House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington
Ontario

Liberal

Larry McCormick Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned previously, the government is strongly committed to the health of Canadians.

As proof of this commitment, I am pleased to announce in the House that our government has approved an investment of an additional $32 million to ensure that in the future Canada's food safety system could continue to provide Canadians with the highest level of protection.

This investment represents funding to improve the control and regulation of veterinary and drug residues in food producing animals and food products of animal origin. Canadians have a right to expect an effective and efficient food system, and that is what they get.

Pensions
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. The minister will recall that the House unanimously passed a motion in 1998 condemning the discriminatory treatment of British pensioners living in Canada and the failure of the British government to uprate their pensions.

I understand that yesterday Prime Minister Tony Blair, in a meeting with our Prime Minister, effectively said that his government was not prepared to take any action on behalf of these pensioners.

What action is our government now prepared to take on behalf of the 140,000 pensioners? Specifically will the government launch a challenge in the European Court of Human Rights to end this discriminatory treatment?

Pensions
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member unfortunately is wrong in his assertions. The Prime Minister raised this matter vigorously with Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain. Prime Minister Blair of Britain confirmed that in his press conference and Prime Minister Blair said, based on my recollection of the transcript of the press conference, that he would look into the matter further.

This was raised vigorously by the Prime Minister. Mr. Blair in his press conference responded to this by saying he would look into it further. I think that should be recognized by the hon. member.

Social Security
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister may feel satisfied with the way he has dealt with the legitimate concerns of British pensioners living in Canada by saying the matter is being dealt with in the U.K.

However, perhaps he would explain why his government continues to ignore a problem clearly within the scope of his government: thousands of Canadian citizens facing crippling taxes on their U.S. social security benefits. They have been calling for relief from the government for over four and a half years without success.

Both the finance minister and the Deputy Prime Minister have acknowledged the problem yet have chosen to do nothing about it. When will the government take action to address the gross injustice faced by the Canadians asking for social security fairness?

Social Security
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I assure members this is an issue we have under consideration and we are pressing for changes.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

February 23rd, 2001 / 11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. For 60 years the Cobequid Federal Fish Hatchery of Cumberland county served industry and government, but in 1997 the department of fisheries announced a great new policy of divestiture with a great deal of fanfare.

Now, only two and a half years later, the experiment has failed; the policy has failed; and the fish hatchery is closed for the first time in half a century. Will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans restore the fish hatchery to its former level and not punish the area just because the policy failed?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, fish enhancement has been an extremely important part of DFO and we do that across the country.

I am not familiar with the particular hatchery the hon. member has referred to, but if he provides the details for me I will certainly want to get back to him and make sure I provide a full answer to his question.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans should be familiar with the Cobequid hatchery. He should be familiar with Coldbrook hatchery and the Mersey hatchery because lots of questions have been asked on them before.

The issue is simple. His government and his department gave Salmon Care hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of supplies, juvenile fish and other things, and it was a colossal failure, a complete and utter failure. What was the total cost to Canadian taxpayers and where is the new plan?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my earlier answer, I will take this question under advisement.

Fish enhancement is an important part of DFO. I am not familiar with all the details in this question, but I will get back to him with a full response.

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has posted a job advertisement for an administrative position with correctional services, but the criteria for determining who will get the job is not ability, education or experience but rather race.

Since 90% of all Canadians oppose racist employment equity and affirmative action programs, will the Liberal government abandon its prejudiced and discriminatory hiring policy?

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Waterloo—Wellington
Ontario

Liberal

Lynn Myers Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member that when the government hires people it wants qualified, good people to do the work of the government in an effective and efficient manner consistent with the values of all Canadians.

What I reject out of hand is any kind of allegations members of that party opposite are prepared to make about racism and other things. They are the last to talk.

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is not an allegation; this is fact. I have the ad right here. Race is the criteria that it will use for hiring.

The Liberals need to understand that it is not possible to discriminate in favour of somebody on the basis of race without discriminating against somebody else because of their race.

What does the minister say to people who are discriminated against because they are not eligible to apply for a job on the basis of their skin colour?

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada and other groups have now done studies which have shown that because of the colour of their skin there are people with equal qualifications in the country who do not get jobs and who get half of the jobs they are qualified for.

It is our duty as a government to ensure that all Canadians, regardless of the colour of their skin, are able to find work fitting their qualifications and to remove the barriers that race creates in this effort. It is a clear statistical fact.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, on the issue of softwood lumber, the Minister for International Trade told the House, and I quote, we hope “that we are headed toward free trade, and we want to make sure that—we will have a smooth transition to free trade”.

The minister's wishy-washy approach puts Canada in a vulnerable position in its negotiations with the United States.

Can the minister tell us what he meant yesterday when he used the word “transition”, if not that he is considering negotiating other quotas to please the Atlantic provinces and the United States, at the expense of Quebec producers of softwood lumber?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

London—Fanshawe
Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the minister was quite clear that there is a consensus in Canada against proceeding with a quota type arrangement. The long range goal of Canada is very clear in softwood lumber. It is to have free trade in softwood lumber with the United States.

The minister will be in Washington on Monday and he will be raising this question very vigorously with U.S. trade representative Zoellick.