Pharmaceutical: The Last Six Months
Of Federal Activity

About

This Report

This is a computer-generated report that shows all of the federal activity with respect to the keyword "Pharmaceutical" over the last six months. This is a demonstration of the power of our government relations automation software.

Hansard

House: 87 Speeches
Senate: 19 Speeches

House Senate

Bills

Active: 0

Regulations

Filed: 0
Proposed: 0

The House

Joël Lightbound (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...llion over 10 years to support targeted actions in home care, mental health, health innovation, and pharmaceuticals. These are the four areas federal, provincial, and territorial governments agreed to in January 2016 as the priorities for investment. Budget 2017 confirmed this federal offer, which includes $11 billion over 10 years to provinces and territories to improve home care and mental health services as well as $544 million over five years to federal and pan-Canadian health organizations to support health innovation and pharmaceutical initiatives. This investment, targeting improvements in home care and mental health, ...”

Dave MacKenzie (Conservative)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ribute them across the country could see how families are torn apart by these drugs.

Diverted pharmaceuticals, fentanyl purchased from China, and stolen horse tranquillizers are finding their way onto Canadian streets with fatal consequences. Most worrying of all is the speed with which illegal opioid sales have grown and the number of overdoses. To put things into perspective, the chief coroner for British Columbia told us at the health committee that the percentage of illicit drug deaths involving fentanyl increased from 5% in 2012 to 60% in 2016. If that is not enough to wake up everybody in the House to the fact that we need to do something to get mandatory minimums in place, I do not know what will wake them up.

It is not just a crisis that affects those who find themselves living without a home, but one that affects Canadians of all ages. Fifty-five thousand Canadian high school students indicated that they had abused opioid pain relievers in the past year. That is a tremendous number.

In Ontario, one in eight deaths of individuals aged 25 to 34 years was found to be opioid-related in 2010. That number will not go down; it will simply go up. Families are being destroyed, communities are being invaded, and all Canadians are experiencing reduced access to health and social services because of the resources required to fight this epidemic. This is a public emergency that hits close to home.

Organized crime has now found a foothold in places and at levels never seen before. When the other side wants to legalize marijuana and when we see what this has done, we can only project what the future will be for organized crime. Even for those people who live in areas free of dealers and opioid users, the effects of this drug in drug crime are still felt in people's access to services.

First responders have had to divert significant resources to address this crisis. Ambulance services, firefighters, police, and hospital emergency rooms are all having resources diverted to address this crisis. This means other crimes committed against local residents are not being investigated. It means ambulances resources are increasingly overworked as they respond to a spike in drug overdoses. It means firefighters now have to additionally consider the chance that what appears to be a simple residential fire may in fact be an illicit and contaminated drug lab, a danger to both their immediate safety and their long-term health.

This says nothing about the increased burden on social services that are already stretched due to the Liberal government's lack of support to local communities. (1155)

Mental health workers are already facing an uphill battle against criminal gangs continually pushing all kinds of harmful drugs into the community. If we are to help those most in need, then we also need to fight this crisis at its source and punish those who would wish to continue it. This would bring justice not only to those caught in addiction, but to the sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters already lost to these lethal street drugs.

I recognize that the opioid crisis is multi-faceted, but Bill C-338 is one key step in cutting off the source. I support the bill because criminal enterprises are not facing harsh enough sentences for diverting legitimate pharmaceuticals to illicit street drugs. Those pushing opioids into our streets and communities need...”

Robert Oliphant (Liberal)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rther research and clean air to breathe, and to close gaps in our health care system, including for pharmaceuticals. No matter where we live in this country, we should have access to the best possible...”

Frank Baylis (Liberal)

April 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... million people a year receive their required medications for free. They are supported by dozens of pharmaceutical companies that generously donate these medicines. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and ov...”

Rachael Harder (Conservative)

April 3rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...an public, and of course this has a lot to do with the crisis at hand.

Whether it is diverted pharmaceuticals, fentanyl purchased over the Internet from China, or stolen horse tranquillizers, dangerous and lethal opioids are making their way onto the streets of Canada and the consequences are fatal.

The most alarming thing is how quickly opioids are growing, both in use and in the number of overdoses. To put things in perspective, the chief coroner of British Columbia told us at the health committee that illicit drug deaths involving fentanyl increased from 5% in 2012 to 60% in 2016.

This is not just a crisis that affects those who find themselves without a home. There are 55,000 Canadian high-school students who reported in September 2016 that they had abused some sort of opioid pain reliever in the past year.

In Ontario, in 2010, one in eight deaths of individuals aged 25 to 34 was found to be opioid-related. Families are being destroyed; lives are being lost; and all Canadians are experiencing reduced access to health and social services because of the resources required to look after this crisis.

For me, this public emergency hits close to home. Lethbridge is near the epicentre of this epidemic in Canada. Last fall, five men in my riding were arrested for possessing just over 1,000 fentanyl pills destined for the streets of Lethbridge. Several subsequent arrests resulted in police recovering hundreds more fentanyl-laced pills.

What has this meant for Lethbridge? Without being alarmist, we have seen organized crime in our city increase drastically, and the users of these drugs have made parts of Lethbridge no-go zones. There is a playground in my community where children used to enjoy playing regularly, and now it is known as "needle park". This is a place where children no longer play and parents no longer feel safe, because of the needles that are left on the ground.

Even for those not in direct proximity to drug dealers or opioid users, the effects of this epidemic are still felt. In Lethbridge, our first responders have all had to divert significant resources to address this crisis. This means that other crimes committed within our community are under-investigated or not investigated at all.

It also means that EMS responders are increasingly overworked as they respond to the spike in drug overdoses. It means that firefighters have to deal with increased risks when they respond to residential fires for fear that they could be dealing with a contaminated illicit drug lab or equipment thereof.

This is to say nothing of the increased burden on our social service agencies. Lethbridge has punched far above its weight when it comes to the Syrian refugees who have come into our community. This influx of refugees has stretched our resources to the max because of the lack of support from the Liberal government.

Many of these organizations have had to punch above their weight and are now starting to reach their breaking point. This is on top of the opioid crisis and the mental health crisis that results from the jobs crisis in Alberta.

My heart goes out to the mental health workers in my community for the remarkable work they are doing around the clock and the way they are trying to divert this issue. This crisis has a human face, as sons, daughters, husbands, wives, cousins, brothers, and sisters are all lost to lethal street drugs laced with these opioids. I recognize that the opioid crisis is multi-faceted, but Bill C-307 is one key step to cutting it off at the source.

Criminal enterprises have far too easy a time diverting legitimate pharmaceuticals to illicit street drugs. This is because the most common forms of opioid-based drugs are easily manipulated. Prescription pills can be ground down to snort, or the active opioid compounds can be extracted and used as a building block for different street drugs.

Tamper-resistant forms of these pharmaceuticals can take several forms to reduce the ability to manipulate and extract the drug. The physical properties of the pill can be used to make manipulation much more difficult, such as providing a drug that cannot be altered without neutralizing the opioid compounds, or a chemical can be included that counteracts the euphoric effect of the opioid if the drug is manipulated, either by grinding or by heating it, making the drug useless to street providers. (1115)

In June 2014, our previous Conservative government provided a notice of intent to industry. We announced that new regulations were coming that would require tamper-resistant formulations of specific controlled substances such as oxycodone. The intent of the former Conservative government was to reduce the diversion of opioids for illicit purposes to keep them off the streets. Sadly, the current government chose to overturn this decision, which has now had failed consequences on Canadians from coast to coast.

One youth who I had the chance to talk to in my riding took the opportunity to brag to me that he was taking his prescription drugs and selling them for $25 a pill. His chronic pain allows him lifetime access to these pills and it now serves as his main source of income.

Diverting these drugs to the illegal markets can be stopped. If we can stop this illicit secondary market for illegal pharmaceuticals, it will decrease one of the sources that make these street drugs so accessible.

...”

Dave MacKenzie (Conservative)

April 3rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...e “abuse-deterrent formulations” and/or “tamper-resistant properties”. This will make these pharmaceutical substances more difficult to abuse.

Bill C-307 will make it possible for Canada's health minister to take immediate action whenever Canadians are being hurt or killed by a specific drug. We can do something, one thing, to help keep Canadians safe. We can do something when it becomes apparent that there is a deadly narcotic substance available that we no longer want available in its current form because it is dangerous and can be too easily abused. We can do something, by supporting Bill C-307. While this bill can apply to any substance under the two categories of drugs in the health legislation, this bill may in fact only be implemented on rare occasions, and yet it will help Canada's minister of health take swift action to save lives and prevent terrible suffering.

The government does have opposition to Bill C-307. In the previous hour of debate on November 17, 2016, Canadians learned of the Liberal government's initial response to Bill C-307, and we were disappointed. However, we hope that following today's second hour of debate, the Liberal government will agree to support sending this bill to committee for further study and consideration.

I want to address the reasons for opposing Bill C-307 from the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Health. I want to remind everyone that abuse-deterrent and tamper-resistant technologies across the class of opioid medications are only one tool among many others to combat prescription opioid abuse.

Crushing and snorting of these powerful narcotics is often the gateway to other forms of abuse, including pill-popping and the movement to more dangerous illicit substances, such as fentanyl, carfentanil, W-18 and U-47700, especially for young Canadians. I am hopeful that we would do everything in our power to stem this tide.

Would all drugs be required to be tamper resistant? No, this bill will not result in only tamper-resistant drugs being available in the Canadian market. This is precisely the point. The United States is leading the way and moving forward to provide Americans with many drugs in a tamper-resistant form. This movement is supported by the Federal Food and Drug Administration, the DEA, and the Trump administration. Seven medications with tamper-resistant or abuse-deterrent formulations, with more to come, are now approved in America.

The parliamentary secretary did not report much of the growing body of evidence to this House in her speech during the first hour of debate. The speech she delivered did include references to a selective literature review on the benefits and risks of abuse-deterrent formulation, tamper-resistant medications.

The recently concluded health committee hearings and the opioids conference did not hear from all stakeholders, including actual pain patients taking these abuse-deterrent formulation, tamper-resistant medications; representatives from the industrial producers of abuse-deterrent formulation, tamper-resistant medications; nor any international and independent experts in the field of abuse deterrence. There is more consultation needed by the government. In fact, the health minister's public statements often acknowledge the value of wide consultation, and it is one of the orders in her mandate letter from the Prime Minister.

The government's opposition to Bill C-307 expressed by the parliamentary secretary did not follow another instruction to the Minister of Health in her mandate letter from the Prime Minister. That directive asks the minister to provide Canadians with science and evidence-based approaches to inform public policy. There is strong scientific confirmation of tamper-resistance technology and abuse-deterrent formulations. There are no maybes or guesswork about these technologies. They work. Tamper-resistance and abuse-deterrent formulation technology is here to stay. It is sound science. It is the future.

Increasingly, powerful medications will be available in the protected forms contained in Bill C-307. Someday, all powerful medications will be released to the public in these forms. These technologies are a product of the scientific advances of the western pharmaceutical technology. Doctors want to prescribe to their patients medications that will not harm them. Doctors want to prescribe to their patients medications that patients cannot hurt themselves with, even if they try. (1135)

Patients want their doctors to prescribe them medications that will not hurt them, even if they make a mistake while trying to follow the instructions on the prescription. Everyone wants prescriptive medications that cannot be cut up, crushed, and sold as drugs to be abused.

We can do this now. The technology does exist. We can protect ourselves and others right now. Someday our society will be able to protect our population from the risks and the harmful effects of strong medications that are being abused. This technology will be widespread and used on virtually all potentially harmful medications.

Bill C-307 proposes to provide our Minister of Health with the power to name a single substance and declare it unavailable to Canadians unless and until it is in a tamper-resistant or abuse-deterrent formulation. This would save lives every time that we find a particular substance is being abused with deadly results. The health minister could invoke this tool immediately and stop the loss of lives and terrible suffering at any time.

We have seen numerous drugs, one at a time it seems, being the latest drug of choice to abuse. Some of them are producing deadly results in large numbers. With the passage of Bill C-307, we could stop any of the newest drugs from being available for abuse. We could demand that they are are only made available in a tamper-resistant or abuse-deterrent formulation.

There is a question of costs, and the concerns about the possible increase in costs for public and private payers of medications with abuse-deterrent and tamper-resistant formulations have been addressed. The introduction of these products in the United States and Canada has been shown to drive down prescription volumes for these medicines. The result is that the costs remain the same, not higher.

Again, the parliamentary secretary did not provide us with the evidence of this fact; she reported that her government continues to be concerned about costs. However, the cost issue has been addressed, with evidence. There needs to be more up-to-date research on the facts and figures concerning the deployment of medications with both abuse-deterrent and/or tamper-resistant properties.

The federal government and the provinces have every cost-containment tool at their disposal today to rein in drug costs. The highly successful pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance is a very effective alliance that operates to set the best prices for public pharmaceutical plans. In turn, the work of the alliance also affects, and sometimes dictates, the prices in private plans. This system ensures that patients are getting medicines at affordable levels.

The provinces and territories have the power of bulk buying. There are numerous examples of medications available at reasonable costs and even lower costs following negotiations between governments and producers. The pharmaceutical firms can employ scale pricing if they know they will realize specific large numbers ...”

Earl Dreeshen (Conservative)

April 3rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...e-deterrent formulations, ADFs, and/or tamper-resistant, TR, properties. This bill would make these pharmaceutical substances more difficult to abuse and would make it possible for Canada's health min...”

Hedy Fry (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...s are creating clusters and hubs of new innovation in health sciences. Of course, we are looking at pharmaceuticals and creating hubs for delivering that. We have Triumf in British Columbia. All these...”

Francis Drouin (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... major employers.

The industry already employs more Canadians than the forestry industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the medical device manufacturing industry. The measures taken as part o...”

Nathan Cullen (NDP)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...t is why we have a five-year ban between fundraising and lobbying.

However, the chairman of a pharmaceutical giant named Apotex held a $1,500-a-person fundraiser featuring the Prime Minister himself, and is now lobbying the Liberal government.

Just so we are all clear, this is totally illegal. Do the Liberals actually think it is appropriate to have lobbying meetings with a pharmaceutical giant that has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Liberal Party, yes or no?<...”

Nathan Cullen (NDP)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, Canadians are seeing a very disturbing pattern here with the Liberals.

A giant pharmaceutical company or a billionaire with his own island, the Prime Minister is at their beck and...”

Jonathan Wilkinson (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...an 800 clean technology companies. It is an industry that employs more Canadians than the forestry, pharmaceutical, or medical device manufacturing industries.

The sector grew three times as fas...”

Francis Drouin (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... the objectives in the proposed bill we have seen. Essentially, we need to find a better way to get pharmaceutical research to market to ensure that patients can benefit from it. However, the no liabi...”

Elizabeth May (Green Party)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...entionally. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, is one of particular concern. While it has legal pharmaceutical use for severe pain relief, it can be misused for its heroin-like effects. Fentanyl i...”

Hedy Fry (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ich had also been done under the Chrétien government, to show whether or not the use of substitute pharmaceutical grade heroin was important to save lives. It was shown that allowing hydromorphone, which is being used in the heroin assisted treatment in Europe and Scandinavia with a great deal of success, is saving lives and helping people to manage their addiction so they do not have to buy off the street anymore. They can go to the clinic and get a pharmaceutical drug, which costs pennies, to be able to save their lives and move them off the stree...”

John Aldag (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...y overdoses have come as a result of ingesting drugs that appear identical to legitimately produced pharmaceuticals. These drugs are made without adequate controls and often contain unpredictable amounts of high potency and potentially lethal substances, such as fentanyl and carfentanil.

Essential to making these illegal drugs are pill presses and encapsulator devices that allow illegal producers to turn out thousands of counterfeit pills or capsules in a very short time. This presents a significant risk to public health and safety.

That being said, pill presses and encapsulators are also used in legitimate manufacturing processes in the pharmaceutical, food, and consumer product industries. This is why a registration system is being pr...”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... are sky-high in Canada versus other countries. Our doctors over-prescribe, and that is because the pharmaceutical companies oversell.

Chronic pain is not managed well in our country. Some peopl...”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...hat with the provisions in CETA, consequently the bill would change intellectual property rules for pharmaceuticals. Under this agreement, consumers, including our seniors on fixed incomes, could expect to have their drug costs increase by more than $850 million annually.

In the town halls, a lot of constituents came up afterward and shared stories with me. They also shared stories during the town halls. I remember one woman who told me that she and her husband were in good health right now. They were recent retirees and life felt pretty good. However, when they looked at the future, they realized they had to plan for when they would not be as healthy. Unfortunately, part of their plan included the time when they would have to legally separate, and would have to deal with the fact that the cost of living would become so high due to medication costs and having to put somebody in a care facility. The woman told me that she had worked hard her whole life, but with the increasing cost of pharmaceuticals and cost of living, she did not know how they would make it, even though they saved, they had well-paying jobs, and they had a good pension. The reality for seniors today is one that is leading to more and more poverty.

While in opposition, the Liberals demanded that the Conservatives present a study on the financial impacts on provincial and territorial health care systems and prescription drug costs. In government now, the Liberals are telling provinces and territories that they will cut health care transfers, while pursuing agreements that risk increasing drug costs for provinces and territories. I am very concerned about this.

The reality on the ground is that people will have serious health issues. More and more people will have to go to emergency rooms because they have not taken their medications. I remember one doctor sharing with me that seniors were unable to afford medications so they were going to the emergency rooms every day to get refills. Think of the expense. If the costs go up, the implications will be devastating on our health care system.

I was glad that our great trade critic, the member for Essex, brought up this important issue in the committee. The NDP brought forward amendments to make certain that an analysis of the impact of CETA on pharmaceutical drug costs would get done. What happened? This is an important issue, and our constituents and Canadians deserve to know. There will be little to no debate on our amendments. They were all rejected, showing no interest in fixing the the flaws of the deal or addressing the serious concerns of Canadians. (1310)

Jim Keon, the president of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, at committee said:

From a cost perspective, as I've said, generics...”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...h should make us all think about it seriously, such as making sure that there is an opportunity for pharmaceuticals to be less expensive, and making sure that we are looking at the investor-state prov...”

Alistair MacGregor (NDP)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...lly in her new role as the NDP critic for seniors and really underlining the effects that increased pharmaceutical costs will have on our low-income seniors.

My question concerns Canada's dairy ...”

Alexandre Boulerice (NDP)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...eet. It has to be said: the Liberal government does not care that this agreement will benefit large pharmaceutical companies to the detriment of seniors, the sick, and people with disabilities.

...”

Frank Baylis (Liberal)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, I have a question for my colleague about extended pharmaceutical patent protection.

He mentioned extensions of three or three and a half years. ...”

Kelly McCauley (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ervices, wood pulp, inorganic chemicals, meat, animal feed, grains, seed, fruit, plastic, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, beverages, iron and steel products, and animal products.

For our consumers, n...”

Alistair MacGregor (NDP)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... the member's speech, he was raising some of the concerns that we in the NDP have about the cost of pharmaceutical drugs. I should explain to him why we have that position. The increased patent protections granted to brand name pharmaceuticals are going to go way beyond Canada's existing obligations. We have evidence of this from the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association. It conducted a study and showed that, if adopted, the proposals would delay the introduction of new generic medicines in Canada by an average of three and a half years. The cost of this delay to pharmaceutical payers was estimated at $2.8 billion annually, based on generic prices in 2010.

Therefore, my question for the member is this. If he disagrees with that particular statement, and may I remind him, this is coming from the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, which knows its stuff, can he offer evidence to the contrary?”

Alistair MacGregor (NDP)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...hat this could allow foreign companies to do.

The other thing we in the NDP have gone over is pharmaceutical costs. I used to serve as the New Democratic Party critic and spokesperson for seniors. I have handed that off to the member for North Island—Powell River, and she is doing a great job. We have testimony from the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, an association that is an expert on this subject. It had a study prepared for it that showed that the proposals in this agreement would delay the introduction of new generic medicines in Canada by an average of three and a half years. The cost to pharmaceutical payers for this delay was estimated to be $2.8 billion annually, based on generic prices in 2010.

I have been helping seniors in my riding for many years. Before I was a member of Parliament, I worked as a constituency assistant. I saw first-hand how seniors are struggling with the cost of living. Many of them, when it comes to the high cost of pharmaceutical drugs, either do not take their dosage or take less than what is recommended by a doctor. This can lead to cascading health effects down the line. Why in the world would we institute a system that would increase the cost of pharmaceuticals, when all the talk in Parliament these days, and a lot of pressure, is on how we can institute a national pharmacare system to bring these costs down? It seems to be at odds.

We know from our conversations with small businesses, the small businesses in my riding, that they want more consistency. We know they want fewer regulations and they want standards that are simple to comply with: simple border processes, less paperwork, and lower costs. If we had a trade deal that was actually just about trade, the free movement of goods, and making sure tariffs were being lowered, we could deal with that. However, this implementing legislation contains a laundry list of acts of Parliament and regulations that are going to have to be changed. It is a 140-page bill, and it goes way beyond trade.

We believe that greater access to European markets is great for Canadian goods, but just as with the TPP, CETA is a massive trade and investment deal that makes significant changes on investor rights, intellectual property, pharmaceutical drugs, and more. I believe that Canada must maintain its sovereignty over the ability...”

Alistair MacGregor (NDP)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...hat we throw that opportunity away. I would like to know how those key components, like the cost of pharmaceuticals to our seniors, matches with his government's plan of a national pharmacare plan. Ho...”

Erin Weir (NDP)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...n-trade aspects of the Canada-Europe deal. The Canada-Europe agreement would extend the duration of pharmaceutical patents, which would drive up the price of prescription drugs for provincial health c...”

Richard Cannings (NDP)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ean Union, which has the investor-state provisions just mentioned and which would raise the cost of pharmaceutical products in Canada. These are things that would not benefit Canadians in general.

...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“.... Unfortunately, I did not hear the minister bring up the very real issue in CETA about the cost of pharmaceutical drugs. Twenty-five percent of the implementing legislation in CETA are changes to the Patent Act that will extend the cost of pharmaceutical drugs for all Canadians.

I certainly heard the minister speak passionately about average people, average Canadians in our country feeling left out of trade deals, and it is largely because the governments of the day refuse to address the real issues and how they will impact Canadians in their everyday lives. I would like to speak to the minister about that and say that Canadians have very serious concerns about the cost of pharmaceutical drugs in CETA due to the patent changes that I mentioned.

Mr. Verheul, the lead...”

Tom Kmiec (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...Through free trade, we will find opportunities to obtain the goods we want, including medicine and pharmaceuticals. It is an opportunity.

We should not only see the barriers. That is all I hear...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...foreign companies to challenge our domestic environmental laws, and IP rules that favour name brand pharmaceutical companies that would drive up the cost of medication for Canadians.

These are t...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ng sectors in this agreement, which is rare.

In CETA, Canada made some big concessions around pharmaceutical, intellectual property rights, and around dairy and our maritime industry. These conc...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ion.

On the member's question with respect to CETA, when we talk about increasing the cost of pharmaceutical drugs for every Canadian, it is a serious matter. I am sure people in all of our ridings come into our offices every day, telling us they cannot afford medication. Whether they have a plan through their workplace or not, or they are supported in some way by the province, to increase the patent, to extend that two years, that did not happen in the Ukraine deal. The Ukraine deal does not address that. Therefore, 25% of the implementing legislation around CETA is with respect to changes to the intellectual property pharmaceuticals, which is of grave concern, and should be for every member in the House.

It is...”

Francis Scarpaleggia (Liberal)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...agriculture and aquaculture in obvious industries that would use water, but also to industries like pharmaceuticals and computers. Just ask someone from the computer industry how much water it takes t...”

Erin Weir (NDP)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ely to make it easier for temporary foreign workers to come into our country. It is going to extend pharmaceutical patents, driving up the cost of prescription drugs for our provincial health care systems as well as for individual Canadians. It will expose our democratic laws, regulations, and public policies to more challenges under the investor-state provisions.

I do not want to repeat all of those points. What I would like to do in today's speech is look at CETA from a different perspective. I want to look at it from the perspective of its implications for future Canadian negotiations. In particular, I want to look at our likely negotiations with a post-Brexit United Kingdom. I want to look at our potential renegotiation of NAFTA with the United States. Finally, I want to look at the negotiations we have, within our country, with corporate Canada.

In terms of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, a big question is what that means for CETA. It is a question the NDP has been asking throughout this debate, because of course, the United Kingdom is the one major economy in the EU with which Canada currently enjoys a trade surplus.

I was interested to note on Friday that a Conservative colleague, the member for Sarnia—Lambton, actually asked that question during question period and did not get much of a response from the government. What the parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade said was:

If CETA is passed by the EU, we will have a deal with the U.K. until things unfold in that country. Canada, of course, has an interest in maintaining access to the significant U.K. marketplace, and we believe very strongly that CETA provides an excellent baseline for future negotiations.

Here we have the government actually acknowledging that CETA is not a done deal, that it is unclear whether or how it might apply to the United Kingdom, and that in all likelihood, Canada would have to enter into new negotiations with the U.K. after the Brexit process plays out. Why, then, would we want to establish that baseline now? Will this be a baseline from which we make further concessions in negotiations with the United Kingdom?

It seems to me that after Brexit, the United Kingdom will actually be under pressure to formulate new trade agreements. It will no longer be part of free trade deals through the EU, and the British will be the ones who really need to make concessions to get trade deals. Why would Canada set the baseline now? Would it not be more prudent to see what happens with Brexit and then negotiate with Britain from a position of strength? Agreeing to CETA before Brexit has played out actually puts Canada in a much weaker position for prospective negotiations with the United Kingdom.

The second thing I want to consider is negotiations with the United States about the North American Free Trade Agreement. It is really important to recognize that under NAFTA currently, there is a concept of most favoured nation treatment, so when we make concessions to Europe through CETA, we are automatically making those same concessions to the United States. Indeed, in Bill C-30, we find that it does exactly that. It provides concessions not just to the EU but to all trade agreement investors. For example, when CETA extends patent protections, it does not just do it for European pharmaceutical companies; it does it for American pharmaceutical companies as well. Of course, we do not get anything in exchange from the United Stat...”

Nathan Cullen (NDP)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...cted, yet there were very specific issues raised both by the dairy industry, with research, and the pharmaceutical industry, with research, to show that this is what the CETA with Europe will imply. Take away the fact that the deal was constructed with the United Kingdom as part of it, and it has withdrawn, and the government has not altered course a moment. Two pretty important industries to Canadians, those of the milk supply, the dairy manufacturers, as well as the generic pharmaceutical industry, have come forward to government, testified at committee, and said that thes...”

Nathan Cullen (NDP)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... need to see in the trade deals, and that is protection of Canadian interests. We see in this, from pharmaceuticals to milk marketing and all of the rest, a further degrading of the ability of Canadia...”

Charlie Angus (NDP)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ld not.

The investor-state provisions maintain those on the fact that we are giving up on the pharmaceuticals. That is supposed to help us so we can sell mukluks. It will cost us. Up to $2.8 billion a year will be downloaded to individual consumers on the cost of pharmaceuticals. That is all-important because it is for the ideology of trade.

The attack on the dairy sector is a crucial issue because we are talking about family farms. We are talking about regional farming economies that have a proven pattern of success that are giving up market share. (1700)

At least the Harper government was willing to compensate for the impacts because it knew those impacts would be great. However, what we get from the present government instead of actual money on the table is the Bobby McFerrin school of economics, which says, “Don't worry. Be happy. We have a prime minister who will do push-ups for you in Brooklyn and your farm sector will somehow compete.” We know that is not true.

The Liberals are more than willing to sacrifice individual jobs. We see zero words from the Prime Minister over the Chinese steel dumping that shut down Sault Ste. Marie and is crushing Hamilton.

Why are they not speaking up? Because, in the interest of trade with China, it is okay that it destroys our steel sector.

The Prime Minister, after holding his private billion-dollar fundraisers with Chinese billionaires, decided to open up for review a project about allowing the Chinese government to buy a Canadian tech company that even the Harper government opposed. Why would we sell out our tech sector? It is for the greater vision of trade. It will benefit us all.

We see that as soon as Donald Trump came into power, he started talking about opening up NAFTA. He had not even noticed Canada existed. The Prime Minister said, “Brilliant. We'll come to the negotiating table and reopen the negotiations with you.”

If we are going to negotiate a deal, we do not hold up our ace cards and show where they are in our hand; but, no, they have already started to talk about bringing in Brian Mulroney to give the Prime Minister advice. God help us. What does Brian Mulroney say? Brian Mulroney says, “Hey, we've got to get rid of supply management.”

If we are not going to send a message that this is going to be on the table, who are they representing? They are not representing us.

We are going to have the Prime Minister bring Brian Mulroney in, and he is already posting bubbles about what we are going to give up.

When it comes to international trade, the Prime Minister is like a rube at a country fair. He thinks he knows where those dollars are going to land in the little shells, but he is setting us up for failure.

We have seen him say nothing about softwood. We have lost so many forestry jobs because of softwood. We have seen him say nothing about the fact that if the United States is going to stand up for its interests, we have to stand up for ours. Yet the Prime Minister has already opened the door to putting these on the table.

Why is that? It is because his notion of economics that he studied at school is that as long as we keep allowing trade to move back and forth, we will all benefit. However, we are seeing now where 60% in urban areas are in short-term contracts.

Where is this middle class the Liberals keep talking about? We hear them all the time, and it is very insidious language they use. They talk about the middle class and those wanting to join it as though they are offering a long-term vision of development when they are not, because they continually favour those at the top of the food chain.

What do I mean by that? Look at their tax break for the middle class and working people. If people make $23 an hour or less, they get zero; but if they make 50 or 100 bucks an hour, they get full bang. I guess the Prime Minister grew up in a different middle class than I did. Most of the middle-class people I know, who are just trying to get into the middle class and 23 bucks an hour, could use a break, rather than the ministers of cabinet and bankers.

This is the false ideology of their economics. Yet they have the nerve and the gall to say they are doing it to sell blueberries, that they are here for the mukluks, that they are there for the little Joe on the street, with his mom-and-pop corner operation, that is why we are signing these international agreements, and that is false.

If we are going to talk trade, then let us talk about trade that is in Canada's interest, about ensuring that our pharmaceutical costs are not going to go through the roof to sell that out, about investor-state pro...”

Cheryl Hardcastle (NDP)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...We also called for an economic impact analysis of CETA and an analysis of the impact of CETA on pharmaceutical drug costs. Sadly, in what has become a recurring pattern with the government, there was little to no debate on our amendments and, as I noted, they were all rejected. It appears that the government's election platform commitments to fair, open, and transparent government have gone the way of electoral reform.

As the government prepares to renegotiate sections of NAFTA with the new administration in the U.S., it is important that it does not rush into another deal before we have been able to study the changes that will soon occur to our agreement with our American cousins, as it is arguably one of the more important trade agreements to which Canada has been a party.

More important, I and all New Democrats continue to be seriously concerned about the ways in which these agreements hamstring the ability of future governments to establish important social programs. The hamstringing to which I refer is what American pundit, Thomas Friedman, once termed, a couple of decades back, as the “golden straitjacket”. It is very entertaining to me that a previous speaker, an hon. colleague from another party, mentioned the gold-plated agreement. I want to talk about the golden straitjacket with some irony here.

The golden straitjacket is supposed to work like this. As our country puts on the Golden Straitjacket, two things are supposed happen: our economy grows and our politics shrink. It is a straitjacket because it narrows considerably the parameters of the government's future political and economic policy options. It is golden, presumably, due to the economic benefits which would then follow.

However, flash forward a couple of decades and we see clearly that these supposed benefits were a little more than oversold. In fact, to say that the benefits of NAFTA were unevenly distributed is to engage in cruel understatement. Some sectors of the economy benefited, and others were devastated.

Members could ask anyone in my riding of Windsor—Tecumseh, the people of Hamilton or Oshawa, Ontario. We have absolutely no evidence that the economic gains of CETA will be distributed any more equitably than were those of NAFTA. In fact, CETA is likely to make it all the more difficult for future governments to address the very inequalities that we can feel certain will result from this agreement.

CETA will increase the pressures to privatize most government services. That is because the multinational corporate and financial interests, in whose interests this agreement was negotiated, view most government services not as fundamental provisions without which our lives and economy would suffer, but as potential revenue streams, as potential markets in which to make lots of money. (1730)

CETA can be rightly construed as part of what was an aggressive wave of trade deals designed to undermine the rights of Canadian governments to legislate public health policy if it threatened investor profit. Under these conditions, the likelihood of a national pharmacare plan becomes substantially more difficult, if not impossible. Such a plan could be viewed as a direct infringement on corporate rights and counterintuitive to the purpose of health care policies that put people first.

In keeping with putting people first and to maximize our resources in our universal health care system, a national pharmacare program has long been the priority of the NDP. Just about everyone who has ever seriously looked at this issue will know that there is broad agreement among researchers that a universal public drug program, with an evidence-based list of reimbursed drugs, a clear and transparent budget, and a strong ability to negotiate fair drug prices, would improve the health of Canadians. It would significantly lower the social cost of drugs and could be achieved with relatively small initial outlays by governments.

It is an idea that is a long time coming. A prescription drug coverage program was recommended as the next step way back in 1964 by the Royal Commission on Health Services. Canada has the fastest-rising drug costs per capita among OECD countries and is the only country in the world with a public medicare system that does not have a pharmacare program.

It is estimated that changes to patent protection for pharmaceutical drugs as a result of trade agreements could cost our public health care system anywhere between $850 million to $1.65 billion every year, according to the Council of Canadians. At approximately $900 a person, Canadian drug costs are already the second highest in the OECD, second only to the United States. Countries like Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, and Sweden have all had some form of universal public drug coverage that results in lower costs, as well as lower drug cost growth rates. Consumption of drugs in these countries is equal or greater than in Canada, but expenditure is much lower.

Countries with pharmacare programs are able to suppress the inflation of drug prices, which directly result in people paying less for their medications. A true universal pharmacare program shows feasibility, sustainability, and effectiveness. Universal pharmacare programs in other countries currently are more advantageous in terms of costs than both private or public drug insurance plans in Canada.

Our current fragmented system means higher drug costs for everyone and huge profits for big pharma. Canada has a total of 19 publicly funded drug plans, 10 provincial, three territorial, and six federal. Eligibility, coverage, and benefit payment schemes vary in each of these programs. Again, the Council of Canadians makes the excellent point that one's postal code or socio-economic status should not dictate if one receives necessary medication, but in some provinces only people on social assistance, seniors, or those suffering from certain diseases are covered, while in other provinces people are covered based on an income assessment.

It is long past time for federal leadership on this issue. The proponents of a national pharmacare plan have won every argument. By every rational criteria, it is the smart thing to do.

Therefore, why does Canada not have a national pharmacare plan? I suspect that on this issue, like so many others, the Liberals will not venture such a thing without total buy-in from industry. Let us be as clear as we can on this. The pharmaceutical industry will never support a national pharmacare plan.

In fact, the industry is moving in the other direction. The pharmaceutical industry lobbied heavily for changes to intellectual property rules for pharmaceuticals under CETA and, as we can guess, got them. These changes are expected to increase dr...”

Elizabeth May (Green Party)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ny in Canada and in the European Union.

One is that this trade agreement will absolutely make pharmaceutical drugs cost more in Canada. There is no question about this. By giving greater patent protection, it will postpone the moment when drugs go to generic form, when they become much more affordable. The estimates are that it will increase the cost of pharmaceutical drugs anywhere between $800 million and $1.6 billion.

Let me give the reasons why. This is what the comprehensive economic and trade agreement commits to and that Bill C-30 would implement. It would commit Canada to creating a new system of patent term restoration that would delay the entry of generic medicines by up to two years. It would lock in Canada's current terms of data protection, making it difficult or impossible for future governments to reverse them, and it would implement a new right of appeal under the patent linkage system that would create further delays for the entry of generics.

If this trade agreement is in the interest of big pharma, the pharmaceutical industry, which I would have to mention is an economic sector that does not need a handout, can we accept that the prescription drug business, the pharmaceutical industry globally, does very well for itself and does not necessarily do well for those who need life-saving drugs?

This relates to the debates we have had in this place about the need for pharmacare and a national pharmacare program. It is even in the mandate letter to our Minister of Health to pursue bulk purchasing of prescription drugs to try to bring down the price to the level we could get if we had a national pharmacare plan, when all prescription medication could be purchased centrally to try to drive down the cost.

The reality is that the single largest growing cost within our health care system is the cost of prescription drugs. I want to reference the hard work of my hon. colleague from Oakville, Terrence Young, who lost his seat in the last election. His daughter died from taking a drug, as prescribed by her physician. Her name was Vanessa, and in the last Parliament, we passed Vanessa's Law.

It is very clear that the drug industry charges more than what it costs to produce a drug, because it can. This is the last sector on Earth we should be wanting to give yet more advantages to to make the price of drugs go higher.

At the same time, litigation relating to pharmaceuticals, the notice of compliance proceedings dealing with full patent infringement, has been termed by Canadian Lawyer magazine as streamlining litigation, again, to the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry. It has a very effective lobby. Hats off to the pharmaceutical industry in Europe and in Canada for getting its own way under this agreement, but th...”

Ziad Aboultaif (Conservative)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member spoke about the impact on the pharmaceutical industry, the cost of drugs, or the investor-state provision. This is on the negative...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ding significant reforms to Canadian intellectual property rules related to generic and non-generic pharmaceutical drugs.

Deals like CETA are part of a new generation of trade deals, such as the trans-Pacific partnership, which include many controversial aspects that have more to do with investors' interests than the public's interest.

There is growing concern around the world, where people are questioning if these massive trade and investment deals are in the public's best interests. The Minister of Foreign Affairs claims that swift passage of CETA is necessary to send a message that Canada still supports these deals in the face of mounting public opposition to trade agreements. However, passing this legislation with little study of its impacts on the lives of everyday Canadians is the opposite of how we as legislators should be proceeding.

Much has changed in the world since CETA was signed. We are having many conversations about the trade agenda of the newly elected U.S. president and what it means to have fair trade or free trade.

I would like to read a quote from Angella MacEwen, senior economist at the Canadian Labour Congress, who testified before our trade committee:

There are market failures, distributional impacts, and very real concerns that workers have, because trade deals can increase inequality if you don't take proper action to make sure they don't. The answer isn't in rushing more trade deals through. The answer is in taking a minute to examine those very real concerns that people have and those very real negative impacts to see how you can mitigate them.

I agree that the proper response is not rushing more trade deals through. This is why I pushed at committee for more meetings, more study, and more input from Canadians on CETA.

I proposed various amendments at committee and I was pleased to see the Liberals agreed there need to be some changes to the bill's intellectual property rights. We agreed on several amendments to these provisions in the bill.

I also proposed amendments to limit CETA's controversial investment chapter. There is no reason Bill C-30 should have contained these provisions. European states, namely Belgium, have made it clear that investor-state provisions must be removed before it is willing to ratify CETA, yet the Liberals are asking parliamentarians to sign off on CETA as it stands, including these investor-state provisions. If these provisions will not be provisionally applied and will be rejected for ratification in Europe, why would Parliament sign off on them?

In the event that an investor court system is established as Bill C-30 proposes to do, there is an issue with how tribunal panellists will be selected. As pointed out by Gus Van Harten, these panellists will hold incredible power yet their appointments will be unilaterally selected solely by the Minister of International Trade. I proposed an amendment at committee that this process be opened up and I was disappointed to see that government MPs had no interest in debating my proposal.

I also proposed an amendment to remove the increased threshold for mandatory foreign takeover reviews. CETA includes a clause that would raise this threshold from $600 million to $1.5 billion, meaning foreign takeovers of Canadian companies under $1.5 billion would not be subject to review of whether such a takeover would be in our national interest. (1020)

I would also like to discuss the issue of how CETA impacts maritime jobs. CETA will, for the first time, legally allow foreign-owned vessels and foreign crews to transport goods between Canadian ports and will open up domestic dredging contracts to foreign suppliers. This will lead to the estimated loss of 3,000 Canadian seafarers' jobs. These are high quality, well-paying jobs. This industry as a whole supports 250,000 direct and indirect jobs.

I received a phone call in my office over the holiday period from a woman who was distraught over the impact on maritime workers. She was also distraught that her Liberal MP would not respond to her request to understand the situation he was putting their community in. These communities rely on these good-paying jobs, and this has simply been ignored.

I was shocked that the Liberals did not even say a word at committee during the debate around this motion. There was not one word. That is incredibly disappointing for parliamentarians who are committed not only to represent the people in their own riding but across the country, when they sit on such an important committee as the international trade committee.

We also know that CETA will allow foreign boats to bring in foreign workers, with no requirement for a labour market impact assessment. These workers can be paid as little as $2 an hour, and suffer from low safety standards and poor working conditions. Over the holiday period, there was a ship on the west coast that came in with workers who had not been paid and workers who had been on the ship a year beyond their contract and could not be released to go back home. These workers are being mistreated, and only when they reach Canadian ports and someone discovers this is happening are Canadians able to intervene on their behalf. This is an issue of human rights in our own waters.

I would also like to point out that by permitting more foreign flag vessels CETA encourages tax avoidance, since foreign ships registered in flags of convenience countries, such as Malta or Cypress, take advantage of tax havens and the cheapest labour available.

Today, at report stage, on behalf of the New Democratic Party of Canada, I am proposing amendments to delete clauses of Bill C-30 that would implement parts of CETA's investment chapter, implement changes to the pharmaceutical intellectual property rights, implement a host of new geographical indicators, raise the threshold for foreign reviews, and change the rules for coasting trade.

I want to go back to the geographical indicators for a moment, because the European Union was quite clear. It requested over 170 carve-outs for geographical indicators. Some in the House may be asking what these exactly are. These are things like cheese designation for Asiago cheese, or feta cheese. It is things like champagne or Darjeeling tea. These are things that Canadian producers will no longer be able to label with those names because they will own those geographical indicators in Europe. If Canadian suppliers or producers attempt to put the name on them, they will be in violation of CETA.

The interesting part about this is Canada received zero geographical indicators. Think about Nanaimo bars, Saskatoon berries, maple syrup, or Montreal smoked meat. None of these things are protected. That means European companies can continue to label their products in this way. This is a huge loss to all of these growth industries.

I look forward to further debating these amendments today, and I ask fellow parliamentarians to take a serious look at these proposed changes before the House moves on to the third reading of Bill C-30. There are many unanswered questions and outstanding concerns regarding CETA. As parliamentarians, we cannot simply turn a blind eye to the very real concerns that exist in this trade deal.

It is disheartening to me that the Liberals refuse to address the increase in the cost of pharmaceutical drugs that will impact every person in their riding, I believe it is a disservice to ...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...cost of drugs. Everyone who sits in this House, everyone, will be impacted by the increased cost of pharmaceuticals that we are signing on to in CETA. Twenty-five per cent of this legislation has changes to the Patent Act for pharmaceutical drugs.

Then we move to the member's end of the country, on the west coast. I be...”

Pam Goldsmith-Jones (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rhaps somewhat alarming to suggest that drug costs will go up. Europe has lower costs right now for pharmaceuticals than Canada. As we have heard the Minister of Health say many times, she is working diligently on improving the cost of pharmaceuticals to Canadians.”

Robert Kitchen (Conservative)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...at the Liberal government will honour the commitments it has made.

As we look at the issue of pharmaceuticals, we recognize the patent agreement will stay the same when it comes to Canada and ho...”

Karen Ludwig (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...n CETA that the phase-in would take place over the course of 10 years.

Looking at the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, if there is no clear measurement on that, then we as Canadians should always b...”

Gord Johns (NDP)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...cing challenges in access to health care.

With the changes to intellectual property rules for pharmaceuticals under CETA, drug costs are expected to increase by over $850 million annually. The C...”

Dan Albas (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... pocketbooks. After that, let us expedite the health minister's idea to focus on the bulk buying of pharmaceuticals. Actually, that was originally an idea of the former health minister, who is now the...”

Don Davies (NDP)

January 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...aloxone available in a non-prescription status. They reversed the federal prohibition on the use of pharmaceutical heroin for treatment. They scheduled fentanyl precursors. They reinstated harm reduct...”

Randy Boissonnault (Liberal)

January 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... encapsulator devices.

Pill presses and encapsulators can be used legitimately to manufacture pharmaceuticals, food and consumer products as well. However, they may also be used to make illegal counterfeit drugs that look like legitimate pharmaceuticals. These counterfeit pills can contain dangerous substances such as fentanyl and W-18....”

Dan Ruimy (Liberal)

January 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... penalty and may not always be appropriate or in the public interest. For example, revocation of a pharmaceutical company's licence could result in a shortage of critical drugs used in medical care.<...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

January 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... that budget to help Canadians invest in their future, to lower the costs of the everyday goods and pharmaceuticals they need. We are focused on how we can help Canadians succeed and thrive in the com...”

John Oliver (Liberal)

January 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ughts are with her today. We must always ensure that their needs are addressed and that appropriate pharmaceutical care remains available to them.

I want the residents of my riding of Oakville t...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

December 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...25% of the bill impacting patent extension rights. That means that every Canadian will pay more for pharmaceuticals. We certainly see seafarers losing a great number of jobs, 3,000 jobs upon the signi...”

Jim Eglinski (Conservative)

December 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ve been growing every year since this agreement was first looked at.

Canadian exports include pharmaceuticals, fish and seafood, and coking coal. It is important to know that we both export and ...”

Brigitte Sansoucy (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...head. We need to think of the people, the jobs, and the local economies in our regions. The cost of pharmaceuticals will go up. The Liberals' promised compensation has evaporated. Some 23,000 jobs wil...”

Pierre-Luc Dusseault (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ublic study on the additional drug costs brought by changes to the intellectual property regime for pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, once elected, they appear to have forgotten about this part, even th...”

Irene Mathyssen (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...atigable in how she cares for her constituents.

I must say that her concern about the cost of pharmaceuticals is well-placed. The veterans in our community, the people who have given their health and a great part of their lives and their families' lives to the service of this country, will indeed also be adversely affected if they have to pay the horrendous costs of pharmaceuticals as prices increase because of the protectionism inherent in CETA. This applies to seniors as well.

It is interesting that it was also said that NAFTA would reduce pharmaceutical costs and promote investment by pharmaceutical companies and research and development in new pharmaceuticals in Canada. It did nothing of the sort. In fact, investment in Canadian research declined significantly. Pharmaceutical companies are protected and do not have to do the work, but can simply recycle the sa...”

Gord Johns (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ys in which this deal is flawed, including the investor-state provisions, cabotage, and the cost of pharmaceutical drugs. When it comes to the investor-state provisions, the Liberals are asking parliamentarians to sign off on CETA despite the fact that European states, such as Wallonia, have made it clear that the investor-state provisions will have to be removed before they will be willing to ratify this agreement.

Let us talk about the investor-state provisions, because that is what a lot of folks back in Courtenay—Alberni, my riding, are concerned about when discussing CETA. In February 2016, the trade minister announced changes to the investor-state dispute settlement provisions that were supposed to improve transparency and strengthen measures to combat conflicts of interest. Yet, the investor court system will still allow foreign investors to seek compensation from any level of government over policy decisions they feel impact their profits. That gives up local decision-making and sovereignty over our decision-making. That means that foreign companies will have access to a special court system to challenge Canadian laws without going through domestic courts.

The government has not explained how this would ensure that environmental and health and safety regulations would be protected from foreign challenges. The question is, why not? It is now clear that this deal will not pass Europe without significant changes to the investor-state provisions.

Another huge concern, especially in my riding of Courtenay—Alberni, is the maritime section of CETA. That part is very troubling to my constituents and residents of Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia. The maritime section of CETA is of deep concern. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union just released a statement about this portion of the trade deal. They said:

The maritime section of CETA will destroy the Canadian maritime industry as it exists today by ending what is known as cabotage.

Many members are probably wondering what cabotage is. It is a measure under Coast Trading Act that protects our coastal trade by requiring any vessel trading within Canada to be Canadian owned, operated, and crewed. This is very important. It is important that we protect our jobs, environment, and economic health. If CETA goes forward, it will destroy the protection of cabotage. It will allow foreign-owned vessels to work the coastal waterways they are currently banned from. It will allow cheap labour from foreign countries to run their ships here, putting our Canadian seafarers out of work.

When I think about the people working in our coastal communities, they are our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, who have good, safe family-supporting jobs in an industry that is vital to our economy.

These foreign-owned ships also will not pay taxes here in Canada. This is unfair. It is an unfair labour advantage. It is unfair advantage.

For decades, the U.S. and Canada have fought off aggressive attempts to remove our coastal protections, but with one swipe of the pen CETA will remove that protection. CETA will lead to the immediate loss of approximately 3,000 Canadian seafarers' jobs. These are high-quality, well-paid jobs. (1300)

I want to talk about how CETA will affect economic development opportunities in my riding specifically.

A plan is being worked on in Port Alberni in the Alberni Valley. This plan will be a great opportunity to invest in short sea shipping. This is being done with the Huu-ay-ah first nation.

Port Alberni is a deep sea port. It is the perfect place for the proposed Port Alberni transshipment hub, also known as PATH. It is an initiative to develop a container transshipment, short sea shipping terminal to move goods from the Alberni Valley to the Lower Mainland. CETA will impact PATH because it will undercut the Canadian labourers working on the docks and the ships. We have been working hard to develop a secure, healthy marine economy to help alleviate some of the congestion in the Lower Mainland, working with the Port of Vancouver and helping to support the Pacific gateway.

One-third of the children living in the Alberni Valley live in poverty. The valley has one of the highest unemployment rates in southwestern British Columbia. We are looking at this opportunity as a way to help drive us out of this difficult challenge that we are facing, to get us back on track, as we transition from a forest economy to one built on our marine economy. This deal will threaten the huge amount of work we have done in pulling all of the stakeholders together.

This trade deal is unacceptable to Canadians, but especially to my constituents who rely on the water for their livelihood. This deal would be incredibly damaging. Rather than building our economy, it would deepen the poverty and increase unemployment in places like the Alberni Valley.

The other major concern with this agreement is pharmaceuticals. Many constituents have sent me messages, telling me they are concerned about how CETA will impact the cost of drugs for Canadians. Changes to intellectual property rules for pharmaceuticals under CETA are expected to increase drug costs by more than $850 million annually. T...”

Randall Garrison (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ironment, protect state enterprises, protect our public health care, and protect the lower price of pharmaceuticals and not end up being sued under these investor-state provisions? Prescription drug c...”

Randall Garrison (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...lected in this trade agreement. Where is the part of this trade agreement that deals with access to pharmaceuticals? Where is the part of this trade agreement that would protect child care programs? W...”

Elizabeth May (Green Party)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...about.

First, as many members in this place have already raised, it will increase the cost of pharmaceutical drugs. It is very clear that this will happen. Numerous independent studies have look...”

Elizabeth May (Green Party)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...de aspects, and I am glad my friend from London—Fanshawe mentioned the dairy threat. I mentioned pharmaceuticals. There are the procurement provisions, but even they are not primarily about trade.<...”

Daniel Blaikie (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“..., we know, because it has been confirmed by a number of independent studies, will raise the cost of pharmaceutical drugs in a country that already has among the highest such costs. We need to go from where we are right now with respect to the costs of drugs and to find ways to bring those down, and we know that CETA would move us in the wrong direction. What gain would we be making that would offset that loss, unless the public policy goal, perversely, of the government is to fatten the wallets of international pharma? (1620)

I do not think that is a defensible public policy goal. However, if that is the goal of the government, let it say so; and if it is not, let it tell us what we are getting out of this deal that counteracts that effect on Canadians. If everyday Canadians are made to pay more for their pharmaceutical drugs, that is a tangible cost, and what tangible benefit can they expect to see in r...”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...sues now is the reality we are facing with CETA, which would change intellectual property rules for pharmaceuticals. Under this agreement, consumers, including seniors on fixed incomes, can expect the...”

Erin Weir (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ee trade. As other New Democrats have mentioned in this debate, CETA would increase the duration of pharmaceutical patents. That is the opposite of trade liberalization. It is a restriction that would make it harder for generic drug manufacturers and harder to have competition in pharmaceuticals and it would boost the price of those medications for consumers.

Another aspect of CETA that is very controversial and has very little to do with trade is the investor-state dispute provisions. These provisions have been watered down somewhat to try to make CETA more palatable to Wallonia and other areas of Europe that were concerned, but nevertheless there still are investor-state provisions, and CETA for the first time extends these to the municipal level of government. (1735)

The question I would ask is, why do we need these provisions at all in CETA? The origin of investor-state provisions was in NAFTA where Canadian and American investors may have had doubts about the Mexican judicial system. However, clearly Canada has a well-functioning court system. Clearly, Europe has a trustworthy judicial system. Why is it even necessary to set up a special tribunal process that is only accessible to foreign investors? Why can Canadians not use the European court system, and why can European investors not use the Canadian court system? We really have not heard an answer to this question from the government side.

It is worth reviewing some of the outrageous cases that have been brought against Canada under the investor-state provisions of NAFTA. If we go back to the 1990s, there was the Ethyl case, in which Canada tried to ban a gasoline additive, MMT, that was already banned in the United States. However, the American producer of it sued Canada under NAFTA, and the Canadian government not only lifted the ban, but also paid $13 million U.S. in compensation.

More recently, we had the AbitibiBowater case, where AbitibiBowater, a Canadian pulp and paper company, shut down its last remaining mill in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The provincial government reclaimed water rights that it had given to AbitibiBowater to operate those mills. The company, which had registered itself in the United States, was able to present itself as an American investor and sued Canada under NAFTA for the loss of these water rights that it was no longer even using. What happened? The Canadian government paid AbitibiBowater $130 million in compensation.

To talk about an even more recent case, Lone Pine Resources is an Alberta-based oil and gas company that registered itself in Delaware and then used NAFTA to sue Canada because of Quebec's ban on fracking. Lone Pine Resources is claiming $250 million in compensation.

What we see in all of these cases is that companies are abusing the investor-state provisions of NAFTA to directly challenge democratic laws, regulations, and public policies that arguably interfere with their potential future profits. Given the bad experience we have had with the investor-state provisions of NAFTA, it is totally unclear why Canada is pushing to include these provisions in CETA. Again, it is not just a matter of re-including in CETA what is already in NAFTA. CETA actually goes farther, in the sense that it imposes this regime on municipalities, something that NAFTA and previous trade deals did not do. There is a real objection to the investor-state provisions in CETA, notwithstanding the government's efforts to water them down somewhat.

In conclusion, there is no case for CETA as a trade deal, if we look at the actual trade flows between Canada and what is left of the European Union after Brexit. Furthermore, there are many negative non-trade aspects of CETA, such as more temporary foreign workers, longer pharmaceutical patents, and more of these outrageous investor-state disputes. For all of these reaso...”

Richard Cannings (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...erned about what CETA would do for drug costs in Canada. Changes to intellectual property rules for pharmaceuticals under CETA would be expected to increase drug costs by more than $850 million annual...”

Irene Mathyssen (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...be compensation and now is now questionable whether it would be adequate. There is also the cost of pharmaceuticals. Will we be able to afford drugs in our country? The joint interpretive instrument, ...”

Alexandre Boulerice (NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...hey are in a rush to be done with this.

I would also like to thank her for her question about pharmaceuticals. In an early 2011 study commissioned by the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, two eminent Canadian economists, experts in the health field, estimated that, if the provisions go through, they will delay generic drug entry in Canada by three and a half years on average. For those buying the drugs, that delay is likely to cost $2.8 billion per year, according to Jim Keon, president of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association. That should worry everyone from ordinary citizens to the provinces, whic...”

Kennedy Stewart (NDP)

December 9th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...tor being cut by the Liberals, so my question concerns health care costs, in particular the cost of pharmaceuticals.

We know that CETA will increase the cost of pharmaceutical drugs in Canada. I wonder if my colleague would elaborate on what that would mean for his constituents if, for example, seniors and people with long-term needs are forced to pay higher health care costs because of pharmaceuticals and do not have private insurance to cover that or do not get it through their employers. What will it mean for people in his riding who have to pay higher pharmaceutical drug costs?”

Erin Weir (NDP)

December 9th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...elaborate on the negative effects that the comprehensive economic and trade agreement could have on pharmaceuticals and the cost of prescription drugs in Canada?”

Erin Weir (NDP)

December 9th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...n fact, one of the negative consequences of this deal would be to extend the duration of patents on pharmaceuticals. Now this is the opposite of free trade. Extending patents is actually more restrictive of trade and it would have the consequence of driving up the price of pharmaceuticals for provincial health insurance plans as well as for individual Canadians.

Perhaps the most controversial element of CETA is the investor-state provision. In order to try to get the deal through, the government did water down these provisions somewhat, but the question we need to ask is why there is any need for investor-state provisions in CETA. Do Canadian investors not have confidence in the European court system? Do European investors not have confidence in the Canadian judicial process? (1305)

Of course, investor-state provisions have their origin in the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canadian and American investors had doubts about the Mexican judicial system. Those doubts may have been well founded, but what is important to note is that since NAFTA came into effect, its investor-state provisions have not been used principally against Mexico. They have been used principally against Canada, against our country.

I think it is worth reviewing some of the NAFTA chapter 11 cases that have been brought against Canada. If we go back to the 1990s, there was the famous Ethyl case, in which an American corporation sued Canada for trying to ban a gasoline additive, MMT, that was already banned in the United States. Ultimately, the Government of Canada gave in on this. It had to pull the regulation and also pay the company $13 million U.S.

There was the more recent case of AbitibiBowater, which had received rights to water in Newfoundland and Labrador to operate pulp and paper mills. When the company closed the last of those mills, the provincial government tried to retake those water rights. AbitibiBowater sued Newfoundland under NAFTA. How could it do that? AbitibiBowater is a Canadian company. It simply registered itself in the United States so that it was then able to avail itself of NAFTA's chapter 11 to sue our Canadian government.

In the end, the federal government paid AbitibiBowater $130 million to resolve the case, essentially to compensate it for the loss of water rights that it was not even using.

The most recent case I will mention is Lone Pine Resources. This is an Alberta oil and gas company that registered itself in Delaware and is suing Canada under NAFTA over the Province of Quebec's ban on fracking. It is claiming $250 million in compensation.

We see that in all of these cases, and there are many other examples, what is happening is that a foreign company is using the investor-state provisions to challenge a democratic law, regulation, or public policy that might arguably impinge on some opportunity to generate future profits.

However, the full extent of the damage cannot really be captured by specific cases, because for every case where there is actually a dispute under NAFTA, there are many other cases where the government has decided not to go ahead with a new regulation or not to strengthen a public safety standard for fear of one of these investor-state challenges, so these investor-state provisions also have a chilling effect on public policy in our country.

We have had all these problems with investor states in NAFTA. We do not have any problems or any real objections to the European judicial system, so why would we try to put investor-state provisions in the Canada-European Union trade agreement? It just does not make sense.

It remains possible that the European Union will not be able to fully ratify the deal for this reason. However, I think the point we should be considering is why Canada would want to impose more of these investor-state provisions on ourselves.

To wrap up, there is absolutely no case for CETA as a trade deal. If we look at it in terms of trade flows, it really would not be advantageous to Canada. Furthermore, the agreement has a number of other negative provisions, such as temporary foreign workers, such as extended pharmaceutical patents, such as investor-state disputes that have nothing to do with trade. That is ...”

Gord Johns (NDP)

December 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...sts of prescription drugs for Canadians.

In fact, Jim Keon, president of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association said:

A study prepared for the CGPA by two leading Canadian health economists in early 2011 estimated that, if adopted, the proposals would delay the introduction of new generic medicines in Canada by an average of three and a half years. The cost to pharmaceutical payers of this delay was estimated at $2.8 billion annually, based on generic prices ...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

December 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...o would be very concerned about the changes that would take place with CETA in terms of the cost of pharmaceutical drugs. Every single Canadian would be impacted by these changes. Twenty-five per cent of the implementing legislation consists of changes to pharmaceutical drugs. We already have the highest pharmaceutical costs of all OECD countries and there is no compensation to be had for the provinces, as the previous government spoke about.

The economic impact would be $850 million annually in terms of additional spending by Canadians on pharmaceutical drugs. I am sure that in the member's riding, like in my own riding of Essex, there a...”

Ben Lobb (Conservative)

December 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...federal government and all of the provinces combined have an opportunity to really get tough on the pharmaceutical companies. They play us for fools, as far as I am concerned, and I really hope the he...”

Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal)

December 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...supporting this agreement. Could the member provide any clear explanation about why, outside of the pharmaceutical issue, the NDP members feel so passionately about voting against CETA?”

Guy Caron (NDP)

December 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s. Changes are going to be made to intellectual property rights that will have repercussions on the pharmaceutical industry. Various groups have studied the agreement and the repercussions it will hav...”

Don Davies (NDP)

December 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...sh processing requirements; and provinces have been promised compensation if and when the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in this country go up, as they inevitably will, by CETA. Who knows, maybe billi...”

Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal)

December 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ms associated with street drugs.

Fentanyl misuse first became prominent with the diversion of pharmaceutical forms of the drug, usually fentanyl patches. However, over the past year the RCMP has...”

Cathay Wagantall (Conservative)

December 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...he importance of it as a medical prescription. I regularly hear stories about how this is replacing pharmaceuticals for so many veterans, with far fewer side effects, and about improvements in dealing with their pain so they can get on with their lives. It is not costing us anywhere near what it costs to have them on pharmaceuticals.

Those are just some issues that come to mind when I think about commemorating...”

Gagan Sikand (Liberal)

December 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...s global skills strategy at one of the many great companies, Therapure Biopharma, a fast growing biopharmaceutical company.

To be implemented in 2017, the global skills strategy will establish a...”

Kamal Khera (Liberal)

December 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d access to prescription drugs. We joined provinces and territories as a member of the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, which negotiates lower drug prices on behalf of public drug plans. To date,...”

Randall Garrison (NDP)

December 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...o students from poor countries. Much more significant right now in a Canada where we have very high pharmaceutical prices and we talk about the impact of trade deals, Cuba produces quality pharmaceuticals and HIV/AIDS antiretrovirals and sells them to Africa at the lowest prices possible....”

Randall Garrison (NDP)

December 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“....

What I would say about free trade agreements, looking at the record of Cuba, which provides pharmaceuticals at cost to Africa, is that if we were to enter any kind of trade agreement with Cuba, I am sure that Cuba would demand that we do something about the high pharmaceutical prices in Canada and not sign other trade agreements that would only make pharmaceuticals more and more out of reach for many seniors in our society.”

Len Webber (Conservative)

December 1st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...se that is most prevalent in parts of the world that are not able to attract the attention of major pharmaceutical companies. It is still a disease that is very much not discussed, even within the com...”

David Lametti (Liberal)

December 1st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...on the economy and jobs in Canada; the potential financial impact of certain requirements regarding pharmaceuticals; and the scope and enforcement of the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, o...”

Irene Mathyssen (NDP)

November 24th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...e, thereby making medical production monopolies. The biologics portion of the agreement states that pharmaceutical products containing biological ingredients will have market protection for a period o...”


The Senate

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Message from Commons—Amendment from Commons Concurred In

“...opted by the Senate would have required supervised consumption sites to offer an alternative, legal pharmaceutical therapy to clients before they consume illegal drugs at the site.

The Government has chosen to alter this language, while retaining a portion of the amended version. Instead of saying that:

. . . a person who is responsible for the direct supervision, at a supervised consumption site, of the consumption of controlled substances shall offer a person using the site alternative pharmaceutical therapy . . .

The Government has changed the words "shall" to "may."

I want to thank Senator White for bringing forward this amendment, and for his tireless work on this issue, including his contributions to banning fentanyl precursors, and in collaboration with Senator Sinclair, his insightful amendments to Bill C-224, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, which is now law.

I want to make it clear that the Government of Canada fully supports access to legal treatment options for people who are living with addictions.

As Minister Philpott told this Chamber on March 1 during Question Period:

I would say that there would be nothing stopping people in those jurisdictions from making sure that these sites are not just supervised consumption sites, but that they are places where, when people are ready to be introduced to treatment, when they need to have their social issues addressed, when they need medication assisted therapy to help them stay alive and prevent them from going out into the streets to find ways, including criminal activities, to support their dependence on substances, they are given clean substances in a safe facility under the direction of health-care providers. This will save lives and it is how we've seen internationally that other jurisdictions have responded to a similar crisis.

So this amendment — as modified in the other place — is an important statement to other jurisdictions emphasizing that their authority to provide legal, pharmaceutical therapies at supervised consumption sites is being endorsed by this Parliament.

..”

Hon. Paul E. McIntyre

May 17th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Message from Commons—Amendment from Commons Concurred In

“...have enabled people using drugs such as fentanyl or carfentanil to be given the option of receiving pharmaceutical treatment instead of injecting poison into their bodies. By replacing the word "shall" with the word "may," the minister effectively closed the door to a more modern approach.

In addition, this modern approach was discussed at the Sommet francophone sur la réduction des méfaits liés aux drogues, which was held a few days ago in Montreal. Experts discussed the option consisting of prescribing drugs to help with the process of detoxification. In short, experts suggest prescribing transition drugs.

Under Senator White's amendment, a person with an addiction would have been offered a pharmaceutical replacement by a medical practitioner, not a drug dealer. That addicted person would ...”

Hon. Vernon White

May 4th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Third Reading

“...he primary purposes of the facility is to try and save the life of the individual who uses this non-pharmaceutical ingredient, and hopefully try and move them through their addiction process. That is the way the facility works, and I understand the importance of those facilities for saving lives.

So we're clear, an addict buys illegal, illicit substances. I try not to call them "drugs," as they are typically not a pharmacological substance but rather a basement-made poison developed by a crime group for the sole purpose of making money off addicts, which often puts that addict directly into danger beyond their addictions, as we are seeing across Canada with thousands dying in the last two years, as Senator Jaffer stated.

The amendment that passed would provide a clear change to the process by which supervised consumption sites operate today.

It states clearly that:

A person who is responsible for the direct supervision, at a supervised consumption site, of the consumption of controlled substances, shall offer a person using the site alternative pharmaceutical therapy before that person consumes a controlled substance that is obtained in a manner not authorized under this Act.

In essence, an individual will be offered a replacement for the illegal, illicit poison they may be in possession of. Under this amendment, the addict I discussed will enter the clinic with or without an illegal substance and be offered pharmaceutical replacement therapy by a medical practitioner, not a drug dealer.

The addict wi...”

Hon. Larry W. Campbell

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Third Reading—Debate Adjourned

“...uch as pill presses and encapsulators that can be used to produce illegal drugs such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals; remove the exemption in the Customs Act that prevents officers at the border from i...”

Hon. Bob Runciman

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Fourteenth Report of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Adopted

“... site, of the consumption of controlled substances, shall offer a person using the site alternative pharmaceutical therapy before that person consumes a controlled substance that is obtained in a manner not authorized under this act.

(2) the failure to offer alternative pharmaceutical therapy in subsection (1) does not constitute an offence under this Act or any other Act of Parliament.

Senator White, who moved this amendment, can explain it much better than I can, but in brief it is in keeping with a considerable amount of evidence heard at the committee.

(1850)

First, the users of a supervised consumption site are bringing illicit drugs into the facility, drugs that they've acquired in an illegal transaction on the street, and they may well have committed a crime themselves to get the money to buy the product.

Second, these facilities are supervised, but we should be under no illusions about the safety of the product being consumed. These are illegal drugs or, as Senator White referred to them at committee, poison. The buyers don't know what's in them, the staff at the consumption site don't know, and it may be that the sellers don't know either.

The amendment is modelled on the approach being taken in Switzerland, and we heard quite a bit of testimony about that, where they provide a substitute pharmaceutical to addicts. Staff at the clinic and the user will know what is in the product, which ...”

Hon. Bob Runciman,

April 13th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Fourteenth Report of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Presented

“... site, of the consumption of controlled substances, shall offer a person using the site alternative pharmaceutical therapy before that person consumes a controlled substance that is obtained in a manner not authorized under this Act.

(2) The failure to offer alternative pharmaceutical therapy in subsection (1) does not constitute an

offence under this...”

Hon. Judith Seidman

March 9th
Hansard Link

Tobacco Act Non-smokers' Health Act Bill to Amend—Second Reading

“...s. With Bill S-5 protection, health claims such as these must be tested in the very same way as for pharmaceuticals in Canada: with the requirement for the usual scientific evidence based on clinical trials and final approval by Health Canada.

Regulations in Bill S-5 do build in additional authorities for the flexibility of a pathway to market based on emerging evidence. So as the science improves and the studies demonstrate more conclusiveness, regulations can be amended to become either more restrictive, narrowing the scope of use, or less so and broadening it.

As the legislation is written, no claims can be made, even to adults, regarding cessation, toxins or second-hand smoke exposure unless the scientific evidence demonstrates enough certainty in this regard. Products would have to meet existing pre- and after-market requirements for safety, quality and efficacy, as in the case of all new pharmaceuticals covered by the Food and Drugs Act.

(1540)

Also written into Bill S-5 are...”

Senator White

March 7th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

“...site. The way a supervised injection works presently is that a criminal organization produces a non-pharmaceutical poison that they sell to a street vendor who then sells to an addict who goes into a medical facility to shoot up. My issue with that has to do with the amount of criminality and the fact that we don't have people using pharmaceutical drugs. Wouldn't it make more sense for the government instead to do what they do with...”

Senator White

March 7th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

“... do is to have medical practitioners take the next step to providing whatever opioids, narcotics or pharmaceutical drugs are necessary to keep people alive.

My concern with this, and my community's concern in the city of Ottawa, is the fact that this does not remove the harm from people's arms. What it actually does is give them one more place to shoot up, but it does not remove the harm. I would argue that people in the city you and I live in want to try to remove the harm from their arms.

So my perspective would be, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the government really should be pushing — pardon the pun — a supervised injection facility that provides pharmaceutical-grade material for addicts.”

Senator Harder

March 7th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

“...ing to prevent those jurisdictions from acting in their competence with respect to the provision of pharmaceuticals through prescription.”

Senator Forest

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Bill Second Reading—Debate Continued

“...m.

I appreciate that this measure will foster research and development for new medications by pharmaceutical companies. However, in light of our aging population, I feel compelled to express in ...”

Hon. Kelvin Kenneth Ogilvie

March 1st
Hansard Link

Ministry of Health Use of Antibiotics in Food Animals—Antimicrobial Resistance

“...Affairs, Science and Technology in its report on unintended consequences in the use of prescription pharmaceuticals in Canada demanded a ban on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in food anima...”

Hon. Art Eggleton

March 1st
Hansard Link

Ministry of Health Antibiotic Resistance

“...anding Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology released a report on prescription pharmaceuticals, as Senator Ogilvie has pointed out, in which we examined the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. One of our recommendations was for the federal government to promote research by the pharmaceutical industry into the development of new antibiotics by providing various incentives to t...”

Hon. Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P., Minister of Health

March 1st
Hansard Link

Ministry of Health Opioid Addiction Crisis—Safe Consumption Sites

“...king at other medications that can be used, including things like injectable hydromorphone and even pharmaceutical grade heroin, diacetylmorphine.

We have taken the steps as a government to lift a ban on the use of diacetylmorphine, or pharmaceutical heroin — to be used by physicians or under the supervision of health care providers...”

Hon. Larry W. Campbell

February 28th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“...produced drugs are often made in pill form and can be made to look very much like legally available pharmaceuticals manufactured and sold for medical purposes. They look like the real thing, but they are not. They often contain fentanyl or carfentanil, and there is no way of knowing which of these pills are fake and which are not. They are the cause of many of the overdoses and the deaths in Canada today.

Officials know that the bulk of supply of illicit powdered fentanyl and carfentanil originates from outside of Canada. Very small amounts of these drugs in their pure form can be used to make a large number of counterfeit pills by employing equipment and devices that can be easily purchased and brought into Canada.

Bill C-37 specifically addresses this problem. First of all, it would introduce a prohibition on the import of unregistered pill press and encapsulator devices. These devices are used legitimately in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, food and consumer products. However, in the wrong hands, they can also be used to p...”

Hon. André Pratte

February 16th
Hansard Link

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Bill Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“... issuance of certificates of supplementary protection, for which patentees with patents relating to pharmaceutical products or medication will be eligible. These certificates will extend the life of the patent for up to a maximum of two years to take into account the delay between the date the patent is filed and the date it receives market authorization. I will come back to that a little later.

Bill C-30 will amend the Trade-marks Act to protect EU geographical indications found in an annex of the agreement. Think of names such as prosciutto, Brie de Meaux, and parmigiano reggiano. Indications that have long been used by Canadian producers, such as feta and gorgonzola, will benefit from acquired rights.

Bill C-30 will also amend the Investment Canada Act to raise from $600 million to $1.5 billion the threshold as of which investments are reviewable by investors from countries that are party to the agreement, or in other words countries that are members of the European Union.

The Coastal Trading Act is amended to provide that European ships will be able to engage in certain dredging activities in Canada and in coastal trade between Montreal and Halifax. The Customs Tariff Act is amended to eliminate tariffs on goods imported from the European Union, immediately or in stages.

As we know, and as I said earlier, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union was negotiated by a Conservative government and a Liberal government. It therefore enjoys significant support among the political class. Nonetheless, some aspects of the agreement have been criticized. Unions, for example, and a segment of what we call "civil society" take a dim view of a particular part of the agreement.

They believe it will bring few gains in terms of economic growth and jobs, even lead to job losses. They believe the agreement extends excessive rights to multinationals and that it will result in privatization of public services and higher drug prices at the expense of sick people and public drug insurance plans.

Some of these predictions are familiar. There were similar attempts at fearmongering before the free trade agreement with the United States and NAFTA were signed. Those fears were not borne out. Other criticisms are specific to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

[English]

When it comes to CETA's impact on jobs, most studies forecast a positive impact in Canada and the European Union alike, although one analysis in particular predicts a negative one. Personally, I'm skeptical of a scenario predicting that employment will decline following the opening of one of the largest markets in the world to Canadian businesses.

Let us look at just one promising area out of hundreds: plastics and chemicals. Right now, these products face average tariffs of 4.9 per cent in the European Union, which will be eliminated when the agreement comes into force, giving Canadian producers an advantage over their competitors. The same applies to a host of Canadian industries. CETA will create jobs in Canada.

One would think that extending the period of patent protection on new drugs — from a few months to up to two years — would have some effect on prices, but how much of an effect? Opponents of the agreement quote a study indicating that prices will increase from 6 to 13 per cent by 2023. According to the authors themselves, however, there are several uncertainties in this study.

Let us start by pointing out that the extra protection will apply only to drugs entering the market after the agreement comes into force. An amendment was made to the bill in the other place in order to make this crystal clear. So the price of drugs that you and I are taking today, and at our age we're taking more and more, whether they be brand name or generic, will not increase, nor will the drug bill now being paid by the health care systems. If there is an impact, it will only be in the long term because generics will take a little longer, up to two years longer, to come on the market.

Note that many factors play a role in drug prices, which are already higher in Canada than in some European countries, even though patent protection lasts five years longer in Europe than here. Factors other than the patent protection term are therefore in play here, government policy being a big one.

That is why the Government of Canada has partnered with provincial governments so that they, through the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, can negotiate brand name and generate drug prices as a bloc with pharmaceutical companies. These collective negotiations have generated $700 million in savings to da...”

Hon. Percy Mockler

December 1st
Hansard Link

Pipeline Safety Inquiry—Debate Adjourned

“... in many of the products we use and depend on every single day of our lives, from our clothing, to pharmaceutical products, car products and the food that we bring to our people.

I am a firm ...”

Hon. Art Eggleton

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Health Pharmacare Strategy

“...And by the same token, it says that Canada has one of the lowest percentages of public coverage of pharmaceuticals.

More alarming than that is that, a study published in the Canadian Medica...”

Hon. Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P., Minister of Health

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Health Pharmacare Strategy

“...This is a great question. It's a really important one. You are absolutely right that the cost of pharmaceuticals is one of our most pressing drivers of the costs of health care overall in this country. The data you raised is concerning. The most recent examination I have had is that we are now teetering between second- and third-highest in the world per capita for our drug costs. Number one is the U.S., numbers two and three are between us and Germany, and we're getting close to second place.

So in fact it's worse than in those previous studies, which means we have to do something about this. I have a mandate to address the cost of prescription drugs. I know your question was related to pharmacare, and I'm getting to that, but first I want you to know that I'm doing some work with my team that I think is going to be very helpful in working toward what you're looking for.

One of the first things we've done is we joined, as a federal government, the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, which is a bulk-purchasing program across the country. That was greeted with great enthusiasm by the provinces and territories, and we are on track to save $1 billion a year by negotiating the price of pharmaceuticals along with the provinces and territories, so that's fantastic news.

The othe...”


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