House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is not just about the fishery. This is about the government failing Canadians at every turn, on issues such as Kyoto, softwood, wheat duties, west coast and east coast offshore drilling, and now the coastal fishery.

In response to the concerns of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Prime Minister said it was not really an issue for him because he would be gone in a few months. Why is it that the government's shameful response to provincial concerns is to stall, dismiss or ignore them?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said that I did not want to start a constitutional debate in Canada. I had my load of constitutional debate when I became Prime Minister and I decided that there were other things to debate other than constitutional changes. That is why we have not talked a lot about the Constitution for the past 10 years, but we have talked about the economy, balanced budgets, and job creation. And that is why Canada today is the leader of the western world in terms of economic performance.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

May 12th, 2003 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has done nothing about the softwood lumber issue; it has yet to implement the second phase of its aid package for the industry, which it had promised.

Will the Minister for International Trade admit that one need not be an expert in strategy to understand that the American strategy is to wage a war of attrition on the Canadian industry and that, in that sense, the government's failure to introduce support measures is putting the industry in a precarious situation and making the last moments of the fight unbearably difficult?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is well known that we have worked closely with the associations to which we have provided financial assistance.

We have been extremely vigilant, acting through the Department of Human Resources Development and the Department of Natural Resources. To say that we have done nothing is just plain wrong. And to suggest that we are weakening the industry when, for the first time in 25 years, a government stands up to the Americans, gets them to negotiate and hold real discussions on Canada's forestry plans and does not operate on preconceived ideas because we are working on crown land, where subsidies were—

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Roberval.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the federal government deny that by failing to implement the second phase of the aid package which it itself announced, it has put the industry at a disadvantage?

It has abandoned the industry in this fight against the Americans, and we will probably pay the price for that now. How can it play so poorly, with all the trumps in its hand?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of this difficult situation with softwood lumber, I have had the support of the Quebec government, even at the time when it was run by the head office, the party that is now in opposition. Quebec has stood firmly behind the strategy we had discussed.

I realize that in the Bloc Quebecois, members may be feeling freer now that they do not have to answer to their head office in Quebec City, but I can tell members this: in solidarity, we are sticking to the line adopted by the industry and the provinces two and a half years ago, because it works.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, we now know why Ambassador Raymond Chrétien sent his memo on the Sea King replacement project to the Prime Minister's Office and not to officials in charge of the program. The Prime Minister had a stranglehold on the process so he could dictate the choice of helicopter.

The Minister of National Defence claimed the statement of requirements had not changed since 1999. Was he saying this because he knew that the PMO wrote those requirements over the objections of the military, or has the Prime Minister simply used him as the front man?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said a number of times in the House, the statement of requirements had not changed one iota since 1999. I have said in the House before that the statement of requirements had the full approval of the military leadership. I have received assurances on both of these points in the past from the chief of defence staff.

In anticipating a question such as this, I reconfirmed that with him today. The chief of defence staff confirmed that the statement of requirements had the full support of the military leadership and that it had not changed one bit since that time.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is not what military officers are saying. They are saying that those who work for the maritime helicopter project are admitting that it is the PMO that asked them for a Sea King replacement. The PMO told them what to ask for in a Sea King replacement project. That is quite different from what the minister just told us.

Will the minister admit that the requirements for the maritime helicopter are not what the military asked for, will not lead to the best choice, and will he apologize for his misleading statements?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, absolutely not. I do not know what unnamed military official the hon. member is referring to. I am referring to the chief of defence staff who has total command over the Canadian Forces. He also mentioned to me a recent conversation he had with the chief of the air staff who is directly responsible for this. The chief of the air staff was quoted by the chief of defence staff as agreeing that the statement of requirements was “totally intact”.

If the member does not have any named officials with contrary information, I suggest he defer to the two heads of our Canadian Forces.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government eliminated the two week waiting period for employment insurance during the SARS outbreak in Toronto, which was the right decision.

Is the fishery crisis in the Gaspé, the Magdalen Islands, along the North Shore and in the eastern provinces not as serious for the economy of these regions to warrant the government making a decision like the one made for Toronto, and modifying the employment insurance rules to help the fishery?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure the member of the Bloc Quebecois that we are working very closely with the communities and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on the matter of unemployment insurance for fishers and plant workers.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's minister of employment has done his part to help fishery workers, but the federal government has refused to change the EI rules to do its share.

How can a government that is fully responsible for the current mess in the fisheries, following 30 years of bad decision-making, sit back and let Quebec take exceptional measures to solve the fisheries problem, and do nothing to help? It was the federal government that created the problem; they should fix it.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member must recognize that when we announced the closure of this fishery, we also announced funding to create short-term employment to help these communities. We also began discussions on long-term economic development objectives. Thanks to federal-provincial agreements with Human Resources Development Canada, we have the money available to do this, under part II of the Employment Insurance Act.