House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was marriage.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the wake of the Prime Minister's decision last year to send Canadian forces personnel to East Timor, both the minister and CDS indicated that the military's operational tempo was too high. Since then the government has been very cautious in making peacekeeping commitments.

Now that Prime Minister Barak has been promised Canadian forces peacekeepers, what changes will the Minister of National Defence have to make to keep the Prime Minister's promise?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there are ongoing consultations which involve myself, the CDS, the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister's office. The notion of sending peacekeepers to the Middle East is one that I raised last fall when I was there.

We will continue to look at and assess this situation. We want to be of help, as we have traditionally been. We have less troops out there internationally now than we did a year ago. We have brought it down to a more reasonable level and we are ready to respond when the call comes.

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Winnipeg North—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

Today we are in the midst of National Volunteer Week. In the last throne speech, the Government of Canada expressed the commitment to establish a new creative partnership with the voluntary sector. What has the Government of Canada done to fulfill this commitment?

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to renewing its relationship with the voluntary sector.

We intend to follow up on the recommendations made in the report entitled “Working Together”. One of the report's recommendations was to establish a reference group of ministers. The Prime Minister has just set up that group of reference ministers. We had a meeting last night with the leaders of the sectors to decide our priorities. The government intends to answer in a national accord in the year 2001 with the voluntary sector laying a new foundation for an active partnership.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we learned about still another example of human resources development's lack of trustworthiness.

According to the auditor general, the department made a commitment to reduce waiting times for counter service and for payments under OAS and CPP. It turned out that this was not much of a commitment. HRDC did not even bother to check whether or not waiting times ever got shorter.

How can Canadians believe this minister's promises given her track record of failing to follow through?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, I welcome the work of the auditor general. I met with him to discuss the details of the chapter that he presented today.

On balance, he talked very positively about the service delivery methods of the department. I will quote him. He stated that “HRDC has made considerable progress in addressing service quality.”

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the auditor general said so himself two years ago, the operations of Option Canada have yet to be clarified, and we still have no idea how the $4.8 million was used.

Will the solicitor general give us the assurance that he will act on the letter I sent him today asking to set up a police investigation to discover where the $4.8 million given Option Canada went?

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I understand that my hon. colleague sent me a letter just before I left for question period. I have not had a chance to review the letter but I will review it in due course.

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

April 11th, 2000 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

As the minister knows, there are about 100 firefighters on Parliament Hill today asking parliament to make changes to the Canada pension plan so that they can qualify for early retirement benefits at the age of 55 and full benefits at the age of 60, instead of the current ages of 60 and 65. The minister is also aware that the House of Commons finance committee made a similar recommendation last fall.

In light of that, will the minister now propose an amendment to the Canada pension plan so that firefighters can obtain benefits at an earlier age because of this essential and dangerous occupation?

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt about the tremendous debt that all Canadians owe to firefighters right across the country.

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

This particular suggestion was made previously. We have undertaken to put it on the agenda for the next federal and provincial finance ministers' meeting where this kind of thing would be discussed.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the auditor general reported that after 10 years of discussion, the departments of Immigration and Health Canada cannot decide if applicants should be routinely tested for infectious diseases.

Can the Minister of Health tell the House how many more years Canadians must wait before tests are done routinely for infectious diseases?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general identified a need to improve medical screening and we are doing it.

As I said, a regulation has been developed as part of the new legislative package as a result of consensus achieved across the country. It will be tabled when we get into clause by clause.

Members should also know that health and safety are a priority and that is why immigration officers at the ports of entry in Canada can request a medical test of anyone entering Canada. It is important for everyone to know that we need to have a common definition of medical inadmissibility so we can ensure there is consistency in decision making.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-23, an act to modernize the Statutes of Canada in relation to benefits and obligations, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.