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House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was norad.

Topics

MuseumsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday we learned that the federal government found $90 million to invest in the Canada History Centre while, according to the president of the Canadian Museums Association, museums need more money to maintain their collections and infrastructures.

It is hard to imagine how the centre will present some of the major events in Canadian history, events that affected peoples and Quebec as a whole. Think about the forced patriation of the Constitution, or the deportation of the Acadians.

Creating this centre without consulting the museum community is all the more cause for concern given that museums are largely underfunded.

Is showcasing chapters of our history that some of us would sooner forget the legacy the Prime Minister intends to leave behind?

Softwood LumberStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade in his concessionary talks with the United States on softwood lumber is having devastating effects on forestry communities and their workers throughout this country.

We in the NDP agree with Brian Payne of the CEP Union who said that now is the time to involve labour and forest communities throughout the country in the new talks with America when it comes to softwood lumber.

We also, as representatives from Atlantic Canada, support the Maritime Lumber Bureau in maintaining the softwood lumber exemption that we have had since 1986. Laurie Ledwidge of Ledwidge Lumber in Nova Scotia said very clearly:

The maritimes should in no way be tied to any deal the rest of Canada might agree to and if we do not get a separate agreement there is going to be mill closures and loss of jobs in Atlantic Canada.

We cannot tolerate that and we will not stand by if indeed that happens.

Habitat for HumanityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the Women Build Habitat for Humanity Brant project.

This past weekend amazing women from Brant and the surrounding communities gathered to work on the only Habitat for Humanity house to be designed and built by women in Canada, and the fifth Habitat for Humanity house built in Brant.

Local women had the opportunity to learn new skills while they worked to provide an affordable safe home for a local family. Three hundred women volunteers have been involved in this project, as well as 25 men who acted as skills coaches in building workshops.

I know all colleagues in the House celebrate and support the work of Habitat for Humanity and join me in congratulating these incredible volunteers for their initiative to learn new skills, their ability to improve and their support. Our congratulations go out to Habitat Brant.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the people in Sherwood Park, a major residential area in my riding, are extremely upset these days. In the last several months two violent sexual predators have been released into their community. This causes great concern because these individuals have demonstrated no remorse for their violent crimes against women and have shown no desire or intention to not repeat these offences.

I spoke to one lady who lives near one of the offenders and she told me that she is so afraid that she goes out with her husband whenever he leaves the house. She cannot stay alone in her own home in this previously peaceful community. Others tell me that they are now in constant fear for the safety of their children. They must now escort them as they walk to and from school, and cannot leave them out of sight when they are playing outdoors.

I call on the government to change the rules. Offenders who choose not to participate in rehabilitative treatment while incarcerated, and who are judged dangerous and likely to reoffend, must be kept in custody until we are certain that they will not again attack our women and children.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

May 29th, 2003 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the acting Prime Minister, and there seems to be a different acting Prime Minister every day, said the government was in the midst of a transition that was seriously affecting its ability to deal with issues like SARS and mad cow.

We have additional serious crises in forestry, agriculture, tourism, and in all kinds of trade relations with the United States. The Prime Minister's contribution is to go around making ill-advised and ill-timed comments that he has been criticized for even by members of his own party and yet he will not back down. We cannot stand nine more months of this lame duck damage.

My question is very simple. Will the Prime Minister consider leaving office early so we can get this transition over with?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said very clearly that he was concerned with the world not falling back into the situation we faced in the early nineties where we had huge deficits, high unemployment, raging inflation, and indeed, economic stagnation.

The Prime Minister is discussing with other world leaders how the world economy can proceed further. It is only sensible that he discusses the successes of Canada in this global economy.

Tourist IndustryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's comments are not isolated and not restricted to any one subject, but since the Prime Minister is apparently so interested in Canada's problems, let me ask about the serious problems in Toronto's tourism industry.

We hear today that the famous production of The Lion King is being cancelled because of the tourism downturn in Toronto. Yet, because of the Prime Minister's comments, we have a spokesman for the President saying on U.S. national television that Canada just does not get the U.S. experience on 9/11.

What steps is the Prime Minister taking to correct the bad impressions his comments have made on our American neighbours?

Tourist IndustryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has taken a number of steps, as has the government as a whole, to deal with the SARS issue. The essential issue is of course restoring confidence.

I would like to congratulate the Minister of Health, the minister of Health for Ontario, as well as all the health workers in Ontario, for the work that they did to ensure this matter was handled so well.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot even implement a questionnaire at Toronto's airport three months after the crisis started.

We have a huge beef industry that is on the verge of collapse if we do not get some cooperation from the Americans. Again, the Prime Minister has not helped. He spoke to the President and could not even remember if he had raised the subject with him.

While he is over in Europe has he yet had a chance to discuss this issue with the President? Can the government report to the House on whether there is any possibility of the U.S. administration lifting its ban on Canadian beef?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this is strange advice coming from a member who goes on Fox TV to embarrass Canada and has referred to Canada publicly as a second rate country.

The party's former leader did the infamous chicken little tour of the world in which he warned that the Canadian economy was in collapse. This is the party that consistently underrates Canada and its ability to surmount difficulties, and consistently downgrades Canada when it should be bragging about its successes.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

This party thinks that our Prime Minister is the underrated one.

Here is another thing the Prime Minister said overseas. He insisted that the SARS outbreak was under control. He is wrong. If we were to use the World Health Organization definition of SARS, then probable cases in Canada would rise.

Why did the health minister choose a definition for SARS that is good for public relations but no good for public health?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe what the hon. member who is a health professional is saying. In fact, Health Canada had a definition of probable cases of SARS reached in discussion, consultation, and agreement with chief medical officers from all provinces and territories.

That definition was in place before the WHO had finalized its definition. We have not changed that definition. However, because of recent discussions with the WHO, it is very likely that we will move to its definition of probable cases.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I might say that is a positive step. Let us now talk about the WHO's other recommendation. It recommended a departing interview with a couple of questions and a transfer to a health worker if those questions were positive.

Why will this minister not admit she was wrong, bring in that interview and prevent another travel advisory?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I resent the fact that the hon. member suggests the travel advisory by the WHO was put in place because of exportation. The travel advisory was put in place because of three factors, the most important of which was community spread. That is beside the point. That would be factual, and the opposition does not appear to be much interested in that.

Let me reassure the hon. member that we have ramped up our procedures over the course of the SARS outbreak for outbound passengers. At Pearson and Vancouver airports those departing have to respond to a series of questions at the check-in counter.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the public, the House of Commons, even the Liberals themselves, are divided on the U.S. missile defence plan, and yet we have the Minister of Defence announcing that the government will be negotiating Canada's participation in a defence system about which we know virtually nothing.

How can the government justify the negotiations that are beginning with the United States on the missile defence plan, when it has received no mandate in this connection, either from the House or from the public?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the government has held many discussions on this. There have been two parliamentary committees, committees in the Liberal caucus, three discussions in cabinet, two debates in the House of Commons. So, there have been plenty of discussions.

Now discussions are starting with the United States on this question, and there are good reasons for it. The government's decision to do so was a very good one.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, he ought to have listened better in committee, because the committee did not agree with the decision reached, far from it.

The United States will not be negotiating just for the fun of it. It is all very well for the government to say that no final decision will be reached without cabinet approval, but that argument does not hold up. Once these negotiations on Canadian participation in the missile defence plan are under way, this will mean that a decision has already been reached, and all that is left to do is set the terms. That is the real situation. A vote would have to be held here in this House before cabinet—

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. The Minister of National Defence.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, Canada is going to start holding discussions with the United States on this. No decision will be made until cabinet has discussed the situation.

As I said this morning, however, there are good reasons to initiate discussions in order to protect the security of Canadians—and this is extremely important—and to continue to work together to defend our continent, as we have for the past 60 years.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois has been calling for a public debate on the consequences of the missile defence plan for months now. Right now it is impossible to get the information needed for an informed debate among Canadians and here in the House.

How can the government announce today that it is starting negotiations with the United States when we know that this project will restart the arms race and lead to the militarization of space?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as far as discussions are concerned, there is a debate today on this in the House of Commons. This is the second debate on this matter held recently in the House.

I have said very clearly that the government remains opposed to the weaponization of space. That is clear. That will not change. That is the government's position.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can make all the pronouncements he wants about the United States and the current U.S. administration.

How does he expect us to believe that he can preserve his government's independence vis-à-vis the Bush administration when he is entering into discussions on a project that raises serious concerns, without enough information, and one he will have a hard time backing out of, even if the House and Canadians ask him to do so?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not have much to add on this. As I said, we are entering into discussions. The process will take a few months. We remain opposed to the weaponization of space. There are good reasons to pursue this project, but we have not yet made any final decision. That is the situation as it stands.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, some weeks ago the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans closed down a lot of the groundfishery in parts of Atlantic Canada. At the same time, the minister responsible for ACOA announced that programs would be put in place to address the fall out.

Could the minister tell us when we can expect the announcement because up until now the fishermen, the plant workers and the communities generally have heard nothing and they certainly are suffering through this crisis.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne LiberalMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for highlighting how seriously this side of the House has been taking this matter.

We have been working on this issue for quite some time and have a number of proposals on the table. Hard work has been done by caucus members on this side of the House. We will have specific information, in addition to the information that was provided on April 24, which we will be able to provide to that hon. member and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Canada and Quebec, very soon.