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House of Commons Hansard #152 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-19.

Topics

International AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance supports Bill C-56 which attempts to facilitate the delivery of drugs to help developing countries deal with public health emergencies, such as the HIV-AIDS crisis in Africa.

We would have liked to have this legislation in September when it was first announced by the Minister of Industry rather than on the day before the House closes.

Why has the Minister of Industry waited so long to introduce this legislation?

International AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I was very proud today to table in the House, in the name of the Prime Minister, legislation which will lead the developed world in dealing with the urgent health needs of least developed countries.

What Canada has done today is global leadership for the health interests of the developing world.

We too are anxious to see this bill become law and to see the regulations enacted so that those drugs can be provided where they are most needed.

We should do everything we possibly can, respecting all the interests involved, to get this done and get it done right.

International AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is a good initiative, but the Canadian Alliance publicly expressed our support over a month ago to the government in writing. This is a crisis situation that requires action on our part.

Will the government commit to passing this legislation immediately, so that Canada can take the lead in helping developing nations deal with their public health emergencies?

International AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his support for the bill. His House leader contacted me earlier today. We are presently negotiating time with everyone concerned with the possibility of doing just that.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Liberal Haliburton—Victoria—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we approach Remembrance Day, there is one item that stands out. The treatment of the widows of veterans must be equal for all.

Can the Minister of Veterans Affairs tell us today that this situation has been addressed?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the House a number of times, it was not for lack of heart nor lack of will.

Today, I am pleased to announce, thanks to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance and the government as a whole, that we will be able to reinstate VIP maintenance and ground services for qualified surviving spouses.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, why does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food always react and never lead?

The culled cattle problem was apparent soon after the border closure on May 20. Almost six months later, there is still no program. The minister says he has a plan, but he cannot tell us about it because the process is not complete.

Is that his code word for “Let's play the provinces again”? What is his excuse?

Why is he taking so long? Why does he not take a page out of the Minister of Veterans Affairs and announce the program in the House of Commons right now?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows very well that we have been working with the provinces and the cattle industry.

I know that he wants us to put in place a program that will meet the needs of everyone: the dairy industry, the beef industry, the concerns of the provinces, and the concerns of the whole beef economy.

That is exactly what we are doing. When that is completed, I would be pleased to announce the program.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, we know that cabinet has approved the money. We know from the minister's past programs that it can take months to get money into the producers' hands, or in some cases, the money never gets there.

Why can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food not fulfill just one of his promises, even if it is his last one, and send out the cheques now and tell us about the program?

Tell us how much money and tell us how you are going to get the money into the producers' hands, Mr. Minister.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Brandon—Souris knows he must address all his questions to the Chair. I have told him this before and I am sure he intended to do that.

The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, this hon. member has been very vocal in the past suggesting that we in the government work with the industry to make any programs as satisfactory to the industry as we possibly can.

Those discussions are still ongoing as recently as yesterday and today. When those discussions are completed with the industry, that is when we will make the announcement.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the same minister but on a different issue.

Last month the agriculture minister expressed concern about the commercialization of genetically modified wheat without a market impact analysis, even if the tests on Monsanto's product were deemed to be safe.

The minister knows that 82% of our current international wheat buyers have stated they will not purchase our wheat if Canada licences GM wheat.

Would the minister advise the House, and particularly grain farmers, what discussions have occurred with provinces and the industry to ensure that a full market impact analysis is completed before this product is deemed to be put on the market?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I said in the House a number of months ago that the consultation process would be ongoing with the provinces and with the industry. That is exactly what is happening.

The decisions will be based on safety and science. We also said, and I have said, that we need to look at another step in the process before a product is commercialized in order to recognize any concerns that may come forward because of this development and innovation.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago, U.S. Air Force Secretary James Roche declared that war in space had begun.

The U.S. acknowledges its ballistic missile defence system is an evolving project that will include weapons in space.

The government would rather stick its head in the sand and pretend that it is not the case.

When will the government see past the dollar signs, accept the truth about Bush's star wars, and reject any Canadian participation in weaponizing space?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of National Defence and I have often explained in this House, we are interested in protecting Canadians and ensuring the security of North America in partnership with the United States, with whom we have always acted in the interests of security of North America.

We will do that in discussions with the Americans in respect to missile defence, along with other discussions. However, in the course of those discussion, we make it plain that we have strong policy considerations. One of them is the non-weaponization of space. We have made that clear to our American friends and they understand that.

My hon. member's question is loaded with misapprehensions. Congress does not allow weaponization of space. Let us get on with discussions--

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary West.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Canadian Alliance Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, our 40 year old Sea Kings were grounded for six days and one just caught fire yesterday. Yet the $101 million Challengers will serve fresh red snapper, scallops and shrimp. While on the Challenger, the new Liberal leader will enjoy crab, steak and shellfish.

Why is spending on Liberal luxury for Challengers better than safe Sea King replacements?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the two simple words safety first are very deeply embedded in the psyche of the Canadian Forces. It was that reason, just to be absolutely certain of safety, that the Sea Kings were temporarily grounded, and they will continue to fly at this time in a limited capacity while the investigations continue.

The bottom line is that nothing in the Canadian Forces is done without putting safety first.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Canadian Alliance Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, tell that to Iltis drivers.

When the new Liberal leader was finance minister, he oversaw 10 lean years for our military. The air force flies less for want of fuel, the navy sits idle for lack of crew and the army has thinned.

Will the new Liberal leader's appetite for review of current spending result in starvation or decimation of our armed forces?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I was not in politics at the time, but as an economist I remember very well that at the time the government came in there was a $42 billion deficit. Therefore, it became necessary to reduce expenditures in virtually every area, including defence.

However more recent, thanks to the efforts of the government, the finances have improved in a radical fashion, and only this last year the defence department received $800 million in new base funding, the largest increase that has occurred in more than a decade.

AgricultureOral Question Period

November 6th, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Fédération des producteurs laitiers du Québec is concerned by the bankruptcy facing at least 15% of dairy farms in Quebec, not to mention all the others struggling through a catastrophic situation. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food keeps saying that there will be no preferential treatment for producers in Quebec.

Does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food not understand that, with half of all dairy producers in Canada concentrated in Quebec, there is a unique situation that necessitates financial help and an appropriate assistance plan?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we understand very clearly and have been informed by the dairy industry that about 95% or 96% of its gross income comes from the sale of milk and the other 4% to 5% of its income comes from the sale of cull cows.

The cull cow program is being worked on. Those in the dairy industry selling cull cows will be as eligible for that as those in the beef industry. Every dairy farmer and every beef farmer in every province in the country will be treated the same.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, after what he just said, the minister would greatly benefit from meeting with the federation again. I think he did not get the message. The percentages he just quoted are totally wrong.

Whether the minister likes it or not, half of the production is in Quebec. This is a problem specific to Quebec, which demands a specific solution, as Quebec's agriculture minister pointed out.

Will the minister, first, announce a plan to help Quebec's producers and, second, ask that Quebec administer its funding itself?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I will not repeat the answer that I just gave because the hon. member has heard it a number of times.

When we announce the details of a plan, it will be a national plan. The federal government will be contributing 60% of it. If provinces wish to put the other 40% with it or if provinces wish to do more than that to deal with the cull animals in their province, whether they be dairy animals or beef animals, they will be at liberty to do so.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, today at the United Nations Canada abstained from a crucial vote on human cloning. A resolution to delay a decision on human cloning for two years was passed by just one vote, 80 to 79. Yesterday the Minister of Health promised the House that Canada would support a comprehensive ban, a promise that was only good for one day.

Why would the minister say one thing and do another?