House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was debt.

Topics

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to advise the House that the public complaints commission is conducting an inquiry into this matter. We are awaiting the outcome of that inquiry in the interest of all Canadians.

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week the auditor general stated that he “deplores the fact that it takes on average more than two and a half years to settle a refugee claim”. Today 38,000 refugees have their lives on hold as they wait to have their claims heard.

The fact of the matter is that the auditor general has been calling for an overhaul of the minister's department for the last 10 years. Now another promise has been made.

Will the minister commit today to the urgent implementation of the auditor general's recommendation?

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have said that I was favourable to the auditor general's conclusion that an in-depth review of the refugee determination process was necessary, and that is what we are going to do.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

I have been hearing from veterans in my riding who are eligible for pensions but are having to wait months and even years before receiving them.

Could the minister indicate to the House whether his department can cut the red tape, as promised in the 1995 pension reform bill?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, in response to the hon. member's question, the government made a commitment two years ago to considerably reduce the turnaround time.

I am pleased to report to the House that as a result of the passage of the pension reform legislation and as a result of the tremendous efforts of veterans affairs staff, veterans groups and improved technology, we have improved it considerably in two years. In fact we have reduced it by half.

It is another concrete example of the work the government does on behalf of all Canada's veterans.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs and it concerns the recent APEC summit in Vancouver.

Today we learned that the Prime Minister's office muscled UBC and the RCMP into moving protesters out of sight and sound of the APEC leaders.

In view of the the PMO's police state tactics of silencing aboriginal rights speakers, pepper spraying protesters and overturning UBC-RCMP agreements, will the government now order a full independent inquiry, not an independent inquiry into the RCMP, but into the role of the PMO in these tactics which are more appropriate to a dictatorial third world thug?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The rhetoric is getting a little bit higher. I am going to permit the solicitor general to answer if he wishes.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I already informed the House, the Public Complaints Commission announced yesterday that it is going to do a review of the incident. I think it is in the interest of all Canadians to get to the bottom of it. I look forward to its review.

Search And Rescue
Oral Question Period

December 11th, 1997 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party leader cynically manipulated a serious aircraft tragedy by linking it to the need for new helicopters.

In fact, the 24 hour wait endured by the victims was the result of botched decision making by search and rescue operations. A pilot in a privately chartered helicopter claimed that he followed Transport Canada guidelines while landing at the crash site.

Can the minister of defence tell us why his department failed to enlist locally available helicopters in this rescue as was the case in the Red River flood?

Search And Rescue
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian forces aircraft went in as soon as it possibly could. The weather conditions were terrible. Yes, a helicopter did get in about an hour and a half before our Hercules got on the ground, but only by getting underneath the ceiling and doing it at considerable risk.

I did not say that anybody broke rules. That is a point for the Transportation Safety Board to determine in its investigation of the matter. Certainly it was done at considerable risk.

Our people got in there as quickly as they could and they did in fact perform the rescue.

Search And Rescue
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gilles Bernier Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, information has come to us that there was a meeting of the inner cabinet last Thursday at which the decision was taken to choose the EH-101. That information was subsequently leaked to the other bidders before it was announced to the full cabinet.

When the Prime Minister learned about this, we were told that he hit the roof. He even asked the officials to leave the cabinet room and put the entire process on hold until further notice. Can the defence minister confirm this?

Search And Rescue
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are moving as quickly as we can on the purchase of necessary search and rescue helicopters.

Search And Rescue
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gilles Bernier Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, what is very clear is that this minister has tainted the entire process by his dithering. Well, time is up. In 25 days all four helicopter bids expire. If that happens, the defence minister will have to restart the process at a cost of millions of dollars.

What is the minister going to do? Is he going to try to sneak this announcement by Canadians on Christmas Eve, or will he have to start the process all over again from scratch?

Search And Rescue
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is a hypothetical question. We are dealing with the matter as quickly as possible.

We recognize the need for proper search and rescue helicopters. We have good equipment now. We have people who operate it and do an excellent job. There is no doubt that we are going to need new helicopters and we need them soon.

Dairy Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The Canadian Dairy Commission is poised to set a price increase for industrial milk. Can the minister tell this House how this pricing regime operates? Second and most important, can he assure us that the Canadian dairy industry will continue to be competitive and a productive force in the Canadian economy?