- MPlibMar 09, 2015 11:00 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, yesterday was International Women's Day, when we celebrate the tremendous women in our lives who care for us, inspire us, and fight for equality, freedom, and justice.
We celebrate the many milestones achieved on the road to gender equality. Despite the strides, women still lag behind men in critical areas such as political representation and wage equality.
Canada ranks 19th among 142 countries regarding the gender gap, 42nd in female parliamentary representation, and a shocking 100th on health and survival.
Let us all recommit to fight for the rights and opportunities of women and girls in Canada and around the world. Empowering women is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. When women succeed, nations are more prosperous, safe, and secure.
Let us work together to create a world where our daughters and sons can achieve their full potential.
- MPlibFeb 25, 2015 3:20 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to support Bill C-643, an act respecting a national spinal cord injury awareness day.
I would like to congratulate my colleague, the member for Montcalm, for bringing the bill forward and for being an advocate for those living with disabilities.
Establishing a day to recognize the impact spinal cord injuries have on Canadians, the health care system, and the economy would bring awareness to this debilitating and serious condition.
Up until 2010, health officials, shockingly, had no idea how many Canadians were living with a spinal cord injury or the economic cost of the condition.
However, there was a report commissioned by the Rick Hansen Institute that revealed some startling data. I know this House will all want to, and we have heard it already tonight, recognize Rick Hansen, who became a world-class wheelchair athlete before undertaking the Man in Motion World Tour in 1985, during which he rolled more than 40,000 kilometres in 34 countries in two years raising $26 million for spinal cord research.
The report indicated that there were over 86,000 people living with a spinal cord injury in Canada, or about the same number as the population of Red Deer, Alberta. About 4,300 new cases are identified in our country each year. After speaking with Spinal Cord Injury Canada yesterday, I am informed that the number is now 96,000 Canadians. Approximately 51% of spinal cord injury cases are the result of traumatic injury and 49% are the result of non-traumatic injury or, rather, diseases such as ALS and cancer.
The report laid out, for the first time, the scale, magnitude, and cost of a spinal cord injury in human and economic terms. This was an important milestone because measuring the extent of the problem is the first step in developing strategies for preventing, mitigating, treating and, hopefully one day, curing spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord injuries require substantial medical care. Canadians with a spinal cord injury who are admitted to intensive care units have reduced mortality and morbidity, as well as improved neurologic recovery. The average length of a hospital stay after the initial injury is 140 days, or almost five months, including critical care, acute care, and in-patient rehabilitation.
New methods for treating spinal cord injury are being studied, including surgical decompression, therapeutic hypothermia, and neuroprotective agents.
The economic cost of traumatic spinal cord injury is $3.6 billion a year, including $1.8 billion in direct medical costs. The lifetime medical costs, in the words of a recent study, for a quadriplegic exceed $3 million and for a paraplegic, $1.6 million. For Canadian families, the average cost of a manual wheelchair is $4,000 to $5,000 and the average cost of a power wheelchair is $10,000 to $15,000.
The long-term health care costs are not due to paralysis but, rather, to medical complications. Severe depression is also common among people with a spinal cord injury. Treatment for depression accounts for almost half of physician visits.
These are just numbers and do not speak to the impacts on the person affected and on the families. I cannot begin to imagine how frightening and overwhelming are the days, weeks, and months following a spinal cord injury. Everything changes in an instant and people will have many questions.
Canadians with a spinal cord injury need to know that they are not alone and that there are people and organizations that will help them through acute care, rehabilitation, and a return to the community. Canadians with a spinal cord injury need to know there are resources available to help them find the latest information on research, clinical trials, and rehabilitation techniques that may have an impact upon improved function and recovery. They need to know that there are financial resources, peer support, and organizations that can help renovate their home to make it accessible, get assistive devices to help with everyday tasks, and help them return to the community.
As a country, we can and must do more to support Canadians living with spinal cord injury and their families. All levels of government must work together to put in place essential measures to secure the right to education and economic participation. We need policies and programs that promote physically accessible homes, hospitals, schools, transportation and workplaces, inclusive education, elimination of discrimination in educational and employment settings, vocational rehabilitation to optimize the chance of employment, micro finance and other forms of self-employment, benefits to support alternative forms of economic self-sufficiency, access to social support payments that do not act as a disincentive to return to work, and correct understanding of spinal cord injury and positive attitudes toward people living with it. The member for Montcalm's bill would help to raise awareness, and this is positive.
The Urban Futures institute predicts that the number of people living with spinal cord injury will increase sharply in the coming years, reaching 121,000 in 2030. The expected increase is largely due to the aging population. Older people have more falls and suffer disproportionately from illnesses such as cancer.
I have had the honour and privilege of working with Canadians with physical and mental health challenges my whole life, and everyday I learn from them and am inspired by them. I also want to recognize the work of all health practitioners and organizations which work hard to improve the quality of life of Canadians living with a spinal cord injury and their families.
I know many of us have taken part in Spinal Cord Injury Canada's chair-leader event, during which we spend the day in a wheelchair and live first hand what accessibility really means. We learn very quickly the obstacles Canadians in chairs face. Everything is harder. It is hard to manage the chair. It does not always turn well. Getting into an elevator is hard, managing in the washroom is hard, reaching counters is hard, getting up and down Parliament Hill is really hard, and cars do not always see the chair.
The chair-leaders event is extremely important to get exposure for people in chairs, to raise awareness, to see the obstacles people face, to understand that there are financial hurdles and that we as a society must do more to help. The member for Montcalm's bill would ensure that, annually, there would be a day devoted to raising awareness about spinal cord injury.
In closing, spinal cord injuries have severe, long-term impacts. They affect almost 100,000 Canadians and their families, have far-reaching consequences, including financial hardship and caregiving needs, and the number of Canadians suffering is increasing as the population ages. The costs for people suffering from spinal cord injuries number in the billions. Spinal cord awareness would foster an environment for greater research into new treatment options. Awareness would help provide doctors with improved options for treatment.
Let me once again congratulate the member on her bill and let us all remember there is life after injury. Canadians with spinal cord injuries are active, social, and vibrant members of our communities. Let us all celebrate ability and fight for more help for Canadians with spinal cord injury and their families.
- MPlibFeb 25, 2015 12:30 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present several petitions regarding autism spectrum disorders, which are characterized by social and communication challenges and a pattern of repetitive behaviours and interests. They are lifelong, affect development and life experiences, and exert emotional and financial pressures on families.
The petitioners call on the government to work with the provinces, territories, and stakeholders to develop a pan-Canadian strategy for autism spectrum disorders.
- MPlibFeb 23, 2015 12:00 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is sitting on its hands instead of bringing Mohamed Fahmy home. Fahmy is free on bail while he waits retrial. The Liberal Party has repeatedly called on the Prime Minister to step in, but so far there has been no response from the PMO. Why is the Prime Minister sitting on the sidelines? Why will he not pick up the phone, call the president, and secure Canadian Mohamed Fahmy's freedom?
- MPlibFeb 20, 2015 9:05 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are serious mental illnesses that incapacitate more than 600,000 Canadians and can be fatal.
Petitioners call upon the government to work with the provinces, territories, and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive pan-Canadian strategy for eating disorders, including better prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and support.
- MPlibFeb 20, 2015 8:50 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, as the fourth anniversary of the Syria crisis approaches, 5.6 million children are in need of assistance. Will the Minister of International Development personally attend the donor conference in Kuwait on March 31, and will he make a meaningful contribution on behalf of all Canadians to champion the children of Syria?
- MPlibFeb 20, 2015 8:10 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I rise to celebrate the extraordinary Mary Harker, who was tireless in her commitment to helping others, making the world a better place, and welcoming everyone with open arms.
Mary was legendary in Etobicoke, having worked with mayors, MPPs, and MPs. She started the Nightgown Brigade and would rush to help women escaping violent situations no matter what time of night. She served on Albion Neighbourhood Services and with Youth Without Shelter, helped found Ernestine's Women's Shelter, gave four decades to the Rexdale legal clinic, and served for decades on the Community Police Liaison Committee.
The community loved Mary and recognized her thousands of hours of volunteer services with numerous awards.
Mary is now with her beloved husband Ron, and leaves behind daughters Kathy and Wendy, their partners Scott and Peter, and her grandchildren Matthew, Cameron, and Madeline. We thank them for sharing her with us. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
- MPlibFeb 18, 2015 12:20 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, autism spectrum disorders are characterized by social and communication challenges and a pattern of repetitive behaviour and interests. They are lifelong, effect development and life experience, and exert emotional financial pressures on families.
The petitioners call on the government to work with the provinces, territories and stakeholders to develop a pan-Canadian strategy for autism spectrum disorder.
- MPlibFeb 04, 2015 12:15 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are serious mental illnesses that can be fatal. More than 600,000 Canadians have been incapacitated by eating disorders. They suffer long waiting lists for help and limited access to mental health services.
The petitioners call upon the government to work with provinces, territories, and stakeholders to develop a pan-Canadian strategy for eating disorders, including better prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and support.
- MPlibFeb 03, 2015 11:50 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to struggle with helping its most vulnerable citizens.
The Dignity for All campaign estimates that there are 4.8 million Canadians who cannot make ends meet and 250,000 homeless Canadians while shelters are bursting at the seams. Instead of tackling poverty, the government is spending $2 billion every year on income splitting so that the wealthiest can get thousands in tax breaks.
Will the Conservatives abandon their reckless income-splitting plan and instead invest in fighting poverty?
- MPlibFeb 02, 2015 12:05 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I present several petitions regarding autism spectrum disorders, or ASDs, which affect one person in 88. These disorders are characterized by social and communication challenges and a pattern of repetitive behaviours and interests. They are lifelong, affect development and life experience, and exert emotional and financial pressures on families.
The petitioners call on the government to work with the provinces and territories and stakeholders to develop a pan-Canadian strategy for autism spectrum disorder.
- MPlibFeb 02, 2015 11:00 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate international development and development practitioners who work to make this world a better place.
The year 2015 promises to be transformative with the international community coming together to set a new global development agenda with opportunities for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women, a universal climate agreement and a 10-year plan to make the world safer from natural hazards.
As we work toward these goals, let us not forget the people of the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria. Let us commit to doing all we can to protect civilians, end human suffering and support peace. And let us help West Africa become more resilient as countries recover from Ebola.
This week serves as a reminder that the poorest and most fragile countries still need our assistance and that together we can eliminate extreme poverty.
- MPlibJan 29, 2015 11:10 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I rise to celebrate Etobicoke North's extraordinary and unstoppable Dee Gordon, who today completed walking over 500 kilometres to raise awareness for autism spectrum disorder.
While Dee walked, her son Tim drove the support truck, and together this mother-son team collected thousands of signatures to ask the federal government for a pan-Canadian autism strategy.
Dee does not want other Canadian families to have to fight for early diagnosis, affordable treatment programs, and support programs as she has had to fight for her amazing son Jacob. She hopes the government will implement recommendations in the 2007 Senate report called “Pay Now or Pay Later: Autism Families in Crisis”.
Dee's children, Tim, Krystal, and Jacob, are proud of her, as is her Aunt Mary. Our office and our community are proud of her and her tremendous undertaking for Canadian families.
I ask all members to join me in recognizing Dee Gordon and the walk to Ottawa.
- MPlibJan 29, 2015 7:05 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present to the House today regarding sickle cell disease. Red blood cells harden into long slivers that block veins and arteries, causing injuries to the blood vessels of organs, including the brain and lungs. About 10% of children develop strokes. Children with sickle cell disease are also extremely vulnerable to infection and have periodic health crises that cause terrible pain and difficulty breathing.
The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to adopt Bill C-221.
- MPlibJan 27, 2015 7:05 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, each year in Canada, 10,000 people die from prescription drugs taken exactly as prescribed, and some 3.5 million Canadians have inadequate drug coverage or no coverage at all.
The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to establish a committee with the necessary authority, mandate, expertise, and funding to make recommendations to reduce the number of deaths by prescription drugs; to work with the provinces and territories to ensure that all Canadians have a drug plan that covers the cost of prescription drugs; and to expand catastrophic drug coverage for all Canadians.
- MPlibJan 26, 2015 12:20 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
With regard to the government’s event entitled “Strong Girls, Strong World” scheduled to be held in Toronto on October 22, 2014: (a) who within the government was responsible for the organization of the event; (b) what was the entire budget of the event, (i) did the event go over budget, (ii) if so, what were the cost overruns, (iii) were there unforeseen expenses, (iv) if the event was cancelled, what was the amount of money the government was able to recover, (v) if the event was cancelled, what was the amount of money the government was unable to recover; (c) if the event was cancelled, will the event be rescheduled in 2015 and, if so, (i) what is the new date of the event, (ii) what is the estimated budget of the new event; (d) what was the total cost for the venue rental at the Central Technical School; (e) how many names were on the final guest list and what were the names; (f) did the government pay for the travel expenses of international visitors; (g) how was the Central Technical School chosen as a venue for the event, (i) on what date was the school first contacted with regard to the Summit, (ii) how many other venues did the event organizers contact other than the Central Technical School; (h) what was the total cost for security for the event; (i) what was the total cost for meals and hospitality for the event; and (j) was the event paid for from general consolidated revenue?
- MPlibJan 26, 2015 12:15 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I present this petition with hundreds of signatures regarding elephant poaching, which has reached critical levels. According to a continent-wide survey, African forest elephant population levels declined 62% between 2002 and 2011.
The petitioners are calling on the Parliament of Canada to adopt a unanimous motion to support the implementation of the African elephant action plan, to provide financial contributions to the fund to assist African and Asian elephant range states to improve their capacity to manage and conserve their populations, and to destroy Canada's stockpile of confiscated ivory to enforce the message that ivory is not a legitimate consumer product.
- MPlibDec 10, 2014 1:15 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition regarding sickle cell disease and thalassemic disorders. In sickle cell disease, red blood cells harden into long slivers that block veins and arteries, causing injuries to the blood vessels of organs, including the brain and lungs. About 10% of children develop strokes. Children with sickle cell disease are also extremely vulnerable to infection and have periodic health crises that cause terrible pain and difficulty breathing.
The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to adopt Bill C-221.
- MPlibDec 05, 2014 9:05 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present on autism spectrum disorders, which are pervasive disorders that affect one person in eighty-eight. They are characterized by social and communication challenges, and a pattern of repetitive behaviours and interests. They are lifelong, and affect development and life experience. They exert emotional and financial pressure on families.
The petitioners call on the government to work with the provinces and territories and stakeholders to develop a pan-Canadian strategy for ASDs, including innovative funding arrangements for financing therapy, surveillance, respite care, and research.
- MPlibDec 05, 2014 8:25 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we remember 14 young women who were murdered simply because they were women.
Twenty-five years later, the government wants to pass legislation that will make Canadians less safe. The bill would ease transport restrictions on automatic weapons so they can be moved more freely outside public places like a grocery store or a school campus.
Given that tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the Montreal massacre, will the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness re-consider these elements of his bill?
- MPlibDec 05, 2014 8:10 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, tomorrow and always, we remember 14 promising young women who, just because they were women, did not have the opportunity to grow older, pursue their dreams, and have the gift of time with their families. We hope that their families know that their daughters are not forgotten, that they instill courage, that they inspire, and that they remind us all to fight tirelessly to end violence against women, which sadly remains a daily reality for 3,000 women in Canada and sends 1,000 women and children to shelters each day.
Twenty-five years later, none of us can imagine the pain experienced by the families of these young women, and we are deeply saddened. We hope that the presence of loved ones and the compassion of an entire nation can bring them some comfort.
We profoundly thank the families for sharing their smart, courageous, motivated young daughters with us. We promise never to forget them.
- MPlibDec 01, 2014 12:20 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, my petition is regarding unethical organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China. Petitioners call for the government to request an independent investigation on organ harvesting; actively discourage Canadians from seeking organ transplants in China, which violates legal standards and medical ethics; reject these applications for anyone who has been found to be involved in organ harvesting; and enact legislation requiring mandatory reporting of transplant tourism.
- MPlibNov 26, 2014 12:20 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, it is five years since a program aired highlighting a new theory that the venous system might play a role in multiple sclerosis. Five years on, Canadians are still waiting on the science.
The petitioners urge the Minister of Health to proceed with phase 3 clinical trials.
- MPlibNov 25, 2014 11:15 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the start of the 16 days of action against gender violence. This is a time when Canadians join the international community in a commitment to ending the ongoing violation of women's most fundamental rights around the world.
Although we have made great progress in recent years, too many women in the world are still forced to live with the threat of physical, sexual, or emotional violence. In Canada, violence drives more than 3,000 women from their homes daily. It carries an incalculable human toll and costs Canadian society billions.
We must do better. On this international day, we once again call on the government to work with the provinces and territories and all stakeholders to develop a national action plan to end violence against women and girls, and hold a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
- MPlibNov 24, 2014 12:10 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, concussions can deeply impact individuals psychologically, neuropsychologically, socially, and economically. Those living with this brain injury deserve comprehensive action and support.
The petitioners are calling on the government to enact a pan-Canadian concussion awareness week; a pan-Canadian strategy for prevention, diagnosis and management; and a centre of excellence for concussion research.
- MPlibNov 24, 2014 11:55 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, in 2009 the Prime Minister attended the Copenhagen conference and committed Canada to reducing carbon pollution to 17% below 2005 levels. However, the environment commissioner says Canada is on track to miss its Copenhagen targets.
Next week, leaders from around the world will convene in Peru to begin negotiations on the new climate agreement before the summit begins.
I have a simple question for the Minister of the Environment. Will Canada achieve its Copenhagen commitment?
- MPlibNov 21, 2014 9:05 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, violence against women is an abomination, yet in communities across Canada, women and girls of all ages face violence every day. Violence drives over 100,000 women and children out of their homes and into shelters each year.
The petitioners call upon the government to work in partnership with the provinces, territories and stakeholders to develop a national strategy and action plan to end violence against women, and to hold a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada.
- MPlibNov 21, 2014 8:10 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, yesterday was National Children's Day and the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
It also marked the anniversary of the motion of the House of Commons to eliminate child poverty by 2000. Fourteen years later, conditions remain unacceptable for Canada's children.
On poverty, Canada ranks 24th of 35 industrialized countries, with one in every seven Canadian children still struggling to have his or her basic needs met; 36% of food bank users are children; and 40% of all indigenous children live in poverty.
We all share the desire for the well-being of our children, the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind. Every child has the right to survive, develop, be protected from all forms of violence and be protected from adverse economic conditions.
How will the government champion children's rights domestically and internationally, and keep the promise made to our children 25 years ago?
- MPlibNov 19, 2014 12:25 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
With respect to Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s initiative entitled “21st Century Consular Plan: Canadian Consular Services — A Modern Approach 2014”: (a) what are the names, positions, organizations or affiliations of all the stakeholders consulted during the creation of this plan; (b) what submissions, proposals or recommendations were made by stakeholders during the consultation process; (c) what are the dates, times and locations of the meetings with those individuals or organizations consulted during the creation of this plan; (d) what is the total of all government expenditures arising from the consultation process related to the plan, including, but not limited to, (i) travel expenses, including transportation, accommodation, rental of meeting spaces or equipment, food, and other travel-related expenses, (ii) staff time costs, including any overtime pay incurred, (iii) any services or other support procured from consultants or other contractors, (iv) other relevant expenses incurred, broken down by related details; (e) what are the titles and file names of all reports, emails and briefing notes prepared in relation to the development and consultation process involved in finalizing the creation of the plan; (f) how many requests for consular services have been classified as “complex”, noting whether or not they were resolved from fiscal year 2006-2007 to 2013-2014; (g) what are the details respecting the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit, as they relate to (i) the budget of this unit for fiscal years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, (ii) the number of full-time equivalent employees employed in this unit, for fiscal years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, (iii) the titles and file names of all reports and briefing notes prepared by this unit for the last fiscal year; (h) what partnerships and technologies are currently being discussed in relation to modernizing the approach for outreach of this plan; (i) what methods have been employed to increase “the scope of public awareness campaigns” to make Canadians more aware of important travel tips; and (j) how much funding has been allocated to the deployment of this proposal for fiscal year 2014-2015?
- MPlibNov 19, 2014 12:20 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, each year in Canada 10,000 people die from prescription drugs taken exactly as prescribed and some 3.5 million Canadians have inadequate drug coverage, or no coverage at all.
Petitioners call on the Government of Canada to establish a committee with the necessary authority, mandate, expertise and funding to make recommendations to reduce the number of deaths by prescription drugs and to work with the provinces and territories to ensure all Canadians have a drug plan that covers the costs of prescription drugs and expand catastrophic drug coverage for all Canadians.
- MPlibNov 07, 2014 9:25 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
With respect to the approval of Project Ojibwa for stimulus funding for Port Burwell, Ontario: (a) (i) according to independent analysts, what is the economic development return on investment of Project Ojibwa, (ii) has the submarine museum ever won an economic development award that is supported by the federal government; (b) is there another submarine museum in Ontario; (c) when is the 100th anniversary of submarine use in Canada; (d) on what date (i) was stimulus funding applied to this project, (ii) was it approved and by what department, (iii) were applicants notified they had been successful in receiving funding; (e) what specific conditions, if any, were attached to the funding, and by what dates did conditions have to be met; (f) what meetings, and on what dates, did the applicants have with (i) economic development departments, (ii) the Department of National Defence; (g) what concerns did either department have with the project; (h) what challenges did the government foresee in transporting a submarine from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Port Burwell, Ontario, including, but not limited to, (i) dredging the Port Burwell Harbour, (ii) building a road in Port Burwell, (iii) transporting the submarine on a barge, accompanied by tug boats, (iv) re-fitting the submarine at Hamilton, Ontario, (v) designing and building cradles upon which the submarine would eventually sit at Port Burwell; (i) how were these challenges communicated to the project managers and when; (j) what real-world examples or precedents existed for the departments to provide conditions and timelines for transporting a submarine in a safe, suitable, and timely manner from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Port Burwell, Ontario; (k) which departments defined conditions and timelines, and how, and when, were these conditions and timelines communicated to the project managers; (l) what specific assessments were the applicants required to undertake, including, but not limited to, environmental assessments; (m) for each assessment required, what is the typical time taken for such an assessment, and its approval; (n) on what date were the applicants presented with a ceremonial cheque and for what amount; (o) what political representatives were in attendance; (p) did Port Burwell have a government “Economic Action Plan” sign showing the community the government’s contribution, and if so, when was the sign installed; (q) did the applicants ever apply for an extension of the timelines for funding, and if so, (i) on what date, (ii) what were the reasons given for an extension; (r) was there ever an extension of the timelines for funding, and if so, (i) by whom, (ii) what were the reasons given; (s) what exact amount of federal funding did the applicants receive; (t) were the applicants ever successful in (i) dredging the harbour at Port Burwell, (ii) building the required road in Port Burwell, (iii) transporting the submarine from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Port Burwell, Ontario, (iv) bringing the submarine ashore at Port Burwell, (v) installing it for viewing by the public, and if so, what are the dates for each; and (u) has HMCS Ojibwa been open to the public, and if so, (i) from what starting date, (ii) how many guests have visited the site?
- MPlibNov 06, 2014 11:10 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I recognize Guru Nanak Dev Ji's birth, which is celebrated worldwide and is an ideal time to share his message of peace and respect for all faiths.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the founder of Sikhism and the first of the Sikh gurus. He travelled widely, teaching people the message of one God, human rights, and justice. His life and teachings are of profound significance to all. In fact, his message of community, equality, love, and service provides inspiration for all humanity.
My favourite Guru Nanak Dev Ji story is that, when his father gave him money to find a job and seek his fortune, he instead took the money and fed those in need.
Canada is proud to be home to one of the largest Sikh communities outside India. We think of the community as it comes together in prayer and looks forward to the coming year.
- MPlibNov 05, 2014 1:05 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
With respect to Canada’s response to the international Ebola outbreak in West Africa: (a) how is Canada working with other countries to address the outbreak, (i) through the Global Health Security Action Group and the Global Health Security Agenda, (ii) in other ways; (b) what specific departments are involved in the Canadian response and what is the lead agency in each of (i) preparedness, (ii) response, (iii) recovery related to the outbreak in West Africa; (c) what specific actions is each of the departments listed in (b) undertaking; (d) what is the government doing to ensure the safety of Canadians who are travelling to West Africa to undertake activities including, but not limited to, (i) humanitarian work, (ii) commerce and trade, (iii) safeguard the well-being of those who are there now and in areas where Ebola is spreading; (e) what guidance is being provided to Canadians traveling to West Africa (i) before they leave, (ii) while in areas in which Ebola has been reported, (iii) if they think they have symptoms consistent with Ebola, (iv) for after their return to Canada; (f) how specifically was the April 18, 2014, funding of $1,285,000 to address the outbreak spent, broken down by item and amount spent on each item; (g) how many specialists, and in what disciplines, did Canada send to work with the World Health Organization (WHO), or to West Africa to help; (h) how specifically was the August 8, 2014, funding of $5 million to address the outbreak spent, broken down by item and amount spent on each item; (i) what specific plans were put in place to monitor the health of the three-person mobile team from Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory as they were brought home from Sierra Leone and afterward kept in voluntary isolation; (j) for how long will the persons mentioned in (i) be in isolation; (k) does the government plan to respond to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s “international rescue call” and the WHO’s $600 million request for funding; and (l) is the government ready to isolate and care for someone if affected with Ebola within Canada; (m) does the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) have a public awareness plan to help Canadians understand the prevention, transmission, and signs and symptoms of the disease; and (n) does PHAC have a communication link with all provinces and territories?
- MPlibOct 30, 2014 7:10 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition regarding eating disorders. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are serious mental illnesses that incapacitate more than 600,000 Canadians and can be fatal.
The petitioners call upon the government to work with the provinces, territories, and stakeholders to develop comprehensive pan-Canadian strategies for eating disorders, including better prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and support.
- MPlibOct 29, 2014 12:20 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
With respect to any information in the government's possession regarding Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRDs) in Canada: (a) how many Canadians are impacted by ADRDs today, (i) what is the incidence and prevalence in Canada, broken down by gender and by 5-year cohort above 65 years of age, (ii) what is the average age of onset, (ii) what is the average time from diagnosis to requiring informal caregiving, (iii) what is the average time from diagnosis to requiring formal caregiving; (b) how many Canadians are currently in hospital, as a result of having ADRDs, (i) what are the benefits and risks of having people with ADRDs in regular hospital care, (ii) do people with ADRDs get the care they need in hospital care and if not, why not; (c) how do the number of hospitalizations compare for older adults with ADRDs than for age-matched older adults without ADRDs, (i) how do clinical outcomes compare for hospitalized people with ADRDs than for age-matched older adults without ADRDs; (d) what is the average cost of an acute care bed in hospital compared with the cost of a bed in long-term care; (e) what is the average length of time people with ADRDs spend in fully dependent care, and how does this length of time compare with other conditions, including, but not limited to, cardiovascular disease and cancer, (i) how does this length of time impact the health economics of ADRDs; (f) how many Canadians are caregivers to people with ADRDs, (i) what is the average length of time (in years) caregivers provide to people with ADRDs, both informally and within formal care, (ii) what is the annual estimated value of the care caregivers provide for those with ADRDs in Canada, (iii) how many Canadian caregivers suffer stress, illness, or economic hardship as a result of caregiving, (iv) what are the estimated economic costs to the health care and social care systems; (g) what training do medical students and practising family physicians receive to ensure dementia is detected before it reaches a critical level; (h) do best practices exist for people with ADRDs, (i) how does care vary from one province and territory to another, and from one facility to another; (i) what research and studies has the government done, and what funding has it given following (i) the World Health Organization and Alzheimer’s Disease International report, “Dementia: A Public Health Priority”, and the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s report, “Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society”, (ii) what are the dates, results, recommendations, and funding amounts; (j) what is done by the government to (i) promote a dementia-friendly society, (ii) make ADRDs a national public health and social care priority, (iii) improve public and professional attitudes to, and understanding of, ADRDs, (iv) replicate some of the evidence-based approaches and solutions already adopted by countries to tackle ADRDs, (v) prioritize research, (vi) raise awareness about prevention, (vii) promote early diagnosis and management, (viii) strengthen workforce training and capacity, (ix) implement responsive care and health service delivery, especially for caregivers; (k) what research and studies has the government done, and what funding has it given regarding the need to work with the provinces, territories and stakeholders to develop a community-based dementia framework, designed to keep persons with dementia safely at home for as long as possible, (i) what are the dates, results, recommendations, and funding amounts; (l) what research, studies, funding has the government devoted to how a community-based dementia strategy would impact (i) emergency department overcrowding, (ii) hospitalizations, (iii) Alternative Level of Care rates, (iv) long-term bed placement, (v) freeing-up of hospital beds, (vi) hospital overcrowding, (vii) wait times, (viii) number of new nursing homes that would need to be built, (ix) quality of life for those with ADRDs, (x) costs; (m) how are ADRDs expected to increase over the next 20 years, (i) what are the estimated costs to families and the health care system; (n) how are healthcare costs and healthcare resources expected to increase over the next 20 years given the rapidly increasing numbers of persons with ADRDs; (o) what research, studies, funding has the government devoted to developing a pan-Canadian brain strategy to address (i) neurodevelopmental brain conditions, (ii) neurodegenerative brain conditions, (iii) brain and spinal cord injury, (iv) what are the dates of any studies, results, recommendations, and funding amounts; (p) what research, studies, and funding has the government given to developing a pan-Canadian dementia strategy, (i) what are the dates of any studies, results, recommendations, and funding amounts; (q) what consultations has the government undertaken with respect to a pan-Canadian brain strategy, (i) how many stakeholders are calling for such a strategy, (ii) how many Canadians and their families do each of the identified stakeholders represent; and (r) what consultations has the government undertaken with respect to a pan-Canadian dementia strategy, (i) how many stakeholders are calling for such a strategy, (ii) how many Canadians and their families do each of the identified stakeholders represent?
- MPlibOct 29, 2014 12:15 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition with dozens of signatures that were collected by my constituent, Dee Gordon, as she walks twice a week from Etobicoke North to downtown Toronto to raise awareness of autism.
Autism spectrum disorders, ADDS, are pervasive disorders which affect 1 person in 88. They are characterized by social and communication challenges, and a pattern of repetitive behaviours and interests. They are lifelong, affect life experience and exert emotional and financial pressures on families.
The petitioners call upon the government to work with the provinces, territories and stakeholders to develop a pan-Canadian strategy for ASD, including awareness and education campaigns, child, adolescent and adult intervention and innovative funding arrangements for financial therapy, surveillance, respite care, community initiatives and research.
- MPlibOct 27, 2014 12:10 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on Iraq. The UN Secretary-General calls on the international community to support the government and the people of Iraq and to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the populations affected by the current conflict in Iraq. Thousands of lives are at risk unless they receive urgent lifesaving items, including shelter. Many of those affected by the violence belong to Iraq's minority ethnic and religious communities, including Christians, Shabak, Turkmen, Yazidi, and others. Over 1,000 petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to protect and advocate on behalf of the people of Iraq and to increase Canada's humanitarian aid to Iraq.
- MPlibOct 27, 2014 11:00 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I celebrate each and every one of the extraordinary Royal Canadian air cadets in the 700 David Hornell VC Squadron.
This past weekend, the Ontario Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada presented the following awards to our outstanding squadron: Warrant Officer First Class Ashley Eugine, a first-year McMaster student who travels back every weekend to serve, was named Air Cadet of the Year from 8,500 air cadets in 114 squadrons, which is a tremendous achievement; Warrant Officer Second Class Nikhil Peri was the top Ontario student pilot on the 2014 Power Pilot Scholarship and received a Hamilton Flying Club Legacy Award; 2nd Lieutenant Jack Tornabene received a certificate of merit, one of only 21 awarded; and, Major David Brown received a Cadet Instructor Cadre Award of Excellence, for which only six officers are honoured annually.
I ask the House to recognize the outstanding achievements of 700 squadron.
- MPlibOct 21, 2014 11:40 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, the WHO and UN have called for more medical personnel to fight Ebola in West Africa and the international community has accepted the call. Yesterday the Minister of Health said no Canadian personnel would be sent without an evacuation plan. So far, the United States, European Commission and WHO have engaged contractors to facilitate the emergency transport of medical personnel, if needed.
Who has the minister met with with respect to developing an evacuation plan? What steps has the minister taken to put a plan in place?
- MPlibOct 21, 2014 9:40 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, the UN mission responsible for the Ebola response, UNMEER, says the number of infected are growing exponentially each day and that new caseloads of approximately 10,000 per week are possible by December 1, meaning that they need 7,000 beds for treatment. Unfortunately, the UN mission is expected to have only 4,300 beds in treatment centres by that date. More difficult still, there is no staff to operate them under current plans.
The World Health Organization has been calling for more health care workers in West Africa. Canadians on the ground are calling for more personnel.
Canada would obviously have a duty to ensure the proper medical evacuation of any of its citizens. Is the government considering more personnel, and what exploration is the government doing with respect to evacuation?
- MPlibOct 21, 2014 9:25 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know if the government accepts that mere announcements cannot help the people of West Africa and right now that is largely what we have.
With respect to the personal protective equipment, the government auctioned gloves and masks for a fraction of what they were worth. Only two shipments of personal protective equipment have gone to the World Health Organization. The government is not even sure if that equipment has reached those who need it most in West Africa.
I want to point out that the $65 million pledged was pledged after the first case had come to North America. Why did we not have that kind of commitment before then? Of the $65 million pledged, only $4.3 million is actually committed funding. Canada's actual financial contributions come in at 17th place.
Does the government accept that commitments are not enough and we actually have to get the money, personnel and supplies to the people in West Africa who need it the most?
- MPlibOct 21, 2014 9:10 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, it is the job of government to protect the health and safety of Canadians. We have a major public health crisis, the worst outbreak of Ebola in history. It is also the job of government to communicate with Canadians in an open and transparent manner.
That is the reason we put forward our motion calling on the Minister of Health, the Minister of Public Safety, and the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada to appear in front of committee every two weeks. We then heard today that the government wants to respond in writing. That is not good enough. Canadians need to hear parliamentarians asking questions. Is the government prepared, should a case ever come to Canada? The government has to be prepared. It is not enough to submit written communications. We have to be able to ask those questions.
I amended the motion in order to hopefully get all-party support.
I had questions on Ebola last week. Families in my riding have families back home, as do many members of the House. We all need to be asking these questions to ensure that the outbreak in West Africa will come to an end and to ensure Canadians' health and safety are protected.
- MPlibOct 21, 2014 8:50 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to rise today to speak about our Liberal motion that first recognizes the terrible devastation that Ebola is wreaking in West Africa and that will require the Minister of Health, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Canada's Chief Public Health Officer to appear monthly to report on Canada's efforts at home and abroad to ensure that the outbreak does not pose a threat to the health and safety of Canadians.
My colleague from Vancouver Centre and I began formally raising Ebola on the national agenda on August 3 by writing an open letter to the Minister of International Development regarding what Canada had specifically contributed to the Ebola response. We asked how many specialists Canada had sent to the World Health Organization to help out, and in what disciplines. We asked that the minister work with colleagues in relevant departments here in Canada in areas of air transport, border services, and protection of health care workers. We asked the government as well to give more funding. While the government responded with a donation of $5 million, the amount was tiny in the face of the overwhelming need and the generosity of other nations.
We wrote the letter because Canada had a moral responsibility to do more to help combat what was then an unprecedented outbreak of Ebola. We also understood that the best way to stop this devastating disease was to stop it at its source, before it spread more widely and became even more difficult to contain. We understood that if we want to protect Canadians from Ebola here at home, we had to end the suffering in West Africa.
During the emergency debate on Ebola on September 15, I asked the following:
...how is Canada working with other countries, particularly through the Global Health Security Action Group and the global health security agenda? How is the government working across departments and what specific departments are involved in each of preparedness, response and recovery, and what is the lead agency for each? What specific actions are each of the departments undertaking?
What is the government doing to ensure the safety of Canadians travelling to West Africa to undertake humanitarian work, commerce and trade, and to safeguard the well-being of those who are there now in areas where Ebola is spreading? What guidance is being provided to Canadians before they leave and while in areas in which Ebola has been reported? If they think they have symptoms compatible with Ebola, what should they do upon their return to Canada?
How specifically was the April 18 funding of $1,285,000 used to address the outbreak? How many specialists and in what disciplines did Canada send to work with the World Health Organization and/or to West Africa to help? How specifically was the August 8 funding of $5 million to address the outbreak spent?...
Although the risk is low, is Canada ready to isolate and care for someone if affected? Does the Public Health Agency of Canada have a public awareness plan to help Canadians understand the prevention, transmission, and signs and symptoms of the disease?
Does the government accept that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has become a real risk to the stability and security of society in the region? Does the government accept that Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone need more doctors, nurses, beds, and equipment?
Does the government accept that the international response has been inadequate and that we need to scale up international response?... In light of the United Nation's international rescue call, will Canada do more to help?
We followed up the August 3 open letter with another open letter on September 17, yet again calling on the Canadian government to do more to help West Africa, specifically to provide more money, more personnel, and more materials.
On September 24 I published an article entitled “Will Canada Do More to Help Combat Ebola?” Specifically, I asked:
Will our Government do more to help, beyond the most recently announced $7.5 million? Will the acting Chief Public Health Officer of Canada speak directly to Canadians to communicate the global impact of Ebola, and coordinate and support health workers who wish to assist efforts in West Africa?...
Will the Government explain to Canadians how it will facilitate the delivery of assistance, including qualified, specialized and trained personnel and supplies to the affected countries?
We asked as well if the government would offer much-needed field hospitals and other equipment, and more health care specialists, and whether the government would call on non-traditional partners to contribute in the areas of communications, health, information, and transport.
Because we lacked answers, my colleague from St. Paul's and I wrote to the Minister of Health to ask for a briefing for all parliamentarians on Ebola, as we needed answers on these important questions. We would like to thank the Minister of Health for granting our request, but Parliament needs to be updated on a regular, ongoing basis.
After the first patient suffering with Ebola arrived in the United States on September 20, the Government of Canada made two separate pledges, each for $30 million. Why did we not see the same pledge and the same sense of urgency to help in West Africa before North America's first case?
The government had two responsibilities when Ebola began spreading unchecked in West Africa: first, to join with the international community in trying to stop it; second, to be prepared should a case to be identified in Canada.
When the World Health Organization asked for $600 million in July, the government gave only $5 million. Why a sluggish response to what was identified then as an unprecedented outbreak?
For the longest time, the government largely made announcements. It announced vaccines, with a delay of three months between the announcement and sending them to the World Health Organization.
The government announced personal protective equipment, or PPE. On October 3, I asked in question period:
With Ebola patients and deaths tripling since August, West Africa needs personal protective equipment urgently, but Canada has failed to fulfill its September pledge.
I will ask again: what is the minister doing to ensure that the promised supplies get to where they are needed now?
Prior to this, Canada's only response was to auction off personal protective equipment until September, months after the alarm was sounded and after the Sierra Leone ambassador to the United States and aid organizations made a plea for personal protective support, and months after the World Health Organization said the same.
Shockingly, we learned just yesterday that only two shipments have been sent to the World Health Organization—with others to follow “in the coming months”, according to the assistant deputy minister of public health—and it is unclear whether the first shipments have in fact even been dispatched to affected areas.
The government has announced funding. Of the $35 million initially pledged, only $4.3 million for showing up as committed funding on the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' financial tracking website, suggesting no legal agreements have yet been drafted concerning the remaining funds.
As of October 19, Canada's actual financial contribution for the international response to combat the disease came in 17th place. The United States, with $206 million in committed funding, remains by far the largest donor.
Mere announcements cannot fight Ebola. Only commitments on the ground in West Africa can counter the epidemic. Canada's lack of commitment to short-term results is unacceptable with Ebola cases doubling every 25 days.
Yesterday we learned that Canada would not be sending any more medical personnel without a guarantee that they can be medically evacuated if they get sick. Of course we always want to ensure the health and safety of Canadians, but why does Canada not have this capability? When will a plan be in place? Has the minister met with anyone yet on this? When, and who?
The World Health Organization has been calling for urgent international support in sending doctors and nurses to the worst-affected countries.
Dr. Margaret Chan of the WHO has been clear:
But the thing we need most is people, health care workers. The right people. The right specialists. And specialists who are appropriately trained, and know how to keep themselves safe.
My contacts on the ground in Africa echo her call for more personnel. My contacts were, in fact, hoping that an announcement would be coming from Canada very soon regarding how it would coordinate those who wish to go and work in West Africa. Despite my asking repeatedly during the emergency debate on Ebola, we still do not even know how many Canadians are involved in the response in West Africa.
As the international development critic for our party, let me now focus attention on the needs of West Africa, and let me begin by sending strength, courage, and hope to the people of West Africa—namely, to the people of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, who have suffered so much—and to Canadians with families, friends, and loved ones in Africa. Let me also extend my condolences to everyone who has lost someone during the world's worst outbreak of Ebola in history. I want them to know that we feel their pain, that we stand by them, and that we will fight for them.
This past Sunday, I spoke via telephone with Professor Monty Jones, special advisor to the president of Sierra Leone and ambassador at large, who was responsible for overseeing the Ebola response in the country. Our Parliament should know that he was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2007. His Excellency President Ernest Kororma was briefed that the call was taking place and what transpired, and he gave permission for me to talk about the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and, particularly, the urgent needs of the country and the Canadian Parliament.
Twenty-five hundred people have been infected, 900 have died, and 580 have recovered in Sierra Leone. In the words of the special advisor to the president, the disease remains “very stubborn, despite all the measures taken”. In fact, five of the country's fourteen districts are quarantined, including parts of the capital.
Sierra Leone needs community-based care centres and 1000 more beds. The country needs more health care workers. Special advisor Jones says three to four health care workers are needed for each patient with Ebola. This means the country needs a minimum of 500 more doctors, 2,000 nurses, and 1,000 technicians with various specialties.
Burial remains a challenge in Sierra Leone, as the government wants to give a decent burial to everyone. Custom in Sierra Leone involves crying, mourning, and touching the body, but now there are no ceremonies, no touching, and burials are fast-tracked.
The special advisor to the president explained that a swab is taken from each of the dead, in order to ensure someone has not died of Ebola. The problem is that there are not enough ambulances, not enough laboratories, and not enough technicians to analyze the blood samples. As a result, there is a backlog of samples, which means there is a backlog of bodies to pick up. Sometimes bodies remain in houses for three days. The longer a body remains, the greater the chance that people will want to touch their loved one.
Special advisor Jones says labs currently process 50 to 100 samples per day, but the country needs more labs and more technicians so 500 samples can be analyzed per day.
The special advisor is particularly concerned about possible travel bans and what such bans might mean to the economy and the importation of food and desperately needed health care and medications.
Sierra Leone was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The World Bank ranked it the sixth-fastest reformer. Economic growth was at 11% and predicted to go to 14%, but has now dropped back to 7%. The special advisor explained that a ban would cripple the economy further and prevent much needed food and medical help from coming in.
He explained that people are thoroughly screened in Sierra Leone airports with thermometers and infrared temperature screening and if there is even a slight increase in temperature, they are turned back, to health care.
Special advisor Jones hopes that the international community will continue to respect the known science with regard to travel bans and not make political decisions that would hurt his country further.
As a final point, the special advisor to the president wants the Canadian Parliament to know that the economy and health care will need help after the Ebola outbreak and that we must not forget the people of Sierra Leone and, indeed, of West Africa.
Several humanitarian organizations have relayed the same point to me. Health care systems have effectively collapsed and will require substantial support to be rebuilt and strengthened. The government's investment in maternal, newborn, and child health and the gains in MNCH in the region will be reversed if we do not have a place to assist mothers after the outbreak.
I will now discuss the health care needs from people on the ground in West Africa, with whom I am in touch almost daily. However, before I do, I want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of health care workers, scientists, and humanitarian organizations in incredibly difficult, heartbreaking circumstances.
While there is a real push to create more treatment centres and holding beds, I also hear that there is a tremendous need for training, particularly training for local health workers to use personal protective equipment, PPE, to protect themselves. Even in developed countries, only a small number of health workers have ever used the required level of protection, which sadly was illustrated by the experiences in Spain and in the United States. Training that is taking place overseas involves three days, plus two days in a ward, then regular supervision and mentoring. There are no shortcuts.
The Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa is the most severe and acute public health emergency in modern times. Never in recent history has such a dangerous pathogen infected so many people so quickly over such a wide geographical area for so long.
It is past time that the Minister of Health, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Chief Public Health Officer appeared in front of the health committee to update parliamentarians and Canadians on whether Canada is actually fulfilling its pledges on Ebola; that equipment and money is actually getting to the people who need it most in West Africa; and that parliamentarians have an opportunity to ask ministers and officials about Canada's state of preparedness. Parliamentarians will want to ask about preparedness of Canada's ports of entry, health care facilities, and other institutions to identify, diagnose, isolate, and treat Ebola patients in a safe and appropriate manner.
We have said from the very beginning that this is a non-partisan issue, and so in the spirit of compromise, I move, seconded by the member for Random—Burin—St. George's, to amend the motion as follows.
by replacing the words "the Minister of Health, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, and the Minister of Public Safety to appear before the Standing Committee on Health twice monthly" with the words "the relevant minister or ministers to appear twice monthly and the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada to appear monthly before the Standing Committee on Health".
I call on all members of this House to support this motion to protect the people of West Africa so that we can protect the health and safety of Canadians here.
- MPlibOct 21, 2014 8:25 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague and I have worked together on the Central African Republic and South Sudan. I enjoy working with her. At least 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have lost one or both parents to Ebola since the start of the outbreak in West Africa, and many are being rejected by their surviving relatives for fear of infection. As the death toll from Ebola continues to rise, preliminary reports suggest that the number of children orphaned by Ebola has spiked in the past few weeks and is likely to double around now.
UNICEF appealed for $200 million to provide emergency assistance to children and families affected by the Ebola outbreak across the region, including protection activities. So far, UNICEF has received about 20% of the amount.
I am wondering what my colleague would like to see the government do to help provide children with the physical and emotional healing they need.
- MPlibOct 21, 2014 8:10 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that $1.5 million worth of stockpiled Public Health Agency of Canada medical supplies were auctioned for just a fraction of that figure. This has raised questions about the true value of Canada's contribution to the global fight against Ebola.
Why did the government not respond to the ambassador's June request for gloves and masks? Why did the government not make a donation of personal protective equipment on its own, knowing that the Ebola outbreak was unprecedented? How could the government auction off 1.3 million masks and more than 209,000 gloves after the June request? What is the true value of the personal protective equipment?
- MPlibOct 21, 2014 7:40 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, the best way to stop this disease is to stop it at its source. An upward epidemic trend continues in Sierra Leone and in Liberia. The situation in Guinea appears to be more stable. However, the context of Ebola is still a grave concern.
The World Health Organization recommended that within 60 days of October 1, 70% of all those infected should be in hospital and 70% of the victims buried safely if the outbreak is to be successfully arrested. Otherwise, the Ebola numbers risk rising dramatically.
Does the member think the World Health Organization has enough diagnostic laboratories, transport support, and funding to help with operation logistics? If there was one thing the member could ask of the government today to help the people of West Africa, beyond this motion, what would it be?
- MPlibOct 20, 2014 11:25 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, the government is failing to deliver what aid it actually does promise.
Only two shipments of personal protective equipment have actually been shipped to the World Health Organization in Geneva. However, it is unclear if these shipments of personal protective equipment have actually reached those parts of West Africa that need them the most.
It has been months, and this critical equipment has not reached health workers in Africa. They have asked for our help. Why have the Conservatives failed to respond?
- MPlibOct 06, 2014 12:05 pm | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, Alzheimer's disease is a critical health priority. Today, someone in Canada is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease once every five minutes, and the cost to the health care system is $15 billion. In 30 years, someone will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease once every two minutes, and the cost will be $153 billion.
The petitioners call for a national strategy for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, including, among other items, national objectives to improve the quality of life of those living with dementia, an annual report handed to Parliament regarding progress to meet those objectives and greater investment in dementia research.
- MPlibOct 06, 2014 11:00 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, October 5 was World Teachers' Day, a time to celebrate the valuable work of teachers across Canada, and 30 million educators around the world. It was the brainchild of a former Canadian Teachers' Federation leader, Norman Goble.
From the Yukon to Newfoundland and Labrador, our public education system is among the best in the world, largely because of the efforts of our well-educated, dedicated teachers. By drawing on their experience and knowledge, Canadian teachers continuously improve public education and inspire students to achieve their greatest dreams.
Canadian teachers also work with international colleagues on vital education and relief projects. In schools around the world, our teachers firmly believe that students come first.
Colleagues, let us salute Canada's teachers, and let me recognize my favourite teacher, my awesome mom, Helen Duncan, who taught and cared for generations of students and instilled in me a love of learning and passion for teaching.
- MPlibOct 03, 2014 9:45 am | Ontario, Etobicoke North
Mr. Speaker, it has been almost five years since Canadians began travelling overseas for treatment for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, and almost five years since they have gone without follow-up care following treatment for CCSVI.
Canadians with MS are wondering when there might be an update on the government's clinical trials and when there might be an update on the government's MS registry.
The petitioners call upon the Minister of Health to undertake phase III clinical trials on an urgent basis in multiple centres across Canada and to require follow-up care.
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