May 19, 2000

LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there is no reason for loss of the export market. Canadian canola has the highest reputation possible of any product around the world.

The Canadian regulatory system, according to all of what I just said in my previous answer, says that this product is safe. If a region of the world wants to make a political decision contrary to a health decision, it is its right to do so, I suppose. However the testing procedure is there for the buyer and the seller to make sure that they get their communications and their requirements straight between each other. The testing in order to do that on both parts is available.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transgenic Seeds
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REF

Myron Thompson

Reform

Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the situation at Correctional Service Canada seems to be going from bad to worse. The correctional officers at Joyceville institution have issued a unanimous vote of non-confidence against the management of the institution.

By the way, I have a copy of it. I am sure the minister knows that I will be glad to give it to him if he phones my office with kindness. How much more proof does the solicitor general need in order to take some concrete action against the commissioner?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Correctional Service Canada
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LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. colleague is well aware that we have one of the best correctional services in the world. People from numerous countries around the world come here to see how it is done.

We in Correctional Service Canada also want to make sure that we have the best staff. That is why we do reports and make sure we have the best rapport possible with our employees.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Correctional Service Canada
Permalink
REF

Myron Thompson

Reform

Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, this guy ought to learn how to answer a question. The question is about non-confidence.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Correctional Service Canada
Permalink
?

The Speaker

Order, please. I am not sure, but if the hon. member is referring to the minister he should address him by his title and not as this guy.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Correctional Service Canada
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REF

Myron Thompson

Reform

Mr. Myron Thompson

I apologize, Mr. Speaker. This is not isolated. I also have a letter to Ole Ingstrup from correctional officers at Edmonton maximum institution which reads:

The members have instructed the Executive to request your immediate resignation from your position as Commissioner of Corrections Canada. This request is in response to your actions which has brought Corrections Canada reputation into disrepute and undermined the public's confidence in the ability of CSC to protect them.

Is the minister prepared to work with the professional frontline workers and fire this commissioner before there is a morale problem that is totally explosive?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Correctional Service Canada
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LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated previously, the rapport between employees and management is vitally important. As my hon. colleague is well aware, we in this country have one of the best correctional services. An individual is punished for a crime and is rehabilitated, and that is the way it should be.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Correctional Service Canada
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BQ

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral (Laval Centre, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, to all the questions we have asked in the past year about food safety and the quality of export products, the government has responded that Canada's reputation was above reproach.

My question is for the Minister of Agriculture. In light of the business of the transgenic seeds in Europe, how can he explain his laxity and his slowness to set export standards?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transgenic Seeds
Permalink
LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I state again that the standards are the highest in the world. Even the governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom have both said very clearly that this is not a health issue.

The product that is being discussed is safe. It is safe according to the highest standards, safe for humans, safe for animals and safe for the environment. We are talking about a business arrangement between two parties, not a health safety issue at all.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transgenic Seeds
Permalink
BQ

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral (Laval Centre, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois has been asking the government for regulations to guarantee the exact nature of export products for a year now.

Is the minister not ashamed to stand up in the House, when he has done nothing to properly protect our export markets?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transgenic Seeds
Permalink
LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am not ashamed at all. I am proud to rise in the House. I am proud as I go around the world to explain and to have people say to me “We want to talk to you about your regulatory system in Canada. Your regulatory system in Canada ensures that the food and the products that we produce in this country, whether they be consumed in this country or in the many places in the world that we market them, are the safest in the world”.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transgenic Seeds
Permalink
REF

Rahim Jaffer

Reform

Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, all the provinces have been working for the past several weeks on preparing a full meeting of provincial, federal and territorial ministers of health at the end of May. This was the timeframe originally established by the Prime Minister and his government.

Now the Minister of Health is in full blown retreat. We know from media reports that he is pushing off a meeting until at least June and probably even later. Could the Minister of Health tell the House why he is retreating from dealing directly and immediately with the provinces on fixing Canada's ailing health care system?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I will remind the House that in January I wrote to my provincial and territorial colleagues to suggest a meeting in May so that we could discuss needed changes to Canada's health care system and additional federal money to support a coherent plan to make improvements. Indeed we met earlier than that. We met in March and we plan to meet again.

I am waiting for word. We are working with the chair, the minister from Manitoba, to find an appropriate time for such a meeting.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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REF

Deepak Obhrai

Reform

Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, ombudsman or no ombudsman, the response of the Minister for International Trade to a review of EDC is nothing but half-measures and missed opportunities.

The minister failed to address the issue of transparency, accountability and politicization of the lending practises of EDC. Canadians want accountability from this crown corporation. The minister continues to ignore this demand. Why?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Export Development Corporation
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my preference very clearly goes to transparency. We are all in favour of accountability. This is why yesterday the government's response to the report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade was that we could provide, following the very good work of the standing committee, a positive and balanced response on the part of the government that we will look into the need for more transparency and more accountability at EDC. We have responded to every recommendation of the standing committee.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Export Development Corporation
Permalink
BQ

René Canuel

Bloc Québécois

Mr. René Canuel (Matapédia—Matane, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, in the Canola matter, the government is refusing to even discuss the concept of responsibility. This is unbelievable.

My question is for the Minister of Agriculture. Who is responsible for the problem being experienced in Europe at the present time: Canada, because it has not wanted to pass any legislation, or Advanta, because that company did not do any testing?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transgenic Seeds
Permalink
LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat that the product being discussed today has passed through the strongest regulatory system in the world. Its safety in terms of health, the environment and its use on animals is without question, which was agreed to by the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization, all those organizations.

If the buyers have a set of criteria that they want the product to meet, whether it is this product or anything else, it is their duty and responsibility to explain that to the suppliers and the suppliers' responsibility to meet what the buyers want.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transgenic Seeds
Permalink
LIB

Bryon Wilfert

Liberal

Mr. Bryon Wilfert (Oak Ridges, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans introduced new boating safety regulations, operator competency requirements, age and horsepower restrictions, and new minimum equipment requirements.

There were 200 fatalities last year. These can be prevented if people take appropriate safety precautions. What steps is the minister taking to promote these regulations in order that future tragedies can and will be prevented?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Boating Safety
Permalink
LIB

Herb Dhaliwal

Liberal

Hon. Harbance Singh Dhaliwal (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is absolutely correct. There were 200 fatalities last year from boating accidents. We as a government are very much concerned. I was very happy to launch national safe boating week from May 20 to May 26. The theme this year is a campaign to get trained and to get an operator's card.

My department has a comprehensive advertising campaign to promote the new regulations. Over 1.2 million copies of the safe boating guide are being distributed.

This year we are targeting youth. If our youth take proper safety precautions we know they will also educate the adults. Youth play a very important role in ensuring that we start right at the beginning on taking appropriate safety precautions so we can prevent those fatalities.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Boating Safety
Permalink
REF

Gary Lunn

Reform

Mr. Gary Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, a computer software firm in my riding is now considering relocating in the United States. This firm has 400 employees and a payroll of $28 million. This is the kind of industry that Canada depends on for growth and prosperity.

This company wants to stay in Canada but is frustrated by high taxes and bureaucratic bungling. What does the Minister of Finance have to say to the president of this company who does not really want to move but feels he must to remain competitive?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Taxation
Permalink

May 19, 2000