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House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Reform Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my riding this year we have had two violent murders of innocent seniors. While the justice minister makes lame excuses, Canadians are suffering.

The identity of the young offender will be kept secret and his sentence will not be more than 10 years.

Can the justice minister tell my grieving community how many more innocent people will be losing their jobs before she changes the Young Offenders Act in a timely fashion? The time has already run out for all those victims.

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I understand the question because I am not sure what it has to do with the loss of jobs. What I will say as I have said before is that this government will respond in a timely fashion to the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Food InspectionOral Question Period

April 22nd, 1998 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Disturbing information has been circulating about the quality of operations at the Flamingo plant in Joliette, and this information has nearly jeopardized the future of this business.

Could the minister explain how such alarming information could have come from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, when in fact there has never been any threat to public health?

Food InspectionOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I will agree that the health of consumers was not and will not be affected as a result of production at the particular plant that the hon. member is referring to. I can also tell the hon. member that it was not the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that released some information in a very inappropriate manner at a certain time. It was not the government that did so.

Human RightsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton West—Mississauga, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month in Geneva at the United Nations Human Rights Commission everyone was astonished when after seven years Cuba finally voted for the declaration on the protection of human rights defenders. When an NGO worker congratulated the Cubans on their support the reply was “You can thank Canada for that”.

Would the Minister of Foreign Affairs please explain to the House and especially to the opposition how Canada's diplomatic efforts are helping to improve Cuba's position on human rights?

Human RightsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, under the agreement we signed with Cuba last year we established a formal dialogue system with the Cubans on human rights. We have used that mechanism to enlist Cuban support for a Canadian initiative to protect human rights workers around the world.

This year Cuba changed its position. We now have a consensus that will go to the general assembly. For the 50th anniversary of the declaration of human rights, we will be able to provide protection for those brave men and women around the world who are fighting for human rights in their countries.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, exactly one year ago today I publicly introduced a minority report on amending the Young Offenders Act. My 65 page report fully addresses the complexities of this act and recommends a comprehensive three pronged approach to deal with youth crime.

Has the justice minister even bothered to read the proposals put forward by the official opposition to deal with youth crime in this country? Has she even bothered to read it?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that I have read the minority report from the official opposition as it relates to the Young Offenders Act.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, then of course the justice minister realizes that contained within that report we address crime in this country, the complexities of youth crime, and recommend crime prevention through early detection and intervention, community diversion programs for non-violent offences and comprehensive and effective amendments to the YOA.

If the justice minister's officials are not competent enough to deal with these complexities will she replace them? If she feels that she is in over her head will she simply step aside and allow someone to—

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Justice.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the strong support of the official opposition to the government's response when I table it in this House.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Rick Laliberte NDP Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, ozone recovery is an important issue to our environment and our health.

Last week Environment Canada provided remarkable ozone statistics, a 98% recovery, a statement carried by news organizations across this country. The following day, NASA and Columbia University studies stated that Arctic ozone losses were the highest observed in any previous year.

Will the Minister of the Environment explain to Canadians which numbers are correct, the Liberal numbers or the NASA scientific data?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the numbers the government is using with regard to what we have accomplished, which is significant on the issue of ozone depletion, as we have done a lot to improve that situation, come from scientists within the Department of the Environment. They are not Liberals. They are professional scientists.

It is a fact that we continue to do scientific work on this issue within our department. We are very concerned to continue to make sure that CFCs and ozone depleting substances are reduced until the ozone cover is cured completely.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Rick Laliberte NDP Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, NASA scientists predict the Arctic ozone hole will get worse. With greenhouse gas impacts contributing to potential disaster, the environmental integrity of this government is being questioned while the government signs more agreements and tells Canada it is doing a great job.

When will the Prime Minister show environmental leadership and commit adequate resources to environmental science and protection for the sake of our sustainable development?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in our world there will never be enough science for us to fully understand the implications of all the serious things we are doing to the environment. However, we have a very adequate department that is science based and is researching on a continuous basis both the issue of greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances, which are different.

Our objective is to make sure that we protect the environment to the highest standard possible and engage Canadians in that process, an important message on earth day.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, the hepatitis C issue is not going away as long as there is one member standing on this side of the House and one innocent victim who has not been compensated.

This is going to hang around the minister's neck like an albatross.

I am asking the minister to answer in a straightforward way, yes or no, is the door closed forever on this hepatitis C package.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that as long as he is there to ask questions, I shall be here, as long as the Prime Minister wishes me to serve as Minister of Health, to respond. I shall respond in a straightforward manner. I shall respond honestly and with feeling by saying that this is a tough issue. It is not easy. It is difficult.

None of us likes to say no to people who have been innocently harmed and who are asking for something which we cannot give. I am here to say, as I will say tomorrow, next week, next month and next year, that as a matter of public policy all governments of this country took the same position and we are doing the right thing. This is the agreement we all came to. This is the agreement by which we will stand. It is the only way we can maintain a sustainable public health care system in this country.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, can you make any reason out of that answer? I do not think anyone in this House can, not even his own backbenchers.

Unfortunately the minister promised that this package was going to be fair and honourable. It is not fair and it is not honourable.

The only recourse these people will have will be the courts. I am asking the minister is he prepared to allow this to go before the courts. Does he honestly believe that their case is strong enough to sustain a court challenge? At the end of the day they are going to wind up paying more money—

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Health.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I take it the member is not asking for a legal opinion.

As a matter of public policy, the governments have done their best to determine which cases are those in which the public should pay cash to people harmed by the system. The best we can do, acting honestly and doing the best we can by people while respecting our responsibility in government, is to say that when we look at the history which Mr. Justice Krever spread out in front of us, there was a period of time during which governments could have acted and should have acted and they did not. Together we are contributing—

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry McCormick Liberal Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend my family and I will be picking up garbage and planting trees to celebrate earth day.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell this House how the federal government is promoting earth day and encouraging all Canadians in contributing to a cleaner, greener and healthier earth?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I applaud my colleague for his activities to honour earth day. I hope every colleague in this House will do similarly.

It is a very important day in which communities, businesses and schools come together to do something to celebrate the importance of the environment.

Today I went out to St. Anthony's school in Ottawa. It is working with Nortel, with NGOs and the school students to improve their schoolyard, to make it the most beautiful schoolyard in Canada. Also today I approved 63 projects under an action 21—

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, in recent years Canada has lost two professional hockey teams. The third is now on the ropes.

The reason for that is twofold. First, Canadian taxes are about 50% higher than in the U.S. Second, the Americans unfairly subsidize their hockey teams.

What is the government doing to lower taxes? What is it going to do about these unfair subsidies so that we can keep hockey in Canada?