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House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was man.

Topics

Cloning Of Human EmbryosOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have begun consultations with the provinces, groups and individuals involved. We will be in a position to act after these consultations have been completed.

YouthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there has been a number of requests from youth organizations across Canada asking the government to proclaim the first week of May as National Youth Week. I want to ask the minister responsible for youth if she would respond to this request.

YouthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Western Arctic Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew LiberalSecretary of State (Children and Youth)

Mr. Speaker, this is a very positive suggestion by the hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

We have to recognize the positive contribution made to this country by youth. We also have to recognize that they should maximize the opportunities that are there for them. At the same time we have to recognize there are desperate needs that young people have regarding suicide, tobacco reduction, unemployment. These are challenges that youth face which we have to assist them with.

It is a very good suggestion and we will undertake to review it and get back to the hon. member.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it now appears that the HRD minister had an accomplice in the billion dollar boondoggle. According to the information commissioner, Treasury Board is equally guilty because it did not enforce its own rules.

Why did the President of the Treasury Board refuse to enforce her own regulations, thus allowing the HRD scandal to take place?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board Secretariat works constantly in co-operation with the departments. Clearly, when a policy involves transfer payments, each and every department must implement that policy.

Also, when internal audits are conducted in a department and problems are discovered, Treasury Board is notified and it helps the department put in place the tools necessary to correct these problems. This is precisely what is currently going on at Human Resources Development Canada.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the minister have a chat with the information commissioner because he does not agree with what the minister has said. If the minister said what we think she was saying, that there was not a problem in HRD because her ministry took care of it and audits took place, that is simply not the case. The commissioner has said her department is equally responsible, equally accountable. Why did the minister allow it to occur?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board Secretariat and Treasury Board clearly play an active role in monitoring the implementation of policies in each and every department.

This is what we are doing and, in the near future, we want to do more, to try to provide greater help to the departments to correct the problems discovered during internal audit exercises.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is regrettable for all Canadians that the Minister of Health failed to make any progress at last week's meeting of health ministers. He failed because the Prime Minister would not let him talk money, even though the Minister of Finance is reported to have said that there are pots of money for health care.

The minister had an opportunity to walk the talk. He may not have been allowed to talk money, but was he allowed to talk privatization? When he met with his counterparts did he look across the table and say directly to Alberta's health minister that the 12 point privatization agreement was off?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this government knows that as the years go by more money will be required for health care. Indeed, in the last 14 months we have devoted an additional $14 billion to the transfers available for health in the hands of the provinces.

This government is also aware that it will take more than just money to fix the problem. The NDP is the agent of the status quo. It believes in pouring more money into the existing system. Let me quote Bob Rae, the former NDP premier of Ontario. Last week he said: “Allan Rock is absolutely right when he says that if we are going to put more money in, we also have to deal with the question of reform and not just throw money”.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, is it any wonder that we get a non-answer from the health minister today following the non-event of last week.

I want to be very specific. We are dealing with a crucial moment in the history of health care. We all acknowledge that the health minister's strategy failed. The federal government's plan fell apart. We are one day away from Bill 11 being introduced in the Alberta legislature for second reading. We are at a very critical turning point. Given that Bill 11 is an offshoot of principle 11, will this minister at least do something that no one else can stop him from doing and rip up the agreement?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I suggested the process that began last week in Markham because I think governments have to work together to plan for the future of medicare. Last week was only the beginning. It will continue. It may take some time.

We will combine what the Prime Minister said, a long term commitment to financing with a long term plan to renew medicare. That is where we are going.

On Bill 11, as I have already told this member and the House, we will respond at the appropriate time when we know what the bill is in its final form.

Fisheries And OceansOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans recently announced record high fish exports totalling $3.7 billion for 1999. This confirms what I have consistently said in the House about the importance of the fishing industry to Canada's economy.

Given the tremendous success, can the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans explain why his government has reduced funding to small craft harbours by almost 50% since taking office, putting at risk our local wharf infrastructure?

Fisheries And OceansOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question, which I gave him earlier today. He is absolutely right that exports have gone up to $3.7 billion.

That is the result of the good work that this government has done since it took power in 1993, unlike the Tories who closed the cod fishery and caused a huge disaster in Atlantic Canada.

With respect to the small craft harbours, the hon. member made representation to me on wharves in his riding. It is very important to make sure that our harbours are well maintained. We are working toward making sure that happens.

Fisheries And OceansOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, this minister takes my questions as seriously as he takes our wharves. It is a joke.

Our wharf infrastructure is crumbling. I already mentioned a number of wharves in my riding that were decimated by a January 21 storm. Many others are in serious need of repair.

When will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans realize that our fishing communities need proper wharfing facilities if they are to continue to provide this very valuable service to our Canadian economy?

Fisheries And OceansOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member would talk to his colleague beside him, the member for Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, he would know that I announced $200,000 for wharf relief just last week.

We are working very hard to make sure that we look after wharves everywhere across Atlantic Canada and across Canada. But there are only limited budgets and we have to make sure that we spend the money of Canadians wisely, and that is what we will do.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Having recently returned from a meeting on the conflict in the Great Lakes region of Africa, I know that there is great concern about the resumption of fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Can the minister tell the House what the government is doing to encourage all sides to fully comply with the terms of the Lusaka peace agreement signed last July?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, to begin with I would like to thank the hon. member for participating in that conference on behalf of Canada. I think his contribution was very important.

We have taken an active role at the security council. We have put forward a series of proposals and propositions indicating that we would help with the joint military commission, with the dialogue and with the peace process. Through the good contribution of CIDA, we have offered money to help demobilize the child soldiers.

What we are saying is that we are prepared to provide support, but the parties in the conflict have to make the agreement themselves.

InformationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Reform Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, every day we find instances where government information is not being professionally managed. Records are not traded when they should be. Records are not properly indexed. These are not my words; these are the words of the information commissioner. He has been ringing the alarm bell for years, especially for the Treasury Board to enforce its own rules and guidelines.

My question is for the President of the Treasury Board. The bell is ringing once again. Why will the government not answer?

InformationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

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

It is very clear, Mr. Speaker, that this government and the Treasury Board can undertake to improve existing administrative practices and introduce modern management methods. We must adapt to the new realities.

Every day, we make improvements, but it is very clear that as a result of recent events we are going to review the entire transfer payment policy in the very near future. We are going to increase active monitoring by the various departments.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, today Canada took up its duties as president of the UN security council.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

April 3rd, 2000 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

All signs are that a referendum will be held on the future of the West Sahara in the near future, under the aegis of the United Nations.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirm for the House that Canada will ensure that the UN's rule of 50% plus one will apply in this referendum, as it did in the case of East Timor and Eritrea?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, under the terms of determining the referendum there is an agreement that it would take place with the parties themselves.

Clearly, what we saw in the case of the west Sahara was that there was an agreement between the government in that area and the United Nations. Whereas, we have in Canada an agreement with the Parliament of Canada as to what the proper formula should be.

EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Gruending NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, a ship loaded with toxic waste is on the ocean bound for Vancouver and so far the Minister of the Environment has left the door open to accepting this waste if its PCB content falls below a certain level.

The waste comes from an American military base in Japan, but the Japanese will not touch it. The Americans themselves have legislation prohibiting the import of waste PCBs into their country, no matter what the traceable levels. If the Americans will not accept their own toxic waste, nor should we.

Will the minister simply commit to refusing entry of this toxic waste to Canada, no matter what level of PCBs it contains?

EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

The shipment in question is currently in the United States in a port in California. We are discussing with the department of defence as to how this may be handled. I believe it will visit another American port before coming to Canada and we hope that the American authorities, as the hon. member suggested in his question, will be willing to take this waste into the United States.