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Results: 1 - 15 of 811
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. Since we're pressed for time, I'll just say—
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be here and thank you for agreeing to allow me to table my remarks. We'll jump straight into questions. It's always a pleasure to be here. Thank you for the invitation.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Ouellette, again, thank you very much for your extremely important question.
I don't know if you're aware of this, but before entering politics, I was a social worker by training, and I worked in front-line services. A large part of my work was with people with mental health and addiction problems. This makes it an issue that is close to my heart and a priority for me. I must tell you that I am happy to be part of a government that has made mental health a priority.
I assume that each of you, when you went door-to-door during the 2015 election campaign, probably heard several topics raised by our fellow citizens. For me, mental health was often a key element and people asked us for services. In 2017, I was very happy with our budget. We have made a historic investment in mental health of $5 billion over 10 years.
I am also pleased to be able to confirm to the committee that we have finally been able to complete the bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories. What was even more important than giving them money was that for one of the first times, all provinces and territories agreed on common indicators, which was really historic. We compiled a list of indicators for subsequent analysis to see where these investments went and the difference they made. This analysis begins this year. We have been collecting data for two years. I look forward to seeing the details.
On the issue of addiction, in your region and province, the methamphetamine crisis is obviously very real, but there are also other addiction issues. In the west and across Canada, the opioid issue is also a devastating one. We realize that there are many problems and that many people have lost their lives. Once again, this is a priority for our government. So we have made historic investments to ensure that provinces and territories are well equipped so that there are more resources on the ground to help people with addiction problems.
We have signed bilateral agreements, particularly in the area of addictions, with the provinces and territories. In addition to the health transfer, additional funds will be provided so that additional services can be provided. In addition, we have made regulatory changes to make it easier and more effective for people with substance abuse problems to use medication. We will continue to work with our partners in the field.
In addition to the federal government, provinces and territories, not-for-profit organizations play a key role. Let us not forget that. These people are the first on the ground and, I repeat, they are doing an exceptional job. It is very important to involve them in our interventions so that they too can offer services.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Yes, absolutely.
It's quite ironic that you're replacing Sonia Sidhu, because Sonia is absolutely passionate about the work in this area and is always making sure that we think about further investments in this very important area.
We certainly recognize that diabetes affects over 10 million Canadians. It's an area where we've done significant research. We've invested over $112 million in the area of diabetes research and also looking at what we can do with respect to common risk factors and approaches and other treatments. As the government, it's truly important to make sure that we continue to invest in research to come up with better solutions, and eventually to find a cure for diabetes. Ultimately, that is our goal. We recognize that insulin was created here in Canada and we want to make sure that all of the investments can be made in research to put an end to this disease.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
As everyone is probably aware, in budget 2019 we were pleased to see investments for the creation of a Canadian drug agency. When we received the interim report from Dr. Hoskins in March of this year, he and the committee members made one recommendation for sure. They indicated that regardless of which model we use for a national pharmacare program, whatever option it may be, the foundational piece is the creation of this drug agency.
The drug agency in question will have a twofold mandate. First, the drug agency's role will be to put together and maintain a formulary. The second part of its job is going to be to negotiate drug prices. We certainly recognize, for a national pharmacare program, the need to address the area of cost and get the best value. As a result of that, this drug agency will be able to have better negotiation power, because from there they'll be purchasing more medications. I'm very pleased that we've received the funding in budget 2019 and will be moving forward with the creation of this drug agency.
Finally, with respect to budget 2019 as well, there was a significant investment made in the area of rare diseases. In fact, $1 billion will be invested.
Once again, those were two areas that Dr. Hoskins was very clear on in the interim report, so I'm extremely pleased that we received the funding in budget 2019 to address the two matters.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Webber, first of all, thank you for the work you've done in bringing forward Bill C-316. It's a very important piece of legislation and one that I think will save lives of Canadians. Well done. I think you had the unanimous consent of all the colleagues in your caucus and the other parties to move forward with this bill.
As you've seen in budget 2019, monies were allocated there as well, because we are serious that we want to move forward with this. In no way do I want you to think that on this side we're trying to slow things down. It's just the opposite.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
—but we certainly know there are quite a few bills right now in the Senate. I absolutely respect the work that the Senate does, the work they do on a daily basis. It's an important part of our functioning here. However, I truly hope we'll be able to see the passage of your bill and a few other bills.
What I can commit to you is that I will certainly speak to some of the senators I do know—
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
—without putting any pressure, of course, on them. I am happy to have that conversation with the senators I know.
Again, I truly feel that your private member's bill would make a significant difference, and I was very pleased that we were all able to support it.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Ms. Gladu, thank you very much for your question. I'm not surprised that you're asking it today.
We all recognize that our government has committed to putting together and delivering a legal and regulated regime when it comes to cannabis. As we have said on many occasions, the reason we wanted to do that was to protect our youth but also to displace the black market.
I have received some queries from you and other members of Parliament who have received some concerns from people in their constituencies with respect to these types of matters.
One thing that we have to be clear on, however, is that the courts have been clear that people who need cannabis for a medical purpose need to have reasonable access to cannabis. Some individuals have received some injunctions in the past, and also we passed the new Cannabis Act last year.
As such, the minister has received new powers that didn't exist before the new Cannabis Act. Among those new powers that have been put in place, if someone has an authorization, not a prescription but an authorization, and it seems that the amount is really astronomical and just not reasonable, the minister can now decline that authorization. In the past, that wasn't the case.
As well, with respect to Health Canada inspectors, they are able to go into these facilities and conduct checks to make sure that people aren't growing too much cannabis and that they're following the authorizations. If under the authorization they're doing the growing within their home, Health Canada can't enter the home without a warrant. It's the police who need to do that. However, if people have it in a warehouse or in a field, let's say, they certainly can go and do the inspections.
Finally, the other thing is that you mentioned the phone number. If police authorities have any suspicions that anyone is growing illegally, growing too much, they can absolutely call Health Canada, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because we have put a number in place. They are able to contact us, and from there, we will be able to advise them of the information they're seeking.
With respect to that—
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
If there's a criminal matter under way, if someone is growing cannabis illegally, it still falls under the purview of the RCMP, or the—
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Once again, Lyme disease is certainly a growing public health concern, specifically when we're looking at climate change. We know that climate change impacts the issue of Lyme disease as well. I come from the province of New Brunswick, and in the province of New Brunswick there is a real issue with Lyme disease. We certainly know it's a hotbed, if you will.
With respect to the investments we've made in this area, we've invested $20 million for health-related climate change programs, and most of that fund, I have to say, has been directed to Lyme disease.
With the funding with respect to it, we're focusing on diagnosis and treatment. Also, we're in the process of putting together a new pan-Canadian Lyme disease research network, which will be focusing on treatment and diagnosis.
I will pass the floor to my chief public health officer so that she can talk specifically about the treatment you're making reference to.
Dr. Tam, perhaps—
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you so much for the question, Mr. Davies.
I have to say we're following very closely the two lawsuits that have been filed by British Columbia and also, this week, Ontario. Our legal officials are reviewing those two matters, and a decision will be made to see what exactly the federal government is going to be doing.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
I think we all recognize that the price of drugs is a complex matter, and we are working hard to make sure we do all that we can to lower the price of drugs.
If we want to move forward with the national pharmacare program, we have to get it right and we have to lower drug prices. That's why we're still in the process of modernizing the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board. That work is well under way, and there will be some announcements to be made.
The other thing as well is that I don't completely agree that we weren't able to lower the price of drugs, because by joining the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, we have actually saved more than $2 billion per year with respect to lowering the price of drugs. As we move forward with a national pharmacare program, the Canadian drug agency as well will have a significant role to play.
At this point in time, HESA members know more than I all of the intricacies of pharmacare, because you have done a study. When you realize that we have over 100,000 private drug plans in this country and many more through government, you'll see that it's very hard to negotiate drug prices. If we can put this together, get it right and get a national pharmacare program, I think there's going to be a cost saving for everyone here.
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