House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was iraq.

Topics

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Jean Augustine Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, expressions of intolerance have no place in Canadian society. Racist and anti-Semitic activities destroy the fabric of our society, destroy and undermine our fundamental values of respect, of equality and security.

Canada and Canadians will not tolerate expressions of hate. Canada's strong anti-hate legislation, the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act, makes it a crime to incite hate and to incite hate against an identifiable group.

Just this morning I met with members of the Jewish community. We will work together to make sure that we build the society that we all want.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government talks about controlling provincial government health care spending, yet over half of the federal health department's budget goes to aboriginal agencies with too few strings attached to it.

According to senior band members, the executive of the health centre at Sandy Bay reserve had a wonderful Christmas vacation in Jamaica. Then, tired after their week of work in January, they took a week in Vegas. Now they are at the West Edmonton Mall.

Would the tough talking minister like to tell us what percentage of Health Canada's budget is used for vacations?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of the specific situation that the hon. member raises, but let me assure him that if he has facts that he wants to bring to my attention I will have my department follow up.

I know the hon. member is aware that aboriginal people in this country suffer from the poorest health of any Canadians, generally speaking. In fact my department, along with others, is redoubling our efforts to work with aboriginal people in partnership to try to improve their health status. I would ask the hon. member and others to assist us in that.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, we cannot really blame people for doubting the minister on this one. Band members have asked for an audit in Sandy Bay and it has been ignored. The government does nothing.

It has been two full years since the Virginia Fontaine situation. The minister claims that she is interested in doing something. It has been two years: nothing done there.

The former assistant deputy minister billed Health Canada for 137 trips in a three year period. He took his girlfriend on over 100 of them, but nothing.

What does it take to get the government to take its responsibility seriously and direct money to aboriginal health, not vacations?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member refers to the situation of the Virginia Fontaine addiction centre. I can reassure the hon. member that as soon as it came to the attention of my predecessor that there was alleged wrongdoing, he in fact instituted a forensic audit. We have gone to court twice to ensure that the audit is completed properly. In fact, we are still awaiting the outcome of that forensic audit.

It is unfair of this hon. member to suggest that when wrongdoing or alleged wrongdoing is brought to our attention we do not follow it up. We do.

Ivory Coast
Oral Question Period

February 10th, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a press release issued by the Canadian government on January 27 about the Ivory Coast peace accords signed in France by the major political parties and the rebels, Canada reiterated its support for an independent investigation into human rights violations in the Ivory Coast.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs explain what the Government of Canada intends to do within the international community to bring to light all of the facts, including what happened in the rebel-controlled northern part of the country, and to ensure that those responsible are brought before international justice?

Ivory Coast
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are following the situation in Ivory Coast closely. It is a concern to us. We are providing assistance to Canadians who are there. We are prepared to work together with the international community, first to restore peace, and then to lay the foundations of civil society in this important African country.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have been informed that the government has promised to provide benefits to spouses of members of the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit. However, to this date the government has not fulfilled that promise.

Will the Minister of Veterans Affairs deliver on the promise to provide benefits to the spouses of members of the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul
Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, we have always listened and applied the laws that exist today. Every eligible applicant, based on disability under the Pension Act when related to military service, will be given the benefits due to them.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has invoked land use bans on some elk farms.

Cervid producers worry it will be expanded even though the Canadian Food Inspection Agency lacks the scientific proof to do so. Therefore, they may not report suspected chronic wasting disease because of the government not having a contingency plan.

What will the minister do to ensure that the reporting system is not compromised from fear of the CFIA?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the member knows that for reportable diseases such as chronic wasting disease, if anyone, whether a producer, a veterinarian, or whoever is aware of that or suspects that, does not report that, they are breaking the law. If they do not report it and it becomes known, they will be treated according to the laws that are in place.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, a domestic from Morocco has been exploited, and literally sequestered, by her employer for close to ten years. She decided to hand herself over to immigration officers in order to escape from the untenable conditions in which she was living. Ms. Marhfoul has exhausted all avenues of recourse and now faces deportation.

Considering her past experiences, is the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration prepared to take the humanitarian approach and to stay her deportation, as well as sending a clear message to unscrupulous employers who abuse their domestic employees, by instituting legal proceedings?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, first, I think that those who are contemplating hiring illegal immigrants need to be made aware of the law. They are subject to a $50,000 fine and six months in jail. That is the first thing. Second, I do not think that this is the place to negotiate specific cases. Often, we do not have all the facts, but we will try to enforce the law so that the integrity of the program is maintained.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, Human Resources Development Canada set up a pilot project to process applications for employment insurance benefits by telephone in Moncton, New Brunswick, called Teledec. Teledec was then transferred to Bathurst to serve claimants in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, without hiring new employees. The result is that people wait for up to two days before the line is free and they can talk to an officer.

Will the minister finally provide quality service to the EI recipients of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, and hire people to do the work?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, our intention is to provide quality service to Canadians no matter where they live. I would be glad to look into this particular incident and talk to the member about it.

Our department works at ensuring that the efforts of providing good service, whether it be by telephone, directly over the Internet, or by personal attention, are clear. It must be a priority because these programs are so very important to us.