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House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was insurance.

Topics

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, this tyranny of the monopoly has to end. That is clear. The wheat board minister is dictating poverty to organic farmers.

John Husband is the president of the organic special products group. He has clearly stated that the wheat board is killing value added in western Canada.

The Canadian Wheat Board does not represent organic growers. It does not market their grain and farmers do not want it to start marketing that grain. Yet the minister continues to support the wheat board's oppressive monopoly.

Does the minister believe that granting organic farmers an exemption poses some threat to other wheat and barley producers?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is obviously the hope and the expectation of the Government of Canada that all farmers, including organic farmers, will be treated properly and fairly under the marketing practices that apply, in this case with respect to the Canadian Wheat Board.

Mr. Husband, the gentleman just referred to, has written me on this subject. I intend to raise his concerns with the Canadian Wheat Board so that the duly elected directors can take them under consideration.

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, young families of Quebec are going to have to wait until January 2003 to be able to benefit from real parental leave because of the Minister of Human Resources Development's refusal to transfer the necessary funds to Quebec, as allowed in the legislation.

If the Minister of Human Resources Development has the best interests of women and young people at heart, as she claims, what explanation can she give to justify her position of refusing young Quebec families access to parental leave that is far more advantageous than employment insurance and that all the—-

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has been paying maternity benefits to Canadian women for 30 years and there have been parental benefits for the past 10 years.

We have improved our maternity benefit and parental leave program without any additional cost to Canadians. If certain employers or certain governments wish to add to our program, they are welcome to do so.

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government resisted nearly 30 years before giving in to the arguments of Quebec and transferring manpower management over to it.

Does this mean that the minister's refusal is an indication that young Quebec families are going to have to wait another 30 years before gaining access to decent parental leave?

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, not in the least. Our program provides parental leave to all Canadians, Quebecers included.

There is nothing stopping other provinces from paying out amounts based on the solid platform set out in the employment insurance program.

HealthOral Question Period

May 9th, 2001 / 2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, John Stubbs School in my riding serves Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. Paint there has lead concentrations of 100 to 300 times the maximum allowed. There are 400 students wandering around that school.

I have asked the Minister of National Defence to give that school the resources to clean up this toxic mess. Why will he not do it?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the school is not under the jurisdiction of the Department of National Defence. It is in fact under the operation of a local school board with responsibilities to the province of British Columbia.

We have the school on our property. That is quite true. We have indicated we are anxious to lease the property to them, but the function of the school and the repairs and maintenance of the school are the responsibility of the local school board.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is the problem with respect to these people, these children and these armed forces personnel. The buck is being passed back and forth. Not only is there lead in the paint but there is asbestos in the halls. This is toxic for these children. It causes learning disabilities. In fact it is a poison.

I am asking the minister, I am begging the minister again, to stop passing the buck and give the school the resources to fix the problem so these children will not be poisoned.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is not a question of passing the buck. Everybody knows that the provinces have responsibility for education. We are willing to do anything we can to co-operate.

We certainly want the school board to do its work to clean this up so that the children of our forces personnel will be safe. We will do everything we can to co-operate. It quite clearly has the responsibility to do the work.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Liberal Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. In order to be part of our communities many physically handicapped Canadians must purchase their vehicles and then convert them to hand drive, yet a GST rebate is given on the conversion cost only.

Could the minister would tell us why there is no GST rebate on the vehicle purchase price, especially when the provinces rebate their sales tax on the total?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does well to bring this up. The exemption is on the medical and assistive devices. As well, the costs of altering the vehicle also qualify, I would say, in addition to those raised by the hon. member for the medical expense tax credit.

I would point out that help for disabled Canadians includes the disability tax credit and the caregiver credit. This combined approach is indeed the best way to deal with this.

I would also point out that in budget 2000 we increased the amount of these measures by over $45 million and in the October update by over $100 million. They now total over $1 billion.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, last week in fisheries committee DFO officials echoed Pacific Salmon Commission authorities who warned of sweeping closures of summer run sockeye in the Fraser River this summer to protect Adams River stock.

These warnings were in direct conflict with testimony from a recently retired senior official of the Pacific Salmon Commission who warned that failure to harvest surplus sockeye stocks would result in overcrowded spawning grounds and dramatically lowered returns of these runs in four years' time. Given this conflicting advice, what is the minister's intention?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, we will be looking at all the facts before we announce the salmon agreement.

We have a salmon commission. We have a treaty with the Americans. We work together once we have all the facts and all the science to make sure we make sound decisions based on conservation.

The member's view of the surplus clause is simply not the case. I do not accept that for a moment.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, again I think the minister's inexperience is showing here. In fisheries management experience is everything. The DFO witnesses, the expert witnesses, admitted they lacked a long time attachment to Fraser River fisheries management.

We have now learned that the minister has removed Fraser panel chair Wayne Saito, a man with a long experience of the Fraser River, from his position and is replacing him with a refugee from the coast guard. Why is the minister rejecting experienced managers at this critical time?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member is recognizing the experience and the good work of our officials in DFO. Many of them are on the commission as well.

We will look at all the advice that comes forward. We will make sure we look at the science. We will be responsible to make sure that we protect those threatened species but that we take advantage when we do have a large run.

We have to make sure that we allow those species that are threatened to spawn because that is part of conservation. Everyone agrees that conservation has to be a priority in managing our fisheries.

Water System Construction In Sept-ÎlesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Quebec's environment minister asked the municipality of Sept-Îles to build a water system to serve the citizens of the beaches area which was contaminated by toxic substances used by Transport Canada to de-ice airplanes.

Since the Minister of Transport has already admitted his department's responsibility in contaminating the beaches area, will he tell us whether he intends to contribute funding for the water system, and how much?

Water System Construction In Sept-ÎlesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have answered this question many times in the House of Commons. There is obviously a problem. Transport Canada wants to help the residents of Sept-Îles, who have a real problem. We have offered solutions and we are prepared to work with the provincial government and the citizens of Sept-Îles to find a lasting solution.

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. Would the minister tell the House what the government is doing to keep its commitment to double research and development spending in Canada by 2010? Is the government doing anything concrete?

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Hull—Aylmer for his question. I am very pleased to advise him that because of the excellent financial stewardship of the country over the last seven or eight years by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the rest of the team, we were able to move quickly this year to fulfil our commitment to double R and D investment in Canada, with $750 million more for CFI and $140 million more for Genome Canada.

We are well on the way to establishing 2,000 new research chairs. This morning we announced $346 million in new research grants for 2,000 professors in every university in every province of Canada.

Tobacco ProductsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White Canadian Alliance North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, seven years ago the Deputy Prime Minister told the House that 700 RCMP officers would be dedicated to catching everyone involved in cigarette smuggling across the Akwesasne reserve.

Three years ago an affiliate of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco was found guilty and fined $15 million in the United States for helping those smugglers.

How much longer will it take for the Deputy Prime Minister's 700 dedicated RCMP officers to lay charges in Canada? Have they been told to keep their hands off the tobacco executives?

Tobacco ProductsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can assure my hon. colleague that the RCMP is working all the time to make sure that smuggling operations will cease, in particular smuggling of tobacco.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier when they answered my question, I sincerely believe that the Solicitor General of Canada and the Minister of Justice completely failed to understand what I was asking. I am going to repeat it because it is very important and I want a serious answer.

Will the Minister of Justice reassure the House, and particularly the people of Quebec and of Canada, by stating here in the House that the immunity granted police officers to commit illegal acts will be limited strictly to investigations into organized crime and that such an authorization will be given by a judge?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

No, Mr. Speaker, it will not be given by a judge and it will not be limited only to organized crime. However it is important to note that there are strict guidelines to make sure that whoever has this ability certainly follows the law.

There is also political accountability. If there is any difficulty, we have the courts, as well as the annual report which is submitted to the solicitor general. This is done to make sure that we are able to investigate organized crime and other major criminal acts in this country.