House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member understood when he was saying that the Government of Canada, this Liberal government, acted very quickly since it discovered the contamination in the 1990s. We have started to decontaminate it.

As Minister of the Environment, I want to continue the decontamination. I want to have something done with this site that will be productive for the community. I hope he will help with that instead of giving false numbers that may worry everyone.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister of Public Works, as part of budget 2005, produced a sweeping strategy to improve federal procurement. On the whole, the vision is timely. It should improve management and save money, but some are concerned about the impacts these changes will have on small business. Some 65% of Canadian jobs and 75% of job growth comes from small business.

Could the minister explain to the House how his new small business office will assure that small businesses fully participate in federal government procurements?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are making it easier for Canada's small business community to do business with the Government of Canada. I am pleased to announce that our office of small and medium enterprises is working closely with the small business community to streamline and simplify the government procurement process.

We are tearing down the barriers between government procurement and Canada's small business community because we want Canada's small business community to be a partner in progress with Public Works and the Government of Canada to get the best possible value for the Canadian taxpayer.

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have just returned from Kashechewan where a humanitarian tragedy is unfolding. Health Canada did nothing to protect this community from eight years of contaminated water. Health Canada did nothing to help federal nurses who had to haul river water in buckets to their clinic. And now, in the aftermath of the E. coli outbreak, this defenceless community is facing threats from hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

My question is for the health minister. What will it take to have him stand in the House and finally say that yes, there is an emergency on the James Bay coast?

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that the government takes this situation very seriously and the Minister of Health specifically is very concerned with this issue. Today he has representatives on site evaluating the situation in the community. They will be making recommendations to him and to the government as to the best ways to proceed.

Tourism
Oral Questions

October 25th, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, seriousness means a commitment from the government on the James Bay right now. That is the seriousness of that issue that has to be fulfilled.

I want to talk about another issue right now that Liberals have waited on. It is the western hemisphere initiative that is going to require Canadians and Americans to have passports to move between our countries. This is going to have devastating impacts on the economy and also tourism in Canada.

I want to ask the Prime Minister, why has he been silent in this case when Governor George Pataki has spoken out, Governor Bush has spoken out in Florida, as well as Hillary Clinton and the President? Other Canadian representatives have also spoken out on this issue. Why has the Prime Minister taken a vacation on our tourism industry?

Tourism
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member that we have been discussing this issue with our American counterparts from the moment Congress indicated that it wanted such a legislated response in relation to biometric secure identity documents.

In fact, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has taken this matter up with the secretary of state. I have talked to my colleague, Michael Chertoff, about this. Our officials are working with U.S. officials in the department of homeland security. Clearly, we want a solution that works for both sides of the border. We have indicated our deep concern, as have others, with this initiative if it is to go ahead.

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been horrified by Kashechewan. They are appalled that this government could spend $2.5 billion and yet fail to provide aboriginal Canadians with safe drinking water.

The focus now is Gull Bay, Ontario, where the department three years ago spent $5 million on a new water treatment plant, designed by an out of town consultant, and paid for by the out of town government. The plant does not work. It will never work because the minister's department forgot to secure the necessary provincial approvals to operate it.

When will the Prime Minister take action and provide our first nations with safe drinking water?

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can describe this in whatever way he wants. The reality is that as soon as the community and the province that inspects the water treatment facility come to terms, we will be able to operate it.

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it sounds as though no one is responsible at the department of unlimited spending and diminished expectations.

Yesterday the Prime Minister admitted that the living conditions at Kashechewan were abhorrent. They are so abhorrent that his action plan is to have a meeting sometime with the minister. That is it, a meeting. The government spends $2.5 billion, 12 years pass, and it offers a meeting.

Canadians have served in the Third World providing water purification units. Why have we abandoned aboriginal Canadians?

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, obviously the situation is unacceptable. I visited the community last Wednesday. I met with the chiefs and residents. We are taking actions that are necessary. We will fix the situation in Kashechewan.

Health
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister declared that medical benchmarks in five areas will soon be in place. We now know that benchmark targets are not going to be met. We also know that the minister's weasel words are not going to trick the Supreme Court. We know that the wait time crisis has occurred under the Liberal government and the Supreme Court will soon be forced to step in again while the government dithers.

Will the minister admit that the Liberal dithering on benchmarks is undermining the Canada Health Act and the entire health care system?

Health
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, obviously the member has consulted the oracle on eventual decisions of the Supreme Court. They would not be in line with any decisions that have been taken to date.

The Prime Minister met with his provincial colleagues last year. They negotiated a deal that invested another $41 billion in health care over 10 years. It includes an inflation clause within the deal.

Part of the commitment by the provincial governments is that we have benchmarks in five strategic areas. They have recommitted to that over the weekend. We will have those benchmarks for all Canadians.

Health
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's policies are undermining the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Benchmarks are not a political issue; they are a medical issue. The medical profession knows how long patients can safely wait before risks begin to arise.

The Wait Time Alliance has produced an entire range of benchmarks in key areas. There is no reason why a complete set of benchmarks cannot be in place by December 31. There is enough evidence to implement all the promised benchmarks by the year's end.

Why then does the minister refuse to accept the advice of the medical community?

Health
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the minister is very happy with the advice from the Wait Time Alliance. He has met with representatives personally, as has the Prime Minister. I was present at that meeting. We are in discussions with the provincial governments, as agreed to last year, for evidence based benchmarks in all five areas that were designated as critical. We will achieve that by December 31.