This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have a budget that is presented in the House. All the provisions are there and they are voted in the House of Commons.

As we have done better than expected at the end of the year, the surplus was larger. It is the right thing to do. When there is a surplus it is used to reduce debt, which provides cash in the years to come, because there will be less interest to pay, for programs like the ones suggested by the member.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister said yesterday that he may introduce a fall budget if the economy continues to slide.

The minister has finally admitted that the economy is sliding but believes budget planning can proceed at his own whim. How far does the economy have to slide before the finance minister realizes Canada needs a full budget?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance, the government and I will never let the economy slide the way it slid when his party was in government.

The slide was so terrible that we had $42 billion of deficit in the last year the Tories were in power. Now we are having problems with the Alliance because it thinks that a $15 billion surplus is not enough.

Missile Defence ShieldOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, a number of U.S. officials are in Ottawa today. They are holding secret talks on the missile defence shield, a program that could cost billions of dollars.

The government said that parliament would merely be consulted. We will be informed after the fact, we will be treated like kids in kindergarten.

Parliamentarians should know the facts. They should have the opportunity to discuss the options in the House before a decision is made.

Will the Prime Minister assure the House that parliamentarians will debate the missile defence shield issue before any decision is made?

Missile Defence ShieldOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Bulk Water ExportsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, in response to my question last week the parliamentary secretary denied the government's intentions on bulk water sales.

Now the Prime Minister has contradicted that statement with his admission that bulk water sales were never off the table as far as the government is concerned. What will be the position of the Liberal Party next week on bulk water sales?

Bulk Water ExportsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is a bill before parliament now, in committee, Bill C-6, dealing specifically with the issue of bulk water removal from boundary waters in Canada.

The position of the federal government is, has been and continues to be clear. We are opposed to bulk water removal from the country.

We have jurisdiction over boundary waters. We have acted on that. The Minister of the Environment is developing a Canada accord with provincial governments so that they too can take the legislative action necessary to make it clear to every Canadian and to the world that we do not support bulk water removal from this country.

Bulk Water ExportsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-6 provides that the minister can license federally the sale of bulk water exports.

Canadians are concerned about bulk water sales. Why is the government intent on ignoring our abundant water heritage and sponsoring legislation that will allow bulk water exports?

Bulk Water ExportsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to confuse the hon. member, but let me see if I can explain.

Bill C-6 creates a legal regime that will prevent the removal of bulk water from the drainage systems in Canada, thereby prohibiting the exportation of water in bulk, which we view is not a good that can be subject to exportation. It is not permitted under Bill C-6.

MarijuanaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Medical Association has now joined the long list of those who are asking the government to decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana.

In its journal, the association contends that arresting people for possession of marijuana has more serious social consequences than the moderate consumption of the drug itself.

If the minister is sincere about wanting to help the sick, will she agree that she has no other option than to listen to the Canadian Medical Association and decriminalize the possession of marijuana for personal use?

MarijuanaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is already aware, as it relates to medicinal use, my colleague, the Minister of Health, has facilitated those and their physicians who would choose to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

We have also made it plain that at this point we have no intention of decriminalizing the use of or possession of marijuana. However, as the hon. member is probably aware, the Senate has commenced an important study of a number of aspects surrounding issues of drugs. I certainly look forward, as I know the government does, to the results of that study from the Senate.

MarijuanaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Justice agree that Health Canada's project, which allows sick people to grow their own marijuana plants, is unrealistic in many respects and that it is imperative to recognize the legality of other sources of supply, or else organized crime will be supplying these people?

MarijuanaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me again say that the Minister of Health has made it plain that in fact as it relates to medicinal use, he has revised the relevant sections and regulations in and around medicinal use.

I think the government has taken an important step in clarifying for those who would use marijuana for medicinal purposes the rules surrounding that. I think we should all support the Minister of Health in his attempts to ensure this drug is available for medicinal purposes.

Canadian Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, safety of life at sea, protection of the environment, and safe and expeditious movement of vessel traffic along Canadian waterways, which includes oil tankers, container ships, hazardous materials and warships as well as fishing and recreational vessels, are all monitored by MCTS.

Since 1995 the coast guard has been cut back to the bone. Current estimates slash another 25% from the MCTS budget. Cutbacks are putting lives and the environment at risk. Will the minister commit to restore funding for the protection that Canadians and mariners in Canadians waters depend upon?

Canadian Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should take the time to look at the last budget and the government's commitments. In fact the coast guard received $115 million in the last budget. It is a commitment by members on this side of the House.

Guess what. The Alliance members voted against giving more money to the coast guard. The hon. member should look closely before he asks questions.

Canadian Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, current estimates of $80 million being cut to $60 million sound like a 25% reduction over two years to me.

I wrote to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans regarding cutbacks in funding and programming for MCTS on the west coast. This week I received a reply from the minister advising me that training for these vital coast guard services and personnel remains a ministry priority.

The fact is that all training for staff in the Pacific region, including the ab initio entrance program, was suspended in November 2000. Why has the minister frozen funding for these vital services?

Canadian Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, this is exactly what I told the hon. member. In fact we have given more resources to the coast guard because we allocated $115 million in the last budget to ensure that we have the equipment and tools to make sure we can carry out the coast guard service.

By the way, our coast guard men and women do a tremendous job in providing rescue and services for the marine sector.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, at 8.45 a.m. on December 6, 1917, at the height of World War I, the Belgian relief vessel Imo collided with the French munitions carrier Mont Blanc in Halifax harbour, resulting in the greatest man made explosion this country has ever witnessed. Out of a population of less than 50,000 over 1,600 died and 9,000 were injured.

Today, with only nine pensionable survivors still living, could the Minister of Veterans Affairs tell the House when the federal government will make good on its commitment to provide cost of living increases to these pensioners?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Western Economic Diversification) (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, that request has now been honoured. It was brought to my attention just a short while ago. I asked Veterans Affairs Canada officials to address it immediately. They did.

Letters have already gone out with adjusted cheques, or are about to do so, with the appropriate economic adjustments therein.

Tomato IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Canadian Alliance Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, once again Canadian producers are facing unwarranted protectionist actions. U.S. authorities have ruled there is enough evidence to investigate Canadian greenhouse tomato producers for dumping.

Tomatoes contribute $1 billion a year to the B.C. economy and 80% are exported. They contribute $2 billion a year to the economy of Ontario. New U.S. tariffs could devastate a profitable export industry.

Is the government doing anything to protect our greenhouse industry today, or are the Liberals just waiting for U.S. tariffs to shut down the industry?

Tomato IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we have been following this file very closely. Certainly this is an industry situation.

We will be supporting our industry all the way. In fact I expect there are many more tomatoes coming north across the border that are being unfairly subsidized.

Tomato IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Canadian Alliance Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, it took the government seven months to react to the U.S. protectionist blockade against P.E.I. potatoes.

Greenhouse tomato producers across the country cannot afford to have the government take that long to protect their interests from American protectionist actions.

The latest frivolous case against tomatoes is just the last in a long list of cases, including potatoes and softwood lumber. Why has the government failed to prevent the latest unprovoked protectionist attack against Canadian tomato producers?

Tomato IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, anti-dumping proceedings deal with the pricing practices of this private sector. This is a quasi-judicial proceeding that will be defended by the industry itself.

Of course we are very disappointed that the U.S. greenhouse industry has taken this action, but we will be there for our producers and we are behind our producers.

Haroun M'BarekOral Question Period

May 15th, 2001 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 6, Haroun M'Barek was expelled from Canada, despite the opinion of experts and the many notes of caution expressed to the minister on the risks he would face if he were deported to Tunisia.

On March 10, Mr. M'Barek was sentenced to three years in prison, without parole, and five years' administrative control, following what many have called a parody of justice.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs have the courage to intervene with the government of Tunisia to protest against Mr. M'Barek's sentence and call for his immediate release so he may receive proper treatment for torture victims?

Haroun M'BarekOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the member knows very well we have already made representation to the government of Tunisia. Diplomatic representatives of consular affairs are trying to observe the legal proceedings involving Mr. M'Barek. We are continuing to try to consider the effects on this individual, who is not a Canadian citizen, but who had interests here.