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House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-20.

Topics

President Of South AfricaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Now we will proceed with wonderful Wednesday.

President Of South AfricaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, my question is harmless enough.

As all members of Parliament already know, the President of South Africa is arriving today for an official visit. I would like to know what Canada intends to do to mark the exceptional contribution made by Mr. Mandela to equality and democracy.

President Of South AfricaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Southeast Alberta

Liberal

David Kilgour LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, President Mandela's struggle for human rights and the dignity of national reconciliation in his country remains a source of inspiration for Canadians.

In welcoming Mr. Mandela to our country and bestowing on him the Order of Canada, Canadians will have an opportunity to recognize the exceptional importance of his work and his devotion to human rights and to the well-being of South Africans and of citizens the world over.

Tomorrow, President Mandela will address Parliament.

We will all have the opportunity to hear one of the democratic giants of 20th century.

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

September 23rd, 1998 / 2:45 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the finance minister, when asked what he knew about the firing of Canada's chief actuary, said he was “informed afterwards”. That is not much of an answer since all of Canada eventually found out.

Will the minister tell us if he knew before August 25, 1998, that the chief actuary was to be fired? Yes or no.

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered that question, but I will do it again for the benefit of the member. I am often informed of management problems in the department except that in the case of people who report to me I do not make such decisions.

I was informed in general terms some months earlier that the superintendent had difficulties with Mr. Dussault over management issues. On the weekend of August 22 I was informed by the department that the superintendent intended to confront Mr. Dussault about these issues. Three days later at a previously scheduled meeting the superintendent informed me that he had asked for Mr. Dussault's resignation the previous day. That was the first time I had heard of that. Let me be clear—

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill.

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, with respect, I think this is a very important issue for Canadians. We need to know what the finance minister knew and when he knew it.

He was a seven year veteran in one of the top posts in this bureaucracy who was protecting Canadians' interests in an independent way. Just weeks before his major report was due he was suddenly out the door.

This raises real suspicions in the mind of any reasonable Canadian, so I would like the finance minister to continue to inform the House fully about the circumstances of his firing.

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to do so. I did not give an opinion. I was not asked for an opinion and I would not have given an opinion had I been asked.

Human resources management issues are the exclusive domain of the professional managers within the public service. I do not make those. Mr. Dussault reports to the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

Mr. Speaker, in Canada we have separated politics from the administration of the public service, so consider carefully what the Reform Party is saying. It is suggesting that politicians should influence personnel decisions within the public service. That would lead to the politicization of the public service, and I will not do that.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, we wish the Prime Minister would avoid the politicization of the RCMP in the same way.

Canadians were appalled to learn that when our foreign minister met with Indonesia's foreign minister before APEC last year he apologized to him for the anti-Suharto poster campaign in Canada and attacked the East Timor alert network.

Will the Prime Minister now apologize to all Canadians for this disgusting sucking up to a third world dictator all in the name of promoting—

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, I would ask all of you to be a bit more judicious in your choice of words.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I believe members are going a bit far in their accusations based on no facts at all, especially making a statement like that, which a veteran of the House of Commons for many years and an extremely respected person, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, denied yesterday.

It is a shame to see the member making that accusation, just to be sure he will be on TV tonight.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, the document of the ambassador speaks for itself.

We have now learned that the RCMP planted a spy in the student group APEC Alert before the APEC summit. Will the Prime Minister explain to Canadians why the RCMP infiltrated this peaceful, non-violent group, using the kind of tactics that Suharto uses instead Canadian democratic values?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member is aware of the role of the public complaints commission. I know the hon. member is aware that these issues are being investigated. I know he is aware that if I were to express an opinion on this it would be called political influence on my part, and I will not have it.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Diane St-Jacques Progressive Conservative Shefford, QC

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

Suharto's bodyguards needed the approval of the Minister of Immigration to enter Canada. Once they got here, they threatened to shoot Canadians.

Why did the Prime Minister not expel them from the country?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think it is vitally important that members opposite, particularly members of the party that created the commission, would respect its right to do its work and that we would not be reacting to every piece of information as it comes along.

It is very important that we let this exercise continue because Canadians deserve to know the truth.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Diane St-Jacques Progressive Conservative Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, in case this government does not know, I will inform it.

Suharto's army has killed millions of people in Indonesia. These are the very soldiers they let into Canada.

When they asked the RCMP if they could shoot at the demonstrators, why did the Prime Minister not have them expelled from the country?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the security arrangements around APEC were the responsibility of the RCMP. It is those very arrangements that are being investigated by a structure that was put in place by the House and deserves our respect.

They are going to get to the truth and I wish members opposite would let them do their job.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

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

The minister recently announced the launch of a series of nationwide consultations on the future of the health protection program in Canada.

Could the minister explain the full scope of these consultations by outlining how he plans to strengthen and modernize our capacity for protecting the health of all Canadians?

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the process of renewing and strengthening the health protection branch is well underway.

During the summer we published discussion documents which set out the principles we want Canadians to consider. There are public hearings being held now across the country. Winnipeg tomorrow. Halifax earlier this month.

We are identifying a need for leading edge science in the health protection branch. We want to make the process is more open so that whether it is drug approvals or veterinary products Canadians will understand the process by which we consider, weigh risks and give approval or denial. We also appointed an arm's length science advisory board.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the non-tariff trade barriers from South Dakota, Americans have initiated anti-dumping action against our beef, dairy and the transparency of the Canadian Wheat Board.

Yesterday the agriculture minister stood and told the House he would take action under NAFTA and the WTO. Twenty-four hours have elapsed. What NAFTA or WTO action has been taken?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the ambassador in Washington is meeting with high level people in the United States today. We are making it very clear to those in the United States that we will take action if they do not fix this situation and bring their people into line. We will follow the legal course that is available to us through NAFTA and WTO.

ScrapieOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

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

To date, 11,000 sheep have been killed in Quebec to prevent scrapie. According to our information, the minister is preparing to carry on and slaughter thousands more.

Instead of continuing the massacre, should the minister not stop it, examine the whole situation and control the disease more intelligently than by slaughtering entire herds?

ScrapieOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we are treating this disease the same way that we treat all reportable diseases in Canada and in an equitable way across the country.

The disease has to be treated in that way. We are doing it exactly the way in which the advisory council of the chief federation for Canada advised us and requested us to do. We will continue to proceed on that and work with the industry and the provincial government of Quebec in order to help the industry.

I would again request that the hon. member might ask the minister of agriculture in Quebec to respond to the correspondence from me.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Mancini NDP Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and again today the Prime Minister said students with complaints against the RCMP would have an opportunity to present their views to the public complaints commission.

My question is for the solicitor general, and he should be able to answer this one. Why was funding for legal counsel to the students denied even after the federal court indicated funding would be essential to assist the students in presenting their case?

How can they tell their story, or is this something else the solicitor general just will not have?