House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was international.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, such emergencies begin at the local level. Health Canada works to ensure that all levels of government are prepared to respond in a coordinated fashion to local health emergencies and outbreaks of disease. In fact, since September 11, 2001, we have spent about $90 million to boost our capacity on the ground across the country.

There are now national contingency plans for specific illnesses, such as influenza or smallpox. Our surveillance system picks up information about local risks, and our centres for emergency preparedness and disease prevention work with provincial authorities to respond. Finally, Health Canada laboratories and scientists provide expertise and advice to provincial authorities to identify specific risks.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are reports today that the CBC pulled a story on Canada Steamship Lines because of pressure from Earnscliffe where much of the former finance minister's leadership team works. The CBC is supposed to be an arm's length agency that is supposed to be immune from this kind of pressure.

I ask the Minister of Canadian Heritage, what will she do to ensure that leadership candidates cannot just spike stories that they do not like?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, first, I will assure the hon. member that the pressure to spike the story certainly did not come from me. Second, may I please reinforce the fact that any decision in the newsroom of the CBC must be the exclusive decision of the CBC.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to hear the second part of her answer.

The CBC did plan to do an investigative piece on CSL and promoted it heavily. It did this in spite of the fact that the former finance minister's handlers over at Earnscliffe had a problem. There was no problem, just a couple of calls from Elly Alboim to his good friend Tony Burman, the editor in chief of CBC News. Suddenly, the story is yanked.

I want to know how CBC journalists can do their jobs when they know that kind of pressure can be applied to their bosses?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the member. I do not think there should be any kind of pressure. That is why I would certainly not cause any interference or have any involvement in any news decisions that are made by the CBC. It is the decision of the CBC's news department, and so it should remain.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

March 20th, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the war has begun. Even if Canada is not participating in it, the government has a duty to take steps to protect itself against potential repercussions that could affect our country.

Could the Prime Minister tell us whether the special cabinet committee struck following the events of September 11 has planned any specific actions to deal with the current situation?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that the committee the hon. member is referring to is carrying on its activities to ensure the safety and security of Canadians. We are not exclusively concerned with the issue of Iraq. Since September 11, 2001, we have introduced a wide range of measures to ensure safety in Canada, and will carry on our work in this area, in conjunction with all ministers responsible, to ensure the safety and security of Canadians.

International Day of La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, today is International Day of La Francophonie in Canada. Could the Secretary of State for Latin American, Africa and la Francophonie set out the objectives pursued by Canada within the international Francophonie?

International Day of La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi
Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by wishing a happy Francophonie day to all. Canada is a proud partner of la Francophonie. This pride is expressed more specifically, at the cultural level, through the active part we take in international network for cultural diversity of our colleague, the hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage.

It is also expressed, politically, through the promotion of values that Canadians hold dear, values of democracy, human rights and good governance contained in the Bamako declaration.

Finally, we pay tribute to our friend, His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister has been less than forthcoming about the Joanne Meyer Ferrari contract of her predecessor. I would like to give her the opportunity today to answer that question. If she cannot, I would ask her for a commitment.

When will the minister get the report from the department and will she commit to present it here in the House.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I have said over and over again, my Health Canada officials are gathering the facts in relation to the contracting question. I expect to have that factual record presented to me in very short order.

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday we learned that Canadian development money for Afghanistan was going to warlords from the northern alliance. However, we know that these warlords will hinder any improvements to the status for Afghan women. It is the northern alliance that is responsible for raping women and forcing them to wear the burka.

Could the Minister of International Cooperation assure us that money that Canada gives will, in fact, be used to improve living conditions for the people of Afghanistan, including women?

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, on Monday we announced $250 million of new funding for Afghanistan in four priority areas: supporting rural livelihoods and social protection, managing natural resources, strengthening security and the rule of law, and providing continued support to the government of Afghanistan.

We are doing specific things to promote women's rights in Afghanistan. We have spoken out often about the human rights violations against women and about the rights that women and children in Afghanistan need to have. We support the courageous efforts of the many of the small Afghan NGOs that are operating and providing education in health to women in Afghanistan. We support the Afghan's ministry of women's affairs and we have contributed $1 million to the United Nations.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister who has said that he respects the decision of George Bush to launch this illegal and immoral war on the people of Iraq, a war that is criminal under international law.

If the Prime Minister will not condemn the war, will he at least agree that the use of depleted uranium and cluster bombs would be inhumane and illegal? Will he call on both Bush and Blair not to use those weapons that have already taken such a terrible toll on innocent human lives in Iraq and elsewhere?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I do not think it is appropriate for the Canadian government to pronounce on the use of certain weapons that have not been used. I do not think that we are in a position to direct the Americans as to how to prosecute a campaign that will be extremely difficult for them. I think it is appropriate for us to be respectful of their decision.

At the same time we are confident that the Americans will conduct themselves in accordance with the rules of humanitarian war to which they are obliged under the Geneva conventions and other conventions. Our American allies have always observed the rules of law and the rules of international law with respect to conflict and we expect that they would do so in this case as well.