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House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was airlines.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, as is always the case, the hon. member, the House and Canadians can be fully satisfied that any transportation of nuclear materials is in complete compliance with the regulations of the Atomic Energy Control Board, the regulations of the Department of Transport and where applicable, all international regulations such as those of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency. All rules and regulations will be fully respected.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, people need to be able to trust.

Can the minister make a commitment here in this House that all Canadian environmental rules will really be complied with, on all occasions?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the answer is yes.

Health CareOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the additional money given to HRDC this year was $1.5 billion. In the same year the same amount was given to the health care system. While Canadians have consistently ranked health care as their number one priority, the government's number one priority obviously is its patronage department.

When will the government get its priorities straight?

Health CareOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely delighted that the hon. member feels that health care is a top priority. It is obviously ours as well. In the past budget we increased it by $11.5 billion and in this budget we added another $2.5 billion, an increase of 25% over two years.

The important discussions now going on in Markham indicate our commitment to added funding but only on condition that there is a long term plan which will preserve our health care system for our generation and for generations to come.

Health CareOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government obviously believes its own propaganda. Day after day it continues to give us glib answers bordering on arrogance. Today in Markham the provincial ministers are on the receiving end of the same tactics.

How can the government sit here and say it cares about health care when the health minister has gone to the meeting with absolutely no intention of bargaining in good faith?

Health CareOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies Québec

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, at the present time, I believe the public is calling upon the political parties, and the government, to stop throwing figures around. What is needed is the renewal of our health system.

With the tax points, the federal government has restored previous funding. Now we must move ahead. What needs to be done is not to stir up quarrels, but to find solutions. The Minister of Health has initiated a process of dialogue and exchange, which will lead to a renewed agreement.

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a flyer distributed this week to the public, the Government of Canada states that “Health Canada has a strict process for evaluating new foods developed through biotechnology. A thorough safety assessment must be carnedout before they can be sold in grocery stores or on the marketplace”.

How can the Minister of Health allow the publication of such a statement when 200 scientists contend the opposite and say that no Health Canada researcher is directly involved in the study of GMOs?

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the safety of any food in Canada, the decisions taken by the regulatory agencies of the Government of Canada are based upon the best information available both in Canada and around the world, and the best available science. We will ensure not only that that science continues to be strong and sound, but also that all Canadians can have absolute confidence in their food supply.

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the minister claim that GMOs are evaluated at each stage, from their design to their marketing, when his records do not indicate either the name of the company, the name of the researchers, the test site, or even the names of the inspectors?

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet Québec

Liberal

Gilbert Normand LiberalSecretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, the question raised by the hon. member is very appropriate.

The government has set up a committee of experts who will make recommendations precisely on how to regulate GMOs.

In its last budget, the government allocated $90 million to regulate biotechnology, including GMOs. So, the government is indeed carrying out its responsibilities regarding GMOs.

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have no problem using HRDC to funnel money to their friends, however Canadians without Liberal credentials are continually ignored.

For example, the government could save farmers $300 million per year just by reforming the grain transportation system. Two experts have recommended that the Liberals eliminate the Canadian Wheat Board's stranglehold over farmers, grain companies and the railways. When will the Minister of Transport introduce legislation to implement these recommendations?

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this has been a very complex process. We appointed former Justice Estey to look at the matter. He brought forward landmark recommendations that were then analyzed by a former deputy minister of the federal government, Mr. Kroeger. We have been analyzing those recommendations internally. We have been discussing the various options.

I am still hopeful that despite the heavy legislative load the House has, we will be able to bring in a bill after the Easter recess. If we do, I hope that the opposition will co-operate with us fully.

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, it looks as if the Canadian Wheat Board tail is wagging the Liberal dog. The presidents of Canada's five major grain companies have joined the farmers' call for transportation reform, including the role of the Canadian Wheat Board. The savings from the grain transportation reform would be $15,000 per year per farmer. This is $4,000 more than the government's AIDA program.

Why is mismanaging money in HRDC and preserving the control of the Canadian Wheat Board more important to the government than farm families?

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has taken great licence with the facts here in talking about one subject dealing with HRDC and another with potential grain reform.

Everyone is in general agreement that there must be a more competitive system in the marketing and transportation of grain. Certainly the role of the Canadian Wheat Board has been a very important one to Canada's economy and will continue to be in the years to come. The question is to what degree the board will continue to have an involvement in the transportation of grains. These are all issues we are looking at currently.

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, while consumers, farmers and scientists are concerned about the long term impact of GMOs, the Minister of Health claims that all products undergo an exhaustive risk assessment.

How can the minister make such a statement when a study shows that, out of 27 products approved as GMOs, only 10 were tested for toxic effect, and none were tested for potential allergenic effects?

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet Québec

Liberal

Gilbert Normand LiberalSecretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, the government has mechanisms in place to monitor food quality, which have always proven effective and which Canadians trust.

As I said, we have set up a committee of experts to prepare for the future. The government has put in place a system to regulate biotechnology, including GMOs, but the already existing system has always proven effective and we will work to improve it even more.

EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the new Canadian Environmental Protection Act comes into force today. Given that there is a shipment of U.S. military waste containing PCBs destined for Canada, can the Minister of the Environment tell Canadians how the new CEPA will strengthen the government's ability to deal with this type of situation?

EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the new CEPA builds on the authority that we have to issue regulations on the export and import of hazardous waste, including hazardous recyclable materials. Specifically, we also have the power under the CEPA for the import and export of prescribed non-hazardous waste and, in addition, we have the ability to develop more stringent criteria to assess the environmentally sound management of transboundary waste between provinces, as well as to refuse permits for import or export if criteria are not met.

Western Grain TransportationOral Question Period

March 31st, 2000 / 11:45 a.m.

Reform

Gerry Ritz Reform Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is blocking a $300 million benefit from flowing to western Canadian farmers. The majority of producers demand change.

In a recent letter to the minister, prairie grain buyers stated that the status quo is not acceptable or sustainable. The only thing blocking the required transportation reforms is the western Canadian Wheat Board.

Why is the transport minister allowing the wheat board to dictate transportation policy?

Western Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is not in possession of the facts. We have to find a balanced solution that deals with the rights of producers, that deals with the efficiencies and the viability of the grain companies. We have to look at the viability of the railways. We also have to look at the role that the wheat board has played in the last 60 years in ensuring fairness in the system in western Canada.

It is unfair to talk about one particular component in this debate without relating it to all of the others.

Western Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Gerry Ritz Reform Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, that particular component is the largest single expense. What is killing western farmers is the heavy duty freight rate. Half of the producer's cheque on his produce goes to freight and elevation. That has to change. Three hundred million dollars in gained revenues for farmers is real money. It is not smoke and mirrors public relations money that these guys always talk about.

Producers want to know who is in charge of transport reforms. Is it the transport minister or the wheat board minister?

Western Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the government works collegially, but it is quite obvious from the tone of the questions that the Reform Party is a mouthpiece for only a couple of the interests in this debate. What it is doing is siding with the railway companies, siding with the grain companies and it is not thinking about the producers. This party thinks about the producers.

EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the ship containing 90 tonnes of highly toxic waste is now 24 hours closer to the port of Vancouver. We have already heard in this question period that the Alabama company, TCI, has received more than a million from HRDC to extract domestic PCBs in the Kirkland Lake site, not offshore PCBs.

My question is for the environment minister. Is this the government's idea of good green job creation, which is disposing of highly toxic waste that other countries will not accept while endangering the health and the lives of Canadians in the process?

EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member has been. It is well known from the questions that were replied to yesterday, both in the press and also in the House, that the shipment in question cannot go to the facility at Kirkland Lake as originally proposed. That was the decision of the Ontario government. It is there and it is clear for everyone to see.

It is also well known that we do not have a desire to import this waste into Canada. We obviously will not import this waste into Canada unless there is a location to which it can be sent for proper disposal in accordance with all Canadian environmental requirements.