Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2015-06-18 15:47
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I think this is the last committee meeting for all committees in the 41st Parliament, so the health committee is working right till the end.
We have two panels this afternoon. For our first panel, we have three different groups. As per usual, we'll connect first with Kathleen Cooper by video conference.
Welcome, Kathleen. You're welcome to go ahead with your presentation.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2015-06-18 15:48
You're first today.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2015-06-18 16:00
You're right on time. Thank you.
Next up will be Erica Phipps from the Canadian Partnership for Children's Health and Environment.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2015-06-18 16:07
Thank you very much.
Next up we have Kelley Bush, senior head of radon education and awareness at the Department of Health.
Go ahead, please.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2015-06-18 16:16
Very good.
In order to fit everything in for both panels I think we'll have to reduce the length of time for the questions to five minutes instead of seven. That will get everybody through and done in time.
Ms. Moore.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2015-06-18 16:22
Thank you.
Ms. McLeod.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I too am very appreciative of the witnesses coming here today and sharing. I actually have to agree with my colleague. My background is health care. I was involved in primary health care, public health, and child care licensing, and to be frank, I was completely unaware that this was an issue.
I was elected in 2008, so I guess my first question is: when did this awareness and focus come into being? As I said, I don't recall anything in the early 2000s, or at least anything that I was familiar with. That's my first question. When did we start to really put a bit of focus on this particular initiative?
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Great. I'm also thinking about something in line with what my colleague was saying. I look at the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and it actually engaged members of Parliament in something it called “308 conversations”, which were focused on suicide prevention. I think all 308 of us have opportunities within our communications. That's just another method. Although it sounds as though a ton of work has been done, I don't know if there's been any research on the level of penetration and awareness of this as an issue.
Ms. Bush, maybe you could talk to the issues of penetration and awareness.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Let's say you take a neighbourhood of 1,000 homes on average, what percentage of homes do you anticipate would have levels that are above our current standards?
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
As my last comment or question, I certainly see both a federal and a provincial role. There were some comments in terms of the Canada Labour Code, and I'm just trying to get a sense of to what degree, because obviously the provincial and territorial ministers regularly meet with their federal counterparts. In your awareness, has this issue ever been discussed at those particular meetings?
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
But that would not necessarily translate into what the provinces are doing in terms of their labour codes or workers' compensation.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2015-06-18 16:27
Thank you, Ms. McLeod.
Next up is Mr. Hsu. Go ahead, sir.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2015-06-18 16:33
Thanks very much. Seeing as how it's Mr. Hsu's final committee meeting, we were generous in giving you an extra 20 seconds, sir. We're very generous on the health committee.
Next up, Mr. Young. Go ahead, sir. We'll have to take it off your time.
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:33
Thank you, Chair. Thank you all for being here today.
Kelley Bush, I'm looking at your job title. I'm wondering if it actually fits on your business card because it's so long. I'm assuming you're the go-to person in the Government of Canada on this issue.
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:33
Okay, good.
Do new homeowners have obligations to build with building codes across Canada to reduce the radon that gets into the house after the house is built?
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:34
Thank you. I bought four new houses since I got married. The last one was a few years ago. I don't know what they do. They pour a concrete frame. They put bricks up. What do they do to make the house safer from radon, to reduce the radon in the house? Physically, what do they do, or is it just a matter of ventilation?
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:35
How would I know if I have one of those?
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:35
It should be labelled. Okay, I'll take a look. Thank you. I also want to get my home checked.
I bought this kit for $35 at Home Depot, and then when I went to use it there were a bunch of reasons I couldn't use it, like the temperature wasn't right in the room. There has to be a certain temperature and you have to leave it somewhere for three months. I found it awkward, and then I made a mental note to bring in a company. I just checked online here. It's $300 to have your house tested—which I'll probably do—but then they want $400 to test the granite counters.
Can you talk about the risks from granite counters, please? In Oakville, every house has a granite counter; otherwise, no one's going to buy it.
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:36
Thank you. You just saved me $400.
Voices: Oh, oh!
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:36
You said there are two mitigation standards. There are building codes, etc., that they're working on. They're starting to realize them, but there's no line. One of my colleagues on the opposite side was talking about it. Is there a line when you buy a house that has to be there and your lawyer checks for it to make sure?
They used to have urea formaldehyde foam and it would say, “No, this house was never insulated with that foam.” Here, it would maybe be, “Yes, this house had a radon test and here's the result.” There's nothing like that out there, is there?
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:36
Is there any measurement of what percentage of lung cancers, or...? What is the contributory factor of radon to lung cancer nationally?
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:36
That's helpful. Thank you very much.
Is there any evidence that there are more lung cancers in those communities you mentioned earlier, where there are more houses with an amount of radon that's up to 10% or 20% above normal, where it should not be?
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:37
There's only one kind of radon, right?
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:37
Is it a matter of ventilation in the homes or something, or maybe some mitigation the homeowners have done, or maybe some populations aren't as susceptible to it as much as others are? Is there any hint of that?
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:37
Right.
Perhaps you could take a minute and tell us, so that it's in the record here, the steps that homeowners who are concerned about this should take.
View Terence Young Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terence Young Profile
2015-06-18 16:38
Thank you very much.
Do I have any more time, Chair?
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2015-06-18 16:38
Only if you're resigning.
Voices: Oh, oh!
The Chair: Unless you have an announcement to make, that's it.
That concludes our first round. We'll suspend for a minute and bring up our next panel.
Thank you for your time.
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