House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, imagine the residents of Saint-Fulgence, who are suffering, imagine the families who are suffering because of this government's inaction and who are hearing the minister say that he had a great time while touring with the Liberal candidate.

The question that I am asking the government on behalf of these workers, families and people who met the minister yesterday is: will the government do them justice, will it help them and change the employment insurance program, yes or no? These people need such a measure.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I was very pleased to be in Saint-Fulgence. I met 170 workers from a sawmill which, unfortunately, was shut down for a number of reasons, including some that are related to the softwood lumber crisis.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

I see that Bloc Quebecois members are very nervous. After visiting the Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay region, I understand why they are getting nervous on that side of the House and they do not even want to hear my answer.

Yesterday, I told softwood lumber workers that Gilbert Tremblay is prepared to work with them to find solutions to their real problems, but not to engage in systematic obstruction, not to ask—

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem facing the softwood lumber workers is that the Minister of Industry and his colleague, the Minister of Human Resources Development, refuse to implement a second phase to the assistance package, which would include changes to EI and loan guarantees for the companies.

Given the serious division within cabinet on this matter, should the Prime Minister not put the issue on the table and require immediate assistance for the workers of Saint-Fulgence and other areas of Quebec?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have already announced some $110 million for communities affected by the softwood lumber crisis. I have personally met with people from Saint-Honoré, Saint-Fulgence, Saint-Thomas-Didyme and L'Ascension and they have told me they are now prepared to accept federal money to bolster their communities.

We will be announcing these measures in the days to come.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, now is not the time for meetings, it is the time for solutions.

At the rate things are going, and with a government that is refusing to assume its responsibilities, does the Prime Minister not understand that, when this dispute is over, when the time comes to celebrate victory over the Americans on the softwood lumber issue, an awful lot of people are likely to be missing from the celebration, because thousands of workers will have been forced out of the market and dozens of sawmills will have shut down because of this federal government's failure to act?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of working along with the communities and the industry to diversify products for world markets.

We are anxious to start working with Gilbert Tremblay as the new member for Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay to ensure they are represented effectively here in the House of Commons.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, Jeffery Bates was a New Brunswick child who died last year because of water contaminated by E. coli. In nine years of Liberal rule we have seen Walkerton, North Battleford and many communities with contaminated water but we have not seen a national water standard.

A Health Canada report released yesterday calls on the government for national guidelines. When exactly will the Minister of Health introduce national standards to safeguard drinking water so children like Jeffery Bates will not die simply because they were thirsty?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is probably aware, generally speaking water safety standards are a matter for the provinces and the territories. However we in Health Canada take our role very seriously in terms of working with the provinces and territories to develop national draft guidelines. In fact, those guidelines are at this very time being revised.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the problem with this government is that it always waits until there is a crisis before taking action. There have been too many crises and too many deaths due to negligence. What the Health Canada report is calling for is precise national standards for pathogens, such as E. coli bacteria.

Will the Minister of Health carry out her own department's recommendation and present a plan with national standards to reassure Canadians?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we value very highly working in collaboration with the provinces and the territories. We do have guidelines for Canadian drinking water quality and they are constantly being reassessed. Scientific work is constantly being done to ensure that those guidelines meet the highest standards. We will continue to that. Those guidelines are being applied across the country.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

December 5th, 2002 / 2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, in response to the Auditor General's scathing report on his department's handling of the firearms registry, the Minister of Justice has hired KPMG to audit the department's financial statements.

We know the Auditor General must report to Parliament. We know that no such requirement exists for a private firm. Other than the opportunity to hide the report from Parliament, is there any reason why the minister chose KPMG over the Auditor General? Does he think a private firm will be any more successful at getting to the bottom of the mess than the Auditor General?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as we said, we accept all the recommendations of the report of the Auditor General. Basically, as we looked at the situation there were two big concerns.

The first concern was the cost escalation. I have explained in the House the reasons, which were, of course, that the provinces opted out and then there was the challenge in terms of technology.

On the other side is the question of being accountable. Of course the Department of Justice is the single point and therefore is accountable. We are accountable for all other departments and will make sure we put the books in a fashion that will please the Auditor General and the whole population.