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House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chapter.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. It is very difficult for the Chair to hear the member who has the floor. The hon. member for Edmonton Centre-East.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Americans are moving ahead with the development of their missile defence program. Yesterday President Bush was reported to have called the Prime Minister to discuss this important security issue.

Understandably final details are required for a final decision, but did the Prime Minister give qualified support? Did he give support in principle? Did he give encouragement for this plan?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I replied earlier, the president informed me that he would be making a speech, which he is doing at this time. He is proposing a new plan in this field. He said he would consult before putting the plan in place, not only with Canada but with the European countries, the Russians and the Chinese.

As I said, we are not confronted with the decision now because we do not know exactly what the plan will be.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the question was: Did we give support to the plan? The government has dithered on this issue for years while the Americans have been looking for a positive Canadian response.

The director general of policy and planning in the Department of National Defence stated:

—the value of our political support will depreciate as we approach decision time. Once the U.S. has made its decision, that value will be reduced to nothing.

When will the government get off the fence and speak out in Canada's national interest?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first things first. We have to wait for the plan.

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week a delegation of Japanese parliamentarians came to Ottawa for bilateral consultations with the Canada-Japan Interparliamentary Group. Recently the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific visited Japan.

Given the importance of Canada-Japan relations, what initiatives is the minister undertaking to enhance our relationship?

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalSecretary of State (Asia-Pacific)

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has undertaken numerous initiatives to revitalize our economic relations with Japan, Canada's second largest trading partner.

Early last month in Tokyo, I represented the Prime Minister at the Pacific Basin Economic Council forum which looked at how we could revitalize the economy.

Also I launched the Think Canada Festival 2001, a three month long event to reinforce Canada's image as a highly industrialized country with world class technology. I also met with the Canadian chambers of commerce.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe is a vicious dictator who is a threat to the stability of southern Africa. Under his regime, its inflation rate is up 60%. He is throwing opposition people in jail and is even giving amnesty to those who have killed opposition supporters.

My question for the minister is very simple. Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs stop all Canadian government to government aid to Zimbabwe?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned to the hon. member yesterday, this relationship is one that must be seen in the context of the Commonwealth.

I expect based on the discussions which occurred, although not part of the agenda at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group a few weeks ago, that it will be a subject of discussion at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in a few months. I think we will take appropriate action in co-operation with other Commonwealth countries.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a nation we took the lead with South Africa. It is not good enough to wait months while people in Zimbabwe are being killed and the whole structure in southern African is poised to crumble. We have an opportunity to lead.

While President Mugabe is throwing members of the judiciary in prison and is actually threatening them, will the Minister of Foreign Affairs say to our representatives at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that they will push for a withholding of all grants and loans to Zimbabwe until the rule of law is once again restored?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is a bit out of my area of responsibility, but let me say that we are watching very closely the events occurring in Zimbabwe.

The expression of concern that arose at the Commonwealth meeting a few weeks ago was an example of that. We have been calling upon Zimbabwe to respect the norms of democratic principles, to respect the right of dissent, and to maintain the independence of the judiciary, the media and the press. All these issues have been raised in some concern by a variety of NGOs. If action is warranted, we will indeed take it.

Victims Of Pyrite DamageOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 7, I asked the Minister of Public Works if he planned to meet the commitment made by his party during the election campaign to financially participate in the program to help the victims of pyrite damage. The minister replied “yes, and soon”. The months have come and gone but, unfortunately, owners are still waiting.

Can the minister tell us what he meant by “soon”?

Victims Of Pyrite DamageOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Very soon, Mr. Speaker.

Rural DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rick Laliberte Liberal Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, a year ago in April 2000 the Secretary of State for Rural Development hosted the National Rural Conference in Magog, Quebec, to give rural Canadians an opportunity to share their experiences in rural Canada and to discuss means by which the federal government could work with rural communities on the improvement of their social, economic and environmental quality of life.

Could the secretary of state inform the House what steps the federal government has taken to continue this vital and ongoing dialogue with rural and remote Canada?

Rural DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalSecretary of State (Rural Development)(Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, my first priority is to ensure that those issues which were identified at the conference are carried forward. I had an opportunity to work with the participants to prepare an action plan which identified 54 specific actions for the federal government to take on behalf of rural Canadians.

Second, we will hold regional conferences. We had one in Vernon in western Canada last week. We will have a conference this summer in northern Canada and in the fall one in eastern Canada and central Canada. Finally, next year we will have another national conference.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board is standing in the way of value added processing of organic wheat. He is also standing in the way of malt barley farmers increasing their incomes.

Why will the Canadian Wheat Board minister not understand that it is in the best interest of farmers that the Canadian Wheat Board lose its monopoly on barley and wheat?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, a couple of years ago we amended the Canadian Wheat Board Act in a very fundamental way. Those amendments were based upon lengthy consultations with farmers and others. The clear message from those consultations was that farmers wanted a Canadian Wheat Board that was more democratic, more flexible and more accountable to producers.

That has been provided by the fact that for the first time ever there is a board of directors with 15 members, 10 of whom are directly elected by farmers. It is farmers who should make the decisions, not politicians in the House of Commons.

Armenian PeopleOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs just made a declaration of intent regarding the fate of the Armenian people.

What the Armenian people want is for Canada to acknowledge that a genocide took place, as did the Quebec government, among others.

Given what he just said, will the minister finally make sure that his government recognize that the Armenian genocide did indeed take place, so that we can rebuild the future by acknowledging the past?

Armenian PeopleOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier in English, the government recognizes that the situation in Armenia in 1915 was serious, but we also think that we must build the future.

I urge Bloc Quebecois members to also consider the fact that Canada is working with the governments in Armenia, in Turkey and in the region to build the future.

Business Development Bank Of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the member for Peace River characterized the contents of the papers the Business Development Bank is trying to seize, the Minister of Industry said very emphatically that the characterization was false. That suggests the Minister of Industry knows what is in the papers being seized.

Does the minister know what is in these documents and, if so, who in the Business Development Bank told him? Is the government orchestrating the seizures?

Business Development Bank Of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, no, I do not know what is in the documents. No, no, I have not been briefed.

No, I am not aware of anybody orchestrating anything, but I do know that the preamble to the question that he referred to and indeed many of his own preambles are absolutely false.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of a delegation, hosted by the Canada-Japan Parliamentary Association, of members of the Diet of Japan led by Mr. Hosei Norata.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Point Of OrderOral Question Period

May 1st, 2001 / 3 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government House leader keeps saying he will not allow documents to be tabled unless prior notice has been given.

This is the third time I have tried to table, at the express request of the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, the lease between the Auberge Grand-Mère and the Grand-Mère golf club.

I once again seek the unanimous consent of the House to table this document.

Point Of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?