House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was self-government.

Topics

National Workshop On Infectious Diseases
Oral Question Period

June 1st, 1994 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

Last Friday the Minister of Indian Affairs answering on behalf of the health minister said that the national workshop on infectious disease notification had been postponed because there was no agreement on an agenda. There is much speculation that the workshop was postponed as a result of pressure from special interest groups.

I want to know two things. First, why was this workshop postponed? Second, when will it be rescheduled?

National Workshop On Infectious Diseases
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat what was said last Friday.

The conference was postponed because there was no agreement on the agenda. We are continuing to work with the stakeholder groups to ensure that there is a conference and that it is held in a timely fashion, hopefully in the fall of this year.

National Workshop On Infectious Diseases
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, every day in the country emergency response personnel, paramedics, firefighters, nurses, and physicians run the risk of contracting contagious and infectious diseases.

The United States has already proceeded with a national protocol on the matter and the previous Parliament's standing committee on health made numerous recommendations on just such a policy.

Given these precedents, will the minister present a strategy to protect the health of emergency response personnel, and what will this strategy be?

National Workshop On Infectious Diseases
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is our intention always to work with the groups affected and concerned about these very serious issues. That is the reason we have asked that this conference go ahead so that we can hear its recommendations on how best to handle these very serious questions.

Meanwhile work does go on. There are guidelines. There are policies on how to act in these particular circumstances.

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Recently, we learned that the Montreal refugee assistance committee had lodged an international complaint against Canada concerning the improper deportation to Zaire of a young pregnant woman who was given a sedative without her consent and this, in violation of sections 219 and 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada as well as Section 11 of the Quebec Civil Code.

The minister had ample time since the question was put to him to make the necessary inquiries. My question is as follows: Does he still maintain that medication was given to only 12 people before they were deported, while his own senior officials admit to 20 such incidents?

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. It is very crucial to keep in mind that no immigration officials administer or are permitted to administer medical assistance or prescribe any medicine for those who are being removed or deported.

The only individuals who are permitted to do that, to recommend it, and to implement it are medical practitioners.

In the particular case of the woman the member raises, it was a medical practitioner and for medical reasons that administered medical attention, not immigration officials.

Second, at the time that this issue came to the fore approximately 9,000 individuals were removed from Canada last year.

I asked my officials to give me an approximate number very quickly so that I could respond to the member and the officials told me that 12 of the 9,000 individuals who were removed necessitated some medical attention on the advice and recommendation of medical practitioners and not immigration officials.

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, our information differs. Considering how serious this issue is and since the minister has admitted that 12 people received such treatment, will the minister commit to holding an independent inquiry, as required under international agreements, to shed light on possibly illegal behaviour on the part of immigration officers?

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, no, I am not going to have an inquiry for something that this member throws very loosely across the floor. If he has information that anyone has perpetrated illegal acts then he has the duty and the obligation as a member of Parliament to provide me with that information.

Second, under no circumstances does any medical application get administered to any individual routinely for removals. When I put in perspective the 9,000 who were removed, approximately 12 last year received some medical application. It was on the recommendation of doctors for individuals who for the most part were on medicine or had an ailment or a disease of some sort in order to take precautions during the flight.

In addition, the member also failed to say that a Canadian nurse accompanied the woman from Zaire in order to make sure her ailment would not aggravate the situation.

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the solicitor general.

Yesterday a colleague of mine asked about prisoners in federal institutions receiving various forms of social assistance and he was told that the solicitor general was looking into it.

We have looked into it and discovered that not only are the prisoners receiving OAS and CPP payments but they are receiving GST rebates even though they do not meet the qualifications of the Income Tax Act.

Will the Solicitor General act immediately to rectify this outrageous situation?

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member will give me the names of the people he says are receiving GST rebates I will take it up immediately with the Minister of National Revenue.

As I said yesterday with respect to the matter of elderly inmates receiving CPP and old age pensions, I am looking into that as part of my review of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to see how this can be dealt with in an appropriate way.

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to hear some of that.

I would like to suggest that if it is up the opposition to supply all this valuable information to those who are supposed to be doing the job, let me know. I am up for hire. I will supply those names. I do have them and we will supply them.

I would like to ask the solicitor general to be just a little more specific and tell Canadians exactly when hard pressed Canadian taxpayers will be able to expect some relief and when prisoners will stop receiving GST payments.

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have to check into the facts of the situation with the Minister of National Revenue and I will do that very promptly. I appreciate the hon. member's offer to help but I do not want to put him in a conflict of interest situation.

Urea Formaldehyde Foam
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

In the 1970s many homeowners insulated their homes with urea formaldehyde foam or UFFI. In the 1980s it was alleged that UFFI caused health problems. After a lengthy court battle no health problems were proven. Although CMHC and other lenders now make no distinction between homes with or without UFFI fear still lingers.

Would the minister consider a public information program to correct the misconception about UFFI?

Urea Formaldehyde Foam
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. Unfortunately I cannot give a specific answer as the matter is presently before the courts.

As he alluded to in his question, the matter did receive some adjudication in the early 1980s. However, there has been an appeal launched and is due to be heard before the courts in September 1995. Pending the outcome of that particular decision I would be prepared to review with the hon. member as well as other members of the House the information in that particular decision to Canadians across the country.

Aerospace
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. In 1988, Canada made a commitment to participate with other partners in the international space station program, which is to put up a huge experimental laboratory in orbit around the Earth. This station will have a significant impact on scientific progress in many areas. However, the Martin budget announced a substantial reduction in Canada's participation in this project.

Can the minister give an update on the status of negotiations with NASA, so we can see how Canada could maintain its partnership while reducing its financial contribution over the next 10 years?