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House of Commons Hansard #57 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tribunal.

Topics

IraqOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the HMCS

Toronto

has been serving for some time off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean. It has now been directed to contribute to the coalition forces in the gulf. The two theatres pose very different threats to the sailors aboard the ship.

I again ask the minister, is the

Toronto

currently equipped to deal with the threat it will now face? Is the crew properly trained in chemical and biological countermeasures?

IraqOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there is a great deal of general training these people have already taken part in. Any additional training or equipment that is required in this particular case and under these particular circumstances will be provided.

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade and concerns the MAI.

It is interesting to see that the Reform Party is worried that the minister is not taking the opposition to the MAI head on. I just want to let the minister and the Reformers know that I am prepared to debate them anytime anywhere on this, in the House of Commons or anywhere else for that matter.

In that respect, I have a question for the Minister of International Trade. It is reported that he is going to be making a policy statement on Friday morning to the centre for trade policy. Why will he not make a policy statement on the MAI in this House of Commons? Why is he afraid of the opposition on this? Will he make his policy statement on the MAI in the House of Commons?

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I find it ironic. It was this government that asked that the MAI be studied by a parliamentary committee which the hon. member is part of. We have given more information to members of Parliament. We have conducted round tables across the country. I have no problems debating with him anytime, any place, anywhere.

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, we will be in touch with the minister's office after question period and we can set that up. I am looking forward to it.

The minister did not answer my question. Why is he ignoring Parliament? He is a minister in Parliament. Can he tell Parliament what he is going to say on Friday? Is he finally going to abandon this MAI and say that the government is going to seek a global economy that works for people instead of corporations? That would be welcomed, however, we still want it said here in the House of Commons.

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, to whom does he think a parliamentary committee reports? The committee reported. We will be responding to that. We are asking and answering questions in this House. The first question in four months was asked by the Reform Party. Obviously you have been agitated for the last number of days. We are not afraid to answer.

As I said, we are encouraging more debate. We do not want Canadians not knowing what is in the MAI because trade and investment works for this country. It does not undermine the economy.

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, please do not incite yourselves by using props.

Anthrax VaccineOral Question Period

February 11th, 1998 / 2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Progressive Conservative Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, noxious gases were used against Canadian troops for the first time during World War I.

Today, Saddam Hussein has stocks of anthrax. American troops have been vaccinated against anthrax.

Is it true that the crew of the Canadian ship

Toronto

could not be vaccinated because this vaccine has yet to be approved by Health Canada?

Anthrax VaccineOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, those discussions are under way with Health Canada. We expect approval for the appropriate inoculations to protect our troops.

Anthrax VaccineOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Progressive Conservative Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has just said that our troops will be inoculated, but we have learned that the reason Canadian troops are not being inoculated for anthrax is because the vaccine has not yet been passed by Health Canada.

The Prime Minister is sending Canadians to the region precisely because Saddam Hussein has chemical and biological weapons. Will the Prime Minister assure all Canadians that our forces will be protected, including vaccination against anthrax, and order the vaccine to be approved and made available?

Anthrax VaccineOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how to make it more clear for the hon. member.

We want to protect our troops the best we can. We are providing the necessary equipment, clothing and inoculations to make sure they are protected against any threat in terms of exposure in that area.

Pay EquityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, many of my constituents, women in particular, have been waiting for quite some time for the federal government and the public service alliance to come to an agreement on pay equity.

Could the President of the Treasury Board apprise this House of the status of these negotiations? Have there been any new developments?

Pay EquityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to answer my colleague's question, especially since we have offered the union a settlement of up to $1.3 billion with respect to pay equity.

We have asked the union to submit this offer to its members because we are confident the members will accept such a generous offer.

Unfortunately, the union has thus far refused to go to its members and, therefore, we can only wait for the court to decide. But we still favour a negotiated settlement.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister of Indian affairs' performance on the Starlight case is simply unacceptable. She had no problem breaking the confidentiality of Bruce Starlight when he asked for help, but she has no problem keeping the confidentiality of this mysterious investigator she says she has. I will ask once again. Who is it? Who is looking into the case? And why is she keeping it such a secret?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, there are two things. First, I did not break the confidentiality. Second, it is amazing how this system works very well when a minister forgets a name and it can be found. The name of the investigator is Mr. Newman.

Department Of National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

In his 1998 defence planning guide, the Minister of National Defence proposes transfer of a significant number of positions currently performed very well by civilian employees in the department to the private sector.

Does the minister commit to putting an end to this privatization policy, which cannot help but impoverish the workers and will, once again, deprive certain regions of Quebec of millions of dollars essential to their local economy?

Department Of National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, alternate service delivery is being employed to provide services to the military in the most efficient and effective manner possible. This is saving money for the Canadian taxpayers.

At the same time it is important that we treat our employees in a fair and humane way. We have put in place extensive consultations. We have put in place packages which will help ensure where our employees do not become part of the new service that they are looked after in a fair and humane way.

RailwaysOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

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

CN Rail has caught the merger mania with its decision to take over Illinois Central. At the same time CN is offering farmers a nightmare service and is abandoning rail lines left, right and centre across this country. It is using the profits made off these same farmers to invest not in Canada but in the United States.

Canada is the only major economy whose rail policy is to destroy the railways. I ask the minister, why is he willingly presiding over the destruction of Canada's railways?

RailwaysOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member that the National Transportation Act amendments were passed a couple of years ago. They have had a tremendous impact, a positive impact, on railway service in Canada. They have allowed the railways combined with the sale of CN to the private sector to compete in the North American market.

The hon. member should be shouting from the rafters about the fact that Canadian National Railways has now become the fifth largest railway in North America. That is good for all of us in Canada.

IraqOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, we do not raise questions to frighten Canadians. We raise questions today so that the Prime Minister will have the opportunity to reassure our forces and their families that Canada's government has taken the necessary steps to protect them.

When I heard the Minister of National Defence today state that they are in discussions with the department of health with regard to a vaccine for anthrax, I want to know how the crew of the HMCS

Toronto

is going to be vaccinated. When is it going to be done? When they get to Iraq? I would like to know. Those men have not had their vaccination.

IraqOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it will take up to 16 days for the HMCS

Toronto

to get to the gulf. In that period of time there are opportunities to provide for inoculations. The necessary protection will be provided.

Ice StormOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has been working with the province of Quebec on further financial assistance for small and medium size businesses and farmers affected by the ice storm. I applaud this initiative.

I ask the Minister of National Defence, is there a similar plan for eastern Ontario?

Ice StormOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, absolutely. We want to make sure that individuals, small business people and farmers are treated equitably on either side of the boundary between Ontario and Quebec, and in New Brunswick where they also suffered from the ice storm.

Over 80% of the money that is going into the pockets of these individuals to help them recover from that storm and to help stimulate economic activity is coming from the federal government. The federal government has already provided over $25 million under the disaster financial assistance arrangement. There will be more programs to help those people.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Gary Lunn Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of foreign trawlers, better known as floating fish plants, licensed by this government continue to fish in Canadian waters while our plants and fishermen sit idle.

Our fishermen want access to these foreign quotas, not TAGS II. Why does this government force thousands of Canadians on to assistance while it watches foreigners fish in our waters?

I also want to remind the minister with respect to observer reports to read the Access to Information Act because he does not have a clue what it is about.