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House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was smoking.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that Bill C-2 is nothing more than a sleeping pill to put the unemployed to sleep. No one is fooled by this government's position.

In the midst of the campaign, the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, the minister responsible for Quebec and even the Prime Minister made a commitment to do justice to the unemployed and to the workers and employers, those who finance the plan.

Can the Minister of Human Resources Development or someone in the government assure us that the government will honour its commitments?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government always honours its commitments, and the member opposite knows that perfectly well.

On the matter at issue, the member also knows perfectly well that it was his party and others that prevented us from passing Bill C-2 on March 29 by adjourning the House. He knows that his party, including his deputy House leader, denied unanimous consent to pass this bill before the election.

It is a rather tardy act of contrition by the members of the Bloc Quebecois to be claiming today that they defend the interests of the unemployed.

HealthOral Question Period

April 27th, 2001 / 11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, three years ago in the House the government voted to deny compensation to those unfortunate individuals who contracted hepatitis C from tainted blood. As we are here today these people are languishing. Even those who were promised money have not received it because most of the money has gone to lawyers.

Will he do the right thing and give those individuals who contracted hepatitis C through no fault of their own the compensation that they so justly deserve?

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Health said in response to a question yesterday, he shares the frustrations of those who are entitled to money and who are not getting it. He has already written to the joint committee to express that frustration.

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Health feels frustration, imagine what the victims are feeling right now. That is not good enough. This has been on the minister's plate from the beginning. Good people from around the country have asked the government to do the right thing, the fair thing.

The Minister has one chance. On May 1 there is a conference in Montreal bringing together the victims of hepatitis C as well as medical professionals. Will the minister do the right thing and compensate the people on May 1 who contracted hepatitis C through no fault of their own? We do not want to have any more of these mealy-mouthed answers.

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have been informed that 1,200 claims have been paid out and that 97% of the claims have been processed to date.

I know the Minister of Health believes that this is not good enough. I can assure the House that the minister is pushing the administrator to do a better job to ensure that people get the money they are due.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, while the criminal justice system responds to crime and criminals, people in my riding and elsewhere believe we must enhance the role of victims who are caught up in our criminal justice system.

Could the Minister of Justice tell the House what work is being done by her department to improve the services and support available to victims of crime within our justice system?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, while obviously crime rates are falling in the country, each new victim is one too many, which is why the government acted to improve the voice of victims in the criminal justice system.

For example, for the first time victims are able to read their impact statements in open court if they so choose. We have created a $25 million fund which will assist the provinces and local victim organizations to ensure that services are available for those who are victims of crime.

That is why I was so pleased last Friday in the province of Nova Scotia, the hon. member's province, to be able to announce $179,000 of new funding for the province so it will be able to assist in the provision of services for victims of crime.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government says education is our economic and social future, but its record is larger classes, fewer resources, crumbling buildings, higher fees and less student aid. The system is in shreds.

Will the Minister of Finance start to fix the problems his government created through underfunding and inadequate boutique programs by bringing in legislation modelled on the Canada Health Act to rebuild accessibility, quality and national standards in our post-secondary education system?

Post-Secondary EducationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is absolutely right. All members on this side of the House share the recognition that in the knowledge economy, knowledge and skills are key. That is why in the 1998 budget we put over $7 billion into post-secondary education.

I could go through the list of measures about everything from registered education savings plans to $3,000 grants to help single parents return to school, to the millennium scholarship fund and to the amount of money we have put into research and development.

All these are part of a very comprehensive package on behalf of the Canadian government to essentially help Canadians thrive in the knowledge economy.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. Justice Richard in his report on the Westray inquiry called on the Government of Canada to introduce legislation to hold corporate executives and directors criminally accountable for knowingly risking the lives of workers.

On October 5, 2000, the House concurred with the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights which supported introducing such legislation. Will the Minister of Justice act on the recommendation? When will she introduce this legislation?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the work done by the justice and human rights committee in relation to the important issue of corporate criminal liability.

This is a very important issue for corporate law in the country and that is why my colleague the Minister of Industry and I have decided that we need to look at this matter together. Perhaps it would be useful to have the justice committee and the industry committee hear from a wider range of witnesses, because I do believe at the committee that no witnesses were heard.

Since this is such an important change or potential change in relation to corporate liability, I think we would be well served by further work by the industry and justice committees.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, a company in Truro, Nova Scotia, called Phoenix Agritech, manufactures an electronic device designed to emit sounds to scare birds from oil spills and airports. It is sold in 25 countries around the world, but in its wisdom the Department of Health has decided that the electronic device is a pesticide and therefore is charging the company thousands of dollars every year.

I would like to know if the Department of Health, or the Minister of Health, would immediately lift this unfair, ridiculous and crazy tax as a pesticide on an entirely electronic device.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises a very important issue for his constituents. I will endeavour on behalf of the member to raise the issue personally with the Minister of Health so that the minister can answer the member and the company in question in his constituency.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister concerning his lack of success in finding a settlement to the residential schools tragedy.

When will the Deputy Prime Minister initiate a humane and just resolution to this problem and stop wasting money on legal costs both of the bureaucracy and of the churches? Why is the government standing by while government lawyers destroy any remaining good will between aboriginals and church dioceses?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is not correct. Government lawyers are not working to destroy any relationship between the native peoples and the churches.

It is true that thousands of native people have brought legal actions against both the government and some church organizations at the same time. That is why on behalf of the government I have opened a new dialogue with church organizations to see if we can find some common ground to resolve this matter together with the victims in a way that is fair, quicker and cheaper than relying solely on the litigation process.

TradeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the new Bush nominee for the commerce department on international trade said yesterday that U.S. anti-dumping and countervail measures were being used for protectionist purposes rather than for ending unfair trade practices.

With this kind of support, why is the Prime Minister dividing Canadian interests by assuring the Atlantic lumber industry yesterday that “we will negotiate?”

TradeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased with the strong support we are getting in Washington. I have noticed with the new Bush administration some interest and some opening to revisit some of the American trade laws. This is very good news. It is great news in our bilateral relationship and it is very good news in our multilateral negotiations as well.

We will fight for Canadian industry from coast to coast, all industries in all provinces. We will stand for the right of our Canadian producers to export to the United States. We are very confident that we will win against the unfair U.S. allegations on subsidies.

TradeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the pro-free trade converts in the Liberal government who discovered their free trade in lumber position in 2001, the American consumers for affordable homes has been lobbying the U.S. administration consistently for the last two years to promote a full return to free trade.

This consumer group represents 95% of U.S. domestic lumber consumption. With this kind of support why is the Prime Minister displaying weakness by saying we will negotiate?

TradeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the government has been working very closely through our embassy in Washington with the coalition of consumers in the United States. We have been working with it and helping it to get a strong voice in Washington. We have been providing it with all the appropriate information to be able to take more room in Washington.

The government has been instrumental in developing a strong voice in favour of Canadian softwood lumber in the United States.

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, having failed to obtain a relevant answer to my question yesterday concerning the ten-year lease between the Auberge Grand-Mère and the golf club, I put it again.

The Prime Minister told us that the lease had been cancelled. How does he know that the lease was cancelled and will he tell us exactly when that was?

In fact, will the Prime Minister finally give an accurate answer to these questions and provide us with formal proof that this lease was indeed cancelled, as he claims it was?

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in 1993, when Mr. Duhaime took over the hotel, he also assumed responsibility for the lease.

From that time on, all financial ties between the hotel and the golf club were severed and all these facts have been confirmed by the ethics adviser.

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is at issue here are the Prime Minister's repeated statements that there was no business relationship between the auberge and the golf club. A ten-year lease signed in 1988, however, indicates quite the opposite.

If the Prime Minister is convinced that this legal document, which clearly contradicts his statement, was no longer valid at the time of the events in question, why is he refusing to give us proof to that effect?

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have provided the proof. The member is wrong. There was never any lease between the golf club and the auberge.

Where is the proof of the hon. member who says otherwise? In our system of justice, it is incumbent upon the member to provide proof and he has not done so; he is therefore wrong.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have another release from the Surrey RCMP. Another elderly man was beaten severely in his own home.

Over two years ago I asked the justice committee to address the issue of home invasions and I was called silly by a Liberal member of the committee. The minister now will undoubtedly talk about Bill C-15, an omnibus bill, in which home invasions is mired. It is not even on the legislative radar screen.

How much longer will Canadians have to wait for some effective legislation on home invasions?