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House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foreign.

Topics

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is aware, I am in the process of depopulating some 18 million birds. This is a very large undertaking. I want to give my appreciation to his province, the Government of British Columbia, for its help in this matter.

As he knows, under the Health of Animals Act, I do have the ability to compensate farmers for the value of that. In fact, to date, some 54 cheques have gone out, in the neighbourhood of some $2.4 million.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, here is an example of one of the problems. It turns out that the pigeons ordered destroyed in the valley were not diseased, cannot carry the avian flu, and were in no danger to either poultry or humans.

Yet the CFIA carried out a depopulation order that affected Doug and Susan Rudnisky's family which lost 16,000 birds for no reason. Neville Eccles lost thousands of dollars worth of birds for no reason. These birds were not diseased and were not a problem. Now the CFIA has reversed its position.

What compensation will these people receive for what will break their industry and break their farms if the minister does not address their concerns?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is aware, this is an issue being dealt with on the best science that we know. In fact, at the time, we believed that we needed to depopulate all of the birds in that area.

In terms of specific cases such as that, the CFIA will be speaking with those people and will be working with them.

In terms of broader compensation, the Government of Canada is now talking with the industry and the province of British Columbia. We are trying to find out exactly what is happening on the ground now in terms of what the need will be.

Once those discussions are completed and once we are through this area of depopulating, then we will be in a better position to talk about the longer term--

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Gander—Grand Falls.

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

April 23rd, 2004 / 11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, in February I raised the issue of the government's failure to address changing the equalization and transfer payments to the province.

The unrest in Newfoundland and Labrador is evidence of the federal government's failure to act. Newfoundland and Labrador is cash strapped. The federal government's failure to revamp the equalization formula is responsible.

When will the government stop funding its friends and provide the provinces with a better equalization deal so that Canadian taxpayers' money can be better spent?

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the equalization issue was dealt with in the last budget. Many of the issues that were raised by a variety of provinces over the course of that five year term were addressed in the budget, the most significant of which was the smoothing provisions where finance ministers had different expectations over the course of a year.

The minister has in fact addressed the issues of Newfoundland and Labrador, along with all of the other equalization-receiving provinces.

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government's vague and empty answer is typical of a government that refuses to act. The government is all lip and no action.

Many provinces are being hurt by the present equalization formula. The government has turned its back on the needs of the provinces. It has refused to negotiate with the provinces for a better equalization system.

When will the government take the request of the provinces seriously and alleviate their financial problems by doing something better for the equalization formula?

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in fact, if the hon. gentleman would read the budget, he would realize that quite a number of the issues that have been put forward by the provinces were addressed in the budget, including an enhancement of the actual moneys available to the various equalization receiving provinces.

When the minister travelled and met with the finance ministers, the specific issues were addressed. I was present for those meetings. The issues that the hon. member raises were in fact addressed in the budget.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, a month ago, citizens occupied the offices of the Prime Minister in Montreal while others held a demonstration when he went to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, calling for a moratorium on the construction of a toxic waste incinerator in Belledune. Despite numerous demonstrations by citizens who are aware of the negative impact of the presence of such an incinerator, the federal government is turning a deaf ear and refusing to get involved.

Knowing full well that the minister can invoke the Fisheries Act to prevent the incinerator from being built, will the Prime Minister finally listen to the people of Gaspé and intervene in the Bennett case in Belledune?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is incorrect to say that we are not examining this situation closely. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has looked into it. I have yet to receive the report, but if there are cross-border problems between New Brunswick and Quebec, then the federal government may have certain responsibilities. However, New Brunswick, not the federal government, has most of the responsibility in this.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is fully aware that this incinerator may be catastrophic to the water resource of Baie des Chaleurs.

Does the Prime Minister really think that the people of Gaspé are going to wait for the result of your investigation, after the election? Personally, I do not think so. What do you think?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do not know exactly where the question lies in this. I can assure the hon. member that public health is the most important thing. Also, we are certainly going to take into consideration the natural resources of the region, including the fishery.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of boys were sexually abused and assaulted inside and outside Kingsclear Training School in New Brunswick. Victims have named 14 assaulters, yet only Karl Toft was charged criminally. Millions were paid in hush money, including to RCMP Staff Sergeant Clifford McCann's victims. Victims who have come forward have been told by the RCMP not to make complaints.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister seize the pre- and post-Kingsclear files, conduct a review of the files independent of the RCMP, and report back to Parliament?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and I have had the opportunity to speak about this matter. Indeed, I thank him for his longstanding interest in this regard and, in particular, in relation to those who were the victims of abuse at Kingsclear.

As the hon. member knows, the RCMP major crimes unit did conduct a comprehensive and exhaustive investigation into these matters. The RCMP in New Brunswick have indicated that no charges would be laid in the matter. The decision regarding the laying of charges in New Brunswick falls under the attorney general of the province.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, this matter involves the integrity of our nation's police force.

Kingsclear boys were taken with the knowledge of New Brunswick's corrections officers and the RCMP into the back seat of RCMP patrol cars, and to the house of RCMP Staff Sergeant Clifford McCann.

If the Deputy Prime Minister will not, will the Prime Minister act on his previous promise and have the pre- and post-Kingsclear files seized and conduct an independent investigation outside of the RCMP? Will he complete his promise?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, obviously, the hon. member has made some very serious allegations in relation to what may or may not have happened in relation to the Kingsclear events.

As I have said, the RCMP did conduct a comprehensive and exhaustive investigation into the matters. If the hon. member has additional information that he thinks could help us understand more of that which happened in relation to the situation, I would be more than willing to meet with him and continue my discussions with him in relation to--

JusticeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Official Languages. The government has established a list of priorities and is about to meet with provincial authorities regarding health care funding.

Since the Minister of Health is also the minister responsible for the action plan for official languages, is he prepared to add to the federal government's list of priorities health care for official language communities, as promised in the action plan?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, access to quality health care in French all across the country is a priority that we have identified in our action plan for official languages. Our plan provides for substantial investments in three policy sectors, namely networking, training for health care professionals and primary care.

As was announced in this House on November 6 by my predecessor, who is now the Deputy Prime Minister of the country, I am prepared to put health care access for official language minority communities on the agenda of the next official meeting of federal, provincial and territorial health ministers.

International AidOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Canadian Alliance Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday CIDA announced a $3 million contribution for a social work intervention program in China. Canadian tax dollars are now going to an initiative that supports the social services network in China.

Can the Minister for International Cooperation or the foreign affairs minister explain why the Liberal government continues to send Canadian dollars to a regime that sends a man to space? Why?

International AidOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government does not send money to regimes.

The Canadian government, on behalf of the Canadian people, has a policy of engagement with China, an extremely important power but also one where many Canadian citizens who have a direct interest.

CIDA seeks to help programs in China which advance human rights and living conditions of people in that country. These programs are supported by the people of this country because we understand that the Chinese population appreciates our concerns and appreciates our aid. Canadian citizens want to be active and we will continue to do that.

International AidOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Canadian Alliance Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government gave out more than $54 million in international assistance to China in 2002-03. China is now the fourth largest recipient of bilateral international assistance. Out of the top five countries receiving country to country assistance, only one African country, Ethiopia, is in the top five.

Can the minister explain why China is getting more international assistance than developing nations in Africa and Latin America?

International AidOral Question Period

Noon

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

It is precisely because, Mr. Speaker, much of the assistance to which the member refers is assistance in terms of training judges in China, to get the Chinese people to understand how to incorporate their very important country into the international community, to teach the Chinese people about human rights, the judicial system, and how we can modernize that very important country for our world.

These efforts are of capital importance for Canada and for the people of Canada, and we will continue them.

National Unity FundOral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is justifying the government's slowness to account for the use of the secret funds for national unity by saying that they have to examine numerous programs and activities, over a period of a number of years, thus suggesting that the Privy Council had no record in connection with this fund.

My question is for the President of the Treasury Board. Since this issue comes under his responsibility, does he agree with the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs that no record exists regarding the use made of the national unity reserve?

National Unity FundOral Question Period

Noon

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the government speaks with one voice, be it through the Treasury Board or through the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. The Treasury Board Secretariat continues to scrutinize very closely the use of this national unity reserve. We have to look in each department that used this envelope to extend existing programs. Those involved in this process are working diligently.