House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was magazines.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, the hearings this morning had to do with the process by which the application for approval of something called rBST was carried forward.

So not to lose sight of the facts, I want to stress that rBST has not been approved in Canada. It has not been approved by Health Canada. Even though it has been approved in the States we have said no. We have not given approval. We will not give approval until the safety of that substance is determined to our satisfaction. This has been under review for nine years.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the health minister can pretend that everything is fine in health protection. Is he saying it is fine to muzzle scientists? Is it fine with the minister to alter documents? Is it fine to secretly remove files?

If the health minister has nothing to hide why not agree to a full and open inquiry to investigate these serious allegations?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, were the member not speaking in the political theatre she would concede that many of these allegations have already been investigated. Some of them are now before the Public Service Staff Relations Board which has had a full hearing and has had this testimony before it. Some of the allegations she mentions go back to 1990. They were the subject of television programs in 1994.

These have been looked at over the years. Now they are before the Public Service Staff Relations Board. Let us let that board consider the evidence and come to its own conclusions.

As far as Health Canada is concerned we will continue to act in the public interest.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

October 22nd, 1998 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the public complaints commission needs access to all audio tapes of RCMP officers and Jean Carle's discussions regarding security during the APEC summit. This would be irrefutable evidence of PMO interference in the RCMP.

Did the Prime Minister ask Jean Carle to direct security arrangements so that peaceful Canadian protesters would not upset brutal Asian dictators?

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Jean Carle is coming to the commission to testify. Why don't we let him testify. I am sure he will confirm that the Prime Minister acted properly in this matter.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is extremely disturbing that relevant audio tapes are presently held by a forum other than the public complaints commission. It suggests a cover-up either from senior levels of the RCMP, the solicitor general or the Prime Minister.

I ask the solicitor general why were all these recordings not turned over to the public complaints commission as requested. Or is the solicitor general again covering for the Prime Minister?

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said many times, the counsel to the commission has expressed no problem with the availability of information. The government has been very forthright. In fact, there has been a remarkable collection of information made available.

The counsel to the commission and the commission are doing their job and the hon. member should allow them to continue.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister says that BST modified milk has been studied a long time and not approved and it is fine. The interesting thing is that scientists say that $2 million was offered to the department and when this was reported to the department absolutely nothing was done.

I do not care if a television show did expose this. Why is the health department not doing anything if millions of dollars were offered?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we found the member had not read his clippings from the summer. Now we can see the member has not watched television since 1994.

All these allegations in relation to the alleged break in and so on were dealt with when they were reported to officials in 1990 when they allegedly occurred. They were looked into. There were inquiries. The matter became public and aired on a television program.

Let me come back to the real point. The real point is that Health Canada is watching for the safety of Canadians. We have not approved rBST. We will not approve it—

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Macleod.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, this story gets worse. When the five scientists who were on the top of this file made these complaints what happened to them? Due to the company they were removed from the file.

My question is straightforward. Just who is looking after the safety of our milk in Canada, our scientists whom we trust or some faceless big drug company? Who is looking after us?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member has his facts wrong. He should be embarrassed. The member should double check his facts.

In the meantime, Health Canada has not approved rBST. Health Canada will not approve rBST until we are satisfied it is safe notwithstanding the fact it has been approved in the United States and appropriate for sale in Canada.

Budget Surplus
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government refuses to admit that it has a sizable budget surplus with which it could give back to the provinces the money it took from the health sector. As Alain Dubuc wrote in La Presse : “This fiction about a zero surplus has become an insult to the intelligence and is totally unacceptable in a democracy”.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he has some latitude, since he has already allocated $20 billion to the debt over a period of 15 months, and since the surplus for the first five months of the current fiscal year has already reached $8 billion?

Budget Surplus
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, we obviously have a surplus for the period to date, but there is a great deal of uncertainty about the future. One third of the world is currently in a recession. We will continue to act in a prudent and responsible way. It is our duty and our plan of action.

Budget Surplus
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government does have some latitude; what is totally missing is compassion for the people. That is the reality.

I am asking whoever speaks on behalf of the government, someone who is responsible—