House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for Public Health.

As we all know, diseases such as SARS know no boundaries and the next national public health epidemic may only be a plane ride away. I would like to ask the minister, what steps has the government taken to ensure the safety of Canadians in the event of an outbreak like SARS?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

St. Paul's
Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Minister of State (Public Health)

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to report, in working with our provincial and territorial colleagues, all of the important improvements that we have made since the tabling of the comprehensive Naylor report a year ago that include the Public Health Agency for Canada, the new chief public health officer, as well as new surveillance guidelines, all of these things.

In fact, I invite the member and you, Mr. Speaker, to the new Public Health Agency next week. Dr. David Butler-Jones would be happy to explain it to everyone in person. Together we can all reassure Canadians--

Health
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Thompson St. Croix—Belleisle, NB

Mr. Speaker, when Liberal MPs protest publicly about patronage and unfairness with ACOA funding, most of us would agree that the problem is real. Sadly, this minister continues to follow in his predecessor's footsteps. The types of cronyism and unbridled patronage the government pretends it wants to eliminate still exist.

My question for the minister is, what steps is he, his department, and the government taking to end that type of unbridled patronage?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, if the member is referring to today's press report about Norman Spector, who was Brian Mulroney's chief of staff, I find it passing strange that Mr. Spector was commenting on political patronage in ACOA when he presided over a whole layer of political appointments, where everything was viewed through the political spectrum.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

Noon

Conservative

Greg Thompson St. Croix—Belleisle, NB

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, I am referring to the Liberal member of Parliament for Miramichi who says the agency is out of control and he wants to shut down the types of activities that the minister is engaged in.

I might remind the minister that Mr. Spector was the head of ACOA on the present government's watch and he has specifically accused former ministers like Mr. Dingwall. Does that ring a bell on the other side of the House? I am afraid it does. He was a Liberal minister of the agency.

What will the minister do to stop that type of cronyism?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

Noon

Egmont
P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I think it was under Mr. Dingwall's watch that ACOA contributions to business went from grants to repayable loans. That was under Mr. Spector's watch and also under Mr. Dingwall's watch.

I want to thank the member for convincing his caucus to give unanimous support to our strategy on regional and economic development contained in the Speech from the Throne

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, the mad cow crisis has done a great deal of harm to dairy producers because cull cattle are now close to worthless on the market. A farmer from Normandin, in the Lac-Saint-Jean area, received the ridiculous price of 7¢, once shipping and abattoir costs were paid. Yes, 7¢ for a 2,000-lb. cow.

Does this government realize that its aid package is clearly inadequate, since its $80 payment to farmers in distress simply does not compensate for their actual losses? Normally, they would be getting around $1,000.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

Noon

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has undertaken an extremely important initiative with respect to repositioning the industry. This four point plan includes two very specific financial measures.

The Government of Canada is, for instance, prepared to cover 60% of the funding required to support the industry, provided the provincial government comes up with 40%. As an indication of its flexibility, the government is even prepared to agree to a unilateral contribution of 60% if the province will assume administrative responsibility.

The federal government has done all it can to assist producers in difficulty in this instance.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

October 22nd, 2004 / noon

Thunder Bay—Superior North
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I referred to my colleague from Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington as being a new member. I apologize. He has been here since around 2000. I apologize that I have never met him and I do not know what he has done.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

Noon

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, I am of course newly representing the new riding of Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington. I represented Lanark—Carleton in the last Parliament.

However I would encourage the minister to spend less time in Florida in order that he can watch what is being accomplished in the House.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

I thank both hon. members for their clarification.

Pursuant to the order adopted yesterday, the House will now proceed with tributes to Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier.

Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier
Oral Question Period

Noon

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today on behalf of the government to pay tribute to Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier as he retires from the Senate and to mark his 32 years in parliamentary life.

Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier
Oral Question Period

Noon

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier
Oral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

The parliamentary career of Jean-Robert Gauthier has ended, but his work will endure for many generations. His legacy to the francophones of this country is important for many reasons.

For over 30 years, he has been an ardent defender of the linguistic rights of the French- and English-speaking minorities throughout the country. An experienced and clever parliamentarian, he succeeded in having a positive influence on the government decisions that shaped the development of Canada's francophone communities.

Senator Gauthier is a man unlike others. When I was a young activist in the Liberal Party of Canada, I had the opportunity to observe him in his role as the MP for Ottawa—Vanier, the riding which I now have the privilege of representing in the House of Commons.

I saw then for myself the virtues of the role of a member of Parliament. I saw a man at the heart of his community, a man always available to his constituents. I saw a man working tirelessly to help people overcome obstacles in their lives. Jean-Robert lent considerable nobility to the role of an MP and, later on, to that of a senator. He, better than anyone, exemplified the people's representative. In addition to the courage it took in his fight against sickness in recent years, he remained true to his principles and values.

I want to thank him for his advice and generosity. To me, he was a mentor, a confidant and a friend, and I will always be grateful to him for that.

Since he began his political career in this House, over 32 years ago, I would like to let him have the last word by quoting excerpts from his last speech in the Senate, which he delivered yesterday. He said:

I have tried hard to make life a bit more agreeable for Canadians. I have worked on many issues. I am very proud to say today that the issues I worked on were the people's issues...

Honourable senators, we have a commitment to Canada.

On behalf of the government and all my colleagues, I wish Senator Gauthier and his family a quiet, serene and happy retirement. So long Jean-Robert.