June 4, 2003

LIB

Herb Dhaliwal

Liberal

Hon. Herb Dhaliwal (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on a number of occasions in the House in response to the hon. member, we had a major program in phase one. We admitted at that time that this was an area that we wanted to monitor closely, that we wanted to watch what has happened across the country and if other programs were needed, if more help was needed, that it was something we would look at.

We still have the same position. We have not changed. We are monitoring the situation. We certainly will take the representation of the hon. member and the party into consideration.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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BQ

Serge Cardin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Serge Cardin (Sherbrooke, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear a “yes”.

How does the government want us to interpret its total inaction on phase 2 of the softwood lumber industry assistance package? Does the government realize that the signal it is sending to the Quebec regions so severely affected by the softwood lumber crisis is that, if it wanted to make this industry disappear, this is exactly how it would go about it?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Herb Dhaliwal

Liberal

Hon. Herb Dhaliwal (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is simply wrong when he says there is a lack of action. We in fact have provided action.

Just a few minutes ago the Secretary of State for Western Economic Diversification put forward a number of programs and proposals that are there that are looking at community adjustment programs. Human Resources Development Canada has also indicated the programs it is involved in.

We are taking action for the workers and for the industries across the country. I would hope the hon. member would recognize the good work that has already been done in all those programs.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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CA

David Anderson

Canadian Alliance

Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the BSE saga continues. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has commissioned three international experts from the United States, Switzerland and New Zealand to issue a report on our response to BSE and to address the issue of the safety of Canada's beef supply.

Could the minister tell us what are the terms of reference for those experts and their future report?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Herb Dhaliwal

Liberal

Hon. Herb Dhaliwal (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I will certainly bring the question to the attention of the Minister of Agriculture who, as members know, is meeting with representatives of the beef industry to make sure they have their input. I will make sure that the hon. member gets a comprehensive response from the Minister of Agriculture.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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CA

David Anderson

Canadian Alliance

Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable that there is not a spokesman in the House who can deal with this issue. The CFIA has stated that these individuals will be asked to validate the Canadian actions and to determine whether policy adjustments are warranted.

Could the minister tell the House if the reopening of the border is contingent on the findings of the team from the United States, New Zealand and Switzerland?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Herb Dhaliwal

Liberal

Hon. Herb Dhaliwal (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has stated before, we need to make sure we do the science. That is exactly what we are doing. It is on sound science that we will be able to convince the international community and the U.S. that this was an isolated case. So far we have only found one cow that was infected with BSE; no other animal has been found. It is something we are looking at.

As I said in my earlier response, we hope that next week all the tests will be done so that we can start moving our product to our markets around the world and into the U.S. That is what the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is doing right now.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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BQ

Claude Bachand

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Defence voted in favour of the missile defence program while other government members voted against it, for fear that this program would lead to the militarization of space. That motion closes the discussions. It is as if we were giving blanket approval to any system from the outset.

Does the government realize that the expression any system contained in the motion means that the government is accepting in advance the militarization of space?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Natioal Defence
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I just explained in English, the message of the caucus is very clear: we are opposed to the militarization of space. That is also the government's position.

As I have already explained, I have received this message, and the government says it welcomes it, because it is also government policy.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Natioal Defence
Permalink
BQ

Claude Bachand

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, responding to the committee report, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated, “Canada remains opposed to the weaponization of space and will continue to oppose deploying weapons in space”.

Yesterday, some Liberal members voted against the government, because they felt that the motion went too far.

Could the government give us the reason for this shift between the position it took a month ago and the one voted on in this House yesterday?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Natioal Defence
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to get across to this member the reality I have now explained twice.

There has been no change in the government's position. We were opposed to weapons in space months and years ago. We were opposed yesterday, we are today and we will be tomorrow. That is the reality.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Natioal Defence
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CA

Kevin Sorenson

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, of the 331 people killed on Air India flight 182, 280 were Canadians, 80 of whom were children, yet both the previous administration and the government refused to initiate a commission of inquiry. Recent allegations only serve to remind us that Canadians and the rest of the world deserve to know exactly what transpired on or before the June 23, 1985 disaster.

Will the Solicitor General immediately initiate that commission of inquiry?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air India
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member that the most important inquiry in the whole Air India bombing is taking place right now, where the people who are responsible for that bombing will be brought to justice. That is what we should keep our eyes on.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air India
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CA

Kevin Sorenson

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 the leader of the official opposition, now our current Prime Minister, promised that the Liberals would “continue to press the government to create a royal commission to look into the Air India disaster”. After 10 years Canadians are still waiting for this unfulfilled promise.

Will the Solicitor General put an end to the wait and immediately initiate that royal commission of inquiry?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air India
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, even if we wanted to do a public inquiry, it would be inappropriate while the court case is going on. However, I would refer the hon. member to the annual report of the Security Intelligence Review Committee for 1991-92. It reviewed extensively and had numerous interviews. It reviewed a lot of the documentation around the incident and concluded that the “service wasnot in a position to predict that the Air India flight was to be the target of a terrorist bomb”.

I would refer the member to the report. If he were to read it, he might learn something.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air India
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LIB

Mauril Bélanger

Liberal

Mr. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa—Vanier, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the Ottawa Business Journal carried a story about possible announcements regarding municipal transit in Ottawa.

One source had a major funding announcement coming out of the Minister of Transport's office before June 18. Another one had a major announcement regarding a funding mechanism from Industry Canada regarding municipal transit projects. There seems to be quite a bit of confusion.

Would the minister responsible for the strategic infrastructure program care to dispel some of this confusion and comment on these announcements about municipal transit in Ottawa?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Urban Affairs
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LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the Government of Canada has already identified the project in Ottawa that it will be investing in during this round of strategic infrastructure. Up to $30 million will be put into services for a project to expand the Ottawa Congress Centre which is one of the priorities of the city.

As to the future, while there have been preliminary discussions with the city on public transit, we are far from any announcement. Indeed, we are working through issues that must be resolved first. When we are in a position to make an announcement, obviously we will let people know.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Urban Affairs
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PC

Bill Casey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland—Colchester, PC)

Mr. Speaker, I am beginning to think the Minister for International Trade is hearing voices on the softwood lumber file.

In the Edmonton Journal he is quoted as saying “Our Team Canada is very solid. We don't have to be in total agreement on every comma”. This is not about commas. The fact is that six out of ten provinces are diametrically opposed to his position on quotas.

Then he says in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald that “the Maritime (Lumber) Bureau has also asked us to work on their behalf”. Yes, they have, but they do not want him to go into quotas. They say we must be excluded again from any attempt to allocate quotas. That is exactly what he is trying to do, allocate quotas.

If he is hearing these voices of support, I challenge him to rise in his seat and name one provincial government that supports his proposal, or one association in the softwood lumber file that supports--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
Permalink
?

The Speaker

The hon. Minister for International Trade.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we continue to work as a country.

There are many companies and I have a list of letters here from many people begging us to re-engage with the United States.

I understand that we have a two track strategy. We want to win before the courts and at the same time I am being asked to re-engage with the United States. These are moves in order to re-engage with the United States. That is exactly what the provinces and industry have been asking us throughout.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
Permalink

June 4, 2003