House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agency.

Topics

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the solicitor general.

The solicitor general's unilateral $8.5 million cut in funding for the RCMP in British Columbia and the Yukon means less money to fight organized crime, less money to fight drug trafficking and less money to fight white collar crime. It hits small detachments especially hard.

Will the minister now listen to the people of British Columbia and the Yukon? Will he restore to the RCMP the funds that were cut, give them back the ability to fight crime in our communities and stop turning them into bean counters?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the amount of money made available to fight organized crime in the last budget was a $7 million or $8 million increase over the year before.

The reality is that the way the money is spent by the RCMP is an operational question left to management of the RCMP, a very respected police force in Canada.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, now that they have frozen RCMP cadet training, the Liberals want to impose alternate service delivery on the RCMP support staff at the Regina training academy.

ASD is another step down for our public service, where they are fired and then offered their job back at half pay. Under ASD government employees are always sitting ducks and all services are defunct.

Why is it always Saskatchewan that is devastated? Will the government back away from another silly decision or will this be another solicitor general debacle for the RCMP?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, the RCMP is experiencing financial restraint like everybody else. In this case it has temporarily stopped training at the depot in Regina. This has happened many times before. It is not unusual. It is simply a function of the way that the RCMP chooses to manage the situation.

Helicopter Purchase
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1993, the Prime Minister took a calculated risk in canceling the helicopter contract. In 1996, he took another calculated risk in selling seven Chinook helicopters for $16 million.

Will the Prime Minister stop placing human lives in danger and, to this end, retire the fleet of Labradors and replace them with other helicopters?

Helicopter Purchase
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we do not put lives in danger.

The previous Conservative government was willing to waste an awful lot of taxpayers' money to buy a very inappropriate helicopter. This government did the right thing. It cancelled that contract. It is in the process of tendering for another helicopter that better meets our search and rescue needs, at a fraction of the price.

Helicopter Purchase
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I guess for this government money is more important than lives.

The government continues to risk lives. In 1996 it sold perfectly good helicopters that could have been used for search and rescue. We cannot get them back.

Today the chief of air staff said “Nothing says we have not missed an undetected flaw in the remaining aircraft”. He also confirmed today that there are offers on the table from Boeing and from the United States to loan Canada helicopters.

Will the Prime Minister stop the madness and get some help?

Helicopter Purchase
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have the crews and the equipment we need to do the search and rescue job. We not only have Labrador helicopters, we have Griffons, Sea Kings and fixed-wing aircraft like the Hercules and the Buffalo. We have expert crews that are anxious to get back into a full search and rescue operation. They will do that and they will do it with safe equipment.

If we need other machinery, we have it there as a back-up to call on when necessary. But we have the tools to do the job.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Shaughnessy Cohen Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Lim Guan Eng is a Malaysian opposition MP who is spending 18 months in jail for criticizing a friend of the Malaysian Prime Minister. He lost his seat and he even lost the right to practise his profession as a private citizen. What has Canada done to protest this action, to support Lim Guan Eng, to support freedom of speech and to support the rule of law in Malaysia?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member has already met with Mr. Lim Guan Eng's family. I thank her and the member for Mount Royal for raising awareness on this issue.

I can report to her and to the House that the high commission in Malaysia has already made a direct representation to the ministry of foreign affairs in Malaysia. When I visit Malaysia next month I hope to be able to seek the opportunity to raise the matter directly with the minister of foreign affairs.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister tries to distance himself from the BST internal memo, yet this internal memo states very plainly that there are three to four meetings per week and that the individual from the minister's office who attends is John Dossetor.

I want to know directly from the minister, if he is being so open on this file, why does he hide the fact that his office is directly involved in risk management? Why would it need risk management on a policy like this?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the member what we did. When the Senate committee on agriculture wanted scientists from Health Canada to testify and when the scientists said they were reluctant to go, I ensured that they were told the minister's office wanted them to attend, that it was their duty to attend, and that they should be there to answer questions. They did exactly that.

What did they say? They made it clear that Health Canada has not approved BST. There have been suggestions that we have been pressured to approve this drug. It has been under consideration by Health Canada for nine years. If that is what pressure is, it is not working very well.

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the interview he requested from La Presse last weekend, the Prime Minister regretted not having $20 billion for social programs. But on September 13, speaking before the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, he boasted that his government had just paid down $20 billion on the debt over 15 months.

Is the Prime Minister not ashamed of himself for laughing at people by claiming not to have any money for social programs when all of the $20 billion surplus accumulated in the past 15 months went to paying down the debt without a penny going to health?

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, a look at the last budget reveals that the government doubled funding for medical research and development, financed the medical transition fund and spent, over five years, in excess of $7 billion on transfer payments to the provinces, most of which were for health.

Bank Service Charges
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Finance. A study was released yesterday by the consumer group Option Consommateurs. It indicated that Canadians are being gouged by outrageous bank service charges. Even the MacKay task force recommends fair, reasonable and non-abusive transaction practices.

In light of that, is the minister now ready to take action to protect Canadians against unfair and abusive bank service charges?