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House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was land.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the use of the Griffons in terms of search and rescue is a part of our ensuring that we have search and rescue capacity across the country.

The air force, under no circumstances, would be deploying these aircraft if they were unsafe.

The report, of course, will be released in due course, when it has been communicated to the families and when the proper procedures have taken place, but that in no way suggests that the Griffons themselves are not safe. They are safe.

The air force, I assure the hon. member, is concerned and no actions will be taken that will put into peril the lives of our servicemen.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, four years before the helicopter crashed killing two Canadian pilots, the Auditor General warned that the government's sole sourcing of a commercial helicopter without operational tests would endanger lives.

The department was warned that search and rescue operations pushed the limits of the Griffon helicopter.

Why is the minister needlessly endangering the lives of Canadian pilots?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, why is the hon. member suggesting to the House that our air force pilots and the commanders of our air force would needlessly send our men and women, who fly these machines themselves, into needless danger? This is a ridiculous assertion and it makes no sense whatsoever.

I can assure the House, just as I have always assured the House, that the leadership of our armed forces have, first and foremost, the concern for the safety of our men and women in uniform. They do not put them into needless peril.

I resent the suggestion in the hon. member's question. It is unreasonable, unwarranted and quite unacceptable.

IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week's newspapers have followed rumours of a takeover of Encana Corporation.

Given the importance of this Canadian company, could the Deputy Prime Minister inform the House of the government's views on this company and its importance to the Canadian economy?

IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, Encana is a flagship Canadian and Alberta company. It is one of the strongest in its sector and its predecessor companies have a long and distinguished history.

Since the merger of AEC and PanCanadian, Encana has grown to be the number one supplier of natural gas in the North American marketplace. It plays an important role in our economy and it is an outstanding example of Canadian innovation and competitiveness.

We expect Encana to continue this leadership position in our economy. Canada needs more Encana.

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, while the minister promises there will be action on wait times before December 31, MPs have waited and waited for the results of a 1996 cohort study on the safety of silicone breast implants.

The minister is only now trying to get permission from the provinces to release this study. How can we trust the deadline on wait times if we are still waiting for the results of a study finished in 2000?

What has the minister done to expedite the release of the cohort study on silicone breast implants?

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health has made it his duty to ensure we have security in our drug supply, security in our medications and security in our medical devices and, further, that Canadians are confident in the security of the systems we use to evaluate them.

He struck an expert advisory panel to listen to the Canadian public and ensure there was public participation, beyond the expertise in his department, to help him make informed decisions and give confidence to the public of Canada.

It takes a little bit of time but it is fully worth every moment of it.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, at the end of the war some 14,000 veterans were deemed never to have served simply because they did not fill out their discharge papers properly.

This is the Year of the Veteran and I sincerely do not want to play politics with this issue. Will the government simply say that it will rescind this order in council so history will show that these veterans did in fact answer the call and serve their country?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the government at the time did adopt a measure which it understood at the time was to deal with people who were absent without leave or had deserted at the end of the war.

Obviously the hon. member and others have brought forward evidence that some people covered by that measure may have had a valid reason for not fulfilling their demobilization responsibilities.

I can assure the member that my department is working together with Veterans Affairs Canada to examine this issue and figure out how we can make sure that no injustice is done to any Canadian for a mere technicality.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, while a senior bureaucrat from CSIS was freelancing his political views, he suggested that as many as 10 Canadians may have joined the ranks of anti-freedom, freedom-hating terrorists in Iraq who are trying to kill off the emerging democracy there.

Just last week, millions of Iraqis courageously voted in defiance of those terrorists. Why has the Prime Minister not published a letter of congratulations to the people of Iraq and why has he not condemned the actions of Canadians who have joined this band of terrorist thugs and murderers who are murdering and killing innocent people in Iraq?

Why is there no statement of condemnation?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, of course we condemn any Canadian who would choose to become an insurgent and join the insurgency in Iraq.

The comments made by the director of CSIS yesterday were not new. In fact, the director of CSIS provided even more detailed information at a special Senate committee hearing on March 7 where he said that the ranks of trained terrorist fighters in Iraq were bolstered by individuals from around the world, including from Europe and Canada. The director of the CIA has regularly made—

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Vancouver Island North.

Airline SecurityOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Conservative Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, my constituent, John Howard, tried to fly from Vancouver to Toronto and was denied a boarding pass because he has the same name as a Canadian on their do not fly list.

Air Canada has been instructed not to tell Canadians under any circumstances that they are on such a list and to refer all inquiries to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Why has the government sold out Canadian sovereignty so that American authorities now authorize air travel within Canada?

Airline SecurityOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to one part of the hon. member's question and it is very important.

When anybody suggests that we have sold out Canadian interests in relation to any other country, let me just underscore that our primary obligation is the protection and safety of Canadians, whether it is a no fly list or whether it is at the border. It does not matter.

The actions we take are taken first and foremost to protect Canadian—

Airline SecurityOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Simcoe—Grey.

Disaster Relief FundsOral Questions

October 21st, 2005 / 11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the government held its photo ops it gave the distinct impression that any NGO raising money for disaster relief in Pakistan would be eligible to receive matching funds.

Now we are learning that is not how it is going to work. Instead, the Liberals will be putting all the money in one pot before allocating it to groups of their choosing. So, indeed, very few groups raising money will actually receive matching funds.

Why has the government misled Canadians who have given so generously?

Disaster Relief FundsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate the generosity of Canadians and we have been encouraging Canadian generosity. This is precisely why we have this time again proposed to match every dollar that will be donated.

However we have learned from the tsunami experience and we realize that it is better to keep some flexibility in the way we actually match Canadian dollars to ensure it goes to where it is needed most. There are humanitarian emergencies at the beginning and then we have to begin reconstruction and we need to be where—

Disaster Relief FundsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Niagara West—Glanbrook.

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, CARP, an organization representing over 400,000 seniors, has recently sent a letter to the Minister of Finance regarding his mishandling of income trusts. This letter states that Canadian seniors are enraged, frightened and panicked, not supportive as the minister may suggest.

In the letter from CARP one senior states:

Many seniors have been hurt by the uncertainty caused by the government’s insensitive handling of the Income Trust situation.

Another senior writes:

The government has taken the solid platform from under our feet and replaced it with an open shaft.

When will the minister stop giving the shaft to Canadian seniors?

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are conducting a consultation process in a calm and unfrenzied way to ensure that the public policy on this issue is correct. I am encouraged to see that we have the support of a number of provinces in that regard.

I would also point out that with respect to senior citizens we have raised the RRSP limits. We have removed the foreign property rule. We are increasing the GIS. We are reducing taxes. We are removing 240,000 from the tax rolls. We have rendered the CPP actuarily sound for 75 years. We have also indexed the entire tax system and the social security system.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Bloc Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government does not realize that the softwood lumber crisis has, in the past three years, cost the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region 3,000 jobs. The equivalent in Montreal would be 30,000.

What is the government waiting for before creating a real assistance program to support the businesses and workers in our region affected by the softwood lumber crisis?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:50 a.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

Those figures strike me as absolutely incorrect, although I will not challenge them today. Nevertheless, Quebec's forestry sector is suffering for many reasons, among them the softwood lumber crisis, reduced access to the resource, and international competition.

We have already taken action on one front, with mitigation measures to help the Government of Quebec following the adoption of Bill 71, in response to the Coulombe report. We intend to continue our efforts to assist Quebec's forestry sector, as we are trying to do Canada-wide.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Bloc Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's recent actions have no connection whatsoever with the softwood lumber crisis, as the minister has said. It is all very well to create support programs for secondary and tertiary processing, and there is nothing bad about these in themselves, but the urgency right now is to save the companies and workers affected by the softwood lumber crisis.

What is the government waiting for before at last making available the loan guarantees the industry has been calling for?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:50 a.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, with all respect for the proposal by the Bloc Québécois, I feel we have an obligation to make sure that any potential measures would not confirm the Americans in their position of imposing duties. Extreme prudence is therefore required concerning this initiative.

That said, the main problem we have to address in connection with forestry is not the softwood lumber issue. There is a whole series of problems. We started with one of the key elements, which is Bill 71. We will then address the others in conjunction with the other provinces.

Forest IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Fitzpatrick Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, a recent $50 million forestry program is restricted to forestry communities in Quebec. The problems of the forestry industry affect hundreds of communities in all regions of Canada.

Excluding hundreds of communities like Prince Albert is just plain wrong. It is not standing up for Canadians.

Why is the Liberal-NDP coalition government designing forestry programs which exclude forestry communities like Prince Albert?