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House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government is taking the issue of HIV-AIDS very seriously. Today is World AIDS Day, or at least it is over the weekend, and we are honouring that today.

In May 1988 the Government of Canada launched a collaborative new approach in which it gave $42.2 million to the Canadian HIV-AIDS strategy. We continue to monitor the work that is being done by all interveners in the health sector. We will continue to support that domain.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, on September 17 we asked the Prime Minister if there were terrorist cells operating in Canada. He said no. Canadians had to learn that terrorist cells did indeed operate in Canada, not from him or Canadian officials but from Larry King Live .

We had to learn from the American FBI that there was a serious terrorist plot to bomb a downtown Montreal site.

Is the Prime Minister always the last to know about these serious threats or does he just always keep Canadians in the dark?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague should be well aware of what was said many times in the House, that the terrorist web not only extends in Canada but worldwide. What took place in Montreal clearly shows that we have a very effective police force and security intelligence agency.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is certainly not very comforting.

Today we learned from documents released in American courts that Ahmed Ressam, a convicted terrorist, had a friend in the passport office that apparently provided blank documents for a team of al-Qaeda terrorists.

We do not know how many documents have gone missing and if they have been recovered or if any arrests have been made. Either the Prime Minister knew of this latest breach in security and withheld the information from Canadians or he does not have a clue what is going on in his own government. Which is it?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have an excellent passport system and we take every measure to protect it. If there is any indication or allegation of wrongdoing we have a very effective and efficient police force to investigate the situation.

IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the industry committee heard testimony from witnesses, such as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and others, that the private sector would like to have more input into the so-called innovation agenda. These organizations have proposed a number of low cost initiatives that the industry minister should consider.

Will the Minister of Industry follow through on the recommendation of the Canadian Alliance and submit a draft of the innovation agenda to the standing committee for consideration?

IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, certainly the government's position with respect to innovation is that we ought to work very closely with all sectors of the economy interested in innovation in Canada, such as universities, the various high tech or enabled sectors of Canada's economy.

Of course we want to work very closely with members of the standing committee, whose advice is always most useful and most appropriate.

IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the reality is, many witnesses said that the minister was not consulting them on the innovation agenda, that it was being drafted in the department and would be presented as a simple document that they and the committee would have to accept.

Will the minister commit to fully involving these people as stakeholders, involving Canadians as citizens and involving the standing committee, including his own Liberal members, in the implementation and drafting of the innovation agenda?

IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the member opposite lives in a little world of his own. The government members on the standing committee on industry are consulted regularly and closely with respect to the government's agenda, as are all members of the committee when I appear before the committee.

The member opposite may choose to be anti, may choose to be contra, may choose to support the view of members of his own party who believe, for example, that rural Canada has no place and no business in ever being on the Internet or ever having a computer, but that stone-age view does not resonate on this side of the House.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

November 30th, 2001 / 11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the United States appears determined not to ratify the Kyoto protocol, despite international agreement and the establishment in the provinces and Canada as a whole of an action plan to fight climate change.

Could the Minister of the Environment tell us whether, under certain provisions of NAFTA, for example those on free trade, a firm could legally challenge Canada's statutes and regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gases?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Kitchener Centre Ontario

Liberal

Karen Redman LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite is asking for a legal opinion from the House and I am not able to give that. However I would reiterate a statement made by the Prime Minister as early as November 21, it is our goal to sign the Kyoto agreement.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the parliamentary secretary cannot give us a legal opinion, but she can, however, look at precedents in connection with the bill on MMTs.

Tomorrow in Montreal, the Minister of the Environment will be chairing the fourth intergovernmental meeting on international governance of the environment in preparation for the world summit on sustainable development in Johannesburg, in September 2002.

Does the minister intend to take advantage of his chairing the meeting to include on the agenda the importance of bringing the Americans back into discussions on the Kyoto agreement?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Kitchener Centre Ontario

Liberal

Karen Redman LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have had many triumphs through the Bonn negotiation as well as the ones at Marrakesh keeping alive the Kyoto protocol. In the main that has been largely because of the leadership of the Minister of the Environment in Canada and part of the umbrella group.

We have maintained all along that it is very important to continue to invite Americans to the table because this is a global problem and they will continue to be a positive force for us in reaching this worthy goal.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the right of individual producers to load their own grain cars is a fundamental competitive tool for farmers.

Because of licensing decisions made by the Canadian Grain Commission last July, some farmers are concerned that this right might be taken away.

Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food reassure those farmers that the right to producer cars will continue to exist?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington Ontario

Liberal

Larry McCormick LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, our government's number one concern is to protect our producers' interest and maintain grain quality.

The Canadian Grain Commission has become aware of the fact that many facilities wish to be designated as producer loading sites. Interest has been expressed by both producer groups and major companies. Therefore the Canadian Grain Commission has decided to initiate a consultation process to determine whether such facilities should be regulated and in what way.

Until those consultations are finished, any of those people who are now using such facilities will not be required to become licensed.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Grain Commission has been unsuccessfully studying this issue since July and now wants additional months of review.

Once again the government is playing catch up to the industry, which has already moved well past this point.

Commission spokesperson, Paul Graham, has stated that a new kind of handling system is developing and the regulatory system must evolve to meet people's needs.

Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food commit to having these regulations in place by Christmas?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington Ontario

Liberal

Larry McCormick LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, between now and Christmas, or until the studies are finished, our producers will be able to access these facilities without having a licence, and that is very important because access to producer cars is an important right for farmers. This right will be maintained.

The consultations will determine how the new type of facility can best accommodate the grain handling and transportation system to protect the producers' interests and maintain grain quality.

A key consideration will be to determine how to do this. We do not want to add any costs to the producers. Our main concern is the producers of this country and the safety of our great food.

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Wood Liberal Nipissing, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry.

Will the minister tell the House this morning what the government is doing to support research and development in universities as part of its innovation program?

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, in January 2000 the Government of Canada announced a Canada research chairs program worth $900 million.

Yesterday, McMaster University was able to announce another 97 new chairs at 34 universities across Canada, worth $98 million, for research and development in Canada.

Our commitment to innovation remains strong and our commitment to excellence in our centres of research is undiminished.

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Philip Mayfield Canadian Alliance Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Natural Resources tried to make us believe that the only responsibility of the Government of Canada in fighting the mountain pine beetle infestation in British Columbia was to deliver the science. However the government has a clear responsibility for infested federal lands like the Riske Creek military reserve where those beetles are spilling out into provincial forests and nothing is being done in that area to control them.

Does the government recognize its obligation to fight the infestation on its own lands?

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Timiskaming—Cochrane Ontario

Liberal

Ben Serré LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the member well knows that forestry is a provincial responsibility. Having said that, this government has been working very closely with the B.C. forest industry and the government of B.C. to solve the issue.

The popularity of the member's party in the polls in B.C. is lower than the interest rate and ours is rising. It is because we have been working very closely for and with the B.C. people.

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Philip Mayfield Canadian Alliance Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, ministers of the crown in British Columbia have approached me to help them with this issue. This is not a new problem.

Years ago I pressed the government to deal with the fir bark beetle spilling out of the same military reserve west of Williams Lake. Nothing but nothing was done then either. Members should see the devastation now.

Why is it that when Bombardier thinks it might need a couple of billion dollars it gets the cash? When Quebec has a flood or Ontario has an ice storm the government comes rushing in but in British Columbia not even constitutional responsibilities are met. Why is that?

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Timiskaming—Cochrane Ontario

Liberal

Ben Serré LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the B.C. ministers have the name and address of the Minister of Natural Resources of Canada. To this day we have not received any formal request for assistance. If one is forthcoming we will take it into consideration with regard to our budgetary requirements and our federal responsibilities.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Gazoduc Cartier project would represent a wonderful contribution to the regional development of New Brunswick and Quebec.

Yesterday, the Minister of Natural Resources told us that his position was to develop the natural gas off Sable Island, in order to take advantage of export opportunities.

Does the position of the Minister of Natural Resources not contradict that of the Prime Minister? During the first phase of the project in June 1996, the Prime Minister expressed hopes that “this natural gas would be used to meet the needs of the people of New Brunswick and Quebec first, before being piped to the United States.“

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Timiskaming—Cochrane Ontario

Liberal

Ben Serré LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the government's policy on oil and gas pipelines is very clear. It is market forces that determine whether a pipeline does or does not need to be built.

If Gaz Métropolitain believes it is not getting its fair share of the market, let it contact the National Energy Board, which has the responsibility for this.