Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Stéphane Dion Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Dalrymple.
Ms. Bowring, Mr. Lemay and Mr. Hunter, I would like to thank you for providing us with a very good overview of the situation.
However, if I used my seven minutes to ask you to describe the film, what kind of presentation you would have made, all three of you, five or 10 years ago? What has changed? Where would we be in five or 10 years from now if we continued to apply today's policies? It would be very helpful for the committee to hear what you have to say about the situation historically and as it is now.
Mr. Lemay could start.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thanks to each of you for your interventions today.
You may be wondering in fact why we're talking about public health as part of a budget implementation act. If it makes you feel any better, we're wondering about the same question.
Mr. Cullen mentioned the challenge we have with budget implementation acts that are so massive in terms of the material covered. I think there is a consensus among the members on this side of the table that we would prefer to see measures related strictly to the fiscal framework of government and budgets as part of this. It would enable members of Parliament with even greater expertise than ours to engage directly with experts such as you on issues that are of great importance in terms of public policy but are not issues with which we necessarily have a great depth of experience, such as the area of public health.
That being the case, Mr. Hoffman, have you considered these changes to the governance over the chief public health officer's role in the broader sense of what some have called the muzzling of scientific voices within this government, not just in this instance but more broadly within government departments and agencies?
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Culbert, Mr. Hoffman talked about the potential politicization of the role. Do you think there is a risk of that for the future in terms of some of the changes we're making to the role? Will there be a heightened risk of politicization around issues in the future?
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
How does the governance structure proposed in this legislation for the chief public health officer compare with that of governing chief public health officers in other countries, for instance, in the United States? What would you say is the delta between how it's structured there and what is being proposed here?
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Kettner, you've stated, and I would agree, that in general of course there's ministerial accountability, ultimately, in terms of broad policy decisions. Is there also benefit to a very independent chief public health officer having a direct dialogue with Canadians on issues, including potential pandemics and other areas of national health threats?
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