House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was system.

Topics

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member that I will not use that kind of water to make that kind of cleaning.

The one thing that is clear is that we have improved the system. We made sure that we put in more resources. However, I will not make any statement after reading a piece of paper like they are doing when they are preparing for question period. When I am ready I will give the facts .

Airline Security
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, we all understand the requirement for increased security at airports as a result of the tragedy of September 11. We also understand that these measures will be paid through an air security charge. However, it is very difficult to ask northern travellers to bear the cost of services not available in all but one of the Arctic airports in my riding.

How will the Minister of Finance protect northerners from these added costs? Is he prepared to reconsider the charges in the north?

Airline Security
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the Minister of Transport, and myself, I would first like to congratulate the member for Nunavut and the entire northern caucus for their very hard work on this issue.

In that context, I am very pleased to confirm that the charge will not be applied to direct flights to or from the smaller and remote airports that make up the vast majority of the airports in the north.

Airline Security
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, let me tell the transport minister about the $24 fee at a big airport, Pearson airport.

In Ontario, 57% of the price of a pack of cigarettes is taxes. This is a deliberate government policy designed to discourage smoking. With the new $24 air travel security fee, 59% of the ticket on some flights will be taxes, fees and charges.

If a 57% tax stops people from smoking, what will a 59% tax do to people trying to fly?

Airline Security
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that September 11 changed a number of things. As a result of that, the government brought down a national security package totalling $7.5 billion. It is understandable that the vast majority of that should be paid for by the general taxpaying public in the country.

However, in the case of the air security charge, it should be borne by those who are the primary users of that service, and that is what we have in fact done.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber crisis and the economic downturn are having the predictable impact at employment centres. The demand has jumped 15% to 17% in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, in the eastern townships, in Shawinigan and in central and eastern Quebec.

Last fall the Minister of Human Resources Development had plenty of time to allocate the necessary resources to meet this demand but she did not act.

Will she reassure us today that unemployed people will be receiving their cheques on time in order to provide for their families?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, ensuring that those who are eligible for employment insurance have access to their benefits in a timely fashion has to be a priority for the government. That is why in response to the softening of the economy and post-September 11 we increased staff, reallocated staff and increased overtime specifically to deal with the increase in employment insurance claims.

In the province of Quebec, where we had a backlog of over 8,000 at the end of September, we have now reduced it to just over 1,700. By the middle of the month we anticipate having the backlog cleared.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister admitted a few moments ago in the House version three of this whole prisoner of war story. He said that within 24 hours he learned of what actually happened with our JTF2 task force.

The scary part here is that this story has changed daily. Evidently the Prime Minister said that he did not know for one full week about this going on.

There are different stories here and the question is this. Did the Prime Minister know about it and, if so, why are so many different stories being told?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I said quite clearly yesterday that I saw the photograph for the first time on Friday. I also made it clear that I was checking for further information because I had been away at the time on government business and had just returned.

It was also quite clear that they were operating within policy. Government policy is something that had been fully discussed with respect to the fact that international law must be followed by our troops. Canadian law must be followed by our troops.

As I indicated to the committees on foreign affairs and defence two weeks ago, any detainees would be handed over to the United States in accordance with the Geneva Convention.

Research and Development
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of HRDC.

The government indicated in its December 2001 budget and in its throne speech its commitment to promoting the social development agenda in Canada.

Since our government recognizes the importance of social research and developing social policies, what is the government planning to do to ensure that this research is promoted throughout Canada and the world?

Research and Development
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, good public policy is based on sound research. That is why I am glad that this week my department is sponsoring a national convention of researchers, public policymakers and practitioners who are interested in issues that touch the lives of Canadians: children and their families; the issues of inclusion, skills and lifelong learning.

I anticipate positive results from this conference that will help us all improve the quality of life of all Canadians.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

January 30th, 2002 / 3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport and again it is on the $24 security fee.

The transport committee released a report entitled “Building a Transportation Security Culture: Aviation as the Starting Point”, and in it, recommendation 14 states:

All stakeholders including airports, air carriers, airline passengers and/or residents of Canada contribute to the cost of improved aviation security.

This recommendation was supported unanimously at committee, including by the minister's own parliamentary secretary. Why would he ask the transport committee to come up with recommendations if he is going to ignore them, and not only ignore them but knife taxpayers to boot?

Transportation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that this is an air security charge to be paid for by the users of the airlines. That is where the bulk of the $2.2 billion will be required. The Canadian taxpayer is generally absorbing the bulk of the security package that we put forth.

This has been generally very well received. It is an understandable and fair approach to the security package.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of Her Excellency Ingela Thalén, Minister of Social Security of Sweden.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.