House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Was the question put?

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the time the people across the way were calling for my question, I was putting it. What more do you want?

Again, here is my question: For everyone's benefit and because this is a federal inquiry and a public health issue, can the minister dispel the confusion surrounding the mandate of the commission by clearly stating his position on this matter?

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Krever inquiry was set up to inquire into the problems that were faced with the blood supply. It is the desire of the government and all provincial governments to see that the report is finalized and brought forward.

The member will note that the interim recommendations have been acted upon by the federal government. An extension has been granted to Mr. Justice Krever and the commission to allow their work to be completed. The reason for the court proceedings is to ensure that the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness are applied throughout the proceedings. We are also hoping for a finalized report as soon as possible.

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell us if the commission will in fact be entitled to issue notices of possible misconduct?

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the matters that are now before the court, it would be inappropriate to comment on the matter. However, it is the desire of this government and all parties involved to ensure that the rules of procedural fairness and natural justice are applied throughout the proceedings from start to finish.

We look forward to the decision of the court and ultimately to the report of Mr. Justice Krever.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

April 19th, 1996 / 11:35 a.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The west coast fishery is being assaulted by the minister. Fishermen are being told to sell their licences back before the government discloses what the fish harvest quota will be.

Fishermen cannot possibly make a rational decision about whether to get out of business when they are not being told how many fish they will be able to catch. This is more than absurd, it is an insult.

On behalf of fishermen whose livelihoods are at stake, will the minister delay the buy back until the fishermen know the future of fish quotas in British Columbia?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I could give a short answer but I know the hon. member is sensitive to the needs and concerns of commercial fishermen.

This program is designed to address the very sad state of the salmon fishery in British Columbia. I know he is aware of that. It is also designed in such a manner that although it is tough medicine and a bold program, it has to address in a very specific manner the reduction of the capacity, which everybody agrees is the problem in the industry.

Nobody has been told to return their licences. This is a voluntary program which has been championed by the industry. We believe the program will work. I certainly would appreciate the hon. member's support.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister is not aware that there was a delegation of people here from British Columbia yesterday representing half a million commercial fishermen, people in small communities who do not agree with his plan.

When I asked him the other day if he would set quotas before implementing the buy back he said "regrettably not." What is regrettable is the total disregard the government and the minister continually show for the fishermen on the west coast.

The minister has the power to delay the buy back until the quotas are set. Why he is refusing to do so I do not know. Why is he refusing to ensure the stability of the industry and the stable income of families that depend on the fishery?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, not to set a fine point on this, I want to make sure the hon. member knows and the House realizes that it is 500,000 people in the communities. The number of commercial fishermen, including workers in the plants, is 20,000. I am sure he would not want to leave that impression.

The parliamentary secretary met with these concerned groups yesterday. It is my intention to meet with them after question period to hear their concerns.

I also remind the hon. member there are many groups in his area that support the fishermen. I quote one British Columbia fisherman: "Fleet reduction is too important to the survival of the west coast salmon industry not to be implemented".

I will stick tough with this program and it will continue.

Maurice Lamontagne Institute
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The reputation of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute is firmly established. This institute employs 280 people at the present time and offers, among other things, a fish stock evaluation program as well as hydrographic services. Yet, its future is threatened.

The Maurice Lamontagne Institute's hydrographic service is one of its main components. Can the minister confirm to us that his department is about to shut down this service and transfer the activities to Cornwall, Ontario, which would mean the loss of dozens of jobs in Quebec?

Maurice Lamontagne Institute
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's question and the courtesy he has afforded me by discussing this beforehand.

The institute is a well respected one which essentially looks after research in the St. Lawrence River and the St. Lawrence estuary. It is an institute that regrettably has come under the program review and there have been program reductions.

The work continuing in the valuable research in his institute will continue despite the cuts. We will have to cut back in certain areas. However, I assure the hon. member and the House this valuable institute, so highly respected, will continue to exist.

Maurice Lamontagne Institute
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Maurice Lamontagne Institute has to continue to exist, but it is getting smaller and smaller each year, and Quebecers are really concerned about that.

Is the minister telling us that, just like in Varennes, the federal government is reducing even more its financial participation in advanced research in Quebec?

Maurice Lamontagne Institute
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I assure the hon. member this is not the case.

There have been similar institutes oriented in areas other than marine science. For example, we had the same program at the freshwater institute and the Great Lakes experimental stations.

It is all part of the requirement of my department to reduce our operation by 40 per cent. It applies from one coast to the other.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the sentinel fishing program has been a valuable tool in the monitoring of groundfish stocks currently under moratoria. The program has also helped to foster a positive relationship between scientists and fishermen.

Will the minister assure the House the sentinel fishing program will continue?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member and congratulate him on his first question in the House. The question is important. As everybody in the House knows, the state of the cod stocks in Atlantic Canada is dangerously low, particularly the northern cod stocks.

The purpose of this program is to have commercial fishermen who are properly trained to measure, under controlled circumstances, the inshore fishery by actually setting nets and counting fish. This is a valuable complement to the scientific surveys carried out offshore and in other community areas.

The real purpose is to measure the abundance and the migration pattern, to have real biological data which complement scientific data and to work in harmony with scientists in close consultation for the systematic betterment of-