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House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am responding to--

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We have to be able to hear the answer from the minister. If I cannot hear it, the member for Yellowhead will not be able to hear it. The Minister of National Defence has the floor.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, the opposition may be surprised to hear this but I am also the minister responsible for emergency preparedness.

I did have discussions with my Ontario counterpart last week, and he and I have agreed that we shall meet next week. In the meantime, our officials are studying the numbers so we can bring some clarity to this issue.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the province requested that meeting with the defence minister back on April 11 to discuss federal aid. It has been anticipating this crucial meeting for two weeks only to have it cancelled by this minister last week. So far, all the province has received are broken promises from the government because the Liberals say that SARS is not an emergency.

If SARS is not an emergency, will the government tell us what it is?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in the first place, it would be a good idea if the opposition had its facts straight.

The meeting was not suggested on April 11. The meeting was suggested in late May. My office responded within 24 hours to that request. It came about that more information was required on the numbers and that work is ongoing as we speak. Last Friday, my colleagues announced assistance for the tourism industry. The work on the health care numbers is ongoing.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment. Antarctica is a pristine continent which contains most of the world's fresh water. It is protected by treaty as a place for non-military activities, including research.

Could the minister advise the House of any progress that has been made toward a more proactive role for Canada in the proper management of Antarctica?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, last Friday we introduced Bill C-42 which would allow Canada to ratify the Madrid protocol and join our global partners in protecting this area. I am proud to add that since signing the protocol in 1991, Canada has been meeting and exceeding the obligations under the protocol.

With the cooperation of parties on all sides of the House, it would be very easy for the bill to be passed this week.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Public Works. The minister reviewed several practices and contracts regarding Groupaction and other companies. He concluded the system was corrupt and needed to be changed. Groupaction and Groupe Everest gave subcontracts to the son of Alfonso Gagliano, who was at the time the minister who awarded large contracts to those companies.

Did the investigation of the Minister of Public Works review that particular potential conflict in the Gagliano family and, very specifically, would that sort of behaviour be allowed under the new rules?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I have explained on many occasions, there has been a whole series of reviews, some internal and some external, that have examined all dimensions of this matter. Under the new arrangements that are now in place with respect to advertising, the pool of those who are eligible to compete is very substantially increased because of changes in the rules, and each one of the procurement tools that various departments can engage is fully accountable and competitive.

Immigration and Refugee BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

So, Mr. Speaker, cousins and uncles as well as sons.

I have a question for the Minister of Immigration. The Minister of Immigration has declined to comment on the RCMP investigation into two associates of Alfonso Gagliano who are accused of taking bribes while serving as judges on the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Would he tell us first whether these are the only investigations the RCMP is conducting into the IRB or into appointments to the IRB and, second, whether he has introduced new procedures that would stop the practices of bribery which the RCMP has discovered?

Immigration and Refugee BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Hold him down, somebody.

Mr. Speaker, I can say simply that when speaking of allegations and police investigations, my role is obviously to stay out of these investigations. We will let the RCMP do its work and, more importantly, we will let justice take its course.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, U.S. Space Command has now confirmed what the NDP has said all along: that Bush's missile defence is about the weaponization of space. While the Bush forces conceal the facts about weapons in Iraq, they are forthright and unapologetic about U.S. intentions to weaponize space. Will the Prime Minister now admit that Bush's missile defence is star wars and will the Prime Minister now say no to the weaponization of space, which is grotesquely irresponsible?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, if I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times. This government remains steadfastly and totally opposed to the weaponization of space: steadfastly and totally opposed to the weaponization of space. The U.S. government has taken no decision. There is a recommended research program that in the worst case will start in five years. A system might be employed, in the worst case, in a decade or more. By being inside the tent, Canada will have a stronger voice to oppose this than we would if we were to stay outside the tent.

Pharmaceutical IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the industry minister. Multinational drug companies claim that Parliament has no power to scrap the evergreening regulations that keep lower price generic drugs off the market. They say we would be in violation of the TRIPS trade deal.

I want to ask this minister, when will the government stand up for democracy and for the sick and consumers, tell big pharma to stop hiding behind trade deals and scrap these regulations that lead to obscene profits for big pharma and skyrocketing drug costs for the sick and Canadian consumers?

Pharmaceutical IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, there may be a fact in there that is true, but it would be difficult to find it. On the subject generally, the member knows the committee is looking at this very subject. Let us let the committee do its work. It is hearing witnesses. It is examining the issue. It may have recommendations that are very useful. Let us wait until they arrive and consider them on their merits.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister said it was a non-issue when Canadian troops were sent to Afghanistan last month with no weapons. Now Canadian troops are being deployed in Kabul and are desperately short of night vision goggles, laser rifle sights and unmanned aerial vehicles, and they may be going in green uniforms yet again.

The Liberal government should have made sure that the equipment was available before it committed to the mission. Why is it always a day late and a dollar short when it comes to giving our troops the equipment they need?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, everything the hon. member just said is nonsense, but let me deal with a more serious issue. The tragic fact that four German soldiers were killed and more than thirty injured very recently leads me to express my condolences to my German counterpart, whom I will see in a couple of days.

It also underlines to us the top priority of safety. I instructed the defence department some months ago to spare no money, to spare no effort, and to ensure that we have the best technology and the best equipment to maximize the safety of our people.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister says there is no problem with this mission, but the fact is that four German soldiers were killed and several were injured this weekend.

In past missions, Canadians troops have been endangered. In fact, last time we sent troops to Afghanistan they had not even been told the rules of engagement. Now senior military analysts are saying our peacekeepers will be sitting ducks in Kabul. Have Canadian troops bound for Kabul been given robust rules of engagement or is this mission going to be a repeat of past travesties?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in the first place, past actions were not travesties. Seven thousand people have served in operations in the gulf and Afghanistan. They have done a fantastic job and the government is very grateful to them and to their families for their sacrifice.

If we look to the future, I spoke to the chief of land staff just today, and I asked him specifically, “Are the rules of engagement sufficiently robust and do you have everything you need to maximize safety?” In both cases he said yes.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

June 9th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I have just come back from a tour with my colleagues regarding the softwood lumber issue and the news is terrible. In all the forest regions, the lumber mills have been closing one after the other. The situation is deteriorating. It will be a matter of weeks, even days, before tragedy strikes.

Is it not time for the minister to go ahead and implement loan guarantees and to relax the EI rules for the workers affected by this terrible crisis?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I met with industry people on Thursday. They have proposals for us. We are working together to support the softwood lumber industry and we will continue to do so, as we have been doing since the beginning.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, loan guarantees come under the Minister of Industry, who is seated over there.

On Friday the minister went to Toronto and promised the people he would help them, as his colleague from agriculture plans to do for the beef industry.

Since the softwood lumber issue has been ongoing for two years, does the minister not feel it is time to take action in that area as well?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like the other side of the House to listen.

There was a meeting on Thursday with the Quebec Forest Industry Council. We asked them for proposals. We are in the process of examining some solutions, in addition to all the measures we have taken totalling $350 million, for the softwood lumber industry and the communities. We are going to continue to do so.