House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Atlantic Groundfish Strategy
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Nault Kenora—Rainy River, ON

Pay attention, you might learn something.

Out of the 40,000 people we were working with, some 15,000 were adjusted out of the groundfish industry. Maybe the auditor general does not accept that as a move in the right direction but we think that is a long way down the road to restructuring an industry that has totally collapsed.

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

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

The auditor general reveals that 7,500 trucks carrying hazardous waste cross the border between Quebec and the United States alone, without any federal control.

How does the Minister of the Environment intend to put a stop to this unacceptable negligence by her government, which, we must remember, puts people's health and safety at risk?

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, since April when the auditor general's information became knowledge to my department, officials have put in place measures to try to combat the weaknesses that were outlined by the auditor general.

We consider the import and export of hazardous waste to be a very serious situation. I will be looking further into this issue to make sure the necessary improvements are put in place.

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, how does the minister intend to meet her responsibilities in the future, when only yesterday she announced that staff will continue to be cut in her department?

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the staffing cuts that are occurring are a result of the 1996 program review. It has nothing to do with our department's ability to refer to the auditor general's comments about the import and export of hazardous wastes and we will be doing everything to respond to the concerns raised by the auditor general.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in question period the minister of Indian affairs bragged about the level of accountability to aboriginal people. Today the auditor general gave us the straight goods.

Over $1 billion is spent on aboriginal health care each year, yet the auditor general states that the government has insufficient information on how two-thirds of its programs are working. Given that the auditor general refers to the status of aboriginal health as a tragedy and a crisis, what concrete steps is this government going to take to ensure proper accountability for the $1 billion that is spent every year on aboriginal health care?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, whenever responsibility for an aboriginal community is turned over to a First Nation, it is done on the basis that that community will not only have responsibility for administering the program, but for accounting for it as well. The agreements that are entered into with First Nations ensure a level of accountability.

There is no doubt we have things to learn from the auditor general's report. We will be looking at it very carefully. I assure the hon. member that chief among our priorities will be the accountability of First Nations for the money that is spent.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general's report shows clearly that there is no accountability.

On another subject. As if there is not enough heartbreak stemming from serious social problems on reserves already, we learned today that the department of Indian affairs is complicit in facilitating prescription drug abuse.

The auditor general states that in one three-month period, 15,000 people went to three or more pharmacies, 1,600 obtained more than 15 drugs and over 700 people had 50 prescriptions in one three-month period. Since the government has known this problem has existed for 10 years, why has it done absolutely nothing about it?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not so. Over the last 10 years we have worked assiduously to put systems in place to deal with the kind of problem the member has referred to. I will give two examples.

First, it was the system of gathering information put together by Health Canada that allowed the auditor general to come up with the analysis in his report.

Second, by the end of the current calendar year, after years of work, we are going to have a point of sale system in place that will let pharmacists know that there is a problem with the prescription. That is going to help with this problem.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

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

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that the government would ensure that no one would use a Canadian passport for unacceptable purposes, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs responded in a similar vein.

Are we to understand from the Prime Minister's response that Mossad is authorized by the Canadian government to use Canadian passports for purposes other than terrorism?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this question is particularly irresponsible, and the answer is no.

Airports
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

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

Can the minister confirm that there are guidelines restricting the hours of operation at Lester B. Pearson International Airport and can the minister assure the citizens of Mississauga that the government will not allow the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to unilaterally change those hours?

Airports
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

David Collenette Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate my colleague for his first question. I know it is of great concern to him and thousands of other people in the west end of Toronto.

The hon. member is right on both counts. There is a restriction in effect at Pearson airport that cannot be changed without the government's authority and that authority will not be forthcoming.

Income Taxes
Oral Question Period

October 7th, 1997 / 2:45 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Governor of the Bank of Canada says he is going to continue to raise interest rates, but now the CIBC says that he is choking off the potential for job creation.

Since high interest rates shut off job creation, the minister must now finally explore the only other avenue that will create jobs: lower taxes.

Instead of increasing spending all the time when is the minister going to start lowering taxes?

Income Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was a member of the House during the course of the last mandate. He knows full well that in the last budget taxes were reduced by over $2 billion.

Does the hon. member feel that reducing taxes for students so that they can pay for their schooling, that reducing taxes for the physically disabled so that they are given a level playing field, that helping poor families with children is not the kind of thing the government should do? We feel that it is.