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House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sars.

Topics

HealthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, today is the fifth anniversary of the day the Liberal Party of Canada said no to all victims of tainted blood by hepatitis C.

On April 28, 1998, we put a motion before Parliament that all victims of tainted blood receive help. Only Liberals voted this down.

The former health minister said that there were 22,000 victims between 1986 and 1990, and 40,000 outside this narrow legal window. The truth is that there were just over 4,000 between 1986 and 1990 and less than 5,000 outside. We were also told that no test was available prior to 1986 to detect hepatitis C. That was wrong.

Joey Haché said, “There is no difference between someone infected December 31, 1985 and January 1, 1986. People were infected the same and should be treated the same”. He is right.

ArmeniaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 88th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

The past year has seen important developments in efforts to have official recognition of the Armenian genocide. On June 13, Senator Shirley Maheu successfully moved a motion in the Senate of Canada, seconded by Senator Setlakwe, calling on the Government of Canada to recognize and commemorate the Armenian genocide.

On October 29, 2002, the National Gallery was the site of the Ottawa premiere of world renowned Canadian film director Atom Egoyan's film Ararat . The Minister of Canadian Heritage joined with Telefilm Canada in welcoming the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, members of Parliament and the diplomatic corps to a special screening of the film dealing with the Armenian genocide.

On November 27, 2002, I successfully introduced a motion in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade calling on the House of Commons to recognize the Armenian genocide.

Each year as we commemorate this sad anniversary, I am hopeful that the lessons of the past will be recognized and serve to help us avoid making these mistakes in the future.

HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the SARS epidemic continues to be a very serious situation that requires a great deal of our attention. While prudence is called for, we must not give in to panic, but concentrate instead on appropriate measures to ensure and safeguard public health.

This tragedy that has already claimed many victims around the world must be controlled as soon as possible in order to contain the risk of SARS spreading.

The Toronto area has unfortunately been hit very hard by this epidemic. The Bloc Quebecois sympathizes with all those who have been affected, directly or indirectly, by SARS.

We are convinced that it remains imperative to take all necessary action, and the government can count on our full cooperation to that end.

National Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is the National Day of Mourning to remember those individuals who die in workplace accidents.

Almost 800 employees have died from accidents at work since last year's day of mourning, but this is just part of the story of workplace safety, as another 800,000 Canadians were injured at their place of employment. It is calculated that 16 million days of work are lost each year to workplace accidents, which costs the Canadian economy more than $9 billion.

Those are the statistics, but they tell only part of the story. Statistics cannot tell of the loving spouse who has lost his or her partner, or grieving parents who will never see their child again, or young children who have to be told that mommy or daddy will not be coming home again.

It is these personal tragedies that are the real legacy of occupational deaths. It is why today is the National Day of Mourning and why business, labour, government and individual workers must do everything possible to make the workplace a safer place.

Riding of Pontiac—Gatineau—LabelleStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be speaking here today, after being absent for several weeks because of health problems.

First, I would like to thank everyone who was cheering for me during my convalescence. Their good wishes and their words of encouragement were of considerable support to me and contributed enormously to my return to health.

I can assure them that I am in good health and ready to shoulder my responsibilities as a member of Parliament, and in particular, ready to represent and serve the people of Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle for several more terms.

I want to assure my constituents of Pontiac--Gatineau--Labelle that their MP is back on the job, leaner and meaner, and that he is in it for the long run. It is with great pride that I will continue to represent and serve the people of my riding for many more elections.

National Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

The National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job, which has its origins in a private member's bill of the former NDP MP for Churchill, Rod Murphy, is an occasion for all Canadians to mourn the tragic deaths and injuries that result from occupational accidents and work related illnesses.

At this time we especially remember health care workers who have lost their lives or have been put at risk during the SARS outbreak, and emergency workers like the firefighters, who are in Ottawa this week, who put their lives on the line on a daily basis.

Many occupational deaths and injuries would be prevented if we had proper workplace safety standards in place and the will to enforce such standards. We are still waiting, more than a decade after the Westray mine disaster, for legislation to hold corporations criminally accountable for behaviour that leads to the death of their employees. The time is long overdue to honour the memory of the 26 miners with legislative action.

The NDP calls on the government to act soon so that by April 28, 2004, we will no longer have to lament the absence of such legislation and will be in a position to claim that we have done our parliamentary duty to both the dead and the living.

National Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, April 28 is the day we honour workers who have been injured or disabled as a result of a workplace accident, those with a work-related illness, and the memory of those who have died on the job.

Let us take a few moments to say to all these people and their families just how much we sympathize with their suffering and let them know that we stand with them in their pain and in the midst of the problems resulting from their work-related accident or illness.

The Bloc Quebecois reminds the federal government of the importance of improving preventive measures in order to adequately protect workplace health and safety. Workers can rely on the Bloc Quebecois to make their voices heard.

Workplace SafetyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Monday marks the beginning of the work week for many Canadians. However, today is unique because it marks the 12th annual National Day of Mourning.

I rise today, as do others, to highlight this distinctive occasion to commemorate those who have been killed or injured in the workplace. Every working day in Canada, at least four people die from work related accidents or illnesses. Close to 375,000 people were injured seriously enough to prevent them from reporting to work. It is estimated that the total number of work related injuries and illnesses occurring each year in Canada is close to 900,000.

Workplace deaths are increasing and this day serves as an important reminder of the work that remains to be done: We must prevent these accidents from happening and we must strive to prevent injuries.

I ask all hon. members to take the time to remember the workers who have lost their lives or who have been injured on the job. We honour them by putting forth our best efforts to foster safer and healthier workplaces through continued education, awareness and co-operation. Let us prevent these needless tragedies.

Cod FisheryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Newfoundland's minister for ACOA have announced the closure of the cod fishery on the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, and that closure will affect 700 plant workers and 2,000 fishermen.

Knowing full well the impact that this announcement would have on these fishermen and their families, the ministers went before the microphones with no long term plan for the future employment of these people or the survival of their communities. Newfoundland's minister announced a measly $23 million to be used, in the minister's words, for make work projects.

I want to tell the minister for Newfoundland that these people do not want make work projects. They want an economic development plan geared to providing a future for themselves and their families. Newfoundland and Labrador has lost 70,000 people since the last moratorium. Let me ask the minister: Where is the plan to stop this out-migration from happening again?

Or does the minister care?

Cod FisheryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I invite members to rise and observe one minute of silence to mark the National Day of Mourning and honour the memory of workers killed or injured on the job.

[Editor's Note: The House stood in silence]

HealthOral Question Period

April 28th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the WHO has placed Toronto under a global travel advisory to prevent the spread of SARS. The health minister claims that this advisory is not warranted, that it is based on inaccurate and outdated information.

Could the health minister explain how it can be based on inaccurate and outdated information and how she did not know about the advisory when she claims to be in contact with WHO officials each day?

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

In fact, Mr. Speaker, my officials are in contact with the WHO on a regular basis and at no time did WHO officials give notification to my public health officials, my office or the deputy's office that they were contemplating a travel advisory in relation to the city of Toronto.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that does not quite ring true, but I would remind the government that it was over a month ago that the World Health Organization called for exit screening at Canadian airports. Our party has been calling for that for over a month. It was not done. SARS was exported from Canada. We got the global travel ban on Toronto and costs now that are going to run into the billions of dollars for the Toronto and Canadian economies. Does the minister now justify her decision not to implement this screening?

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we do in fact have screening measures for both outbound and inbound passengers at Pearson and Vancouver airports.

Let me in fact read that which Dr. David Heymann said in relation to what we were doing:

Canada is doing an exemplary activity and much of what has been going on in Canada, including the system of notifying airline passengers and of screening airline passengers, has been shared with other countries as an example of best practices.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, only with this government could we have this black mark on Toronto that is going to cost us billions, and it claims everything is just great, only with this government. What a lack of leadership. We have the Prime Minister on holiday, we have the former finance minister in his perpetual bubble, and we have the health minister hiding from reporters in Calgary and ignoring the recommendations on airport screening.

To help assure Canadians that the government has learned something, will the government at least admit some responsibility for fumbling the SARS football?

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

In fact, Mr. Speaker, what I would like to say is that unlike the opposition, my department, this government, and my officials have been working with the Government of Ontario and public health officials on the front lines in Ontario. That is why in fact today we can proudly say that this outbreak is controlled and contained and that is why Toronto is an example to the rest of the world.

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, before Parliament recessed, we asked the government what it had planned as a comprehensive package for the rebuilding effort in Iraq. The Prime Minister told us then that he had not received a call for help. Now that the allies have called, it appears the Liberals have put them on hold.

When it comes to Iraq, why is the government so reluctant to stand with our allies in any meaningful way?

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we received some communications from the American administration about a week ago on that. We are looking at the possibility of helping in the reconstruction of Iraq and using the people and equipment that could be useful. When the cabinet has decided on that, we will make a report to the Canadian public.

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

As I said, they have been put on hold, Mr. Speaker.

This weekend the Toronto Star seemed to confirm what many have believed all along: that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were in fact partners in crime. Imagine the horror that these two thugs could have wrought had Saddam not been stopped. Saddam had the weapons and bin Laden had the terrorists to deliver them.

In light of this evidence, does the government now regret its decision not to join our allies in the liberation of Iraq? And why will it not redouble its efforts aggressively and openly now in the rebuilding of Iraq with our allies?

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we made a decision, based on a long-standing policy of all Canadian governments over a long period of time, that these activities should be done under the authority of the United Nations and the Security Council.

In terms of fighting terrorism, we have 1,700 people in the gulf, and ships and planes at this time, and we are preparing to send a lot of Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan.

As I said a few minutes ago in reply to the first question of the hon. member, we are about to do something to help the reconstruction of Iraq.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the new Premier of Quebec reaffirmed the consensus of the National Assembly and declared that his government would make fiscal imbalance a priority.

Since Jean Charest has promised to attack fiscal imbalance in the weeks following his election, can the Prime Minister tell us whether the federal government, which denies the problem even exists, is prepared to cooperate with the Government of Quebec in settling all of the issues surrounding fiscal imbalance for once and for all?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the members on this side of the House, I would like to extend my most sincere congratulations to the new Premier of Quebec.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Liberal Saint-Maurice, QC

I am sure we shall be able to have a constructive dialogue with him. We will not always agree, but he will never use separation as a threat.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Séguin report describes fiscal imbalance as evidence of the dysfunction of Canadian federation: the money is in Ottawa but the need is in Quebec and the provinces. Jean Charest said the following during his campaign, “Solving the fiscal imbalance will mean ensuring the long term funding of health and education”.

Instead of denying the existence of the fiscal imbalance, can the federal government at least commit to sitting down with Quebec and the provinces to address the matter in the very near future, and to meeting with Premier Charest?