House of Commons Hansard #250 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Irving Whale
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Guy Arseneault Restigouche—Chaleur, NB

Mr. Speaker, according to an article in La Presse last Saturday, a large quantity of oil is leaking from the Irving Whale . Could the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment give us some information on the subject and reassure fishermen in the gulf?

Irving Whale
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would like to give hon. members my assurances, as I did yesterday when I met with representatives of the RCM in the Magdalen Islands, that Canada will be there to take its responsibilities as soon as possible. It is too bad the Bloc Quebecois is trying to obstruct the refloating of the Irving Whale , but as soon as we can, and in fact this spring, despite the crushing opposition of the Bloc Quebecois, we will refloat the Irving Whale . And the fact that oil is leaking now goes to show how important it is to do this as soon as possible, and we will do it in Canada.

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

October 30th, 1995 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, regardless of today's vote Canadians know changes to our social programs are essential. The Department of Health recently spent $2.5 million on public opinion polling. With all that money the minister must know what changes Canadians want. Would she tell us?

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member speaks about polling and the money that was spent, the majority of the money was spent on tobacco. It was for a number of surveys including the study on plain packaging.

As a result of the Supreme Court decision, before any actions are taken, any pieces of legislation brought forward, we need to have evidence on which to base that legislation. It is necessary to have these surveys. I am a very careful with money but there are times when we have to spend those dollars.

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is fond of saying we want a U.S. style health care system.

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

No she isn't.

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Wrong party.

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

It has very little to recommend it, frankly. Canadians are looking at a system much more like that in Europe. There they have a public system complemented by the private system. The costs go down and the access goes up.

Is the minister polling to improve medicare or simply to protect her legislation?

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, medicare in this country is about more than money. It is about more than cheap politics. It is even about more than health care.

Medicare concerns our self-understanding as a people and as a country. It concerns our identity as a fair, just, compassionate, and pragmatic people. It is an identity that was fashioned by our commitment to shared fundamental values. It is an identity that is cherished by every Canadian.

Medicare recognizes the very best of what we are as Canadians. Without the medicare system we have now, Canadians would lose a very important mirror on themselves. We will not allow that.

U.S. Border Tax
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Shaughnessy Cohen Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

Last February an American senator assured us that a plan to impose a fee on Canadians crossing into the States was "as dead as Elvis". Elvis may be dead, but I think he has been appearing in Washington before a Senate committee, because they are talking about moving ahead with this plan.

Will the minister please tell us what the government is doing to persuade the Americans not to tax Canadians entering their fair country?

U.S. Border Tax
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

An hon. member

We want Elvis.

U.S. Border Tax
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy MacLaren Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I believe there have been a few sightings recently. In fact the House leader, who is something of an expert in these matters, has reported one such sighting.

The United States Senate judiciary subcommittee did indeed agree to a dollar tax on people entering the United States, but when it goes to full committee it is unlikely to carry. We are quite confident that when the full committee reviews the recommendation it will not go forward.

In any event, I would add that we have consistently pursued our point of view with the United States government, which is that, as the member suggests, such a measure would be in conflict with the United States commitments under NAFTA, a point that my colleague, the Minister of National Revenue, made when he visited Washington recently.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, no matter what happens with the vote in Quebec tonight, Canada must proceed with important constructive change.

Four years ago the Canada-Quebec accord was signed, which gave Quebec a significant voice and federal funding for immigration matters in that province. I ask the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration if this government is prepared to sign similar agreements with the other provinces.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, it really does matter what happens tonight.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Right on.