House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parks.

Topics

Immigration And Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

May 5th, 2000 / 11:45 a.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, the 1993 Liberal red book stated “We will establish strict guidelines for merit in government appointments”. It is seven years later and nothing has happened, nothing has changed. Bill C-31 dictates that members of the Immigration and Refugee Board will continue to be appointed by the minister, that is, through patronage.

Will the minister explain to Canadians why she refuses to move to a system of open competition and merit in choosing members of the IRB? Why does she continue this disreputable system?

Immigration And Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me say on behalf of my colleague the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration that we have every confidence in the quality and ability of those who are appointed to the IRB. I will take the opportunity to raise the concern that you have brought up today with my colleague upon her return.

Let me reiterate. We have every confidence in the ability and integrity of those who serve on the IRB.

Immigration And Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

I remind hon. members to please always address the Chair.

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

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

Earlier this week the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced a sweeping review of foreign ownership rules for newspapers. Later this week the Prime Minister's office informed the public that the minister's announcement had not been planned and assured Canadians that it was not the intention of the government to actually conduct a full review of the newspaper industry.

Who is speaking for the government, the Prime Minister or the minister? Is there a review actually taking place? Was the minister simply making it up? Who is in charge?

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the government speaks with one voice. In this instance—

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Do you want an answer?

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

An hon. member

It will be the first one we ever got.

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, in this instance—

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I know the hon. member was addressing me and yes, I would like an answer.

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government welcomes a public debate on the question of newspaper ownership and especially of newspaper concentration of ownership in Canada. The method of that public debate has yet to be established. We would welcome suggestions from the members opposite for establishing a process that will lead to a debate from coast to coast to coast on the importance of newspapers in communicating to Canadians what is important.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Michelle Dockrill Bras D'Or, NS

Mr. Speaker, for seven months members of the House, Albertans and all Canadians have been waiting for the answer of the Minister of Health and his government to bill 11. Time has run out; the product is here. Will the minister tell Canadians and members of the House, does bill 11 violate the Canada Health Act? Yes or no?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in November we said we would not stand by and let health care be privatized by stealth. In March I went to Calgary and spoke, criticizing the policy behind bill 11 and saying why it will not solve the problems in our health care system. Last month I wrote to the Alberta government suggesting specific amendments to the bill so that we could avoid some of the dangers it presents.

One thing is clear. No matter what happens in that legislature next week, this government will protect the principles of the Canada Health Act by monitoring and by enforcing.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, local newscasts are the lifeline of many rural communities in Canada. They are the one source of information that links many of our smaller communities together.

With unity being a primary concern within this country, can the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us why she is willing to allow the CBC to sacrifice rural newscasts for the benefit of urban Toronto?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, if the member had listened to the minister's answers to questions, he might wish to pose a different one.

One has to understand and respect that CBC has an arm's length relationship with the government. It would be rather untoward to dictate how it is managed.

Having said that, we and I believe CBC are fully aware of its mandate as it is prescribed by law. I would invite the member to refer to section 3.1 of the Broadcasting Act and he will have his answer.