The report from the Commissioner for the Environment goes on and on through painful chapter after painful chapter cataloguing, in great detail, highlighting failure after failure by the Harper government to address everything from biological diversity and the conservation of migratory birds to Recovery Planning for Species at Risk and Ecological integrity of National Parks.
For weeks now, Ontario's Minister of Health, Deb Matthews, has been trading barbs with federal Health Minister, Leona Aglukkaq, over whether or not she should intervene in Health Canada's decision to approve the generic version of the painkiller oxycodone. As this debate plays out and the attention starts to focus on the intergovernmental conflict instead of the important public health debate, we must not lose sight of three simple facts.
In recommendations released today, the UN Committee Against Torture slammed Canada's treatment of prisoners with mental health issues. Given that Canada is viewed by many as the "gold standard" in corrections, these findings are also an important reminder that serious problems remain within the Correctional Service of Canada.
When Prime Minister Harper issued the apology for residential schools, he promised to forge a new relationship with Aboriginal Canadians. Well, we have our apology and the new relationship that was promised has yet to appear. In fact, the Conservatives have drastically cut Aboriginal health and food programs while knowing full well that Aboriginal people across Canada are struggling with these issues.