House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was referendum.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more, Canadians are Canadians no matter where they live, which is precisely why, during the federal-provincial ministers' meeting in June 2002, the province of Quebec agreed that we should have national standards for business risk management for Canadian farmers from coast to coast to coast. We also should have national standards but with flexibility in how they are delivered within the provinces for such areas as food safety, environment and that type of thing so we can ensure, for trade reasons and equitability, that Canadians are Canadians no matter where they live.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the Prime Minister be so dogmatic and destroy programs that have proven effective for 30 years, instead of accepting that agriculture, which is different from one province to the next, requires different and appropriate support programs?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we are working with the province of Quebec, and, I think, very successfully, in showing, with the designs, that every farmer is treated the same in the business risk management area and that Quebec producers will be better served. Quite frankly, the Quebec government, because it does decide from its provincial perspective to spend more on its agricultural support than other provinces, will be at liberty to do so and it will have even more money left over to do that than it had in the past. We will have a win-win situation for Quebec farmers.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, changes to the Canadian Forces insurance plan will provide unreduced lump sum payments to soldiers who suffer accidental dismemberment while in the line of duty.

Retired Major Bruce Henwood lost both of his legs in 1995 while serving in Croatia and did not receive one nickel in compensation. The minister is very much aware of this case and stated that he is working on the retroactivity section of the proposal.

My question to the minister is, when will soldiers like Major Henwood receive lump sum payments for their injuries?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, when I first came into this job and I heard through the media about Major Henwood's experience it made an important impression upon me. I have worked since that time to resolve this obvious anomaly whereby, if one loses legs or arms, one gets the money, but only if one is a colonel or a general. That seemed clearly wrong.

It takes some time in defence to change things. We have already made that change. Looking forward, I am still working on the retroactivity section of the problem.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

The cheque is in the mail, Mr. Speaker. That is the response from the government thus far.

Colonels and generals who suffer dismemberment definitely receive a lump sum payment while soldiers on the front line receive little or nothing.

Why would the minister want to allow this double standard to exist in the first place and when will he fix it?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the essence of my answer is that I do not want this double standard to continue. That is precisely why I addressed the issue and why we have changed this so that there is no double standard.

There is a single standard for all members of the Canadian Forces, irrespective of rank. It takes time to move things in government, I am discovering. We have not yet solved the retroactivity section of the issue, but we are working on it.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

February 17th, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Carmen Provenzano Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, last June the Government of Canada announced its goodwill offer response to the grievances of first nations veterans who returned to reserves after the war. I understand the deadline for applications was February 15, just this past Saturday.

Will the Minister of Veterans Affairs inform the House what response was received to this offer and what are the government's next steps?

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, the response was overwhelming. Close to 2,000 applications were received out of the estimated 1,800. They are being processed with diligence and speed. As soon as they are completed offers of payment with a request for a waiver will be sent to eligible veterans. Upon receipt of the completed acceptance, the cheques will be mailed to them as promptly as possible.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, earlier in question period the Prime Minister received an important question about the operation of blind trusts which he did not answer.

I want to ask the government this question again. Is it true that the blind trust rules of the government allow ministers, while in cabinet, to receive regular private briefings about the business of companies they own?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the Prime Minister had to leave question period. I will certainly take notice of the hon. member's question and we will get an answer for him.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this man is a minister of the cabinet. He should know the answer to the question. A blind trust should also be a deaf trust.

Is it conceivably true that the former finance minister knew about the dealings of Canada Steamship Lines in Indonesia?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, these are prime ministerial guidelines and the Prime Minister will answer for those guidelines in the House when he is next in the House.

Seal Hunt
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the fall of 1999, the federal government has worked with the American authorities in order to authorize seal product imports. These negotiations have been dragging on, and this situation is harming the seal industry in Quebec and the Maritimes.

What does the Minister for International Trade intend to do to exert the necessary pressure to speed up and finalize the negotiations?

Seal Hunt
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the Minister for the Environment, and I have been following this issue very closely with regard to American legislation. We continue to monitor the situation and pressure Washington regularly to defend our interests.