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House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Sierra LeoneOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on the specific question of support for Canadians, I spoke with Robin Cook, the foreign secretary of Great Britain. He gave me the assurance that the paratroopers are there and that the organization they put in place to ensure the withdrawal of people is in fact available to Canadians when they avail themselves of it, and some of them are doing it.

As to the larger question, which is a very large question, as I pointed out yesterday we are taking initiatives specifically at the security council to make sure that the UN forces there get the kind of support they need, that we begin to pursue the whole question of the diamond trade that is going on to snuff out the conflict, and that we begin to look at the whole question of accountability of those who carrying out the crimes.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Whelan Liberal Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, in many areas the Great Lakes basin has experienced its greatest drop in water levels since records have been kept. Low water levels affect everyone one way or another. At this time it is especially true for marina operators.

In view of the tremendous economic activity which this industry generates and the communities that depend on it, and in view of the need for access to harbours of safe refuge on the lakes, how will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans deal with the emergency situation in the Great Lakes?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Essex as well as members of the Ontario caucus who put this issue forward to me. They made me and the government aware of the difficult situation of the low water levels.

That is why last week I announced that the federal government is prepared to make a $15 million contribution on a cost shared basis to emergency dredging of marinas most severely affected by the current low water levels in the Great Lakes basin. I think this is good news for Ontario. It could not have been done without the strong effort of Ontario members of parliament.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the foreign affairs minister continues to oppose the national missile defence program. Canada's ambassador to the U.S., Raymond Chrétien, said at a meeting that I attended that it would harm Canada-U.S. relations if Canada did not participate in the missile defence program.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Does he agree with the foreign affairs minister, or does he agree with Canada's ambassador to the U.S.?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had been paying attention, even though there has been no request made for participation the United States has not decided on its own participation at this point in time. All that is being done is a series of very important questions that are being raised, questions about the participation in NORAD and equal questions about the importance that it has to the broad question of arm's control and nuclear disarmament. I suggest the hon. member engage in the debate rather than ask spurious questions.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact I am paying attention. It is the minister who is not listening to the United States whose signals are very clear that it wants Canada in the missile defence program.

Professor Jim Fergusson, an expert on defence issues from the University of Manitoba, has confirmed what I heard the ambassador say. He testified before the defence committee last week that not participating would harm Canada-U.S. relations. Does the Prime Minister agree with Ambassador Chrétien, or does he agree with the rantings of the foreign affairs minister?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid that when the hon. member talks about ranting it is simply reflecting his own party's approach to parliamentary debate.

The reality is that a number of experts have been asked to testify before the defence committee, before the foreign affairs committee. They all have different points of view. We are listening to them. Unlike the Alliance-Reform or whatever they are, we do not have an ideological vision. We listen to Canadians.

HealthOral Question Period

May 9th, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Some time ago the minister wrote to the Alberta government saying he was concerned about the potential NAFTA implications of bill 11. Then he said there might be problems and they were studying it. Most recently he says that there is no problem and he apparently takes this view on the authority of the minister of trade who said that there is no problem with bill 11.

Would the minister share the documentation, the study, the evaluation, the analysis? Would he share with Canadians whatever it is that has caused the government to come to this particular view of bill 11? We would like to see the argumentation.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian right to regulate and protect our health care system is not affected by NAFTA. I did express concern to the Alberta government about bill 11 not only in relations to NAFTA but in relation to the Canada Health Act and whether the implementation of bill 11 would affect the principles of the Canada Health Act.

I will tell the member today, as I have in the past, that if and when bill 11 is adopted we shall be vigilant to monitor what happens on the ground to make sure that nothing in the practice imperils the principles of the Canada Health Act.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, we will see about that. We hope they are a little more vigilant than they have been with the eye clinics up until now.

The question I asked is about the NAFTA implications. The people who contend that bill 11 is a problem with respect to NAFTA have been willing to share the legal opinions which they have had developed.

Why is the government unwilling, either the Minister of Health or the Minister for International Trade, to share with the House the argument that has come out of the Department of Justice or the Department of International Trade or wherever to show us the reasoning behind the view that they now take, which they did not only weeks ago, that bill 11 is not a problem as far as NAFTA is concerned?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, what we have shared with the Canadian people will be shared with the House. It is our determination to ensure that nothing happens which will imperil our Canadian health care system. In particular, if bill 11 is adopted nothing in its implementation will imperil the principles of accessibility and universality that we cherish so much. We will monitor what happens on the ground to make sure it does not.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Progressive Conservative Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I received a call yesterday from a Valcartier soldier's family expressing concern that soldiers exposed to TB in Kosovo will soon be back on base. Could the Minister of National Defence tell the House if there are any plans to give medicals before they arrive on base?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there is frequently a medical examination of our personnel both before and after return and various debriefing consultations take place to determine whether there are any illnesses physically or mentally of any kind.

I might add that the hon. member's colleague asked an earlier question about TB cases in Cold Lake. I am now informed there are no active TB cases in Cold Lake.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Progressive Conservative Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is strange. We have a mother calling saying that her son has it. Also the war in Kosovo has given rise to outbreaks of many other diseases such as TB, of course. These diseases have been kind of forgotten by Canadians. Therefore they are not being immunized for them.

Our soldiers on the ground in Kosovo are being exposed to these diseases. What exactly has been done to protect them in theatre?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we take great care in terms of our personnel going overseas to check the environmental conditions. We have environmental experts that go over to check the area that they are to operate in and the areas where they are to set up camp. Full medical services are provided for them.

There are numerous things which we have changed and improved over the years because the quality of life of our personnel, of our troops, is vitally important to us.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, a report released this week claims spousal abuse at military bases is being covered up. This is a very serious allegation. I believe statements like those offered in the report would require immediate reaction on the part of the government. The report obviously is based on specific cases of abuse.

My question is for the defence minister. Will the government investigate any of the specific allegations of abuse made or referred to in the report?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

The short answer is yes, Mr. Speaker. Any allegations that deal with any wrongdoing in the Canadian forces will in fact be investigated.

This report raises some disturbing incidents. We do not find them acceptable. We will not tolerate violence. We will not tolerate domestic abuse.

It is not exhibited by the vast majority of the people in the Canadian forces who are good, dedicated, decent people, but in cases where it does exist we will deal with it and make sure that the entire chain of command is accountable. We will continue to provide services to the family support centre for abused wives.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. This spring the Ottawa-Carleton region launched its rural clean water program to improve our local water quality.

Could the minister assure the House that on land farmed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada south of Ottawa the department uses best practices to reduce pollution in the waterways that run through the land?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I am certainly pleased by the program the Ottawa-Carleton region has put in place for sustainable agriculture. It follows the work that the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food does on sustainable agriculture and environmental soundness.

The land to which the hon. member refers is about 300 acres of land used for doing corn research. On that land they practise all sound management practices to reduce erosion, to minimize use of fertilizers, to get maximum crops and to detain runoff of anything from that property.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we have learned that Immigration Canada has just refused to issue visas to 24 African business people who have been invited to the 5th Salon africain et créole Desjardins to be held in Montreal, in which CIDA and the Department of External Affairs are involved, among others.

Do Immigration employees have nothing better to do than to hassle business people who have been invited to an international salon organized by Desjardins and supported by a number of federal ministers?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the information is not accurate.

The information I have is that at this point in time applications have not fully been completed in their review. Many applications have not been fully completed and filled out as they should be. A number of requests are under consideration at this time.

I want the member to know that the Department of Citizenship and Immigration takes very seriously the request for visitors visas and people are expected to—

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Gruending NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, people all across Canada are becoming increasingly upset by their air service cutbacks. The Atlantic premiers complained to the Prime Minister earlier this week. My own city of Saskatoon is losing 40 flights a week this year, and those cutbacks are already beginning to do serious harm.

During the airline merger talks the transport minister promised that he would not allow Air Canada to use its monopoly to the detriment of smaller centres. What is the minister prepared to do now to ensure that Air Canada maintains adequate service to Saskatoon and to other smaller cities?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the government has brought in a very tough bill that will regulate Air Canada and make sure consumer interests are truly looked after.

I am told by the chairman of the committee that clause by clause consideration will be completed this afternoon. There will be a special commissioner at the Canadian Transportation Agency to oversee all the complaints. That came from the members of the committee.

The Competition Bureau has brought in tougher amendments on predatory behaviour. These are things that parliament is doing to regulate the airline industry.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of fisheries. The minister is well aware of the difficulties some small boat fishermen are having with the regulations pertaining to boat lengths and how they affect their abilities to catch their quotas and earn livings.

At this moment fisheries officers in Newfoundland are actually telling fishermen that they have to cut a piece off their boats to meet the boat length regulations if they want to fish. Will the minister put an end to these costly and insane regulations and allow fishermen to harvest their quotas in the boats of their choice?