October 23, 2003

CA

Charlie Penson

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Charlie Penson (Peace River, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, there are reports today that a deal with the U.S. on softwood lumber could be reached within weeks. The last softwood lumber agreement with the United States included quotas and other market restrictions to Canadian softwood lumber.

Could the trade minister tell us today whether the rumour is true and whether he has given up on free trade in softwood lumber?

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, I would like to thank the Alliance for asking me my first softwood lumber question in a few months. Indeed, the negotiators for Canada and the United States have met recently. They have--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. minister has to be able to have his answer heard and everyone wants to hear it. It is the first one in months and the hon. minister will want to be heard.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew

Mr. Speaker, the negotiators of Canada and of the United States met recently and compared notes to see the progress of the file since the July proposal, the best effort they had put on the table.

We are looking to the WTO and NAFTA decisions that have come our way to strengthen our hand. We will take into consideration, when continuing this dialogue with the United States, our progress before the courts.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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CA

Charlie Penson

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Charlie Penson (Peace River, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the reason he has not had any questions for months is we have been waiting for him to do something in the meantime.

The trade minister has been boasting that Canada has won the dispute before a NAFTA panel and only needs to wait until December for confirmation of this. The final report is only eight weeks away.

Why then would the trade minister consider a deal that would limit Canadian softwood lumber access to the United States during this time?

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, our government has not changed its strategy on that one. We are before the courts. We will continue to push these cases. We have six of them at the WTO and at NAFTA. However we continue to explore with the United States other possibilities that could advance this file in the best interest of our industry.

We always do it in close communication and close contact with the industry, but we will get the best possible outcome for the Canadian softwood lumber industry.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Judi Longfield

Liberal

Mrs. Judi Longfield (Whitby—Ajax, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, literacy skills are linked to work skills, health and self-esteem and play a key role in ensuring that Canada continues to be productive, competitive and economically secure. Today is Literacy Action Day and we know that far too many Canadians still do not have the literacy skills they need.

Could the Minister of Human Resources Development tell the House how the government is addressing this critical issue?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Literacy
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, while it may seem unbelievable, eight million Canadians do not have the literacy and numeracy skills that they need to fully participate in Canada's knowledge based society and economy.

While the Government of Canada invests $30 million a year in literacy programs and services through the National Literacy Secretariat, more needs to be done.

I congratulate the hon. member and indeed all members of the standing committee on human resources for their recent comprehensive report that gives us good direction on how best to tackle Canada's literacy challenge.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Literacy
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CA

Cheryl Gallant

Canadian Alliance

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, Canadian research scientists are crying for government funding and a proposal is on the table, approved by cabinet to build a neutron facility in Canada.

Why then is the government giving $15 million to a neutron research laboratory in the United States?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Research and Development
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LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the point raised by the member must be looked into. I will look into it and respond to her when I have the information.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Research and Development
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CA

Cheryl Gallant

Canadian Alliance

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, research and development contributes to a knowledge based economy and jobs. The decision not to fund a Canadian neutron facility in Chalk River means that Canadians are falling behind every other G-8 country that has or is building a neutron source.

Why is the government forcing our best and brightest researchers out of the country along with Canadian research dollars?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Research and Development
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LIB

Rey D. Pagtakhan

Liberal

Hon. Rey Pagtakhan (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we can take pride as Canadians that we have doubled our expenditure for research and development and for science. In fact we can continue to take pride that we have some of the best scientists in the world right here in Canada. We have made excellent discoveries in many fields: medicine, physics and so on. We can continue to be proud.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Research and Development
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BQ

Sébastien Gagnon

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Sébastien Gagnon (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec minister of agriculture was a guest speaker at the annual general meeting of the UPA of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. In her speech, she again solicited the support of the region's dairy producers to convince the Canadian government to take part in another compensation program for farmers affected by the mad cow crisis.

Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food listen to reason and come to the rescue of the Quebec farmers hit by the mad cow crisis?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have had numerous meetings this week with the cattle industry, including representation from the cattle industry in the province of Quebec. We recognize the situation with the older animals in the Canadian beef industry today and we are working with the industry and with all provincial governments, including the provincial government in Quebec.

We look forward in the near future to be able to make some further support to the slaughter and the feeding of older animals in Canada.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Paddy Torsney

Liberal

Ms. Paddy Torsney (Burlington, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canada prides itself on being a country that is ethnically diverse, that we celebrate our ethnic diversity and our multiculturalism.

Could the secretary of state tell the House how her recent announcements will enhance and allow Canadian communities to enhance their social cohesion.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Multiculturalism
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LIB

Jean Augustine

Liberal

Hon. Jean Augustine (Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the multi program continues to work in partnership with community organizations for projects that support the goal of inclusion and work to combat racism and discrimination.

Yesterday, I announced four projects: one to provide journalism and anti-racism training in Toronto, Halifax and Winnipeg; one in community builders at 11 schools in Sudbury; a conflict alleviation project in partnership with the Somali-Canadian Association; and a family violence initiative with COSTI immigrant services.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Multiculturalism
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CA

John Duncan

Canadian Alliance

Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, when we send our children off to school we expect a high standard of care for them. If the fire alarm does not work, the emergency exits are broken, outside windows are broken, kids have to drink from a filthy fountain, we would expect the school to be closed. Health Canada has let this condition continue for three years at the Marten Falls first nation.

Why does the government discriminate against children on reserve when these conditions would never be tolerated anywhere else?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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LIB

Bob Nault

Liberal

Hon. Robert Nault (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I do not know the particular details of Marten Falls and the member would have been well positioned to have given us a heads-up that he would be asking the question.

I can say that the process of ensuring that schools are in good condition is part of our capital plan. We go through the school process. We look at the situation. We monitor it. Health Canada monitors it. However I will look into this on behalf of the member because I have no idea to what he is referring.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the government has signed an undertaking to cooperate with the United States on joint studies into deepening and widening the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Before joining the Americans in these studies, would it not have been standard procedure to begin by consulting the governments of Quebec and Ontario, as well as those living along the seaway, instead of jumping into a venture the outcome of which is a foregone conclusion? Has the government not put the cart before the horse here?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   St. Lawrence Seaway
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October 23, 2003