November 5, 2001

LIB

Paddy Torsney

Liberal

Ms. Paddy Torsney (Burlington, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the global competitiveness report was recently released. Could the industry minister tell the House how Canada ranked in growth competitiveness compared to previous years?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Economy
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LIB

Brian Tobin

Liberal

Hon. Brian Tobin (Minister of Industry, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to note that according to the World Economic Forum and Harvard University, Canada has moved from number six last year in competitiveness to number three this year in competitiveness. This is no doubt a direct consequence of the inspired and enlightened investment over the last eight--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Economy
Permalink
?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg--Transcona.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Economy
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NDP

Bill Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg--Transcona, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Right Honourable Prime Minister and concerns Bill C-36.

The Prime Minister is recorded in the press today as being flexible when it comes to Bill C-36. We were worried last week that the government might be changing its mind with respect to openness, with respect to sunset clauses.

I wonder, in light of the report from the Senate and the flexibility reported on the part of the Prime Minister, can the Prime Minister say today that he is open to the committee coming up with some kind of sunset clause for Bill C-36?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Anti-Terrorism Act
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I always said there will be a report by the committee and we will study the committee report. I say that we have introduced in the bill a review clause in three years. Some say that it is not enough. I think it is enough but I want to listen to the members of parliament. The member wants me to give my answer before I listen to members. I will listen to members first and I might say yes or no.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Anti-Terrorism Act
Permalink
NDP

Peter Stoffer

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, after the death of her husband who served this country very proudly, Susan Riordon of Nova Scotia has brought to the attention of our committee in the House many times the death of her husband in regard to the depleted uranium that was found in his bones.

Depleted uranium has a devastating effect not only on the environment it is used in but also on the men and women and military personnel who handle it.

My question is for the Minister of National Defence. Is depleted uranium being used by the U.S. led coalition in Afghanistan in the current conflict?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Depleted Uranium
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LIB

Art Eggleton

Liberal

Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of whether it is being used by the U.S. in connection with the Afghanistan campaign.

Of course it is not used by Canada any longer, although we are not involved in the bombing in Afghanistan, but we still do not use it. We have also offered to anybody who is deployed in any theatre of operation who thinks they may have been exposed to it an opportunity to be tested. That offer still stands. We have not been able to find any evidence of low level depleted uranium affecting the health of Canadians but we still want to be vigilant because we are concerned about their health care needs.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Depleted Uranium
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CA

Gary Lunn

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Gary Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands, PC/DR)

Mr. Speaker, Canfor announced this morning that it will be filing a lawsuit against the U.S. in response to the draconian softwood lumber tariffs.

The government has been completely ineffective and the industry has been left holding the bag. My question is very simple. Job losses are soon going to surpass 50,000. Why does the Prime Minister refuse to become directly involved in this file to save Canadian jobs? Why will he not get involved in this file?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have been involved every week. I have talked to the president, at least six times over the last few months, about this all the time.

I talked to him in Shanghai. I expect to talk to him perhaps today or tomorrow and I intend to raise it again. I believe that if the Americans want to have free trade in natural gas and oil, they should have free trade in wood too because if they were not to have oil and gas from Canada, they would need a lot of wood to heat their homes.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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CA

Gary Lunn

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Gary Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands, PC/DR)

Mr. Speaker, 40 minutes ago the Prime Minister told us it was once every two or three weeks and now it is every week. The reality is that the Prime Minister lacks credibility in dealing with Americans. This is the single most important issue between our two nations and with our largest trading partner. There are 50,000 jobs at stake. We have forestry workers across the country who will be facing bankruptcy any day.

Again, why is the Prime Minister not in Washington? Why is he not there solving this issue while Canadians are going home with empty lunch boxes and no paycheques?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member would like me to be in Washington all the time and then he would complain because I am not in the House of Commons in Canada.

We have made very strong representations for a long time. Reason will prevail, we have a good case and we won in the past at the WTO. We will win again because in Canada we are exporting to the United States and why? Because our products are first class and our prices are lower.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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CA

Peter Goldring

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Creuso, a former Italian senator, has a criminal past. He was investigated for corruption, sentenced to jail and failed to pay his plea bargain settlement. Mr. Creuso was convicted for corruption while managing construction jobs in Italy.

Why would we ever give him CMHC government construction jobs to manage in Canada? Why?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Public Works
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LIB

Alfonso Gagliano

Liberal

Hon. Alfonso Gagliano (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, first let me make it very clear that crown corporations manage their own affairs and ministers do not get involved in giving contracts.

Second, CMHC gave a contract to Mr. Creuso to have relations with the Italian government. We signed an MOU in January 2001 and last month the Italian government budgeted enough to build three Canadian model houses in northern Italy.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Public Works
Permalink
CA

Peter Goldring

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, perhaps our ministers should be more involved in crown corporations to have some input into them. Canadians need to be assured that Canadian crown corporation hiring and contracting policies are fair for all, not just for making exceptions for some.

Fraud, corruption and jail time are not desirable employee or contractor qualities for any job. Surely these qualities cannot be those the minister looks for in his special advisers.

What went wrong? Why was Mr. Creuso hired?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Public Works
Permalink
LIB

Alfonso Gagliano

Liberal

Hon. Alfonso Gagliano (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I explained that he got a mandate to represent the CMHC, which wanted to do business in Italy. The report I had from CMHC was that he did a good job because in the space of a year and a half we are already building model houses so we can sell Canadian housing technology and Canadian businesses can do business outside Canada with team Canada, which the Prime Minister has been promoting since we have been in office.

I think the contract was good. Why they gave it to Mr. Creuso, that is the crown corporation's--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Public Works
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?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Mercier.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Public Works
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BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, General Myers admitted, on behalf of the Pentagon, that cluster bombs pose a danger to civilian populations.

He even apologized for the resemblance of these bombs with the humanitarian packages dropped by the United States in Afghanistan, and he pledged to change their colour. However, it is the actual use of these bombs that is generating anger and criticism everywhere.

Will the Prime Minister do like Human Rights Watch, which is not satisfied with just changing the colour of these bombs, and ask the United States to stop dropping such bombs?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Terrorism
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LIB

Art Eggleton

Liberal

Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the cluster bombs are aimed at the Taliban and they are aimed at the al-Qaïda to downgrade the military capability. They are not aimed at the Afghan people. They are not aimed at innocent men, women and children like those who were in fact aimed at by al-Qaeda in New York. They will continue to use whatever weapons they feel are necessary to bring about that degradation.

In terms of the population, however, they are changing the colour of the packages so that in fact there can be no misunderstanding, because we want to help the Afghan people.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Terrorism
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BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the minister should know that it is so unclear that these bombs are only aimed at tanks, that the United States is sending messages warning people to be cautious.

The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating. The civilian deaths, the cluster bombs, the cold and winter about to come, and the movements of populations are all reasons for concern. It is extremely difficult to send food inside Afghanistan.

Will the Prime Minister promote the idea advocated by the chair of the Canadian chapter of Médecins du Monde, Dr. Réjean Thomas—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Terrorism
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?

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Terrorism
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November 5, 2001