House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was dna.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Gilbert Barrette Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, following the recommendations of the Liberal task force, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development announced new measures for seasonal workers.

Can the minister confirm to this House that the five-week extension of employment insurance will take place under existing conditions?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is quite simple and straightforward; the answer is yes, provided people are in an economic zone with an unemployment rate of 10% or greater.

Electoral Boundaries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Federal Court made a ruling in which it reversed the decision of the Electoral Boundaries Commission for New Brunswick to transfer certain municipalities from the riding of Acadie—Bathurst to that of Miramichi. The Minister of Justice now has 12 months to recognize the decision of the court.

Can the minister make a commitment today to introduce a bill immediately—before the imminent election call—to implement the Federal Court ruling and ensure justice is done to the people of Acadie—Bathurst, who were overlooked by the commission?

Electoral Boundaries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I understand my colleague's question. The decision on the Raîche case was indeed made public yesterday. It is a good 40 pages long and merits close study.

Nevertheless, this decision raises questions that go far beyond simply establishing the electoral map for two electoral districts. It questions the very independence of the commission, which was established under the laws of our Parliament specifically to be separate from political interference. The hon. member's request for a bill would compromise the commission's independence. We must consider all this before we decide what to do.

Electoral Reform
Oral Question Period

May 12th, 2004 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the right hon. Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister often speaks about a democratic deficit in this country. Yet, he has bypassed nominating conventions and appointed several of his own Liberal candidates.

I want to ask the Prime Minister, would he agree to amend the Canada Elections Act to make it mandatory that where there is a riding association, to be a candidate in a federal campaign a man or a woman must be nominated by his or her riding association? Would the Prime Minister agree to that? It is democratic. It is a step in the right direction. Most of us do it. Would he do it as well?

Electoral Reform
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in terms of those who will be running for the Liberal Party in the next election, overwhelmingly the vast majority have won in nomination battles and nomination fights.

It is true that the leader of the Liberal Party does have the right to nominate certain candidates and in a very small minority of cases he has done so.

I would like to point out to the hon. member the presence in Liberal ranks of Chris Axworthy, Ujjal Dosanjh, Dave Haggard, and a number of NDPers who have seen the light, who understand that in fact--

Electoral Reform
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fraser Valley.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the Fraser Valley the Canadian Food Inspection Agency rolled its equipment on to a local duck farm and killed 40,000 birds.

It killed them even though the flocks appeared healthy as all tests to date indicated they did not have the type of virus that is harmful to other poultry or to humans. It killed them in spite of the fact that if it had waited for 24 hours it would have had conclusive blood tests either way.

After three months of avian flu concerns in the valley, why does the CFIA not have a scientific, rules based protocol in place to deal with the specialty bird growers in the Fraser Valley?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency does exactly that.

First, how we have worked in this situation is how we have worked in agriculture. We bring in the producers, the processors, and the provincial government. We work very closely with them to ensure that the actions we take are first and foremost in conformity with the best science that we know.

Second, we want to respect the farmers and their farming practices.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish that were true. The minister will remember the last time the agency dealt with specialty birds. It killed thousands of pigeons and squab in the valley. Then a week later it came back and told the farmers that it was a mistake, that it should not have killed them, and that it was not a problem in the Fraser Valley at all.

The other problem is on the compensation front. The minister sent out cheques to many of the farmers in the valley. That is appreciated even though it does not cover all the costs. The problem now is that farmers have letters saying that the agency wants that money clawed back.

Will the minister assure us that the money will not be clawed back and that farmers will receive full compensation for the full costs of the value of their flocks in the Fraser Valley?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the Government of Canada is working very closely with the municipalities, the province, the producers and the processors to ensure that the approach we take is an approach that respects the right to farm and, in fact, respects the best science that we know.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is working very hard. The CFIA has Canadians from all across Canada working for it who have come to the member's part of the country to help eradicate this disease. Our goal is to first and foremost eradicate this disease.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, fishermen in Atlantic Canada did not get “mucho bono” from previous fisheries ministers. Now they are looking at the present minister and saying, “not you too”, as they see fuel prices rise. They see insurance going sky high and they know they will be prosecuted for catching a single codfish even though foreigners can take home boatloads and nobody cares.

Will the minister finally admit that the NAFO is just not working and that it is time for Canada to manage its own destiny?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, perhaps my hon. colleague would like to hear what his own leader said about this very issue not long ago in Moncton, New Brunswick. He said:

I will endeavour to substantially reform the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization so that Canada's fish stocks would be better protected, and I would reserve the right to take unilateral action to protect them if these international arrangements fail

Clearly, his emphasis is on the NAFO.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Absolutely, Mr. Speaker. That is the process we thought might work for years. We have seen recently that it will not work.

I challenge the member to answer whether or not he will put in his red book that we will take custodial management over the nose and tail of the Grand Banks, because we will.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, because of our actions over the past 10 days, the foreign vessels on the Grand Banks have moved to deeper waters where they are not directing their efforts toward fishing species like cod that are under moratorium, or they have been called back to their home ports. That is being effective.