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 #117 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was wheat.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals continually deny their involvement in Pakistan's and India's nuclear programs, yet today there are Canadian technologists over there working in both countries. These Canadians are building the nuclear program in both countries and they have been there for years. Experts say that this technology is interchangeable between domestic and military uses.

The facts speak for themselves. Why will this government not start telling Canadians the truth?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I could ask the hon. member the same question. Why is he not using the truth in his questions?

As far as I am aware, there is no evidence whatsoever that the technicians in question are helping either India or Pakistan with their military programs. They are providing safety information to maintain the civilian power reactors.

Why does the member oppose civilian safety in those countries?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister totally misses the point. We have listened to AECL and it has told us about the safeguards. None of us in our committee are convinced that those will work. This kind of rhetoric might work in a Liberal caucus but it will not work for Canadians. Why does the government not come clean and tell Canadians where this nuclear program is going?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are not carrying out a nuclear program with India and Pakistan, but with respect to nuclear reactors that were supplied before the program ended in 1976, we are in the light of the views of the International Atomic Energy Association helping provide information to make sure that these reactors are maintained safely in the interests of civilian populations.

We are not having anything to do with the current military programs of India and Pakistan. If the hon. member wants the truth, why does he not put that truth in his questions?

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

June 8th, 1998 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

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

This morning, members of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women told parliamentarians of the difficulties encountered by women's community organizations since the federal government made substantial cuts to funding.

If the Deputy Prime Minister admits that the work being done by women's groups is essential to the cause of equality in Canadian society, what is he waiting for to come up with the $2 per woman being requested?

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, in fact this government has done more to advance the equality of women in this country than any other government.

While equality is important to fund NGOs to bring about women's equality, there are other things that we are also working on to bring about women's equality. There are issues such as gender based analysis which ensures that every single department considers the impact on gender of all its policies and all its legislation.

The fact is that in the last budget more was done to assist women.

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Québec.

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the government is doing so much for women, why is it maintaining provisions that penalize pregnant women by limiting their access to EI benefits, when it supported the objective of economic equality for women in a unanimous vote on this issue in the House of Commons on March 8, 1994?

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I fail to understand the hon. member's question because what this government has done with regard to pregnancy benefits is that now, when women have time off for pregnancy, we have increased that for up to five years. A woman who takes pregnancy leave to look after her children can have up to five years to access EI benefits, to get retraining to go back into the labour force.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade has just told the House that AECL and EDC have all the responsibility for putting together this nuclear reactor deal with China. He even went so far as to say they did all the contract and all the financing. He knows very well that the AECL and the EDC do not have the authority to authorize a $1.5 billion loan guarantee to finance those.

How on earth could this government give that loan guarantee? How could the finance minister give a loan guarantee without even looking at the contracts or the details of the sale? How could he do that?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, in the earlier question the implication was left that there was no financial due diligence. What I said to the member and to the House was that there was precisely that, a financial due diligence and it was carried out by the exporting arm of the Export Development Corporation.

Months before the contract the Government of Canada through cabinet gave the wide parameters of directions to both EDC and AECL. This was followed in the Candu sales to China and the previous Candu sales as well.

Also it should be noted that in China since 1979 there have been over 250 transactions worth $5 billion and there have been no liabilities thus far.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us stay with the point of the issue. The fact is that the Minister of Finance and the former minister of defence signed off and agreed to a $1.5 billion loan guarantee for the sale of these nuclear reactors when their own department officials gave sworn affidavits that the details of those contracts never reached the minister's department.

I ask the minister, why did the finance minister and this cabinet approve a $1.5 billion loan guarantee to China for the reactors without first reviewing the arrangements?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it was the Government of Canada that gave those wide parameter views and directives. What the officials also said and tabled to the court is that the financial review specifically has always been conducted by both AECL and EDC. They have worked in concert with the Government of Canada.

With respect to the specific financial due diligence, it is not the task of the departments of finance, trade or foreign affairs. It is that of the exporting arm which is the Export Development Corporation.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

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

The Minister of Transport admitted that the purpose of the government's air route decisions was to favour Canadian so that it could develop and be competitive with Air Canada.

Given that it took 25 years for the Liberal government to admit that the decisions of the 1970s were harmful to the development of the Montreal airport, must we now wait for the irreparable to happen before the government understands that, by blocking the development of Air Canada, it is blocking the economic development of Montreal generally?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton West Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport made it abundantly clear to the hon. member opposite when he said this government relies on a two airline policy in this country because a two airline policy fosters competition and competition is healthy for the air travelling public in this country.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

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

This morning, the Canadian government announced its participation in phase III of the St. Lawrence River Action Plan. This important project involves major investments in Quebec.

Could the minister tell us more about the nature and purpose of the investments to be made under the plan?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it was my great pleasure this morning in Montreal to announce the third phase of the St. Lawrence action plan. This is one of five regional environmental programs across the country that encourage improved health of our ecological systems and human health but which also are very important because they engage Canadians at the grassroots level.

In the last two phases a $150 million investment of Canada brought in more than $1 billion of activity to serve the St. Lawrence River. The phase that we introduced today will address agricultural activities, industrial activities, navigation and shipping. We expect to have many, many environmental benefits, including greater protection for species at risk, like the beluga.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, we finally have admitted in writing what federal bureaucrats say about the hepatitis C compensation package, and I quote: “The federal package does not meet recommendations set out by Krever”.

Will the health minister admit finally what all Canadians know, that his recommendations just simply ignored Krever completely?

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the Krever report recommended that the provinces and territories pay compensation.

This government felt that it should take a leadership role, as always, and pull the provinces together to produce a consensus to compensate 22,000 people. That is what we did.

As for the rest, the member will remember that there is a working group in place, a process to examine options, and perhaps he should let that process conclude so that we understand where we go from there.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, we were told a few minutes ago, from the website of the health minister, the following statement: “We accept the Krever conclusions in their entirety and without reservation”. Those two things do not square.

Will the minister delete that phrase from the website and put in the real phrase, that the recommendations do not meet what Krever set out at all?

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, whoever led the member to the website should take him through it with greater care.

Of course we accept the conclusions, all of the conclusions. He went through all the facts and he put forward conclusions which are clearly correct.

When it came to recommendations, it was up to governments to decide where to go from the Krever report.

As the member knows, the governments reached a consensus among all provinces to compensate 22,000. As to the rest, let us wait for the process involving the officials to conclude and then we will go from there.

Violence Against WomenOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, cross-Canada deliberations on child custody and access have become a forum for the taunting and intimidation of women who report domestic abuse.

Women have been booed and hissed and the existence of violence against women has been denied.

When I attended one of those hearings I was reminded of 1982 when Margaret Mitchell was laughed at in the House for raising the issue of violence against women.

I want to ask the minister responsible for the status of women if she shares our concerns and if she is prepared to express her concern today and set the record straight with respect to violence against women.

Violence Against WomenOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, the issue of violence against women, whether it be in the home, in the workplace or in society at large, is one of absolute concern to this government. It has shown it by much of the legislation it has brought forward and the programs it has established.

The concern that the member brings about is disrespect for women. It is fundamentally important that we listen to all sides of this debate, and that we listen to all with respect, so we can learn and the committee can make appropriate recommendations based on that respectful listening.

Violence Against WomenOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is very important for the minister responsible for the status of women to present very clearly the government's position with respect to violence against women and for that to be articulated very precisely.

The government is attacking women's equality rights by imposing impossibly restrictive funding guidelines and by not countering views that turn back the clock 20 years.

Will the minister today give the House an assurance that she will help underfunded equality seeking organizations to counter the outrageous propaganda that seeks to deny violence against women?

Violence Against WomenOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, this country is one of the few countries in the world that funds NGOs. There are not very many countries which do that. We will continue to do that. It is absolutely and fundamentally important that women's organizations be able to speak to government, to hold a mirror up to us to let us know what are the realities of women's lives. We intend to continue to fund that.

We are not denying any organization that is committed to the equality of women access to funding. Once they apply, we will fund them.