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House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fcc.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Southeast Alberta

Liberal

David Kilgour LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, Kimy Pernia Domico is a highly respected indigenous leader among Colombians and is a highly respected person, as we heard, among Canadians.

At the recently completed OAS assembly in Costa Rica I raised the matter personally with the foreign minister of Colombia. He indicated he would get back to me very quickly with the results of his investigation.

I thank the hon. member for Toronto Centre—Rosedale and the hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas for bringing public attention to this issue.

HarboursOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government has sold most of Canada's harbour infrastructure and now it is actually selling harbour bottoms. Some of those harbour bottoms include large tracts of ocean bottom and channels that are several kilometres long.

Why would the government even consider such a thing? Where is the Minister of the Environment, where is the Minister of Transport, where is the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and where is the minister responsible for ACOA who represents much of Atlantic Canada, on this issue?

HarboursOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment is right here and the Minister of Transport is right there. Other ministers who are responsible are present. I think the question is perhaps a little badly based in terms of who is where and where is where.

However, in terms of the harbour bottoms, if the hon. member is concerned over harbour bottoms, he has not given a single example of which harbour bottom he is talking about. Until he does, we will have to take the question on notice.

HarboursOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment. Is this another way of escaping the responsibility of cleaning up harbours such as St. John's and Halifax?

The government has divested itself of ports and now it is trying to divest itself of harbour bottoms. Is this another way to sneak out of your responsibility of cleaning up those harbours?

HarboursOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member will of course address the Chair.

HarboursOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in no way is it the policy of the government to sneak out of any responsibilities whatsoever.

What I would like to know is what is the policy of the hon. member's party. Does he or does he not agree that we should have local control where people locally manage things, or does he think that Ottawa always knows best?

Science And TechnologyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Coalition for Canadian Astronomy has developed a long range plan to maintain Canada's position as a world leader in this field. To remain viable the plan requires further funding from the federal government of $164 million over 10 years. However rather than fund the plan, the government has decided to spend money in other areas such as $750 million to the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Would the Minister of Industry explain why he has decided to fund the CFI and other programs instead of the long range plan for astronomy?

Science And TechnologyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Scarborough Centre Ontario

Liberal

John Cannis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, when the member uses the word spend, he is wrong. The government is investing in Canada. We heard from the astronomers and listened when they brought forward their points.

Let me tell the member, who is a very active participant on the industry committee, that if he thinks investing in Genome Canada is wrong, then let him say so. If he is thinks investing in and connecting our country is wrong, then let him say so. If he is talking about investing in research and development in our universities, then let him say so. That is where our investments are going.

Science And TechnologyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, if the parliamentary secretary wants critiques of CFI funding, he should talk to Liberal members on the committee. The CFI operates outside of normal government accounting procedures and thus is restricted in funding big science projects such as the neutron facility and the long range plan for astronomy.

Will the minister consider altering the structure and regulations of the CFI so its funds can be used by the National Research Council for projects such as the long range plan for astronomy?

Science And TechnologyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Scarborough Centre Ontario

Liberal

John Cannis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in the recommendations that will come forward, good points have been made by the hon. member and every member on the committee.

Right now we are going to continue with this agenda. We are reviewing it. The committee is summarizing it. He and every Canadian can be assured that we will continue to make Canada the most connected and innovative country in the world.

International TradeOral Question Period

June 8th, 2001 / 11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada has written a letter indicating that the statements made by the Minister for International Trade on cheese stick imports are misleading to the House.

The letter is clear. The points made are clear and confirm the Bloc Quebecois position.

Is the Minister for International Trade going to at last understand that he must show some backbone, stop issuing any more import permits, and stop saying just about anything in the House to cover up his errors and incompetence?

International TradeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would point out, if I may, once more here in this House that there have been no restrictions on cheese sticks under free trade for the past 20 years. That is the reality, no matter what the Bloc Quebecois says.

I have been asked to follow the Bloc Quebecois position, but it has changed two or three times this week, between the hon. member for Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis and the hon. member who has just asked the question.

We are going to continue to promote our interests in the United States. We want to reopen the border to the United States, to whom we have sold cheese sticks for years. That is the objective of our government, in the best interest of our producers.

International TradeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister really does not know what he is talking about, when he addresses this issue.

On the cheese sticks issue, I am asking him, will he comply with the dairy producers request for a meeting with him in order to discuss the issue and come up, finally, with a logical and consistent position?

International TradeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I have already had an opportunity to meet with them, and it will be a pleasure to meet with them again. However, I find the reference to cheese sticks very risky.

We have for years stressed the fact that these are breaded cheese sticks, because the product contains less than 50% cheese. Great care must be taken with classifications.

Regardless of what the Bloc Quebecois has just said, we have the true interest of the dairy producers at heart and we will continue to work in their interests in order to get the U.S. border reopened.

Access To InformationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development said yesterday that the decisions on access to information requests were made at arm's length from her office. However we have been told on a number of occasions by access to information officials that the final release was made by the corporate sector, which is not arm's length from her department or her office.

Is the minister asserting that her department or her office has no part in approving the release of access to information requests?

Access To InformationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Raymonde Folco LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the department is committed to transparency and to providing information contained in departmental records to Canadians in a timely manner.

I remind the hon. member that in 1999-2000, HRDC received an excellent rating from the Office of the Information Commissioner. During the 2000-01 fiscal year, HRDC responded to 1,442 ATI requests, representing a release of over 130,000 pages.

Access To InformationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, requests regarding Placeteco and Auberge Grand-Mère in the Prime Minister's riding have gone unanswered for months.

The minister's department has taken on a culture of secrecy since last year's disastrous billion dollar mess. It is completely disregarding the spirit and letter of the access law passed by the House.

Will the minister immediately direct her officials to clean up their act and start providing the information Canadians are demanding?

Access To InformationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Raymonde Folco LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, during the year 2000-01, HRDC replied to over 1,442 requests, representing a release of 130,000 pages. I add that this represents a 106% increase over the previous year.

I think the member of parliament opposite is using vastly overblown language because the ever increasing number and complexity of ATI requests over the past few years have often required the department to compile files from many places, both inside and outside the department.

Foreign AidOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the past few weeks Canadians have watched with dismay as the situation in Afghanistan has gone from bad to worse. Millions of people are hungry and in refugee camps. The death rate of children in the north is soaring and the situation for women in particular is dismal.

Could the Minister for International Cooperation tell the House what Canada is doing to signal our displeasure with the situation?

Foreign AidOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, what is happening in Afghanistan is horrendous. The Government of Canada would call on the Taliban to stop immediately the policies that are very destructive to its people, especially women and children.

However, in order to assist in the situation, I recently announced an additional $2 million of spending in Afghanistan. The money will go to improving medical facilities, providing fresh water and sanitation, and assisting women and children especially with medical assistance.

TradeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, certain interests in the United States are becoming more and more protectionist in their trade relations.

P.E.I. potatoes were targeted for months. Canada's greenhouse tomatoes were attacked in March. The softwood lumber countervail and dumping actions continue. This month it is wheat and now steel. Meanwhile the federal Liberals are glowing about growth in energy exports.

What action will the minister take to stop this accelerated targeting of Canadian industries?

TradeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Alliance has raised every individual file. I think every one of them deserves an answer.

If we talk about steel, I said very clearly that we are trying to exempt Canadian steel from the U.S. measures. I am confident that we will do that.

On softwood lumber, we are working with industry and the provinces. I am very proud that the Canadian softwood industry is holding together in solidarity and is facing the U.S. challenges very well.

We are working very hard on the wheat board. I salute my colleague, the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, for standing up for western farmers. We are trying—

TradeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Vancouver Island North.

TradeOral Question Period

Noon

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the recent 201 action by the U.S. to protect its steel industry against dumping by foreign countries, we understand that Canada is technically exempt because of NAFTA rules.

The concern is that with the closure of the U.S. market Canada will be highly vulnerable to foreign dumping. What measures will the minister introduce to ensure that the Canadian steel industry is protected from this new threat?

TradeOral Question Period

Noon

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the government, the Minister of National Revenue and myself will stand up for our Canadian interests. We will of course closely monitor the situation and the impact of the 201 action the United States is taking.

We have a problem globally on steel. While we want Canada to be exempt from the 201 action by the United States, our industry is working with American industry to address the global problem that we are having. We will make sure that we monitor the situation very closely in Canada on our market.