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

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of any first nation leadership, first nations community, or first nation person who has written the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development saying that they do not believe in the aspirations of the Nisga'a people through the treaty.

Child PovertyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the House of Commons resolution to eliminate child poverty, the Liberal government continues to rack up surpluses on the backs of pregnant women, depriving them of important temporary income when they have children.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. Does the minister realize that, if she really wishes to help children and combat child poverty, she must act quickly? What is she waiting for to announce that income replacement benefits for pregnant women will be increased from 55% to 70%?

Child PovertyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, at her press conference on November 18, the member for Québec said that she wanted a balanced approach to the issue of poverty. That is exactly the approach we are taking to help low-income families.

I thank the member for her support.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Mr. Speaker, you will know that New Democrats are concerned that our medicare system is under attack, both domestically in view of cutbacks and what is happening in Alberta, but also internationally in terms of what may happen at the WTO.

Will the Minister of Health stand in his place today and tell us that he is making it perfectly clear to the Minister for International Trade that under no conditions should health care be on the table at the WTO, that there will be no conditions under which health services will be regarded as a commodity that will be permitted to be entered into Canada from anywhere?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, my colleague the Minister of Health has made it absolutely clear and I also made it absolutely clear last week when I presented our government position for the Seattle round of negotiations. I will repeat it again since the member insists. We will not be negotiating our right to legislate or regulate our health care system. It is a good system and we will keep it.

CsisOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general continues to dodge the issue of CSIS security breaches. He tells Canadians it is a serious matter, to be patient and wait for a SIRC report. That is cold comfort when we know that the tensions between CSIS, SIRC and the RCMP are causing enormous delays.

Director Elcock's stall tactics and the most recent CSIS fiasco kept the report from SIRC's watchful eye for three weeks. The infamous telephone booth security breach was not reported to parliament for three years.

When will the solicitor general show some semblance of leadership over his department and get rid of the director or at least suspend him?

CsisOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee said it best. She said that Canadians should feel confident with CSIS.

What I will do is ask that my hon. colleague let CSIS do its job. Let the process that is in place work.

Arts And CultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

As Canada enters the third millennium, our national culture will be increasingly exposed to the forces of globalization. What action is the minister taking to preserve and to protect Canadian culture?

Arts And CultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I want to first underscore that the approach we are taking has been embraced both by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. We are leading the world in seeking a new cultural instrument to ensure that culture is not captured in the aegis of the WTO.

The reason Canada has taken this position and the reason we have worked very hard to bring together like-minded countries from around the world is precisely because we are a country that believes that respect for cultural diversity is part of our constitutional heritage.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a few minutes ago the minister for aboriginal affairs said that he had not heard from any aboriginal leaders who object to the Nisga'a agreement.

At the aboriginal committee hearings recently, Chief Darlene Vegh, chief of the Gitanyow, testified at the committee. She said these words: “The Nisga'a final agreement is a supreme violation of the Gitanyow and Gitksan laws. The Nisga'a final agreement will force us to defend our land. We believe the Nisga'a final agreement is an invasion of our birthright to our homeland”.

What is the minister's response to this aboriginal leader in B.C. when she says, “We believe the Nisga'a final agreement is an invasion of our birthright to our homeland”?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, as I understand, the Gitanyow have said in those hearings and in other places that they support the Nisga'a agreement but their concern is the overlap and we are working on achieving that certainty right now.

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the most effective ways to improve the plight of the poor is to build social housing units, because such a measure has a direct impact on poor families and significantly contributes to their quality of life.

How can the government claim to want to fight poverty, considering that, since it took—

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Drummond.

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

How can the government claim to want to fight poverty, considering that, since it took office in 1993, it has not invested one penny in the construction of new social housing units in Quebec? Is this acceptable behaviour on the part of a government that claims to care about poverty?

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada continues to invest close to $2 billion a year in social housing.

For example, through mortgage insurance, we help build 475,000 units every year. We also invested $300 million in RRAP, which is specifically designed to help rehabilitate housing units, so as to allow the poor to have a roof over their heads.

Moreover, since we took office, we have built 13,000 affordable housing units under the public and private sector partnership program.

Child PovertyOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are now just two days away from the 10th anniversary of the unanimous resolution of the House of Commons to eliminate child poverty and still we have heard no answers from the government, not even today.

Canadians are very, very concerned about this issue. I would like to ask the Minister of Finance what he intends to do now, not what has happened in the past, to face up to the horrible reality that as a result of his financial policies child poverty has increased by 50%. What does he intend to do to correct the situation and to deal with child poverty in this country?

Child PovertyOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, all I can do is implore the hon. member to read and reread the Speech from the Throne in which we set out very clearly a plan of action in support of Canadian children.

There will be issues that come from the tax system. We will be doubling parental benefits. We will work with the provinces to build a platform of income and service supports for children in low income families. We will be looking at our laws, as I said earlier, to make sure that children's issues come first in cases of separation and divorce.

Finally, as an employer, I say again that the federal government will be looking at its workplaces and will make sure that families are respected and reflected in our workplaces here.

RcmpOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the solicitor general, who has constantly reminded the House that his department has an arm's length relationship with the RCMP.

Can he advise us why a recent phone inquiry from my office to the RCMP communications branch was responded to by his political office staff?

RcmpOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague wanted an answer he could have informed me of the situation before question period.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

November 22nd, 1999 / 3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Edip Safder Gaydali, Minister of State of the Republic of Turkey Responsible for the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to four petitions.

International Boundary Waters Treaty ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-15, an act to amend the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Access To Information ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Reform Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-329, an act to amend the Access to Information Act.

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have my colleague from Yorkton—Melville second this bill.

The bill proposes to amend the Access to Information Act. Basically it would make the books and all the procedures and operations of the Canadian Wheat Board available to people who want to process the information two years after the crop year ends.

People from across western Canada have been crying for this for years.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)