House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I want to inform the member opposite that I have visited customs officers at our seaports, at our airports and at our land borders, remote and large and small. I can state that they have the tools they need. They do not need guns. They are not policemen. They are acting in the public interest in Canada. They have the tools they need to do the job.

Africa
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, southern Africa is currently facing a major humanitarian crisis. The governments of several southern African countries have declared national disasters due to actual and anticipated food shortages.

This year, people in a number of countries in Africa, including refugees and internally displaced people, still have great unmet needs, with several million children going hungry.

Could the Minister for International Cooperation please inform the House of what the government is doing to address these very urgent needs?

Africa
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada is deeply concerned about the crisis facing several of the south African countries. On Monday I had the opportunity to meet with Jim Morris, who is the executive director of the World Food Program, inform him of our continued commitment to address this crisis and announce that Canada would be contributing an additional $7.9 million immediately, raising our total from $34.2 million to $42.1 million, to deal with the famine in southern Africa.

The government is very concerned and is committed to dealing with humanitarian crises. I want to thank the hon. member for raising this issue so that all members can be aware of the situation.

Search and Rescue
Oral Question Period

November 6th, 2002 / 2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, Vancouver International Airport has been operating since October 4 without adequate marine rescue capability.

The minister is now panicking and planning the purchase of an aging hovercraft, which served as a passenger ferry, for conversion to a search and rescue hovercraft.

Why is the minister intent on purchasing a relic to perform marine search and rescue?

Search and Rescue
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Coast Guard is part of the rescue package that is provided at Vancouver International Airport. The primary responsibility is the airport's itself.

Along with every other agency in the area, we have formed part of the response and relief program, with a brand new $25 million hovercraft. A backup hovercraft that has been ordered is being purchased and we are making plans in our capital plans to replace that one with a new one in the years to come.

Search and Rescue
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hovercraft I am talking about is this replacement. This hovercraft operated as a passenger ferry in a relatively sheltered area. Senior Coast Guard officials have advised that the craft may not be able to operate in the sea conditions off Vancouver airport. Giving this passenger ferry to the Coast Guard is akin to giving a school bus to the fire department.

How does the minister justify the purchase of this relic for Coast Guard search and rescue?

Search and Rescue
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I should first point out that this vessel is a backup vessel and that senior Coast Guard officials have designed the requirements needed, have evaluated the vessel and have indicated to me that it is the vessel that they need to do the job. I agreed with them and we are going to supply the Coast Guard with that vessel.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Heritage tells us that her department negotiated all contracts before they were given the OK by Public Works.

Might I know whether it was indeed her department which gave Everest permission to start work two weeks before the contract was authorized and to access the Department of Canadian Heritage web site? I imagine that they needed permission before they could access the site. People do not just come along and go into a departmental web site to work on it. Could she, who claims to know everything, answer this specific question?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is the same answer as before.

Parliamentary Reform
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Rumour has it that as a result of heightened interest in parliamentary procedures, another special committee may be established to modernize the Standing Orders. Is this so?

Parliamentary Reform
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that all parties have agreed to a special take note debate, actually two evenings thereof, dedicated to the modernization of our parliamentary institutions.

There is also an understanding that we will have phase two of the modernization committee, as I had recommended to my counterparts several weeks ago and, as a matter of fact, as was listed in the first report of modernization some 18 months back.

Financial Institutions
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, with all the private ATMs around now, and the exorbitant fees they charge, consumers often have no choice but to pay up to $4.50 per transaction.

For low income people, whose transactions are generally for small amounts, these charges can amount to more than 20% of the amount they withdraw, an exorbitant rate.

Does the Minister of Industry intend to bring in legislation requiring financial institutions to provide this service and to eliminate the unacceptably high charges involved? Will he bring the banks back to their senses?

Financial Institutions
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question. I know it is an issue that he cares about. That is the reason the government is also concerned about these ATM fees. This is why the rules require that when an ABM operator imposes a surcharge, consumers are given an onscreen notice of the fees and an opportunity to cancel the transaction.

Financial Institutions
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, let me ask further on this issue because that answer will not satisfy consumers who are being gouged by charges at private ATMs and facing upward of $5.00 per financial transaction.

The Canadian Bankers Association says it is about consumers' choice. Well, in areas like my riding where banks have closed nine branches since 1995, consumers have no choice.

We want to know, what are the plans by the government for bringing in regulations to protect consumers from private ATMs and exorbitant financial transaction fees?

Financial Institutions
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, it is evident from the hon. member's question that she did not follow the Bill C-8 debate where we took a number of measures to help consumers deal with these particular concerns. I know the hon. member will take the time to review Bill C-8 and she will find that many measures have already been taken.