House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is the short crisis.

Canada is over two months into the SARS outbreak. It is devastating the tourism industry in Toronto. We are one exported case away from another WHO travel advisory, yet the health minister still refuses to implement mandatory interviews at airports.

When will someone in the government require mandatory interviews for SARS at Canadian airports?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I have said for some time, we do a daily risk assessment and on the basis of that assessment we put in place procedures.

For the hon. member to suggest that it is one case away from a travel advisory is misleading the public. In fact, the WHO had its regular Tuesday meeting today and decided not to impose an additional travel advisory on the City of Toronto. It believes that the procedures in place and the methods of public health being followed by local officials in Toronto are controlling and containing this latest outbreak.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I guess it does not matter how many times it makes the same mistake.

Canada has been in a trade dispute over softwood lumber for two years. But the government did not announce anything to support the industry and its workers; it refuses to budge and will not act on the promises it made to the communities.

When will the government finally deliver the goods to the lumber industry and the workers?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the hon. member and Parliament what we have done in terms of supporting the softwood lumber industry.

Let me remind the hon. member that there have been $110 million for research and development, $29.7 million to expand offshore markets, $181 million to assist displaced workers and the community adjustment fund, $20 million for an advocacy program, and $15 million for the softwood lumber associations. That is $350 million that the government has committed.

Perhaps the hon. member should do some research before he stands up and asks questions about the softwood--

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Crowfoot.

Air India
Oral Question Period

June 3rd, 2003 / 2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a well known fact that operational procedures between CSIS and the RCMP have not always been followed. It is a well known fact that the relationship and the communications between the two security agencies have at times been strained. Therefore, there is the very real possibility that CSIS did not inform the RCMP of all pertinent information regarding the Air India flight 182 bombing.

My question is for the Solicitor General. Will he initiate and inquire to assure Parliament and Canadians that all information was given to the RCMP by CSIS?

Air India
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, in effect, that inquiry has been held. It was held in 1991-92 by the Security Intelligence Review Committee when it reviewed this matter extensively. That report stated:

We further believe that CSIS fulfilled its mandate to investigate the possible terrorist threats and that it advised the appropriate government and law enforcement agencies of the information it had in a timely and comprehensive way.

Those are the facts.

Air India
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, allegations that CSIS erased wiretaps and destroyed files caused the RCMP to launch an investigation, not in 1991 but in 2000, an investigation as to how CSIS was involved in the Air India flight 182 bombing.

Those allegations in 2000 were proven to be true. Why then does the Solicitor General refuse to believe that these new allegations may in fact be true? Why does he refuse to initiate an inquiry to either prove or dispel the serious allegations?

Air India
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the 1991-92 investigation also talks about the tapes and the comments that the member just raised. It deals with those facts.

I am concerned about the families of the victims out there who are listening to this kind of rumour and rhetoric from the other side. I think it is a bit of a travesty that they would pull those rumours out of the air and possibly jeopardize the longest running investigation and court case in history.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last October, the Minister of Natural Resources stated that if the softwood lumber crisis dragged on, the government should increase aid to businesses and workers. Eight months later, in a letter to all the members, the Minister for International Trade is finally acknowledging that the industry's situation has gotten worse.

Will the government now stop assessing the situation, as it repeats ad nauseam, and announce phase 2 of its aid plan for businesses and workers in the softwood lumber industry?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I just outlined a few minutes ago all the things that we as the federal government have done, totalling up to $350 million.

We, as a government, the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Human Resources Development, the Minister for International Trade and myself, are following this situation very closely. We want to ensure that our industry can continue to be a dynamic industry and that it can continue its operations.

We are concentrating on making sure we get an agreement but if we do not get an agreement soon, there is no doubt that we will have to do more for the industry to protect--

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, everything the minister has mentioned is for the intermediate or long-term. But, the situation is getting worse right now. That is exactly what the Minister for International Trade is telling us. Despite all the wonderful long-term measures, right now, nothing being is being done to help these businesses. This is what is serious.

I hear the minister saying, “If things get worse, aid will be forthcoming”. He has been saying for eight months now, “If things get worse, aid will be forthcoming”. But things have gotten worse and the minister has admitted this. Will he wake up and provide this aid immediately? That is what these businesses need.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, it is important not to inflame the situation. Direct aid cannot be given to the industry because the U.S. would criticize us for doing so and this would not be in the industry's interests. That is what the Bloc Quebecois must understand.

However, at the same time, we have implemented measures of $110 million to support the communities with economic diversification. We have already announced some of these measures. We will continue to work toward this goal with the stakeholders and the provinces. That is what we will do.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is telling us he intends to let the industry die. Is that what he is telling us?

On the one hand, the Minister for International Trade says that all our practices relating to softwood lumber comply with the rules of international free trade yet, in his letter to us, the minister refers to a two-year transition period to allow us to modify our practices.

How can the minister plan changes to our practices in the softwood lumber industry, when these are, in his own opinion, good practices? Why change what is already compliant?