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House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Buenos Aires, on April 8, the Minister for International Trade boasted about convincing his colleagues of the Americas of the need to reveal the texts of the FTAA negotiations, adding that only their translation would delay them.

The next day, on Maisonneuve à l'écoute , the minister said even that the texts could be made public before the Quebec City summit. It now appears that the self-proclaimed champion of transparency has hidden part of the truth from us.

Does the minister acknowledge that he unreasonably misled the public, that he misled them by intimating that the texts would be released before the summit, when he had decided they would not?

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I think that just about everyone understood what happened, except the leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

Canadian diplomacy won an extraordinary victory in Buenos Aires. Moreover, I am not the self-proclaimed grand champion of that, because Louise Baudoin claimed credit herself in Quebec City for having triumphed so exceptionally.

So there was a magnificent collaboration from the Americas. They supported the Canadian recommendation, and I am really delighted.

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister said that it was just the translation that was holding up its release before the summit in Quebec City.

Yesterday, before a group of business people, he said there was another condition which he was involved in and it was that this would not occur prior to the Quebec City summit. He did not say that. It was misleading the public, when there were two conditions, not just one.

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

An hon. member

And on Maisonneuve à l'écoute .

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Then, on Maisonneuve à l'écoute , he said “Yes, it is even possible before the Quebec City summit”. He knew full well that there was another condition.

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

What a liar.

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Why did he not say so, Mr. Speaker?

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot can very well call me a liar, and it was miked—

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Yes, you are a liar.

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Liberal Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

—the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot continues to repeat this adjective, and I ask him to withdraw it.

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Following oral question period we will discuss this matter.

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Tuesday, according to the Canadian Press, the Minister for International Trade told a meeting of business people that the only two conditions set by the ministers in Buenos Aires were that translations be provided and that the texts be made available after the Quebec summit. Yesterday, in committee, he was singing quite a different tune.

How could he proudly proclaim, as he did, his great victory in convincing the other ministers to make the texts available, when he knew that there was never any question of doing so before the summit?

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the member for Mercier was in the parliamentary committee yesterday when we discussed this matter.

One country requested that the texts be in Portuguese before they were made public. I asked that they be in French before they were released. Another country said “Listen, this is something quite exceptional which should not be rushed. Perhaps we should do this after the Quebec summit”.

The chair decided to go with this point of view from a single country which was not a consensus of all countries. But I am pleased that the Bloc Quebecois is waking up and noticing that we have made some substantial progress with respect to transparency, thanks to this government.

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not deny that there were two conditions. And he went even further when he took Quebec's minister of international relations to task for agreeing to accept the texts in their Spanish or English versions. The minister posed as a defender of the French language, saying that the texts would be made public only after they had been translated into French.

Will the minister finally admit that all his boasting had no other purpose than to conceal the existence of a second condition?

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is totally amazing. Here we have the Bloc Quebecois criticizing a federal minister from Quebec for defending and promoting the French language.

Members should know that this government will be promoting the French language in the Americas and throughout the world. The voice of Canada is heard in French as well. It is heard in French in the Francophonie. It is heard in French in the World Trade Organization, and it will continue to be heard in French.

HealthOral Question Period

May 3rd, 2001 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Sydney tar ponds remain one of the worst environmental disasters in North America contaminated by chemicals, causing cancers, miscarriages and birth defects. Finally Health Canada recognizes that people should not be sentenced to live in these horrendous conditions or to suffer premature death.

Will the health minister today report on plans for relocating the affected families? Specifically, when, where and how will the affected people be moved?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, based upon soil tests that were made available last week, Health Canada has proposed discussions with provincial and municipal leaders so that we can put a plan in place for temporary relocation of the families in the area under discussion.

It is proposed that there be other soil tests and further studies, but we believe that working through the joint advisory group, which is in place, we can work together to relocate those families in the short term.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, these people have been living in limbo. Their lives have already been shortened by 10 years, on average. I hope the minister understands that a temporary solution is no solution. It will simply prolong the agony and drag out the suffering.

Will the minister give the assurance that these families will be relocated permanently so they can get on with their lives?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada has been working with the hon. members for Bras d'Or—Cape Breton and Sydney—Victoria to develop plans that will deal with these health issues, but we have to work in partnership with the provincial authorities and the people from the city.

That is what we propose. We are very much aware that this is an issue involving the health of those residents. We will move as quickly as we can in the circumstances.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, in relation to Lancaster Aviation, by inserting clause 14, the special sales clause, the government provided the escape clause to allow the sale of DND helicopters and Challenger jets without going back to public tender.

Why was the disposal of DND helicopters and Challenger jets not specifically set out in the original request for proposals?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, for days now the hon. member keeps repeating that this contract was sole source and not competed for.

This contract was competed for in 1997 and was competed for again in the year 2000. Everything was done according to rule.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, maybe the minister should speak to his Florida friends. The letter from DND to public works states:

DND fully expects to monitor the activities of the contractor. DND is very conscious that its aircraft assets are disposed of with due diligence, and it will do whatever necessary to ensure this.

Why was Canadian military equipment moved out of Canada to a foreign country and allowed to be stored at a facility owned by an individual who has been indicted on fraud and money laundering charges?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again, the contract was competed for. Everything was done according to rule. The sale of the surplus aircraft was conducted to the letter of the law and with the interest of Canadian taxpayers in mind.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Preston Manning Canadian Alliance Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the health minister presented the Standing Committee on Health with a draft bill on assisted human reproduction. The bill is incomplete and long overdue, but at least it is a start and the official opposition welcomes a chance to improve it.

Hon. members will know that our constitution assigns primary responsibility for health care to the provinces. Will the health minister agree to convene a federal-provincial conference on the support and regulation of reproductive technologies before the end of the year?

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, may I say how much I look forward to working with the hon. member and members on all sides of the House on this issue, which is not a partisan issue and which raises questions that have a moral and an ethical as well as a legal and a scientific dimension. I enjoyed my appearance this morning before the committee and I look forward to continuing that work.

On the subject of who does what, I believe there is a role for leadership by the federal government in their consistent approaches throughout the country. We are making provision for equivalency agreements so provinces, if they want, can take an active role in equivalent regulations. I would be happy to take up with my provincial colleagues, as I already started to do, their reactions to these proposals.