House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member speaks of victims being abandoned as though the medicare system in Canada did not exist and is not available for their benefit. Thank God we live in a country in which all those people who contracted hepatitis C are able to rely on the excellent public health system we have put in place.

As for those victims in the period 1986-1990, I have well explained the rationale that all governments in this country adopted in approaching this problem.

Year 2000 Computer Problem
Oral Question Period

April 1st, 1998 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

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

In the Saturday issue of La Presse , the Minister of Industry was quoted as saying “If the year 2000 problem is not sorted out in time, it could trigger a recession”. But the best the minister can come up with to encourage SMBs to tackle this major problem is Business Development Bank of Canada loans.

When it is so vital to bring SMBs on side, does the minister realize that suggesting they take out another loan may well prove to be unpopular and an exercise in futility?

Year 2000 Computer Problem
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the member raises a very important question. The year 2000 problem is very serious, not just for the Canadian economy, but for all economies in the world.

Not only have we suggested loans, but the Business Development Bank of Canada has a 1-800 number that all businesses may call for immediate information to help them find solutions to their computer problems.

Year 2000 Computer Problem
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister is really interested in helping SMBs, and I certainly hope he is, why does he not suggest a tax credit for businesses that become year 2000 ready?

Year 2000 Computer Problem
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the budget gave an explanation of the rules for SMBs making the investment, but we must remember that this is a problem that businesses must sort out. Many have already done so. It is necessary to have a system in which businesses that want to stay in business take the decisions required to protect their interests.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Maurice Vellacott Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, in 1989 the Liberals in opposition urged the Tory government of the day to compensate thalidomide victims. The Liberal health critic rejected arguments that compensating victims would set a legal precedent: “I do not argue on the basis of legal precedent. I argue on the basis of a moral responsibility that the government must have toward its citizens”.

I ask the Prime Minister what has changed. What happened to those moral principles and the willingness to face up to a compelling responsibility?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we said earlier, this is an extremely difficult problem. We have had discussions with the provincial authorities who have responsibility in this matter. After studying the problem we came to the conclusion that the period for which government had a responsibility was between 1986 and 1990. All governments agreed the program put forward by the Minister of Health is the best program that can be offered under the circumstances.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Maurice Vellacott Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is not about legal culpability but about compassion and moral responsibility.

The Tory health minister of the day followed through subsequently and delivered for those victims of thalidomide. Again, the Liberal health critic said: “I do not argue on the basis of legal precedent. I argue on the basis of a moral responsibility—”.

When did the Prime Minister lose that ability to tell right from wrong?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health has explained very clearly what the government's responsibilities are. A lot of people are suffering in the health system and the government cannot take responsibility outside the health care system in Canada for all the victims of every type of problem of this nature.

We had a responsibility starting in 1986, according to all the ministers of health, and they have discharged their responsibility in an effective way.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Last week, the minister indicated that, in replacing the TAGS program, it was his intention to implement new measures aimed at getting a certain number of fishers out of the industry.

Can the minister explain to us what principles and criteria will enable him to determine which people are to be deemed surplus to the fishing industry

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, there have been a number of changes to the overall number of people on TAGS over the last four years.

To go into all the various criteria used to put people on and then later the reasons they fall off the TAGS system would probably take much longer than I have to answer this question.

We will be bringing in, however, measures to deal with issues following TAGS in due course. The Minister of Human Resources Development is in charge of a cabinet committee to this effect.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Durham, ON

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

The Senate banking committee has just released a report on the Canada pension plan investment board. What are the minister's views on this and how does he intend to react?

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Senate has produced a very good report. It is largely supportive of the government's position.

Are there differences of opinion? Yes, there are. While there is not unanimity I can assure the hon. member that the report will be taken very seriously. I will be referring it to my provincial colleagues and I will be reporting back to this House.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, maybe some day we will get an answer to our questions too.

The way the minister of Indian affairs is handling the tragic shooting of Connie and Ty Jacobs confirms all our fears. Instead of listening to grassroots aboriginals, the minister only consults the chiefs who have a vested interest in keeping things just the way they are.

Connie's brother and sister want an independent inquiry into conditions on the reserve but the minister is letting her friends over at the Assembly of First Nations take over.

Why is the minister doing exactly what Connie's family asked her not to do?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, let us remember what has happened here. Two people are dead and a community is in mourning.

In response to that there is a criminal investigation under way. There is an inquiry under the fatalities act of the province in which all parties, the federal government, the province and aboriginal people, will have some input.

I find it appalling that the opposition continues to use this tragedy to try to proceed with its agenda of undermining duly elected chiefs and councils in this country.