House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, actions speak louder than words. Today the Ontario government announced that it will compensate all innocent victims of hepatitis C, regardless of the date they were infected.

The Liberals arbitrarily chose January 1986 to July 1990 as their dates for compensation, with little compassion or responsibility. These victims contracted the disease through no fault of their own.

When will the minister act responsibly and follow the leadership of Mike Harris?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, for the very reasons given by the hon. member, we provided for all innocent victims of hepatitis C through the blood system. The difference is that we provided it through care, not cash; treatment, not payment. Because that, in the last analysis, is what people need when they are sick: $300 million for treatment and for care.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister says that he cares. We have heard that over and over again, but he should talk to some of the victims of hepatitis C to see how they feel he has treated them.

Two years ago the federal government announced that it would send out compensation. The only people who have been paid to this point are the lawyers. The forms just went out last week to the actual victims.

This minister and his government have no conscience. How can the minister be so callous as to ignore the suffering of those victims?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the government has paid a total of $1.3 billion for the compensation of people infected with hepatitis C.

We have managed to save probably 10 years of litigation by resolving cases before the courts. In relation to those infected outside that period, there is $300 million for the treatment they will need, including $75 million which will be available this year alone. That is not only sensible, that is compassionate.

Sierra Leone
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs assured us that everything will be done to help facilitate the departure of the approximately 40 Canadians and Quebecers in Sierra Leone. He then criticized the lack of resources of UN troops on the ground.

Will the minister tell us what position the Government of Canada intends to take at the security council with respect to the action that will be taken to bring about a lasting peace in Sierra Leone, as well as ensure better logistical support for the blue berets in the region?

Sierra Leone
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on the specific question of support for Canadians, I spoke with Robin Cook, the foreign secretary of Great Britain. He gave me the assurance that the paratroopers are there and that the organization they put in place to ensure the withdrawal of people is in fact available to Canadians when they avail themselves of it, and some of them are doing it.

As to the larger question, which is a very large question, as I pointed out yesterday we are taking initiatives specifically at the security council to make sure that the UN forces there get the kind of support they need, that we begin to pursue the whole question of the diamond trade that is going on to snuff out the conflict, and that we begin to look at the whole question of accountability of those who carrying out the crimes.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

May 9th, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Whelan Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, in many areas the Great Lakes basin has experienced its greatest drop in water levels since records have been kept. Low water levels affect everyone one way or another. At this time it is especially true for marina operators.

In view of the tremendous economic activity which this industry generates and the communities that depend on it, and in view of the need for access to harbours of safe refuge on the lakes, how will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans deal with the emergency situation in the Great Lakes?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Essex as well as members of the Ontario caucus who put this issue forward to me. They made me and the government aware of the difficult situation of the low water levels.

That is why last week I announced that the federal government is prepared to make a $15 million contribution on a cost shared basis to emergency dredging of marinas most severely affected by the current low water levels in the Great Lakes basin. I think this is good news for Ontario. It could not have been done without the strong effort of Ontario members of parliament.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the foreign affairs minister continues to oppose the national missile defence program. Canada's ambassador to the U.S., Raymond Chrétien, said at a meeting that I attended that it would harm Canada-U.S. relations if Canada did not participate in the missile defence program.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Does he agree with the foreign affairs minister, or does he agree with Canada's ambassador to the U.S.?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had been paying attention, even though there has been no request made for participation the United States has not decided on its own participation at this point in time. All that is being done is a series of very important questions that are being raised, questions about the participation in NORAD and equal questions about the importance that it has to the broad question of arm's control and nuclear disarmament. I suggest the hon. member engage in the debate rather than ask spurious questions.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact I am paying attention. It is the minister who is not listening to the United States whose signals are very clear that it wants Canada in the missile defence program.

Professor Jim Fergusson, an expert on defence issues from the University of Manitoba, has confirmed what I heard the ambassador say. He testified before the defence committee last week that not participating would harm Canada-U.S. relations. Does the Prime Minister agree with Ambassador Chrétien, or does he agree with the rantings of the foreign affairs minister?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid that when the hon. member talks about ranting it is simply reflecting his own party's approach to parliamentary debate.

The reality is that a number of experts have been asked to testify before the defence committee, before the foreign affairs committee. They all have different points of view. We are listening to them. Unlike the Alliance-Reform or whatever they are, we do not have an ideological vision. We listen to Canadians.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Some time ago the minister wrote to the Alberta government saying he was concerned about the potential NAFTA implications of bill 11. Then he said there might be problems and they were studying it. Most recently he says that there is no problem and he apparently takes this view on the authority of the minister of trade who said that there is no problem with bill 11.

Would the minister share the documentation, the study, the evaluation, the analysis? Would he share with Canadians whatever it is that has caused the government to come to this particular view of bill 11? We would like to see the argumentation.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian right to regulate and protect our health care system is not affected by NAFTA. I did express concern to the Alberta government about bill 11 not only in relations to NAFTA but in relation to the Canada Health Act and whether the implementation of bill 11 would affect the principles of the Canada Health Act.

I will tell the member today, as I have in the past, that if and when bill 11 is adopted we shall be vigilant to monitor what happens on the ground to make sure that nothing in the practice imperils the principles of the Canada Health Act.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, we will see about that. We hope they are a little more vigilant than they have been with the eye clinics up until now.

The question I asked is about the NAFTA implications. The people who contend that bill 11 is a problem with respect to NAFTA have been willing to share the legal opinions which they have had developed.

Why is the government unwilling, either the Minister of Health or the Minister for International Trade, to share with the House the argument that has come out of the Department of Justice or the Department of International Trade or wherever to show us the reasoning behind the view that they now take, which they did not only weeks ago, that bill 11 is not a problem as far as NAFTA is concerned?