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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Gruending NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the environment minister continues to insist that protecting the drinking water of Canadians is not his business. We do not believe that and neither do Canadians. Even Liberal backbenchers, and here I am thinking of the member for Oxford, have begun to speak out.

The Environmental Protection Act gives the minister the power to act when the health of Canadians is at risk.

When individuals contact the minister this summer, as surely they will, about the concerns for safety in their drinking water, what action is he prepared to take?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the tragic events at Walkerton should not be used for crass political advantage.

The member knows that the federal Department of Health, in conjunction with the ministries of health in the provinces and the territories, sets the standard for various substances in water. For E. coli it is zero parts per million.

He also knows that the system of distribution of drinking water in the province of Ontario is essentially the responsibility of the municipalities, supervised by the provincial government. If he wants to have a system where all three levels of government get in one another's way allowing the—

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

HealthOral Question Period

June 15th, 2000 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government seems to have learned nothing from the lessons of the past.

Its attitude of indifference to tainted water is no different than its attitude to tainted blood. It cannot even keep its commitments to the victims of hepatitis C. It has been two years, two months and twenty days since the government made its limited compensation offer. To this moment, not a penny has flowed and victims are getting sicker and weaker and many are dying.

Since we are almost at Canada Day, a day of national pride, will the minister undertake to flow the money before July 1?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member knows that it is because of the leadership of this government that thousands and thousands of people who were infected with hepatitis C were not required to go through a decade in court.

We co-ordinated governments across the country to make an offer to compensate them appropriately. That has now been approved by the courts and we are now at the point where the courts are going to supervise the distribution of those moneys.

The member should acknowledge that this government, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, saved those people years before the courts.

Gun RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, as the Liberal election readiness team gears up and the cabinet shuffle demons rear their heads, the justice minister plans to announce a reduction in gun registration fees.

That is a nice gesture, but it will create further confusion for those who have already paid. Add to this, the list of spiralling costs, huge rates of error, low participation and a backlogged system, and the justice minister is going to revel in her supreme court slap on the provinces and the territories.

Perhaps she could explain to Canadians in simple terms just how this expensive, ineffective registry system will protect Canadians.

Gun RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is too bad that the vast majority of Canadians get it, this side of the House gets it, the Supreme Court of Canada seems to get it but the member opposite does not get it.

Gun RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Gun RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. It is very difficult to hear the reply of the minister. I know she is struggling against a lot of noise at the far end of the Chamber that is almost out of my hearing, but I cannot hear her. The hon. the Minister of Justice has the floor.

Gun RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Liberal Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the supreme court unanimously confirmed today, our Firearms Act is about public safety.

Canadians support this legislation because they know it is about public safety. Therefore, I would encourage everyone in the House, in particular the hon. member, to encourage Canadians wherever they live to comply with this law.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour NDP Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

While the Prime Minister was in New Brunswick last week, he confirmed that the reason why there are only three Liberal seats left in the province is because of the negative impact of the cuts to the EI program.

Now that the Prime Minister has realized his mistake, when will he instruct his ministers to rectify the unfairness caused by the EI reform toward workers dependent on the seasonal industry? I ask the Prime Minister to give an answer to the people of New Brunswick.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, during my visit I found out that we will win a lot of seats next time. I am sorry for the member who may not be back as the member from Beauséjour.

We have had to deal with some very difficult problems in Atlantic Canada and we are working on a strategy. I am sure the member will be pleased with that and may want to become a Liberal after that.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton West—Mississauga, ON

Mr. Speaker, for nearly 10 years Canada has participated in military and economic sanctions against Iraq. These sanctions have had little impact on Saddam Hussein's regime but they have devastated the civilian population.

I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as a member of the United Nations Security Council will Canada lead the fight to finally end these destructive economic sanctions?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, when Canada joined the Security Council in January 1999 we immediately raised concerns about the humanitarian conditions in Iraq. We facilitated the setting up of panels to study the conditions in Iraq and we re-opened the resolutions.

In April, Canada commissioned a study and set up a task force to investigate how sanctions could be better targeted. Recently in Ottawa the executive director of UNICEF said that it was not just sanctions but the government of Iraq that was responsible for the suffering of the children.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, the human resources minister sticks to her improbable claim that she was not briefed about the billion dollar bungle until November 17.

If we are to suspend this belief just for a moment and take her at her word, could the Prime Minister explain why she then blew another $3 million on the same broken programs within weeks after the briefing? Why did the people's money keep flowing? Who was being paid off?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member will want to withdraw any allegations of paying off people. I think he recognizes that is improper. I would invite him to withdraw those words.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw those words, but I would like an answer to the substance of the question.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share with the House some words on the Canadian Alliance website. Their lead page starts like this:

Throughout most of the last century the Government of Canada was dominated by the Liberal Party. Particularly throughout the 1990s the people of Canada saw no viable, electable alternative.

I would like to say that after six months of attacking my department, the Canadian Alliance has proved two things: first, that this government is prepared to take administrative issues seriously because we are accountable; and two, that it does not believe that investing in Canadians is the right thing to do. That party sees it as a waste.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Placeteco affair, the Minister of Human Resources Development solemnly declared here in the House that she had paid the $1.2 million grant to Placeteco upon receipt of invoices.

But despite our repeated requests, we have still not received copies of any invoices, whether through access to information or through the minister herself.

Is the government not ashamed of its behaviour in the Placeteco affair and of its defence that it paid $1.2 million based on invoices that we know do not exist?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I think it has been agreed that the appropriate way to access those invoices is through the access to information process. The opposition understands, as everyone does, that this is an arm's length undertaking. I can confirm that any information that can be made available, will be made available as time permits.

Scotia RainbowOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Michelle Dockrill NDP Bras D'Or, NS

Mr. Speaker, for five months questions have been asked about this government's involvement with Scotia Rainbow. The HRDC minister passed the buck to the ACOA minister. The ACOA minister does a sloppy Liberal two-step around questions regarding Scotia Rainbow.

Given these ministers' inability to answer any of these questions, will the Prime Minister do what his ministers cannot? Will he tell us today why it is that businesses with bad track records can access public funds as long as they have a picture of themselves with the Prime Minister in one pocket and a Liberal Party donation receipt in the other?

Scotia RainbowOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the total amount of money given by the federal government to this project was one-fifth of that given by the chartered banks, one-quarter of the equity put in by the financiers, and one-half of what was put in by the provincial government.

The federal government involvement was just a whisker, just a whit, just a tittle of what the other agencies put in.

Fisheries And OceansOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. In spite of the fact that the minister is getting warnings from fisherpersons, the few scientists he has left and people in the industry about the state of the northern shrimp stock, how can he justify a new entrant when it flies in the face of all sensible advice from the industry, in the face of opposition from the premier and the fisheries minister of Newfoundland, and in the face of common sense?

Fisheries And OceansOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in any fishing plan, particularly in the shrimp managing plan for this year, conservation is our priority. I want to assure the hon. member of that.

Of course, we also respect the adjacency principle. That is why 70% of the harvesting will be done by the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is the same as in 1999.

The peoples who will be involved who were not involved before include the Innu nation of Labrador, who have been trying to get access to the resource for many years, the province of P.E.I., which has never had any access compared to others, as well as the Fogo Island co-op. That is reasonable.