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House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was human.

Topics

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada needs leadership in the softwood lumber dispute, not the pre-election posturing we have seen from the government.

The legal victory for Canada for this dispute was over two months ago, but it took the Prime Minister 65 days to phone the U.S. President. Instead of being decisive, the Prime Minister and other ministers have sent conflicting messages about Canada's position on this issue. Conflicting messages will not resolve the softwood lumber dispute and will not help our forestry workers.

Why did the Prime Minister wait so long to phone the U.S. President? Why this lack of leadership on such an important issue?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, throughout this government has spoken with one voice on the softwood lumber dispute and that is that the NAFTA must be respected. We have continuously put this point before the United States. We will continue to do so.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, he is the minister who stood up and said we should negotiate after we in fact won the decision.

The fact is the softwood lumber industry has carried the burden of this dispute with only lip service and token support from the government. The industry, which is paying billions of dollars in duties and tens of millions of dollars in legal fees, has very reasonably proposed EDC backing in the interim for the return of its cash deposits.

When will the government cover the legal fees of this dispute and extend the loan guarantees to the industry until the dispute is resolved?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have been meeting with the forestry industry off and on all summer. We continue to develop a forestry sector strategy for the industry, recognizing the issues of the softwood lumber industry and recognizing the difficult adjustment that is going on throughout the forestry sector in North America.

South Asia EarthquakeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Pakistani authorities estimate that the number of people killed in last week's earthquake is now more than 40,000. Millions have been made homeless and there are fears about potential health risks that threaten stranded survivors.

In the midst of this human tragedy, will the Minister of Foreign Affairs outline what Canada is doing to help the people of Pakistan?

South Asia EarthquakeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, within hours of this tragedy I convened an interdepartmental task force, including CIDA, defence, immigration and, of course, foreign affairs. We quickly announced a $20 million contribution, including 21 tonnes of blankets and two helicopters. We established a fund to match the private donations. We waived immigration processing fees. Over the past weekend we deployed DART.

Our timely and targeted response has been acknowledged by the international community and the government of Pakistan.

LobbyistsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Industry.

The minister said on the weekend that he would take into account the NDP seven point proposal for ethical and accountability reform. I have sent him a copy. My question is about what he can do today.

Will he put an end to the David Dingwall lobbyist loophole? Specifically, will he bring in a measure that will make it illegal for a lobbyist to accept contingency fees? Will he accompany it by a requirement that if this happens, there will be a $35,000 fine and a sentence of up to two years in jail? Will he take some action?

LobbyistsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question and I thank the hon. member for giving me the document, of which he spoke, on the weekend. I have not read the document yet but I certainly intend to after question period.

We are dealing very aggressively with the issue of contingency fees. The taxpayers are not out a penny. We are cleaning up all of that and will continue to do so as we go forward.

HealthOral Questions

October 17th, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, maybe this will stir the Prime Minister.

Today, avian flu has spread to Greece and today is the 20-month anniversary of the outbreak of avian flu in B.C.'s Fraser Valley. It ended after 17 million birds were killed, almost every bird there. Quarantine lines were breached twice through incompetence. We waited one week for test results when death rates were increasing 800% every 24 hours.

We need a public inquiry to know what went wrong and fix it now. No more delays. Why the cover-up around the screw-up on avian flu?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I believe the WHO has said that Canada, by far, is the best prepared country in the world on this issue.

We can never be fully prepared for these kinds of eventualities. We continue to work hard. In fact, the U.S. is modelling its own plans based on our plans in terms of preparedness.

I want to tell members that all the jurisdictions are working together under the leadership of David Butler-Jones, our chief public health officer, and we will do the right thing. There is no need to cause alarm among Canadians.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, early last week the top wait time bureaucrat admitted evidence-based benchmarks would not be in place by the year-end deadline. In response, government spin doctors were climbing over each other to change the message. By the end of last week the top wait time bureaucrat had retracted his comments.

Will the minister admit that his own government clamped down on its wait time official because he highlighted the government's incompetence?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that is strange coming from that party whose last three leaders, including the current one, always wanted to gut the Canada Health Act and end the federal role in health care.

The fact is that we will get benchmarks by December 31, 2005. I am meeting with the other health ministers at the end of this week and I will make sure, we will make sure from coast to coast to coast and Canadians will make sure that we have the benchmarks because we all signed a deal to do that.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government knows nothing about accountability which is why we need to throw it out.

The government's solution to the wait time crisis is more talk, more study and more waiting. We now know that the government will not have meaningful, measured benchmarks established by the deadline.

Will the minister admit that his government has created the wait time crisis and that Canadian patients will continue to wait as long as the Liberals are in power?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, obviously the hon. member finds it very hard to go off the script. Obviously he did not hear what I just said in the House.

The fact is there is a developing consensus across the country under the leadership of all the provinces and Dr. Brian Postl. We will have benchmarks by December 31. We do not have an option. Canadians will not give us an option to do otherwise.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, avian flu is continuing its deadly march around the world. All parts of Canada are susceptible to the threat.

During SARS, it became apparent that Canada was not prepared to handle a pandemic.

Could the health minister explain why Canadians cannot see the government taking any concrete action to prevent the spread of avian flu to Canada?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat. WHO, on its own, after assessing the plans across the world, has said that we are by far the best prepared jurisdiction in the world, bar none.

The fact is I agree that we can never be fully prepared for these kinds of eventualities. Therefore we continue to work hard to ensure we are more prepared than ever before.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government continually says that it is ready to handle a pandemic but Canada has never really put its paper plans to a test. In fact, bureaucratic paperwork prevents medical personnel from assisting across provincial lines.

When will all doctors and nurses be approved to work in all provinces under a declared emergency?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, all jurisdictions are working on those very issues and we have had a great deal of success in working those issues out.

There is no need to cause alarm among Canadians. Canadians from coast to coast to coast, including those in government, are worried about these issues. We will have all the plans in place to ensure all the people who need to work across borders in this country are able to do so.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, the incomplete action plan the federal government has announced today leaves the entire softwood lumber industry wholly at the mercy of the American rulings, by denying loan guarantees which would enable these businesses to cope with this crisis.

How can the government have neglected these companies this way, when they have had to pay more than $5 billion in countervailing and antidumping duties imposed upon them illegally by the United States?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalMinister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, I would invite the hon. member to have another look at our press releases. Today's announcement has nothing to do with softwood lumber. It is specifically intended as a response to Quebec's request for assistance in connection with the reduction in wood supply legislated by Quebec's Bill 71.

I think it is interesting that the Bloc Québécois is questioning this after voting against Bill C-9 and a budget increase.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec businesses have so far had to pay out close to $1 billion in illegal customs duties, which have been frozen by the U.S., thereby paralyzing their operations. Tembec alone has paid $300 million.

Does the government realize that loan guarantees could help businesses by giving them the leeway they need to survive the present crisis? Is it going to act?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalMinister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, the sector in which we intervened this morning in reaction to Bill 71 relates specifically to resource reduction. It is intellectual dishonesty to link the two things.

The purpose of our announcement this morning was to provide a response to the Government of Quebec's request for assistance in managing the resource in keeping with the fundamental principle of sustainable development. There is no connection whatsoever with softwood lumber.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister has authorized the purchase of 77 add-on armour kits for the LAV IIIs located in Afghanistan. They are available at three different levels of performance, with the third generation being the latest and the best. Incredibly, the minister has chosen to provide our troops with 10 year old, first generation protection, not the latest and safest version.

The Prime Minister said that he would not put our military in harm's way without giving them the best of equipment. Generation one protection is not the best equipment.

Why is the minister prepared to put our troops at unnecessary risk with outdated protection?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca B.C.

Liberal

Keith Martin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we take the protection of our troops extremely seriously which is why the Minister of National Defence has authorized the purchase of brand new vehicles with up to date protection for those troops.

We recognize that the threat is an evolving threat, changing all the time, and first and foremost is the protection of those troops. That is why we authorized the production and delivery of those vehicles as soon as possible.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer is nonsense. It is just rhetoric that adds nothing to the security of our troops.

Joint Task Force Two is buying 40 millimetre grenade machine guns, which are definitely required by the army to replace protection previously provided by antipersonnel landmines. Unfortunately, they are not buying grenades that self-destruct. Unexploded grenades can maim and kill innocent people just like mines.

Is the minister prepared to contravene the spirit of the Canadian sponsored treaty to ban antipersonnel landmines by leaving unexploded grenades littered throughout Afghanistan?