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 #146 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was endangered.

Topics

Pension PlansOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of financial institutions.

The $100 billion Enron bankruptcy in the United States is the largest in the history of that country and has shattered the confidence of many Canadian workers in the security of their pension plans.

Regulations concerning pension plan investments in federal jurisdiction do not allow for more than 10% of the holdings to be invested in any one company, but Enron's situation shows a need to enshrine this in legislation, not just in regulations.

Would the minister agree to table in the House a bill that would enshrine the 10% rule in legislation to provide more security for Canadian working people about their pension plans?

Pension PlansOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, the Enron issue is something that the government takes extremely seriously, as was also mentioned by the governor of the Bank of Canada yesterday. Indeed our officials are working actively on this file and consulting with stakeholders to determine the implications.

The hon. member mentioned the pension plan issue. The reason Canadians should feel more secure in their pensions than do Americans is that our 10% rule means that the pension plans are regulated much more conservatively than is the case south of the border.

Minister of National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, on January 30 I asked the minister of defence a direct and precise question: When did Canadian forces take al-Qaeda prisoners in Afghanistan? The minister replied “I was first informed about the detention of prisoners...within 24 hours”. That was a direct response to a direct question about Canadians taking prisoners.

Yesterday in committee the minister gave a different story. My question for the minister--

Minister of National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I want to stress that questions about proceedings in the committee that are currently underway are not in order. I caution the hon. member from proceeding with this line of questioning. Her leader asked a question that was very borderline earlier and I am not prepared to countenance more questions about committee proceedings that are currently ongoing before this committee.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is about trying to get to the truth, which is something we do not hear a lot of from over there.

Last October the Minister of Industry, then in a previous incarnation as the minister of health, made a big deal about standing behind his officials even though he and his department had improperly ordered a generic version of the drug Cipro.

Will he now stand behind his Industry Canada officials who wrote that buying the generic drug Cipro broke the Patent Act, contravened the Food and Drugs Act, and has seriously compromised the government's rather questionable commitment to intellectual property rights?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Beauharnois—Salaberry Québec

Liberal

Serge Marcil LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I will simply say that this is ancient history. Our government has proven itself as far as intellectual property is concerned. We acknowledge the necessity of protecting patents in order to encourage innovation and research.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the recent innovation strategy, the Minister of Industry stated that he wanted to resolve potential challenges to investment in Canada before they developed. However, his own actions concerning the violation of the Patent Act in the purchase of Cipro have prompted questions from around the world about the safety of research and development investment in Canada.

How can the minister restore private sector confidence in the Canadian business climate when his own decision, one he was warned against taking by his own department officials, countered the spirit of R and D and innovation in Canada?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Beauharnois—Salaberry Québec

Liberal

Serge Marcil LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

The same reply, Mr. Speaker: the industry has confidence in the Minister of Industry. We shall continue to intervene in these matters in a professional manner.

As I have already said, we have proven ourselves as far as intellectual property is concerned, and intend to continue in the same way.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, it was his own Department of Industry officials, in a document not marked draft as the minster said but secret, that countenanced against him doing this.

The present minister is not a champion of business nor innovation in Canada. He has shown his inability to protect his own government's patent laws through his purchase of Cipro. His innovation strategy has no firm commitments on funding or execution of policy and no estimates of cost. The minister will need to make a concerted effort to ensure that Canada's reputation in R and D is restored.

Will the parliamentary secretary acknowledge that his minister made a mistake with the order of Cipro and that he will no longer interfere with private investments in Canada?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Beauharnois—Salaberry Québec

Liberal

Serge Marcil LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, instead of constantly rehashing ancient history, it seems to me that it would be far more normal for the hon. member to focus more on positive things.

For example, in January unemployment in Canada decreased. This very clearly reflects the actions taken by the Government of Canada in connection with economic renewal.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in connection with implementing the Kyoto protocol, the Minister of the Environment said in the House yesterday that the past must be taken into account in determining the costs that would have to be borne by the provinces, but there were limits.

Is the minister prepared to recognize that the most relevant benchmark year should be 1990, the year used in the Kyoto agreement?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am just as happy to have the representation of the hon. member as I am to have representation from members in any corner of the House.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of the Environment wrongly suggested that the Bloc Quebecois opposed the ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

What does the minister have to say about the remarks of his colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, who stated yesterday at an energy conference that Canada's commitment to ratifying the Kyoto protocol was wavering?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I was enthusiastic about the Bloc Quebecois' wish to ratify the Kyoto agreement. The only problem is that two days later, they said that they did not want to do anything in the province of Quebec to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

David Anderson Liberal Victoria, BC

There you go. I was always ready. I was ready in the past and now they do not want to do anything. They support the agreement, but they oppose the action required. This is what I find somewhat difficult.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the transport minister has said that prior to September, Canada had a better air security regime than the United States. Since September 11, however, both countries have improved their security. The Canadian government is charging $24 per flight for the improvements while the United States is charging $5 per flight.

Given that, according to the transport minister, our starting point on security was further ahead, why are Canadians going to be taxed at triple the rate of Americans?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, this is similar to the hon. member's previous question in which he said that if something were revenue neutral by law it could be a tax grab. It reminds me of a previous comment he made in the House a few months ago in typical Alliance logic. I quote:

The only way we can prevent those people from crashing a plane into a building in the first place is with capital punishment.

That is the logic of his party.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the problem with the government is that seven air carriers have died on its watch, the air industry has only been profitable in 3 of the past 12 years, in the year 2000 we saw the greatest collapse in air traffic in aviation history and WestJet was the only carrier to turn a profit last year.

Why is the government continuing to put in policies and raise taxes on flying at a time when more people are supposed to be flying? Why is the government raising taxes instead of lowering them? When will it wake up?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not like airport improvement fees. He does not like fuel surcharges. He does not like Nav Canada fees. Now he does not like the security fees. Yet his party is on record as supporting user fees.

Therefore, I assume he is advocating that the general taxpayer pay, thereby adding to the deficit. If that is not the case, who does he expect to pay for the security: the tooth fairy?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rick Laliberte Liberal Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for children and youth.

Canadians are well aware that learning and skills are crucial for their success in the prosperity of our nation in this knowledge based economy.

[Editor's Note: Member spoke in Cree]

A growing aboriginal population is facing a number of challenges in skills development. We know that an increasing number of aboriginal people are entering the workforce.

Could the minister inform the House as to what the government is doing to ensure aboriginal people have the opportunities to get the skills they need for success?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Western Arctic Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew LiberalSecretary of State (Children and Youth)

Mr. Speaker, as we develop the skills agenda, we are committed to ensuring that opportunities are created for more aboriginal people. We will be consulting all the appropriate stakeholders.

In addition to that, in the last budget we committed $185 million to help reduce the incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome and its effects, to help with child care, as well as the aboriginal head start initiative, which would aid early childhood development, and to support programs for children who have special needs on reserve. We have also invested $1.5 billion for aboriginal human resource development--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Red Deer.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

February 21st, 2002 / 2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the economic damage of Kyoto on Canada is becoming clearer every day. The real truth is that the government has economic estimates which show the devastation to our economy but it will not make those public. It has no implementation plan and no co-operation with most provinces or industry.

When will the minister come clean to Canadians and tell them the real truth about Kyoto and what it will cost?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I will be meeting with ministers of energy and the environment from the provinces and territories on Monday and Tuesday in Victoria. This is a continuation of a series of meetings. We had one in Manitoba in September, another in Ontario in October and, after the upcoming meetings, there will be another in May.

At these meetings we bring forward the information from our officials. We are discussing it and trying to work out what would be the least impact scenario for the ratification of Kyoto and, of course, in addition to the ratification question, reaching the minus 6% target of 1990 which the Prime Minister set in 1997.