House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was united.

Topics

National Drinking Water Standards
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canada is essentially the only industrialized country without national drinking water standards. Two years have passed since the majority of members of the House supported a Progressive Conservative motion to ensure that Canada has national, enforceable drinking water standards enshrined in a safe water act.

Two years have come and gone since the Liberal government promised to act on enforcing safe drinking water standards. Today I will introduce a private member's bill that provides for the establishment of national standards for safe drinking water. In a letter received from the Minister of Health in September, she stated that the responsibility for drinking water does not rest solely in the hands of the federal government.

We agree, however the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association believes strongly, as Canadians do, that the federal government has an important and critical role in the preservation of safe drinking water across the country. Even the Minister of Health must believe this as well.

Provincial and territorial jurisdiction must be recognized and this is done in this private member's bill. We need to have standards for safe drinking water that are legislated and made legally binding. Let this bill serve as a catalyst, a reminder for us to--

Report of the Privacy Commissioner
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I have the honour to lay upon the table the 2001-02 report of the privacy commissioner.

This report is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

January 29th, 2003 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in 1998 the Prime Minister said:

Make no mistake, Saddam's behaviour to date indicates that he will not honour diplomatic solutions so long as they are not accompanied by a threat of intervention. The least sign of weakness or hesitation on our part will be interpreted as incitement...We believe that Canada cannot stand on the sidelines in such a moment...Canada will be counted.

Does the Prime Minister still hold to this opinion?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Yes, Mr. Speaker, and it is why we were asking from the beginning that there would be a very clear resolution at the Security Council. That became 1441. It is very clear that if he does not oblige and abide by the rules of the Security Council Saddam Hussein will face very severe consequences for his misjudgment.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let me return to the Prime Minister's quote. He said:

The least sign of weakness or hesitation...will be interpreted as incitement.

The Prime Minister himself and his government have been waffling consistently on what to do in the past few weeks. He said:

We believe that Canada cannot stand on the sidelines in such a moment...Canada will be counted.

What precisely is the government doing and what is the Prime Minister doing to send the message that Canada is determined and will be counted and act with its allies?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have been working for a long time to make sure that the United Nations will give the message to Saddam Hussein. We have worked to have a resolution so that the people of the world will be together in telling Saddam Hussein that he has to disarm.

The goal is to disarm Saddam Hussein. We are all united in the United Nations to ask him to do that. Otherwise he will have to pay the price.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let me go to a more precise question.

Both Australia and Great Britain have stated that Saddam Hussein is in material breach of United Nations resolution 1441. As well, evidence is mounting that Saddam is blocking the work of the UN inspectors team as required by the resolution. It states that without compliance there will be severe consequences.

Does the Prime Minister today believe that Saddam Hussein is or is not in compliance with resolution 1441?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there are two elements that are very important to keep in mind. The President of the United States yesterday said that next week on the fifth, Wednesday, Mr. Powell will be in front of the Security Council and he will table evidence. We are waiting to see what is that proof, and if they have it, good. It will be good for the people to know. As well, there is Mr. Blix, who will make another report on February 14.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

That is another non-response, Mr. Speaker.

The allied forces have stated with good reason and with good evidence that they do not believe Saddam Hussein is complying with the United Nations. This multilateral coalition of nations is determined to increase the pressure on Saddam Hussein to respect the United Nations. They are deploying military forces to the region. Great Britain, Australia, the Czech Republic, the United States and others believe pre-deployment is important to ensure Saddam's compliance.

Why does the Prime Minister not agree with our allies?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Because, Mr. Speaker, we have a very clear policy. We have said that we have to follow the process of the Security Council and the United Nations. We were the first ones to start to ask about it and we are following à la lettre, as we say in French, the process. The process will be the testimony of Mr. Powell next week and the second report of Mr. Blix, and we will advise when we have these two testimonies.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, he did not answer my question. Allied forces, such as Great Britain, Australia, Czechoslovakia and others do not believe that Saddam Hussein is complying with the UN process. This multilateral coalition of countries is determined to intensify pressure on Saddam Hussein in order to force him to respect the UN and, maybe, avoid war.

Why does the Prime Minister not agree with our allies?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is because we believe that the unity of the Security Council is vital. We are seeing that the process works.

I am very happy that the President of the United States said there is tangible evidence and that he will present it to the Security Council next week. This is where the case must be proven. Then, Mr. Blix will submit his report. By February 14, we will know what we are dealing with. This is what we said last summer, and we are following it to the letter.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his state of the union address last night, President Bush underscored that when it comes time to attack Iraq, and I quote, “the course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others”.

Will the Prime Minister tell us if he, too, is ready to go to war against Iraq, regardless of what the UN Security Council decides?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have said from the outset that the process must take place in the Security Council and in compliance with the Security Council's resolution.

We are waiting to see what the Security council will say following the appearance of Mr. Powell and Mr. Blix on February 5 and 14.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is feigning ignorance of the current situation. France and Germany have both said that a second resolution is required, that they may exercise their veto power.

The Prime Minister has just told us that the unity of the Security Council is vital. If it is indeed so vital, can he tell us, if the Security Council is not unanimous, if the Security Council does not authorize military intervention in Iraq, will he stand with the United States and thumb his nose at the rest of the world? People have a right to know what Canada's position is.