House of Commons Hansard #217 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was guns.

Topics

Trade
Oral Question Period

June 13th, 1995 / 2:50 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

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

It looks like the Clinton administration may prohibit Canadian companies that do business with Cuba from exporting to the United States. Such a move would infringe on our sovereignty and would violate key provisions of the North American free trade agreement as well as the WTO.

What is the minister doing to ensure that Canadian companies continue to have access to the U.S. market?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy MacLaren Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, this matter first came up when the so-called Helms bill came before the U.S. Congress.

At that time, we made our objections clearly known to the United States government. Since then the administration has questioned the terms of the bill in such a way as to suggest it will not go forward in the way that was first anticipated.

On the more specific question the member raises, I have asked our embassy in Washington to inform us of the details of the U.S. treasury's proposed action. We do not have all the details yet. However, I can assure the member opposite we will do everything to make certain Canadian companies have the full opportunity to participate, as they are now doing, in the Cuban economy.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is reassuring to know we do not have Jesse Helms setting Canadian trade policy. However Canadian companies like Lantic, Redpath and B.C. Sugar may be targeted as early as tomorrow because they buy raw sugar from Cuba.

What is the minister doing to protect these interests today? These are interests that have to be looked after at this very moment.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy MacLaren Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we do not have the details and certainly not details on the supposed action that might be taken against Canadian sugar companies in the context that the member mentions.

Our present concern is to ascertain the possible action the U.S. treasury might take against four Cuban Canadian joint ventures led by the Sherritt company. In that instance, we are seeking further information. I hope that I shall have more information I can provide the member in due course.

Bovine Somatotropin
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Landry Lotbinière, QC

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

According to an Angus Reid survey, three out of four consumers are concerned about the use of BST. Even the dairy industry is against it. The Dairy Council, which represents processors, rejects this product, deeming it unnecessary and undesirable, while dairy producers have demanded that the minister extend the moratorium.

Does the minister admit that neither the dairy industry nor consumers want BST on the market and that they all want the moratorium to be extended?

Bovine Somatotropin
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, when concerns were first raised about the potential use of rBST, a synthetic product, in the spring of last year, the House of Commons agriculture committee undertook a very useful examination of a number of issues surrounding that question.

It produced a report. That report recommended a number of things, including a delay period during which a task force could be structured to bring forward further information which would be of assistance to producers, processors, consumers and others that are interested in the question.

Over the course of the last year this process has gone forward. The delay period has been in place and remains in place until the first of July. The task force has completed its work. A great deal of useful information has been brought forward which will be helpful to all of those interested in this question so they can understand and appreciate all of the issues and all of the arguments, pro and con, with a little more detail.

The key question is one of health and the efficacy of this product, which is being studied as is required by law by the regulatory and scientific officials within the Department of Health. Unless and until the Department of Health issues a notice of compliance, the use of this product is governed under the controls of the Food and Drugs Act.

Bovine Somatotropin
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Landry Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, less than 19 days before the moratorium expires, the Minister of Agriculture must admit that both the public and the dairy industry expect him to act quickly. Does the minister undertake today in this House to extend the moratorium on the use of BST?

Bovine Somatotropin
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I understand that many in the dairy industry have expressed the concerns to which the hon. gentleman has referred. There are others in the dairy industry who have advanced the other point of view.

The existence of the moratorium or the delay is not the critical issue, quite frankly. The critical issue is whether this product has a notice of compliance issued to it by the legal regulatory authorities in Health Canada. No such notice of compliance has been issued. Therefore the sale and distribution of this product in Canada remains illegal.

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, on May 31 I faxed the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development regarding the Adams Lake road blockade to tell him that both the native spokesman and the lessees behind the blockade urgently requested his personal involvement. As of 9.30 this morning I have had no reply.

In law and in good conscience how can the minister continue to hide behind the bureaucracy and ignore the Adams Lake road blockade which has been in place since March 21?

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, there have been two blockades in B.C. in the last month: Upper Nicola and the one at Adams First Nations.

The blockade at Upper Nicola, as the hon. member knows, is down. The other is up. It is more sensitive than Upper Nicola because it was fish and this is an archaeological site. Artefacts have been found which the province has designated. The developer gave an undertaking that he would do an archaeological study, which he has not done. The province has sent him a letter under the B.C. heritage conservation act demanding that he do the study and cease the work. That has not been done.

Reformers said we were going to have three Okas there, which meant military force, if we did not follow their instructions. I would like to point out to the House that two men came forward at Upper Nicola. Their names were Stanley and Belleau. They went to the chiefs, talked to them with dignity, and the blockade at Upper Nicola came down. They were RCMP officers and a proud tradition did the job. Also, they were aboriginal RCMP officers and I want to commend them in the House.

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the blockade on Douglas Lake was taken down and I appreciate what the RCMP did there.

Adams Lake Chief Ron Jules has confirmed that the band will remove two cattle guards eliminating all vehicle access as of June 15. The RCMP have advised residents to form an evacuation plan. We are talking about private property here.

What recommendation would the minister of Indian affairs make to the Adams Lake residents regarding the evacuation plan which his continued inaction has created?

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, this is clearly provincial. I have worked well with Mr. Cashore out there.

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

It is not clearly provincial.

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ron Irwin Sault Ste. Marie, ON

It is off reserve and it is clearly on provincial property. As hon. members were told last week the RCMP are under contract to the B.C. government and it is their call. If requested we will go in and facilitate.

In the Upper Nicola there was a difference. The member of the Reform Party offered to go in and help. I am hoping this member will take some lessons from his seatmate over there and will do the same thing.

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—Woodbine, ON

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

In Bosnia-Hercegovina innocent lives are being lost every day. Conditions continue to worsen for the people in Bosnia. Our soldiers are doing a magnificent job in their attempt to protect citizens. What action has the minister taken on behalf of the Canadian government to assist those who are fleeing the bloodshed in Bosnia?