House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drugs.

Topics

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. gentleman is way off base. The Deputy Prime Minister, in releasing the security policy earlier this week, indicated that the government was taking a number of steps forward in advancing the safety and security of Canadians. We have provided the funding for that in the order of $700 million.

I am very pleased to note that most of the experts in this field, apart from those who would like to be experts in the opposition, have said that indeed this policy is directly on track.

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

April 29th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage. In February 2003, the Standing Committee on Official Languages asked the government to order the CRTC to require cable companies to broadcast audio and video signals of the parliamentary debates in both official languages. In August 2003, the Government of Canada accepted this recommendation.

When will the Government of Canada require cable companies to provide CPAC, the parliamentary channel, in both official languages?

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Hébert
Québec

Liberal

Hélène Scherrer Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his sustained interest in linguistic duality, which is also an important issue for the Government of Canada.

When I appeared before the Standing Committee on Official Languages, I promised to follow up on the recommendation regarding the availability of CPAC. I can assure the chair of the committee that the administrative process has begun and that the government will issue the order as soon as possible.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, after the horrors at Hollinger and the nightmare at Nortel, it is clear that the Liberal idea of voluntary compliance to ethical guidelines will not protect the pension investments of Canadians or the integrity of our equity marketplace.

Why does the government consistently refuse to address glaring weaknesses in our Canadian security regulations? Where is Canada's Sarbanes-Oxley act? Why are the Liberals so reluctant to put meaningful controls in place so that we can trust the financial statements where our pension plans are invested?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, obviously this matter is one of serious concern to Canadians. I will not comment on the difficulties or travails of one particular company. However, I would note that over the course of the last couple of years, among the Government of Canada, the provinces, the securities commissions and the stock exchanges, a broad variety of initiatives have in fact been put in place in terms of better accounting, better auditing practices, overall governance and surveillance practices and greater transparency.

The Government of Canada, with all of its partners, is indeed moving forward on this file in the interests of Canadians.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, after seeing the health minister explode the Liberals' favourite wedge issue yesterday, it becomes clearer and clearer that the Liberals and the Conservatives are one and the same when it comes to privatized health care, despite how the minister tries to wiggle out of his position.

However, there is salvation for the Liberals if they want it. They could choose and decide to change the Canada Health Act to prohibit public money financing for private, for profit health services like hospitals, as was suggested by the NDP in 2000. If they are so different from the Conservatives, will the government pass such a change before the election is called?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

St. Paul's
Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Minister of State (Public Health)

Mr. Speaker, the government believes in all five principles of the Canada Health Act. They have served Canadians well. It is extraordinarily important that we move on all the recommendations of the Roy Romanow commission. We are looking at all these things in order to ensure Canadians publicly administered, publicly funded, publicly delivered health care. We believe in this and we will make sure it happens.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, Taiwan is one of the most vibrant democracies to emerge from the 20th century and it has a very strong record on human rights, and yet most Canadians would be surprised to learn that the Prime Minister and the Liberals banned elected officials from Taiwan from coming into Canada.

When will the Prime Minister move into the 21st century and abandon this insulting policy of slamming the door in the faces of our Taiwanese friends?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge
Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is very capable of delivering on hyperbole but this government has no intention of insulting anyone. It is clear to us that there are some very controversial issues to deal with and we will deal with them as a dignified and respected nation. However it is clear that the hon. member has more interest in trying to make headlines than in dealing with the facts.

We will govern accordingly.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, just as one example, Ms. Annette Lu, the duly elected vice-president of Taiwan, a Harvard graduate, a renowned speaker on human rights and gender equity, has been refused permission. She is not allowed. The Prime Minister said that she could not come into our country.

I will ask the question again. When will the government and the Prime Minister abandon this outdated foreign policy issue and allow our Taiwanese friends to come into Canada? The Prime Minister finally worked up his courage and got behind a bunch of other nations and allowed the Dalai Lama into Canada. Why will he not allow people like Ms. Annette Lu, the vice-president of Taiwan, into Canada?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge
Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I understand the hon. member is interested in trying to rephrase his question over and over again. There is no doubt that no one along that line has been refused into this country, certainly as an individual.

As for the question of a representative of a particular government, the government has a very strong statement about that. The hon. member is aware of that and we are prepared to stand by what we believe in.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister met with the Dalai Lama only when it became painfully obvious that Canadians insisted that he do so. The meeting was not going to happen because of objections from China. Meanwhile, the government refuses to even endorse observer status for Taiwan at the WHO despite a majority vote last year by MPs from every party in this House.

When will the Prime Minister end the hypocrisy and pursue a Canadian position toward Taiwan rather than complying with the objections from Beijing?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge
Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it will not be objections from the hon. member or his party that we will respond to. It is very clear that what the opposition is really saying is that they are rather upset that the Prime Minister met with the Dalai Lama because it was a very important thing for us as Canadians to do and the Prime Minister did it in a way that I think most Canadians recognized as important.

As for the question of Taiwan, it is very clear that the hon. member has a particular agenda. It is obvious that he is not aware of the international ramifications but perhaps it may be because he believes that this somehow will be an important election issue. We believe otherwise.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, Taiwan is our fourth largest trading partner in Asia and yet last summer its foreign minister was not even allowed a transit visit to Canada. Taiwan respects human rights, democracy and the rule of law but the government continues to marginalize it.

The Prime Minister is adding to the international democratic deficit. When will the Prime Minister stop worrying about opposition from Beijing and treat Taiwan with the respect it deserves?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge
Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what part of the United Nations recognition is he talking about with respect to the WHO? He knows very well that the United Nations has a position on this. We respect the position of the United Nations and it is clear that the hon. member ought to look at that from time to time.