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House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-16.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I find the question out of order.

Importation Of PlutoniumOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, Russian MOX will soon be arriving by ship in Sept-Îles, Quebec, and will go from there to Chalk River, Ontario, by plane.

One hundred and sixty-one municipalities and MRCs in Quebec and the Montreal urban community commission on the environment are opposed to Canada's importing plutonium.

How can the Minister of the Environment reasonably ignore the formal notice by elected officials in Quebec who reject Ottawa's decision to import plutonium?

Importation Of PlutoniumOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Algoma—Manitoulin Ontario

Liberal

Brent St. Denis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, any transport of any sample from Russia will be transported in accordance with Canadian law and international law. There is no danger to our citizens with this plan, and the hon. member should be aware of that.

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Cooperation. War has many devastating impacts but perhaps the most tragic is the impact it has on the thousands of young boys and girls who live through conflicts.

This morning Canada announced a new partnership with an international organization to help protect war affected children. Could the minister tell the House what the plans are for the near future?

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and I are co-sponsoring an international conference on war affected children in the fall. UNICEF has agreed to cohost a meeting of world experts at the conference for us and that is what this morning's announcement was about.

As hon. members know, children are affected by war in many different ways. In Sierra Leone and many other places of conflict there are child soldiers and young girls who are abducted and turned into sex slaves. There are also the children who are displaced or who end up being heads of households as a result of conflict, as we have seen in Rwanda. This conference intends to bring together world experts.

MiningOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Reform Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, economic activity by the mining industry in Yukon has declined by nearly 70% over the last four years, down from $316 million to only $90 million a year. In contrast, Alaska right next door is booming.

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development mismanagement is largely to blame. On average it takes four years to get a mining project approved in Yukon, while in contrast it takes only three to six months in Manitoba. Why is the minister supervising the destruction of the mining industry in Yukon?

MiningOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Liberal

David Iftody LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, that is not true at all. With respect to the mining interests in Yukon, I have had the opportunity to meet with the affected parties. I answered this same question last week in the House. The hon. member should have read the response. We are working very closely with those internal lists, and the interests of first nations, parks and Canadians generally with respect to that.

As a Manitoban, I can tell hon. members that the Manitoba mining community is doing very well, even in my riding.

MiningOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Reform Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I want to quote from the Yukon Chamber of Mines:

—in the designation of Special Management Areas under land claims agreements, DIAND has created a legislative and regulatory quagmire for mining in particular, and business in general.

The collapse of the economic activity is a direct result of the interference and mismanagement of the government.

Is it this department's policy to drive out business and make Yukon totally dependent on government handouts?

MiningOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Liberal

David Iftody LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, this is absolutely untrue.

MiningOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I would ask members to please stay away from words that trigger responses. Stay away from the words true and untrue.

MiningOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Liberal Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I can give the House an assurance that the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is representing the interests and fiduciary responsibilities of those first nations people in the Yukon and elsewhere in the north. We are taking them seriously.

We are also very aware of the mining interests in and around those areas. I have personally met with those representatives from the Yukon, heard their case and heard their argument. We want a negotiated settlement with all parties so that it will work well, not the confrontational style of the hon. member and his party.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the health minister.

The Walkerton tragedy should be a wake-up call for the government. On so many fronts, whether we are talking about environmental health, food security or drug safety, the government has taken a hands off attitude.

The precautionary principle is out the window. Scientific capacity has been gutted and industry, not the consumer, is the preferred client of the government.

When will the federal government acknowledge that deregulation at all levels in terms of food, water, drugs and blood is having catastrophic consequences for its citizens? When will it reconsider this dangerous, outdated policy?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member has given me the opportunity to point out to the House and to Canadians that this government extends its deep sympathy to the families and the community of Walkerton which have suffered so grievously over the last 10 days.

Health Canada has been very happy to work with other governments in providing expertise and surveillance, as well as emergency access to an experimental drug to help some of the people who are particularly ill.

If the hon. member is looking for some place where deregulation has caused issues to arise, she ought to look not here but at the Government of Ontario. That is where the questions are being raised.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, all of us in the House extend our sympathy to the families involved in the Walkerton tragedy.

The lesson from that tragedy is in fact that when our safety systems are weakened then we all pay a price.

Back in 1997 this Minister of Health eliminated our drug research bureau and gutted our food research labs. He promised at that time to restore food research and to recommission some of those labs. To date none of that has happened.

Will the minister act immediately to strengthen food safety research in the health protection branch so that we have the scientific capacity to head off the kind of risk that resulted in the tragedy in Walkerton?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member should know that water safety and related issues are a provincial responsibility. If she has issues to take up with the level of regulation in Ontario, she should do that with the appropriate government.

I am surprised. The member is a hard working member of the health committee. She should know that from our estimates it is clear we are reinvesting some $256 million in the health protection branch of Health Canada. That is in addition to the $65 million last year for food safety at Health Canada. That is exactly the opposite direction that the Government of Ontario is going with its 30% tax cuts which are having a real affect on people.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, the proposed boundary changes to the EI system could impose tremendous hardship on our seasonal workers in New Brunswick.

Could the minister tell us how etched in stone these proposals are and what data her department used to establish these new boundaries?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member may or may not know, we are in a 30 day review period where all Canadians can respond to the gazetted proposals for the changes to the economic boundaries.

Local economists have worked with the communities and have used data on employment figures to build the modern boundaries. The hon. member certainly has every chance to make reference to and comments on the proposals over the next remaining days.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's answer in terms of responsibilities of members of parliament. I will ensure that I do that.

I am hoping that she will bring in not only the employees but the employers as well from that region. It is a very important and big issue. Many of our workers are seasonal and older workers. The difficulty is that some of these people are going to fall between the cracks. I am not convinced that the minister's information on historical unemployment rates in that area are accurate. In fact some of the unemployment records go back as far as 1996 and range from 23% to 45%. I hope the minister takes this into account over the next number of weeks.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again, that is why we have undertaken the process that I have identified. Proposals have been made, gazetted and the public has 30 days in which to comment; that includes employees, employers and members of parliament, anyone who has advice that should be taken into account by the employment insurance commission. It will take that advice before it makes its final recommendations.

NaftaOral Question Period

May 29th, 2000 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade.

The number of lawsuits being initiated by corporations against Canada under the provisions of NAFTA appears to be on the rise. Could the parliamentary secretary tell us what efforts are being made to amend chapter 11 of NAFTA to protect Canada against frivolous claims?

NaftaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the hon. member that Canada takes very seriously the concerns expressed on all sides of the issue about chapter 11. We have consulted widely with the provinces and stakeholders to make sure that the process is more open and fair.

We have met at the deputy minister level with the Mexicans and Americans, and continue to so, to make sure that the investor-state mechanism reflects what the original parties to the agreement agreed on.

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance and the Minister for International Cooperation recently attended a $60 per person cultural event organized by the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils. I do not know exactly what the minister's thought they were co-operating with when they attended this event, but the FACT has long been identified by both CSIS and the U.S. state department as a front for the Tamil tigers.

This week the Tamil tigers in Canada will be celebrating, in their words, “the unceasing, unstoppable waves” of attacks on Sri Lanka. Will the Minister of Finance be attending this cultural event as well?

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I do not know that this deals with the administrative responsibility of the minister. If he wants to respond to it he may, if not, he will pass.

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, a $60 evening fundraiser at a major hotel is hardly a major fundraising event. This was a cultural event where a young Tamil Canadian teenager stood and talked about what this country meant to her. One of the things that she was saying is that we are a country of tolerance and understanding. We understand that when people from other parts of the world come here, become Canadian citizens and want to celebrate their cultural heritage, we will celebrate it with them.