House of Commons Hansard #210 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vote.

Topics

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in recent days, the Serbian population in Bosnia has questioned the Dayton accords, and there have been demonstrations by Serbians in Macedonia, raising concerns about the stability of that country. At the very beginning of the conflict, the Bloc Quebecois pointed out the risk of escalation.

Does the Prime Minister not think today that escalation of this conflict is imminent and likely and that preparations must be made accordingly?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, clearly, there is always a danger that a conflict such as this could escalate. It would be unfortunate.

What is clear to the government and to the House of Commons is that, like the party in power, all opposition parties support Canada's participation in the current NATO bombing in Serbia because something must be done to help the Kosovars return to their homeland and to put an stop to the murders and other similar crimes now taking place.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday NATO's secretary general, Javier Solana, and the U.S. secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, both stated that they were no longer ruling out sending ground troops to Kosovo.

According to some reports, these troops could be deployed in six to eight weeks and have a strength of 280,000.

Does the Prime Minister support the comments made by the NATO secretary general and by Mrs. Albright, and can he confirm the reports on the time necessary to send ground troops to Kosovo and on their possible strength?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, at this point no decision has been made by NATO on issues relating to armed forces. However, on Friday the heads of government of all NATO countries will have an opportunity to discuss these serious issues. At this point in time, no decision has been made.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, this shows once again that the government is providing information bit by bit.

Friday, something will happen and we will get information. This is something about which we were never told until now.

If NATO asks Canada to contribute to the sending of ground troops to Kosovo, will the Prime Minister pledge at last to seek the approval of parliament before sending such troops to the Balkans?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is surprised. Everyone, except the member, knows that a meeting of NATO heads of government will take place on Friday, in Washington. The hon. member should know that we are going to attend that meeting. He should also know that we are going to discuss the situation in Kosovo. We are not going there to talk about the weather.

He should not be surprised that we will discuss these issues on Friday. The hon. member should do his homework before rising in the House.

Nuclear Waste
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Americans and the Russians have a nuclear waste problem. Against every environmental principle, against the unanimous recommendation of a parliamentary committee, Canada now proposes to make the problem worse by transporting highly dangerous plutonium thousands and thousands of kilometres through Canadian communities.

Why are we risking Canada's environment? Why is Canada not telling the Americans and the Russians to clean up their own mess?

Nuclear Waste
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in all my years in parliament, I think that is just about the most foolish question I have ever heard, frankly. Trying to terrify Canadians based upon supposition and hypothesis is a very dangerous tactic.

My colleague the Minister of National Defence and I will be tabling this afternoon a response to the committee's recommendation. We have said so far there is no decision to make any transportation. Any decision will be made on the basis of all environmental safety standards.

Frankly, for a party that has committed itself over the years to nuclear disarmament, that was a shameful question.

Nuclear Waste
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I suppose we will now hear the same kind of unlikely excuses about PCBs. Canada is preparing to import PCBs from U.S. military bases in Japan, PCBs that the Americans have rejected as too dangerous.

How does this work? Clinton pulls the chain and buddy responds. Why is Canada becoming the dumping ground of choice for the world's waste?

Nuclear Waste
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I believe I can respond to the question about PCBs.

My department has had no request to authorize such a shipment into this country. If we were to get such a request we would review it and any action we would take would be absolutely according to the policy of the government.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

April 19th, 1999 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of National Defence confirm that Canadian forces personnel are now engaged in ground operations in Kosovo and or Yugoslavia?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the hon. member is referring to as ground operations.

We have personnel in Macedonia and Albania who are largely assisting with refugees and things of that order. We do not have troops. We indicated previously that under a peacekeeping force, which would come with a post-peace agreement, we would send 600 to 800 troops. Obviously those troops are not there at this point in time. What people we do have in the area are helping to assist in the overall effort with respect to the refugees.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was not talking about the surrounding areas.

I ask the minister, are members of joint task force two now involved in ground operations in Kosovo and Yugoslavia?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the operations that we have in Albania, in Macedonia or anywhere in the area have been previously well discussed and announced in the House. We made it quite clear that we would not be sending peacekeeping troops under a condition of conflict, or anything other than what we have agreed to already, without further discussion.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the industry minister talks about being on track. The track that Canada's brightest and best are on is straight to the U.S., which has a tax system that welcomes them with open arms, while Canada's tax system drives them out of this country. Now Nortel has joined other captains of industry in telling the government to clean up its tax act or they are out of here.

I ask the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister, before the entire high tech industry logs off, shuts downs and exits this government's odious tax program, will they bring in some tax relief?