House of Commons Hansard #219 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cn.

Topics

G-7 Summit
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, we see the faces of francophones, but the image being projected is English. How can the federal government explain that Canada continues as always to project a unilingual English image at the G-7 summit, while federal representatives in Quebec seize every opportunity to emphasize the merits of a bilingual Canada?

G-7 Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 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 totally reject the premise of the hon. member's question. The face we are showing at the summit is that of a bilingual, proud and united country. The hon. member's attempt to tarnish this image of unity is regrettable.

G-7 Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

An hon. member

Right.

G-7 Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Acting Prime Minister.

It has been revealed that both the director general and the director of the public works contracting branch have doled out contracts to close family members without competition. One director hired his wife to do his office work. Mr. Hugues Bureau-St. Pierre has received close to $50,000 from his generous Aunt Lillian since September 1993.

Is the government investigating this matter? If so, will he punish those responsible for unethical conduct?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cochrane—Superior
Ontario

Liberal

Réginald Bélair Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in the last election the government made a commitment to govern with integrity. We intend to honour this practice.

We are aware of the situation that the member has brought to our attention. To this end, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services has directed his deputy minister to give instructions that guidelines should be respected.

It is not standard practice to hire family members. This particular group that the member mentioned is now the subject of an internal audit. If the allegations are substantiated as a result of this audit we will direct the department to bring in corrective measures.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged at the government's show of concern for ethics in the public service, but is it not ironic that it will investigate the public service for unethical conduct while the unethical conduct of the heritage minister and the public works minister goes uninvestigated altogether.

It is no wonder that the auditor general says there is confusion in the public service about ethics. It is examples from the top that prove the old adage that the fish is rotting from the head down in this case.

My supplementary question is for the Acting Prime Minister. Since the federal code of conduct does not seem to apply to the cabinet, how does the government expect to enforce ethical standards in the public service?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, ethics are very important to the government. We show this in many ways every day when it comes to the cabinet and when it comes to the public service.

Dealing with the hon. member's rather tasteless metaphor about fish, obviously things have stretched quite a way down to the bottom of that party judging by his question.

Bovine Somatotropin
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Ahuntsic, QC

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

Health Canada officials revealed today that the synthetic hormone somatotropin can legally be imported and used in Canada. Yet, the Minister of Health has tried to reassure the public by saying repeatedly in this House that the use of somatotropin is illegal in Canada and that cheaters would be punished.

How could the Minister of Health let us believe in the House that Health Canada had the situation under control when she knew that, through a loophole in the Food and Drugs Act, synthetic somatotropin could legally be used in Canada?

Bovine Somatotropin
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in our opinion, the current regulatory framework adequately blocks the use of bovine somatotropin in Canada. The example mentioned by the hon. member is a minor exception.

I am aware of the hon. member's concerns, but, up to now, they have been unfounded. We will continue investigating and, if we detect any problems, we will take the appropriate action.

Bovine Somatotropin
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out to the minister that all of the members of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, which met this morning, share this concern about this minor exception. If she talks to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, she will realize that he is of exactly the same opinion.

How can the minister explain why, in the past year, she has taken no steps to plug this important legal loophole, now that the voluntary moratorium imposed by her agriculture colleague has expired?

Bovine Somatotropin
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, for the vast majority of people in Canada other than pharmacists or veterinarians it is illegal to import, to sell, or to distribute rBST.

To date Health Canada has felt that the regulatory framework that was put in place was effective in preventing the use of rBST in the country. If that is not the case we will take appropriate action.

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

June 15th, 1995 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, every report from Bosnia suggests that our peacekeepers can no longer do their job. The Canadian commander says they are "frozen in place".

In response, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said this morning that if our peacekeepers "are no longer able to accomplish their raison d'être then they will have to be evacuated".

Given the minister's statement, is the government now preparing the evacuation of Canadian troops from Bosnia?

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

No.

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, we found out today that the government will be joining the Bosnia strike force. The presence of such a force is not in keeping with the peacekeeping mandate and has only two purposes: one, to join an escalating conflict as a combatant; or two, to facilitate the withdrawal of UN troops from the region.

Since the government is contributing troops to the strike force, does this mean it is abandoning its professed resolve for neutrality or is it preparing for withdrawal as we have proposed for the last six months?