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

Les Invasions barbares
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Quebec cinema enjoyed an hour of great glory when Denys Arcand won the prize for best screenplay for Les Invasions barbares , and Marie-Josée Croze the award for best actress.

At Cannes, the director expressed his delight with this recognition, and particularly the warm welcome his film received from the public.

What impressed everyone in Quebec was that Marie-Josée Croze won the prize for best actress, ahead of Nicole Kidman, Charlotte Rampling and Emmanuelle Béart. Although a little disappointed to have missed her magic moment at Cannes, Marie-Josée Croze was still very moved by the various hommages she received.

The Bloc Quebecois congratulates Denys Arcand for the success of Les Invasions barbares , and Marie-Josée Croze for her brilliant interpretation. The Quebec cinema is a beacon of light both here and abroad, and everything must be done to make sure that it has stable funding.

Bravo to Denys Arcand, Denise Robert, Marie-Josée Croze, Stéphane Rousseau and everyone who worked on the film.

DES Awareness Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and all Canadians that May 26 to 30 has been designated as DES Awareness Week.

DES is a synthetic estrogen prescribed to women between 1941 and 1971 to prevent miscarriage and ensure a healthy pregnancy. However, DES did not work as it caused serious health problems for both mother and child, problems that continue to this very day.

DES Action Canada is an organization that works tirelessly to identify everyone who was exposed to DES. Its purpose is to inform victims and their physicians of the devastating consequences of DES.

Join with me in congratulating DES Action Canada and its members, who provide an essential service to Canadians. I wish them an excellent DES Awareness Week.

Canada History Centre
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, while Canadians from coast to coast are worried about SARS, West Nile virus and mad cow disease, the Prime Minister announced $100 million for a museum in his own honour today.

How will the museum show the Prime Minister's legacy? Combatting mad cow fears by eating a steak in Alberta? Alleviating fears of SARS by dining in Toronto's Chinatown?

Will the museum exhibits show the disastrous results of millions of dollars of cuts to Canadian social programs and the legacy of the government waffling on every issue instead of taking strong leadership?

One hundred million dollars could have gone a long way to compensate and help health care workers working overtime in Toronto and farmers losing business because of international bans on our products, but I guess instead $100 million also makes a pretty big shrine for the Prime Minister.

World Health Organization
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Peschisolido Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Richmond, I rise today to draw the attention of the House to Taiwan's bid for observer status at the World Health Organization.

This is not a geopolitical issue. It is a health issue: a matter of life and death. Viruses and other infectious diseases know no boundaries. SARS has now claimed the lives of 72 people in Taiwan, up from 60 just three days ago, and almost 700 worldwide.

The residents of my riding of Richmond have strong personal, cultural and commercial connections with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the Vancouver International Airport is situated in Richmond. Richmond residents have directly felt the negative health, societal and economic fallout from SARS.

As the member of Parliament for Richmond, I support Taiwan's bid for observer status at the WHO.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I had the opportunity to discuss the criminal justice system with front line workers from the police and crown counsel office. Unfortunately, what I heard only confirmed my worst fears about the system. It is broken and mere tinkering will not fix it.

Many of the problems begin here in Parliament, where the laws we pass place severe handicaps on the effectiveness of our police.

For instance, when investigating a serial rapist, the police must have sufficient evidence for each offence to justify a warrant to obtain DNA evidence from a suspect rather than using just one sample to compare against evidence collected from all possible victims.

We have a justice system that permits petty criminals to indulge in habitual criminality with little deterrence and allows violent offenders to be released, knowing that they are threats to the community.

Sadly, the greatest failing of our criminal justice system is that it has turned our law enforcement officers and prosecutors into little more than paper-pushing bureaucrats.

New Member
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Gary Schellenberger, member for the electoral district of Perth—Middlesex.

Gary Schellenberger, member for the electoral district of Perth--Middlesex, introduced by the Right Hon. Joe Clark.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the government about the mad cow situation which we know is of grave concern to all sides of the House. Hundreds of animals are being destroyed or quarantined as is necessary to ensure containment and to ensure the quality of Canadian beef, but in the process hundreds of jobs of ordinary Canadians are being affected.

In the case of the SARS crisis in Toronto, the government acted quickly to relax EI rules to waive the EI waiting period. Would the government be prepared to do the same thing for Canadian workers affected by the mad cow crisis?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we were not very happy when we saw that problem develop. I would like to congratulate the ministers and officials of the Department of Agriculture in Ottawa and in Alberta for the diligence they have shown in coming to grips with the problem.

We had some good news in that there was only one cow affected in that operation. There is some work still going on and there is the question of the consequences for the people affected. Of course, the Minister of Human Resources Development will see what she can do in order to be just for these people as was done for the people of Toronto.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Prime Minister for that consideration.

There is another way the Canadian government can help. Canada has an agreement with a number of countries, including Australia and New Zealand, to import a fixed amount of beef, but in the past we have allowed into the country some extra beef through an over-quota system.

Now that Canadian beef is blocked at the borders, will the government agree to temporarily suspend the over-quota import of foreign beef and allow Canadian producers to fill the entire demand of the Canadian market?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I thank the leader of the official opposition for the very pertinent question. We have already been working very closely on this issue with the Canadian industry.

I understand that we actually import from three countries at this time: Uruguay, Argentina and New Zealand. They are special products and we are in close touch with the industry to ensure that we do what is in the best interests of our industry at this time.

Health
Oral Question Period

May 26th, 2003 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, hopefully that will become a yes in the next little while.

Let me switch to another important topic because we seem to have no shortage of crises these days.

Two weeks ago I was in and out of Canada on an international flight. I was not asked a single question about SARS either upon leaving the country or upon returning to the country. This is after months of reports of Canadians falling ill, travel warnings and advisories.

Can the minister explain why the delay in instituting routine screening procedures for SARS at Canadian airports?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, there has been no delay. In fact, as I have said throughout this entire situation, we were one of the first nations that responded, on the basis of risk assessment, to WHO recommendations many weeks ago. Those screening procedures have been strengthened and they continue to be strengthened.

The opposition has, for example, talked about thermal scanners, which everybody should be fully aware are no magic bullet. In fact, we have thermal scanners up and working for both inbound and outbound passengers on a pilot project basis at Vancouver and Pearson. We are also heightening other forms of screening at both Vancouver and Pearson, and will in--

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Yellowhead.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is not so important how fast we react. It is how we react that is important.

Two months ago the WHO recommended that SARS interviews be given at airports to passengers arriving from infected areas. It has also been two months since the Canadian Alliance called for tighter screening measures at those pertinent airports.

The minister is now blaming airport screening on airport authorities. Rather than blaming the airport authorities, why has the minister not actually implemented those screenings herself?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, nobody is blaming airport authorities and I certainly have not blamed airport authorities.

In fact, we are working with airport authorities to determine how best to implement our enhanced screening measures. As I have indicated, we now have thermal scanners at both Pearson and Vancouver International Airports screening both inbound and outbound passengers.

We are working with the airlines to ensure that passengers coming especially from affected areas not only provide us with travel locator information, but fill in a questionnaire, answering pertinent questions regarding where they have been and whether they have been in close contact with SARS-infected individuals or--