House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was defence.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as far as discussions are concerned, there is a debate today on this in the House of Commons. This is the second debate on this matter held recently in the House.

I have said very clearly that the government remains opposed to the weaponization of space. That is clear. That will not change. That is the government's position.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can make all the pronouncements he wants about the United States and the current U.S. administration.

How does he expect us to believe that he can preserve his government's independence vis-à-vis the Bush administration when he is entering into discussions on a project that raises serious concerns, without enough information, and one he will have a hard time backing out of, even if the House and Canadians ask him to do so?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not have much to add on this. As I said, we are entering into discussions. The process will take a few months. We remain opposed to the weaponization of space. There are good reasons to pursue this project, but we have not yet made any final decision. That is the situation as it stands.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, some weeks ago the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans closed down a lot of the groundfishery in parts of Atlantic Canada. At the same time, the minister responsible for ACOA announced that programs would be put in place to address the fall out.

Could the minister tell us when we can expect the announcement because up until now the fishermen, the plant workers and the communities generally have heard nothing and they certainly are suffering through this crisis.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for highlighting how seriously this side of the House has been taking this matter.

We have been working on this issue for quite some time and have a number of proposals on the table. Hard work has been done by caucus members on this side of the House. We will have specific information, in addition to the information that was provided on April 24, which we will be able to provide to that hon. member and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Canada and Quebec, very soon.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, if that hon. gentleman and his caucus and the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador would stop fighting with each other and start working on the problems, we would have them solved.

Could the minister responsible for human resources development tell us if, in her plans to address this, she will come up with some innovative ideas instead of just planning to extend EI and coming up with some JCP programs, which is not the answer to this situation.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member can count on is that we are always responsive. We look at the circumstances that face the labour market and respond to them as effectively as possible.

I take this opportunity to remind the House how effectively the employment insurance system does work, how responsive it is, how it changes with increasing or decreasing levels of employment, how it is financed and how it is there to respond to the needs of Canadians when they need it.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the last star wars test missed its target by hundreds of miles but clearly the defence minister has missed the mark altogether. Canada should have no part of star wars, period. It is destabilizing, it is expensive and it does not work.

Very simply, I would like to ask the minister if it is now Liberal policy that if a country wants a new weapons system, it is okay to tear up an arms control treaty? Is that okay by him?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I always had a suspicion that the NDP lived in the past. The hon. member is talking about star wars which went out with the Ronald Reagan period some 20 or more years ago. We are not talking about star wars. This is a land-based system. We are discussing it with the Americans because it may be in Canada's interest to protect Canadian lives and to preserve a meaningful role for Canada in the joint defence of this continent.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about star wars because that is exactly to what this system is going to lead. It really is too bad the emperor is away today and we get Yoda instead.

The minister knows very well that George Bush has already blown $90 billion on star wars with hundreds of billions of dollars more to come.

Could the minister tell hotel workers laid off by SARS, or nurses who now want danger pay as a result of SARS, or meat workers laid off by mad cow why star wars gets billions of dollars and those workers get nothing?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague the Solicitor General pointed out, I assure the hon. member that the force is with us.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

May 29th, 2003 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I think the word is farce, not force.

The Minister of Agriculture announced today that he anticipates the American border will remain closed to beef exports for at least another week. The original cow has been slaughtered, the renderings have been trapped and removed from the system, the original birthplace herd has been depopulated and is being tested, cows from the trace out have been destroyed and feed mills have been cleared.

What else must occur before the U.S. will be satisfied that the disease has been contained and eradicated?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the only comment I have made about opening the U.S. border is that I hope it opens soon. I have not said when that soon will be because all of the science is not proven.

The Premier of Alberta said this morning that lobbying is not what it takes, it takes science. The science is not yet completed. The trace outs are happening and the tests are taking place. The DNA samples in some situations are not back yet because they take some days to do. That work will continue. The only way we will be able to demonstrate that this is an isolated incident is by completing the science, and that is what we will do.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, last week the cattle industry was losing $11 million per day. This week it is losing $30 million per day. After next week, losses will be catastrophic, feedlots will be completely plugged and cow-calf operators will be running out of operating money.

Has the government established a target date for having the border reopened and if not, what contingency plan does the minister have in place to deal with such a catastrophe?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I answered the hon. member's question about opening the border. We want to open the U.S. border and other borders as quickly as we possibly can. It will take science to do that.

He should appreciate the fact that Canada has the best system in the world to do the tracking and tracing and conducting that science. The best compensation is opening the border and that is where we are concentrating our efforts.