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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a man with symptoms of SARS arrived at Pearson International Airport on a flight from Las Vegas. No health care officials could be found, so the man was allowed to leave the airport and told to see a doctor.

Is the government now prepared to invoke the Quarantine Act to ensure that passengers with symptoms of SARS can be isolated?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, we have Health Canada officials, physicians, nurses and quarantine officers at Pearson and Vancouver airports. At this point we do not intend to invoke the Quarantine Act.

However if we have reasonable grounds to suspect that a passenger may be infected with SARS and that person does not submit to voluntary isolation, then under the Quarantine Act we do have the power to compulsorily quarantine that person for a period of time. If we need to use that power we will.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is only the health minister who actually has the power to invoke the Quarantine Act. She did it with bamboo imports in 2000. Why is SARS not more important than that?

The number of SARS cases continue to increase in places like Hong Kong, China and Singapore. Yesterday the World Health Organization declared SARS “the most significant outbreak that has been spread through air travel in history”.

Do we have a commitment from countries with SARS that air passengers travelling to Canada are being screened before they enter the planes?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are working through the WHO and through our own contacts to ensure that other countries, other airports, such as those in Hong Kong and in Beijing, have standards in place that are similar to or equivalent to those that we have in place.

However we have quarantine officers and other Health Canada officials on the ground at airports, such as Vancouver, Pearson and Dorval, meeting planes from Singapore, Beijing and Hong Kong. In fact, passengers are being screened. They are being informed about the symptoms of the disease and we--

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lotbinière—L'Érable.

BilingualismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, Treasury Board keeps giving more time to allow senior public officials to become bilingual. Yesterday, the President of the Treasury Board said that she wanted to protect the right of public servants to work in the official language of their choice.

Will the President of the Treasury Board admit that the right which is involved here is not only the right of a public servant to use the language of his choice, but also the right of a person to get services in his language from the public service?

BilingualismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, there are two responsibilities here. We must provide services in the language chosen by the public in the regions that are designated as bilingual, but we must also allow public servants to work in their language in the workplace. There are the two responsibilities. Senior public officials must achieve a high degree of bilingualism to be truly able to fulfill both obligations.

Today, I announced that remarkable progress has been made over the past two years. Unfortunately, there are some people who did not achieve the required level of proficiency and they can no longer occupy the positions that they have occupied until now.

BilingualismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that after giving chance after chance to senior public officials, more than 200 of them are still not able, after years of getting extensions, to serve people in the language of their choice.

Will the President of the Treasury Board admit that each time she grants another extension to public servants, she is postponing the right of francophones to get services in their own language?

BilingualismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, will the Bloc Quebecois recognize that there is no extension? I said it once, twice, three times, and I am saying it again to the Bloc Quebecois: there is no extension. As of today, those who do not meet the requirements can no longer remain in their positions.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, in February, Ernst Zundel was admitted to Canada even though the immigration minister had advance warning. Unbelievably, the minister also allowed Zundel to make a refugee claim to avoid charges in Germany of spreading hatred.

Zundel has already been found by CSIS to be a security threat to Canada. The minister can refuse Zundel's claim. He said “Just watch me”. That was weeks ago.

Is the government so weak that it cannot even get rid of an identified security threat?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I always have a problem when I see that members opposite do not respect the rule of law. We have a process and we must comply with it. To my knowledge, the individual in question is being detained. This must mean something.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I remind the minister that CSIS reports Zundel could influence his followers to commit acts of serious violence in Canada. The minister has both the responsibility and authority to protect us from such security threats. He can put a stop to Zundel's refugee claim.

Canadians are watching the minister. Why is he still playing Zundel's game?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I believe the ones playing Mr. Zundel's game are the opposition members who are trying to give him publicity.

I want to make sure that everybody understands that first of all we respect the process. That individual has been detained and I believe the reason he has been detained is that we are doing our job. Let the process work, please.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have just been informed that Air Canada has in fact filed for protection under CCAA.

Could the Minister of Transport please advise the House with further details?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Subsequent to my earlier answer, I was informed of Air Canada receiving permission from the Supreme Court of Ontario providing creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. The company is also making a concurrent petition under section 304 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.

Air Canada has been able to secure 100% debtor and possession financing from General Electric Capital Canada. Not a penny of taxpayer money is involved.

AgricultureOral Question Period

April 1st, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, Peak of the Market, a successful Manitoba export business, is feeling the impact of the Liberal government's anti-American actions and statements.

This farmer owned company has had orders from longstanding U.S. customers cancelled. Manitoba farmers and vegetable growers are among the first to feel the economic backlash.

What steps has the agriculture minister taken to improve relations with his U.S. counterpart?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade, the Deputy Prime Minister, myself and our officials are in constant contact with officials and the industry in the United States.

If the hon. member has a specific issue, a specific case, that he would like us to look into I would ask him to give that to me because to date he has not brought that to my attention other than just now. If he would, I would be pleased to look into it.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the minister to phone Mr. Larry MacIntosh in Winnipeg. I am sure he knows who he is and he will hear the same story.

Canadian farmers rely very heavily on trade with the United States and the Prime Minister and deputy minister are making a terrible mess of our trade situation with the U.S.

I would like to know how large a negative economic impact the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Deputy Prime Minister are willing to accept before they speak up about the need to improve relations with our best trading partner and friends.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure whether that is a promotion or a demotion, but let me say that we have very good relations with the United States, as the ambassador himself said last week.

However I do not think that Canada can stand by and say that we should not take a principled position on matters of war and peace because we are afraid of some or other trade action being taken by our partners.

Surely to goodness, the notion of national sovereignty includes the fact that we make political decisions, especially of such importance as when we put our soldiers at risk, on the basis of principles that are bigger than whether or not we can make a buck out of having better relations.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Court of Appeal of Quebec rendered a unanimous opinion concluding that certain provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, formerly the Young Offenders Act, are contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Now that the court of appeal has confirmed what we have been saying for years, does the Minister of Justice intend to suspend the operation of this act which contravenes the charter?

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this legislation, which has wide support in this House and among the Canadian public, has come into force today.

Yes, we have received the judgment of the appeal court. We are particularly pleased to see that the constitutionality of the act was upheld, which means that this act is indeed within the jurisdiction of the Government of Canada.

There are a few elements that are more closely linked to the charter, and we will take the time to analyze the entire judgment and come back later with an official position on these two aspects.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jacques Saada Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the chair of the Standing Committee of Procedure and House Affairs.

This committee was charged with writing a new code governing conflicts of interest for members. As there has not been a conflict of interest case involving a member since 1993, this code will be mainly preventive and must reflect the opinions of members as a whole.

Numerous consultations have already been held. What will the next step be?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the committee has already circulated a draft report seeking comment from all members. It will hold a second open round table tomorrow at noon. Members who wish to comment on the conflict of interest code are urged to attend tomorrow's meeting or submit written submissions by the end of this week.

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

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

The government's recently unveiled action plan for the gun control program is already failing. In fact, moving the program to the Solicitor General, which was supposed to be a major shift and which was supposed to happen today, has been put off indefinitely.

Instead of getting bogged down in this all but vaudevillian improvisation, what is the minister waiting for to suspend the gun control program in order to get to the bottom of this waste of public money?

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is a somewhat surprising statement from the member, because she knows quite well that the gun control program has a great deal of support among Canadians.

Second, this is a program that is already providing benefits in terms of public security. This is something that goes to the core of Canadian values.

Since the Auditor General's report, we have drawn up an action plan. It is a good action plan to ensure that we move forward with the program. That is exactly what we will do, specifically by proceeding with—