Thursday, June 11, 2009

A question I'd ask in QP today

Mr. Speaker, on an audio recording the Minister of Natural Resources said that the isotope crisis was "an easy one" and that all that was needed to solve it was "money." And Canada has long been a world-leader in the supply of medical isotopes, crucial for the treatment of millions of cancer patients in Canada, and around the world.

Now we learn that the Prime Minister has decided to abandon Canada's leadership position, and get out of the medical isotope business, leaving Canada's medical system beholden to the whims of overseas interests for the supply of this critically-necessary resource.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Prime Minister is, if this is an easy one, if it is just about money, why is this government turning tail and running on the isotope file?

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Scott Tribe said...

Only problem is that Harper won't be in the house in all likelihood to answer it (or obfuscate). He'll be in Cambridge doing his mad-for-tv production on the economic update.

Carrie said...

Thanks for this Jeff. I'm really concerned about the implications - now and in future - if we don't make our own isotopes.

Selling the business too might lead to higher healthcare costs for us and jeopardize Canadian's healthcare in general. I don't feel good about any of this.

Thanks so much for posting. I hope you can follow any news on this that might come your way. You seem to be the only one writing about it? I can't believe the Liberals aren't expressing concern about the sale and about taking Canada out of isotope production.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Carrie, I really don't know enough about the ins and outs of the issue to be able to speak about it in depth. I think what needs to be known is what would it take to ensure a steady, reliable domestic supply. What need to be done, how long will it take, and how much will it cost? Can foreign sales of isotopes defer the cost? Could we maybe partner to share the capital costs?

And if we're going to get out of this business, which seems questionable given the worldwide shortages, can we guarantee reliable, affordable access?

Those are questions I wonder about, and don't know the answers too.