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

National Day of Mourning
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

The National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job, which has its origins in a private member's bill of the former NDP MP for Churchill, Rod Murphy, is an occasion for all Canadians to mourn the tragic deaths and injuries that result from occupational accidents and work related illnesses.

At this time we especially remember health care workers who have lost their lives or have been put at risk during the SARS outbreak, and emergency workers like the firefighters, who are in Ottawa this week, who put their lives on the line on a daily basis.

Many occupational deaths and injuries would be prevented if we had proper workplace safety standards in place and the will to enforce such standards. We are still waiting, more than a decade after the Westray mine disaster, for legislation to hold corporations criminally accountable for behaviour that leads to the death of their employees. The time is long overdue to honour the memory of the 26 miners with legislative action.

The NDP calls on the government to act soon so that by April 28, 2004, we will no longer have to lament the absence of such legislation and will be in a position to claim that we have done our parliamentary duty to both the dead and the living.

National Day of Mourning
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, April 28 is the day we honour workers who have been injured or disabled as a result of a workplace accident, those with a work-related illness, and the memory of those who have died on the job.

Let us take a few moments to say to all these people and their families just how much we sympathize with their suffering and let them know that we stand with them in their pain and in the midst of the problems resulting from their work-related accident or illness.

The Bloc Quebecois reminds the federal government of the importance of improving preventive measures in order to adequately protect workplace health and safety. Workers can rely on the Bloc Quebecois to make their voices heard.

Workplace Safety
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Monday marks the beginning of the work week for many Canadians. However, today is unique because it marks the 12th annual National Day of Mourning.

I rise today, as do others, to highlight this distinctive occasion to commemorate those who have been killed or injured in the workplace. Every working day in Canada, at least four people die from work related accidents or illnesses. Close to 375,000 people were injured seriously enough to prevent them from reporting to work. It is estimated that the total number of work related injuries and illnesses occurring each year in Canada is close to 900,000.

Workplace deaths are increasing and this day serves as an important reminder of the work that remains to be done: We must prevent these accidents from happening and we must strive to prevent injuries.

I ask all hon. members to take the time to remember the workers who have lost their lives or who have been injured on the job. We honour them by putting forth our best efforts to foster safer and healthier workplaces through continued education, awareness and co-operation. Let us prevent these needless tragedies.

Cod Fishery
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Newfoundland's minister for ACOA have announced the closure of the cod fishery on the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, and that closure will affect 700 plant workers and 2,000 fishermen.

Knowing full well the impact that this announcement would have on these fishermen and their families, the ministers went before the microphones with no long term plan for the future employment of these people or the survival of their communities. Newfoundland's minister announced a measly $23 million to be used, in the minister's words, for make work projects.

I want to tell the minister for Newfoundland that these people do not want make work projects. They want an economic development plan geared to providing a future for themselves and their families. Newfoundland and Labrador has lost 70,000 people since the last moratorium. Let me ask the minister: Where is the plan to stop this out-migration from happening again?

Or does the minister care?

Cod Fishery
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I invite members to rise and observe one minute of silence to mark the National Day of Mourning and honour the memory of workers killed or injured on the job.

[Editor's Note: The House stood in silence]

Health
Oral Question Period

April 28th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the WHO has placed Toronto under a global travel advisory to prevent the spread of SARS. The health minister claims that this advisory is not warranted, that it is based on inaccurate and outdated information.

Could the health minister explain how it can be based on inaccurate and outdated information and how she did not know about the advisory when she claims to be in contact with WHO officials each day?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

In fact, Mr. Speaker, my officials are in contact with the WHO on a regular basis and at no time did WHO officials give notification to my public health officials, my office or the deputy's office that they were contemplating a travel advisory in relation to the city of Toronto.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that does not quite ring true, but I would remind the government that it was over a month ago that the World Health Organization called for exit screening at Canadian airports. Our party has been calling for that for over a month. It was not done. SARS was exported from Canada. We got the global travel ban on Toronto and costs now that are going to run into the billions of dollars for the Toronto and Canadian economies. Does the minister now justify her decision not to implement this screening?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we do in fact have screening measures for both outbound and inbound passengers at Pearson and Vancouver airports.

Let me in fact read that which Dr. David Heymann said in relation to what we were doing:

Canada is doing an exemplary activity and much of what has been going on in Canada, including the system of notifying airline passengers and of screening airline passengers, has been shared with other countries as an example of best practices.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, only with this government could we have this black mark on Toronto that is going to cost us billions, and it claims everything is just great, only with this government. What a lack of leadership. We have the Prime Minister on holiday, we have the former finance minister in his perpetual bubble, and we have the health minister hiding from reporters in Calgary and ignoring the recommendations on airport screening.

To help assure Canadians that the government has learned something, will the government at least admit some responsibility for fumbling the SARS football?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

In fact, Mr. Speaker, what I would like to say is that unlike the opposition, my department, this government, and my officials have been working with the Government of Ontario and public health officials on the front lines in Ontario. That is why in fact today we can proudly say that this outbreak is controlled and contained and that is why Toronto is an example to the rest of the world.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, before Parliament recessed, we asked the government what it had planned as a comprehensive package for the rebuilding effort in Iraq. The Prime Minister told us then that he had not received a call for help. Now that the allies have called, it appears the Liberals have put them on hold.

When it comes to Iraq, why is the government so reluctant to stand with our allies in any meaningful way?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we received some communications from the American administration about a week ago on that. We are looking at the possibility of helping in the reconstruction of Iraq and using the people and equipment that could be useful. When the cabinet has decided on that, we will make a report to the Canadian public.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

As I said, they have been put on hold, Mr. Speaker.

This weekend the Toronto Star seemed to confirm what many have believed all along: that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were in fact partners in crime. Imagine the horror that these two thugs could have wrought had Saddam not been stopped. Saddam had the weapons and bin Laden had the terrorists to deliver them.

In light of this evidence, does the government now regret its decision not to join our allies in the liberation of Iraq? And why will it not redouble its efforts aggressively and openly now in the rebuilding of Iraq with our allies?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we made a decision, based on a long-standing policy of all Canadian governments over a long period of time, that these activities should be done under the authority of the United Nations and the Security Council.

In terms of fighting terrorism, we have 1,700 people in the gulf, and ships and planes at this time, and we are preparing to send a lot of Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan.

As I said a few minutes ago in reply to the first question of the hon. member, we are about to do something to help the reconstruction of Iraq.