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House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaty.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, once again the official opposition has missed the bus. The Bloc asked the question yesterday and I answered this very point.

The fact is that we now have in place committees of 450 people from the private sector, the provincial governments and the federal government who are working together to work out a strategy. The position taken by the Canadian government is virtually identical to that announced yesterday by Chancellor Schroeder of Germany. We are on track to achieve our Kyoto targets.

HomelessnessOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Labour admitted that the federal government had made cuts and that this had contributed to increased poverty.

My question is for the Minister of Labour. Since this is the first time that a minister in this government has admitted that federal government cuts have hurt the most disadvantaged and the homeless, can she tell us what she intends to do about the situation?

HomelessnessOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Moncton New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, during my travels this summer, I heard that cuts at the federal and provincial levels had had an impact on poverty and the situation of the homeless in Canada.

This government asked me to play a co-ordinating role. I spent the summer visiting communities across Canada, because we want to do something about the homeless. We will do so in partnership with committees, municipalities and the provinces.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government says that it is concerned about poverty, but its actions say otherwise.

Alain Boudreau, a young seasonal worker, is getting $50 a week in employment insurance benefits because the method of calculation takes only his last 26 weeks of work into account.

If the calculation were based on a year, Alain would receive $272 in benefits. This makes a world of difference for a young person starting out.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Does he think that $50 a week is enough to live on?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have to remember that EI is not an industry or a business. It is an income support program for those who qualify. Those who are eligible apply for it and receive benefits based upon the earnings they have been taking home from the jobs they have had.

If the member would like to bring the particular details of this case to my attention, I will investigate it with him.

HomelessnessOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Diane St-Jacques Progressive Conservative Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 25, the minister responsible for the homeless promised to put a strategy in favour of these poor Canadians in place within 30 days. It is now 215 days since the promise was made.

Could she tell us where the strategy and the money are?

HomelessnessOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Moncton New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, for 31 years I have worked in the fight against poverty.

When I went to Toronto, I promised to meet mayor Mel Lastman within 30 days, certainly not to come up with a long term solution for the homeless in that time frame.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Liberal Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Some 30% of Canadians live in rural communities yet only 14.3% of general physicians practise there. Fewer than 3% of all specialists operate in rural communities.

What immediate action will the minister take to correct the tragic situation for health care in rural Canada?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the government is working actively to assist provinces in meeting their responsibilities to make services accessible to Canadians no matter where they live, including the one-third of Canadians who live in rural and remote parts of the country.

For example, we have appointed for the first time an executive director of rural health to work with me in developing health policies that will respond to this real challenge.

Just this past weekend we funded a very successful national conference on strategies for rural health and rural research. We put aside money in the budget for rural health strategies. We are committed to getting the job done.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Reform Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we still have not heard from the minister on the government's position on the UN imposed emission targets.

All we have heard is that the minister will either throw Canadians out of their cars with a gas tax or out of their jobs with a carbon tax.

Will the minister end the mystery today and table the government's proposal to meet the Kyoto emission targets?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the hon. member said, the agreement in Kyoto was arrived at by 160 countries. It was not imposed by the United Nations.

Further to what he said with respect the issue of taxation, all members of the government have made perfectly clear that we do not believe a broad based carbon tax would be an appropriate way to go.

There are however many other other measures, including incentives whereby we can work together to achieve the Kyoto targets. These targets are very important for us to achieve.

Genetically Modified FoodsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week the newspapers carried an Agriculture and Agri-food Canada advertisement looking for a geneticist to plan, set up and direct a transgenic products program.

My question is for the Minister of Agriculture. Are we to take this job advertisement for someone to plan, set up and direct a program for genetically modified food products as confirmation that such a program does not exist within his department at the present time?

Genetically Modified FoodsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the centres of excellence and the considerable amount of research staff that we have in Agriculture Canada are always working to find new ways of technology, advancing science and improving science which has been the standby and safeguard for the advancement of the agriculture and agri-food industry in Canada.

We have those kinds of scientists and we do that kind of work. When the work is finished and in the process we check it based on safety and the best science available today. That is how the decisions on the results of that work are based.

EqualityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the throne speech stated that our diversity was a source of strength and creativity.

The government overlooked an experienced and qualified black judge in Her Honour Judge Corrine Sparks during a recent appointment in Nova Scotia. The government has fanned the flames of racism with its inept handling of the Nova Scotia fisheries dispute. The government has failed miserably to promote visible minorities within the federal public service.

What is the government doing to address racial inequities both in its own policies and racism within the ranks of hiring of the public service?

EqualityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the hon. member says, our government has indeed taken steps to make the public service even more inclusive. As soon as we were apprised of the problems, my predecessor set up an external advisory board headed by Mr. Perinbam to advise the government on how to achieve an even more inclusive public service.

I do not think that our government has anything to learn from the New Democratic Party on this score.

HomelessnessOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Diane St-Jacques Progressive Conservative Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 24, the Minister responsible for the homeless stated in the House that it was her responsibility to ensure that all Canada's children have a safe bed to sleep in.

Unfortunately, the minister has not kept that promise. Why is she condemning homeless children to yet another winter out on the street?

HomelessnessOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Moncton New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure all the poor children throughout Canada that there is someone here who speaks for them. I can assure them that I will continue daily to work to ensure that children have a warm bed to sleep in every night.

National ParksOral Question Period

October 26th, 1999 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, a decade ago the government made a commitment to establish more national parks.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage explain how this commitment made a decade ago will be fulfilled?

National ParksOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question. In particular I was pleased to participate with the hon. member for Nunavut in a celebration in Pond Inlet where the Government of Canada formally signed an agreement with the Inuit of the eastern Arctic to establish three new national parks.

Auyuittuq, Quttinirpaaq and Sirmilik national parks could not have happened without the help of the hon. member and the Inuit people. We thank her and the Inuit people for a very progressive pro-management agreement in three new national parks.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata Independent York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The minister leaves later today to lead a delegation of foreign ministers to meet with the military dictatorship in Pakistan.

Could he indicate to the House the position he will take on behalf of the Commonwealth? If the military junta does not provide for a timetable for a return to democracy, could he indicate to the House what the position of the Commonwealth and the position of Canada will be?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question. I should also say that I appreciate having his company on the trip. I know it will be a great asset. It is very important that members of parliament be involved in these matters.

I will answer the question simply. I want to point that this mission was authorized by the Commonwealth to take the message that under the Harare declaration we do not accept military overthrows of democratically elected governments. We would like to see the regime there establish a clear set of timetables to develop how it will restore democracy and equally so protect the rights of people who have been arrested during that period of time.

Dangerous OffendersOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Glen Galbraith, a convicted sex offender, became the 49th unlawfully at large prisoner from Sumas Community Correctional Centre since January 1998. This long time drug addict and career criminal sexually attacked two teenaged girls from Victoria, British Columbia.

Did he tunnel out? No. Did he scale a fence? No. He packed his fishing rod and his golf bag and he jumped in his own car and took off.

My question is for the solicitor general. Since his last stint was nine years, why has this government failed to prepare this sex offender for release?

Dangerous OffendersOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this offender was granted day parole by the National Parole Board. When it was discovered that he did not return, a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest. I can assure my hon. colleague that the RCMP is working with all police forces across the country to apprehend this individual as soon as possible.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I wish to draw hon. members' attention to the presence in the gallery of Her Excellency Madam Esperanza Aguirre, Speaker of the Senate of the Kingdom of Spain, and her delegation.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.