Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View David Wilks Profile
CPC (BC)
Thanks, Chair.
I just have a couple of questions both related to the same topic, one for Health Canada officials and then one to CIHR. They both are with regard to electronic cigarettes. As you know, this committee carried out a study of electronic cigarettes and made a number of recommendations on which the minister is moving forward, including that the Government of Canada establish a new legislative framework for regulating electronic cigarettes and related devices.
Has any of the $26.5 million in planned spending for the tobacco program been identified for developing a legislative framework toward this initiative?
View David Wilks Profile
CPC (BC)
Thanks, Chair.
Thank you to the witnesses for being here. I'll share my time with Mr. Richards, because he has to leave here after the first hour, I believe.
You perked my interest when you said police officers and radar because I did that for a year and a half.
Professor Miller, you mentioned in your opening remarks that an opportunity to provide greater safety to the public has been missed. You did explain a bit about it, but I wonder if you could articulate a little more on what we've missed and what we could move forward with in respect to recommendations to Health Canada and to the minister.
View David Wilks Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for being here today.
I'll go down that same road with you, Minister, with regard to Health Canada and their running of a series of TV ads warning children and parents about the serious health risks involving both prescription drug abuse and smoking marijuana.
As MP Fry has indicated, the committee recently concluded our study on the serious health risks and harms of smoking marijuana, in which we recommended that a public awareness campaign be undertaken. During that study we heard from doctors and researchers on the serious and harmful effects associated with marijuana use, especially on teens.
Could I add that in my previous career I did three years of drug work, predominantly on marijuana? I can rest assured that not only with regard to teens, but well beyond that, there are some significant problems and we need to deal with them. So I'm very happy to see that we ran this series of TV ads.
Could you update the committee on how this campaign has been received?
View David Wilks Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you very much.
Prior to the marijuana study, we did a study on Vanessa's Law, on which I must congratulate my colleague Terence Young for his admirable work and years of getting it to where it got to. We heard testimony from several witnesses who are experts in the field of drug safety on the need to ensure that Health Canada shares information in an open and transparent manner.
As a former police officer, I know that there are a number of inherent risks present in many drugs, including those that are freely available over the counter. That is why I was very pleased to be part of the committee's deliberations on Vanessa's Law and of amending the legislation to include a greater degree of transparency.
Can you update the committee on what is being done to ensure that drug safety information is being made available to those who need it?
View David Wilks Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Before I ask my question, I've heard from time to time that sometimes those of us in the back seats of the House of Commons can't make a difference. I believe my colleague, Mr. Young, has proven that wrong, and that he will make a significant difference in the lives of millions of Canadians in years to come. So thank you for that.
Minister, I appreciate your being here today.
You made mention of the competence and transparency in regard to the health care system. Can you provide the committee with some additional details on what Health Canada is doing to provide Canadians with the information they need to make informed health decisions? How will Vanessa's law give Canadians the information they need to make informed decisions about the use of therapeutic drugs and medical devices? Would you be able to provide the committee with some examples of these transparent measures?
View David Wilks Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Thanks to the minister for being here today. We appreciate it.
During our study on prescription drug abuse, we heard testimony from several witnesses on the need to ensure that Canadian families have the information they need to make informed choices on the medicines they are taking.
With the numerous risks inherent in many drugs, I think everyone around this table can agree that we simply must do better at making people aware. It's imperative that drug safety information be available and accessible for not only overburdened doctors but also parents and families. As a father and grandfather myself, it's critical for me as well to have the information necessary on drug safety, in order to fully understand the risks and benefits of certain medications.
Can you inform this committee on what is being done to ensure that drug safety information is available to those who need it?
View David Wilks Profile
CPC (BC)
As you're aware, the court rulings in 2001 have required the government to allow legal access to marijuana for those authorized by a physician. However, the use of marijuana and the system that allowed homegrown ran amok, shall I say, and is contrary to the concerns of doctors and certainly the police community as well. In fact, over the past few weeks, this committee has heard from doctors and researchers on the serious and harmful effects associated with marijuana use. Their testimony has revealed the damaging effects on the developing brain and the harm it inflicts on communities.
As a retired police officer, I'm concerned about the existence of marijuana in our community, and especially its negative effects on young Canadians. Can you please tell the committee what our government is doing to protect the health and safety of Canadian families and communities with regard to this?
View David Wilks Profile
CPC (BC)
Thanks, Chair.
Thanks to you and all your staff, Minister, for being here.
I'm going to carry on with the conversation that Ms. Fry and Ms. Davies had picked up on. You spoke in your opening remarks about healthy living and said further that protecting Canadians from harm is part of your mandate, as is ensuring that both licit and illicit drugs are dealt with in a manner that is responsible for all Canadians.
Recently, injection sites have been in the spotlight, and specifically how communities should have a say in their placement. As a former police officer, I think it's only fair that people have the right to say whether one is in their community or not. I wonder if you could comment from your perspective on the Respect for Communities Act and what it's trying to accomplish, and then, further to that, on the importance of treatment, recovery, and support.
View David Wilks Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thanks to the witnesses for being here today. Mr. Perron, it appears that several recommendations in the First Do No Harm strategy have both CCSA and Health Canada listed. Would you explain further how CCSA's mandate differs from that of Health Canada's? Since we are looking at identifying the federal role, we want to make sure that there is no duplication of effort. Would you talk about that for a while? Then I have one more question after that.
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