House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cpp.

Topics

Somalia
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Brampton West—Mississauga, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Cooperation. Over 1,000 Somalis have already died in the worst flooding that country has ever seen. Thousands more are in danger of starvation and disease.

Has Canada done anything to respond to the UN appeal for humanitarian aid to Somalia?

Somalia
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Moncton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we will be contributing $250,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross for emergency assistance to the victims of flooding in Somalia.

Canada provided more than $40 million in food and other humanitarian assistance to Somalia since 1991. We are also very concerned about the ongoing violence in Somalia.

Canada is working with the international community to determine what role we can play in support of the regional peace process which is essential to Somalia's long-term development.

Haiti
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian armed forces personnel are due to be withdrawn from Haiti. Unarmed RCMP officers will be left in Haiti without Canadian military support. This will significantly increase the chances that they will be attacked and injured or killed. RCMP staff relations officers have told me that there is a much greater danger now that the military is gone.

My question is for the prime minister. Why is this minister courting disaster and disregarding the safety of the RCMP left in Haiti?

Haiti
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to congratulate the men and women who did a fine piece of work in Haiti on behalf of Canada and on behalf of Haiti.

The United Nations mandate came to an end as of November 30. We have not been requested to remain. There will be policing operations that will be taken over by the Haitian national police and there will be some assistance which we will provide.

There will continue to be the provision of assistance with respect to training coming from Canadian police, but in no way will their safety be in jeopardy.

Haiti
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I was in the RCMP for over 30 years and I know that there is no way that policing in Haiti is like normal policing in Canada. As a result, I am very concerned about the safety of the RCMP in Haiti.

I would ask the minister again what specifically will he do to ensure their safety?

Haiti
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had bothered to look at the United Nations decision, he would know that the reality is that the new mandate established by the security council is to provide police for technical assistance, backed up by a rapid response team which will be supplied by the Argentinians, which will have the full capacity to ensure the security of all the police forces in Haiti.

It would help to read, once in a while, what decisions have been made by the United Nations.

Rail Transportation
Oral Question Period

December 4th, 1997 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 5, the Sept-Îles chamber of commerce complained to the Minister of Transport about the attitude of the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway company, which had decided to privatize its depot for goods destined for northern cities. This decision will cost Sept-Îles merchants several million dollars.

What does the Minister of Transport intend to do to restore the business of transporting goods to northern cities such as Fermont and Shefferville to normal?

Rail Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the government is obviously concerned about the state of Canada's highways. The federal government has been involved in assisting the provinces since 1919 in highway construction.

We have about $2.3 billion in existing commitments, some of which will have to be renewed over the next few years.

The hon. member makes a good point about the need in remote communities, but those priorities are set by provincial governments. The federal government then matches funds in any particular agreement.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has now agreed to cut a cheque for the victims of hepatitis C. Will the health minister admit that the real reason he is not ready to give them compensation before Christmas is that his leadership rival down here in finance will not show him the money?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has been reading science fiction again. He really should stick to the facts. The facts of this matter are very clear.

This is the minister and this is the government which have been signalling for months that hepatitis C victims should not have to spend a lifetime in court in order to get some kind of redress. Mr. Justice Krever's recommendation helps in that regard. The development in Quebec is very welcome.

As the hon. member knows, I will be meeting with my counterparts in the next little while to discuss where we go from here in the face of that recommendation.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Rick Laliberte Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to address my question to the prime minister.

The federal government has up to 5,000 contaminated sites across Canada and it has no plan to clean them up.

The auditor general estimates a minimum price tag of $2.8 billion and further inaction will only increase these costs. PCBs, military sites, ports and harbours, government lands, old bases and dumps need to be cleaned up and the government has no idea where most of these sites are.

When will the government stop dragging its feet and stonewalling, clean up these sites and get Canadians back to work restoring our environment?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York North
Ontario

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

This issue was raised in the auditor general's report. It was a very important report. The minister is appreciative of this report because it brings to light a number of concerns. When she returns from Kyoto, she will be following up with officials on many of these important issues.

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I need a little help from the Minister of Transport today.

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

An hon. member

You need a lot of help.

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

A lot of help is right.

I have in my hand the strategic highway improvement program agreement which manages $55 million of taxpayers' money and it states that it will be managed by two members, one member to be appointed by the federal minister and one by the provincial minister, and all decisions must be unanimous.

However, when I ask the minister a question about the 104 highway toll fiasco in Nova Scotia, which is already the most frequently closed highway in Canada, he says it is a provincial problem.

Can the minister please explain why the agreement in my hand states that it is the federal government?