This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Information HighwayOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my hon. colleague on her first question as the Bloc Quebecois' industry critic.

The report of the advisory council is a committee report. It is not a government report. Its purpose is to advise the government.

I agree entirely that, in promoting the French language on the information highway, Quebec artists and technological firms will be at the forefront in creating content.

Information HighwayOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, seven of nine provinces have yet to have a single word in French at their Internet site. However, the committee gives them responsibility for producing a critical mass of French content for francophones outside Quebec.

Does the minister recognize how awful this situation is in view of the importance of the information highway for the future?

Information HighwayOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, support for the French language here in Canada and around the world must include participation in the new technologies of the information highway. However, I must point out that it is by creating national networks, like SchoolNet and the community programs we have created, that we can develop a network where there is a place for the French language throughout Canada. That is vital.

CustomsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, Dennis Coffey, a veteran customs inspector, has alleged that the former head of customs at Pearson airport cut secret deals with certain trucking firms to bypass customs clearance. In fact he alleges that the revenue department has knowingly allowed over a million shipments of commercial cargo to escape customs control.

My question is for the Minister of National Revenue. Given that the government has known of these allegations for two months, why has his department missed over a million chances to protect Canadians from illegal drugs, contraband and firearms?

CustomsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I know the Reform Party often has trouble with the facts, as we have seen in the House quite often.

I can assure the House that our customs people are professional, committed and do an excellent job of protecting our borders. In fact, some of the new technology we have helps us to do our job in an excellent way. We have effected a tremendous amount of drug seizures crossing the border. We will continue to do an excellent job.

On this matter, unless the member has some facts to put on the table he should not rely on reports and allegations which are not true.

CustomsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister seems to think that his officials are flawless. Evidence has been introduced at a hearing and Mr. Coffey has made the allegations publicly. I would be happy to table them in the House.

We have learned also that the minister has instructed his lawyers to muzzle and intimidate Mr. Coffey to prevent him from making these allegations of fraud, nepotism and abuse public.

What is the minister trying to hide? Rather than trying to gag a 25-year veteran of his department, why does he not fully investigate these allegations today?

CustomsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the matter to which the hon. member refers is before a quasi-judicial review board. The hon. member knows that a minister is not able to respond to matters that are before a quasi-judicial review board.

He also knows that the appellant is in a hearing right now for someone who was dismissed.

Customs does an incredible job. I have had the opportunity to go to the borders and see the type of job they do. If the member has more facts, table them in the House.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

October 1st, 1997 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec has repeatedly demonstrated the validity of its demand for $2 billion as compensation for harmonizing the GST. But the federal government is still refusing to listen to reason and to consider any amount at all in this connection.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Given the two diametrically opposed interpretations, would the Minister of Finance agree to let an independent arbitration board settle the disagreement between Quebec City and Ottawa, as our leader suggested during the last election campaign?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly here in the House, the Canadian government is prepared to offer compensation to those provinces who have lost money. Quebec did not lose any money. In fact, Quebec made money when it harmonized. This is based on figures from the Quebec government. Information was exchanged with representatives of my counterpart, Mr. Landry. It is very clear.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the Minister of Finance telling us he is afraid to put his arguments up against those of Bernard Landry, that he is afraid to have to admit he was wrong and that he owes Quebec $2 billion?

I would call on the Quebec members across the way to stop acting like colonials and to help us out.

Is he afraid his arguments will not stand up to ours?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the member across the way keep his shirt on and take a look at the facts.

The fact is that Quebec has not lost any money. The Canadian government is not in the habit of paying compensation to those who have lost no money.

Furthermore, when we look at other areas, such as research and development, technology, technological partnership, and so on, the Government of Canada is certainly prepared to give Quebec more than its fair share.

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the solicitor general's department has admitted to approving wide-ranging Canadian Security Intelligence Service wiretap warrants, allowing CSIS investigators to conduct electronic surveillance on Canadian and foreign nationals not named in the warrant.

Will the minister tell the House how many Canadian citizens and how many foreign nationals were subjected to this unwarranted invasion of privacy and have they been notified of that fact?

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak to this question. I want the hon. member to know, first, that CSIS only operates on court ordered warrants. Second, there are rigorous tests against national security that apply to those warrants that go through screening by justice, our department and ultimately the court.

In the case in question, CSIS sought a warrant. It was turned down by the courts. We respect that decision. Therefore CSIS did not act.

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, my concern is the unnamed people that have been subjected to this investigative technique in the past. These people should know that they have been investigated, although they were not reviewed by a judge in the original warrant.

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, in response to the question, the people he is referring to were all investigated as a result of the issuance of a warrant by the court.

AlgeriaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Given the recent massacres of innocent civilians in Algeria, the international community must take concerted action to help the Algerian population, which is the target of these barbaric acts.

Can the minister tell us if she has taken appropriate action to speed up the family reunification process for Algerian nationals living in Canada?

AlgeriaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, family reunification for all immigrants who have already come to Canada is a departmental priority and it goes without saying that all these cases will receive priority treatment from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.

Asbestos IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Liberal Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister for International Trade.

For some months now, Quebec's asbestos industry has been threatened by the prohibition imposed on this product by France. Could the minister tell the House what measures he intends to take to strengthen Quebec's asbestos industry and preserve the jobs of workers in Thetford Mines and Black Lake?

Asbestos IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, asbestos exports are a government priority. We are closely co-operating with our partners, namely the Quebec government, the companies and the unions.

For example, the federal government organized an international conference on asbestos in Quebec City last month, which was attended by 300 people from 45 countries. I also hope the Quebec premier, who is currently in France, will raise the issue with his Parisian friends.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is finally clear why the officials of the health department were digging around in Dr. Brill-Edwards' file. Just this morning she revealed that the health protection branch prematurely approved the migraine drug Imitrex over the concerns of its scientists.

Why does the minister allow bureaucrats to overrule the information provided by these scientists?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am informed that the drug in question, Imitrex, has been available in Canada since January 1992.

It has been approved for use in many countries of the world, including the United States, Australia, and Great Britain. In Great Britain and Australia it is approved for use in the same dosage as it is in Canada.

Health warnings have been put on the labels, doctors have been warned not to use it except as indicated. I am informed by scientists who know and who have examined the product that it is safe when it is used as indicated to physicians.

I might say—

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Macleod.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is quite a contrast here. In the States they listen to the warnings of scientists. In fact a much lower dose is available. They have sent out warnings to their doctors of the new findings. Both those reasons are for safety. Here in Canada the health protection branch is strangely silent.

Why would the minister allow politics and profits to take precedence over public safety?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is the hon. member whose concern is politics. I am focusing on science and the protection of Canadians.

The baseless allegations of the hon. member opposite just show the wisdom of the steps we took last week: announcing that we were to appoint an independent arm's length science advisory board; announcing a public consultation on the way the health protection branch does its job, including the approval of pharmaceuticals; and a complete freeze on further cuts to the branch.

That is the responsible way to go about looking after the health of Canadians.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Last week I met with representatives of the B.C. Community Fisheries Development Program who have helped over 3,000 fishers in recent months to find new jobs for victims of the Mifflin Plan.

Will the minister explain why this vital program is now almost out of money? Will he finally stand up for B.C. fishers and coastal communities and come through with the full $30 million promised by his predecessor and a commitment to stable long term funding?