April 3, 2000

LIB

David Pratt

Liberal

Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Having recently returned from a meeting on the conflict in the Great Lakes region of Africa, I know that there is great concern about the resumption of fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Can the minister tell the House what the government is doing to encourage all sides to fully comply with the terms of the Lusaka peace agreement signed last July?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, to begin with I would like to thank the hon. member for participating in that conference on behalf of Canada. I think his contribution was very important.

We have taken an active role at the security council. We have put forward a series of proposals and propositions indicating that we would help with the joint military commission, with the dialogue and with the peace process. Through the good contribution of CIDA, we have offered money to help demobilize the child soldiers.

What we are saying is that we are prepared to provide support, but the parties in the conflict have to make the agreement themselves.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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REF

Inky Mark

Reform

Mr. Inky Mark (Dauphin—Swan River, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, every day we find instances where government information is not being professionally managed. Records are not traded when they should be. Records are not properly indexed. These are not my words; these are the words of the information commissioner. He has been ringing the alarm bell for years, especially for the Treasury Board to enforce its own rules and guidelines.

My question is for the President of the Treasury Board. The bell is ringing once again. Why will the government not answer?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Information
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LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

Hon. Lucienne Robillard (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure, Lib.)

It is very clear, Mr. Speaker, that this government and the Treasury Board can undertake to improve existing administrative practices and introduce modern management methods. We must adapt to the new realities.

Every day, we make improvements, but it is very clear that as a result of recent events we are going to review the entire transfer payment policy in the very near future. We are going to increase active monitoring by the various departments.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Information
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BQ

Maud Debien

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Maud Debien (Laval East, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, today Canada took up its duties as president of the UN security council.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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?

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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BQ

Maud Debien

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Maud Debien

All signs are that a referendum will be held on the future of the West Sahara in the near future, under the aegis of the United Nations.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirm for the House that Canada will ensure that the UN's rule of 50% plus one will apply in this referendum, as it did in the case of East Timor and Eritrea?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, under the terms of determining the referendum there is an agreement that it would take place with the parties themselves.

Clearly, what we saw in the case of the west Sahara was that there was an agreement between the government in that area and the United Nations. Whereas, we have in Canada an agreement with the Parliament of Canada as to what the proper formula should be.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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NDP

Dennis Gruending

New Democratic Party

Mr. Dennis Gruending (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, a ship loaded with toxic waste is on the ocean bound for Vancouver and so far the Minister of the Environment has left the door open to accepting this waste if its PCB content falls below a certain level.

The waste comes from an American military base in Japan, but the Japanese will not touch it. The Americans themselves have legislation prohibiting the import of waste PCBs into their country, no matter what the traceable levels. If the Americans will not accept their own toxic waste, nor should we.

Will the minister simply commit to refusing entry of this toxic waste to Canada, no matter what level of PCBs it contains?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Environment
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LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

The shipment in question is currently in the United States in a port in California. We are discussing with the department of defence as to how this may be handled. I believe it will visit another American port before coming to Canada and we hope that the American authorities, as the hon. member suggested in his question, will be willing to take this waste into the United States.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Environment
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PC

Bill Casey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland—Colchester, PC)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

The last testing which the Department of Transport did on seatbelts in school buses was 16 years ago. Since that time five states in the U.S. have made seatbelts on school buses mandatory. Thirty more have pending legislation on seatbelts for school buses.

Does the minister have any intention of bringing Canada up to standard on the school bus seatbelt issue?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transport
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LIB

David Collenette

Liberal

Hon. David M. Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that some jurisdictions have made seatbelts mandatory for school buses, but our officials at Transport Canada, who are world renown in their testing and methodology, are not yet convinced that making seatbelts compulsory in school buses would be in the public interest. We have to balance off the fact that even worse results could come from such accidents if young children were belted in and unable to get out in a very difficult situation. This is something which requires further study.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transport
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LIB

Lawrence O'Brien

Liberal

Mr. Lawrence D. O'Brien (Labrador, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

I understand that Air Canada has launched its new schedule. Can the minister tell the House if these new services will deal with the overcrowding experienced on recent flights since the airline restructuring began?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Airline Industry
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LIB

David Collenette

Liberal

Hon. David M. Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there have been a lot of concerns expressed by members of the House, especially from Atlantic Canada and western Canada. The president of Air Canada assures me that the new schedule which came into effect last night will deal with these particular problems.

We will be shortly announcing the appointment of an independent monitor to look at the entire restructuring process and also a new international charter policy which will not only provide greater opportunities for overseas services but also enhance domestic competition.

Bill C-26 is now before the House and I invite hon. members to help us design ways to better protect the consumers in the airline restructuring.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Airline Industry
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REF

Grant McNally

Reform

Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to see the change of heart of the Minister of Veterans Affairs when it comes to ACOA.

When the party of Clark introduced it in 1988 he called it the Atlantic Canada overblown agency. The current heritage minister and the Deputy Prime Minister voted against it, and several others voted against it.

Why was it so bad then and so good now?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Acoa
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LIB

George Baker

Liberal

Hon. George S. Baker (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, for weeks and months now the Reform-Conservative alliance has been demanding an end to all federal programs that have to do with creating employment in high unemployment areas, where people are on EI and we see a great many poor people with children.

This party has now gotten itself a niche in Canadian political philosophy, and that niche is solidly to the right of Attila the Hun.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Acoa
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BQ

Caroline St-Hilaire

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, for the past few months, the RCMP has been asked to conduct several investigations, including nearly 20 on the files of the Department of Human Resources Development and a major one on CINAR.

My question is for the Solicitor General. Could he tell us whether he intends to make the reports of the investigations public when he gets them?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Rcmp Investigations
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LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, if there is a complaint made to the RCMP and the RCMP investigate the complaint, that is the responsibility of the RCMP. The solicitor general does not, nor does any other minister, tell the RCMP how to conduct an investigation or what to do with investigations.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Rcmp Investigations
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NDP

Svend Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Svend J. Robinson (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Canada will preside this month at the security council with a focus on human security. Will Canada finally speak up for the security of the people of Iraq, where over 500,000 children have died since 1990 as a result of inhumane UN sanctions? Will Canada call for the immediate lifting of these genocidal sanctions as recommended by former UN humanitarian co-ordinators Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck? Will we stop calling for studies and call for action to lift these sanctions now?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member probably knows, there was an agreement reached this weekend to provide additional access to $250 million for new equipment to go into Iraq so it can expand its oil pumping capacity.

Furthermore, one of the initiatives we have taken is to do a major review of all sanctions policy, including a case study of Iraq. We will be tabling this at the security council in about mid-April and then asking the council to have a major examination debate on the application and utility of sanctions, both the effect on the humanitarian civil side and how it tries to compel the behaviour to the standards of the United Nations. It is that balance that we have to maintain as part of the Canadian approach to human security.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
Permalink

April 3, 2000