House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taiwan.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, besides health concerns, Canadians see crisses like mad cow and SARS as big time job losses in the country. Our Prime Minister may see crisis as an excuse for dining out, but putting food on the table is a real concern for families even if it is only a photo opportunity for him, particularly for meat plant workers who cannot afford even a temporary loss of work.

The government has ignored the hospitality workers in Toronto with the EI benefit program. I am asking if the Prime Minister will deliver for meat plant workers and waive the waiting period as a result of the mad cow layoffs.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Shefford
Québec

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are taking the risk of job loss in the beef industry very seriously, and the department will continue to monitor the situation very closely.

If there are layoffs in meat packing plants or in related areas of the beef industry, workers will be eligible for employment insurance and can count on it.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, workers in crisis deserve more than a prime ministerial happy meal. SARS has again hit Toronto, with the hospitality industry already in crisis and reeling from the first one.

The Liberal response: Not a penny in compensation for the hospitality sector, just an ad campaign that apparently does not even mention the word Toronto in the ad.

Why will the Prime Minister spend $100 million to glorify the past when he will not spend one penny to protect hospitality workers as a result of these emergencies?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the member of Parliament just made a remark about the fact that I went to have a dinner the other day to show that Canadian beef was good.

I received a letter from Premier Klein, who said:

On behalf of the Government of Alberta and Alberta's cattle producers, I am writing to thank you for your public show of confidence in Alberta's and Canada's beef industry. Your steak lunch in Ottawa on Wednesday received a tremendous amount of coverage across Canada, and it means a great deal to our province...

He kept on and on, congratulating the Minister of Agriculture, so I think I will accept that.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, these are the facts regarding mad cow disease in Canada.

Exactly one cow has been found to have mad cow disease. That animal never entered the food chain. Not one of the other animals in that herd showed any signs of the disease. A dozen other herds with links to this diseased animal have been quarantined. Not a single animal in any of those herds has shown any signs of mad cow disease.

However despite these facts, the U.S. border remains closed to Canadian beef and cattle.

I assume the minister has been in touch with his counterpart in the U.S. My question is this. What specific criteria does Canada now have to meet in order for the Americans to open up the border again?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I have had at least seven conversations with my counterpart in the United States in the last number of days.

The hon. member is correct in the statistics he gives, except that the trace out being done in those quarantined herds, the tracing ahead of the animals that left that farm and back from where that cow came, is not yet complete.

The work we have done so far definitely proves there is only one cow and, no, it did not get into the food chain. We need to complete that, and that work is ongoing at this time. We are very fortunate that we have the best food surveillance system in the world and when we show--

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, 2,400 workers in my riding alone, at meat packers, are affected by this. Cattle feeders are on the verge of going bankrupt, and all their suppliers are in deep trouble right now. This is an extraordinarily serious issue.

What I want to know from the minister is this. First, how long will it take for that trace-out to finish up? Second, what criteria have the Americans specified that we need to meet in order for them to open up the border again so we can start to export our beef?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, they have not given a specific criteria other than they say that they want, and I believe them, this border opened as quickly as we do. They know the integration of the beef industry between Canada and the United States. They know there are over half a million head of Canadian cattle in feedlots and in breeding herds in the United States. It is critical to them as well.

What they want is what we want, and that is all the scientific proof we possibly can get that this was only one cow. We are well on the way to doing that. It takes time to do that scientifically. Food safety and safety are number one. We will base it on science and demonstrate that, not only to the United States but the world.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Alain Renaud, the seventh largest donor to the Liberal Party of Canada in 1998, told Globe and Mail journalists that he did not remember giving $63,000 to the Liberal Party.

How is it that the president of such a small business, which has since gone bankrupt, could have given $63,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada without remembering it? Either he is lying or someone else was using his name.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I obviously cannot comment on that gentleman's recollection. The matter is in the public domain and I am sure the RCMP will do the job.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we must be serious. A former associate of Groupaction, someone very close to the former minister, Alfonso Gagliano, all of a sudden becomes the seventh largest donor to the Liberal Party of Canada, and just after that, his brother signs a subcontract with the government even though the primary contract has not yet been awarded.

How can the government expect us to swallow such a story without calling for a public inquiry? That is the only way to find out what has been going on with these people who are so close to the Liberal Party.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am not asking the hon. gentleman to swallow anything. In fact, as I have drawn to the attention of the House, the entire set of files with respect to sponsorships is under review by the Auditor General in a formal audit by her. Any of these matters that raise issues of a legal nature will be properly and thoroughly investigated by the RCMP, and it has demonstrated that it will follow the trail wherever it needs to go.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

May 26th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, unbelievably the Minister of National Defence has stated that there is no need for more troops. Yet our inability to play a role around the globe shows just how wrong he is.

Canada does not have troops for post-war Iraq. Canada does not have troops for the Congo. Canada does not have troops for the Middle East peace force.

Will the minister stand up today and increase the number of troops?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would not say it was unbelievable, but it is a fact that the hon. member has his facts wrong because it is also a fact that over the last year the Canadian Forces had a record recruiting season in which more than 10,000 new recruits joined the Canadian Forces. It is also a fact, as compared with a year go, that the strength of the army is more than 1,000 greater today.

The purpose of my earlier comments was to say that we were going to transform the army, and I am delighted to say that we have launched upon that process now.