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 #181 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-55.

Topics

South AfricaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, when we travelled to South Africa, we knew that the HIV-AIDS issue was a major concern for all Africans.

In fact, this issue was the subject of a number of debates and, at the Prime Minister's initiative, we toured, among other things, awareness projects.

The good news is that a few days after our return to Canada, we learned that the government of President Mbeki had substantially changed its position by adopting a much more proactive approach in the fight against HIV-AIDS.

Canada is proud to have been able to contribute to this debate, and it is pleased by this change of attitude on the part of the South African government, since it will benefit millions of men, women—

South AfricaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona.

Urban AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's cities are deteriorating before our very eyes, yet the Liberal government still has no national urban strategy. Some Liberal backbenchers appear to have caught on, but the front bench still has not caught on. In fact the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance are divided, with the Prime Minister saying it is just a provincial responsibility.

I want to ask the government, when are we going to have a national urban strategy from the government, significant investment in mass transit, in environmental clean up, in housing--

Urban AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Urban AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member for Winnipeg--Transcona has given us the opportunity to congratulate the member for York West and her colleagues for an outstanding report.

Urban AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Urban AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Collenette Liberal Don Valley East, ON

This is a seminal report that will give direction to the government in the years ahead. The government will act upon that report. We have not just waited for that report. We have invested in a national housing policy. We have invested in infrastructure. Some municipalities, such as Toronto and Edmonton, will be taking advantage of that program.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Saskatchewan legislature unanimously passed a motion calling upon the federal ministers of finance, agriculture, international trade and the government House leader to appear before the Saskatchewan legislature to discuss the huge impact of the U.S. farm bill. Some ministers and their flacks are already giving excuses as to why they cannot attend.

My question is very simple. The House is in recess the week of May 13. Will the government ensure that the ministers appear before the Saskatchewan legislature prior to May 17?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, none of the ministers mentioned have as yet received any formal invitation from the Saskatchewan legislature.

Let me assure the member that every minister and every member on this side understands the seriousness, the importance and the potentially devastating impact of that insidious legislation in the United States known as the U.S. farm bill. We take it extremely seriously. We are more than willing to meet with every Canadian to discuss how we can work together to fight that conduct in the United States and defend Canadian trade interests, including grain.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, last May 8 the vast majority of the House supported the Progressive Conservative motion calling upon the government to immediately ensure national drinking water standards are enshrined in the safe water act. We clearly said that if we did not see action by the fall we could only call it a breach of parliament, if not a breach of the Canadian will. It is now one year later.

Could the Minister of Health name one concrete action taken on drinking water standards and when will she table a bill for national enforceable drinking water standards to protect the health of all Canadians?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the most concrete thing we are doing is working with our provincial and territorial colleagues on the development of new national guidelines which the provinces and territories can then enforce.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister understands clearly that the protection of health and safety of Canadians is in the constitutional purview of the federal government. Her predecessor, the former minister of health, clearly supported the motion. Her colleague, Liberal senator Jerry Grafstein, has said that it is in the constitutional purview of the federal government to develop national drinking water standards.

If the minister was against the motion of May 8 last year, why did she vote for it?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are not opposed to the motion. As I have already indicated, we are discharging our constitutional responsibility and, I think more important, our practical responsibility in terms of working with the provinces and the territories. We are developing new national guidelines and those guidelines will then be enforced, and enforced strictly in many cases, by the provinces and territories.

Leadership CampaignsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the industry minister needs to come clean on the mixing of partisan activity with his departmental work. He needs to account for his mysterious personal staffer, Mr. Satpreet Thiara. The member of the minister's staff appears to have no other function than simply wandering the country on behalf of the minister's secret leadership campaign.

Could the Minister of Industry tell Canadians today what specific work Mr. Thiara does for the Department of Industry?

Leadership CampaignsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, a request for information was made and responded to. All relevant information has been produced.

Leadership CampaignsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the information has not been produced. The minister said yesterday that he takes seriously his responsibility to account for public funds but the fact is that in the past two days he has failed to do so. We are asking a simple, direct question about a member of the minister's personal staff. The minister should be able to answer it very easily. It appears that the minister is using public funds to subsidize his secret leadership campaign.

Why will the minister not simply explain to Canadians what his staffer, Mr. Thiara, does at public expense?

Leadership CampaignsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, a request for information was submitted. It was responded to and all the relevant information has been produced.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, for two days, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has been playing the great defender of refugees.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Yesterday he informed us that the automatic right of appeal set out in the act will be suspended for a year.

Does the minister recognize that the automatic right of appeal was designed to counteract the decrease in the number of members and that in the end, as a result of this new one year delay, refugees were treated better under the old law?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, no one is playing on this side of the House.

I think it is important to point out that we have always worked to ensure that we have fulfilled our obligations. I believe it is important to go about the process of setting up the new law with a great deal of honesty. If we want things to work properly, there needs to be a solid footing.

Due to a lack of resources caused by the fact that our system, which is designed to take in 25,000 refugees, received 45,000 applications last year, the proper course of action was to make the right decisions to ensure that the system works.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is using the implementation as an excuse to suspend the automatic right of appeal. What he is not saying is that the UN High Commission for Refugees did not raise any objections at the time. He considered that the appeal division would reduce the negative impact of the legislation.

Does the minister recognize that his decision to apply only half of the act reduces refugees' chances of being treated fairly?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, our country's legal obligation is to ensure that refugees are heard and that there is a process that allows a person to be judged on merit.

Currently, there is no right of appeal. However a person can go to the federal court and seek permission to appeal. If there is a removal order, there is another process that allows the case to be heard.

Ultimately, I want to ensure that the refugee system works. We will go about this properly, fulfilling all of the requirements involved.

Leadership CampaignsOral Question Period

May 2nd, 2002 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, sadly, the promotion of partisan activity at taxpayer expense was not restricted to the industry minister, the finance minister or the heritage minister. Taxpayers were left on the hook yesterday when the minister of fisheries was caught poaching a DFO surveillance plane to attend a Liberal campaign rally.

Could the Prime Minister explain why his minister is trolling for votes at taxpayer expense?

Leadership CampaignsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have to inform the House that there are very strict guidelines on the use of not only government aircraft but also on the expenses of ministers. Every minister on this side conducts himself or herself in the utmost scrupulous fashion. I would challenge the hon. member to show the contrary.