House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I think the issue of government responsibility for the cod collapse is well illustrated at pages 380 and on in a book by John Crosbie, a former minister of fisheries in the House.

He outlined as minister of fisheries the advice he received from the department which was rejected for political reasons at the time over a period of some four years.

The hon. member may wish to reinterpret history as she will, but if she looks at that book, if she looks at other reports that have been put forward and other books written, she will see that this is not the simplest of problems. It is a complex problem. To have the cod stock recover—

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows that federal environmental mismanagement and his government's woeful response to this catastrophe keeps tens of thousands of east coast families in crisis.

An all party committee from Newfoundland and Labrador is here today in Ottawa following up on the all premiers' letter in December pleading with Ottawa to recognize that we are dealing with a long term problem that requires a long term solution.

Will the Prime Minister ease the suffering caused by this tragedy and pledge a comprehensive response sensitive to the particular needs and conditions of coastal communities?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. leader of the fourth party will realize that when we formed the government at a time when we had the biggest deficit in Canadian history, we introduced a program to solve the problems that were created before we formed the government.

We had a program for five years at a time when it was most difficult to have a new program. At that time everybody agreed that a five year program was a very generous long term program.

The problem is not resolved yet and the government is looking to see what can be done from thereon. I want to say—

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint John.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health has stated that he is concerned about the integrity of the health care system. It is not the integrity of the health care system that is in question. It is the integrity of this government and the minister which are in question because the compensation being offered to some hepatitis C victims is not the compensation package that the minister promised.

Will the minister do the right thing today and commit to compensating all hepatitis C victims who were infected through no fault of their own?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member refers to this government but she must also refer to the provincial governments who have taken the same position on the basis of public policy, Tory governments, her own party in Prince Edward Island, her own party in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta.

Just last week Canadian researchers disclosed that thousands of people lose their lives every year because they use prescription drugs as directed but have adverse consequences. Is the member suggesting we pay cash compensation to the estates of all those victims? The implications of that approach for the health system are serious—

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint John.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health cannot continue to hide behind other governments. Instead he must take a leadership role. There is nothing wrong with anyone in this House who has made a decision standing up and saying “we have made the wrong decision, we are going to correct it”.

If we measure the health minister's words carefully we will conclude the real reason the government will not compensate all the victims of hepatitis C is money. The government wasted half a billion dollars on a botched helicopter deal, three-quarters of a billion dollars on Pearson airport and the list goes on. If money was found for these deals, why is the minister denying compensation to all of the innocent victims?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I have made clear, when confronted with a situation where there are people harmed by risks inherent in the medical system, governments have to choose. Part of leadership on the part of the government is making tough decisions to protect the long term sustainability of the health care system.

This is the age of the class action. It is the age of claims against governments. Just last week we were sued in a class action by those who claimed that mercury fillings are causing health risks. Is the member suggesting the government should make cash payments to all those who have claims arising from the system?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

April 22nd, 1998 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister seems to be all over the map when it comes to human rights. On his trip to Cuba he refuses to raise the issue of human rights abuse publicly. Now even though the red book says that foreign aid should be linked to human rights abuses his CIDA minister is talking about giving aid to Burma, one of the most repressive regimes in the world.

Will the Prime Minister stand up today and publicly tell his minister that we are not going to give Canadian government aid to Burma or any country like it?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, Canada's policy on Myanmar, by the way that is the name of the country now, has not changed. That being said, we always review the situation and if the country and the government is willing to show some movement on human rights and good governance, we would be happy to look at resuming our programs.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, rather than a geography lesson perhaps the minister should look at human rights abuse for a change and treat it seriously.

Here is the situation. The Minister of Foreign Affairs imposed sanctions last year because the Burmese government was one of the worst human rights abusers in the entire world. Now the minister says we are going to give government aid.

Will the Prime Minister stand up and say that this is all over, that that government is the wrong kind of government, that we are not going to support it and there will be no Canadian government aid going to the Burmese?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just want to correct a few statements.

The minister said there is nothing going there at all. She just said that. In terms of human rights, we are the government which is engaged in Cuba. I made a public statement, and it was in the paper this morning, that I would raise it publicly. I have already raised it privately with the Government of Cuba. I will do it publicly and privately. Canada will be a leader there, as we have been in other situations.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, again this morning Statistics Canada figures indicate that an increasingly small proportion of unemployed people are receiving employment insurance.

Last February, fewer than 41% of the unemployed could draw benefits.

In light of this morning's disturbing statistics, does the minister, who claimed to be concerned about this, not see them as a very clear indication that his employment insurance reform makes no sense and excludes too many people who ought to be able to take advantage of it but cannot?