bill. After 10 years in office, we know and we see that the Conservatives have done environmental, social and economic damage to Canada. This bill is just another good example of that happening.
Does the member agree?
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:35 am | Ontario, Alma-Lac-St-Jean
Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my words of support for Bill C-2, the respect for communities act.
Before I go on, I would like to advise you and the House that I will be sharing my time with the distinguished member for Whitby—Oshawa.
I want to thank all colleagues for their participation in this debate, especially those who are doing it in a measured manner.
Also, I was very pleased that my friends on the committee for public safety and national security were able to conduct a thorough review of this legislation and to return it to this House without amendment.
The opposition’s constant delay tactics—including almost 18 hours of debate at second reading alone—will not stop your government—the government that I support in the House of Commons—from ensuring that Canadian communities get a say before supervised injection sites open in their communities.
Bill C-2 reflects the concern that the government has for Canadian families and communities, and our commitment to their protection. The rigorous criteria set out in the bill and the principles articulated within it are a reasonable and responsible approach.
This approach is based on the premise that any exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act for activities with illicit substances at a supervised consumption site should only be granted after an applicant seeking an exemption has addressed rigorous criteria.
This is as much for the protection of our communities and the respect for residents as it is an assurance that the Minister of Health is provided with the information she needs to carry out her duties in considering the applications to open supervised injection sites.
Bill C-2, the respect for communities act, is an act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The provisions would be incorporated into the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act known as the CDSA.
What I propose to add to the dialogue today is a glimpse into what would be next for Bill C-2, and to reflect upon how provisions of Bill C-2 would be implemented when they are incorporated into the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
Anyone wishing to undertake activities with illicit substances at a supervised consumption site must apply for an exemption from the CDSA. Under this legislation, a new regime will be established for such applications. Under this new regime, the criteria that would need to be addressed before the Minister of Health could consider such an application would be set out.
These changes are in line with a Supreme Court of Canada decision handed down in 2011, and codify the court’s ruling that community opinions must be considered by the Minister of Health with regard to supervised injection sites.
Indeed, the court stated that its decision is:
—not a licence for injection drug users to possess drugs wherever and whenever they wish. Nor is it an invitation for anyone who so chooses to open a facility for drug use under the banner of a “safe injection facility”.
The bill's changes would provide any potential applicant seeking an exemption for activities with illicit substances at a supervised consumption site with greater clarity concerning the application process.
In exercising her discretion, the minister would have to balance public health and public safety considerations.
All members of the House can agree that our communities deserve to have a say if someone would like to build a drug injection site, where illegal drugs are used, in their own neighbourhood.
All we have been getting from the opposition are delay tactics every step of the way.
What members of the opposition fail to realize is that this legislation is a necessary follow-up to the ruling made by the Supreme Court as well as a method for the Minister of Health to receive the information she needs to make an informed decision on supervised injection sites.
This is an important point to note for anyone who might argue that the criteria in Bill C-2 are onerous. The Supreme Court was quite clear that the Minister of Health must consider certain criteria when judging applications. It is only reasonable that applicants provide her with that information.
The applicant would compile the letters, reports, studies and other information set out in the legislation.
Health Canada would review the information provided in the application package to verify that all the criteria had been addressed.
Once a complete application package has been received, the Minister of Health would also have an option to post a notice of application. If a notice of application is posted, it would invite comments from the public on the activities being proposed in the application. The consultation period would be 90 days.
This option is another element provided for in Bill C-2 and would put in place a mechanism for the general public to have its say regarding the establishment of a supervised injection site as also mandated by the Supreme Court.
In considering an application, the Minister of Health would be informed by the information provided by the applicant in their application, and by the public during the public consultation period.
The minister also has the authority to request additional relevant information from the applicant if further detail is needed. With the amendments to the inspection authority specified in Bill C-2, Health Canada would also have the authority to conduct a pre-inspection of the proposed site to verify any of the information provided in the application. In making a decision to grant or not grant an exemption, the minister would balance public health and public safety considerations.
These are very dangerous substances that we are talking about here. The dangerous and addictive drugs that are used at supervised injection sites tear families apart, foster addictions and destroy lives.
It is only prudent that the Minister of Health take very seriously her duties when evaluating the individual merits of each application that comes across her desk for such sites.
In the event that an exemption is granted, the exempted party must adhere to the terms and conditions set out in the exemption. If the terms and conditions are not adhered to, or if there is a risk that controlled substances might be trafficked or diverted for illicit purposes, an exemption can be suspended or revoked in order to protect public health and public safety.
Safeguards for preserving public health and safety are also built into the process for seeking a subsequent exemption. Under the new legislation, when seeking a subsequent exemption, the applicant would be required to address all of the criteria in the proposed legislation as well two additional criteria. Specifically, they would have to provide information on changes in crime rates in the vicinity of the site and evidence of the impact of the site activities on individuals or public health during the period of the previous exemption.
As I have previously stated, this comprehensive legislation reflects the government's commitment to protecting Canadian families and communities.
Even more than that, Canadian families expect safe and healthy communities in which to raise their children.
My speech is not finished, and I am not a fast talker, but I will respect the restrictions imposed by the Speaker, and look forward to questions.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:30 am | British Columbia, Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
Mr. Speaker, I listened to my hon. colleague. I know she has a huge passion on the issue. However, to be quite honest, I have listened to the opposition for many hours now on this debate and I look at the framework we have provided. The framework is very practical and appropriate around community input. I have to liken it again to a zoning application that municipal councillors regularly hear when something is proposed, having some basic health and safety measures in place. This is very appropriate.
Does she not think that the community should be consulted, that there should be criminal record checks done and that there should be the powers of inspection? Again, these are concrete practical steps that look at the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling and ensure that the minister has appropriate information when she makes a decision around an exemption.
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 9:30 am | Ontario, St. Paul's
Mr. Speaker, the community consultation has always been part of, and was indeed essential to, the success of the Vancouver downtown east side site. It was done with consulting the community. It was done with the support and the efforts of all three levels of government and the local police.
What is more than irritating about the bill is that instead of using the five criteria that were listed in the Supreme Court ruling, these 26 new prescriptive criteria that must be met are actually intrusive into provincial and municipal jurisdiction. They interfere with the jurisdiction of the regulatory bodies on health care providers, and interfere with the choices of provincial and municipal police forces and provincial public health officers.
It is clear the government just does not want these things to happen. Communities want them to happen. The government should get out of the way.
- MPndpMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Quebec, Montcalm
With regard to questions on the Order Paper numbers Q-264 through Q-644, what is the estimated cost of the government's response for each question?
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Nova Scotia, Central Nova
Mr. Speaker, the information requested is not readily available and would require an extensive manual search of all records. It is therefore not feasible to produce a response within the time period allotted.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Saskatchewan, Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Mr. Speaker, furthermore, if Questions Nos. 653, 947, 949, 963, 964, 971, 973, 979, 980, 981, 987, 988, and 990 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Ontario, Ottawa South
With regard to contracts under $10 000 granted by the Prime Minister's Office since March 27, 2014: what are the (a) vendors' names; (b) contracts' reference numbers; (c) dates of the contracts; (d) descriptions of the services provided; (e) delivery dates; (f) original contracts' values; and (g) final contracts' values if different from the original contracts' values?
- MPndpMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Ontario, Nickel Belt
Mr. Speaker, I would like to present several copies of one petition to support my bill on dementia, Bill C-356. I have petitions from Brant, British Columbia, Ottawa, Ottawa—Orléans, Kitchener—Waterloo, Port Moody, South Surrey—White Rock, and Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.
Yesterday I held a press conference on my private member's bill that we are going to hear later today. One of the comments from the journalists was—
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Saskatchewan, Palliser
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of the residents of Regina and the surrounding area.
These petitioners would like to bring to the attention of the House that multinational seed companies are threatening the ability of family farmers to produce the amount of food required to feed their families and communities. The petitioners are calling upon the Government of Canada to adopt international aid policies that support small family farmers, particularly women, and recognize their vital role in the struggle against hunger and poverty.
The petitioners want the government to ensure that Canadian policies are developed in consultation with small family farmers.
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Nova Scotia, Cape Breton—Canso
With regard to contracts under $10 000 granted by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation since March 31, 2014: what are the (a) vendors' names; (b) contracts' reference numbers; (c) dates of the contracts; (d) descriptions of the services provided; (e) delivery dates; (f) original contracts' values; and (g) final contracts' values if different from the original contracts' values?
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Prince Edward Island, Cardigan
With regard to Employment and Social Development Canada, for fiscal years 2006-2007 to 2013-2014 inclusive: (a) what is the amount and percentage of all lapsed spending, broken down by (i) program, (ii) sub-program, (iii) sub-sub program; and (b) for each answer to (a)(i), (a)(ii) and (a)(iii), how much of the lapsed funding was (i) operating, (ii) capital, (iii) transfer payments?
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Alberta, Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Mr. Speaker, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, MMPR, allow for the licensing of qualified applicants, or “licensed producers”, responsible for the production and distribution of marijuana for Canadians who have been authorized by a physician. The regulations are comprehensive and include rigorous criteria to protect the public health, safety and security of Canadians, including preventing cannabis from being diverted to an illicit market or use. Applicants seeking to obtain a licence must meet all criteria stipulated in the regulations.
With regard to (a) (i) and (ii), Health Canada has put in a place a rigorous licensing program. The first two stages of the process include a detailed screening of the application, focused on verifying its completeness, an examination of the proposed site, the proposed security measures and a review of the qualifications of the quality assurance person. The key personnel are then subject to a security clearance stage, coordinated by the RCMP. This can involve a comprehensive analysis of police records, fieldwork and coordination with other law enforcement agencies to identify whether an applicant poses a risk to the integrity of the control of the production and distribution of cannabis. The application is then reviewed in detail to confirm appropriate good production practices, record keeping, and physical security plans and procedures. The department may then choose to provide a “Ready to Build” letter, should one be requested. Applicants are notified that this letter is not a guarantee that a licence will be issued. The department will conduct a pre-licence inspection. Once all the terms of the regulations have been satisfied, a licence will then be issued.
Since the introduction of the MMPR, Health Canada has received 1224 licensed producer applications. Most applications to date have been processed and decisions rendered. To date, 881 applications have been assessed and refused or withdrawn; 320 aplications are in process, including security clearance, review and/or pre-licensing inpection phases; and 23 licenses have been issued.
With regard to (iii) and (iv), all applications undergo a strict and rigorous review process. The quality and completeness of the application can significantly affect the length of the review period. The department may request additional information, as required, to support its review of an application. A licence is only issued once the department has solid evidence that the applicant is fully compliant with the MMPR and would not pose a risk to public health and safety. The duration of the review process is highly variable, and can take more than a year.
With regard to (v), (vi) and (vii), Health Canada has assigned 32 full-time equivalent employees to respond to the current activity levels for licensing and compliance and enforcement activities under the MMPR. The activities are conducted by a multi-disciplinary team including scientists, engineers, project managers and program administrators.
With regard to (viii), Health Canada is responsible for ensuring compliance with the MMPR. Applicants must ensure that they are compliant with all federal, provincial, municipal and environmental legislation, including zoning as well as building and fire codes. It is the responsibility of the municipality to conduct the relevant inspections for compliance with bylaws. Licensed producers are also required to communicate with local authorities whenever there is a change in the status of their licence.
With regard to (ix), Health Canada is aware of media reports about applicants. The department works closely with the RCMP and other organizations, and takes into consideration any information provided by them that is relevant to the review of an application. Licences are only issued once the department has a solid basis of evidence that demonstrates there is no risk to public health, safety and security.
With regard to (x) and (xi), there are no fees associated with applying to become a licensed producer. It is difficult to determine the cost of processing individual applications, however, the forecasted expenditures of licensing, compliance and enforcement activities under the MMPR for 2014-15 are estimated to be $3.7 million.
With regard to (b), (c) and (d), as of January 2015, there are 23 licensed producers under the terms of the MMPR that are producing and/or distributing marijuana for medical purposes in Canada, with over 15,500 clients registered. These licensed producers, with an overall approved production capacity of 25,000 kg per year, have sufficient supply to meet current demand in accordance with the quality control measures and appropriate safety standards of the MMPR.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Ontario, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock
Order. The member knows that he can present a petition and make a very brief comment specifically relevant to it, but he is not to debate the matter or to make a speech.
If the hon. member has another petition to present, he can proceed.
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
With regard to the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSET), by month and by year, since 2003: (a) how many employees were there in (i) each unit, (ii) each city, (iii) total; (b) of those employees in (a), how many were (i) permanent, (ii) transferred or temporary; (c) how much was spent on salaries; (d) of the amount in (c), how much was overtime; (e) how much funding was allocated to each office; (f) how much funding was lapsed; and (g) were any additional funds granted, and if so, how much?
- MPndpMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Ontario, Timmins—James Bay
With respect to wireless spectrum auctions and spectrum license requirements, including but not limited to AWS-3 spectrum, 600 Mhz and 3 500 Mhz, broken down by each individual auction and license requirement: (a) does the government have provisions requiring the incorporation of technologies into the wireless networks that allow surveillance and interception capabilities built into their networks; and (b) does the government pay for the costs of these provisions?
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Ontario, York West
With regard to contracts under $10 000 granted by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario since March 27, 2014: what are the (a) vendors' names; (b) contracts' reference numbers; (c) dates of the contracts; (d) descriptions of the services provided; (e) delivery dates; (f) original contracts' values; and (g) final contracts' values if different from the original contracts' values?
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | British Columbia, Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition signed predominantly by my constituents in Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo. They are calling for the respect of the right of the small-scale family farmer to preserve, exchange, and use seeds. I think our recent legislation clearly articulates that we do that. The other thing of particular relevance is to look at international aid policies that support small family farmers, especially women, and recognize their vital role in the struggle against hunger and poverty.
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Prince Edward Island, Malpeque
With regard to the Correctional Service of Canada: (a) what is the current policy on the use of administrative segregation; (b) what changes to this policy are being considered; (c) who has been consulted with regards to any proposed changes, and when did these consultations take place; (d) has the Correctional Service of Canada received any analysis or advice on the constitutionality of the current administrative segregation policy and, if so, (i) when was it received, (ii) who provided the advice, (iii) what were the results or recommendations; (e) what is the proposed timeline for announcing any such proposed policy change; (f) what is the proposed timeline for implementing any such proposed policy change; (g) how many inmates will be affected by any such proposed policy change, broken down by (i) facility type, (ii) location; (h) what additional public costs are projected to be incurred as a result of any such proposed policy change; and (i) what are the titles, dates, and file numbers of any reports, memoranda, briefing notes, dockets, studies, or other records pertaining to any such proposed policy change?
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Ontario, St. Paul's
Mr. Speaker, today we are debating Bill C-2, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, at third reading.
I have a couple of other suggestions for the name of this bill. It could be called “the refusal to honour the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada bill”. How about “the pursuing ideology versus evidence act”, or “the refusal to save the lives of people with addictions act"?
This bill was introduced in response to the Supreme Court of Canada 2011 ruling that Insite, in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, had been proven to save lives and reduce harm, and that the government's efforts to close Insite would violate section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to life, liberty, and the security of the person. It is clear that the government did not like this ruling, and therefore has tried to go about refusing to honour the ruling by another route.
It is also clear that this bill will not fulfill the spirit of the court's ruling. Rather, it would make it cumbersome for a group or municipality to apply for a section 56 exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act which allows a facility to operate. However, the likelihood of any future sites opening in Canada would become slim to none. Making matters worse, Vancouver's Insite would have to apply for a renewal based on the same 26 different criteria as new applications, as well as two additional provisions.
Section 56 of the CDSA gives the Minister of Health discretionary powers to grant exemptions from the act under one of three categories. They are medical purposes, scientific purposes, or in the public interest. Of the exemptions that have been granted for activities with illicit substances, two types are for law enforcement purposes. These are to train sniffer dogs using seized drugs in the public interest and to allow the Vancouver Coastal Health authority to operate Insite. It was initially for scientific purposes, but since the Supreme Court's decision, it is considered a medical exemption.
The government's intentions have been clear from the beginning. It has always opposed Insite and has been trying to close it down since it formed government. Thankfully, the work of the community of Vancouver and the courts have stopped these attempts.
I would also like the opportunity to thank the member for Vancouver Centre and the Liberal Party of Canada health critic for her tireless efforts on this file to ensure that public policy is based on evidence and not ideology.
This is an ideological bill based on crass political motivation from a government that has always opposed evidence-based harm reduction measures such as safe injection sites. Only an hour after the legislation was introduced, Conservative campaign director Jenni Byrne issued a crass and misleading fundraising letter to supporters, stating that the Liberals and the NDP wanted addicts to shoot up heroin in the backyards of communities all across the country.
Despite this bill being tabled by the Minister of Health, it was given to an enforcement department, the committee of public safety and security. This is further evidence of the government's view of addiction as a criminal act. The public safety and security committee heard witnesses from three meetings, with many expressing concern that this bill would effectively shut down the current safe consumption site in Vancouver and deny the creation of further sites.
There were amendments suggested by the Province of British Columbia, the chief public health officer of British Columbia, and the City of Vancouver, which were consistent with the Supreme Court of Canada criteria. Even witnesses in favour of the legislation expressed concern that in some parts the legislation is too restrictive. Over 60 amendments were moved by the opposition parties to bring this legislation in line with the Supreme Court ruling. However, the legislation, as usual, was not amended.
The Liberals proposed amendments to the legislation at committee to amend clause 5, which outlines the criteria that new and existing applicants for exemptions must meet by deleting measures that were not outlined in the Supreme Court ruling. Due to a motion passed by the Conservative majority at the public safety committee, a party can only have five minutes to speak for each clause of the bill while moving amendments. Clause 5, which is the majority of the legislation, required several amendments.
Due to the time constraints, the Liberal Party was unable to speak to the majority of the amendments, as time had elapsed. This is undemocratic and restricted our right to speak and to explain our amendments at committee.
Liberals recognize the need for some form of legislation based on the Supreme Court of Canada ruling. However, this legislation does not reflect the spirit nor the intent of the court's decision.
As stated in the 2011 Supreme Court ruling:
The factors considered in making the decision on an exemption must include evidence, if any, on the impact of such a facility on crime rates, the local conditions, indicating a need for such a supervised injection site, the regulatory structure in place to support this facility, the resources available to support its maintenance, and expressions of community support or opposition.
Instead, of the five criteria listed in the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, Bill C-2 lists 26 different prescriptive criteria that must be met, including the areas that are intrusive into provincial and municipal jurisdiction. It also interferes with the jurisdiction of regulatory bodies on health care providers, as well as provincial and municipal police forces and provincial public health officers.
Liberals support the need for broad community consultation for the establishment of any safe consumption site, which is how the Liberal government established Canada's first safe consumption site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. When the Liberal government gave the exemption to Vancouver's safe consumption site, we consulted broadly and worked in conjunction with provincial and municipal governments, public health authorities, business associations, and the public.
Insite was the product of co-operative federalism. Local, provincial, and federal authorities combined their efforts to create it. The Vancouver police support Insite, as well as the City of Vancouver and the British Columbia government.
It was initially launched as a scientifically based research project based on experience with SCS in Europe and Australia on very high, at-risk and resistant groups, which had proven to be successful. It has saved lives and improved health without increasing the incidence of drug use and crime in the surrounding area.
lnsite has an average of 700 to 800 visits a day, and over 275,000 visits annually. As of March 2010, there have been over 1.5 million visits, over 12,000 unique individuals registered, and an average of 11 visits per month, per person
It has been proven to reduce harm. There has been a total of 2,395 overdoses since the facility opened, with zero fatalities. There were 20,000 referrals to health services in 2008-09, and over 50% of those were to detox.
lnsite users are 30% more likely to engage in addiction treatment than non-lnsite users. It has also dramatically reduced the rate of new HIV infections in the Downtown Eastside. There are three in ten injection drug users in the Downtown Eastside who are HIV positive; 18% of lnsite clients are HIV positive. There were 30 new HIV cases in the Downtown Eastside in 2011, compared to 2,100 new cases in 1996.
I would like to highlight the four pillars of any effective drug strategy: harm reduction, prevention, treatment, and enforcement. The bill underlines the government's misguided decision to remove harm reduction from the equation and from an effective drug strategy.
As Liberals, we support evidence-based policies that reduce harm and protect public safety. Liberals established Vancouver's safe consumption site, which has proven to be effective in supporting those suffering with mental illness and addictions, reducing crime and protecting public safety.
Across Canada, medical officers of health, such as David McKeown, in my home community of Toronto, need this public health approach to get on with creating new life-saving facilities such as this.
Unfortunately, the bill raises the criteria to establish a safe injection site to such an extraordinary high level that it would be nearly impossible for any future site to be established in Canada.
Legislation proposed in this House must adhere to the rule of law. The ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada was clear. This legislation would put lives at risk and would likely be challenged in the courts again.
We cannot support the legislation. To put it bluntly, we cannot help people if they are dead.
- MPlibMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | British Columbia, Vancouver Quadra
With regard to military base CFB Petawawa: since 2007, (i) what are the names and ridings of Members of Parliament who have visited the base, (ii) what are the dates when the Members visited, (iii) what were the purposes of the visits, (iv) what were the costs associated with each Members' visit?
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Manitoba, Selkirk—Interlake
Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces, DND/CAF, do not create records of visits by members of Parliament to CAF bases and stations, nor have a centralized tracking and reporting mechanism for such visits, the reasons for visits or their costs. As such, DND/CAF is unable to provide the requested details.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | British Columbia, Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
Mr. Speaker, as of 1996, (a) the government introduced a lawful intercept condition of licence that requires the licensee to maintain interception capabilities so that information can be provided when required by a warrant.
(b) The government does not pay for the costs of these provisions.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:15 am | Ontario, Oak Ridges—Markham
Mr. Speaker, the Privy Council Office identified no contracts under $10,000 granted by the Prime Minister's Office from March 27, 2014 to January 29, 2015.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:10 am | Ontario, Kitchener—Waterloo
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition signed by the students and teachers at Abraham Erb Public School in my riding of Waterloo.
The petitioners are underscoring the importance of clean water, clean air, and a clean environment in our country.
- MPndpMar 13, 2015 9:10 am | Nova Scotia, Halifax
Mr. Speaker, some constituents asked me if I would table this petition in the House of Commons, and I have to say that I am very impressed by the number of people who have signed it. It shows that people in Halifax really care about the rights of small-scale farmers to preserve and exchange and use seeds.
The petitioners are asking the government to adopt international aid policies that support small-scale farmers; to ensure that Canadian policies and programs are developed in consultation with small family farmers; and that they protect the rights of farmers in the global south to preserve, use, and freely exchange seeds.
The petitioners and I look forward to the minister's response.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:05 am | Saskatchewan, Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 22 petitions.
- MPndpMar 13, 2015 9:05 am | Manitoba, Winnipeg Centre
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates in relation to its study of the supplementary estimates (C), 2014-15.
I am proud to report that the committee, in keeping with its commitment to make a more thorough and robust examination of the supplementary estimates, undertook to study $730 million of the $733 million in estimates that were referred to the committee, which is again in keeping with what all committees should be undertaking: to examine the estimates and not simply allow them to pass unnoticed.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:05 am | Ontario, Alma-Lac-St-Jean
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to table in the House the following petition.
It is a petition signed by the people of Orleans who support Development and Peace and are calling on the government to adopt international aid policies that support small farmers, especially women, in order to recognize their vital role in the struggle against hunger and poverty.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:00 am | Nova Scotia, South Shore—St. Margaret's
Mr. Speaker, to begin with, we encourage anyone who believes they have received incorrect information from CRA to make a formal complaint.
We expect CRA to continuously improve the quality and accuracy of the telephone service it provides. We are implementing several measures to improve the quality of services offered by CRA.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 9:00 am | Quebec, Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Mr. Speaker, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is working very hard to foster economic diversification of all regions of Quebec. Since 2006, over 440 projects have been distributed in Quebec, and we will continue with that approach.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 8:55 am | Saskatchewan, Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my friend and colleague from Palliser for all the hard work he has done for his constituents, not only in his riding but also in Saskatchewan.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister was in Saskatchewan to announce a major infrastructure program of over $32 million for the twinning of Highway 7 to four lanes, from Saskatoon west to Delisle. This project will not only create jobs, it will improve safety, enhance traffic flow and reduce travel time.
Unlike the NDP and Liberals, whose only plan to improve the economy is to raise taxes, we are committed to lowering taxes. That was why we launched the building Canada fund and approved, to date, over $5 billion worth of projects.
- MPconMar 13, 2015 8:55 am | Saskatchewan, Palliser
Mr. Speaker, while the Liberals and the NDP are focused on their carbon tax and tax-hike plan, our Conservative government is working on the economy and projects that will create jobs.
The Prime Minister was in Saskatchewan to announce an important project for our economy. Could the parliamentary secretary update the House on this important announcement?
- MPconMar 13, 2015 8:55 am | Manitoba, Selkirk—Interlake
Mr. Speaker, what happened in this case is completely unacceptable. The inclusion of these remarks in the board of inquiry report is further evidence of how unacceptable it was.
Our thoughts remain with the family of Corporal Stuart Langridge during this very difficult time. The Department of National Defence is reviewing the Military Police Complaints Commission report. We want to ensure we act upon those recommendations so this never happens again.
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