House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parents.

Topics

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

An hon. member

What's the deadline?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, no one is ever denied a pension at veterans affairs for being late. No information is ever denied for a veteran to advance his or her case--

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Kamloops--Thompson--Cariboo.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Betty Hinton Kamloops—Thompson, BC

Mr. Speaker, routinely veterans have been turned down for benefits because they could not prove their disability was related to their service in the armed forces. Retired Brigadier General Gordon Sellar and his wife, Gloria, are a prime example. It took a pitched battle with veterans affairs that lasted 15 years before he won his award.

Would the veterans affairs minister commit to a review of all applications from veterans who are suffering from illnesses known to be related to agent orange and agent purple and ensure that they are compensated properly and without delay?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Mississauga East—Cooksville
Ontario

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the veteran member knows that I cannot talk about individual cases. The veteran member obviously did not listen to my answer when I stated that we have in fact established a review committee to review cases related to agent orange and agent purple.

No amount of irresponsible rhetoric from the other side will advance the cases. I invite the member to work with me to advance veterans' cases.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Thompson St. Croix—Belleisle, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister suggests there is a compensation plan for our military personnel exposed to agent orange.

However, the minister has never once mentioned the non-military personnel exposed to the same chemicals, the private contractors, civilian employees and the residents of the towns and villages bordering the base. What compensation plan do these people fall under?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, clearly, what we are trying to do at this time is to get as much information as we possible can.

If the hon. member has been reading the press from his own province, it is clear that these same herbicides were being sprayed by provincial governments all over their own provinces.

What we have to ascertain first is who came into contact with these herbicides and under what conditions. Then we can move forward with figuring out how we can compensate them. Let us get the facts first. Let us work with the facts instead of a lot of rumours under which the hon. member wants to operate.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Thompson St. Croix—Belleisle, NB

Mr. Speaker, that is code language for doing nothing. The Liberals did the same thing on the hepatitis C file. The opposition had to pound the government for 12 years simply for it to recognize all victims of hepatitis C. That is the same language the government used on this file.

The government knows the facts. When is it going to act and compensate all victims, not just some?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that question comes from a party that was in power for eight years 12 years ago, closer to the time of the Vietnam war, closer to the events that took place, and which did absolutely nothing to find out about it, did nothing to compensate anybody, did nothing to find any facts. To say now 45 years later, “You guys figure it all out”, the Conservatives should have fixed it up 15 years ago when they were in power and could have done it. That is my answer.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learn that, in the 1960s, Canada invited the American army here to test a very toxic defoliant, agent orange. It was used in the Vietnam war and continues to have terrible effects on the health of generations of Vietnamese. The tests were secret.

I ask the Minister of National Defence how he justifies the government of the day allowing the American army to use a site in Canada to test poisons.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have just said to the other member, all the herbicides used at the time were commercial and industrial products used by many. As the press has said recently, the Government of New Brunswick used the same type of thing.

What we are trying to do today is uncover the facts and look at the type of compensation we could offer those affected. I promise the members of the House that this is just what the government will do.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada also tested a number of defoliants, including agent purple, three times as toxic as agent orange. Members of the military were exposed to it, along with their families and local residents.

Why is the government not, first, acknowledging its responsibility, second, assessing the consequences of the use of these products and, finally, helping the victims, both military and civilian?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have just said that all these products were used by various governments, individuals and commercial agents throughout Canada. At the time, the products were accepted by industry.

We are trying today to reconstruct the facts. We will find the causal relations and will offer compensation to those affected. But first we have to uncover the facts. That is what we are doing.

Medicinal Marijuana
Oral Question Period

June 14th, 2005 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government-run marijuana grow op in a base metal mine in Flin Flon, Manitoba has been a bust. The government has spent millions on pot; however, the pot crop has little medicinal value and may be corrupted by mine contaminants.

Will the minister shut down the operation, or will taxpayers continue to be shafted?

Medicinal Marijuana
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the medicinal marijuana program is being constantly monitored. This program was started based on compassionate need for those who are in pain. We continue to monitor the program and we believe it is working well.