House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sars.

Topics

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans continued what all his predecessors did and that was to destroy the hopes and aspirations of the good people in Newfoundland and Labrador who make a living from the sea.

Why did the minister ignore the Newfoundland and Labrador all party committee, the FRCC, the FFAW union, as well as people in the scientific community who said that we did not have the scientific evidence yet to make any conclusion about the fishery because we did not have the resources and we did not use the independent fishermen's catch data in this final analysis? Why did the minister cut from the fishermen their hopes--

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I made a very difficult decision last week to give long term hope to fishermen and their communities by saving and rebuilding those stocks.

I did take the advice of committees and organizations that the member mentioned. That is why, at their advice, not only did we remove the fishermen from the equation, but we also took definitive action on seals, on exclusion zones, northern dragging areas and measures on caplin to give the stocks the best possible opportunity to rebuild.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, aboriginal people from coast to coast have made it perfectly clear that they do not accept the first nations governance act and yet the minister continues to plough ahead ignoring their concerns, and it is not just first nations who oppose it. All the mainstream churches, constitutional experts, the Canadian Bar Association and other representatives of civil society all agree that Bill C-7 infringes upon constitutionally recognized aboriginal and treaty rights.

Would the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development listen to first nations, withdraw Bill C-7, send it back to the drawing board and come back with a piece of legislation that first nations and parliamentarians can support?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, this is such an important matter that I think everyone in the House would agree that the status quo first nations people find themselves in today is totally unacceptable.

The objective of the consultation and work of the government, and all parliamentarians, is to improve the quality of life of aboriginal people. We cannot do that by backing off every time someone disagrees. We have to come to the table, work with each other to come up with better improvement and better laws, and the way to move ahead is with Bill C-7.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

April 28th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans closed the cod fishery to fishermen in parts of Atlantic Canada while refusing to deal substantively with other mitigating factors, such as foreign overfishing which he did not even mention, the rapidly growing seal herds, bycatch and gear types.

Why do Canadian fishermen and plant workers have to be the only ones to pay for government incompetence and will the minister tell us how he proposes to set up seal exclusion zones?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as for the seal exclusion zones, first of course we will ask them to leave. As for foreign overfishing, it has always been the mantra of the member to blame everything on the foreigners.

The fixed gear blame the mobile gear. They both get together with the member to blame foreigners. How can the member tell me that foreign fishing could have an effect in the gulf? How could it have an effect in the areas near Newfoundland?

However, I do take the question of overfishing, domestically and internationally, very seriously and I will continue my work with my counterparts in Europe as early as next May to encourage them to work progressively at the next meetings of NAFO.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the sorrowful thing is that the minister probably believes what he said. The minister and his cohorts responsible for ACOA took away the livelihoods from Atlantic Canadians and Quebeckers and substituted it with a fistful of dollars, actually one-tenth of one per cent of the EI surplus fund.

Will the minister get away from this handout mentality and give these people a hand up by involving them directly and actively in rebuilding the resource?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are doing. We are working with communities to ensure that they have the tools and the resources to build their futures because this is a go forward plan.

We are providing income support in the immediate term because there are fishermen and plant workers who are affected in various ways. There is still a very vibrant fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador.

We have to reflect on that and build it into our strategy but we also know there is a very healthy future for rural Newfoundland and Labrador and we are committed to building on that future with additional funds.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, our troops have been making do with antique equipment for many years: Sea Kings over 30 years old, naval vessels over 35 years old and Hercules aircraft approaching 40 years.

The price of not replacing the equipment continues to grow. Nine out of our thirty two Hercules are now grounded. With so few serviceable aircraft, will our troops have to hitchhike to Afghanistan?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I explained to the right hon. gentleman, we are very proud that we will be sending 1,500 to 2,000 troops to Afghanistan for six months and another 1,500 to 2,000 for the following six months.

Yes, some Hercules were grounded. Five, not nine, are undergoing inspection. This is the same that has happened to the same aircraft in the British navy and the U.S. air force. This is under control, and of the few that are grounded work is being done and they will soon be airworthy once again.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government has failed our troops. Our soldiers will be forced to fly these planes well into their fifties. Pretty soon these planes will be able to collect old age pensions, just like the former finance minister. There is no coherent plan for replacing the Hercules planes, just as there is no coherent plan for getting the forces the money it needs to do the job.

When will the government replace our Hercules aircraft?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the government, unlike the opposition, has been supporting our troops at every moment. We have not supported them only when it was politically expedient for us to do so, as was the case for the Leader of the Opposition, we have supported them at every moment. We continue to support them and we will support them at every turn in the future.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the courts are getting ready to hear a class action suit filed by the FTQ and the CSN to recover the money taken from the employment insurance fund by the federal government.

Will the government admit that this confirms what the Bloc Quebecois has been saying about the government stealing from the EI fund and using money that does not belong to it?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I can confirm for the hon. member and for the House that the employment insurance system is there and is working well for all Canadian employees. The system, as it is designed, covers fully 88% of Canadians who may be in need of it.

I would remind the hon. member that every year $2 billion is conveyed to provinces and territories for active measures, through EI part II, and another $9 million, through EI part I, in direct benefits.