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House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Literacy Action DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I too rise to pay tribute to the eighth annual Literacy Action Day. Over 20% of Canadian adults face a major literacy barrier, and that is 20% too many.

I have long been an active advocate of improving literacy among Canadians both as a school board member and now as a member of the House. Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a resource announcement with literacy partners and 29 other Manitoba literacy organizations.

All these organizations are dedicated to helping adults overcome the gap that exists between their current reading level and numeracy level and their potential abilities for the workplace and the community. It is groups such as these that we need to continue to assist.

There are delegations here today comprised of people from every province and territory to highlight the issues related to literacy. It is important that as parliamentarians we take this opportunity to sit down with them so that we can talk, plan, learn and work together in a co-ordinated effort to ensure that all Canadians are full participants in our society.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt Canadian Alliance Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is asking the federal government to implement two important resolutions presented to it by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

The first resolution asks the federal government to make permanent its spousal employment pilot for highly skilled workers. Allowing spouses and partners to seek employment in Canada attracts the best high tech workers from around the world and brings their considerable talents to the flourishing technology sector in the Okanagan.

The second resolution calls for the federal government to provide tax incentives to businesses and individuals who buy ultra low emission vehicles. Kelowna is the home of Dynasty, a maker of electric cars and a leader in environmentally sound technology.

I encourage the federal government to work with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to make these resolutions a reality and to support the dynamic economy of the Okanagan.

LiteracyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to inform the House that October 25 is International Literacy Day.

Literacy affects just about every aspect of our life. It is the key factor in the growth and development of individuals and in the economic success of our country.

In addition, Canadians know that good reading and writing skills represent a powerful key to many learning situations.

It is essential that all Canadians reach a high enough level of literacy to meet the current and future needs of the job market and the knowledge based economy. This is why skills acquisition and continuous learning are key priorities for our government.

I sincerely hope that my colleagues in the House will join with me in congratulating all those who help make Canadians more literate.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I bring to the attention of the House the announcement the other day of the compensation package for our remaining Buchenwald veterans. These veterans were Canadian airmen who were shot down in World War II.

Instead of being placed in a regular prisoner of war camp, the German government at the time placed them in a concentration camp. Many lives were lost as a result. After 56 years these brave men and their families have received the compensation and recognition they were fighting for and so rightfully deserve.

The other day the remaining 15 survivors and some of their spouses received that recognition from the German government and our Department of Veterans Affairs.

On behalf of the New Democratic Party and parliamentarians all over Canada we thank the Minister of Veterans Affairs and his department for bringing this issue to a final resolve for our veterans and their families.

On behalf of our colleague, Gordon Earle who served the House from 1997 to 2000 from Halifax West--

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Châteauguay.

2006 Gay GamesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning we were proud to learn that Montreal will be hosting the seventh Gay Games in 2006. This major international event will afford Quebec the opportunity to show off its skill in organizing a major event.

More than 24,000 participants will congregate in Montreal for this event. The Montreal region will be hosting not only the athletes but over 200,000 visitors from all over the world, with an economic and tourism impact of some $150 million.

Its selection is the result of the social, economic and sporting contribution of the gay community of Montreal and Quebec. With its highly professional presentation, the organizing committee was able to win out over all competitors' bids for the games.

The Bloc Quebecois congratulates the Montreal organizing committee on its exceptional submission.

Bravo and good luck to everyone.

HarboursStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, ports and harbours across Canada are in desperate need of a cleanup. In my own city of Halifax untreated sewage has been dumped directly into the harbour for over 250 years.

As the major centres of commerce, transportation, tourism and recreation, harbours are the lifeblood of their cities. Years of neglect and inaction have taken a substantial toll on our harbours, but it is not too late.

We need the Government of Canada to take a leadership role in harbour cleanup. Halifax Harbour would make a perfect test case for other remediation projects in cities like Saint John, Toronto, St. John's and Sydney, to name a few.

I call on the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Industry to work together to bring forward a national harbour cleanup initiative starting with Halifax to ensure that Canadians now and in the future have safe and clean harbours.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Canadian Alliance Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, in the past week the minister of immigration has done little to ease the concerns that Canadians have about their immigration system. We have asked her pointed, clear and concise questions yet she insists upon giving vague, cloudy and rambling answers.

This week alone I was nearly shouted out of the House for asking who the 3,989 individuals were that the minister herself signed into the country. These people were not allowed to enter without her special permits. Were they criminals? Were they terrorists? We may never know.

I also asked about the 27,000 people with deportation warrants issued against them and what the minister intends to do to locate and deport these people. I am still waiting for that answer.

When will the minister admit that she just does not know the answers?

Liberal GovernmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker,

It was eight years ago today When Canadians had their say. After many tumultuous years Many were brought to tears.

There was $42 billion in debt From the Tories you say? You bet! So the choice was clear. Time for a change. Hear, hear!

So after eight years of prosperity, An opposition in anonymity, Canadians are truly proud As they say to the world out loud

Canada is the best, Clearly better than the rest. But in a typical Canadian way We leave it to others to say...

Eight years of Liberal success Hip hip hooray!

Chalk River LaboratoriesStatements By Members

October 25th, 2001 / 2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's broadcasting corporation has repeatedly run a video of fighter planes flying overhead, giving Canadians a false impression that our airspace and vulnerable facilities are fully protected.

One facility of particular concern to my constituents is Chalk River Laboratories, which has several nuclear reactors that produce over 70% of the world's medical isotopes and provides the research and support for Canada's nuclear power plants.

It was revealed during expert testimony in the defence committee that the only reliable way to protect a nuclear power facility from air attack is with on-site anti-aircraft batteries. The Liberal government has instead downsized CFB Petawawa to an area support unit and eliminated a standard operating procedure between the base and Chalk River in the case of nuclear emergency, including evacuation and containment protocols.

The attacks of September 11 were real. The threat of a terrorist attack is real. When is the government going to start taking concrete steps to ensure the safety of Canadians?

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is only appropriate that we begin today's question period by acknowledging the Prime Minister's eighth year as Prime Minister.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

If he is considering another four more years, we welcome that.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

We have a limited time for questions. I think we should get on with the question.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health should bring the controversy to an end by clarifying a few things.

He is saying that junior officials in his department made a very controversial decision and action to break the patent law, to put in a huge order for an amount of drugs that already were available and had been provided, that he already had. He is putting it all on these junior officials.

I would like to ask him very clearly, did he himself or his office know that these so-called phantom junior officials were taking this very controversial action?

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

No, Mr. Speaker. The Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues wanted to have some clarity of the facts. The clarity of the facts has been provided. The facts are now crystal clear. The chronology has been provided by those who were involved. It is in written form and the other side has it.

I hope the other side is now able to appreciate where we are. This time last week we did not have a secure supply of a drug Canadians may need. We now do. We have it at a cost which we got Bayer to reduce to match the American prices. Canadians will not be spending one cent more than they need to for this protection.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is a problem here. The minister insisted that Bayer provide the drugs immediately, while he allowed Apotex until November 8.

Why this favoured treatment for Apotex?

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the facts are clear. They have been disclosed in full to all members of the House. It is clear from those facts that Health Canada officials acted in the best interests of Canadians to get the kind of protection they need in these circumstances.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition gave the minister the opportunity to put all this controversy to an end by asking that documents be tabled showing that these mysterious telephone calls took place which Bayer denies. He released not here in the House of Commons but to our media friends certain affidavits, but all the names are blacked out. There is no way of checking.

I am inviting him, since he does not trust us in the House of Commons, to give those names to our friends in the media, we trust them, so that they can follow up and see if in fact these telephone calls took place.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I have no intention of targeting specific individual officials of Health Canada who are doing their job in good faith. This is not about a witch hunt by the opposition parties, or anyone else for that matter, against individuals in Health Canada. This is about the protection of Canadian health security. The government and this minister will always act aggressively to protect the health of Canadians. That is our priority.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, what this is really about is telling the truth and upholding Canadian law.

Yesterday the Minister of Health conveniently left out that Health Canada had already purchased 800,000 Cipro pills from Bayer. But in response to my question yesterday, the minister said he needed one million more, which he claimed Bayer could not supply. Therefore he broke the Patent Act.

Given that the minister has now accepted he must deal with Bayer, has he placed the order for those additional one million pills he so desperately needed last week?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this is an odd situation. We have a big pharma company that is more interested in the bottom line than in the health of Canadians and we have an opposition party over there that is more interested in partisan politics than in talking about the real issues confronting the country.

The facts are clear and they make clear that Health Canada did its job.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister told us the situation was so urgent he had to break Canada's patent law by ordering those one million pills from Apotex. However, the minister knew that Apotex could not deliver until November 8. Meanwhile, Bayer has the pills in stock at its Toronto facility right now.

If it was so urgent last week, urgent enough for the minister to break Canada's patent law, why has the minister not placed the order for those one million pills with Bayer?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Bayer has now given us the security of access to those pills. It was not available one week ago. It has promised in writing we could have them on demand. That provides the kind of health security Canadians need.

The reality is we are focusing on protecting Canadians' health; they are after partisan political points.