House of Commons Hansard #163 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pesticide.

Topics

Business of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed

(Motion agreed to)

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition from citizens of Canada who want to extend the area of grape growing in this country. These petitioners are from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and other provinces. They know that the minister of agriculture has been supportive of this effort to extend grape growing beyond the traditional areas.

The petitioners point out that by using new varieties of winter hardy, disease resistant grapevines currently growing in the northern United States, it is possible to create a viable wine industry in large portions of the Canadian plant hardiness zones four, five and six. They point out that the effects of these varieties would be to enhance employment in nursery and wine industries in Canada and provide an alternative crop to those suffering from low commodity prices such as groups in apples.

Every person signing this petition is willing to purchase these plants from overseas and pay a reasonable royalty for them. Therefore, they call upon parliament to expedite proceedings whereby grape varieties currently growing and being developed in programs such as those at the University of Minnesota, Cornell University and Elmer Swenson of Wisconsin be more speedily available for sale by Canadian nurseries to Canadian customers.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from the citizens of Peterborough who are concerned about kidney disease. The petitioners point out that this is a huge and growing problem in Canada and that real progress is being made in dealing with the various aspects of kidney disease.

They call upon parliament to encourage the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to explicitly include kidney research as one of the institutes in its system to be named the institute of kidney and urinary tract diseases.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 109 and 112.

Question No. 109—
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

With respect to the Department of National Defence's hiring of Reid's Bus Service to transport cadets on a round trip from Parrsboro to Amherst on February 2 and 3, 2002: ( a ) what was the cost of the transportation service provided to DND by Reid's Bus Service; ( b ) how many independent companies were asked to provide competitive quotes; ( c ) what is the current policy regarding private transportation contractors for cadets in rural communities like Parrsboro; and ( d ) does the service provided by Reid's Bus Service represent a policy change and, if so, under what authority?

Question No. 109—
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

a

) The cost of transporting the cadets from Parrsboro to Amherst on February 2, 2002 was $283.40. The cost of transporting the cadets from Amherst to Parrsboro on February 3, 2002 was $268.40. b ) Competitive quotes were not utilized in this instance. CFB Halifax requested the service from Zinck Bus Company in accordance with the existing sanding offer agreement. Zinck Bus Company allocated this request to an affiliate, Boyd’s Bus Company. Reid’s Bus Service was not involved. c ) There are no policies specific to the transportation of cadets in rural communities such as Parrsboro. In accordance with treasury board and Financial Administration Act guidelines, transportation requirements of DND personnel including cadets are satisfied with DND resources; standing offer agreements, SOAs, or local purchase orders. SOAs are developed on an annual basis to meet DND requirements by Public Works and Government Services Canada. SOAs are awarded to companies based on their demonstrated ability to provide the service at the best price. Private transportation contractors in rural communities such as Parrsboro can be used should the SOA service provider not be able to accomplish the task. In addition, if private local transportation contractors can provide better value than the SOA service provider, and they are licensed to provide the service, their services may be contracted through a local purchase order. d ) The service provided to the cadets in Parrsboro does not represent a policy change and is consistent with treasury board and Financial Administration Act guidelines.

Question No. 112—
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

With respect to the dissemination of Environment Canada’s severe weather warnings, can the government identify the specific efforts made with regard to: ( a ) the development of an All-Channel Alert (ACA); ( b ) the publicizing of the Weatheradio network; ( c ) the development of “Internet PUSH+ technology”; and ( d ) if these efforts have not yet occurred, why not?

Question No. 112—
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

I am informed by the Department of Environment and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission as follows:

Environment Canada

With respect to the dissemination of Environment Canada’s severe weather warnings, the government is pleased to identify the following specific efforts made with regard to: a ) the development of all-channel alert, ACA.

EC and Pelmorex, the Weather Network/Météomédia, continue to work to develop a national emergency warning system for cable TV subscribers. The system would deliver emergency text messages such as severe weather warnings on the bottom of the screen on every channel in a designated area served by a cable television service provider. Pelmorex planned to fund this system through an increase of 13 cents per month per subscriber. In a ruling announced February 23, 2001, the CRTC denied the application. The CRTC’s reasons for the denial were:

--the lack of a detailed plan for implementing the service on digital television distribution systems as quickly as possible;

--the lack of clarity in the costing proposal and;

--the need to address the concerns of the visually impaired.

Currently Pelmorex and the broadcasting and cable industry have solved the technical and administrative issues identified in the CRTC decision, except funding. It is believed that in lowering the cost from the current 13 cents per month user by 3 cents or more it is critical to get CRTC support. Efforts are under way to resolve this issue. In addition, the events of September 11 have clarified the need to be able to effectively communicate to citizens in times of emergency. To this effect EC is working with Industry Canada, IC, and the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness, OCIPEP, to develop a strategy for the development of a national emergency warning system of which the ACA could be one of the tools. It is anticipated that Pelmorex may be in a position to resubmit an application to the CRTC by early this summer. b ) On the publicizing of the Weatheradio network

Over the past two years Environment Canada’s Weatheradio network has undergone an extensive recapitalization that has effectively addressed infrastructure rust-out issues. In addition, a major program transformation is under way, as, by the end of this month, all Environment Canada Weatheradio programming will be available in both official languages. The overall Weatheradio communication strategy remains widespread but modest. Printed fact sheets have been produced and distributed through all Environment Canada’s regions. In addition, there are dedicated web pages explaining the Weatheradio service available to Internet users:

http://www.smc.ec.gc.ca/cd/factsheets/wxradio/index_e.cfm

http://www.msc-smc.ec.gc.ca/cd/factsheets/wxradio/index_f.cfm

Note: the Ontario region is undertaking a targeted Weatheradio publicity campaign at two locations, London and Sudbury. Each location will have print and radio ads for a three to four week period promoting the Weatheradio service. The results of the campaign will be evaluated by the end of April to note the overall results and assess if this type of targeted program will be expanded to other sites in the Ontario region. c ) On the development of Internet Push Plus technology

Environment Canada continues to explore the use of Informatics Technology, IT, as a mass dissemination delivery device. There are initiatives under way that will demonstrate the feasibility of pushing the severe weather warnings to important first line responders such as emergency preparedness officials, firefighters, police and other municipal officials. This service will be piloted this year to a select group. The pilot will be followed by a comprehensive review to verify and ensure that all severe weather warnings were delivered in a timely and effective manner. It is imperative that Environment Canada verify that delivery conduits can perform reliably and can ensure the weather warnings can be delivered in a matter of seconds 100% of the time. In the longer term, if technically feasible with the same delivery standards, the service could be expanded to the public if issues regarding the delivery can be guaranteed.

Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission a ) As an independent regulating authority we do not develop and publicize such undertakings. We intervene at the frequency allocation stage and at the distribution level upon application.

We understand that an application is expected for a television all-channel alert but we have not yet received it.

Question No. 112—
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

I ask, Mr. Speaker, that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Question No. 112—
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is it agreed?

Question No. 112—
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

April 8th, 2002 / 3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair has three requests for an emergency debate all on the same topic.

The first request came from the hon. member for Mercier. I shall therefore listen to the hon. member on this matter.

Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have made a request for an emergency debate on the crisis in the Middle East.

Briefly put, the public is being constantly bombarded by images that are extremely disturbing, as are all the reports by journalists on the events over there. Since the beginning of the second Intifada, there have been close to 2,000 fatalities.

This affects us here in a number of ways, because citizens of Jewish or Arabic origin feel the impact of these events even more, and provide the rest of us with explanations of what is going on.

Moreover, the UN resolutions and the demands by Kofi Annan and President Bush for Israel's withdrawal from the territories they are occupying once again, more or less in total abandonment of the Oslo process, are a major cause for concern as well. They seem to be headed for an international escalation of the conflict. At this time, there are bombings in southern Lebanon and Saddam Hussein has just cut off oil supplies. There are, therefore, very many causes for concern.

We parliamentarians have just come back from a recess during which our fellow citizens shared their fears with us. We have witnessed or taken part in demonstrations. People are very much concerned, and there are some questions about the role Canada can play in this situation.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs has said that Canada was even prepared to take part in a peace implementation force when the time comes. Canada is concerned, therefore, and has played a role in the history of this conflict. It has a responsibility, therefore.

For all of these reasons, and in order to reassure the public, in order to be in a position to make proposals and not just stand back and watch this conflict escalate without our being able to do anything about it, I am calling for an emergency debate on this matter.