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House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firefighters.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, WHO has said that we are relatively well prepared as a country. We need to be prepared internationally which is why this conference is taking place. Representatives from over 30 countries will be there. We will be talking about capacity building. We will be talking about vaccine manufacturing and sharing. We will be talking about communications during such disasters as pandemics.

These are the kinds of issues where we need to work together internationally so that we are not a risk to each other but in fact a help to each other across borders.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

For two hours yesterday, David Dingwall, responding to questions from the Conservatives, from the Bloc and from ourselves, said time after time that he was after his entitlements. It became very clear for him that meant getting severance pay. He said that he would take the money and run if it were offered.

Considering Canadians do not believe he is owed one cent in severance, would the Prime Minister get up and make it clear that he will not get severance pay?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Dingwall resigned. I accepted his resignation. The reason he gave was that he thought it would be better for the Mint and I did not disagree with his point of view.

As for matters of legal obligation, as is normal under our system these are under discussion in the Privy Council Office by the lawyers and by the lawyers representing Mr. Dingwall.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is again for the Prime Minister.

It is clear that Mr. Dingwall resigned. There is no moral obligation to give him a cent.

Do you agree with me or not, Mr. Prime Minister?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Given the long experience of the hon. member for Ottawa Centre in this House, he knows very well that questions must be put to the Chair, not to the Prime Minister or any other minister.

The hon. Minister of National Revenue.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is true that Mr. Dingwall told me on the morning of September 28 of his intention to resign. The reason he gave was that he thought it was best for the Mint that he do so. I felt the same way.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, last weekend we found out how the Liberals really feel about deadly drugs like crystal meth.

Larry Campbell, a Liberal patronage appointee, said, “This idea that there's a huge crystal meth disaster happening in this country is garbage”. He also said that warnings that the crystal meth addiction is an epidemic are exaggerated and a knee-jerk reaction.

Does the Prime Minister agree with Mr. Campbell that the meth crisis is exaggerated? Is that the real reason his government dithered for months on tougher sentences for meth traffickers?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we did not dither. We acted immediately after a conference to that effect was held. This summer, on August 11, we moved to increase maximum penalties with regard to production and distribution to life imprisonment. We have also acted with regard to the regulation of precursors, so we have acted immediately.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, we pushed for that for months. Today the Supreme Court announced that it will not reconsider the case of a Saskatchewan man who sexually assaulted a 12 year old girl but was not sent to prison.

Dean Edmondson was convicted of sexual assault in 2001 after he and two other men intoxicated and attempted to rape their young victim, but because of the government's soft on crime justice system this vicious criminal got away with two years of house arrest.

How can this government continue to defend a justice system that gives house arrest instead of prison time to child rapists?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite may not know, the matter is still before the courts because there are trials that have been ordered with regard to the co-accused.

With regard to conditional sentencing, we have said we will be introducing amendments so that no questions of sexual and violent offences will be liable for conditional sentencing.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canadians heard more dithering when the justice minister dismissed calls for mandatory prison sentences from front line police groups by referring to evidence that such sentences do not work.

In the next breath, he also said that Canada already has mandatory minimums and that he has told police and victims groups that he will consider more of them.

Which is it? Is he for or against mandatory prison sentences? Will he admit that they are necessary in more crimes than is currently the case?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on a number of occasions, it almost is counterintuitive to think that mandatory minimum penalties will not work. When I took on this responsibility, I assumed that mandatory minimums would work. They were already in the Criminal Code with regard to gun related offences, among others.

The point is that the evidence that has emerged suggests, and not only suggests but has concluded, that they do not work, with adverse consequences for the criminal justice system, but we are open to taking any initiatives that will help promote public safety.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister is on the record as suggesting he is philosophically opposed to mandatory minimum sentences, but yesterday he stated that he has no aversion to these sentences.

Not only does the justice minister have to clarify this position, but he must explain to Canadians why legal counsel from his department stated in committee that extending mandatory prison terms to criminals would amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

I ask the minister, when Louise Russo is shot and confined to a wheelchair, when a four year old child is shot, or when a bus driver is shot in the face and blinded, is that not cruel and unusual punishment?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is mischaracterizing the evidence given before that committee. What was said before that committee was that if we ask for a mandatory minimum of 10 years, then we are running the risk of it being declared unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court itself has indicated.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, in September, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal found that imports of bicycles under $400 caused serious harm to the bicycle industry and even threatened its survival. This ruling recommends that the government apply safeguards, namely 30% duties the first year, 25% the second and 20% the third.

Does the Minister of International Trade intend to follow through on these recommendations and impose the safeguards suggested by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal?

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Sydney—Victoria Nova Scotia

Liberal

Mark Eyking LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade (Emerging Markets)

Mr. Speaker, we are well aware of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal's recommendation for safeguards on bicycles. We will take it into consideration and do what is best for Canadians. Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry will be working with all industries that are impacted by cheap imports.

Clothing and Textile IndustriesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister said he will apply safeguards.

Now that the minister has decided to take action on bicycles, does he intend to follow suit for the clothing and textile industries that are facing the same situations and are calling for the same safeguards?

Clothing and Textile IndustriesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated to the House on previous occasions with respect to textiles, first of all, we announced last Christmas a very significant assistance package. Since then, we have been proceeding to implement that package.

We are looking at various solutions on the re-importation of materials that hopefully both the apparel and the textile industry can agree upon. We have been working with both sides of the industry since March to arrive at that kind of amicable solution that they all can agree to.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government does not understand the difference between a chronic disease and a deadly disease. Cancer is a killer.

The House voted for the full funding of the Canadian strategy for cancer control, a plan developed by the cancer community, yet again this government ignores the will of the House and ignores the health of Canadians.

Today the Canadian Cancer Society criticized the government's announcement and stated that more funding is needed to have a real impact on this disease. Why will the minister not listen to the cancer community and fully fund and implement the Canadian strategy for cancer control?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the government has spent over $1 billion over the last number of years to combat cancer in Canada. As part of the integrated strategy, we have added $56 million to several hundred million dollars that are currently being spent on combating cancer. This is just a down payment to make sure that we work further to enhance and strengthen our issues on cancer control.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, Liberal MPs are reflecting the growing concern of Canadians on avian flu by taking matters into their own hands. They are now issuing their own public health advisories to their constituents in the absence of information from the minister.

In fact, the website for public health has not been updated since early September. A political turf war between the health minister and the public health minister is causing confusion for all members of Parliament. Who speaks for the government on the avian flu file?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute hogwash. The fact is that the pandemic preparedness plan is on the website of the Public Health Agency. It is being updated and there will be additions to it in the very near future.

The fact is that Dr. Butler-Jones has been meeting with his counterparts from across the country and internationally to deal with such issues. The fact is that we are relatively better prepared than most countries in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

Those people across the aisle are causing nothing but unnecessary panic and fear. That is absolutely irrational and disgraceful.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

October 20th, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Regional Municipality of York is constructing a massive sewer system across the Rouge River watershed, removing more than 25 million litres of groundwater each day, changing water levels in wells and in the river, and threatening fish habitat.

Authorities may have seriously underestimated the impact of this huge project, which has never had a comprehensive environmental assessment even though there have been millions spent by York region on mitigation measures.

Will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans tell the House what his department is doing to protect the 55 species of fish in the Rouge River, even if that might mean stopping the project?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I recognize the member's interest in this matter. That is why we recently organized a tour of the area for concerned members of Parliament.

In fact, this project was approved by the province under provincial legislation. My department is working with the province and municipality to ensure that any risks to fish habitat are mitigated. We are also investigating any possible violations under the Fisheries Act. If necessary, appropriate action will be taken.

Forest IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Fitzpatrick Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, last week in Saskatoon the human resources minister said the announced closure of the Weyerhaeuser mill in Prince Albert was a provincial matter, yet this past Monday the government announced a plan to invest $50 million to help forestry communities.

I have two questions for the minister. Does the federal government have a responsibility toward forestry communities, yes or no? Second, will the city of Prince Albert be able to access this special $50 million fund?