House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was transportation.

Topics

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, for two years the privacy commissioner had been telling the department to intervene, and nothing was done.

Action was taken because the matter became public. The Prime Minister even told us last week that the megafile was legal, necessary and useful. Those were his words. This same government is today guaranteeing that the file will not be rebuilt in some other way.

Are we to understand that our only guarantee of protection of people's privacy is the word of this minister, who, just last week, said that the megafile was legal and necessary to government administration? These are her words.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the system that we had in place was completely compliant with the Privacy Act. Indeed, as the privacy commissioner indicated, there were no breaches of information. What is important to look forward to is the future. With the actions we took yesterday, in full compliance, recognition and support of the privacy commissioner, we have a system that will take us in secure privacy into the 21st century.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said in the House “Everyone knows that the department has had this information for a long time, since well before we took office”.

Why is the Prime Minister trying to shift his responsibilities onto the backs of others, when the file came about between 1971 and 1979, during the term of a Liberal government, of which he was a cabinet member? He was therefore perfectly aware of the existence of this file and cannot pass the buck this time.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member seems so concerned about databases and about personal information. I wonder if he is aware that the PQ in the province of Quebec have recently tabled bill 122. In that bill, the Institut de la statistique will be gathering and consolidating personal data from different provincial departments for research purposes. I wonder if the hon. member will be asking headquarters back in Quebec City about this.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister should know that it was because of Quebec, and that it was Quebec that wanted nothing to do with the sort of situation she is describing today.

Furthermore, the only guarantee we have that this will not happen again is the government's word. It is frightening.

Would she not agree that the only real guarantee for the public that it will not again be taken advantage of by the government would be for the Privacy Act to be reviewed as soon as possible, immediately?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not have to take my word for it. On May 29 the privacy commissioner's office, in its press release, said:

The Commissioner sees the department's decision as a recognition that departments can discharge their responsibilities and do the necessary research for the benefit of Canadians without sacrificing their privacy. In the Commissioner's view, the measures outlined by the Minister balance Canadians' right to privacy and the government's need for information on which to base policy decisions.

It is, I say again, the officer of this House responsible for privacy who supports this undertaking.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

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

According to the final report of a water issues case study in March 1998 by Environment Canada:

—water responsibilities have become disbursed within the federal government and water monitoring budgets have been significantly reduced. This is of concern to those outside the federal government seeking federal input for water issues, as they can not easily find out who is responsible for water.

Given the concern about water safety that we all have understandably had in the last few days, is the minister's department now reviewing these cutbacks to see what can be done to make sure that the federal government is never complicit in any tragedy like we have experienced?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to report to the hon. member and to the House that in the two years that has passed since the report that the hon. member has quoted, there has been more of a consolidation within the Department of the Environment. We have increased budget contributions substantially to the Department of the Environment. We are working closely with the provinces on the accord on water.

In answer to his very general question, he will in fact have much better success at finding where responsibilities actually lie today than two years ago.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is now 15 years since the Pearse report called for a comprehensive water policy by this government. I can remember a time in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the member for Davenport and members of the NDP were calling for a national safe drinking water act. Pearse himself said that if nothing was done, that the federal government should show leadership in this. It is clear that whatever policy we have in place at all levels is not working now.

Is the federal government prepared to take some initiative in this area and make sure that this kind of thing never happens again?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the first question related to a report two years ago. The next question related to a report 15 years ago.

If the hon. member would persuade the NDP provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to sign on to the national accord on water, we would be substantially better off. I expect they will.

Airports
Oral Question Period

May 30th, 2000 / 2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Minister of Transport made some questionable remarks about the airports at Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John.

In those remarks he said “I come from Toronto. We have one airport that serves eight million people. If someone wants to come there it takes a three hour drive. We are used to that kind of sacrifice, and I hope that people in New Brunswick could make some accommodations”.

Is the minister trying to get the people of New Brunswick ready for news about Saint John, Fredericton or Moncton airports? Where does the government stand on the future of those airports?

Airports
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it would be better to pursue this line of questioning in debate after 3 o'clock. I will be pleased to participate in that debate.

The point I made is that the marketplace will determine under the local airport authorities those airports that have the best means of serving the public.

The point I raised was that while a lot of people had talked about how far it is to drive to and from the various airports in New Brunswick, I was contrasting that with the numbers of people who have to drive to Pearson airport. These are accommodations that people make on a daily basis. I assume they make them in Ontario and they make them in New Brunswick.

Airports
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is a nice long answer, but the only conclusion I can draw is that he is getting the people of New Brunswick ready for some bad news.

Will the minister just stand and say that Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton will keep their airports as they have for decades and decades and decades?

Airports
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, there is no pretence at all that those airports should disappear. In fact there is the Moncton Airport Authority and the Saint John Airport Authority which have 60 year leases with Transport Canada. We are now in the process of Fredericton having the same.

How can the hon. member stand in the House and talk about those airports going or being closed when we have entered into deals with two and we want to enter into a deal with the third?

Canada Customs And Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the revenue minister's track record in abusing the privacy of Canadians is just as bad as that of the HRD minister.

Just ask Suzanne Thiessen of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Revenue Canada turned over her confidential tax information to the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation without her authorization. Why can the government not be trusted with the confidential information of Canadians?