House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was air.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, as is always the case, the hon. member, the House and Canadians can be fully satisfied that any transportation of nuclear materials is in complete compliance with the regulations of the Atomic Energy Control Board, the regulations of the Department of Transport and where applicable, all international regulations such as those of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency. All rules and regulations will be fully respected.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, people need to be able to trust.

Can the minister make a commitment here in this House that all Canadian environmental rules will really be complied with, on all occasions?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the answer is yes.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

March 31st, 2000 / 11:35 a.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the additional money given to HRDC this year was $1.5 billion. In the same year the same amount was given to the health care system. While Canadians have consistently ranked health care as their number one priority, the government's number one priority obviously is its patronage department.

When will the government get its priorities straight?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely delighted that the hon. member feels that health care is a top priority. It is obviously ours as well. In the past budget we increased it by $11.5 billion and in this budget we added another $2.5 billion, an increase of 25% over two years.

The important discussions now going on in Markham indicate our commitment to added funding but only on condition that there is a long term plan which will preserve our health care system for our generation and for generations to come.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government obviously believes its own propaganda. Day after day it continues to give us glib answers bordering on arrogance. Today in Markham the provincial ministers are on the receiving end of the same tactics.

How can the government sit here and say it cares about health care when the health minister has gone to the meeting with absolutely no intention of bargaining in good faith?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies
Québec

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, at the present time, I believe the public is calling upon the political parties, and the government, to stop throwing figures around. What is needed is the renewal of our health system.

With the tax points, the federal government has restored previous funding. Now we must move ahead. What needs to be done is not to stir up quarrels, but to find solutions. The Minister of Health has initiated a process of dialogue and exchange, which will lead to a renewed agreement.

Genetically Modified Organisms
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a flyer distributed this week to the public, the Government of Canada states that “Health Canada has a strict process for evaluating new foods developed through biotechnology. A thorough safety assessment must be carnedout before they can be sold in grocery stores or on the marketplace”.

How can the Minister of Health allow the publication of such a statement when 200 scientists contend the opposite and say that no Health Canada researcher is directly involved in the study of GMOs?

Genetically Modified Organisms
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the safety of any food in Canada, the decisions taken by the regulatory agencies of the Government of Canada are based upon the best information available both in Canada and around the world, and the best available science. We will ensure not only that that science continues to be strong and sound, but also that all Canadians can have absolute confidence in their food supply.

Genetically Modified Organisms
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the minister claim that GMOs are evaluated at each stage, from their design to their marketing, when his records do not indicate either the name of the company, the name of the researchers, the test site, or even the names of the inspectors?

Genetically Modified Organisms
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet
Québec

Liberal

Gilbert Normand Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, the question raised by the hon. member is very appropriate.

The government has set up a committee of experts who will make recommendations precisely on how to regulate GMOs.

In its last budget, the government allocated $90 million to regulate biotechnology, including GMOs. So, the government is indeed carrying out its responsibilities regarding GMOs.

Grain Transportation
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have no problem using HRDC to funnel money to their friends, however Canadians without Liberal credentials are continually ignored.

For example, the government could save farmers $300 million per year just by reforming the grain transportation system. Two experts have recommended that the Liberals eliminate the Canadian Wheat Board's stranglehold over farmers, grain companies and the railways. When will the Minister of Transport introduce legislation to implement these recommendations?

Grain Transportation
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this has been a very complex process. We appointed former Justice Estey to look at the matter. He brought forward landmark recommendations that were then analyzed by a former deputy minister of the federal government, Mr. Kroeger. We have been analyzing those recommendations internally. We have been discussing the various options.

I am still hopeful that despite the heavy legislative load the House has, we will be able to bring in a bill after the Easter recess. If we do, I hope that the opposition will co-operate with us fully.

Grain Transportation
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, it looks as if the Canadian Wheat Board tail is wagging the Liberal dog. The presidents of Canada's five major grain companies have joined the farmers' call for transportation reform, including the role of the Canadian Wheat Board. The savings from the grain transportation reform would be $15,000 per year per farmer. This is $4,000 more than the government's AIDA program.

Why is mismanaging money in HRDC and preserving the control of the Canadian Wheat Board more important to the government than farm families?

Grain Transportation
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has taken great licence with the facts here in talking about one subject dealing with HRDC and another with potential grain reform.

Everyone is in general agreement that there must be a more competitive system in the marketing and transportation of grain. Certainly the role of the Canadian Wheat Board has been a very important one to Canada's economy and will continue to be in the years to come. The question is to what degree the board will continue to have an involvement in the transportation of grains. These are all issues we are looking at currently.