House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are fully aware of the challenges, both around re-evaluation of existing pesticides and the evaluation of new pesticides to be introduced into the market.

My colleague the Minister of Agriculture and I are putting additional resources into the evaluation and re-evaluation of pesticides. We have new legislation. The new legislation will be in full force and effect in the spring of 2004.

I can reassure Canadians that we take our obligations in relation to their health and safety very seriously.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

It is becoming increasingly clear from the replies he has given in the Arar case that the Solicitor General does not take this House seriously. What we are asking of the Solicitor General is not whether the Royal Canadian Mounted Police took part in the decision by the Americans to deport M. Arar to Syria. The real question is very simple: did the RCMP send information on Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, to the American authorities—yes or no?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I reject entirely the premise of the hon. member. We take this issue very seriously and we always have.

As a matter of law and practice, and the hon. member should know this, the RCMP does not discuss operational matters in public, nor should a Solicitor General and I do not intend to do that.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are playing a very odd game. The government is using the RCMP for obscure purposes and the RCMP is agreeing to play along. Neither the government nor the future prime minister want to answer our questions. That is an example of the democratic deficit.

I ask the Solicitor General once again if information concerning Maher Arar was sent to the Americans by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me expand a little further on the reason why neither I nor the RCMP talk about operational matters. We do it to protect the privacy of individuals involved and to protect the integrity of investigations that are ongoing. That is why it is necessary to do it. The fact of the matter is that in this country we operate on the principle of innocence.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development had some very harsh words for the health minister in her latest report. The commissioner's report says that Health Canada is not properly managing pesticides and cannot determine what the health risks of certain pesticides are.

The sole purpose of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency is to manage pesticides and determine what in fact their health risks are.

The minister will tell us, “Well, maybe next year, 2004, I will have some more resources or some new regulations”. This government has been in power for 10 years. Why is it not doing its job now?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I have made plain, we are doing our job. In response to earlier Auditor General's reports, we have acted. We have new legislation, modern legislation. The regulations will be in full force and effect under that legislation in the spring of 2004.

However let me reassure all Canadians that those pesticides which are presently on the market are rigorously assessed in relation to health risk and environmental risk and there should be no misunderstanding about that important point.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough. This minister always wants to tell us, “in a timely fashion, maybe next year, we'll get to it later”.

Health Canada continues to renew temporary registrations for pesticides without knowing what the risks are. Sixty per cent of pesticides are rushed into the market without proper testing. How can this possibly be good for Canadians?

Health
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member discusses temporary registration. All registration decisions, whether temporary or full, are based on rigorous scientific evaluation of the health and environmental risks posed by pesticides.

Let me reassure everyone that at no time is a temporary registration granted without a clear indication that the risks are acceptable.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

October 8th, 2003 / 3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, China has recently announced that it would send three astronauts into space. If this country can spend that kind of money, it definitely does not need our aid money.

I have called before and I am calling again. Will this government stop its aid flow immediately to China and redirect it to needy areas such as Africa?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I have said it before in this House, and the hon. member is well aware, that CIDA's primary mandate is to reduce poverty through sustainable development. China has over 240 million people who are classified as being the world's poorest.

Our programming in China involves projects that help reduce poverty, that ensure sustainable development and that improve human rights. It is very important that we deal with 20% of all the world's poor people, and the hon. member should be well aware of that fact.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are generous but they are not stupid. India has officially called on us to halt our aid to it. The reason for this is because it can take care of its own problems.

Why does this minister continue an aid policy that targets countries that no longer need our help, while ignoring the needy regions of Africa and Latin America?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the government is very pleased to hear how far India has come in terms of its own development. The announcement by the government of India highlights that its ability to take a leadership role in its own development is very important.

We will continue to work toward reducing poverty for sustainable development around the globe to ensure that all countries, including Canada, will see the benefits of those results. The hon. member should be well aware of that.

Cloning
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec health and social services minister Philippe Couillard has taken a stand against Bill C-13, the cloning bill, arguing that this bill clearly encroached on Quebec's jurisdictions.

Will the Minister of Health listen to her counterpart in Quebec and withdraw from an area that does not concern her by dividing her bill in two, to ensure that the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces are respected?

Cloning
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member and I have discussed this matter for some time and he knows that my answer to this question is no.

My Quebec counterpart and I have had very fruitful discussions on this issue. Mr. Couillard is well aware that there are equivalency provisions in the legislation, except for the criminal prohibitions, that would permit the province of Quebec to enact an equivalent regime as it relates to the challenge of infertility.

I look forward to both my officials and myself being able to carry on these discussions with the Quebec government in the weeks ahead.