House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

October 30th, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, last March, the Government of Quebec invested $40 million to help the École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe fulfill its educational mandate. However, in order for the school to properly fulfill its mandate to perform research and provide protection for human and animal health under federal jurisdiction, it requires an investment of another $59 million. This is also needed if it is to keep its North American accreditation.

My question is for the Minister of Agriculture. When will the federal government fulfill its responsibility toward the École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I said to the hon. member last week, the government recognizes the importance of the veterinary colleges for both animal and human health protection and for prevention in the country. We are seeking to work with the provinces in any way in which we can in order to ensure the continued accreditation of our veterinary universities and colleges in Canada.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the numerous epidemics, such as mad cow disease, foot and mouth disease and the West Nile virus, have demonstrated that veterinary research and epidemiological screening are not only absolutely necessary, but they also represent a vital and strategic sector.

Is the federal government, by its inaction—because the Government of Quebec has fulfilled its responsibilities—not in the process of dangerously reducing the ability of Quebec and Canada to intervene in the event of an epidemic?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, all I can do is repeat the answer that I just gave. I agree with the member on the importance of the veterinary colleges. The government is seeking ways in which we can ensure the continued value and the accreditation of the colleges.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have been dragging their feet on the Maritime helicopter replacement for going on 10 years now, but finally the Liberals seem to be prepared to send the Sea Kings, sort of like the Prime Minister, out to pasture. Of course, that lingering leave-taking of both the Sea Kings and the Prime Minister will certainly be a long goodbye. Even if a contract is tendered in 2003 it will still take another 10 years to retire the Sea Kings.

Could the Prime Minister confirm today that the formal process for replacing the choppers will start January 3, with a firm decision made by October 2003?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, this is a very important item which has a high priority. We will get the right helicopter as soon as possible.

I think the House would agree with me that today is a perfect day to have special praise for our naval forces in the Arabian gulf. As has been pointed out by the media and our American allies, our navy has fought above its weight with about 10% of the ships and half of the boardings and hailings. I would ask the whole House to join me in congratulating our navy.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I commend the Canadian Forces, but it is in spite of the government, certainly not because of it, and I say congratulations to our military.

I can hardly believe that the minister would stand up here and brag about what a high priority it is for the Sea Kings or anything else. It would take 10 years if that process began today for them to be completely refurbished and replaced.

I would be embarrassed if I were the minister. I would like him to stand up and tell the House if he thinks he is the new Red Green of the military to keep this equipment together with duct tape.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member said she would be embarrassed if she were me. Given her behaviour over pensions, I would be embarrassed if I were her.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Concerns have been raised by producers that consistent, accurate information regarding NISA payments is needed. Could the minister assure farmers that they will be able to trigger transitional funding through NISA even if they have already withdrawn funds from their accounts this year?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I said earlier this month that the transition funding would go into the accounts of farmers in the month of October. Over $500 million has gone into their NISA accounts. Farmers can immediately trigger those funds to top up any claims they had for the 2001 business year. For the 2002 business year they can apply for an interim payment. In both cases they will receive their money within 30 days of application.

Persons with Disabilities
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

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

In 1975 Canada signed the UN declaration on the rights of disabled persons pledging to assist disabled persons to develop their abilities and to promote their integration as far as possible in normal life. Yet, in Ontario special education funding has been slashed and almost 40,000 students remain on waiting lists.

Why sign international agreements if the government will not back them up with action? Will the minister honour this declaration by taking steps to guarantee children with special needs equal access to our public education system?

Persons with Disabilities
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, first and foremost the hon. member is making reference to a provincial jurisdiction. Aside from that let me say to the hon. member that social services ministers have as a priority on their agenda the focus of Canadians with disabilities.

It is my view that together we can build a plan, build on our vision called In Unison, to move to an agenda of action that will ensure that Canadians with disabilities can exercise full citizen rights in this country.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the employment insurance fund has a surplus of $40 billion. The Auditor General says that this is $25 billion too much.

Is the Prime Minister not tired of balancing the budget on the backs of workers who have lost their jobs? Is he not tired of that?