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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was municipalities.

Topics

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok Québec

Liberal

Georges Farrah LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I cannot presume to know what the minister's decision will be, but we realize the urgency of the situation.

As I indicated in my first answer, I agree that a very transparent process was put in place last year. The fishers alluded to this, I think.

As a result, there is no problem with regard to the process, and I can confirm that a decision will be made in the very near future.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago in response to a question in the House, the minister of industry referred to infrastructure investments as they related to the highway in Banff National Park.

I wonder if the minister could update us on the progress in this regard.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for the question. I also want to thank the transport, health and heritage ministers for their assistance in this matter.

Banff National Park is obviously a treasure. It is a great source of tourist activity. It is a wonderful place to visit. We will twin the Trans-Canada Highway through the province. I am sure the House welcomes that news.

It is important because the infrastructure fund is there. The infrastructure fund that the federal government commits is there to do national projects like this one. We will commit additional money as required. Details will be announced as we confer with officials. This is good news for Canada.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

Since May 12, 2003 the Prime Minister and the government have been chastised about their shabby treatment of our 23,000 veterans' widows by not including them in the VIP program. The Prime Minister has been shamed into taking over this file and it is now reported that he will fix this injustice. Well, it is about time.

Has the Prime Minister told the Minister of Finance when these war heroes should get their cheques and if so, what is the date and will he do it before the House rises in November?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, I think we have to remind the hon. member that Canada can take pride that we have taken care of our veterans. Last weekend I met with over 300 Korean war veterans.

I must say in all modesty that they approached me to say, “Thank you, Minister. The Government of Canada is taking care of us”.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, that is what I would expect, that Mr. Manley would not answer the question.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint John may have had trouble hearing the answer, given all the noise coming from that end of the Chamber. I was having difficulty. But she knows she cannot refer to other hon. members by name and she would not want to breach the rules in that respect. She is the hon. member for Saint John and she has the floor and we will go by that kind of nomenclature please.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, our military is so strapped for cash that it had to buy used submarines. Then its helicopter replacement program requires that we buy the lowest priced compliant bid. Now we learn that the government is looking for used air frames for our aging Hercules.

When will the government stop short changing our military men and women and when will it make an honest and stable--

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question. I know she is a strong supporter of the Canadian Forces. I thank her also for her remarks earlier today regarding the tragic death of two of our soldiers in Afghanistan.

With regard to her buffet of questions, I might simply mention that I am seized of the Hercules issue. We are moving very quickly to make substantial progress in this area. As a result of meetings I have had with my officials, we have increased the serviceability rate by 50%, so substantial progress is being made.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry will be aware that within the cattle industry there is growing belief that the $460 million in federal and provincial moneys in compensation for the mad cow crisis was inequitably distributed.

There is a widespread feeling that packing plants indirectly benefited most by ensuring prices remained artificially low, thus guaranteeing that maximum federal and provincial dollars were spent.

Will the minister responsible for the Competition Bureau ask the bureau to investigate whether there was indeed collusion and price fixing within the meat packing industry this summer?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this is the first I am hearing of it, but if the member will share with me some details of his question, I will be happy to look at it and speak with him about it.

HealthOral Question Period

October 2nd, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, more than two years ago, the Minister of Health received a mandate to take action on fetal alcohol syndrome warning labels.

I have received petitions with thousands of names. The Canadian public and the government committee support this initiative. The medical association of the minister's own province of Alberta, is disappointed with her inaction.

When will the minister implement this simple measure in order to save lives?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, first of all let me acknowledge the hon. member's longstanding commitment to the fight against FAS and FAE. Our government has in place a national strategy in relation to the fight against this completely preventable disability.

We are working with our provincial and territorial counterparts. We are reviewing the research. Some recent research would indicate that perhaps mandatory labelling on alcohol is not the most effective way to reach those threatened populations.

I think it is incumbent upon all of us to work together to ensure that we find the most effective ways to reach those--

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, date rape drugs are a real and dangerous threat to women in Canada. Colourless, odourless and tasteless, these drugs are slipped into drinks to render women unconscious so they can be sexually assaulted and raped.

There are three easy things that the government can do to fight date rape drugs: one, reclassify them as a weapon in the Criminal Code; two, launch a national campaign to educate women on the dangers of date rape drugs; and three, streamline the collection of data on sexual assaults and rapes so that these prosecutions can go forward and be successful.

Will the minister do any of these three things to protect women?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his efforts in that area. It is a serious question that he is raising.

We just had an FPT meeting which took place in Quebec. We have been talking about a number of offences.

As the member knows very well, every year we are moving forward with an omnibus bill in terms of the Criminal Code, amending that legislation. We will sincerely have a close look at those recommendations.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the minister will have a close look at this, but the government can take these easy steps today.

The cowards who use date rape drugs need to be told through the law, with stern punishment, that this is not an acceptable way to behave in our society.

While the government is looking at the Criminal Code, and I appreciate that, there is one simple thing that the justice minister can commit to today. That is to work with provincial governments to educate women on the dangers of date rape drugs while he is looking at the law on the other side.

Will the minister, with the provinces, commit today to educate women about the predators and cowards who are out there and to educate women on the dangers of date rape drugs?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows very well, there are already charges that can be used within the Criminal Code in order to challenge and to charge those people.

With regard to better education through the national crime prevention program in cooperation with the provinces and territories we can have a look at that in order to proceed with an education program. We will have a look at that. I thank the hon. member for his concern.

Hiv-AidsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, we fully agree with the decision to allow the poorest countries, notably those in Africa, to have access to patented drugs for their fight against AIDS. Pharmaceutical research companies have also promised to do their part.

That said, can the Minister of Industry guarantee that this offer to the poor countries will be carried out in accordance with the Patent Act, which protects intellectual property?

Hiv-AidsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the answer is yes. We are currently working with all the stakeholders in order to comply with the Patent Act, while at the same time making it easier for these countries to access the drugs that they need.

Hiv-AidsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, can we get a formal commitment from the Minister of Industry that he will not jeopardize the provisions of the Patent Act, which protects intellectual property?

Hiv-AidsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we intend to fully respect the Patent Act. I have here a press release sent yesterday by an association of patent drug companies expressing its enthusiasm for this initiative.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Canadian Alliance Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the former finance minister indicated in the past that once the deficit was eliminated, the 1.5¢ per litre deficit reduction tax would be removed. The current Minister of Finance has discounted this possibility.

Given the government's support for today's supply motion, it has become clear that the new Liberal leader is now in control.

When will the 1.5¢ deficit reduction tax be eliminated?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I know the member would want to be entirely accurate in what he said. If he would look at the 1995 budget, he would see that there was no commitment to eliminate the 1.5¢ per litre tax when the deficit was eliminated.

If he wanted to be fair, I think he would also acknowledge that in the 2000 budget the government brought in the most extensive set of tax reductions in the history of Canada, amounting to $100 billion over five years. That is the reward for eliminating the deficit.