House of Commons Hansard #162 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was excise.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

March 22nd, 2002 / 11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the environment minister.

Farmers feel that the federal government has painted a target on their backs with insufficient compensation for the impact of foreign subsidies and natural disasters, followed by a lack of consideration for farmers in the cruelty to animals legislation. There is also no guarantee of compensation in the species at risk legislation. Now the Minister of the Environment wants to declare fertilizer and hog barns poisonous by an unnecessarily broad listing of ammonia as a toxic substance.

Will the environment minister change his broad-brush approach that threatens our agricultural producers?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the preface to the hon. member's question is full of inaccuracies. I can assure him that it is not our intention to target the agricultural sector specifically.

However, no doubt the hon. member has read the Walkerton report. When we have issues such as Walkerton, and when we have issues such as the disposal of agricultural manure which could affect human health, I think he would agree we have a responsibility on this side of the House to protect Canadians from health risks from the agricultural industry or any other industry.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the minister is talking about because ammonia had nothing to do with Walkerton. When the Canadian Environmental Protection Act was passed, the Liberals told farmers that they would always follow science and new regulations would not attack their businesses. Not even three years have passed and the minister has turned his back on the scientific approach by listing ammonia as a toxic substance when in fact it should not be listed at that level. He has no evidence that natural ammonia from agriculture harms the environment, yet he is threatening to pass regulations listing it as a toxic substance. This will severely impact the incomes of farmers.

Why is the minister threatening to list chicken and hog barns and fertilizer as toxic without any scientific evidence?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, at least I am glad that the hon. member has returned to the hog farms because the issue is really important. I think he should understand that we have a responsibility, when agricultural practices are adopted, to ensure that human health, as well as the environment and the health of animals, is protected. That is our point. That is what we are trying to do.

With respect to ammonia dissolved in water, yes, there is a process under CEPA, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and we are working through that. However, I can assure him that everything being done is based entirely on science.

Steel Industry
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Tony Valeri Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, after a 201 safeguard investigation on imported steel, U.S. President Bush enacted tariffs of up to 30%. In Mexico steel tariffs are now as high as 35%. A meeting was held earlier this week, chaired by the Secretary of State for Finance, with the steel industry, the union and members of parliament to discuss the real threat of import diversion into Canada.

Given the integration of the North American steel sector, what is the government prepared to do to ensure that our market is not flooded with diverted steel?

Steel Industry
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank the hon. member for Stoney Creek and other caucus colleagues for their valuable work on this important issue.

While the Government of Canada remains fully committed to multilateral trade liberalization, we will not stand idly by and watch as our market gets flooded with the world's diverted steel. Therefore I am pleased to inform the House that the government has launched a safeguard investigation into imports of steel products.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Health introduced the pest control products act. The act includes plans for mandatory reporting of toxic reactions to pesticides. Yet despite years of public outcry, concerns of physicians, recommendations of coroners and reports of 10,000 deaths a year, the government has failed to call for mandatory reporting of adverse drug reactions.

When will the minister bring in mandatory reporting?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I was very happy that this bill was introduced yesterday. People have been looking forward to this bill for many years and I think that it was very well received by all of the members of the House.

A closer look at the bill shows that many things have been changed to ensure that products put on the market are safe for people.

Furthermore, if they believe there is a health risk, the public or concerned associations will be able to request a review, in addition to the automatic review to be done every 15 years.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, considering the intransigence of the Americans in the softwood lumber dispute, Canadian negotiators had no choice but to reject their final proposals.

The Prime Minister may boast that he will talk again to President Bush, the fact is that we are as far from a negotiated agreement as we were at the beginning of the crisis.

In light of the current situation, will the government finally put in place a plan to help the industry and its workers?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, first, I really appreciate the Bloc Quebecois' support for the position that we defended in Washington over the last few days, one that which led us to break off negotiations with the Americans, since the agreement that was being proposed was not satsfactory.

We came back from Washington. We worked while we were there, and we also worked very closely with the Canadian industry over the past year and a half. We shall continue to do so with the provinces and with the industry to ensure proper progress on this issue, which is extremely important for many of our communities.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, aside from the government's botched efforts to secure a softwood lumber agreement we have yet another crisis in the lumber industry. I am referring to the government's refusal to approve the wood preservative CDA. Without this approval we will see our pressure treated lumber mills out of business.

We have had vague promises in reference to a conclusion to this issue, in other words approval of the chemical CDA, but that will not cut it. We cannot live on vague promises. When will that chemical preservative be approved by the government?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

Noon

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. In spite of his aggressive tone, he was kind enough to inform me that he would ask this question. This allowed me to get the necessary information.

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency also obtained information from the American agency EPA to speed up the certification process of the chemical preservative CDA. I am sure that we will have a positive reply for the hon. member in the near future.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are all aware of the international conference now being held in Mexico. Will the Minister for International Cooperation inform the House what steps the Government of Canada is taking to ensure that our commitments toward international development are met?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

Noon

Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I just returned from the UN financing for development conference in Monterrey. I want to assure Canadians that the government will continue to fulfill its commitments on international aid.

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that Canada's aid budget will continue to increase in the coming years by 8% or better per year. Obviously this is great news and further proof that eliminating poverty will continue to be a high priority of the government.

Health
Oral Question Period

Noon

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary missed the point. There is a $100 million lawsuit involving Health Canada in the untimely death of 15 year old Vanessa Young. There are thousands of suspected deaths every year in Canada. For every reported death the FDA estimates 10 that go unreported.

When will the minister drop the double standard and require mandatory reporting of adverse reactions? Lives are at stake.