House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in the first place, it would be a good idea if the opposition had its facts straight.

The meeting was not suggested on April 11. The meeting was suggested in late May. My office responded within 24 hours to that request. It came about that more information was required on the numbers and that work is ongoing as we speak. Last Friday, my colleagues announced assistance for the tourism industry. The work on the health care numbers is ongoing.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

June 9th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment. Antarctica is a pristine continent which contains most of the world's fresh water. It is protected by treaty as a place for non-military activities, including research.

Could the minister advise the House of any progress that has been made toward a more proactive role for Canada in the proper management of Antarctica?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, last Friday we introduced Bill C-42 which would allow Canada to ratify the Madrid protocol and join our global partners in protecting this area. I am proud to add that since signing the protocol in 1991, Canada has been meeting and exceeding the obligations under the protocol.

With the cooperation of parties on all sides of the House, it would be very easy for the bill to be passed this week.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Public Works. The minister reviewed several practices and contracts regarding Groupaction and other companies. He concluded the system was corrupt and needed to be changed. Groupaction and Groupe Everest gave subcontracts to the son of Alfonso Gagliano, who was at the time the minister who awarded large contracts to those companies.

Did the investigation of the Minister of Public Works review that particular potential conflict in the Gagliano family and, very specifically, would that sort of behaviour be allowed under the new rules?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I have explained on many occasions, there has been a whole series of reviews, some internal and some external, that have examined all dimensions of this matter. Under the new arrangements that are now in place with respect to advertising, the pool of those who are eligible to compete is very substantially increased because of changes in the rules, and each one of the procurement tools that various departments can engage is fully accountable and competitive.

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

So, Mr. Speaker, cousins and uncles as well as sons.

I have a question for the Minister of Immigration. The Minister of Immigration has declined to comment on the RCMP investigation into two associates of Alfonso Gagliano who are accused of taking bribes while serving as judges on the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Would he tell us first whether these are the only investigations the RCMP is conducting into the IRB or into appointments to the IRB and, second, whether he has introduced new procedures that would stop the practices of bribery which the RCMP has discovered?

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Hold him down, somebody.

Mr. Speaker, I can say simply that when speaking of allegations and police investigations, my role is obviously to stay out of these investigations. We will let the RCMP do its work and, more importantly, we will let justice take its course.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, U.S. Space Command has now confirmed what the NDP has said all along: that Bush's missile defence is about the weaponization of space. While the Bush forces conceal the facts about weapons in Iraq, they are forthright and unapologetic about U.S. intentions to weaponize space. Will the Prime Minister now admit that Bush's missile defence is star wars and will the Prime Minister now say no to the weaponization of space, which is grotesquely irresponsible?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, if I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times. This government remains steadfastly and totally opposed to the weaponization of space: steadfastly and totally opposed to the weaponization of space. The U.S. government has taken no decision. There is a recommended research program that in the worst case will start in five years. A system might be employed, in the worst case, in a decade or more. By being inside the tent, Canada will have a stronger voice to oppose this than we would if we were to stay outside the tent.

Pharmaceutical Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the industry minister. Multinational drug companies claim that Parliament has no power to scrap the evergreening regulations that keep lower price generic drugs off the market. They say we would be in violation of the TRIPS trade deal.

I want to ask this minister, when will the government stand up for democracy and for the sick and consumers, tell big pharma to stop hiding behind trade deals and scrap these regulations that lead to obscene profits for big pharma and skyrocketing drug costs for the sick and Canadian consumers?

Pharmaceutical Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, there may be a fact in there that is true, but it would be difficult to find it. On the subject generally, the member knows the committee is looking at this very subject. Let us let the committee do its work. It is hearing witnesses. It is examining the issue. It may have recommendations that are very useful. Let us wait until they arrive and consider them on their merits.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister said it was a non-issue when Canadian troops were sent to Afghanistan last month with no weapons. Now Canadian troops are being deployed in Kabul and are desperately short of night vision goggles, laser rifle sights and unmanned aerial vehicles, and they may be going in green uniforms yet again.

The Liberal government should have made sure that the equipment was available before it committed to the mission. Why is it always a day late and a dollar short when it comes to giving our troops the equipment they need?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, everything the hon. member just said is nonsense, but let me deal with a more serious issue. The tragic fact that four German soldiers were killed and more than thirty injured very recently leads me to express my condolences to my German counterpart, whom I will see in a couple of days.

It also underlines to us the top priority of safety. I instructed the defence department some months ago to spare no money, to spare no effort, and to ensure that we have the best technology and the best equipment to maximize the safety of our people.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister says there is no problem with this mission, but the fact is that four German soldiers were killed and several were injured this weekend.

In past missions, Canadians troops have been endangered. In fact, last time we sent troops to Afghanistan they had not even been told the rules of engagement. Now senior military analysts are saying our peacekeepers will be sitting ducks in Kabul. Have Canadian troops bound for Kabul been given robust rules of engagement or is this mission going to be a repeat of past travesties?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in the first place, past actions were not travesties. Seven thousand people have served in operations in the gulf and Afghanistan. They have done a fantastic job and the government is very grateful to them and to their families for their sacrifice.

If we look to the future, I spoke to the chief of land staff just today, and I asked him specifically, “Are the rules of engagement sufficiently robust and do you have everything you need to maximize safety?” In both cases he said yes.