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House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crtc.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, rather than repeat what I just said, which really in effect answers the hon. member's question, let me also say that this is a multi-dimensional campaign. It involves more than just military action. In fact in the long run it will be won by means other than military power. There is no doubt that root causes, what causes people to join these kinds of organizations, all have to be examined.

Again I must say that in terms of the current action in Afghanistan it is not against Afghanistan or the Afghanistan people, but to be able to flush out the terrorists and their supporters.

HealthOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, since Bayer has a patent for the drug Cipro and it has adequate stock on hand, why would the government break the law by getting a generic manufacturer to produce it?

HealthOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the premise of the question, but I do want to report that Health Canada officials have been and continue to be in discussions with Bayer to work out any difficulties or issues.

I think that the hon. member and his party, all members of the House, Bayer and others in Canada should be willing to work together to serve what I trust we all agree is the main priority, protecting the health of Canadians.

HealthOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is also the tiny problem of breaking the law that perhaps the minister should be careful with. The minister did not seek authorization from the patent commissioner or Bayer prior to awarding the contract to Apotex to produce a generic version of the drug.

Since the government has not declared a state of emergency, since it has not sought permission from the patent commissioner under section 19 of the Patent Act, and since it has not asked Bayer for permission, it is breaking the law, plain and simple.

Is the real reason the minister chose Apotex to produce the drug that Apotex gave tens of thousand of dollars to the Liberal Party of Canada? Is that it?

HealthOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has misstated the Patent Act. There is no requirement to declare a case of national emergency. The act can apply to extreme urgency or where the use for which the authorization is sought is a public or non-commercial use.

The hon. member is totally off base in his allegations. I do not know why he and his party fail to be concerned with the main priority, protecting the health of Canadians. Why is that not important to them?

HealthOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, over and over since September 11 Canadians have seen shocking evidence of an inept Liberal administration. In June 2000 the health minister was asked by provincial and local governments to take national leadership to prepare for possible bioterrorism, yet it took until yesterday for even the beginnings of a plan to emerge.

Why did the minister completely neglect even basics like stockpiling necessary medicines?

HealthOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the health department set up a special office to deal with possible bioterror activities. What the minister announced yesterday, and it was a good announcement and I am surprised she is not praising it, is just the most recent of a series of steps to protect Canadians.

HealthOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, that certainly is not what the emergency response people are saying. They are saying there has been no leadership at all.

Now the minister has moved from inaction to knee-jerk reaction. Yesterday he, a former justice minister, swept aside the laws protecting research and development patent to order illegally produced anthrax medicine.

Is the minister telling us that he thinks there is an emergency situation that justifies breaking the law of the land?

HealthOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we do not concede that any laws are being broken. I repeat that discussions continue with Bayer to work out any issues.

I trust that the Alliance Party and the other parties in the House agree with us that the priority is the health of Canadians. Why is the Alliance Party now appearing to put the health of Canadians behind some company's commercial interests?

Anti-terrorism legislationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the anti-terrorism bill is making it possible for the government to get around not only the Access to Information Act, but the Privacy Act as well, as the commissioner, George Radwanski, pointed out yesterday.

How can the Minister of Justice justify the government's grabbing the power to do as it sees fit with the personal information it has collected on Quebecers and Canadians?

Anti-terrorism legislationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House before, the power to which the hon. member refers is an exceptional power in which I, in my role as Attorney General of Canada, the chief law officer of the country, can issue a certificate to ensure that in exceptional circumstances highly confidential information is not released.

I should remind the member that the power that is seen in the anti-terrorism legislation is very similar to powers found in legislation of our allies with whom we share information and receive information.

Anti-terrorism legislationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the privacy commissioner is excluded from Bill C-36. This means that no one, no organization, not the commissioner, not parliament, not the justice system will be able to control the actions of the government.

Does the minister consider this acceptable in a free and democratic society?

Anti-terrorism legislationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I should point out to the hon. member that the ultimate control over any action taken by me in my capacity as Attorney General of Canada is the Parliament of Canada.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the Burns and Rafay case the Minister of Justice argued, and I quote:

It is necessary to refuse to ask for assurances in order to prevent an influx to Canada of persons who commit crimes sanctioned by the death penalty in other states. [Failure to do so] would make Canada an attractive haven for persons committing murders in retentionist states.

Is this still the minister's view even though the Supreme Court of Canada rejects this argument in this case?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should be aware what the supreme court said in Burns and Rafay. Among other things, it said that the attorney general retains his or her discretion to seek assurances or not in exceptional circumstances.

The court acknowledges there may very well be exceptional circumstances to be determined initially by the attorney general as to whether or not assurances need to be sought. I would intend to exercise that discretion on a case by case basis.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister claims that she has the discretion to extradite criminals facing the death penalty but the Burns and Rafay decision said clearly that a court would have to determine whether an extradition request would pass the Oakes test.

Who has the discretion, the minister or the courts?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, members should be aware that I have the discretion to determine and I will exercise that discretion on a case by case basis as to whether I think there are exceptional circumstances that justify not seeking assurances.

Can that decision made by me, a public official, be reviewed by the court at the request of the accused person? Yes, of course. It would be a shocking proposition to suggest that it could not be reviewed.

HealthOral Question Period

October 19th, 2001 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, claiming supply problems, the Minister of Health violated the federal Patent Act by ordering drugs to fight Anthrax from Apotex, a manufacturer of generic drugs, while Bayer, the company with the patent, has enough for the government's needs.

How does the Minister of Health justify his government's failing to comply with its own laws, thus jeopardizing the pharmaceutical industry in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada? That is unacceptable.

HealthOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are complying with the Patent Act. I hope the Bloc will agree with us that the priority is to protect the health of all Canadians, including Quebecers.

HealthOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the priority is to comply with government legislation.

The Bayer officials are positive they can supply the government. In addition, the drug ordered from Apotex has yet to be approved by Health Canada. So there was no justification for the minister's decision.

Will the government acknowledge that it acted too quickly, and illegally, and will it reverse its decision?

HealthOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise behind the hon. member's question is incorrect.

No drug, patented or generic, is sold in Canada without government approval.

I therefore again ask why the Bloc is not interested in the health of Canadians. It should be our priority, for Quebecers and all other Canadians.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration claimed that whenever immigration officials are concerned that an individual poses a security threat or will not show up for a hearing they can and do detain. I suspect the minister has forgotten the case of Nabil Al-Marabh. This man was finally captured in the U.S. by the FBI and is wanted in connection with the attacks on North America.

If, as the minister claims, her officers have the tools they need, why do they not use them to protect Canadians and our neighbours?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned about the impression the member opposite is trying to create. I am particularly concerned when members opposition call for the mandatory detention of all undocumented refugees, suggesting that they are all terrorists and criminals.

When members opposite do not listen to the words of the top cop in Canada, Mr. Zaccardelli, the commissioner of the RCMP, they do a disservice to Canadians. Yesterday the commissioner said that he totally disagrees with the notion that we are a safe haven. He said that we should eliminate that word from our vocabulary in this country. That was his testimony yesterday at the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, Nabil Al-Marabh was freed by the minister's Immigration and Refugee Board even though he had a violent criminal background, was apprehended with false documents trying to sneak into the U.S. from Canada and had been rejected as a refugee claimant. This is a man who may be connected with the horrific events of September 11.

How can the minister claim that she is doing her job and protecting Canadians when individuals like Nabil Al-Marabh can slip through her department's fingers?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, again the member opposite is taking an individual case that is before the courts. As my colleagues have said, it is irresponsible to do or say anything that may have an impact on a successful prosecution.

Let me again repeat what the top cop, Commissioner Zaccardelli, had to say. He stated that we are no different than any other western country. He said that we face the same issues, the same problems, the same challenges, and that being an open society is still trying to protect citizens as much as we can.