2nd reading (first time debated) / 2e lecture (commencement du dÃ©bat)
*31/01/2017 11:47:51 You can view this video here: https://youtu.be/0UpwVTzZL4g
Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminsterâ€”Burnaby, NDP): Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member opposite. He lives in the lower mainland. I am sure that he is as aware as I am and other lower mainland MPs are of the depth and breadth of the crisis that is taking place right now. Every day, two people die in the lower mainland. We know in Ontario every day two people die. In Alberta, every day a person dies. This is a health crisis of an unimaginable extent that is something that should be calling the government to take immediate action. Instead, what we see is that over a year the government just dragged its fee and refused to do anything as the death toll rose, doubling and tripling. We are now talking about thousands of Canadians dying over the past couple of years.
The implications are enormous if nothing much happens. The government has moved very slowly on this legislation. It has waited over a year, 15 months now. We are coming up to February tomorrow. The Liberals took office and could have moved something in December 2015. They have done nothing really to in any way fight to put in place the addiction treatment programs that are needed across the country, and they have refused to call a public health emergency.
My question for the member is this. Why is the government moving so dreadfully slowly in the midst of this crisis?
*31/01/2017 12:35:56 You can view this video here: https://youtu.be/Xn5Eykqykk8
Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminsterâ€”Burnaby, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I know that the member for South Surreyâ€”White Rock and I share a region that is living through an appalling crisis and deaths. This issue is something that has seized the population. Everyone knows somebody who has been affected by this. There have been almost 1,000 deaths in the past year alone, and yet the government does not seem willing to do anything more than drag its feet on something that is a public health crisis.
Does the member agree with us that what we need is an immediate move towards the declaring of a public health emergency? I think both of us agree that there needs to be an expansion in addiction treatment programs. It was cut back under the former Conservative government and has not really been restored under the new Liberal government. Canadians are crying out for it to be in place so the communities can have those kinds of supports.
Finally, there was a question just a moment ago as to whether or not the Conservatives would facilitate the passage of Bill C-37, and I did not hear the member answer that. I would be very interested in hearing her response to that.