November 6, 2003

LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the resolution that the government indicated we would support, the Costa Rican resolution, unfortunately never made it to a vote yesterday at the United Nations.

It did not make it to a vote because the Organization of Islamic States decided to put forward a motion that called for a hoisting or deferral of the issue for two years because the Organization of Islamic States believed that there was no consensus and therefore no agreement could be reached.

Unfortunately, because of that motion, we were unable to reach the vote on the substance of the Costa Rican motion.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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CA

Rob Merrifield

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, Canada's abstinence on that vote cost the vote. Abstinence does not show any kind of leadership.

I will quote what the minister said yesterday. She said, “We will be supporting a resolutionthat bans all forms of cloning”.

Why did the government renege on that commitment?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we did not renege on that commitment. I was very clear. We wish to bring the Costa Rican resolution to a vote, and we would have supported that resolution, which was a prohibition, a complete ban on all forms of cloning.

We did not in fact support the Organization of Islamic States in its attempt to defer this for two years.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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LIB

Charles Caccia

Liberal

Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is of the Prime Minister, and it is as follows.

When can Canadians finally expect the ratification of the United Nations law of the sea to take place?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Fisheries and Oceans
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for the question. I know of his very deep commitment on the issue.

I am pleased to inform him and the House that this afternoon the Minister of Foreign Affairs will sign Canada's instrument of ratification for the UN convention on the law of the sea. The instrument will be deposited with the secretary general of the United Nations soon after.

This is great news for all Canadians. By ratifying, Canada gains a voice in an international institution set up by the convention and will be able to advance our commitment to improving the conservation of fisheries on the high seas.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Fisheries and Oceans
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CA

Bob Mills

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, I know with interest that U2's Bono will be attending the Liberal convention next week. Given Bono's well-known interest as a humanitarian and an environmentalist, will the Minister of Environment mention to him that the new Liberal leader's shipping company is a little less than sterling in the area of environment? It has been charged and convicted with environmental infractions, like illegally dumping oil in the ocean.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to hear that Mr. Bono will be attending the Liberal convention. It is an excellent forum for such a person to get together with like-minded people who are concerned about humanitarian issues and the environment.

He will have a warm welcome from all of us and we are looking forward to having good discussions with him.

I am just delighted that the hon. member has raised this. I am only sorry that he will not be there unless we have a conversion in the next couple of days.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CA

Bob Mills

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, Sonny Bono has not come back, so maybe the minister should check out who will be there.

Today the Minister of the Environment will appear before our committee about estimates. We requested this input on May 27. It is interesting that the estimates were deemed reported back to the House on October 24, and were voted on, on October 28. That is some input that we will have to the minister.

How can the minister totally disregard his committee in that way?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am puzzled. If in fact the decision on supplementary estimates, to which the member refers, only came forward on October 28, I think I am responding pretty quickly to get there this afternoon.

As he knows, I attended the committee many times this year and was always delighted to be there. I am really looking forward to questions from the hon. member because it will be a real opportunity for him to learn something.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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BQ

Gilles-A. Perron

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles-A. Perron (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of National Revenue tried to be reassuring by telling us that nobody gets a free ride from the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. We would love to take her word for it. But we have to wonder when an investigation that normally takes 90 days is done in record time, a mere 10 days, especially when the Prime Minister's son-in-law is involved.

What we would like the minister to tell us is who lifted the order for Seizure No. 3123-03-0110 and why was this done in record time?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
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LIB

Elinor Caplan

Liberal

Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, everything I said yesterday in the House was correct.

I would say to the member opposite, he should be aware that in the year 2001 changes to the Customs Act, which were fully debated in the House, made a provision for an administrative review where errors had been made in seizures so they could be dealt with without going through the long and cumbersome adjudication procedures. That applies for all cases, and that law, after full debate, was passed in the House in 2001.

I will say very clearly, if people abuse our programs, they lose it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
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LIB

Mauril Bélanger

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Last week, the Standing Committee on Official Languages tabled its ninth report on the lack of access by minority linguistic communities to health care services in the language of their choice.

One of the committee's fourteen recommendations asks the Government of Canada to make this important issue the focus of the next federal-provincial-territorial conference. Is the minister favourable to this recommendation?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague and all the members of the Standing Committee on Official Languages for this report. I will examine this report and the recommendations with interest.

Let me say that I am willing to include the issue of minority language access to health care services on the agenda for the next formal meeting of federal-provincial-territorial health ministers.

Health Canada will continue to work with minority language communities as well as the provinces to ensure enhanced access to health services for all Canadians.

The 2003 budget allocated over $89 million to improve access to health services and to health care professionals--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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?

The Speaker

I wish to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the 2003 recipients of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.

The recipients for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in the Performing Arts are: the hon. member for Kicking Horse Pass, also known as Dave Broadfoot, Douglas Campbell, Norman Jewison, Micheline Lanctôt and Ian Tyson.

The recipients of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts are: Sandra Pitblado and Jim Pitblado.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence in Gallery
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?

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence in Gallery
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?

The Speaker

I invite all hon. members to meet the recipients at a reception at 3:15 p.m. in Room 216-N.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence in Gallery
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CA

John Reynolds

Canadian Alliance

Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the government House leader to indicate what business is scheduled for the rest of today and tomorrow.

Mr. Speaker, all opposition parties have agreed to pass at all stages, Bill C-57, which is the enabling legislation to bring into effect the Westbank first nation self-government agreement of October 3, 2003 and the Westbank first nation constitution.

My party has also agreed, and we hope others will, to pass Bill C-56 at all stages. Bill C-56 amends the Patent Act and the Food and Drugs Act to facilitate access to pharmaceutical products, to address the public health problems affecting many developing nations, especially those resulting from HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics.

Could the government House leader advise us whether we will put those through the House before we leave on Friday? With great anticipation, could he also tell the House what business we will be dealing with on November 17?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Business of the House
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to answer all these questions.

This afternoon, the House will proceed to the report stage of Bill C-19, the first nations fiscal legislation. If this is completed in time, we will call Bill S-13, the census bill.

Tomorrow morning the business will be Bill C-51, the amendments to the Canada Elections Act. In the afternoon, pursuant to the offer made by the hon. member and others, we will proceed with Bill C-57, for our aboriginal community of Westbank, and hopefully will do all stages.

There have been discussions among House leaders. I understand that we could also, pursuant to the outcome of further negotiations, deal with Bill C-56.

We would then return to Bill C-52, the radiocommunication bill.

On our return from the remembrance week break, we will return to the unfinished business from this week. We will also commence report stage of such anticipated legislation as Bill C-38, the marijuana bill.

May I in conclusion thank all House leaders for the excellent cooperation they have given me throughout the last several years. Of course I will get to say that when we come back in November. I thank the right hon. Prime Minister as well.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Business of the House
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NDP

Bill Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

Given that we were pushing for Bill C-56 long before the Alliance ever knew there was a problem, we just want you to know that the NDP agrees to pass it at all stages right away.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Business of the House
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?

The Speaker

They are delighted, I am sure, to know that.

Pursuant to order adopted earlier this day, we now have statements. The hon. member for Davenport.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Business of the House
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November 6, 2003