House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was military.

Topics

Highway Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is well aware that highway 50 is not part of the national highway network and, for that reason, there are no funds in the infrastructure program for the improvement of that highway. Such improvements are the responsibility of the Quebec government, and I hope that the province will fulfill its responsibility.

Airport Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to promote the illusion of security at airports. Yet the reality is that in spite of making Canadians pay billions for security at airports the number of customs officers and border guards has been cut and there are still airports where passengers pay the tax but do not go through any security checks.

Why can the government not admit that the airport security tax is not ensuring or improving security?

Airport Security
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member has been while she has been travelling across the country.

Every Canadian will know that airport security has increased immeasurably since September 11, 2001. We have led the way. In fact, the Americans have followed our lead in many cases.

I know that there has been some degree of controversy about the airline charge. My colleague, the Minister of Finance, is reviewing it. I can assure the hon. member that the improvements are now on budget and on time, and if the hon. member pays more attention to security as she goes through she will see that the equipment is being deployed and there are much more rigorous standards than there were before.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has said that the Employment Insurance Act governing the EI program does not allow for a surplus beyond what is needed to cover an economic downturn.

The surplus reached $40 billion at the end of the fiscal year and the Auditor General is saying that HRDC is breaking its own rules.

When will the government lower EI rates so that they actually meet the needs of the program?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we will establish the rate for 2003 in the normal timeframe before the end of November. We will fulfill the undertaking to consult with Canadians on the appropriate mechanism for establishing the rate going forward, with the intention that mechanism should be in effect in time for establishing the rate for 2004.

Grain Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, striking longshoremen at Vancouver were legislated back to work after 11 days, CN and CP Rail unions after 18 days, and postal workers after 14 days. Air traffic controllers were legislated before they went out.

Grain workers at the port of Vancouver have been without a contract since December 2000 and have been locked out by the employer for over two months. Talks have broken down and there is no end in sight.

Why does the government move so quickly when unions go on strike and yet takes no action when employers lock workers out? Why the double standard?

Grain Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, the employee and the employers talk on a regular basis with our mediators and conciliators. I urge both parties to go to the table and negotiate a good collective agreement.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during question period, the Minister of Public Works said he had never seen the e-mail in which two officials at Canadian Heritage stated that the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport intervened in the selection of Everest.

That is rather surprising. It has been in all the newspapers for weeks. Following his response, I sent the e-mail in question to the minister during question period.

In light of the rather significant statements made in this e-mail, does the minister not believe he should refer the matter to the RCMP so that the secretary of state's intervention can be investigated?

Now that he has the e-mail in hand, will he answer?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the gentlemen has sent me the piece of paper referred to. I intend to ask some questions about it but, quite frankly, there is nothing on the face of that document that would warrant an investigation by the police.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, as time goes on many people within the PSAC union and the business community across the country are very nervous about the future of the supply chain when it is attached to the military.

Could the Minister of National Defence tell us exactly what the current status is of the talks with Tibbett & Britten of England? Will he now cancel that nefarious contract that will privatize an $800 million public service to the private sector, which will doom many people and their jobs?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said several times, we will go ahead with the supply chain project if, and only if, there are substantial savings.

I will acknowledge that my department has been moving at something less than the speed of light on this issue. Partly for that reason, I will tell the hon. member today that I will announce a decision on this matter before the end of the month.

Public Works
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is for the Minister of Public Works.

He has just said that the e-mail, which he has just seen for the first time, does not warrant examination by the RCMP.

On what basis did he come to that conclusion? Did he receive legal advice from law officers of the Crown? Did he consult the RCMP? Why is he taking it on his own to reject absolutely the possibility of criminal wrongdoing without any expert advice?

Public Works
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would advise the right hon. gentleman to read very carefully the answer I gave a few moments ago.

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, there has been quite a cry throughout the country, not only from parents but from those who have been victimized by predators, to have the age of sexual consent raised from 14 to 16.

Is it really the government's intent to protect children under the age of 16 from sexual predators?

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, clearly, children are a priority of the government. I do not think there is any doubt on this side of the House that we have attempted through Bill C-15A, which is now in legislation dealing with Internet luring, that we are not taking action. We are taking action.