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Results: 1 - 15 of 133
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-24 14:51 [p.4496]
Mr. Speaker, the facts are clear. The reality is that millions of Canadians today have to choose between paying their rent and getting the medications their doctors prescribe. Many are getting sicker and even dying from this lack of basic health care.
Canada is the only country in the world with universal health care that does not cover prescription drugs. The truth is that drug prices have risen every single year under the Liberal government's mandate. The truth, as well, is that the NDP bill would work exactly the way our public health care system does, allowing provinces and territories to participate if they wish.
Will the Prime Minister stop his hollow excuses and vote for pharmacare as he has promised, and finally deliver universal pharmacare to every Canadian who needs it?
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-24 15:13 [p.4500]
Mr. Speaker, during my question, my computer malfunctioned and my screen was not working, so I was wondering if I could receive the unanimous consent of my colleagues to re-ask my question.
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-24 15:27 [p.4502]
Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank all my hon. colleagues for their support in this.
I am going to also raise a question of privilege, because I have a right not only to be heard but to be seen. There has been a totally inconsistent application of this. Just in the course of the last half hour, Mr. Speaker, you interrupted a member and advised her to bring her microphone down. You did not interrupt me to let me know I was not on the screen.
Also, to emphasize other points that have been made, Mr. Speaker, you have not sought unanimous consent when you have allowed other members to restate whatever their intervention has been, and I see no difference in principle between an S. O. 31 and a question in question period. The truth is that, during question period, we are not allowed to raise points of order. I was not aware that I was not on the visual screen until almost the end of question period. At that point, I did not raise it as a point of order because I thought I could not. I also was in the bottom third of question period.
For all those reasons, Mr. Speaker, and with great respect, I think you have the authority just to allow me to ask my question again when this is a technical problem. We are in uncharted territory here. This never happens when we are in a normal sitting of the House.
As my colleague said, Mr. Speaker, if you are going to ask for unanimous consent every time members have a technical problem and their computer malfunctions or they are not seen and if the hon. colleagues in the House are not going to give unanimous consent consistently, then we are never going to give unanimous consent, and that just violates the privileges of every person in the House.
Frankly, to allow me to have asked a 35-second question when my screen was not on and I was not aware of it is a violation of my privilege to ask a question and to be heard and seen. I do not see any reason why you, Mr. Speaker, cannot retest the House. I believe you would get the unanimous consent of my colleagues, but I am not sure you need it. You could have just allowed me to ask that question, just like you allow people to redo their S. O. 31s when there is a technical problem interrupting that intervention.
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-24 15:36 [p.4503]
Mr. Speaker, first, I will thank the Prime Minister for his graciousness.
The facts are clear: Millions of Canadians cannot afford the medicines their doctors prescribe. Many get sicker and even die from this lack of basic health care. The reality is that drug prices have increased every year of the government's mandate and the NDP pharmacare bill would work exactly like our public health care system does by allowing provinces to participate if they wish.
The Prime Minister says he supports pharmacare and will deliver it. Will he vote for our bill today to make universal public pharmacare a reality for every Canadian?
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-22 14:12 [p.4364]
Mr. Speaker, it is in times of crisis that we see the very best in Canadians. I rise today to pay tribute to the everyday heroes who are doing so much to support the people of Vancouver Kingsway. From the front-line health workers at Evergreen and Lu'ma community medical centres to the staff at Collingwood and Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood Houses; from the first responders at Fire Halls Nos. 13, 15 and 20 to the paramedics serving at Station 245; and from the teachers and support staff at every school in the riding to the hospital workers at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, B.C. Children's Hospital and B.C. Women's Hospital and Health Centre, we are deeply grateful for the skill and sacrifice of those who serve, protect and nurture.
I especially want to thank all of the small businesses in my community. These are the enterprises that employ our neighbours and provide the goods and services we need to survive and prosper. I know many are hurting and I ask the government to remember them and provide help in the upcoming budget.
To all, their courage, commitment and generosity will never be forgotten.
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-22 14:45 [p.4371]
Mr. Speaker, on August 31, 2020, the Prime Minister publicly stated that Canada would produce 250,000 COVID vaccine doses per month last November and two million doses monthly by the end of last year. The co-chair of the federal vaccine task force just revealed that producing vaccines in Canada was never possible before the end of 2021.
If domestic vaccine production was never a possibility until the end of this year, why did the Prime Minister mislead Canadians by promising millions of doses a full year earlier?
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-16 17:35 [p.4149]
Mr. Speaker, in the time I have been privileged to serve the people of Vancouver Kingsway, two very fundamental concepts have been rendered very apparent to me. The first is time is one of the most important currencies in Parliament. The second is that majority rule is the cornerstone of our democracy. I believe the current motion before us on privilege engages both of those very important principles and I stand in support of the question of privilege that has been made.
I had the privilege also of being present throughout the whole health committee meeting in question and I witnessed everything that happened from beginning to end. I am not going to repeat the basic facts, as I think they have been well stated by the member for Banff—Airdrie.
As members know, the meeting started at 11 a.m. eastern time. It is typically a two-hour meeting, but because of the number of motions and the number of members wanting to speak, the meeting was extended beyond that time period.
It was also the case that about halfway through the meeting, the chair let it be known, in advance, that the meeting would end at 4:30 p.m. eastern time because there would be a lack of technical support at that time. When we approached 4:30 p.m. and the chair acted according to the warning he made, there were still a number of speakers who wanted to speak to the motion on the floor and there was no motion to adjourn on the floor. As you deliberate on this matter, I would think it important for you to note that at no time did any member of the committee, including on the Liberal side, make a motion to adjourn, and I can tell you why: It was because it was clear that the majority on that committee wanted the meeting to continue. It would have been a simple matter to adjourn the meeting at any time.
The nub of the matter, to speak to the real essence of what is before you, might require you to resolve what I think is a very pointed claim made by the previous speaker, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the House leader, when he said that a chair can adjourn a meeting at any time the chair wants, for any reason he or she wants. With great respect, I am going to suggest that this is false. I do not believe that is the case at all, and I leave it to your great research to determine what the proper circumstances are.
The reason I say that is that as my hon. colleague from Calgary Nose Hill very appropriately stated, because when one is in opposition and members want to speak, using the currency of time in a political sense to continue debate for whatever reason is appropriate. It is equally appropriate for members on the opposite side to filibuster. That is what was going on at this meeting. The opposition and the government members were all acting completely appropriately.
The issue is, when does that end? I would respectfully submit that it ends when a proper motion to suspend or adjourn the meeting is passed by a majority. Until that is done, the meeting continues until there are no speakers who wish to have the floor.
I want to say as well that at the very end, there was a motion to challenge the chair's ruling on privilege. I think this point has been made too, but what is troubling to me and my fellow New Democrat colleagues is that during that very vote, a Bloc Québécois member, a colleague on the committee, was deprived of her right to cast her ballot because she had no translation during the vote. Therefore, the very vote that the chair relied on to end the meeting was flawed because it was interrupted by a lack of translation. If you review the record, which I ask you to do, you will see that this was the case.
I also want to raise a point that has not been made by anybody up to this point. It is with respect to the consequences of suspending a meeting. As we sit here today, days after that meeting, it is not possible to go to ParlVu to see or listen to that meeting. The minutes are not public yet, so right now the public is prevented from seeing the proceedings. That is another detrimental consequence of a chair's unilateral suspension of a meeting without the democratic mandate of the committee to do so. Not only is it a breach of our privilege as members, but I believe the Canadian public has been unable to see what happened at that meeting because of that as well.
The point has already been made, so I will not dwell on the fact that this was a Friday afternoon. It was not the case of another committee needing to use the room. I appreciate and understand that given these virtual meetings, there are some atypical considerations that may go into a committee's engaging in debate after the time of expiry. However, that contingency can be safely eliminated in this case, because on the Friday afternoon there was no other committee that needed that room and it would have been a simple matter for us to adjourn for a few minutes to get other interpreters and further tech support.
I would also point out that the chair never explained what the technical support problems were, so we were left wondering what technical support issues prevented us from continuing the meeting. In my mind, those could have been easily remedied with perhaps a five-, 10- or 15-minute adjournment.
In my respectful submission, the way that political conflict is resolved in our system is by a democratic vote that happens in the House and at committee. I believe the chair of the health committee was well-intentioned but mistaken when he chose to unilaterally end that meeting and deprive the member for Calgary Nose Hill—
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-16 17:42 [p.4150]
Mr. Speaker, I believe that the hon. chair of the committee was well-intentioned, but simply mistaken when he thought it was his duty to arbitrarily end the meeting at 4:30 when it was the clear will of the majority of the members of that committee to continue.
It is uncomfortable sometimes in those situations because some people want to end the meetings and some do not, but the idea of a filibuster and the use by different parties of that currency of time as political pressure is valuable, and I hope the Speaker would support not only the question of privilege, but also the time-honoured parliamentary traditions of using time and majority support to resolve differences, not unilateral, autocratic action by a chair.
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-05 11:27 [p.4062]
Madam Speaker, the COVID pandemic has shown Canadians the cost of government inaction and neglect. Families have suffered devastating losses of loved ones in long-term care centres across the country, but instead of fixing the problems like they promised, the Liberals continue to underfund health care and protect the profits of big corporations and their wealthy shareholders.
Nobody should be profiting off the care of our seniors. Will the minister commit to improving Canada's long-term care system now so that residents, their families and long-term care workers no longer have to suffer?
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-04 16:12 [p.4024]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to serve with my hon. colleague on the health committee, and I appreciate his wise words in that committee.
We have heard the same evidence that shows that Canada was caught without a domestic ability to produce essential medical equipment and supplies like PPE. We were reliant on countries like China and the United States.
Given his interest in buy America, does he agree that Canada, and other countries, should have the ability to at least produce essential supplies and services in our country to ensure our own population is not left hanging in a time of emergency? How would he square these two concepts?
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-02-02 15:54 [p.3920]
Madam Speaker, a lot of Canadians are suffering right now. We have just seen the government bring in some very strict measures when it comes to people who have to travel abroad and come back, with figures as high as $2,000 to be spent on hotels.
As health critic for the New Democrats, I am very much in favour of strong measures to protect public health. However, I have been contacted by some constituents, some who are working class and of limited means, who have to do essential travel, perhaps for a death in the family or something similar. They find the $2,000 three-day bill to be quite high.
Would my hon. colleague share any thoughts or comments on whether there should be some form of relief for working class or low-income Canadians who might find the payment of a $2,000 hotel bill to be excessive?
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2021-01-29 11:26 [p.3768]
Mr. Speaker, first, Pfizer delivery interruptions delayed vaccine doses to Canadians. Then EU export controls threatened our supply. Now reports from think tanks are raising alarms. According to the U.K.-based Economist Intelligence Unit, the majority of Canadians may have to wait six months longer than Americans and Europeans for vaccines and will not be vaccinated until mid-2022.
Canada is already falling behind virtually dozens of countries regarding vaccinations. Why is the Liberal government failing to secure timely vaccines? Can it guarantee that every Canadian will be fully vaccinated by this September?
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the leader of the official opposition for moving this motion for an emergency debate. As he knows, I did as well, and it is, I think, a very timely and important debate.
The hon. member speaks about a plan. One of the biggest deficiencies Canada is facing right now is that we do not have the ability to manufacture a single vaccine. The Liberal government failed to negotiate with a single one of the seven vaccine manufacturers the right for Canada to manufacture vaccines domestically.
As the Prime Minister himself has acknowledged, obviously a country that has the ability to manufacture will prioritize its own citizens. We are seeing that now with the EU and the United States prioritizing their citizens. Unfortunately, it was a Conservative government under Brian Mulroney that sold off Connaught Labs, which was a Crown corporation owned by the federal government.
My question to my hon. colleagues is this: Does he agree that the federal government should establish a public drug manufacturer to ensure that Canada is never again caught without the capacity to manufacture critical vaccines and medicines for Canadians right here at home?
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, it is really quite a privilege to work with my hon. colleague at the health committee. Given that the current disruption in supply will further delay vaccinations of Canada's highest risk populations, does the member opposite agree with me and my New Democrat colleagues that additional public health measures such as paid sick days, national standards for long-term care, frequent rapid testing at high risk workplaces, stricter travel restrictions and quarantine requirements are needed now to interrupt the rapid growth of COVID-19 and the spread of the highly contagious variants that are now appearing in Canada?
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, the minister has repeatedly and explicitly talked about her commitment to transparency, yet to this day, she has not released one word of any of the seven contracts that the government has signed with vaccine manufacturers, unlike other countries.
In the interests of transparency, will the minister release to Canadians portions of the contracts that at least tell Canadians how many doses we are going to receive, when and from whom, or does she not trust Canadians, who are paying for these doses of vaccines, with that information?
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