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House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghanistan.

Topics

Gemini AwardsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Bras D'Or—Cape Breton, NS

Mr. Speaker, I take this occasion to speak about the 16th annual Gemini Awards that will conclude tonight at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre's John Bassett Theatre.

The Gemini Awards are made possible by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. The first national awards presentation took place in December 1986. Since then the event has grown in prominence and stature to become one of the most prestigious in our country.

The Gemini Awards recognize and celebrate exceptional achievements in all areas of the Canadian English language television industry. They showcase the creativity, energy and talent of our many Canadian artists and creators. I thank all those who made the Gemini Awards such a success: the organizers, the artists and the creators without whom the awards would not be made possible.

I ask all my colleagues to join me in congratulating all the recipients of the 2001 Gemini Awards.

ADISQ GalaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo paid tribute to excellence in the performing arts. This year, the nominees included 278 artists, producers and professionals in 57 categories.

The Bloc Quebecois congratulates the recipients of 16 Félix awards presented at the televised ADISQ gala, including best female performer, Isabelle Boulay, and best male performer, Garou. Awards also went to Stephen Faulkner, for best writer or composer, to Michel Mpambara, for best comedy production, and to Martin Deschamps, for best writer-composer-performer. This year's Félix hommage went to Claude Dubois.

Congratulations to the award winners, but also to all those who create song, music and comedy in Quebec, and to all the artisans of our national culture.

Stamp MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, October is Stamp Month, and Canada Post is taking part in a campaign to promote this activity by visiting schools and providing libraries with materials.

To commemorate Stamp Month, Canada Post has issued four new stamps depicting hot air balloons. These stamps commemorate the invention of hot air balloons in 1783 by two brothers in France. These stamps were first issued on the occasion of Gatineau's hot air balloon festival.

In October, Canada Post also released a stamp marking the 75th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Stamp collecting is an activity which helps increase understanding of the world's peoples and countries, and of their history.

Canada PostStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr, Speaker, Canada's postal workers deserve our appreciation for the daily job they do, particularly now under these tense and trying times. Canada's mail handlers also deserve the best protection we can provide.

Last week public works issued rubber gloves to protect against disease. Friday the health minister spoke glowingly of American equipment on order that would shake, rattle and roll our mail and then hoover the air to search for anthrax. That is 1950s technology for our frontline postal service like the Sea Kings in the Arabian Sea. While better than nothing, we can do much better.

Postal workers like our military deserve better. Rubber gloves and bone shaking buckboard technology is not the limit of Canadian technology.

I call on the minister today to go to the advanced electronics industry to seek out with research grants the equipment to properly do the job. Let Canada lead in the technology to counter terrorist threats. Let us have a made in Canada solution, eh.

September 11Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the events of September 11 have had an impact on the lives of Canadians. Our values, democracy and freedom were attacked. Because we share these values, we were affected by these attacks.

We feel more vulnerable. However, we must not play into the hands of the terrorists. Our actions must not be guided by fear.

We must not let the propaganda of aggressors affect us to that extent. We must be vigilant but continue to live our lives according to our values.

In the end, we will win.

PovertyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, federal New Democrats stand in support and solidarity with Louise Gosselin and the groups who are intervening at the Supreme Court of Canada today to argue that poor Canadians have the right to adequate levels of social assistance.

It is appalling that the federal government is not intervening in this historic case to defend social and economic rights for Canadians and that four provinces, including unfortunately my own province of British Columbia, are lining up to speak against it.

Five million Canadians live below the poverty line and over two million Canadians do not have adequate shelter and housing. This is a shameful record when Canada clearly has the wealth, resources and international obligation to uphold social and economic rights.

The federal government cannot ignore this case. Nor can the fundamental issue of growing income inequality and poverty in Canada be ignored. We call on the Minister of Justice and the federal government to fulfill their duty under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by ensuring that poor Canadians have economic security and dignity.

Institut Nazareth et Louis-BrailleStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, since 1861, the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille has helped blind youth. The first French language establishment of its kind in North America, today the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille has the greatest concentration of specialized resources for the visually impaired and the blind in Quebec.

There is a great need for this kind of organization. I have a three year old child whose vision was just reassessed from low vision to blind. My family therefore needs the services of such an organization. The Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year.

This organization has helped others for 140 years with rehabilitation services and other state of the art services, and now it is our turn to help it with our support. We must, like the institute, react with respect, courtesy and fairness toward our visually impaired and blind brothers, sisters, parents and children.

The Bloc Quebecois commends the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille for its remarkable work.

Celiac DiseaseStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the House and all Canadians that the month of October has been designated Celiac Awareness Month.

Celiac disease is a condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. This results in an inability of the body to absorb the nutrients necessary for growth and good health. According to current research statistics, close to one person in 200 may be affected by celiac disease, although most of them are not aware of it.

The Canadian Celiac Association is a national organization dedicated to providing services and support to persons with this disease.

I invite everyone to join with me in congratulating the many volunteers of the Canadian Celiac Association.

TradeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is time that the government took a serious look at some type of North American trade perimeter. North American internal security is threatened and more resources are required at the border. We could supply those resources for security if we were not doing double duty at the border checking both security and trade.

It is time to ask why a container that is checked and sealed in Halifax, Vancouver, New York City or Mexico City needs to be stopped and checked again when it crosses the border regardless of its destination. The dollars freed up by this so-called trade perimeter could then be concentrated on protecting the security of the individual partners and not curtailing trade.

I do not expect the government to show leadership on this issue until Canadian public opinion forces it to do so. However it is past time that the positive and the negative aspects of such an idea were debated and assessed in parliament.

Forest IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the pine beetle infestation in British Columbia can easily be classified as a natural disaster. One would think the federal Liberals are concerned about the economic impact on B.C.'s forest industry, which provides thousands of jobs and produces billions of tax revenue for the federal coffers.

The federal Liberals have known about this problem for years now but have done absolutely nothing to help the people of British Columbia in the face of this disaster.

In a recent publication entitled “The State of Canada's Forests” Natural Resources Canada devotes a precious three sentences to the pine beetle disaster out of 112 pages, and even then grossly underestimates the magnitude of the problem.

Today I again call on the federal Liberals to drop their historic disdain for British Columbians and give us some of our forest industry tax dollars back to help us in our time of crisis.

BioterrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, bioterrorism is a top of the mind issue for Canadians today. Just this weekend CTV showed us how easy it is for someone to walk into a store to buy toxic chemicals.

What is the health minister doing to make certain that toxic chemicals do not get in the hands of people who have bad motives?

BioterrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, obviously it is an effort that must be undertaken by all of us, by all levels of government and by responsible Canadians across the country.

For our part we are working closely with provincial officials and with chief medical officers of health to get messages out into communities about being watchful and about taking the usual precautionary steps.

At the same time we are reassuring Canadians that these threats in Canada are remote, but obviously we must be prudent all the time.

BioterrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians really want reassurance and not just rhetoric, so let me make a suggestion to the minister. Health Canada could send an advisory to all manufacturers and retailers of these toxic chemicals which might say to them: be aware of someone who comes in without a purchase order that they do not know and let the authorities know about it.

Will the minister take such a step, an advisory to all those individuals so that we are sure that toxic chemicals do not get into the hands of people who should not have them?

BioterrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to take the member's suggestion under advisement and to work with him and members of his party if they have useful suggestions.

Obviously our caucus is also focusing on these issues. I think it is important that all of us do everything we can to raise public awareness, to be watchful and to do everything that is prudent in these circumstances.

BioterrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister says that he is willing to listen to suggestions. I can tell him that there have been a lot of suggestions from the official opposition that have gone into the ether.

On this particular suggestion, on toxic chemicals, it is pretty obvious that the minister has not yet considered the suggestion. I would ask him again for an advisory to go out to all the manufacturers and sellers of toxic chemicals to heighten the awareness for Canadians. This would be reassuring, not just a photo op.

BioterrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to leave the impression that the government has not acted already on this and other areas to increase public awareness and to advise people involved to take precautions.

I am trying to signal that this is not a partisan matter. It is a matter that involves the health of Canadians. If the official opposition wishes to change its position and be constructive, we would be delighted to accept constructive proposals from all sides.

BioterrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are asking what help they could expect if there were a chemical or bioterror attack. The World Health Organization says that there are 44 possible bioterror agents and 25 chemical agents.

The health minister has set aside $5.5 million to stockpile antibiotics and pharmaceuticals. That is barely 18 cents per Canadian.

Why does a postage stamp cost more than medicine on hand for Canadians to prepare for bioterror?

BioterrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we should be careful now not to veer from constructive suggestions to fearmongering.

Let us be serious about this. We have identified appropriate, prudent targets as we accumulate medications. Our money goes not only for medications but also for training of frontline workers so they will know what to look for and will be able respond quickly. It goes to reinforcing our national network of laboratories so we can test substances and rule in and rule out quickly. It also goes for equipment that may be needed and protocols that are appropriate.

We are taking the right steps and we will continue to do what is required to protect the health security of Canadians.

BioterrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that the health minister has set aside just $5.5 million for medicine, yet the smallpox vaccine he is talking about will cost over $100 million. Experts tell us that at least eight other vaccines on hand are highly desirable.

The minister's numbers just do not add up. Does he really have a plan Canadians can count on?

BioterrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the medications we have accumulated are antibiotics. They are being stockpiled in order to make sure we are ready in the unlikely event that they are needed.

We have a plan and at the moment we are doing everything that is prudently required to protect the health security of Canadians. Should circumstances change, then we will change accordingly, but at this moment we are doing what is appropriate to protect the health of Canadians.

TerrorismOral Question Period

October 29th, 2001 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, just days after the bombings in Afghanistan had begun, the U.S. secretary of defence said that they were running out of military targets.

A few weeks later, with the number of civilian casualties rising, Donald Rumsfeld is now saying that the war effort will be long, very long.

Considering that the bombings have probably hit all the military targets, that the response should now take into account the fate of the civilian population—and should have taken it into account from the beginning—is Canada advocating a reassessment of the military strategy used so far to counter terrorism?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, civilian populations in Afghanistan are not being targeted by the alliance against terrorism.

The fight has only been going on for one month. We must continue to fight the Taliban and bin Laden's network.

Again, I am asking for the continuing support of all the parties in this House.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are not of course questioning the response, but I remind the Deputy Prime Minister that it is the U.S. secretary of defence who said that they were running out of targets. The second phase of this response is about to begin with ground troops.

Is it not time, before entering this new phase, for Canada to ask the UN to assess military operations?

The response must continue but, as the Prime Minister said, we will not give a blank cheque. How can Canada play a role in this response with the agreement of its allies?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, Canadian forces are an integral part of the alliance against terrorism, the Taliban and bin Laden's network. We are constantly in contact with our allies, particularly the United States and Great Britain.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, with Ramadan approaching, the bombing of Afghanistan as well as the degenerating conflict in the Middle East are causing agitation and provoking demonstrations in many Muslim countries.

Does the Prime Minister not fear that the conflagration will spread to countries bordering Afghanistan, countries that might try to finish off the work begun by Osama bin Laden and his accomplices?