House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was family.

Topics

Public Works
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is normal in day-to-day government operations for the Prime Minister's chief of staff to talk to ministers about this matter.

I can, however, assure the hon. member that there was no pressure on the part of the Prime Minister's chief of staff. We made an offer to purchase this building at the value of the 1991 lease negotiated by a Progressive Conservative government.

Housing
Oral Question Period

April 10th, 2000 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the moderator of the United Church is blasting the mindless ideology of a market driven society that abandons the poor. Tomorrow Toronto housing activists are holding yet another vigil to witness the tragedy of 19 deaths from homelessness this winter.

I would like to ask the minister responsible for housing why his government forfeited social housing and abandoned this most basic human right. Is it because the marketplace is the higher calling this government is beholden to?

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada continues to invest almost $2 billion a year in social housing. Since 1995 we have been putting more than half a billion dollars into the RRAP to rehabilitate vacant buildings so the homeless could use them.

The member knows that we announced at the beginning of December a program to address homeless people. She should know very well because in her riding the RRAP is doing a very good job of creating units for the homeless to have a roof.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general releases his report tomorrow and is expected to address the problems that citizenship and immigration is experiencing with visas.

The new immigration bill introduces a new much needed global case management system intended to update and secure the department's tracking system. This initiative will be very expensive and the costs will not be covered in the increased budget funding. Could the minister tell the House how much this system will cost and when it could be in place?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I will be pleased to comment on the auditor's report once it has been tabled. However, I can comment on the global case management system which will bring together a number of different computer systems that function within the Department of Citizenship and Immigration at the present time.

It is anticipated that the total cost of the system when fully implemented will be about $200 million, but I am pleased to inform the member and all members of the House that the funds for development have been provided in the recent budget. It is anticipated and I am confident that the resources will be available to assure implementation of this very important measure to ensure integrity within the—

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Northeast.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the defence minister a question in reference to the commitment of troops by the Prime Minister to the buffer zone between Israel and Lebanon.

The Israeli officials warned Canadian officials about Hezbollah terrorist attacks on any UN peacekeepers that may fill that zone. How many Canadian troops will be committed and how long will they be committed for?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have a proud tradition of assisting and establishing peace and security in the Middle East, in the Sinai, in the Golden Heights and many other areas.

If we are called upon, as the Prime Minister has indicated, we will give it very careful consideration. We will certainly look at the risk assessment. We do not know at this point in time how many troops because there is no UN mission. We have not been asked at this point in time. Certainly, given our tradition, we will look at it very carefully as the Prime Minister has indicated.

Genetically Modified Organisms
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, for some months now the Bloc Quebecois has been calling for the mandatory labelling of GMOs, and the government has refused to do so.

Today we have learned that the European Economic Community will be requiring all products with over 1% GMO content to be labelled in future.

My question is for the Minister of Agriculture. Can the government, which has shown nothing but inertia in this matter, tell us what the repercussions of the European decision will be on agro-food exports from Quebec and from Canada?

Genetically Modified Organisms
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I have told the House numerous times lately that the Consumers' Association of Canada, the Canadian Standards Council and a number of other organizations are working on a set of criteria.

The hon. member refers to legislation in the European Union. She should follow that up as well. By not taking the approach that we are taking in Canada the European Union is not able to enforce its legislation because it does not have a set of criteria that is meaningful, credible and enforceable at this stage.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs sidestepped the key recommendation in John Harker's report on the civil war in Sudan that would have placed oil profits from Talisman in trust. Instead the minister chose to refer it to the United Nations.

Last week, in spite of Canada's lofty perch as chair of the security council, the UN refused to discuss Sudan or Canada dropped its plans to have it discussed.

Why did Canada drop the idea of taking this matter to the security council, and what is the government doing about the unchecked oil revenues that continue to fuel the ongoing civil war in the Sudan?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member should know, establishing the agenda of the security council depends upon the full agreement of all members of the council.

That was not received. Certain members of council did not want the matter discussed, which I think just points out the urgency of continuing to develop a broader international consensus than exists now.

We cannot take action against one country unless there is agreement. It is certainly my intention when I am at the United Nations Human Rights Commission this week to speak on behalf of Canada and the issue of Sudan will be raised.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, could the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration tell the House what she plans to do about the visa problem while we are waiting for the new global management system?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I assure the member that steps have already been undertaken by the department to ensure that safety and security in all visa posts abroad are a priority. We have increased training for visa officers and staff in all missions abroad because we want to ensure integrity in our programs.

I point out to the member that almost $49 million were made available in the recent budget with additional resources being made available as a result of the new legislation. The combination of the two give me confidence that we will be able to address the issues that face us around the world in ensuring—

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.