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House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was food.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week, leading researchers from UBC condemned the government's interference in research on Insite. The only response from the government was that the decision on Insite would not be based on scientific evidence alone.

If the Conservative government is not making its decisions based on evidence, then what on earth is it basing it on?

What exactly is the government so desperately seeking that was not covered in more than 20 studies? What is it so afraid of in dealing with the scientific evidence before it?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I find it unusual for the hon. member to make that allegation.

We are the government that actually wants more research and has commissioned more research. We want to ensure this decision is the right decision for Canada, for addicts and for the community in Vancouver.

That is the decision we have made, more research and more consideration. That is because we are open-minded and we want to make the best decision for Canada and Canadians.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs and pertains to the case of Mr. Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen who remains in Khartoum and who does not have a passport.

I would like to ask the minister what he will do to ensure the return of Mr. Abdelrazik to Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said last week to my hon. colleague, we are currently assessing Mr. Abdelrazik's situation. What I can say is that Mr. Abdelrazik has the benefit of full consular assistance. We are providing medical support and have helped him communicate with his family and his lawyer. As we all know, he has sought temporary refuge at the embassy.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we can only assume that Mr. Abdelrazik does not pose a security threat because both his parliamentary secretary and his chief of staff met with Mr. Abdelrazik when they were in Khartoum. So if he is not a security threat and the minister has said he should not be on a list, I would like to ask the minister this. Mr. Abdelrazik cannot get access to a passport. It is all very well to say we are giving him refuge, but he wants to come back to Canada. The minister knows perfectly well that Mr. Abdelrazik's future lies in his hands and in the hands of the Government of Canada. What are you going to do to make sure that Mr. Abdelrazik can come home to his country?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am sure the question was addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can say to the former NDP leader that Mr. Abdelrazik is temporarily unable to return to Canada because he is on the UN list of terrorists suspected of being affiliated with al Qaeda, the Taliban or even Osama bin Laden.

BurmaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, death tolls in Burma from Saturday's tragic cyclone may now exceed 10,000. Those left homeless probably number in the hundreds of thousands. Getting assistance to the Burmese people is made more challenging by the repressive military dictatorship.

Will the government commit to work with the Red Cross and other appropriate relief agencies to ensure that sufficient aid reaches directly the people most affected? Will the government announce this aid this afternoon when it presents Aung San Suu Kyi's Canadian citizenship to Prime Minister Sein Win?

BurmaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, first of all, our government expresses condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and concern for all who were affected.

CIDA will respond by setting aside $2 million to support international humanitarian organizations such as the UN, the International Red Cross and the World Food Program.

We have just received word that the UN has negotiated access with the government of Myanmar. We call upon the government of Myanmar to allow access to other international humanitarian organizations and to allow for an effective aid operation.

BurmaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I do not call it Myanmar; I call it Burma, as the people call it.

To help the stricken people of Burma on this tragic day, will the Prime Minister meet with Prime Minister Sein Win this afternoon? Will the Government of Canada commit to hosting a Burmese MP union meeting in Ottawa this year? Will CIDA provide the million dollar shortfall in food aid to Burmese refugees, over and above what the minister just announced, that occurred even before the cyclone?

How will the Canadian government assure that the assistance the minister just announced goes directly to the people?

BurmaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we have set aside $2 million to help in the international effort. We will provide that money to the international organizations that are allowed access into the country to help those who are affected.

We will urge the government to allow international organizations to proceed with an effective aid operation so that this challenge can be addressed and the people's suffering can be reduced.

BurmaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, even though the government is about to confer honorary Canadian citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi to show its support for those opposing the Burmese regime, the government is incapable of keeping its own promises by ensuring that the embargo that it imposed against that regime is effective.

What concrete measures does the Minister of Foreign Affairs intend to take to ensure that the embargo is respected by Canadian businesses?

BurmaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the sanctions we imposed on the military junta are the strictest in the world. We are doing this to ensure that this regime changes. We want the people of Burma to have a democratic regime in the near future, one that shows respect for human rights and dignity.

With regard to the measures taken through our sanctions, they are very strict and people who do not obey them could be sentenced to as much as five years in prison.

Olympic GamesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the apparel industry in Quebec in crisis, the best those in charge of the Olympic uniforms for the Canadian delegation in Beijing could come up with was to have those garments made in China. What a way to encourage a suffering industry. What a show of indifference from the Conservatives in the face of the manufacturing industry crisis.

Does the government intend to correct the situation and ensure that Canada's Olympic athletes will be wearing clothing made here?

Olympic GamesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeSecretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, that is an example of the ineffective presence of the Bloc in the House of Commons?

This was a decision made in 2004 by Vanoc, the Canadian Olympic Committee. We see that the Bloc members in this House were completely ineffective in that process. This is a decision into which the Canadian athletes have had some input. It was not a government decision.

Public SafetyOral Questions

May 5th, 2008 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week, my riding experienced record-breaking floods. On January 1, 2008, the federal government determined that no assistance would be available for vacation homes under the federal disaster financial assistance program.

Can the Prime Minister guarantee to my constituents that the federal government will immediately provide compensation for damage to their second homes, that non-profit organizations and municipalities will also be fully compensated for expenses related to flooding and that volunteer firefighters and volunteer emergency workers will be compensated for lost income?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is closely monitoring the flood situation in New Brunswick through the Government Operations Centre.

The Province of New Brunswick has made an official request for financial assistance available through the disaster financial assistance arrangements. There are eligibility requirements that will be covered here and we will continue to work with the Province of New Brunswick.

BurmaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, following the commitment made in the Speech from the Throne, the House passed a motion on October 17 conferring honouring Canadian citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi in recognition of her struggle to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Burma.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs update the House on what the government is doing to implement this motion?

BurmaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to say that later today I will present a certificate of honorary citizenship to Aung San Suu Kyi's cousin, Dr. Sein Win, who will accept this honour on her behalf.

This government will continue to stand alongside those who, like Aung San Suu Kyi, stand up for democracy, for human rights, the rule of law and for all the people of Burma.

BurmaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, to start off, I just want to pass on our condolences, and our thoughts are with the people of Burma after the horrific cyclone on the weekend.

The real leader of Burma is Aung San Suu Kyi . One of the things we were trying to get the government to do is to bring in tough sanctions. I just heard the minister get on his feet and say that they were tough.

However, the NDP has documents here showing that when the question was posed on how the minister and the government could determine whether the sanctions were working, they replied that there was no requirement by companies to advise us of their investments in Burma.

What is this? It is a paper tiger. We have no action. What is the government going to do about real sanctions on Burma?

BurmaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, these sanctions are the strictest in the world, and I invite the international community to follow Canada's lead and impose sanctions as severe as Canada's. These sanctions are proof of our government's commitment to promoting freedom, promoting human rights, and promoting the rule of law around the world, and especially in Burma.

BurmaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the saying goes, “there is no there there” when it comes to tough sanctions from the government.

The Canada pension plan holds more than $1 billion worth of shares with companies linked to Burma.

The government has admitted that sanctions have a very limited impact, and merely affect future investment. The government has no way of knowing whether investments are being made in Burma.

Will the minister finally act? When will he put a stop to Canadian investments in Burma?

BurmaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on December 14, we took action by imposing the strictest sanctions in the world. I wish that my colleague could do something, as we are doing, to change the regime, to get the military junta out of Burma, and to help give the people a democracy that respects the rule of law and human dignity.

That is what we are doing. We have taken a leadership role in doing this, and we invite the international community to do what we are doing and impose the strictest possible sanctions on that regime.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were horrified by the gruesome deaths of 500 ducks at Syncrude tailings pond. This type of ecological disaster will only happen more often as Alberta's oil sands develop beyond control.

The president of Syncrude describes the Prime Minister as a very good supporter of the oil sands.

Will the Prime Minister become a very good supporter of the planet and commit today to using his government's authority under the Migratory Birds Convention Act to immediately prosecute this crime and any future incidents of this kind?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we take this issue tremendously seriously. Officials from Environment Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service were on the scene to provide support. An investigation is going forward to investigate any illegal offences which may have occurred.

Thanks to this government, we have brought in more financial resources to support environmental enforcement, something that was lacking.

While I am on my feet I could ask the member opposite a question. Does she not agree that it is unacceptable to dump raw sewage into the Pacific Ocean like she did when she was minister of the environment in British Columbia?