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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was protocol.

Topics

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have a news release from the Investment Dealers Association of Canada which says:

We have never seen the letter described in the article and no such letter was drafted by the IDA.Therefore, we take no responsibility for its content.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the three parties in the Quebec National Assembly, that is the Parti Québécois, the Action démocratique and the Quebec Liberal Party unanimously passed a resolution calling on the federal government to hand over the new funding for health without any conditions attached.

Does the government intend to respect the unanimity shown in the Quebec National Assembly by making this funding available without any conditions attached?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this is unquestionably a current issue.

I should mention that the minister is sick today, but she will surely be in good shape by Friday to meet here with the provincial and territorial health ministers and take a very close look at the recommendations made in the Romanow report, so that we take all the necessary measures to ensure that the health system meets the needs of Canadians—and I emphasize the expression “the needs of Canadians”—regardless of where they live in the country, whether in the east, the west, the far north or the south.

Again, I want to assure hon. members that we have a very interesting report that will allow us to do great things for all Canadians.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government.

In the best interests of the sick, all the political parties in Quebec, including the Quebec Liberal Party, as well as doctors, nurses, specialists and even some Liberal members from Quebec, such as the hon. member for Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles and the hon. member for Louis-Hébert, feel that Ottawa must make the funding available without any conditions attached.

Should the government not immediately reassure the public and announce that this funding will be made available without any conditions attached?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, following the measures taken in September 2000 regarding a five year investment plan—and all the provinces agreed with it at the time—we did not come back here simply to rest on our laurels. We took measures to conduct a very important study to meet the needs of Canadians.

We are continuing in the same direction and this is why we are committed to cooperating with all the health ministers. Also, the premiers are scheduled to meet early in the new year, as the Prime Minister mentioned—

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Témiscamingue.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Medical Association, through its vice president, André Senikas, has said very plainly that it is concerned about the federal government's follow-up to the Romanow report, and is worried that as long as the squabbles and frustrations continue, the backlog and accessibility problems will increase.

Would it not be advisable for the federal government, in the best interests of the sick and out of respect for the Quebec Medical Association, to announce right away that it will drop the conditions that it was going to attach to new funding for health? This is the voice of reason speaking.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it was precisely in the interests of all Canadians that we took measures that were very appropriate. We will follow up on these measures.

Once again, at the risk of repeating myself, that is why on Friday, in four days' time, the ministers of health will be meeting to discuss the key features of the report.

The Prime Minister promised to meet in January with the provincial premiers to make decisions, once again, to meet the needs of Canadians. It is important that we not make decisions lightly and resort to band-aid patching. That does not work. We must take time to think.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the secretary of state is thinking, there are people waiting.

Jennie Skene, the president of the Fédération des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec said last week that immediate efforts are needed for the sick, that Ottawa should provide available funding for health without any strings attached.

Is the federal government planning to keep on ignoring calls by Quebec's physicians and nurses, which echo the resolution passed by Quebec's National Assembly?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is clear just how important it was to have this pan-Canadian report, given how terribly interested Canadians are in the report now. People everywhere are talking about it. Some support it, others are against it, but that is why this debate is important.

And that is why I am very pleased to see that the government is committed to having this debate. We did not bury our head in the sand and pretend that there were no problems. There are problems. Now, everyone claims to have the magic solution. That is why we must sit down together and take the time to take a fresh new look at what we can—

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we are clearly at a turning point in terms of the future of health care. The people of Canada have spoken through the Romanow commission. Now it is up to the government. To go forward and prevent this process from degenerating into a federal-provincial squabble, the government has to be forthcoming about its plans and has to share vital information about the financing of health care with its partners.

In the spirit of federal cooperation and in the interests of medicare, will the government state today its intentions with respect to the Romanow commission.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we will try to simplify things. Again, we all care about the well-being and the health of our fellow citizens.

This is why we are committed to providing leadership on this issue, so that, together with the provinces and territories, we can sit down at the table and pursue a common objective, which is the well-being of Canadians, instead of sitting down at the same table and each blaming the other. We know that such an approach is fruitless. Again, we will provide leadership on this issue, so as to achieve a common objective.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we are less than a week away from the meeting of health ministers and we still do not have an indication from the government about its response to the Romanow commission. Being open-minded and being empty-headed are two different things. The government seems to suffer from a severe case of the latter.

Does the government even have a position going into these negotiations and is that position the Romanow recommendations or not?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I was looking at statements made by the Prime Minister this weekend. He said that, obviously, the investments made in health will have to focus on change and results. All Canadians realize that investing money without knowing what we want to achieve, without holding people accountable, would be unproductive. This is the approach that was used for years.

The Prime Minister made it very clear that if we can all agree on where we want to go, the federal government will make the necessary investments. However, in order to achieve that, we must sit down together and talk. And this is what we are doing.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

December 2nd, 2002 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. The member for LaSalle--Émard admitted timidly today that he has problems with the Kyoto process but that he will knuckle under. The Liberal premier of Newfoundland and Labrador was more forthright. His letter to MPs warns of the “divisive and deliberate manner in which the federal government” has excluded Newfoundland and other provinces. He said the premiers “have repeatedly asked for a first minister's conference” before ratification “but the Prime Minister has consistently refused our requests”.

Why does the Prime Minister refuse to meet the premiers before the ratification of Kyoto?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this matter has been under debate for five years. The Parliament of Canada is now debating the resolution. There will be a vote held within a matter of days. I think that the matter is well in hand in terms of public debate in the country. The premiers have been consulted. All interested stakeholders have been consulted.

I hope that the hon. member will come and speak in the debate, as he has already. He will try to influence the debate and he will vote. That is what all members have to do. That is the parliamentary process and it is working extremely well.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the acting prime minister.

In 2005 Canada must provide demonstrative evidence that our climate change strategy is on track. Substantive tax incentives for renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency, ethanol blended fuels and loan guarantees for energy retrofits to buildings were needed five years ago. These incentives were in the direct purview of the former finance minister, who this weekend in a somersault to revisionism said, “We should invest in green technologies”.

Everyone knew these incentives were needed. Who is the roadblock, the Prime Minister or the former finance minister?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct that we have to move ahead. That is why we have been trying to have this debate terminated and a decision taken before the end of the year. It is very important that we move ahead, and I trust he will be supporting the measures that are in place to achieve Kyoto goals.

The previous minister of finance put in $260 million to support renewable energy in the last budget, which is a very substantial amount and a clear indication of the government's direction. I am delighted to hear that he continues to believe that we should proceed in that way.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the leader of Hezbollah has now called upon his terrorist organization worldwide to go beyond killing Jews and Americans and attack western nations in general with acts of murder that, and I will quote his words, “will astonish the world”.

Everywhere I go across the country, everyday Canadians are asking me this question. What has Hezbollah got on this foreign affairs minister and these Liberals that they refuse to ban them?

Will the foreign affairs minister please answer that question for Canadians?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member opposite that we have taken note of what the leader of Hezbollah has said.

As I have said to the member on previous occasions, there is a process in the works. In terms of the listing of entities, we will take into consideration the criminal and the security intelligence reports and we will analyze and make a decision based on those concrete facts, not on a headline in a newspaper story.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, they have banned other groups that do not have the same notorious record as Hezbollah. The Hezbollah leader has said that there is no separation between the military arm and the social arm. He has called for worldwide acts of murder.

Without them hiding behind the pretence of confidentiality and so we do not have to use freedom of information legislation, when exactly did CSIS warn the government that Hezbollah should be banned? How long ago?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the hon. member that this minister and the government do not hide behind anything. We want a review with real, substantiated facts and that we will do. We will not take the position like the hon. member obviously did on the weekend, and on which I saw him quoted, that no research was needed.

In terms of listing entities, the government will do its homework. It will do its research. It will do a listing of an entity based on concrete facts that can be substantiated.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, among the post-Romanow comments, the former Minister of Health for Quebec, Claude Castonguay, has said that there are simpler ways of managing additional funding for health than adding a federal structure on top of all that is already in place.

Does the federal government intend to respect the non-partisan and unanimous character of the comments by all the health care experts in Quebec who are calling for the Prime Minister to drop the strings he wants to attach to additional health care funding?

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we will certainly listen to experts in Quebec and in all the provinces of Canada.

There are people with expertise and opinions across Canada and in this House. It is very interesting to see that people are taking part in the debate. I can assure the hon. member that this is what will be done. We will sit down together. To quote the Prime Minister's words from yesterday, in connection with Quebec and the federal government:

Quebeckers want both levels of government to work together with a common objective: quality health-care services.

This is the objective we are going to set and together—