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House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was religious.

Topics

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already said that we are having those discussions with the industry and with the provinces. I will discuss those and the ideas and ways in which we can do that with ministers again on Friday.

We very clearly understand the seriousness of this. We also understand the importance of scientists working initially to help us get the border open. A combination of all that is what is needed. Those are the efforts we are putting forward.

Amateur SportOral Question Period

June 11th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, in June 1999, I personally filed a complaint to speak out against the treatment of French-speaking amateur athletes. Again today, the Commissioner of Official Languages is harsh in her condemnation of the excessive slowness and the lack of a consistent approach in implementing the recommendations she made in 2000.

How can the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport claim that he is doing his job when the commissioner is saying today that Sport Canada is still a long way from reaching the podium and that, ultimately, English is the language spoken when it comes to sports in Canada?

Amateur SportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Simcoe North Ontario

Liberal

Paul Devillers LiberalSecretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in answer to the hon. member's question about the fact that this report is very negative, I want to quote the report's conclusion:

Efforts made by SportCanada and other sport organizations demonstrate their commitment toincorporate linguistic duality within the Canadian sport system.

Given this conclusion, I believe that it is not as negative as the hon. member is suggesting.

Amateur SportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport can say what he likes, but one thing is clear: in amateur sport in Canada, francophones are being treated like second-class citizens. The commissioner confirms this, and the athletes are tired of it.

What is he going to do to rectify this immediately?

Amateur SportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Simcoe North Ontario

Liberal

Paul Devillers LiberalSecretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there has been enormous progress since the commissioner tabled her report in 2000. This progress notwithstanding, the Government of Canada remains committed to working with the commissioner.

However, I want to point out that 33% of the Canadian Olympic team in Salt Lake City were French-speaking athletes from Quebec. This proves that francophone athletes can hold their own in our sports system.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Canadian Alliance Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the plan of the industry and now the plan of the premiers for BSE compensation was delivered to the Prime Minister on June 9.

Premier Campbell was not overstating the BSE economic crisis when he said, “If something is not done immediately, the feedlot industry as we know it will disappear”.

Could the Prime Minister tell the House why he has not agreed to compensation in view of the fact that the APF cannot provide immediate help?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there is no reason why the business risk management portion of the new program cannot provide immediate help. That is indeed very possible.

As well I have said that we are looking into the possibility of interest free loans to help the industry's cash flows in this crisis. Along with that, we are working very diligently and the sectors are too to get the border open, which is even more important than all of the other. However, we need all of it.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Canadian Alliance Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Alberta minister of agriculture, who has signed on to the APF, has stated that any BSE compensation package has to be a compliment to NISA and that NISA alone will not address this crisis.

Why is the government refusing to offer immediate assistance to feedlot operators who are going broke?

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 is correct. NISA alone will not do it but the new program, which is a combination of the old NISA program and the disaster program, will do it. I had those discussions with the minister yesterday on a conference call, and she gave very strong indications that was one of the directions we needed to consider.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Secretary of State responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec claims that giving loan guarantees to the companies hit by the softwood lumber crisis could trigger reactions from the Americans, thus implying that this would be contrary to the provisions of NAFTA and the WTO. Nothing could be further from the truth. Canada Economic Development already offers loan guarantees to exporters and this is wholly in compliance with WTO rules.

Can the Minister for International Trade inform his colleague responsible for Canada Economic Development once and for all that loan guarantees are perfectly acceptable, and tell him at the same time to stop talking nonsense?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, when we introduced our first package of $350 million, this was one of the options we looked at. We have always said as a government that we have never taken that off the table. It is still on the table. We are monitoring the situation.

The hon. member should also keep in mind that since the duties have gone, yes, there has been an impact on communities, but the export of lumber has only dropped 8% across the country. We understand this still affects communities. We are very concerned, and we are monitoring the situation very closely.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade himself has said that loan guarantees were one of the possible options for assisting the softwood lumber industry. It is not only an option, but one of the few options possible.

What, then, is keeping the Minister for International Trade from convincing his colleague responsible for Canada Economic Development to move on these loan guarantees for affected businesses?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin LiberalSecretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member that he ought to listen to the replies as well. We have never said we were not interested. All we have said is that we wanted to be cautious. We have spoken with representatives of the Forestry Industry Council and have asked them for proposals on how we can work together to find solutions.

This is what the hon. member ought to do, as we have been doing for several weeks, as well as providing $350 million in assistance to the lumber industry.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the export of SARS to the United States by a North Carolina man, who had visited Toronto, is raising concerns at the World Health Organization. Yesterday a senior WHO official said that this sort of thing should not have happened.

Does the minister now regret that appropriate screening measures were not in place when this man left Toronto?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated yesterday, appropriate screening measures are in place. We are in regular contact with the WHO. As I said yesterday and as has been confirmed by Dr. Megan Davies of the North Carolina department of health, when this person left Canada and entered the United States, he showed no symptoms of SARS.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister's obligation is to do everything she possibly can, and in that she has failed.

Yesterday the minister admitted that airport screening was not in place when this man flew out of Toronto in mid-May. WHO officials also said that they were worried and really concerned about what was going on.

How can the minister guarantee that we will not be hit with another travel advisory?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the WHO official indicated that he was concerned about the SARS situation in the City of Toronto. Obviously we are all concerned about that. I hope the hon. member is concerned as well.

Let me go back to the question of the gentleman who went to North Carolina. Dr. Megan Davies went on to say:

--the man was healthy when he flew out of Toronto...I don't think of this as Canada exporting a case. I think we have a worldwide epidemic of an emerging pathogen that none of us understands completely...

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the special court in Sierra Leone announced the indictment of Liberian president Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Taylor was visiting Ghana at the time the indictment was released. Unfortunately, although the government of Ghana was given prompt notice of this indictment, it allowed Taylor to leave Ghana rather than arresting him.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs express to the government of Ghana our concern and disappointment that Taylor was, at least in this instance, allowed to escape justice?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the hon. member for his interest and his contribution toward peace and security in West Africa. He has made a personal commitment to this.

I want to say that it was partly thanks to him and his pressure that Canada took a leadership role in the creation of the special court, and has contributed significantly to its work. In fact there are many Canadians working in senior positions on the court. I have every confidence that justice will be served by the court.

On the other hand, we also look to President Kufuor of Ghana as chair of ECOWAS, to make peace in the region.

I want to draw to the attention of the House that I have just learned that today this matter will be discussed by the Security Council because there is a peace proposal on the table as we speak.

Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it has been reported that former privacy commissioner, John Grace, has raised concerns surrounding the independence of the current privacy commissioner. Mr. Grace said:

I think there' s an issue there. The more arms-length the commissioner can be from receiving gifts, arrangements and favour, the better.

After arranging the deal to generously line the pockets of the privacy commissioner, how can the Prime Minister continue to claim that the so-called independent position is arm's length from government?

Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is an officer of the House. Surely he will know that the individual is an officer of Parliament. That is the position which he holds by virtue of a vote that we have passed and by virtue of the appointment that has been made.

Insofar as the benefits in question, which the individual is afforded, I am told that those benefits are similar to those afforded to other government officials. As a matter of fact, other officers of Parliament have previously had similar arrangements. This is not something extraordinary, and those accusations are not correct. As a matter of fact--

Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, in early May the United States department of commerce made a softwood lumber proposal that provided a complete exit for the Atlantic Canada softwood lumber industry and for the remanufacturers. Then incredibly on May 22, the Canadian government made a different proposal that rolled these two industries right into the quota system.

How can it be that the U.S. proposal took into consideration the concerns of the Atlantic Canada industry, but our own government sold it down the river by not even trying to keep the hard earned exemption?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised by the question of the member who participated in a meeting I had with the Maritime Lumber Bureau last Thursday in Fredericton. I must say that we had a very good exchange of views. Both of us better understood one another's concerns with the proposal.

We are trying as a government to bring an exemption for all softwood lumber from all regions of Canada, but in any way we move on this issue, we will always take into consideration the special circumstances of the maritime industry.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

After the horrors of what happened in Rwanda 10 years ago, the international community vowed never again to stand idly by as a genocide unfolded. But as sad and surprising as it may be, it looks as though we are witnessing another genocide in the Congo.

France has sent out troops under UN mandate, but observers are saying that their numbers are insufficient to control the situation.

Why did Canada not do everything in its power to avert yet another genocide in Africa?