House of Commons Hansard #161 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was endangered.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the RCMP is investigating the allegations. As my hon. colleague is well aware I am certainly not in a position to indicate whether it should or should not, but the RCMP has indicated that it is investigating.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is the day that the Americans are supposed to announce their decision on what they are going to do about Canadian softwood lumber. On his return from the United States, the Prime Minister indicated that an agreement was imminent, and the Minister for International Trade made the commitment not to sign any agreement that did not take provincial specifics into account.

Can the Deputy Prime Minister assure us that his government will not sign an agreement just to save face for the Prime Minister, and that any agreement that might ensue will respect the specific nature of Quebec and of the provinces?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

London—Fanshawe
Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, discussions went on through the night last night in Washington and negotiations have resumed. Our negotiating team is sparing absolutely no effort to find an agreement.

I can assure the hon. member, the House and all Canadians that the government simply will not sign a bad deal just to have a deal.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, month after month, week after week, the Minister for International Trade stood in the House and assured us that he would accept nothing short of free trade in softwood lumber.

Why is he caving in at this 11th hour and changing the position he repeated to us so often?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

London—Fanshawe
Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I have no idea where my hon. friend would get that impression. The fact of the matter is, I repeat, that the government will not sign what it considers to be a bad deal.

The long term goal remains exactly the same. We will not have a deal that does not guarantee unfettered open access for Canadian softwood lumber to the American market. That was, is and will continue to be our position.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1981 the Government of Canada was among the first to sign the United Nations convention on the law of the sea. During the election in 1993 the Liberal Party made a commitment to ratify the convention.

When could Canadians expect the Government of Canada to ratify the United Nations convention on the law of the sea?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question and his interest in this matter. He knows full well, as does the House, that it is the policy of the government to ratify the law of the sea convention as soon as possible, bearing in mind that it is the primary duty of the government and ourselves to protect the fishing stocks of this country.

We heard the minister of fisheries speak to this matter in the House this afternoon. We have now dealt with the straddling and highly migratory fish stocks. We will continue pursuing protection of fish stocks and will sign the law of the sea convention as soon as we are assured the Canadian interests in this important area are guaranteed.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, senior Zimbabwean politicians and members of the Zimbabwean defence force have with the help of Dickens and Madson turned Zimbabwe into a hub for the sale of blood diamonds. This same company is the company from which the Department of Foreign Affairs was extracting information.

My question is very simple. Will the solicitor general also ask the RCMP to investigate the involvement of Ari Ben-Menashe, Alex Legault and Dickens and Madson in the sale of blood diamonds, arms trafficking, fraud and their involvement with Robert Mugabe?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have responded to my hon. colleague previously. The fact of the matter is that he is fully aware he can inform the RCMP of these allegations. It can evaluate the allegations and decide whether or not it will investigate.

My hon. colleague is fully aware that I do not direct what the RCMP does or does not investigate, but he is certainly open to giving the information to the RCMP, and I suggest he should.

Battle against Homelessness
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, under the SCPI, which was announced in 1999, the Quebec region was to receive $7.2 million to battle homelessness. On December 1, 2001, the 23 projects selected by the joint committee were submitted to the department for review and signature.

Now, three months later, not one cent has been paid out. No region except Quebec has been involved in such a lengthy allocation process.

Will the Minister of Human Resources Development make a commitment to speed up the project approval process for the Quebec region, so that they will all have been approved by Easter?

Battle against Homelessness
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for co-ordinating efforts with respect to homelessness has performed absolutely brilliantly on this file.

In every corner of the country she has engaged non-governmental organizations, municipalities and Canadians generally. She has moved a long distance in resolving this issue in every corner of the country and she intends to continue to do so.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the laureates of the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts: A. A. Bronson, Charles Gagnon, Edward Poitras, David Rokeby, Barbara Steinman, Irene Whittome and Ydessa Hendeles.

I invite all hon. members to join them in Room 216-N for a reception at 3:30 p.m.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

March 21st, 2002 / 3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to ask the usual Thursday question with respect to the government's agenda.

There seems to be a terrible void with regard to meaningful legislation. Does the government have any fruitful legislation to debate within the next while? Hopefully so.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to respond in the affirmative. The government's agenda is of course a fruitful one.

This afternoon, we will continue with report stage of the species at risk legislation, Bill C-5.

Tomorrow, we will return to debate on Bill C-50 respecting the WTO. If this is concluded, we will call Bill C-47, the excise amendments.

The two weeks following this one constitute the Easter adjournment. When we return on April 8 we will resume debate on criminal code amendments, Bill C-15B, and commence consideration of the pest control legislation that the Minister of Health has introduced today.

In addition there is a very lengthy agenda of important business for Canadians. I look forward to the ample co-operation of all members of the House of Commons to move forward in an expeditious manner.