House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, here are some facts about Kyoto. The United States has taken its name off the Kyoto protocol for obvious reasons. Canada still has its signature on the agreement.

Europe is gathering a coalition to ratify the protocol in Bonn in July and this can be done without the agreement of Canada, the U.S. or Australia. Finally, if it is ratified Canada is bound by the Kyoto targets, which we know we cannot live up to. Will Canada take its name off the protocol?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. The response is certainly not. We have signed the Kyoto protocol. We intend to work under the Kyoto system and we intend to meet our Kyoto targets.

We certainly want to see changes in the American position. We also have differences with the Europeans, but bargaining hard for Canadian interests is what we intend to do. We intend to meet our targets and do it the Canadian way.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, actions, not intentions, are all that really count. Canada faces international shame if we do not live up to the targets that we signed.

The Minister of the Environment continues to evade questions about ratifying Kyoto in the House but has admitted, for instance in the Hill Times recently:

We won't ratify that here—and I'll tell you why—because we can't take it to the public at the present time.

The minister is in print saying Canada will not ratify Kyoto. Again, will the government end this empty talk and remove Canada's signature from the Kyoto protocol?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, once again we do not intend to remove our signature from the Kyoto agreement. The Kyoto agreement is the best international effort to deal with a very serious issue.

The very committee appointed by President Bush of the United States, which has 11 scientists including Nobel laureates, has said we should continue to regard global warming as a major threat. It essentially endorsed the findings of the international panel on climate change.

Canada will continue to deal with this problem which is showing its effects in the Canadian north ahead of virtually every other country.

Sports
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, we all know that soccer is the sport played most often in Canada, with 800,000 young fans, 40% of whom are girls.

The Secretary of State for Amateur Sport made an important announcement this morning. Would he share it with the House?

Sports
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Secretary of State (Amateur Sport)

Mr. Speaker, since the MPs were defeated yesterday by the pages, I had to do something about soccer.

I have the pleasure to announce to members that we have released a feasibility study in response to the commission that bears the name of the member for Toronto-Danforth. The Government of Canada will work with the Canadian Soccer Association to hold the World Cup in soccer here in Canada in 2010.

I am also announcing a contribution of $500,000 for a world cup for girls under 19, which will be headquartered in Edmonton.

International Trade
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

Yesterday, he announced that he would head a trade mission to India next fall.

In 1998, the Government of Canada imposed trade sanctions to isolate India and Pakistan following their nuclear testing. Three years later, they still have nuclear weapons.

Why is this government changing its policy?

International Trade
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, our government decided to resume relations with India. I will be extremely happy to head a trade mission, in the second week of October, to a country that has undergone significant economic development.

We give priority to certain economic sectors in which Canadian businesses have significant comparative advantages. I think it will be in the interests of Canadian businesses to improve relations with India.

International Trade
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, three years ago the official opposition said that sanctions were not the answer and to engage in positive debate was the way to deal with the nuclear threat.

The government imposed its knee-jerk reaction of sanctions on India and Pakistan in 1998. Our trade with those countries dropped dramatically. Could the minister inform the House how much the imposition of sanctions on India and Pakistan cost Canada in lost trade?

International Trade
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, our country is re-engaging now. I can tell the member that the progress we want to make on trade front will be quite impressive. We have already formed alliances among individual companies in India and Canada which intend to good work on that front.

The mission I will be leading the second week of October will be a fresh start and will build a solid relationship with a very important country in Asia, that is India.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Péter Harrach, Minister of Social and Family Affairs of the Republic of Hungary.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the government House leader if he could advise us of the business of the House for the remainder of this week, for next week and for the following week if necessary.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, pursuant to an order made earlier, the House will conclude third reading of Bill C-28, the Parliament of Canada Act amendments. Tomorrow we will deal with third reading of Bill C-25, the Farm Credit Corporation amendments, as well as report stage of Bill C-24 with respect to organized crime. Those are the only bills I expect to deal with tomorrow.

On Monday we will then consider third reading of Bill C-24 regarding organized crime, then Bill S-16, the money laundering bill, followed by Bill C-11, the Immigration Act amendments, Bill S-11 respecting business corporations, Bill S-3 respecting motor vehicles and Bill C-6 respecting bulk water.

On Tuesday we shall deal with an allotted day for the consideration of main estimates at the end of the day. There has been consultations among political parties, and I would hope to take a few minutes on Tuesday to debate and hopefully receive the consent of everyone for a motion regarding Mr. Mandela.

Later next week, we will deal with any bills listed that are not yet complete, as well as the report of the modernization committee. I will consult my colleagues, the House leaders of official parties regarding business for Wednesday and the days beyond, should there be such dates. This ends my report.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

June 7th, 2001 / 3:05 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question of privilege arises from answers in the House of May 4 last and prior to that on April 30, and in the standing committee on foreign affairs May 3, concerning the alleged use of the airfields by Talisman Energy and by Sudan's military for offensive military purposes.

In putting questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs with respect to this issue, I referred to a document which had been vetted under the provisions of the access to information legislation, a portion of which had been deleted. That was paragraph 15 of the document which specifically dealt with the issue of the use by Sudanese military of Talisman's airfields.

In questioning the minister with respect to this document and the particular serious allegations of complicity between Talisman and the Sudanese government, the minister in response indicated that the deletions to this document had been made “to protect the lives of Canadians working in the Sudan”.

Subsequently, I obtained a copy of the original document. Paragraph 15 of the original document made no reference whatsoever to the lives of Canadians. There was absolutely no information in that paragraph that could in any way jeopardize the lives of any Canadians working in Sudan. Indeed all members of the House would agree that the lives of those Canadians should be protected and respected.

However, this issue is a very serious one because as a member of parliament, as a member of the House, as a member of the foreign affairs committee, along with other members who share concern on this issue, we cannot do our job effectively as members if we are given documents which are heavily censored and whited out, allegedly under the provisions of access to information legislation. When the minister seeks to explain those deletions and gives the House and the committee information which is demonstrably inaccurate, we cannot do our job.

That surely is the essence of parliamentary privilege; our ability to question ministers, to question the government and to call them to account, in this case with respect to the position of the Government of Canada on the use by the Sudanese military, in its genocidal, scorched earth policy in South Sudan, of Talisman's airfields.

It is for that reason that I raise this question of privilege. I would like to suggest to the Speaker that this is a serious matter and should the Speaker find there is a prima facie case of privilege here, I would be prepared to move the appropriate motion to have this matter reviewed by the committee.

In closing, I want to say that I have received from the minister a copy of a letter which he sent to Your Honour as Speaker, dated June 6. In this letter the minister stated: “Our principal concern in reviewing and vetting this document, pursuant to the provisions of the access to information legislation, our principal concern was that the document contains information that, if disclosed publicly, could jeopardize the security of Canadians working in Sudan”.

Paragraph 15, as I said before, makes no reference whatsoever to the security of Canadians.

In closing, I just want to make this final point. The minister then went on to suggest that another potential exemption might be respecting sensitive information about the quantity and quality of military assets of a foreign country, for example Sudan.

If this is the rationale, why was that rationale not put before the House and the committee at the time the question was asked?

I believe this raises very serious questions of privilege that go to the heart of the ability, not just of myself, but of all members of the House. I know there are members in all parties who share this concern and who may wish to speak to this to get at the truth, so we can do our job on behalf of the Canadians we have the honour of representing.