April 29, 2004

BQ

Louis Plamondon

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Louis Plamondon (Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said he would bring up the mad cow issue when he meets with President Bush.

Does the Prime Minister intend to limit his approach only to aspects that affect farmers in the west, or does he also intend to bring up aspects that specifically affect dairy farmers in Quebec who are having problems exporting cull?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Ralph Goodale

Liberal

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will be dealing with a broad range of issues with the President. Those directly involving the trade position between Canada and the United States, that trade is worth something in the order of $1.5 billion to $2 billion per day flowing back and forth across the border. It is hugely important on both sides.

The hon. member may rest assured that the Prime Minister has the entire spectrum of Canadian interests in mind, and I am very pleased to see that agriculture is very high on his agenda.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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BQ

Louis Plamondon

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Louis Plamondon (Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, more specifically, does the Prime Minister intend to ask for the embargo to be lifted, not only on calves, but also on animals older than 30 months? This affects farmers in Quebec in particular.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Ralph Goodale

Liberal

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian position is that the science is clear. The regulatory process has been fully and conscientiously completed by Canada. We have complied with all of the international standards. We believe the border for our beef and our live cattle should be open, period, 100%.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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CA

Dick Harris

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Richard Harris (Prince George—Bulkley Valley, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is despite the government's bungling that our softwood industry has just won a key decision by the NAFTA dispute resolution panel. It ruled that U.S. lumber producers have not suffered injury from Canadian exports.

When the Prime Minister visits with George Bush, will he demand, not wish, not hope, but demand that billions in illegal softwood penalties imposed on our producers be returned immediately to our softwood producers? The workers and their families demand it, not wish it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

John Harvard

Liberal

Hon. John Harvard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we are very happy with the NAFTA panel decision today because it confirms what we have been saying all along, that our industry does not pose a threat to its U.S. counterpart.

What we ultimately want is free trade in softwood lumber, and the decision made by the NAFTA panel today takes us in that direction. We hope, as a government, that the U.S. will respect the NAFTA panel decision.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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CA

Dick Harris

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Richard Harris (Prince George—Bulkley Valley, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is our party that has always demanded that the softwood dispute problem be resolved through litigation. The key NAFTA ruling today proves that we were right and that the government's continuous attempts at end runs around the process were wrong.

Will the government stop its band-aid approach to the softwood lumber dispute and let the established resolution process continue to win this dispute for our softwood industry?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

John Harvard

Liberal

Hon. John Harvard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I think it would be fair to say that today's decision from the NAFTA panel constitutes the winning of one battle for us but we have not won the war. We will continue our efforts.

The Prime Minister and Minister of International Trade are in Washington today. They will continue their best efforts to resolve this issue. We are involved with all the stakeholders, the workers, the provinces, the communities and, ultimately, our goal is to get free trade. We think that the decision today by the NAFTA panel takes us in that direction.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Gilbert Barrette

Liberal

Mr. Gilbert Barrette (Témiscamingue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, could the Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec tell us about the measures undertaken to increase the ability of Quebec and Canadian universities to pursue technological research and development activities of international scope that will benefit Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Research and Development
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LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, over the years, our government has invested in excess of $13 billion in research, precisely to help our universities to be among the top institutions at the international level.

This week, for example, the Canada Foundation for Innovation announced that the New Opportunities Fund for new members of the teaching staff will provide $30 million for projects. Once again, researchers at the Université du Québec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue will benefit from this initiative and conduct a research project relating to silviculture and wildlife management.

Congratulations to these researchers.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Research and Development
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PC

Elsie Wayne

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the government has failed to protect all the port cities of this country. First it removed the port police, then it cut back on harbour pilots and now most federal ports are being left out of that new national security plan.

Ports are natural access points, like airports or border crossings, yet the government has practically ignored them. Why is the government exposing our communities to such risks?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Port Security
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LIB

Tony Valeri

Liberal

Hon. Tony Valeri (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is very nice to hear the opposition finally acknowledge that ports are important.

The Government of Canada has introduced a six point marine security plan which in fact illustrates our continued commitment to better detect, assess and report with respect to marine threats.

As I have said in the House, marine facility security is an important part of the national security policy and in the coming days or weeks I will announce a marine facility program that will assist ports in meeting that security requirement.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Port Security
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PC

Elsie Wayne

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I just hope that the hon. minister knows that the port of Saint John has the highest tides in the world and cutting back on the pilots and port police does not help.

If Canada becomes the target of an attack, it will happen where we least expect it and when our guard is down. The attackers will not go to Halifax, Montreal or Vancouver when those ports are heavily defended. They will strike where our defences are low, at one of the ports that the government has totally forgotten about, such as the port of Saint John.

How can the minister defend a plan that leaves so many--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Port Security
Permalink
?

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Port Security
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LIB

Tony Valeri

Liberal

Hon. Tony Valeri (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the international ship and port facilities security code, which will take effect July 1, is a code that we will meet. The port facilities in this country will meet that particular standard. We have in fact gone beyond that standard and have established a North American standard. The government will participate in assisting our ports and ports facilities in meeting that international requirement.

As I said, in the coming days we will be making an announcement which will assist ports and ports facilities in meeting that standard.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Port Security
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BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, we can see right through the Prime Minister's little game. In Washington, he will not talk about the missile defence shield or the expansion of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Why? Because he has already made up his mind. As for softwood lumber, he was looking for an agreement at any cost. Fortunately, the NAFTA ruling was issued. As regards the mad cow issue, he is looking for a solution that will benefit western producers, while letting Quebec producers down.

Can the government deny that the whole purpose of the Prime Minister's trip to Washington is a good photo op with George Bush and nothing more?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Ralph Goodale

Liberal

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Canada is on the job every day defending and promoting the interests of Canadians. On occasion, that means going abroad and visiting foreign leaders in foreign capitals. I am very pleased to say that Canadians are extraordinarily proud of the Prime Minister on the international stage advancing the interests of Canada in the most dignified of manners.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Christian Jobin

Liberal

Mr. Christian Jobin (Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on April 27 the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness injected $690 million into the new national security policy. Over $300 million of this will be used to protect the marine sector.

I would like the Minister of Transport to tell the House whether this $300 million will be used to pay for the new security measures that will be required in ports as of July 1, 2004.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Port Security
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LIB

Tony Valeri

Liberal

Hon. Tony Valeri (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the $308 million that was announced this week by the Deputy Prime Minister to enhance marine security will enable our ports to better detect, assess and respond to marine threats. These initiatives complement the new regulations, the ISPS code, which we will meet by July 1.

As I have stated over the last couple of days, the government is working with effective marine stakeholders to ensure that their plans will be approved by July 1. I have committed to assisting marine stakeholders to ensure that they will meet the security requirements.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Port Security
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NDP

Bill Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Hon. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am tempted to ask the Liberals another question on their position on health care but it seems that they are just making it up as they go along. One day it is publicly funded, the next day it is for profit and the next day it is public delivery. We cannot keep track of it.

I will go back to the Minister of National Defence on star wars. He criticized the Conservatives and the New Democrats for having a position on star wars and national missile defence. Could he tell the House why he believes Canadians do not deserve to know the true Liberal position until after the election?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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April 29, 2004