House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the four Atlantic premiers have signed a letter to the Prime Minister expressing outrage about the federal government's proposed sell out of the Atlantic Canadian softwood lumber industry. In that letter, the premiers say, and I quote:

We therefore expect the Government of Canada to take immediate action to remedy this unfortunate error.

Will the minister retract this ridiculous offer and end his attack on the Atlantic Canadian lumber industry?

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member for the good momentum he had over the weekend during the leadership convention. It was a great job.

I can reassure Atlantic Canada and the House that we advocated for this exemption that Atlantic Canada has obtained in the past. We have been working on it for 20 years. We obtained it from the United States. However now we want to free Atlantic Canada from the anti-dumping duties that it has been subjected to for the past year. It is imperative to eliminate all duties, anti-dumping and countervailing, that we have been subjected to by the Americans.

Pharmaceutical Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, a new study shows that the drug testing funded by the pharmaceutical industry is four times more likely to show results favouring the sponsor's product than publicly funded research.

The government has a pattern of getting rid of responsibilities so it can pass the blame on to others. We have seen the disasters that self-regulation and monitoring have caused when it comes to food inspections, water safety and rail inspections. Drug testing needs to be safe, impartial and above reproach.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister explain why his government is letting the biggest profit making industry in Canada regulate its own products at the expense of Canadian patients and taxpayers?

Pharmaceutical Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I really have some difficulty understanding what the hon. member is talking about because we have one of the most rigorous drug approval processes in the world. In fact, I think it is fair to say that this country is noted for the premium that it puts on the protection of Canadians' safety.

I also want to inform the hon. member that as part of our smart regulation initiative we are in the process of reviewing the timeliness of drug approvals. However I want to underscore for everyone that our first priority is always the health and safety of Canadians before any product is allowed on the market.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development has said that she would not do away with the two-week waiting period for the employees of small businesses that have been affected by SARS or mad cow disease.

In addition, the workers at the Horne smelter in northern Quebec cannot access EI either, because according to the Minister of Human Resources Development, production needs to be 85%, and the employer cannot attain that level as a result of the strike.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. Will she stop hiding behind the 85% production rule and give EI to the workers laid off by this employer?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is making reference to a specific case, I would be glad to look into it in detail. Indeed, when it comes to ensuring that there is employment insurance, it is there as an insurance program. It has to be clear that people have been employed and then are laid off.

If he would like to bring the details forward, I would be pleased to look at them.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week the health minister said that the SARS screening measures were still being ramped up at the airports. We are now headed into a possible third wave of the SARS outbreak in the Toronto area.

Is the health minister saying today that she is interviewing all outgoing passengers at the Pearson airport?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, what I am saying and have said is that we make a risk assessment on a daily basis as to what measures are required.

We have ramped up our screening measures and we are working with airlines. Some, I will be quite honest, have been more co-operative than others in terms of ensuring that at check-in passengers leaving Pearson airport for international destinations are aware based on information provided to them of the symptoms of SARS. They are being asked to inform themselves of those symptoms and at check-in are being asked whether they have made themselves aware of that information and have answered all the questions in the negative.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, on March 27 the WHO recommended a face to face interview of outgoing passengers. Singapore implemented aggressive screening and quarantine measures and the WHO, this last Saturday, actually deemed it as SARS free. Vietnam, a poor country by most countries' standards, brought about those tough screenings and it was declared SARS free three weeks ago.

Why are the screening procedures left to the discretion of the airlines in Canada when they should be applied across the board?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is up to the discretion of the airlines but we are working very closely with the airlines and the two international airports.

I take very strong exception to the hon. member's question if in fact he is suggesting that the WHO has designated various countries as SARS free because of their screening measures. They have been designated SARS free because in fact SARS has been controlled and contained. Unfortunately, in Toronto, with the designation of a second cluster, that has set back local public health officials' efforts, but--

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Matapédia—Matane.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

June 2nd, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, the shrimp industry is vital to several communities in eastern Quebec. To help the fishers in Newfoundland, the government decided to increase by a third the fishing quotas in the Atlantic, which will definitely lower market prices.

How does the government reconcile this quota increase after acknowledging a weak market last year and its willingness to make this fishery more stable by refusing to broaden access to the resource?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the quotas are established based on the state of the resource. We know that the resource is in very good shape and that it could withstand an increase to the level we have set. Last year, we were asked to consider waiting a year. We agreed and we waited.

I cannot refuse to increase quotas when we know that communities depend on them. We will leave it up to entrepreneurs to fish and sell shrimp.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans realize that with the increase in shrimp quotas, he is creating the same situation as with crab and cod? Is that good management?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, we have to recognize that the shrimp fishery is in very good shape. We know we can increase the quotas to the level we increased them to. We know we could go beyond those levels.

We continue to seek scientific advice and we will increase our scientific knowledge through a joint program with the industry. We are going to do this very carefully to ensure sustainability for the future.