House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judges.

Topics

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is not just rolling out the red carpet for mafiosi but for international terrorists too.

Today in Los Angeles, Ahmed Ressam will be on trial for smuggling explosives into that country from Canada. He was here since 1994. He missed his refugee hearings. He was arrested for stealing computers but he still was not extradited from Canada.

We now know that Mr. Ressam was operating a terrorist headquarters out of his Montreal apartment for the world's most dangerous terrorist, Usama bin Ladin. Why did the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship not enforce the law of the land and extradite this dangerous terrorist when she knew that he was breaking Canadian law?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I understand that a deportation order had been made against this individual but the country of which he was a citizen, Algeria, was unwilling to take him back. There was no third country willing to take him. An immigration adjudicator ordered that he be released and report, and of course we know what happened after that.

The department and the government were not lax. They were working to get him out of the country and they were unable to find a country willing to take him.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the cavalier attitude the government has toward enforcing the laws of the land, protecting our borders and protecting Canadians from terrorists is really quite disturbing.

This man was detained by immigration but let go. He was arrested by the police after that for stealing. How is it that we could have allowed this man, who is known to our officials to be dangerous, to operate a terrorist cell for Usama bin Ladin, together with Fateh Kamel and Said Atmani, both of whom are now on the most wanted international list of terrorists? Why were they allowed to operate a terrorist cell in Montreal under the nose of the government?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is wrong. They were not allowing him to do what he is alleging.

Mr. Ressam is on trial now in the United States. I hope the hon. member was not trying to say things that will prejudice the successful outcome of the trial. It sounds like it.

I want to say that Canadian authorities have co-operated fully with the American authorities. They are assisting in the prosecution. I think the hon. member should give recognition to that fact.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

March 12th, 2001 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Northumberland, ON

Mr. Speaker, road salt has been in the news a great deal lately both because of concern over its use and its impact on the environment.

Could the Minister of the Environment tell the House what he is doing to protect the safety of Canadians on our nation's roadways while furthering the protection of the environment?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our purpose on this file is to make sure that we protect the safety of Canadians, particularly in the winter months, and at the same time attempt to protect the environment from the adverse effects of the chemicals that are used.

As a result, starting last year we have had consultations with Canadians which continue at this time so that we can resolve the issue of the protection of Canadians, which seems of little interest to the opposition but is important to the government.

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. The Deputy Prime Minister will know that the NDP has raised concerns about concentration of ownership in the newspaper industry in a previous parliament. The Prime Minister even seemed concerned about it at one time.

Given the obvious politicization of newspaper ownership represented by the recent letter by Mr. Asper, I wonder whether the government would be prepared to revisit the possibility of bringing in measures to deal with concentration of ownership in the media, now that it could do it without looking like it was responding to criticism but rather to praise.

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, last year the Minister of Canadian Heritage looked at this issue very seriously and is in the process right now of actually announcing a red or a blue ribbon panel of experts who will look into this issue.

Newspaper Industry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I thought she almost said red book panel, mixing her metaphors.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of trade once made a commitment to me in committee that he would sign no more free trade agreements that included investor state dispute settlement mechanisms like we find in chapter 11 of NAFTA.

Could he tell us whether the government is committed to not signing any free trade agreement, or even negotiating one in Quebec City, that includes any kind of investor state dispute settlement mechanism pursuant to the commitment that he made to me on the record in committee last year?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I have been very clear on that issue. Canada has offered leadership to our NAFTA partners. We need clarification to make sure that chapter 11 really respects the intentions of the drafters of that agreement.

I made the commitment that we would of course not sign another agreement that would have the kind of clauses that we are seeking to clarify right now.

Obviously there are important elements related to investment because we have a lot of Canadian investments abroad and we have a responsibility vis-à-vis them as well, but we will not go to the sort of things we are seeking to clarify in chapter 11 and on which we are making good progress.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister. The Department of Finance did not require any of the participants of a pre-mini budget focus group examining specific tax changes to sign confidentiality agreements.

Given the importance of budget secrecy and the potential for personal gain, why were basic measures such as confidentiality agreements not enforced and insisted on by the Minister of Finance?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we were in the middle of extensive consultations on the budget. The hon. member knows full well that all the items discussed there were items that I had raised in speeches, items that had been raised in front of the finance committee, and were all part of the extensive consultation process which continued, I must say, after this meeting with meetings of economists.

The hon. member knows full well that the focus groups are randomly chosen. If he does not understand that, I would suggest he might want to read the letter to the Globe and Mail in which the head of the polling association said that what was recommended by the Conservative Party would have amounted to a serious breach of polling ethics.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the focus group's materials were very specific in detailing the tax changes the government was to put in place. I quote “Our new package will cut the capital gains inclusion rate further to 50%”.

What steps did the minister take to ensure that no participants of the focus group benefited financially from their access to this privileged information? Will he table those measures in the House?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows full well that no final decisions were communicated. In fact, among the various tax issues that we consulted on was the flat tax. I can assure the hon. member we had no intention of introducing that particular measure.

What is really at issue here is the issue of openness and transparency in budget making. If the hon. member disagrees with the government and thinks that public policy arrived at openly and in full consultation with Canadians is not a good idea, then quite simply we disagree.