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House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agency.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Let us take a look at how women fare in his employment insurance system. This woman is a waitress in the Lower St. Lawrence region; she is pregnant and under preventive withdrawal from work. She worked enough hours to qualify for regular benefits, but not for maternity leave.

How can the minister defend a system that penalizes pregnant women? Is this not a shameful and scandalous situation that should be changed?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, moving to an hour-based system benefits women in particular.

Until recently, women who worked part time were not even eligible for maternity leave, as 15 hours of work were required to qualify.

Centres Of ExcellenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Liberal Carleton—Gloucester, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development.

Last week, an important announcement was made regarding the networks of centres of excellence. Could the secretary of state tell this House what economic spin-offs this investment will have?

Centres Of ExcellenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel LiberalSecretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, there are now 14 centres of excellence across Canada. As a result of the announcement I made in Quebec City last week, three new centres were added, representing a $41 million investment: one for mathematics, another for arthritis and finally, one called a geoid, with its administrative centre in Laval.

These centres stand for state-of-the-art research. They stand for partnership, as universities work together with industry and the private sector, across the country. The centre of excellence for arthritis will address the needs of 8 million affected Canadians. This is good news.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I suggest you turn all their lights on so they do not miss their turn.

According to access to information, the government granted $22,000 in media expenses after the shooting of Connie and Ty Jacobs on the Tsuu T'ina reserve. I am wondering if this money could not have been put to better use, like counselling for families.

Could the minister explain what specifically was this $22,000 intended for?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the past, we are working together with both the province of Alberta and the AFN to get to the bottom of what happened on the Tsuu T'ina reserve. We look forward to working through this over the course of the fall at the request of the community.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, after more than six months of investigation into the shooting of Connie and Ty Jacobs on the Tsuu T'ina reserve it is finally coming to an end at noon today Alberta time.

And I thought the solicitor general was going to resign the next time he stood up.

Regardless of the outcome, the families have demanded from the very beginning that there be an independent investigation into the entire social and economic problems that this reserve faces and which led to this tragedy.

Will the minister find the money, $22,000 or whatever it takes, and recognize the family's concerns and—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. solicitor general.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have been working on this for quite some time. We are simply waiting for the other legal actions to play themselves out. Consequently, when this happens we will be able to move on with a broader inquiry.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

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

Two months before the APEC summit, Robert Van Derloo, the executive director of the federal APEC office, wrote “PMO has expressed concerns about the security perimeter at UBC, not so much from a security point of view but to avoid embarrassment for APEC leaders”.

My question is for the Prime Minister, not his cover the solicitor general. Is this statement true?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, there is a process in place. It is called the public complaints commission. It is what parliament established to get to the truth in matters like this. It is doing its job even as we speak and I look forward to finding out the results.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will try again with the Prime Minister.

On November 25 of last year, the same day as a TV cameraman and UBC students were pepper sprayed, the Prime Minister said “I do not think APEC will ever have human rights on its agenda”.

In view of the brutal arrests, beatings and water cannon attacks on demonstrators in Malaysia, does the Prime Minister believe that human rights should be on the agenda of the upcoming Malaysia APEC summit? Yes or no?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said and I repeat that it will not be on the agenda.

I will have the occasion to speak with the prime minister of Malaysia. I will express the concerns that have been expressed here in the House of Commons by the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and myself. We think they should respect human rights, particularly in the case of the minister of finance for that country.

TransportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

Smoke in the cockpits of airplanes continues to be a problem. The FAA just produced a study in the U.S. called “Aging Transport Non-Structural Systems Plan”. It says that a more complete description of undesirable wiring system conditions is needed and that observations for chafing, broken clamps, sagging, interference, contamination, cracking and splitting need to be addressed.

I ask the Minister of Transport what actions have been taken to address these FAA concerns.

TransportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is an issue that is concerning a lot of people in the wake of the Swissair accident.

The FAA last week made some comments and quoted some proposals about better quality of insulation in the interior of planes.

Transport Canada as a regulator in Canada is working with the FAA in developing new standards. That work is not yet completed. It would be premature to enact new standards or put new standards in place until we are absolutely satisfied that we have all of the information available.

We hope to be able to have some recognition of this work in the coming months.

TransportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the FAA report goes on to say that current maintenance practices do not adequately address wiring components and there is currently no systematic process to identify and address potential catastrophic failures caused by electrical faults in the wiring systems.

Considering that the FAA has determined that inspections do not address the wiring failures adequately, will the minister now appoint a group or committee to focus on this very issue of aging wires?

TransportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we do not have to appoint a committee to deal specifically with this. We have working committees at Transport Canada engaged in all facets of airline safety, every day, every week of the year.

Safety is the number one priority for Transport Canada. We are trying to ensure that all the planes that fly meet the safety standards. We believe that they do. That does not mean to say there cannot be new methods of insulation, or new wiring that would be better in newer aircraft.

All the commercial aircraft that are flying in Canada today have been certified by Transport Canada, the FAA or other regulatory agencies. They are certainly safe to fly in.

EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment.

The Canada-wide acid rain strategy signed on Monday has been criticized for lacking specific solutions. What is the federal government doing to reduce acid rain and its devastating effects on our lakes and forests in Canada?

EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, acid rain continues to be a very serious issue in Canada and the continent. It has a very serious impact on our natural resources, our forests, our fisheries and our human health.

At a meeting this week with ministers of the environment and energy, we agreed to develop a strategy for further reductions of acid rain in the post 2000 period. I look forward to working with my colleagues to set targets and timelines.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, on the hepatitis C compensation the health minister used the figure of 22,000 victims in the period 1986 to 1990. Through access to information we found out that that is not correct. The very maximum is 11,700 and it could be as low as 6,600.

Could the health minister explain to all Canadians why he used these numbers that were absolutely false?

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, while the member was looking through access to information, there were public documents published this summer for all the epidemiologists representing all the interested parties. It went through a public process to estimate all those infected through the blood system.

All those numbers are published through newspapers. Perhaps the member ought to look up the local newspaper instead of worrying about the access to information.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

October 21st, 1998 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

The minister claims that his reforms sought to adapt the employment insurance program to the new realities of the labour market.

How can the minister make such a claim, considering that he is forcing parents who have decided to stay at home to raise their children to work 30% to 117% more hours to qualify for EI benefits, when they go back to work? What are we to think of a program that penalizes women in particular?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, women were at the core of our reform, and we are helping them more by using a system based on the number of hours worked.

Earlier, someone alluded to maternity leave, but forgot to point out that access to active measures and training was extended to five years for women on maternity leave.

We made all kinds of improvements for women, and we are absolutely confident that our system will continue to serve Canadians well. We will continue to monitor its implementation, and we will report in January, as—

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister.

Last week in Toronto, 17 of 19 emergency rooms were turning patients away. Today in Ottawa paramedics warned that overloaded hospitals are putting patients at risk. One nurse said the emergency department is like the canary in the mine, the first place you see the problems from funding cuts.

The finance minister would not commit to health care funds at the finance committee last week. Will the minister put $2.5 billion in transfers for health care in the coming budget before any more lives are put at risk?