Hansard
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 400
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Employment.
Applications for regular EI have overwhelmed the system and no one can get hold of Service Canada to apply. With a whole new benefit, how will the caseload be managed to ensure that people can apply and how are staff resources being redirected to support Canadians?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, many people who are about to go on parental leave have been laid off and have had to start EI, which will reduce the time that they can be on parental leave. Will their leave be extended to ensure that they can take their planned time with their new child?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, last Friday the government announced temporary foreign workers already here would be extended from one year to two, and in certain industries it will be easier and faster to bring in a temporary foreign worker. We see in this legislation tonight, under the definition of “worker”, it says “resident of Canada”.
Does this new benefit apply to citizens and permanent residents or to anyone who lives here, such as those on a work visa?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, we are looking for clarity. Will people who here as temporary foreign workers who lose their jobs be able to apply for this benefit, yes or no?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, this bill states that one would not be eligible if one received employment insurance after one's employment ceased. Will a fisher or someone in the tourism and hospitality industries who was laid off last year, received EI and has now exhausted it, and the job that person expected to have this summer is gone due to COVID-19, be eligible for this benefit?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate hearing the member's contribution to this debate this morning.
She did mention inequality. There certainly are a number of different inequalities in this country, things that all of us here would like to address. One of them that I have heard from people is the difference in high-speed Internet access in many rural areas.
I would like to ask the member a bit about New Brunswick. Many people are finding some comfort, when they self-isolate to protect their families from COVID-19, in being able to communicate with the outside world through the Internet and in being able to make a living through telework. What are the member's thoughts on that?
I know that in my province of British Columbia, particularly in certain parts of my area, such as Logan Lake and Princeton and Keremeos, this is a big challenge.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mark Strahl Profile
2020-03-13 10:03 [p.2061]
Madam Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the official opposition to offer my thoughts and prayers to the Prime Minister, his wife, all parliamentarians and indeed all Canadians who are experiencing or know someone affected by COVID-19.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
I would also like to thank all public health officials and front-line health care workers who are working around the clock to keep Canadians healthy and safe.
These are extraordinary times. With the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic, it is incumbent on everyone to exercise the highest degree of caution. My colleagues and I, in direct collaboration with our friends across the aisle, have come to an arrangement to suspend Parliament while ensuring the government continues to have the authority and capability to provide our country with necessary financial supports.
There continue to remain significant questions about the Government of Canada's management of this pandemic. While we understand that COVID-19 does not respect borders, the government can consider measures to further contain the virus from spreading, such as more vigorous screening upon entry, mandatory quarantine for those who enter from high-risk countries and potentially stopping incoming and outgoing flights from high-risk areas. The government's relying on Canadians to have enough supplies to weather the pandemic is simply not enough.
Canadians need to be reassured that the government is prepared to assist and support those affected by the coronavirus. We also need to see a comprehensive plan to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.
We as the official opposition will continue to do our elected duties outside of the confines of Parliament and will continue to press the government for the answers Canadians deserve.
Stay healthy. God bless you all, and God bless Canada.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary specifically referenced the cost of drugs and what the government was doing to try to address that. I would just give this feedback for the member and for the government.
I was contacted last night by Theresa from my riding, who is the grandmother of nine-year-old Ruby. Ruby has cystic fibrosis. She has to do all sorts of things that kids her age never would have to contemplate, and it is very hard on her and her family.
Theresa specifically has said that Trikafta is not available. She says:
And now we have a government who is overhauling this already cumbersome system starting with the PMPRB...who has been mandated to decide the ceiling price that will be paid for prescription medicines. However, they have not been differentiating medicines for rare diseases, like cystic fibrosis, from more common diseases. They just want to get the medicines at the lowest price they can. We all want that, however, it isn't reasonable to think that rare diseases should be decided upon the same way others are as research development for rare diseases requires a will to proceed that is a far greater commitment of pharmaceutical firms.
The member has said that his government is trying to take action on the cost, but he is actually denying access for important medicines to help children like Ruby.
Could the member explain to Theresa why his government's plan is benefiting Canadians, particularly those who are wrestling with this horrible disease?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate hearing from my fellow British Columbian on this important matter.
The member seems to be very insistent on having her and her party's way. Obviously there are some constitutional issues, but what happens if a province disagrees with the NDP? What measures does she think the federal government needs to do to implement the New Democrats' vision, particularly when this is the jurisdiction of the provinces?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Speaker, the government has an infrastructure bank that does not really fund much infrastructure. We have a centralized payroll system that was supposed to save us millions of dollars but, when it was finally put in place by the government and the button was pushed to start it up, we ended up with many public servants not being paid.
How is the member so confident that a national program could be implemented when there are 10 provincial systems that do a fairly good job? There could be improvements. This is an area where there are so many complexities, including drug choices and millions of Canadians. Does the member think that a national program with such complexity could be put in operation? Will we end up with another situation like the Phoenix pay issue, with so many lives on the line?
View Tako Van Popta Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tako Van Popta Profile
2020-03-12 17:07 [p.2042]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to the NDP's motion on universal pharmacare. I will be sharing my time with the member for Calgary Shepard.
I am going to talk about the affordability of having another government plan. Money does not grow on trees, but that is what the NDP would have us think: We can just wave a magic wand and $34 billion will appear to fund a universal, comprehensive, accessible, portable public prescription drug plan. That is what the Hoskins report says Canadians spent on prescription medication in 2018.
What will the federal government's contribution be to that very big cost? Where will that money come from? Will it come from increased taxes? Will it come from more borrowing by the federal government? Are we just going to keep adding to our national debt because our national debt is not quite as large as those of our trading partners? We have heard that quite often.
We often hear members opposite say that under their watch, one million Canadians have been lifted out of poverty. However, they failed to acknowledge that we went a further $80 to $100 billion in debt over that same period of time, and this during a time of full employment in a strong economy and good government revenues. If the government cannot balance a budget in good times, how is it going to manage the economy in the inevitable bad times? Of course, the government should not only be balancing the budget in good times but also be paying down debt. Under both Conservative and Liberal governments, that has been the tradition in Canada for many decades. Of course, these are not Chrétien or Martin Liberals; these are the other type of Liberals, the ones who think debt does not matter.
Pharmacare and medicare are primarily provincial matters. The federal government should be managing the national economy and staying out of the way of provincial governments so that they can do what they do best.
That brings me back to trees. Money can, in fact, grow out of trees. I am thinking of British Columbia trees, the ones that are not being harvested at the moment. There are a lot of reasons for that, including the lack of a softwood lumber treaty, the one that the government has failed to negotiate for us.
I have a great idea. Let us get our forest industry working again. Forestry is a wonderful renewable resource that could change the lives of many Canadians, yet it is being ignored. Let us get those revenues flowing again to the provincial coffers so that they can fund their provincial pharmacare plans and send revenues back to the federal government through income tax from fully employed Canadians.
While I am talking about resources, let me say that money also grows in the ocean, or at least it does when the west coast salmon industry is thriving, which it is not, for a lot of reasons, including ongoing mismanagement by the federal fisheries department. Let us pay more attention to that source of wealth. Let us get Canadian fishers out fishing again and paying taxes.
Money also grows in the ground. I am thinking of natural gas, for example, which is a potential big source of government revenues for my home province of B.C. Let us get the necessary infrastructure built so that we can start selling our clean, green liquid natural gas to the world. That can be a big part not only of our economy but also of Canada's contribution to the fight against global climate change.
Instead of economic development, we see railroad blockades by professional pipeline protesters thinly veiled as indigenous rights protectors.
Let us talk about indigenous reconciliation. This is—
View Tako Van Popta Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tako Van Popta Profile
2020-03-12 17:13 [p.2043]
Mr. Speaker, I am talking about a strong economy, one that can fund a pharmacare program.
I am answering the question about how we can afford a pharmacare program of $34 billion, which is what the Hoskins report says pharmacare will cost. How can the government do that better than private enterprise is doing it already? We need a strong economy and right now, indigenous reconciliation, or the lack thereof, is standing in the way economic development. We want to get our pipelines built. We have some big projects that are going to wealth producers. The government is struggling to accomplish one of its main goals, indigenous reconciliation, which, of course, is great for indigenous communities but also good for Canada's economy. We need to get our economy going again.
Living off of borrowed money, in fact, does not create wealth. It redistributes wealth from future generations to this generation. That is a fair comment. How are we going to fund a pharmacare program? Is it going to be through borrowing money, which future generations are going to have to pay off, or are we going to create the wealth that will allow us to pay for a very rich pharmacare plan?
This brings me directly to the topic of the day. The NDP motion would have this House accept the Hoskins advisory council report and the implementation of a national pharmacare program based on that. The motion also says the House would “urge the government to reject the U.S.-style private patchwork approach to drug coverage, which protects the profits of big pharmaceutical and insurance companies”. Apparently the NDP does not like to see big companies making profits. Let me share my personal experience in the business world prior to coming to Ottawa.
In my previous life we employed many people. We had to pay competitive salaries and part of the competition was to have a very good, robust group benefits plan for the employees. If we did not offer that to future employees, they could go to other employers, so it was a very competitive world to get the best and the brightest people working for us. Our group benefit plans always included a very good pharmacare plan.
I would suggest that, contrary to what the NDP is suggesting, insurance companies can do a very good job. I would also say that big pharma has done a good job. Competition is good for pharmacare and I am afraid that the NDP motion would undermine that competition, which has served us very well over so many years.
The NDP does not like the patchwork that is currently in place and serving most Canadians quite well. Canadians are rightly proud of our universal public health care plan, but maybe it is not as good as we think it is. It is being challenged all the time. We keep saying that we do not want a two-tiered health care system. Just the fact that we have to say it suggests that it is being challenged.
I would tell the New Democratic Party not to ignore or completely write off a patchwork because it has served us very well for so many years. I will give the NDP credit for drawing to the attention of this House that there are some Canadians who fall through the cracks and I would support helping those people.
View Tako Van Popta Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tako Van Popta Profile
2020-03-12 17:18 [p.2044]
Mr. Speaker, I will quote from the executive summary of the Hoskins report. Sentence number one is “Canadians spent $34 billion on prescription medicines in 2018.” That is sentence number one.
The second part of the question was related to possible savings that would come out of getting rid of the patchwork. That is a theory. It is not proven. I think the current system, which is competition and profit motivated, has served us very well. As an employer, I have paid a lot of money to hire employees, and I had to provide a very good pharmacare plan for them or they would go work for the competition. Competition actually does work.
View Tako Van Popta Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tako Van Popta Profile
2020-03-12 17:20 [p.2044]
Mr. Speaker, I am not sure that there was a question in there.
Big pharma spends a lot of money on designing new drugs. The profit margin is what drives them to do that. There is going to be a cost involved. Just making it a universal plan does not necessarily bring down all those costs.
I recognize that provinces already have pharmacare plans in place, and that a national plan would work together with them. I recognize that. It would not all be a cost to the federal government, but the total cost in 2018 was $34 billion. What will the federal government's contribution be toward that, and how will the federal government fund that contribution?
Results: 1 - 15 of 400 | Page: 1 of 27

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data