House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, over 30 years ago our government set up independent drug testing in the wake of the thalidomide disaster, a disaster which made Canadians realize we needed control over drug safety and that health outranked cost considerations.

Today, rather than protect public safety, the government is interested in the controlling of costs at all costs. To save a few bucks the Liberals threaten to put many more Canadian lives in jeopardy by giving effective control over drug approval to the drug manufacturers themselves. How does the health minister justify substituting commercial and corporate interests for the public interest?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, for Health Canada, public safety is the bottom line. We have excellent professionals in the department who conduct the appropriate tests and investigations before any drugs are approved.

To remove any doubt and to ensure public confidence in the excellence of their work, I have appointed a science advisory board chaired by Dr. Roberta Bondar, herself a distinguished scientist. They will look at the science capacity in the department. They will report to me and I shall make public their report on the question of whether we have the people we need in the Department of Health to fulfil our important public responsibilities.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

April 3rd, 1998 / 11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, in 1995 the Liberal government eliminated the feed freight assistance program. This decision has had a serious impact on the hog industry in West Nova. For one farm alone in my riding this decision means an additional cost of $65,000 per year.

Can the minister of agriculture tell this House if he is prepared to offer hog farmers any assistance with the high cost of freight?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am answering on behalf of the minister of agriculture. The Government of Canada has had a long interest in assisting the agricultural industry in particular with feed freight assistance. As to the detail of the hon. member's question, I will have to note it and the minister of agriculture will respond at an appropriate time.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, March 28, volunteers from the Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario held a tax clinic for seniors in my riding. These dedicated men and women provided an excellent service to over 80 seniors by helping them prepare their tax returns.

Can the parliamentary secretary to the minister of revenue tell the House what Revenue Canada is doing to help seniors and the disabled, those least able to cope with complicated tax procedures?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

London West
Ontario

Liberal

Sue Barnes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

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

Revenue Canada does have special programs especially at this time of the year. The community volunteer program has over 15,000 volunteers across the country helping over 282,000 people prepare their tax returns. I stress that Revenue Canada employees, on their time, help train these volunteers. That is very commendable and it works well.

Telefile is enabling about eight million people with very straightforward simple tax returns to do their tax files from their homes.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, why does the minister not just send out a news release?

Does anyone in the government care enough to listen to the message sent by the death of Connie Jacobs and her young son? Her family hopes something good will come out of this tragedy if living conditions on the wealthy Tsuu T'ina reserve can be improved. This is exactly what Bruce Starlight's letter warned the minister about.

The minister ignored Bruce Starlight's warning. Please tell us that the minister will not also ignore the appeals of Connie Jacobs' family.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

Noon

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and indeed all hon. members opposite know what the government has been doing to assist and to improve the lot of Canadians living on reserves.

The hon. member will know, of course, of the commission of inquiry which has completed its report. She will know that First Nations governments have received assistance from the Government of Canada. She will also know of the progress that has been made in the communities and of our continuing interest in this area.

Cutting a billion dollars from native programs, which is what the Reform Party wants, will not assist anyone.

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite what the government says, the francophones in Kelowna will have no services in French until two years from now.

How does the government explain its failure to comply with its own Official Languages Act?

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

Noon

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite knows full well that the government's official languages policy works and works well.

Naturally, there are parts of the country where discrepancies need to be rectified. That is why we have a commissioner of official languages.

I would remind him of the words of his former leader, Lucien Bouchard, who said that the official languages program in Canada was a success. He said that when he was responsible for Canada's Secretary of State.

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

Noon

The Deputy Speaker

That concludes oral question period.

I would like to thank hon. members first for their co-operation and for sticking within the time limits.

Ways And Means
Routine Proceedings

Noon

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1), I wish to table notice of a ways and means motion to amend the Excise Tax Act.

This amendment provides sales tax relief for the purchase of motor vehicles specially equipped to transport persons who use a wheelchair.

I ask that an order of the day be designated for consideration of the motion.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Bruce—Grey
Ontario

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 84 petitions.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present to the House today. The first petition comes from a number of Canadians, including some from my own riding of Mississauga South.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that the Food and Drugs Act is designed to protect Canadians from the harmful effects of alcohol consumption and that the consumption of alcoholic beverages may cause serious health problems. In particular, fetal alcohol syndrome and related birth defects are 100% preventable by avoiding alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

The petitioners are therefore petitioning parliament to mandate health warning labels on the containers of alcoholic beverages.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition has to do with the family. The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that managing the family home and caring for preschool children is an honourable profession which is not recognized for its value to our society.

The petitioners particularly point out that the Income Tax Act does not take into account the real cost of raising children for families who provide care in the home to their preschool children.

The petitioners therefore petition parliament to pursue initiatives to eliminate tax discrimination against families who decide to provide care in the home to preschool children.