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House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the objective of our government is precisely that: to obtain resolution, but a lasting resolution. We are very much aware that winning our case before the courts is extremely advantageous to us, which is why we are before the courts. This strengthens our negotiating position with the United States.

However, what we have obtained with the interpretation bulletins to be released shortly by the American Department of Commerce is precisely to have an advance indication of which forestry practices are problematic to them, so that we can see the problem coming and not suddenly meet it head on, as we do every time.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the federal government has been very passive in the face of the problems being experienced by the softwood lumber workers and the industry itself.

What justification can there be for its neglecting to put in place a true support program for the softwood lumber program, which would have had the effect of making things easier as we await the WTO and NAFTA decisions, instead of having to live through the present disaster?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is wrong when he says we have been passive. In fact we have not been passive. The leader of the Bloc says we have not done anything. There is $356 million, a comprehensive plan to deal with finding new markets, to doing research and development, to do community adjustment, to make sure we help in terms of employment training. That is what we have been doing, and we will continue to monitor the situation. The hon. member is wrong when he says we have been passive. We have been active. We have been out there supporting workers and supporting the industry.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

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

While the Liberals have no problem helping inns in Shawinigan, a truck plant in Chatham is set to close and move to Mexico. Thousands of jobs are at stake. The union and the company have reached an agreement to save these jobs, but they need the minister to wake up and take action.

What specifics can he offer to this community today to save these jobs, or should we just add Navistar to the long list of the minister's failures? What action will he take and will he make a commitment to those workers to save these jobs?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we know about this situation, not by any efforts of the NDP, but because the member for Chatham--Kent Essex has been working on it for the last two years. It is because of his hard work that progress is being made.

As always, the Government of Canada stands by ready to make a constructive contribution. We are all making an effort to keep jobs in Canada, and more particularly in Chatham. I might add that this is a process to which the NDP has made no constructive contributions.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, bringing the member for Chatham--Kent Essex to the front row for one day is not good enough. What we need is action. There are two months to go to take action. Within the last year we have seen the company and the union come together after a traumatic strike.

What we want to know is whether the minister will get off his ass and do something this time?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I could not hear. The hon. Minister of Industry.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, apparently it is the policy of the NDP to use volume and rudeness to try to get somewhere with a complex situation. Neither of those tactics will help.

What will help is the kind of devotion and attention that the member for Chatham--Kent Essex has put into this issue over the last two years. We are working with him and the community as we always do. We will continue to work to produce positive results and not just noise and rudeness.

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

In a letter dated March 26, 2001, the Prime Minister's trustee, Deborah Weinstein, said the Prime Minister's private company received $40,000 in 1997 as partial payment for his golf club shares. An RCMP investigator examined the books and records of the Prime Minister's private company, J&AC Consultants. The investigator testified that he saw no record of that payment. He testified that “there was no outside revenue to the company”.

Where did the $40,000 go? If it was paid to the Prime Minister's private company, why is it not on its books?

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would have thought for someone as close to retirement as this member is that he would have saved his fishing for some other day.

All the facts of this case have been talked about and have been exposed. These issues have been looked into time and again. There is nothing new raised here. I urge the member to look at the record. The record is clear. The Prime Minister's conduct has been cleared. Responses have been furnished every time questions have been asked.

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP search warrant application for leaked documents included a sworn affidavit by Corporal Roland Gallant that BDC manager France Bergeron said the loan application went through normal stages. The RCMP affidavit did not add Ms. Bergeron's statement that without the Prime Minister's intervention, the loan would never have been approved.

Can the Solicitor General advise whether someone in the RCMP more senior to Corporal Gallant signed off on the search warrant application? How does he explain that highly relevant testimony was omitted from an official RCMP statement to the court?

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the member continues to fish.

The member will recall that in a letter addressed to him in November 2000 the ethics counsellor dealt with the Prime Minister's intervention and made it clear that the Prime Minister's conduct did not violate any rule that pertained. The member is raising issues that have been looked into long since. Facts and questions have been examined in the past. I urge him to consult the record for the answers he seeks.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the east coast fishery is only the latest example of how the government's arrogance and indifferent mismanagement has driven provincial governments to demand greater control over their resources. Last week the intergovernmental affairs minister flippantly dismissed Newfoundland and Labrador's concerns with a hurtful and sarcastic comment.

Will the Prime Minister agree to open negotiations with first ministers on joint management of programs that directly affect their resources?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is always difficult for the government to have to cut the quota of fishermen because we know they are making their living out of that industry. We have to do that to protect the future of the fisheries. Nobody likes to do that sort of thing, but I think that the federal jurisdiction is well established in the Constitution.

In the past there was some discussion about changing the Constitution on these matters. There was no agreement among the maritime provinces. Members will know that fish swim from one province to another and it would be very difficult to cut the fish in half.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is not just about the fishery. This is about the government failing Canadians at every turn, on issues such as Kyoto, softwood, wheat duties, west coast and east coast offshore drilling, and now the coastal fishery.

In response to the concerns of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Prime Minister said it was not really an issue for him because he would be gone in a few months. Why is it that the government's shameful response to provincial concerns is to stall, dismiss or ignore them?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said that I did not want to start a constitutional debate in Canada. I had my load of constitutional debate when I became Prime Minister and I decided that there were other things to debate other than constitutional changes. That is why we have not talked a lot about the Constitution for the past 10 years, but we have talked about the economy, balanced budgets, and job creation. And that is why Canada today is the leader of the western world in terms of economic performance.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

May 12th, 2003 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has done nothing about the softwood lumber issue; it has yet to implement the second phase of its aid package for the industry, which it had promised.

Will the Minister for International Trade admit that one need not be an expert in strategy to understand that the American strategy is to wage a war of attrition on the Canadian industry and that, in that sense, the government's failure to introduce support measures is putting the industry in a precarious situation and making the last moments of the fight unbearably difficult?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is well known that we have worked closely with the associations to which we have provided financial assistance.

We have been extremely vigilant, acting through the Department of Human Resources Development and the Department of Natural Resources. To say that we have done nothing is just plain wrong. And to suggest that we are weakening the industry when, for the first time in 25 years, a government stands up to the Americans, gets them to negotiate and hold real discussions on Canada's forestry plans and does not operate on preconceived ideas because we are working on crown land, where subsidies were—

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Roberval.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the federal government deny that by failing to implement the second phase of the aid package which it itself announced, it has put the industry at a disadvantage?

It has abandoned the industry in this fight against the Americans, and we will probably pay the price for that now. How can it play so poorly, with all the trumps in its hand?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of this difficult situation with softwood lumber, I have had the support of the Quebec government, even at the time when it was run by the head office, the party that is now in opposition. Quebec has stood firmly behind the strategy we had discussed.

I realize that in the Bloc Quebecois, members may be feeling freer now that they do not have to answer to their head office in Quebec City, but I can tell members this: in solidarity, we are sticking to the line adopted by the industry and the provinces two and a half years ago, because it works.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, we now know why Ambassador Raymond Chrétien sent his memo on the Sea King replacement project to the Prime Minister's Office and not to officials in charge of the program. The Prime Minister had a stranglehold on the process so he could dictate the choice of helicopter.

The Minister of National Defence claimed the statement of requirements had not changed since 1999. Was he saying this because he knew that the PMO wrote those requirements over the objections of the military, or has the Prime Minister simply used him as the front man?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said a number of times in the House, the statement of requirements had not changed one iota since 1999. I have said in the House before that the statement of requirements had the full approval of the military leadership. I have received assurances on both of these points in the past from the chief of defence staff.

In anticipating a question such as this, I reconfirmed that with him today. The chief of defence staff confirmed that the statement of requirements had the full support of the military leadership and that it had not changed one bit since that time.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is not what military officers are saying. They are saying that those who work for the maritime helicopter project are admitting that it is the PMO that asked them for a Sea King replacement. The PMO told them what to ask for in a Sea King replacement project. That is quite different from what the minister just told us.

Will the minister admit that the requirements for the maritime helicopter are not what the military asked for, will not lead to the best choice, and will he apologize for his misleading statements?