HANSARD: Will the Liberals work with the provinces to ensure that nurses get the respect, resources and support they need?

House of Commons Hansard #196 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session
Health Oral Questions
May 12th, 2023 / 11:45 a.m.

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, according to a media report, nurses are leaving the public health care system in droves and returning through private job placement agencies.

The health care crisis is getting worse under the Liberals' watch. Poor work conditions, low wages, forced overtime and high patient-to-nurse ratios are causing burnout. The structural problems must be addressed, and budget 2023 missed the mark.

Will the Liberals work with the provinces to ensure that nurses get the respect, resources and support they need so that patients can get the care they deserve?

Adam van Koeverden Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that this week is National Nursing Week. I would like to thank every nurse from coast to coast to coast, including our Minister of Seniors. Nurses absolutely do the most important work, and it is a very thankless position sometimes, so I would like to thank them.

To the substantive question, nurses deserve fair wages. They deserve a safe environment for work, and they deserve better work conditions. This is why budget 2023 is investing $198.6 billion into our health care system, including better wages for those who care for the most vulnerable.

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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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