LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO
ASSEMBLÉE LÉGISLATIVE DE L’ONTARIO
Tuesday 2 November 2021 Mardi 2 novembre 2021
Report continued from volume A.
Private Members’ Public Business
Research and innovation
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): I turn to the member from Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound to introduce his motion.
Mr. Bill Walker: I move that, in the opinion of this House, the government of Ontario should recognize the supply of medical isotopes used to diagnose and treat cancer and sterilize medical equipment as a key strategic priority for the province in its health, economic, export, interprovincial, energy, research and infrastructure planning and policies as Ontario recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, leveraging its existing strong foundation in nuclear technology, isotope production and supply chain, and cancer and health research to position itself as a global leader in supply of made-in-Ontario life-saving medical isotopes.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Mr. Walker has moved notice of motion number 9. Pursuant to standing order 101, the member will have up to 12 minutes to state his motion again and make good arguments for the rest of us to consider.
I turn now to the member from Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound.
Mr. Bill Walker: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I certainly will do my best.
I rise today to present a historic resolution that will recognize that Ontario is a global leader in the supply of medical isotopes used to fight COVID-19, keep our hospitals safe, fight cancer, and ensure that our province remains an isotope industry leader in the future.
I want to start by saying it is an honour to present this resolution to the House today and champion the importance of the isotope industry. I want to thank my colleagues who will speak to this resolution following my presentation for their support and interest. I also want to give a special thank you to the Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, who kindly offered a few words for this momentous occasion: “I wholeheartedly support MPP Bill Walker’s motion and his long-time advocacy for the production of life-saving medical isotopes that help so many people every day.”
“Our entire nuclear sector is truly world-class and at the forefront of innovation in the production of not just emission-free electricity but also life-saving medical isotopes. We will continue to position Ontario as a world leader in this space. Isotopes present many tremendous opportunities for improved health and economic growth, and we look forward to championing the many benefits that made-in-Ontario isotopes can bring to our province and our country.”
This is an issue that is important for the province but also one that is deeply personal to myself and my family. On May 8, 2015, our son Zach had brain tumour surgery. It is a day that my wife, Michaela, and I will never ever forget. We will always be eternally grateful to Dr. MacDougall and his team at University Hospital in London for all of their skill, dedication and care, and we will always be appreciative of the important role medical isotopes played in Zach’s surgery and other similar procedures that happen every day.
Mr. Speaker, I want to do a shout-out from all of our colleagues to the member from Hastings–Lennox and Addington, Daryl Kramp, who is also fighting cancer right now. Hopefully, he will have a strong recovery because of medical isotopes and the role that they play. We’re with you, Daryl.
As we all go about our daily busy lives, the importance of nuclear medicine and medical isotopes, along with Canada’s and Ontario’s global leadership in this sector, can be overlooked. However, as we have learned over the past 20 months during the COVID-19 pandemic, their significance has never been more vital.
Mr. Speaker, James Scongack, chair of the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council, has stated, “Canada and Ontario have a unique position that is recognized internationally—it is the world’s largest supplier of several isotopes, it is renowned around the world for developing new applications, and it hosts all of its supply chain partners within its borders” within “a long tradition of” supply chain “collaboration. The growing demand for isotopes presents a strong opportunity to expand and cement Canada’s leadership position in this innovative industry. This” resolution “is an opportunity for Ontario to come together and work toward a common goal that helps fight cancer and save lives.”
Mr. Speaker, we have an amazing opportunity right in front of us. The potential for growth in the isotope space provides us with the chance to leverage Ontario’s established nuclear supply chain that has developed over the past several years. The landscape of medical isotope production in Ontario is diverse, due in part to the long-standing and world-class research into reactor and accelerator research.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friends at the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council for all of their assistance and help on this resolution. Their support and technical expertise on this topic have been invaluable. The CNIC is doing a terrific job ensuring Canada remains a world leader in the production of life-saving isotopes by raising awareness and supporting long-term policies at the domestic and international levels that will save lives and support health care innovation.
There are so many individuals who deserve recognition for the role they play, including Dr. Karin Stephenson, the manager of commercial operations for McMaster University’s nuclear operations and facilities; Kathryn Hayashi, president and CEO, Triumf Innovations; Susan Marshall, CEO, the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada; Dr. Arjun Sahgal, radiation oncologist and director of the Odette Cancer Centre’s cancer ablation therapy program; Martyn Coombs, president, BWXT medical; Peter D’Amico, director, business development, isotopes and health programs, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.
Mr. Speaker, it continues to be of vital importance that Canada and the rest of the world have a continuous and stable supply of medical isotopes. Canadian isotopes are used for the following vital processes: the sterilization of medical equipment, diagnostic imaging, cancer treatment, insect sterilization, food irradiation, and research and development. Isotopes are used every day across a broad range of sectors that may surprise many listening today. They’re used to verify the safety of our roadways, discover and develop natural resources, test industrial products, and support research into mental health and aging. In the process, we are able to leverage Ontario’s nuclear ecosystem and infrastructure to produce isotopes that are changing lives and creating a value-added product in the critical health care sector.
Susan Marshall, CEO of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, stated: “Every day, 27 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour and they all face limited treatment options. This is why the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is so encouraged to be participating as part of the CNIC and supports this isotope motion. We hope that this motion will provide more hope in the form of innovative treatments for brain tumour patients in the future.”
Many may be wondering, what is an isotope? I am certainly not a nuclear expert or technician, but I will explain as best I can. Isotopes are atoms that have the same number of protons as each other, but different numbers of neutrons. A medical isotope is an isotope that is used in the practice of medicine. Medical isotopes are the cornerstone of nuclear medicine, a branch of medical science that uses radioactive sources to diagnose, characterize and treat disease. A medical isotope was first used in 1901, just five years after the discovery of radioactivity. Doctors, using the naturally occurring radioisotope radium-226, successfully cured a tuberculosis patient of previously untreatable skin lesions.
Mr. Speaker, today the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission licenses the use and production of over 250 isotopes in Canada, and Canadian scientists have long been pioneers in this field that continues to grow and improve.
In 1951, the world’s first cancer treatment with Co-60, known as cobalt-60, took place in London, Ontario. This was a huge moment for the fight against cancer and Canada’s emergence as a world leader in nuclear power.
Irradiation technology is increasingly being used to preserve food, including spices, grains, fruits, vegetables and meat. This technology avoids the use of potentially harmful chemicals.
According to the Canadian Medical Imaging Inventory, there were 1,444,651 diagnostic imaging procedures in Canada in 2017. No doubt, this number has continued to grow in the years since, as the technology has improved.
Worldwide, there are over 40 million nuclear medicine procedures performed each year using isotopes, with approximately 36 million for diagnostic nuclear medicine and four million for therapy.
Some 60% of the world’s market of iodine-125 is produced at the McMaster nuclear reactor at McMaster University.
Mr. Speaker, across Canada and Ontario, there are many great organizations and companies that support and supply critical isotopes to the marketplace. They include Bruce Power, producing lutetium-177 and cobalt-60 low specific activity—sterilization—and high specific activity—brain tumour treatment; BWXT medical, gallium-68; Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, actinium-225; Ontario Power Generation, molybdenum/technetium-99m and helium-3; McMaster University, as I mentioned earlier, iodine-125 and holmium-166; Triumf, actinium-225 and gallium-68.
Other companies doing great work in the field include Canadian Isotope Innovations Corp., CPDC, Isologic, isoSolutions, Isotopia Molecular Imaging Ltd., Jubilant Radiopharma, Nordion, Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, and Kinectrics.
I’m very proud of the key role Ontario plays in isotopes through both Bruce Power in their production of lutetium-177 and cobalt-60, as well as OPG, who also produces cobalt-60 and is soon to produce molybdenum-99. Combined cobalt-60 from both these organizations is used to sterilize approximately 40% of the world’s single-use medical instruments. So every time you go to the dentist or anybody in your family goes for surgery or anybody goes for any of those types of operations, we as Canadians and Ontarians are making sure there’s a difference and that they’re safe. The isotope industry has a rich history through the innovation and the hard work of the groups mentioned here. Most importantly, the talented people across the industry will be at the forefront of new treatment and new ways of fighting cancer.
Ontario and Canada are worldwide leaders in this industry. In 2018, the size of the global isotope market was estimated to be $9.6 billion. That is a huge number, and it continues to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.1%. The size of the Canadian medical isotope market was estimated to be US$508.4 million in 2018, and is expected to grow to more than $925 million by 2023.
Thanks to the CNIC, we know that two thirds of Canadians are concerned about our country ceding its leadership position in isotope production and research and development. We also know that 63% of Canadians support the development of a national strategy for isotopes, to ensure Canada remains at the forefront of this sector.
Mr. Speaker, Canada and Ontario have a very unique and important historical relationship to the medical isotope industry. We are global leaders at the forefront of this technology. This industry continues to innovate, adapt and get better, and I have no doubt the leaders in this industry across the country will continue to strive to keep our country and province in the spotlight when it comes to medical isotopes.
Medical isotopes are an essential part of modern health care, and Canada and Ontario are leading the way in their production. Support for my resolution from this House today will demonstrate that the people of Ontario recognize and support this important industry and, most importantly, that we will strive to ensure that we remain a global leader. I encourage my colleagues in the House to exhibit the spirit of collaboration, to support this resolution from all sides, from all members of all parties.
I also encourage everybody to learn more about this important and critical industry. There’s huge opportunity for more isotopes to be developed, which will again help us with all kinds of different challenges in the health care sector that your family and my family may suffer in the future. So, Mr. Speaker, I hope that we’ll continue to lead the way and endeavour to be the best in the world.
I want to thank this House for the opportunity to present this resolution, and I want to thank all of my colleagues who will be speaking to this item following my presentation, and hopefully voting for this resolution. This is a historic opportunity for us to show our full support for an industry that supports our way of life and our health in so many different ways. Let’s recognize the past. Let’s seize the opportunity and dominate the future of health care through the technology of medical isotopes—Ontario strong; Canadian proud.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?
Mr. Terence Kernaghan: I’d like to thank the member from Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound for this motion. Just last Wednesday, October 27, marked the 70th anniversary of the first use of the Eldorado cobalt-60 used at Victoria Hospital, as you mentioned, in London, Ontario—its first publicized medical use. I believe it was under Dr. Ivan Smith, and it really shows that London is a centre of southwestern Ontario for treatment, as well as development of new technologies for medicine, as well as research.
As members here are aware, Ontario is already a world leader in isotope production and supply. Canada is a world leader in medical isotope research and development. Canadian accelerator-based isotope production is supporting the global market without nuclear proliferation. In fact, Canada is the world’s largest cobalt-60 and iodine-125 supplier; 60% of the world’s iodine-125 market is produced at the McMaster Nuclear Reactor.
Therefore, it seems as though the bulk of the motion we’re debating today is already true. Isotopes were widely used and beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Canada is a leader in isotope production. It’s not entirely clear why this motion is needed today, especially when there are so many pressing issues facing Ontarians in our health care system.
The motion’s text clarifies that isotopes are used to diagnose and treat cancer patients, and we can recognize and commend that, but cancer patients in Ontario deserve much more from this Legislature than a simple recognition of the medical tools and procedures that help them battle their disease. They deserve concrete action to help them take on cancer today. Cancer patients and their families have much more pressing issues right now, and the government needs to take them seriously.
Currently, cancer patients in Ontario face the longest appointment wait times in Canada. Patients are waiting 46 long days for their cancer surgeries, and 34 days for a cancer care appointment. These delays are having a profound impact on the health of cancer patients.
A Canadian Cancer Survivor Network study also found that 42% of cancer patients are unsatisfied with the quality of their care, while for people trying to get their cancer diagnosis, 66% are unsatisfied.
Now, we know that the front-line health care workers in cancer care are still the best in our country, but they’re run off their feet and are unable to keep up with the high demand. So, instead of acknowledging Ontario’s leading role in isotope production, why isn’t this government doing something concrete to help cancer patients and their health care workers today? Why isn’t the government doing something to bring down the long wait times for cancer surgeries? Why aren’t they doing something to improve cancer care?
It’s disappointing that this motion doesn’t do more to help cancer patients and their caregivers, Speaker. They need more than symbolic acknowledgement from this government. New Democrats have tried to get cancer patients the support they actually need. We put forward motions in this House to give direct support to patients with cancer and cancer survivors.
In November 2018, we put forward a motion that would make take-home cancer treatments free. But did the government support that motion? No; in fact, they voted against it and denied cancer patients affordable care. These drugs are a modern option that would replace chemotherapy for some patients and keep patients stabilized until hospitals are again able to perform surgeries. Ontario deserves better than a government that says no to cancer patients.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?
Ms. Andrea Khanjin: I wanted to raise my support for this motion introduced by the member for Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound. He’s giving hope to so many cancer patients and survivors across this province. I sit on the all-party cancer caucus and know how important this motion is to give hope to those people.
Last summer, I had an opportunity to meet Laura Hemsworth, who marked her five-year journey of being cancer-free by jumping out of an airplane in Innisfil. The tremendous work that she did in cancer to lift people up and, of course, the work that the Gilda’s Club did really shows you how important this type of hope and investing in medical isotopes in Ontario is.
When we were talking to the Gilda’s Club today, they had this to say about this motion: “Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka is excited about this promising new research. It is encouraging to know that our government stands united with us in our mission in serving those who are impacted by cancer.” That’s from Sara Desroches. She’s a program director at Gilda’s Club.
Today is about giving hope to those cancer patients, whether it’s Uncle Jay Royal, who’s going for his diagnosis, I know, this week—so my best of luck to you; whether it’s Natalie Daly in my riding, who is currently overcoming sinus cancer; whether it’s Stu Royal, who overcame prostate cancer. There are so many Ontarians who are relying on this isotope technology to bring them hope and give them a second life.
I truly support this Ontario life-saving medical isotope motion.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?
Ms. Catherine Fife: It’s a pleasure to stand in our place today and recognize the motion that’s been brought forward by the member from Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound, and to speak in a supportive manner. It doesn’t happen that often in this House these days.
I would like to say, though, that I was recently at Bruce Power and was engaged in a PowerPoint specifically on this issue. I just want to say that I think it’s really important for members to take the time to learn and to educate themselves on these issues. I personally had no prior knowledge or experience around medical isotopes. I will confess that I was fairly impressed with the work that Bruce Power has taken in this regard, in this field, specifically related around the pandemic, where they were personally involved in sterilizing 24 billion pieces of hospital surgical equipment. That is huge, Mr. Speaker.
I just want to say that in the broader context of this House and the work that we have to do, and the work that we have to do together, it’s worth noting that hospital-acquired infections in the province of Ontario cost the system a minimum of $4 billion. I hope that we can all agree, in a very non-partisan way, that when you go to a hospital to receive medical attention you should make sure that you don’t acquire another infection which complicates your health journey. The $4 billion is actually a 2017 number, and I would hazard a guess to say that that actually has increased a fair amount.
Getting a cancer diagnosis, it goes without saying, is incredibly frightening. I have family members who have received radiation, who have benefited from medical isotopes and the cancer research that has been ongoing in this province.
I agree with my colleague that there is a long way to go from a research perspective, especially around access to medicines on the cancer front. I will be asking a question, I hope, this week on behalf of a constituent from Waterloo who is being denied Avastin, which is a cancer treatment. It’s not on the formulary. So somebody somewhere in the Ministry of Health is making a decision about who gets to live and who gets to die. Those are big decisions, Mr. Speaker, and we can do better.
Every year doctors perform more than 40 million medical procedures that rely on the use of medical isotopes. This is huge. We as a province have taken a leadership role on this front. We are leading in the country.
I appreciate the fact that the motion itself calls for us to recognize medical isotopes as “a key strategic priority” of Ontario’s pandemic recovery plan. We completely concur in that regard. This is a matter of commercializing and applying the research that is actively ongoing in this province. As a member of the life science caucus here at the Legislature, where our members have heard about various barriers that are set up to the commercialization of research—research that the government funds, that the government needs, the government needs to apply. Those barriers exist because of the government. So let’s work in a very collaborative manner to make sure that we are truly applying the knowledge that this province has.
When I toured Bruce Power and met the new CEO, Mike Rencheck, and heard from James Scongack around the work that is ongoing at Bruce Power, I have to say these are also very good jobs that we should be championing in Ontario.
So let’s stay focused on the goal: to keep people healthy, to commercialize the research, to improve the access to medical isotopes in the province of Ontario and to not let the lack of knowledge on this issue prevent us from moving forward in that manner.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?
Mr. Jim McDonell: I appreciate the opportunity to rise and offer my support for this important resolution. I want to thank my colleague the member from Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound for his hard work in bringing this resolution before the House today. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to speak on this important matter. I go back to my days in university; I actually worked at Bruce Power for a summer job. They were turning up unit 2 at the time, which was the first unit.
Medical isotopes are an essential part of our health care system. They are used to diagnose and treat serious diseases, sterilize medical equipment and enable research. The medical system around the world is dependent on their availability, using them in 40 million treatments around the world every year. It is incredible when you think of the impact they have on our day-to-day lives. When you receive treatment from your local dentist, their equipment is sterilized with medical isotopes. Medical isotopes have sterilized the equipment, tools and instruments that our hospitals use for life-saving surgeries.
Canada and Ontario have played a significant leadership role in the production and advancement of medical isotopes, and it is a pleasure to speak on this resolution to recognize Ontario’s global leadership in the supply of medical isotopes. I encourage the House to support this resolution and demonstrate our ability to unite in a non-partisan way to support the isotope sector, which is critically important for the delivery of quality of health around the world.
The potential for growth in this sector continues to grow. With equipment and expertise in places like Bruce Power, OPG, McMaster University and others, there are immense opportunities for the future. Canada has always been a pioneer in the development of isotopes. We have world-class nuclear expertise and are perfectly positioned to continue to be a global leader in researching and developing more isotopes.
Mr. Speaker, during today’s debate we should recognize the impact that isotopes have on children suffering from cancer. Information from the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario tells us that cancer continues to be the most common cause of disease-related deaths among children over the age of one. It’s heartening to know that Canada’s isotope industry is playing a key role in the treatment of cancer. Thanks to the life-saving treatments pioneered right here in Ontario and Canada, we know that more than 84% of children diagnosed with cancer will survive. That’s why it is important to support the isotope industry. By approving this resolution, the House is showing our support for the industry.
Mr. Speaker, thanks again for the opportunity to speak on this important resolution. Once again, I want to thank the member for Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound for bringing this forward, and for his years with OPG. Thank you.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?
Mme France Gélinas: It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to say a few words to the motion brought forward by my good friend the MPP from Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound. He and I worked together a lot when he was health critic for his party.
I fully understand what he is trying to do. We in Ontario are a global leader in medical isotopes, not only in the production of them, but also in the research that allows us to treat more and more different diseases, mainly heart disease and cancer. It is here in Ontario that we developed new treatments that were not even thinkable before, and that were first piloted in Ontario with isotopes from Ontario; and that now lead to people being cured from different cancers and heart problems that not that long ago were fatal diseases and are now being cured because of the research, because of the isotopes, because of everything we have here, and because we are global leaders.
Some of you will remember that for about 10 years, I read petitions in this House asking for a PET scanner for Sudbury. A man called Sam Bruno had pushed really hard to bring a PET scanner. When PET scanners using isotope technology were made available to the people of Ontario, the northwest had one, southern Ontario had one, but the northeast didn’t. It took us 10 years. Unfortunately, Sam died of his disease in 2010. His family picked up the torch, and we managed. We do have a PET scanner. It is operational.
We don’t have isotopes in the northeast. They come from the cyclotron in Hamilton and are taxied up to Sudbury every day so that they can be used in the PET scanner in Sudbury. And it works. This is this ingenuity—this is the system working together that makes it work.
But I also come from Nickel Belt. Everybody remembers your grade 4 teaching, the big Canadian Shield, this big thing of rocks in the north. In Nickel Belt we have lots of mines, many of them very deep, more than two kilometres deep. We’re now going even deeper with deep mining in some of the new mines. And then when I read things like Ontario having a plan for the safe disposal of nuclear waste which involves the siting of deep geological repositories, that part makes me a little bit nervous.
We presently have 2.5 million cubic metres of nuclear waste that we don’t know what to do with. Some of it, 12,718 cubic metres of it, is high-level. That means it will go on for thousands of years. I don’t want that under my pillow or my house or my bed. So there’s that issue that hasn’t been solved, but I’m sure it will be. In the meantime, there are ways to produce isotopes that don’t produce nuclear waste, through linear accelerators, through cyclotrons like the one for PET scans that I was talking about.
We will be supporting this motion. It is showing the strength of the Ontario health care system. Thank you for that.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?
Ms. Christine Hogarth: I’m delighted to join in this debate. I just want to thank the member for Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound for bringing this motion forward.
It has an interesting connection to my riding of Etobicoke–Lakeshore, but first let me briefly explain, as have those before me, the importance of isotopes in medicine, which has affected all of us in one way or another, in a variety of ways.
We have had images taken of us at hospitals or a medical facility. That’s what we are familiar with most and one reason why medical isotopes are the cornerstone of nuclear medicine. Speaker, there are more than a dozen different types of isotopes for specific applications, so I’ll mention just two of the most important applications today. One is the treatment of cancer and the other is sterilization of medical equipment and PPE that today is critical in keeping our medical professionals safe as they lead the effort in combatting COVID-19.
Worldwide, over the span of a year, more than 40 million nuclear medical procedures are performed using isotopes. The estimate is 36 million for diagnostics and four million for therapies. In Canada, there were over 1.5 million diagnostic imaging procedures in 2017.
Speaker, Ontario cannot be more proud, because 60% of the world’s market of iodine-125, critical to cancer treatment, is produced at the McMaster Nuclear Reactor at McMaster University. This is a critical component to world health and key to Canada’s nuclear supply chain, of which Ontario’s Bruce Power is a primary supplier.
Canada’s nuclear industry supplies isotopes that sterilize more than 50% of the world’s medical equipment. This makes Ontario a world leader in this sector, and this, Speaker, brings me back to my riding of Etobicoke–Lakeshore, where an incredible company named Kinectrics is located.
What Kinectrics does, in a nutshell, is provide lifecycle management services for the electricity and nuclear industry because of their expertise in engineering, testing, inspection and certification. Kinectrics has invested over $841,000 to expand and implement industry-standard testing techniques for PPE. Through the Ontario Together Fund, I was pleased to be able to announce $252,000 to help Kinectrics achieve that industry-leading goal. They operate 30 state-of-the-art laboratories and over 400,000 square feet of operational facilities, which speaks to their resilience and ability to innovate.
Kinectrics has tested tens of thousands of surgical and procedure masks and thousands of respirators. Their ability to do this quickly and at a high capacity means a fast turnaround for critical PPE testing. Ontarians must have the confidence to know that the PPE they use is provincially sourced, secure and safe.
So, Speaker, I wholeheartedly support this motion and urge its unanimous adoption by this House.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Further debate?
Mr. Sheref Sabawy: I am proud to speak and offer my support for this important resolution. Thank you to my colleague from Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound for bringing this forward for debate in this House and for his advocacy on this matter.
I want to thank the other speakers on both sides today for offering their insights on this issue. Mr. Speaker, by passing this resolution this House would recognize Ontario’s global role as a leader in the supply of medical isotopes that are used around the world to fight COVID-19, keep hospitals like Credit Valley Hospital in my riding of Mississauga–Erin Mills safe, and fight cancer.
As I have mentioned, isotopes are used for treatment and sterilization. They are also used for diagnostic imaging, insect sterilization, food irradiation, and research and development.
The Ontario isotope industry is at the forefront of medical isotope research and technology. This is an innovative industry that continues to help meet the world’s needs for isotopes, while at the same time researching and developing new applications for this life-saving technology.
It’s amazing to think that around the world there are 40 million nuclear medicine procedures performed each year using isotopes. Of these, 36 million are for diagnostic nuclear medicine and four million for therapy. More than 10,000 hospitals around the world use isotopes every single day.
Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that the Canadian isotope community will continue to advance this technology, to find new breakthroughs, while also continuing to ensure a reliable supply for isotopes for the world. The future is bright, and with the support of this resolution, it is my intent that Ontario and Canada will continue to be leaders in this regard, as we have been for more than 60 years.
Today, this House has the opportunity to recognize the strategic importance of made-in-Ontario, life-saving medical isotopes. I encourage my colleagues to support this resolution and demonstrate our leadership on this important matter.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Is there no further debate? Okay, then we return to the member from Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound, who has two minutes to respond to what he has heard this afternoon.
Mr. Bill Walker: I want to once again thank my colleagues in this House today on all sides who have taken time to speak to this historic resolution, and those who will vote in support in the spirit of working together for the benefit of all.
I want to thank James Scongack, CNIC chairperson, for his leadership and his personal conviction to this critically important industry. The Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council has done great work to bring this issue forward, and I commend them for their dedication and commitment to this industry and, most importantly, the lives they are positively impacting every day.
Mr. Speaker, my resolution is about this House recognizing Ontario is a global leader in the production and supply of medical isotopes. We are a leader around the world. We help people with prostate cancer, brain tumours and children’s cancers—thank you, POGO—and there are potentially many more areas that can benefit in the future.
Industry leaders from around Ontario and Canada have been pioneers in this field. We lead the world. Let’s keep it that way and show our support for this resolution, and the jobs and supply chain that will benefit. Let’s give them hope. Mr. Speaker, we have this opportunity; I encourage everyone to support this resolution to always be a leader in isotopes and making a difference in people’s lives.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): Mr. Walker has moved private members’ notice of motion number 9. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? I declare the motion carried.
Motion agreed to.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Percy Hatfield): All matters relating to private members’ public business having been completed, the House stands adjourned until 9 a.m. tomorrow.
The House adjourned at 1837.