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CPAC - Thursday, May 23, 2024 - 10:00 a.m. (ET) - Segment #9

with drug coverage. How does she look hard-working Canadians in the eye while she promises to take away their hard-won, collective-bargaining, secured drug coverage? [ Some Applause ] >> Voice of Interpreter: Once again, I'd just like to remind all members in the house that when someone has the floor, people shouldn't disrupt the person who's speaking. They should wait until it's time to ask questions. [ End of Interpretation ] >> The Speaker: The Honourable Member. >> Voice of Interpreter: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'd like to begin by saying I'll be sharing my time with the Honourable Member. >> The Speaker: I'd like to ask people who are holding conversations to take those conversations into the lobby. It would be more appropriate, especially considering what I just said. Order. [ End of Interpretation ] >> The Speaker: The Honourable Member. >> Voice of Interpreter: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'd just like to say that I'll be sharing my time with another member. I'm rising in the House to speak to a motion put forward by the Bloc Québécois. It's a troubling motion. We've tried to amend this motion -- or we will try to amend this motion, but ultimately this is a motion that poses serious problems for Quebecers and Canadians. I'd like to begin by saying that we in the NDP are clear about the respect we need to show Quebec. Respect for the Quebec nation which is a unique nation within Canada. The NDP has a proud history, as a matter of fact, of respecting that and we have done so for years. We are the ones in the NDP who adopted the Sherbrooke resolution, or the Sherbrooke Declaration under the leadership of Jack Layton. I'd also like to recognize the unique history of Quebec when it comes to social programs and the idea of collective wellbeing. Also around the leadership that needs to be shown in making essential investments in what Quebecers and Canadians need. I'd also like to share that it's clear that in terms of the history of Quebec culture, it's a nation with a rich heritage and we in the NDP have recognized Quebec as a nation that deserves the right to self-determination. We acknowledged that well before the Liberals and the Conservatives did. The quiet revolution was a huge social and democratic movement, not just in the history of Quebec but also in the history of North America. The people of Quebec took charge of their own destiny, and our leaders Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair and under the leadership of our current member for Burnaby South have been clear that Quebec is a nation with its own history, and we have to always keep that reality in mind. I'd like to ask the sergeant-at-arms -- >> The Speaker: There seems to be a lot of noise coming from outside, so I would the sergeant-at-arms go see what's going on. And perhaps ask people to leave if they're having conversations. Thank you. The Honourable Member. >> Quebec clearly has to be consulted on matters that touch Quebecers. Beth social policy reached through working together rather than through unilateral federalism. It is also true that a number of Quebec voices clearly support a federal dental care program. And that this program will improve the lives of many Quebecers. The same was true in the debate on the Canada health care act, whether it was a discussion on the way that the actual work with provinces, but today it is considered as... [ Speaking French ] This is one of the main values of our country in fact.

One day, the same will be true for dental care programs, for pharmacare programs, programs that I'm proud to announce is thanks that -- that I'm proud to announce exist because of the NDP. I want to be clear and share Quebec voices that support our dental care program and our pharmacare program. The confederation of national unions, the Quebec union association, the CST, CSQ, CSM, and the federation of Quebec workers all asked for a long time that a public system be created. They commended the first step in the right direction and asking for more. My question is as follows: Why is Quebec ignoring the union leaders, the voices of Quebec on this matter? Madam Speaker, I would like to read a quote from the leader of the CSD Mr. Luke Vashon and says it is inconceivable that someone's health is contributory to their own income. Quebec has it own income and discriminatory to the poorest of the society. We need universal system with easy access to medication. It is time to go beyond constitutional quarter equals so everyone can have true accessibility to affordable pharmacare. Madam Speaker, the main union organization in Quebec, the federation of Quebec workers, believe Quebec is wrong for asking for unconstitutional right to withdraw. It would be unacceptable for Quebec to get unconditional funds from the Federal Government to maintain a distinction functional and unequitable system. They're asking the Federal Government to work with provinces that want universal systems. Why is the Bloc against what the FDQ is saying? We based ourselves on a message that we received that Quebecers are for a dental care program. Over 600,000 have applied to this program. Why did the Bloc vote against? Why are they voting against the 600,000 new signees? Once again, the facts are clear. The NDP's plan will benefit 2.5 million Quebecers that will allow people to save about a thousand dollars a year. 10,000 people already registered and already being able to benefit from the program. But now I would like to go beyond big questions. Because the Bloc Quebecois claims they are the grand defenders of Quebec but go against the opinion of unions. Why are they against the 600,000 Quebecers who registered for the dental care program. Why is the Bloc fighting tooth and nail in defending right wing governments in Quebec? [ End of Interpretation ] To the speech that we just heard from the leader of the official opposition. At some point he referred to nightmares and dreams. I can say the speech in this house certainly symbolizes for so many Canadians particularly low income Canadians and working Canadians is in fact the nightmare that we would have to deal with with a government led by that leader of the official opposition. Canadians remember the dark Harper years where social programs were cut where health care investments were cut. In fact, the changes to the formulas of investments to provinces that ensure that provinces like mine got less of the money that they needed to be able to live up to the needs of our communities. Manitoba still has not recovered from the cuts brought in by the Harper government. But let's be clear. The Bloc is defending right wing premiers, right wing governments across Canada that are bringing our public universal health care systems to its knees. We have seen the cuts in Ontario, we have seen the declarations from premier Danielle Smith in Alberta and the future for people in those provinces is particularly ugly. We have seen the way in which they are pushing privatized health care, taking away from the public, prioritizing privatized health care. And all the while eroding

universal health care that Canadians depend on. So in effect, the Bloc is not just positioning itself against the interest of working labour unions, working people that 600,000 Quebecers that have signed up for the dental care program and the many that have spoken of the importance of pharmacare as well, they are also for some bizarre reason defending right wing premiers outside of Quebec that are all too committed to gutting public health care. We in the NDP will not let them do that. We are clear we stand in solidarity with union leaders, with unionized workers in Quebec with the 600,000 Quebecers who signed up for the dental care program and the many more that will -- we know will sign up in the months to come. In saying that we must move forward to expand universal health care when it comes to dental, when it comes to pharmacare, when it comes to the broader vision of health care like leaders like Tommy Douglas and others talked about so many years ago. It is inconceivable in a country as wealthy as Canada we're not able to look after one another and not able to look after our citizens in the ways that they need it. Just a few weeks ago, I had a chance to speak with a diabetes nurse here in my home community of Thompson and talked about challenges, how difficult it is to work with patients who cannot afford the medication and the equipment that they need when it comes to diabetes. I see your note, madam speaker. pgh so I will finalize saying I am proud to stand for constituents that desperately need what pharmacare will need to them and desperately need what dental care need for them and proud of the NDP position that relies on the Sherbrooke system and yes to universal health care and dental care and pharmacare and no of the political games of the Bloc and the right wing premiers and the official opposition. Thank you. [ Speaking French ] >> Voice of Interpreter: Questions and comments? [ End of Interpretation ] >> Thank you madam speaker. pgh Madam Speaker, Canadian federal system is collaborating. Canadians face complex issues. These complex issues doesn't start and end at the boundary of any province. There's a need for the Federal Government and the provinces and territories to work together. I would like to have the honourable member's comments on that. >> The Speaker: The honourable member. >> Thank you to the member for the question. It's clear we're seeing under the guise of provincial jurisdiction of the Bloc Quebecois to unfortunately erode gains being made when it comes to expanding health care and let's also be clear that the Conservatives are very much in line with this, very much with pushing privatized health care and doing away with public universal medicare and certainly its expansion and I would say finally that I'm really proud that the NDP has been pushing for dental care, for pharmacare, and pushing the Liberals to move on this front. Without the NDP we wouldn't be here fighting for what so many Canadians deserve. [ Speaking French ] >> Voice of Interpreter: Questions and comments? The honourable member. >> Voice of Interpreter: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank my colleague for her speech. I'm always surprised when I keep hearing about the Sherbrooke declaration and constantly the NDP seems to think it's a government that wants to manage a province. She just gave an example. She started by accusing the Bloc Quebecois of being incentive when we talk about interference. But there is interference. The right to withdraw for compensation was a unanimous request at the assembly national in Quebec because we can manage our own system. Thank you very much. I say this because any attempt of interference makes things go more slowly which means that people come to me in my riding saying that they have problems accessing the service, yes. When the Federal Government tries to butt in, it doubles the work and makes things slower. People have to pay the price. The honourable member for Churchill. >> I would like to say to the colleague the fact that she has constituents that want to have access to this program shows us that Quebecers see how important it is to have this kind of program and so I wonder why the

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