House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was dairy.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Sydney—Victoria
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Mark Eyking Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell for asking that important question. Being a big promoter of the dairy industry in the House, he knows the effect BSE has had on farms and farm families.

We are taking many approaches. One is to get the border open. The other one is to roll out financial programs. One of those financial programs is the cull cow program, a $120 million program. We also recently removed the slaughter requirement from that program to get more money to producers and in their hands more quickly.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, there is a growing consensus of unfairness in how the federal government deals with the provinces in relation to resource development.

The Minister of Natural Resources has alluded to the fact that government will bring the Atlantic accord in line with the accord's fundamental commitment to give prime benefits to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Is this the policy of government and, if so, will the Deputy Prime Minister stand and confirm this will be done before the election call?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in a conversation some months ago with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Prime Minister indicated that these were matters that needed to be carefully examined and re-examined.

The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador can rest assured that this is going to be done.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, this uncertainty is no way to grow an economy. If we were dealing with the old German currency, we would have a flat mark.

When will the Minister of Natural Resources live up to his commitments? When will he stop ducking the issues and when will he put his money where his mouth is?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in my almost 20 years in politics, I have never ducked any issue and the hon. member opposite knows that very well.

As the Minister of Finance just answered, we have taken it under consideration. We have had discussions with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and we are not to be put on any timetable by the member opposite.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec and New Brunswick governments have signed an agreement to develop a joint strategy and thereby avoid a repetition of last year's crisis in the crab fishery. That crisis affected 3,000 workers in Canada, including 1,000 in the Gaspé. These two governments are doing more than their share.

Given that it will be crab fishing season very soon, will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans accept his responsibilities by tabling his plan for the snow crab fishery without further delay?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the department is currently considering all fisheries management methods, including for snow crab. The plan will be announced in due course.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

David Kilgour Edmonton Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Yesterday I spoke to packers in the United States who told me that they are laying off 100 employees soon because they do not have access to live cattle from Canada.

Thousands and thousands of families on both sides of the border depend on that border being opened. Does he have any words of encouragement for Canadians on that?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Sydney—Victoria
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Mark Eyking Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Edmonton Southeast for his question.

I had the pleasure meeting with some of his farmers last month and they told me their concerns. One of the things that they want to see is the border opened. The Prime Minister and the government is working to open that border.

I would like to commend members on this side of the House and across the floor who will be going to Washington next week to talk to the Americans about opening the border. It would be good for both countries if the border were open.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the acting Prime Minister.

Michel Vennat and André Ouellet have been suspended as presidents of crown corporations. They were given to March 1 to explain themselves. I understand they met with the President of the Treasury Board. Mr. Ouellet, I understand, is coming to committee to testify.

I have two questions. First, is Michel Vennat coming to testify to Parliament? Second, on what fixed date will a decision be taken on whether these suspended officials will be fired?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I will take that question under advisement and provide an answer next week.

There is an ongoing investigation and consideration of the facts. We will carry through with the investigations that are underway and provide that information, but also take action on these files as soon as it is appropriate.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has come to light that in 1981 the Canadian Red Cross and Health Canada knew of a test that could have prevented the transmission of hepatitis C through blood transfusions.

They chose to do nothing. As a consequence thousands of innocent Canadians, including my constituent, Allan Blumenfeld, contracted hepatitis C.

Why has the Prime Minister not done the right thing and reopened the compensation package for those infected prior to 1986?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the government is very sensitive to the people who are living with hepatitis C. The government has committed $525 million for individuals infected with hepatitis C before 1986 and after 1990.

In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments this commitment will help ensure that individuals infected with hepatitis C do not incur out-of-pocket expenses.

Taiwan
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, almost one year ago, the House of Commons adopted a motion to support Taiwan's application for observer status in the World Health Organization. At the time, this motion was of an urgent nature, because the Asia-Pacific region had just been hit by SARS.

Given that almost an entire year has passed, and now bird flu is hitting that same part of the world, why is the Minister of Foreign Affairs still refusing to intervene with WHO member states so as to facilitate Taiwan's application for observer status in this organization, even if it means changing the organization's bylaws.

Taiwan
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my answer is the same as to the previous question. The member knows perfectly well that the organization's bylaws are what will pose a problem. The entire international community must approve in order to change an international organization's bylaws.

Instead, in Canada—because we intervened on behalf of Taiwan—we are working with the Government of Taiwan to ensure it has all the information it needs to respond to the health crisis affecting its citizens. That is what we are doing.

There is a practical solution to this problem, not the ideological solution the opposition member would have us adopt.