House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farm.

Topics

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Mississauga South
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Szabo Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government does have a national housing strategy. We have provided $1.9 billion annually in housing assistance.

CMHC mortgage insurance helps one in three Canadians access financing to purchase a home. Through home renovation programs and housing research we are improving the quality of housing. We have also invested $753 million to address homelessness.

Canada Day
Oral Question Period

June 7th, 2001 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, we recently learned that 72% of the year 2000 budget for Canada Day was earmarked for Quebec. Certain communities in my riding were given a mere $1,000 to organize their July 1 activities.

Are we to conclude that the amounts earmarked for Quebec was a federalist tactic?

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage commit to giving more money to the communities of Canada so that all can share equally in the funding for this celebration?

Canada Day
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Yes. Mr. Speaker.

Access To Information
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

We have learned that the department has struck an internal review committee to vet the approval of all access to information requests, but it appears the net result of the committee has been to deny information to the official opposition. In fact we have had to appeal to the information commissioner to help us get answers to 31 access to information requests.

Does the minister think it is appropriate for her officials to disregard both the spirit and the letter of the access law passed by parliament?

Access To Information
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member should know, the decisions made on access to information are at arm's length from my office.

She also will know, I am sure, that there have been a number of requests made to my department over the last year. In fact we have had a threefold increase in the amount of information required. We are responding as quickly as we can. Again, as she points out, there is an appeal process that she should make use of.

Access To Information
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, our requests about Shawinigate do not receive a answer. Questions about last year's disastrous internal audit are met with months of silence.

We requested a list of HRDC grants and contributions to the minister's own riding and were told it would cost us $6,000 even though the information used to be provided to us free.

When will this minister stop stonewalling the official opposition and start obeying the law?

Access To Information
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again let me repeat that the access to information process is at arm's length.

The hon. member will recognize the amount of information that has been requested as we have provided hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper to her party at its request.

We have had a very good track record in my department of responding to requests. We hope to restore that capacity, but indeed the process is there if she wishes to appeal.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Last week there were about a dozen parliamentarians and diplomats visiting Canada at Russia's expense.

Today there are three Russian police officers in Ottawa to investigate a fatal car crash involving a Russian diplomat, but this time Canada has to pay.

If Russia can pay for the diplomats, why is Canada paying for the police? Will the minister just send the bill back to Moscow?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member shares with me a desire to see justice done in the Knyazev case.

The efforts that my department have undertaken to ensure that the investigation proceeds unimpeded are intended to do just that, to ensure that there is no obstacle to justice being done on behalf of the victims, Catherine MacLean and Catherine Doré.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government's new immigration Bill C-11 has been described as seriously flawed, draconian and even un-Canadian. Most of the 154 witnesses before the immigration committee said the bill strips the rights of permanent residents and does not provide for the protection of refugees.

The committee chair from London North Centre said at clause by clause:

It's lucky I don't have to vote...when they start to sound more Liberal than we do, I get a little concerned.

Why is the Liberal Party of Pearson, Laurier and Trudeau so unwilling to entrench the rights of permanent residents and properly protect refugees in Canada?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned that the member opposite, who has been a member of the immigration committee, is giving out serious misinformation about the bill.

We live up to our humanitarian and compassionate tradition of welcoming those who are in genuine need of protection. We enshrine the rights of permanent residents.

I think his constituents and Canadians would be very concerned to know he is proposing that we take longer than is absolutely necessary to remove serious criminals who pose a serious threat to Canada. I think his constituents would be surprised to know that he does not want to help us remove serious criminals as quickly as possible.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the United States government has assumed responsibility for its military personnel with Balkan and the Persian Gulf service who are victims of the gulf war syndrome, unlike Canada, which has chosen to abandon its servicemen and women.

Given DND's number one priority to put people first and improve the quality of life of its military personnel, when does the Minister of Veterans Affairs intend to indeed make people a priority and to give these personnel veteran status?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Haliburton—Victoria—Brock
Ontario

Liberal

John O'Reilly Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, Canada was the first NATO country to open post-deployment clinics. These clinics are open to Canadian forces members and their families and to veterans of any peacekeeping operation who have concerns about their health.

I urge anyone who thinks they have a medical problem to make use of these facilities and to visit one of the centres for injured and retired members and their families at the nearest medical facility.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, like the military personnel of other countries, Canada's military personnel are experiencing real physical symptoms: chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, memory and weight loss, urinary problems.

Does the Minister of National Defence, whose primary aim is to make people a priority, intend to immediately order a medical investigation of all those who served in the Gulf or the Balkans, to be carried out by a multidisciplinary team of civilian specialists?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Haliburton—Victoria—Brock
Ontario

Liberal

John O'Reilly Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in addition to a registry of gulf war veterans with health concerns established in 1995 and 1997, veterans with continuing health concerns were thoroughly examined and evaluated at a gulf war clinic which was established for this purpose. Some veterans were later admitted for additional assessment.

Once again I urge anyone who has a medical problem in the Canadian forces to come forward to the Canadian forces medical clinics and be examined.