House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was kyoto.

Topics

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice dealt with these questions yesterday. He has taken very firm action in response to the Auditor General's report.

At his request, less than 24 hours ago, all parties of the House agreed to withdraw the supplementary estimates of $72 million. The minister has frozen discretionary spending. He has asked a private firm to audit the program and report in January. Once this happens, we will be able to come forward with more details.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the answer still is not forthcoming. I did ask two questions but I will make it easier for the minister answering for the government.

How much is it going to cost to complete the firearms registry? Just one question this time.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice has acknowledged the criticisms in the Auditor General's report and has agreed to accept the recommendations.

What we cannot forget is the real end game here of the Canadian Alliance. The real end game of the Canadian Alliance is to undermine a law that is supported by 80% of Canadians, which went through this House and the Senate, and is working.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wonder how many Canadians will still support the law when they realize that we were promised it would cost $2 million and it ended up costing $1 billion.

Let me ask the second part of the question since the minister is either unwilling or unable to answer the first part. How much will the annual cost be to maintain the registry when it is completed? That one is easier.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, what is interesting to note is in the last 24 hours other people from the law enforcement community have come forward to support this law and how effective it has been at reducing crime with weapons. In fact, the commissioner of the RCMP said that the wider community in the country supports not only the law, but the gun registry.

The gun registry will continue. Any problems we have had with the administration of it will be dealt with and they will be dealt with very quickly.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious the minister is not answering that question.

In fact, the minister yesterday stated that all major spending for this program had been frozen, yet he said the registry will remain operational. How is that going to work? The money has to come from somewhere.

Can the minister guarantee to the House that he will not be taking money away from front line police officers to pay for this gun registry of his?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if we looked back at some quotes over the last few years we would see a systematic attempt by the reform party, now the Canadian Alliance, to undermine the law passed by Parliament.

The former member for Crowfoot, remember him? He was another great member of the reform party. He released details about a loophole that would have allowed people to avoid the registry by leasing guns instead of buying them.

Another former reform member from Cypress Hills--Grasslands, remember him? He said, “There will be many thousands of people who will resist this law, even with the jail sentence staring them in the face. I will be in there and if I have to do a year, fine”.

That is what is really motivating the Canadian--

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Peace River.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, that does not address the issue of the Minister of Justice of the day saying it would cost $2 million and it is now running to over $1 billion. That is incompetence.

If the minister is determined to keep this program running, it is obvious it will have to be financed. Will the Minister of Justice tell the House what justice department program he intends to pilfer to pay for this latest billion dollar boondoggle?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is quite evident that the Canadian Alliance has been taking its lead on this issue from the National Rifle Association in the United States. The Alliance should know that Charlton Heston is not really Moses, he just played him in a movie.

Unlike the Alliance, we do not believe that Canada with guns on the street is the way to the promised land.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Agriculture attended the Union des producteurs agricoles conference, he got a pretty chilly reception for his presentation of the main funding thrusts for the new federal agricultural policy. This confirms farmers' fears, because the minister plans to have Ottawa make the decisions regarding Quebec's agricultural development.

Does the minister understand that he would do far better if he demonstrated some real flexibility and transferred the federal funds to the Financière agricole?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I assume that the issue the hon. member is raising is the distribution of the $600 million transition money that the government put forward to support our industry. The government made the decision, as the government should make the decision, that farmers in Canada would all be treated equitably. The money was distributed in such a way that they are treated equitably whether they live in Saskatchewan, Ontario, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, or Quebec. We will maintain that approach.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the farmers of Quebec fear that they will be hard hit by the federal government's unfair policies, and by one more fight started by Ottawa because of its inflexibility.

When is the minister going to understand that the agricultural reality of Quebec requires tailor-made policies and that these policies must be administered within Quebec using tools developed by the farmers of Quebec that reflect their reality and their needs?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, in June 2001 at the summer and annual meeting of the ministers of agriculture from the provinces, the territories and the federal government, all ministers, including the minister of agriculture from Quebec, agreed that we needed to move forward in an equitable way with national standards so that all farmers in Canada would be treated the same, including those in Quebec. That is the approach we will continue to take as a national government.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Quebec Farmers' Association, Cindy Duncan McMillan, summarized the position of Quebec farmers rather well: “Our counterparts in other provinces are envious of our programs, our union and our industry. If you want equity, allow us to show the rest of Canada how it is done. Show trust in us and in the Financière agricole”.

This message could not be any clearer. Did the minister get Mrs. Duncan McMillan's message?