House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Badger Flood
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, the residents of Badger are facing devastation as a result of the flooding of the Exploits River.

Their lives changed forever on February 15 when the raging water and ice floes resulted in the total evacuation of the community.

The devastation is phenomenal. Family homes have been destroyed. The town's infrastructure is collapsing. Businesses have shut down indefinitely. The social and economic impact is staggering. The despair and anxiety are gut wrenching.

Among these emotions there has been an outpouring of sympathy, generosity and caring. Compassion is what makes us proud to be Canadians.

I call upon the federal government to respond in our time of need. I ask that a special relief fund be put in place. The residents of Badger need to know that their country is with them at this very difficult hour.

Construction Industry
Statements By Members

February 20th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, spring will soon be here and the construction season in the National Capital area will be upon us once again.

Unfortunately, the conflict about construction worker mobility is still not settled. Since Ontario passed Bill 17 on construction labour mobility, Quebec workers have to comply with numerous formalities to work in Ontario. Furthermore, Quebec contractors cannot bid on government projects in Ontario. The Government of Quebec has, in turn, established a protectionist regime governing the right to work in the Quebec construction industry.

It is high time that the Ontario and Quebec ministers resumed negotiations so that construction workers and consumers in the National Capital Region do not have to bear the brunt of their disagreement.

B.C. Ear Bank
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada's ability to ensure the health and safety of Canadians has been called into question once again.

The B.C. Ear Bank was shut down in October after local officials discovered shoddy record keeping. They could not determine whether tissues had been properly screened for diseases such as HIV or hepatitis. All tissues have been recalled and officials say that anyone who has received tissue since 1975 should undergo testing.

Concerns about the clinic were raised in the early 1990s and again in 1998. Is this another tainted blood scandal?

Canadians deserve to know why action was not taken when red flags went up in the 1990s. Why did Health Canada wait until yesterday to inform Canadians when the clinic was shut down in October? What national standards are in place to prevent such problems from occurring in the first place?

This afternoon those questions will be placed on the Order Paper. We expect clear answers from the government.

Aboriginal Peoples
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to invite all members of this House to meet first nations leaders from across Canada today, after 3 p.m., in Room 238-S, Centre Block.

This will provide us all, the Liberal MPs in particular, with an opportunity to learn more about aboriginal peoples and their aspirations.

This reception and the display that goes with it will help us discover the true reality of the first nations people as well as their positions on the various bills that will be coming up for debate in the House in the months to come.

This government needs to give up trying to convince Canadians and Quebeckers, and MPs, that its relationship with the aboriginal community is harmonious and constructive. To find out the truth, come and meet and greet the key stakeholders.

Haldimand War Memorial Hospital
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital in my riding of Erie--Lincoln for its voluntary commitment to join Natural Resources Canada's energy innovators initiative.

Recognized by the Minister of Natural Resources as an energy innovator, Haldimand War Memorial Hospital has made a long term commitment to use energy efficiency to reduce costs and slow the growth of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions.

All sectors of Canada's economy are being called upon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I would like to acknowledge and commend the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital for being a leader in this movement. I would also like to applaud Natural Resources Canada for its support of organizations such as the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital.

Canada's commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and to combat climate change has brought about effective and innovative programs, such as the energy innovators initiative, which will help pave the path to our future as a sustainable and energy efficient nation. Canadians everywhere are joining in the fight for sustainable development.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is increasing confusion about the government's position on Iraq.

I offer the following chronology of confusion. In December the Prime Minister said that there could be no action without the approval of the United Nations. On January 23 he said that with evidence from the allies he would support action. On Tuesday he said that Canada would not join a coalition of the willing. Yesterday he was back on the fence.

What is the Prime Minister's position of the day?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry if there is confusion on this issue. I have to believe it is in the minds of our hon. opponents, because the fact is that we have been clear throughout this whole issue that we are supporting the United Nations process. The Prime Minister clearly said that when he spoke to Mr. Bush some time ago. He has consistently repeated that message. Our diplomatic efforts have been in that respect.

Yesterday, Mr. Heinbecker clearly was trying to work through the United Nations process to see if we could bring clarity through that, and that is the Canadian position. We are very proud of the way we have been able to--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that confusion is not just among all opposition parties, but Canadians and foreign governments around the world as well.

I go back to January when the French and German governments were already complaining and calling on Canada to take some kind of a position. Yesterday the British ambassador to the United Nations stated “Canada will have to take a position...on one side or the other. It is decision time”.

I ask the Prime Minister, which side of the fence does he find himself on today?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity of having a long conversation this morning with my colleague, Jack Straw, in the United Kingdom. There is no confusion in the mind of the United Kingdom government on the position of Canada and there is no confusion either on this side of the House or in the population of Canada.

Canada is on the side of peace and of working through the international institutions we have created throughout the years, and that is what we have always done.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the British government is not confused, that is not what it is saying at the United Nations.

So far, the Prime Minister has a history of flip-flopping on this matter.

On January 25, the Prime Minister did not know if a second resolution was needed. Four days later, he said the first resolution was enough. On February 11, the Prime Minister voted against a second resolution. The next day, he said he supported a second resolution.

What is the Prime Minister's position today?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker,our message remains the same to this House, to Canadians, and to the world: namely that there is a UN process that offers the best hopes of getting through this crisis without a war. Nothing has changed.

That was Mr. Heinbecker's message yesterday before the Security Council, when he told it that we are supporting the Security Council in its attempt to come up with a clear and precise solution that asks Saddam Hussein to comply so that the situation can be resolved peacefully.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the former finance minister continues to amaze the crowds with his dance of the veils, with the ethics counsellor standing just off stage catching whatever is shed. The first layer was the blind trust that no one could see through. Next came blind management. Now we are down to the last and flimsiest layer, the supervisory agreement.

Could the Prime Minister explain why the former finance minister was allowed the opportunity for hands on management by the ethics counsellor while all other ministers adhered to the stricter blind trust or blind management agreements?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the arrangements that were in place were those that were appropriate to the circumstances and, in fact, reflect the views of the Parker commission that reviewed these matters in the past. The former minister complied entirely with the requirements before him.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the supervisory agreement is a loophole big enough for the ancient mariner to sail his whole fleet through.

The loophole is “as the ethics counsellor otherwise determines”. The code says that a minister must dispose of his assets or put them in a blind trust or in blind management. There is absolutely no mention of a supervisory agreement in the code.

Is the Prime Minister admitting that only one cabinet minister in history has been allowed this exemption? Why did he allow the former finance minister this exemption when the Minister for Natural Resources and all others could not have it?