House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is the practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Saint John.

[Editor's Note: Members sang the national anthem]

Seniors
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to the attention of the House that in October we recognize the International Day of Older Persons and in November we recognize National Seniors Safety Week. I also want to restate our collective obligation to prevent the neglect of our nearly four million Canadian seniors.

As announced in the February 2003 budget, the federal government has established compassionate care employment insurance benefits for workers who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care to a member of their family who is gravely ill. Further, to help identify the challenges we may face in achieving quality of life for our elder persons, the life they deserve, the Prime Minister announced on September 17 the creation of a Liberal caucus task force on seniors. The task force will examine and report on issues including abuse, poverty alleviation, disability supports, housing and home care.

The contributions made to Canada by our seniors are well recognized, but we must be mindful of the various forms of neglect to which seniors are exposed. I would like to take this opportunity to urge all Canadians to continue their support of the efforts--

Seniors
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member of North Vancouver.

Election Campaigns
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, on June 27 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the government's mean-spirited 50 candidate rule, a rule designed to prevent small parties from participating in elections. The government House leader wasted tens of millions of dollars on legal fees after he refused to accept the realistic 12 candidate rule I had negotiated for him with Canada's small parties more than three years ago.

It is time the Liberals stopped wasting taxpayer money on frivolous court cases like their hugely expensive and ongoing defence of their election gag law, or will they wait yet again for the highest court in the land to tell them that it is unacceptable and unconstitutional to try to limit freedom of expression during an election campaigns?

Unfortunately, the minister is a walking disaster for the taxpayers of Canada. Every bill he has ever brought to the House has ended up costing taxpayers their freedom to participate in election campaigns, tens of millions of dollars in legal fees, or both.

International Day of Older Persons
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as Chair of the Prime Minister's caucus task force on seniors, I am pleased to rise to pay tribute to the millions of Canadian men and women who are celebrating the International Day of Older Persons today, October 1.

Our government believes that no older person in Canada should suffer from a lack of services or support. The Liberal task force on seniors was created in order to focus more attention on health care and poverty, and to ensure that older persons obtain the services they need, when they need them, and that they take an active part in community life.

By creating favourable conditions for them, we will continue to benefit from their experience and their significant contribution to Canadian society.

Hike Canada Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to invite all hon. members to participate in the inaugural Hike Canada Week and to encourage participation of others in this fun and fast growing recreational activity.

From October 3 to 12, all across Canada hikers and walkers will be on the trails that link people, places and heritage of Canada, Canada's tremendous system of footpaths winds from the rugged coastline of Newfoundland, across the Bay of Fundy, through the Appalachian and Laurentian Mountains, over the Canadian Shield and the Niagara Escarpment, through the prairie grasslands and across the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean.

Our nation's varied geography, history, environment and cultures are all reflected and showcased through our network of trails. From heritage sites to historic paths and from fishermen to farmers, our trails link Canada and Canadians.

Having more Canadians aware of and connected to their natural heritage and environment through hiking and walking will help produce a population that is healthier, more protective of their environment, more likely to travel within Canada, and more respectful of our mutual heritage as Canadians.

Our government has made a strong commitment to foster the Canadian mosaic and I am pleased to trumpet the efforts--.

Hike Canada Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway.

B.C. Fires
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, we all watched in horror this past summer as fire burned parts of Kelowna, McLure, Louis Creek and Barrère, but out of the ashes has emerged a community spirit full of generosity and caring.

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a fundraising dinner organized by the Chinese community in Vancouver that raised over $250,000 to assist people who were affected by the fires in B.C.

I want to congratulate co-chairs, Mr. Johnny Fong and Mr. Patrick Wong, MLA for Vancouver Kensington, for the hard work and leadership that made this donation possible from our Chinese community to show our caring spirit for the fire victims.

Young Offenders
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, in February 2001 a drunk 17 year old crashed his $70,000 BMW at 140 kilometres per hour street racing in West Vancouver. His passenger, 17 year old Payam Yaghoobi, died.

On Monday, convicted of criminal negligence causing death, he was sentenced to eight months open custody, followed by four months of house arrest; statutory release at two-thirds for young offenders.

Prosecutors complain they cannot get serious consequences for violent young offenders.

In 1993, long before coming here, I met with the member for LaSalle--Émard over coffee as he campaigned in British Columbia and I was left believing that he shared my concerns about the lenient treatment of violent young offenders. Now his government has given Canadians the flawed Youth Criminal Justice Act under which police hesitate to charge, prosecutors are frustrated, the hands of judges are tied, victims do not get justice and violent young criminals laugh for the TV cameras.

What happened to the 10 year old Liberal promise to get serious with violent young offenders?

Stéphanie Dubois
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to salute the perseverance and talent of Stéphanie Dubois, a young woman from Laval for whom 2003 has been an impressive year in tennis.

She has played brilliantly in recent months, moving up in the International Tennis Federation ranking from 110th in the world in the junior category before the season began, to her present position of 68th.

Along with the people of Laval, I want to congratulate Stéphanie Dubois who, through her talent, has earned a berth among Canada's best under-18 tennis players. I am convinced that we will be hearing about her accomplishments in this sport for some time to come.

Violence on Television
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois welcomes the initiative of partners in education, health, social services and municipalities, which launched a campaign to counter violence on television.

In today's papers, CRTC spokesman Denis Carmel noted that, over the past few months, broadcasters have definitely let their standards slip.

The Bloc Quebecois can only wonder about the indifference of the federal government which, since the first campaign against violence on television, has always refused to take action and continues to state that this falls under the CRTC. Since the CRTC is a federal agency, the federal government is responsible for providing it with the necessary means to take action in this matter and implement measures to counter violence on television.

The federal government must stop denying its responsibility and take immediate action in support of parents and educators, in order to protect our children from violence on television.

Kirk Magarian
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay homage to the late Mr. Kirk Magarian.

Born in Armenia in 1914, Mr. Magarian came to Canada in 1923 as one of the Georgetown Boys. Orphaned as a result of the Armenian genocide of 1915, the boys represent the first wave of Armenian immigration to Canada.

Mr. Magarian was an outstanding member of the community of Campbellford, dedicating himself to many charitable and social issues in his neighbourhood. His efforts on behalf of the community will be remembered and sorely missed.

I ask my fellow members of Parliament to join me in passing on our condolences to his wife, Marjorie, and in celebrating the life of Mr. Kirk Magarian.

Government Contracts
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, almost daily it seems that new evidence is uncovered of a culture of corruption, cronyism and mismanagement that is flourishing under the Liberal government.

Yesterday another former senior official was arrested by the RCMP in the growing Virginia Fontaine scandal. The accused stands charged of giving preferential treatment to the Fontaine Treatment Centre for a payback of almost $1 million in government contracts to a company owned by his wife. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

He is the seventh person charged in an all too familiar tale of kickbacks, junkets, bogus travel claims and lucrative government contracts.

Problems at Health Canada were allowed to fester for years before the infamous Caribbean cruise story broke in October 2000.

This is another example of Liberals acting only when a scandal become public. Clearly the Liberals are incapable of managing taxpayer funds and undeserving of the public trust.

Parc Industriel Roger-Lefebvre
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Black Lake industrial park is being renamed after Roger Lefebvre, in recognition of his contribution to our community.

Mr. Lefebvre was the provincial justice minister in 1994, and deputy speaker of the National Assembly for three years. He was elected for three consecutive terms as the MNA for Frontenac.

Mention Roger Lefebvre and two words come to mind: admiration and affection. Admiration, because he was an organizer par excellence and also because he put his talents to work for his community.

He deserves this honour for his community involvement and outstanding contributions. His success in mobilizing others is a daily source of inspiration to me as member for Frontenac—Mégantic. I want to publically pay tribute to him in this House.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to congratulate Ms. Karen Dunham as the new president elect for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

For those who are not aware, the mission of MADD Canada is to stop impaired driving and support the victims of this violent crime.

Ms. Dunham has been an active member of the MADD Saint John and Area Chapter since 1997.

On September 8, 1998, Ms. Dunham's involvement in MADD Canada became more than just a membership, it became her reality. Her oldest son, Jonathan, and his best friend, Mike Green, were victims of an alcohol related crash. Having suffered serious injuries, today Jonathan is considered to be a miracle.

The strength, the courage and the selfless dedication Ms. Dunham has demonstrated in the face of adversity will no doubt ensure that she will serve as an excellent president elect of MADD.

I ask all members in the House to join me in congratulating MADD Canada's new president elect, Ms. Karen Dunham.

International Music Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this International Music Day, let us recall the history of music: from Gregorian chants to troubadours, from classical to contemporary, let us listen to music from all around the world and of every type.

Let us acknowledge that music has a constant presence in our lives, whether at a restaurant, in the car, at the shopping mall, at the dentist or anywhere else. Music is part of our daily lives and behind this music, first and foremost, are the artists who contribute to the musical wealth of Quebec's society.

To all you musicians, teachers of music at all levels, instrumentalists, and composers, thank you for allowing us to appreciate your art. You know how to touch our hearts and awaken our senses. Your harmonious melodies help us to discover our inner spirit and, to some extent, our spirituality.

Happy International Music Day.

Literacy
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year, Canada Post announced 32 winners of its Literacy Awards. These are the country's only national awards dedicated to recognizing grassroots literacy initiatives and to celebrating the achievements of learners and the people who help them along the way.

Recently, one of my constituents, Francine Guindon, won such an award. Ms. Guindon won the 2003 Individual Achievement Award in the French category in Quebec. She overcame social and economic obstacles by participating in the literacy program offered at the Centre d'éducation de base de l'Outaouais.

Congratulations to Francine Guindon. Her hard work is an example of courage and determination.

Women's History Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, October is Women's History Month. Through the hard work and determination of our foremothers, women in Canada today have access to higher education. They can work, earn money and own property. They have the right to vote and run for elected office.

Today when women stay home they do it by choice knowing they are valued at home or at work. We should never take these rights and liberties for granted.

Women's History Month is a time to encourage us to look back on our past and see how far women in the country have come. It is also a time to acknowledge that we still have far to go.

Today women represent 44% of income earners in Canada, yet continue to struggle with issues of equity. Women make up more than 50% of the population, yet hold only 21% of the seats in the House of Commons.

This year's theme, “What Do You Mean Women Couldn't Vote”, reminds us that gaining the right to vote must not be the final chapter in Canadian women's history. We must continue to ask: What is the most effective way to use that vote?

I ask all members to join with me this month as we celebrate the achievements of Canadian women. Let us keep up the fight.

Cancer Research
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce today that in my riding on Sunday, October 19 an amazing 10 year old student named Zoe Wreggitt is holding her fifth annual walkathon for cancer research.

In the last four years, Zoe has raised over $6,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society, of which $3,000 was raised last year. Her goal this year is to surpass the $4,000 mark. She has invited children from her community to join her in this extraordinary fundraising activity. The walkathon begins at her home and the participants walk around the block for one hour.

She is certainly an exceptional individual and was recognized as such by the Manitoba Teacher's Society which this past spring awarded Zoe the Young Humanitarian Award.

It is an honour for me as the member of Parliament for Saint Boniface to recognize this remarkable person who at such a young age has demonstrated the true art of giving.

I ask everyone to join me in congratulating and supporting Zoe in this unique endeavour.

Coast Guard
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, a fishing vessel out of Caraquet, New Brunswick went down early Monday morning. Two fishermen are presumed dead. The vessel was out in 50 knot winds and 20 to 30 foot seas near Anticosti Island.

The vessel's distress calls went unanswered because there was little or nor search and rescue coverage in the area at that time. Two search and rescue stations, Rivière-au-Renard and Saint-Pierre on Quebec's north shore, were not open as they had no staff and no vessels. This region has five relatively large vessels on the books. However three of the vessels were in the Arctic, one was in lay-up and the other was in dry dock for repairs.

Why was there no Coast Guard rescue capability in the area when it was obvious to everyone that a hurricane was on its way? Does the government not know that lack of coverage means no chance to save a life? It means loss of life.

The Liberal government has decimated the once proud Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue service since it came to office in 1993 and has put the lives of everyone on the water at risk, whether on the east or west coast.

Member for LaSalle—Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we know that identity theft is a serious problem with the government. We have seen the problem in the revenue minister's department.

However we have a more serious example of identity theft. We apparently have someone running around the country saying that he is the prime minister and organizing first ministers meetings.

Does the Prime Minister think it is right that the new Liberal leader, someone he calls a mere backbencher in his government, would be setting a full first ministers conference for November 16?

Member for LaSalle—Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, apparently there will be a number of them watching a football game and I hope it will be good. I hope the Alouettes will win but if it is Saskatchewan I might have second thoughts about it.

If he meets with the first ministers, it will be an occasion for the first ministers to show their shopping list for the budget of February 2004.

Member for LaSalle—Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am more concerned about the political footballs that are being pushed around.

The government has told us that the member for LaSalle—Émard is a mere backbencher. Now he is acting as the intergovernmental affairs minister, setting up his own federal-provincial conferences. He is not a minister, not the prime minister and he should not be doing this.

If this individual wants to act like the prime minister why is he not in the House of Commons answering questions on government business?

Member for LaSalle—Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we had a vote yesterday and he voted with members of Parliament.

Other members of Parliament are not in their seats today. It is the right of members of Parliament to work at the same time when we have question period. I do not know why the member is so excited.

The problem is I know how disturbed the Leader of the Opposition is and I am about to become a marriage counsellor for him very soon.

Member for LaSalle—Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I think the better marriage counsellor might be Aline but I will leave that to the Prime Minister's judgment.

The new Liberal leader might meet with the premiers. Yet according to the Prime Minister, the new leader is nothing more than a government backbencher.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether he was invited to this meeting and whether, as Prime Minister, he intends to be there?

Member for LaSalle—Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yes, I was invited to the football game. The people of Saskatchewan, being very nice folks, have invited me. I have not reached a decision as yet.

If there are a lot of premiers there, I imagine ministers and MPs can see them at half time. Canadian football games are always interesting. One team will come out the champion. Will I be there? I do not know, but I have been invited. I thank the CFL for having extended the invitation.

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

The Auditor General reports absolute system failure for public employees. In fact, she reports that the privacy commissioner abused funds, abused his employees and abused Parliament itself.

In view of this disaster, what steps has the President of the Treasury Board taken to get the money back, protect employees from abuse and protect Parliament from contempt?

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we have said that we are very distressed with the findings of the Auditor General and that we will implement each of the recommendations.

After the report of the government operations committee, we hired an outside consultant to look at the management practices and how we would implement each recommendation in co-operation with the interim commissioner, especially to recover funds for the performance management awards, the leave expenses and the hospitality and travel expenses. We will implement each recommendation.

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I hope, for implementation, the President of the Treasury Board has an internal policy memo for whistleblower protection.

The government House leader, way back in 1991, said “Public servants must be able to report about illegal or unethical behaviour that they encounter on the job without fear or reprisal”. That was 1991.

The Auditor General says that there was a reign of terror for employees and the minister's memo policy absolutely failed. That is all we have.

Instead of another research paper or another study group, will the government unequivocally commit to comprehensive, system wide whistleblower legislation?

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my government I will commit to do whatever we need to do to protect employees who disclose wrongdoings. We want employees to do that without fear of reprisals.

We will have recommendations in January 2004. I will expect parliamentarians to look at them and make final recommendations to the government.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, to justify her inaction in the Radwanski affair, the President of the Treasury Board said that there had been no indication of the magnitude of the problems. Yet the Auditor General is categorical: the Treasury Board was aware of the Privacy Commissioner's outlandish expenses, but the minister did nothing.

Will the President of the Treasury Board admit that, while she knew about it for at least a year, she did nothing to put an end to this abuse, because George Radwanski was the Prime Minister's man and, having protection from the top, he was untouchable?

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that we do not monitor officers of Parliament the same way we monitor departments in general.

That having been said, it is very clear that if there has been abuse or wrongdoing, the appropriate measures have to be taken. That is what we will be doing with the interim commissioner. The indications we had been given did not lead us to believe that public funds were being misused, as the Auditor General found out.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not what the Auditor General said. To use the phrase of the minister, who said there was no indication of a need to bring out the big guns, I think that the report very clearly indicates that the Treasury Board failed to take firm action.

Did the minister fail to take firm action because she learned from Alfonso Gagliano's experience that, “If you want to hold on to your job, you had better not impose sanctions”?

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois has a general tendency to exaggerate, instead of looking at the facts and acting accordingly.

I repeat that the indications we had been given did not lead us to believe what happened at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. In fact, nobody could believe it. The Auditor General herself was very surprised by her findings. I think that all of us, parliamentarians as well as the government, should learn from what happened.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board said yesterday that I like to exaggerate. She also stated that the Standing Committee on Governmental Operations and Estimates was responsible for discovering the truth behind the Radwanski affair. However, the findings of the Auditor General's report contradict the President of the Treasury Board.

How can the President of the Treasury Board continue to deny all knowledge when the Auditor General's report maintains that the Treasury Board Secretariat had known since the fall of 2002 that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner was guilty of heavy overspending?

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General's report makes recommendations to everyone: the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Public Service Commission, the Privy Council and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

In November 2002, the Treasury Board Secretariat was asked to adjust the salaries of employees, which is a standard practice in the course of day to day operations, within all departments, because we negotiate collective agreements and salaries have to be consequently adjusted accordingly.

So, there was nothing to lead us to suspect any abuse within the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. What is important now is that action is taken to correct these abuses.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the report did not make recommendations in this respect, but rather provided findings. How can the President of the Treasury Board maintain that this report does not single her out when the Auditor General is saying that the Treasury Board Secretariat, which reports directly to her, and the Public Service Commission did not take strong action when they learned there were problems? We want the President of the Treasury Board to explain why she failed to act.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I want the hon. member for Châteauguay to make the distinction between the Public Service Commission, which reports directly to Parliament, and the Treasury Board Secretariat, which plays a role in monitoring the financial administration of the entire government.

This role has always been limited when it comes to officers of Parliament. The current situation is encouraging us to take a closer look at accountability and oversight as they relate to all officers of Parliament.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Veterans Affairs has said the only reason why 23,000 widows were being excluded from the veterans independence program was a lack of funding from the Minister of Finance.

We cannot have two classes of veterans' widows. We cannot divide these loving war widows and caregivers based on when their husbands died.

When will the Minister of Finance give the Minister of Veterans Affairs the money needed to treat these brave women with dignity and equality?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul
Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, when we sat down with the leadership of the veterans organizations, we were facing six urgent veterans issues.

They included: benefits for children of members of the forces killed in the line of duty; Canadian, allied and overseas veterans; and older veterans. As per the latter, we did not want to distinguish between health needs due to infirmities and those due to pension conditions.

One of the issues was the extension of the VIP. We did what we could with what we had.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I want the Minister of Finance to answer this question.

The National Council of Veterans' Associations has called May 12, 2003, a black day in May. I call it the blackest day in Canada that we have ever had.

If a veteran died before that date, his widow will be unfairly excluded from the extended benefits of the VIP. Not only is this the worst form of discrimination, it dishonours the memories of our national heroes.

When will the Minister of Finance do the right thing and give--

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul
Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, we have done a lot for veterans and their families. As I said in debate in this House, this issue will always be in the heart of this minister. It is not for lack of heart. It was the reality of the times in terms of limited resources.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Jack Layton and the NDP have consistently called on Canada--

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I am sure the hon. member for Vancouver East appreciates the assistance being offered in asking her question, but we do want to hear the question, notwithstanding all the able assistance.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure members would like me to repeat the name. The NDP has consistently called on Canada to start the flow of cheap drugs to Africa.

The government has promised treatment drugs before, but it has increased the patents instead. It must do better this time because humanity demands help for Africa now. If it was prepared to take on the drug companies over anthrax, surely our humanity requires us to take them on over AIDS.

I have a simple question for the Prime Minister. When will legislation be introduced?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think she is short of questions because yesterday she had a meeting on that very piece of legislation with the House leader.

We are ready to look at timing in order to proceed with that. We must make the proper decision, but while the House leaders are discussing the timing for legislation she needed to grandstand, I guess, because that party does not have much to complain about.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP has clearly given the green light so my question is, what are the Liberals waiting for? Are they waiting for the Alliance to ponder their fate with big pharma?

The fact is that today 15,000 people around the world will be infected with HIV and 8,000 people will die of AIDS. Nowhere does this pandemic threaten more than in Africa.

I repeat the question because it is in the power of the government to bring forward legislation immediately. Will it do it?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am happy that the hon. member has given me the opportunity to talk about the activities of the government vis-à-vis Africa.

We initiated the Nepad initiative so that there would be an opportunity for the people of Africa to experience growth and prosper again.

HIV-AIDS is one of the problems that has been on the table in all these discussions. We have discussed it at many G-8 meetings. Canada has always been at the forefront fighting this problem in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue has lost the confidential personal information of tens of thousands of Canadians. Her remedy for this mess is to mail a letter to the victims of the crime urging them to take immediate action to ensure this personal information is not used without their approval. Well, thanks for nothing.

The problem is not in the way Canadians handle the information, the problem is the way that the minister fails to handle the information when she gets her hands on it.

Why is the minister simply incapable of securing information that has been sent confidentially by Canadians?

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I have said very clearly, one computer that was used as a server was stolen by thieves. It did not contain information from personal or business income tax returns, but information that included social insurance numbers.

I want to say to the member opposite that it is false to say that 120,000 people have had their identities stolen. A social insurance number is only one piece of information. Our priority is to notify those people so that they can take appropriate action to protect themselves by verifying--

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fraser Valley.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, maybe the 100,000 that she lost will not be noticed with the five million that have been misplaced by the HRDC minister.

She is consistent if nothing else. The first time information was mailed to the wrong address it was the printer's fault. The second time it happened it was the stapler's fault. That was a bad stapler. Last night she blamed a long time employee for her latest fiasco.

Why is it always somebody else's fault? Why does she not admit that she just cannot handle her department and that she cannot secure the confidential personal information of Canadians?

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows full well that of the 110 million pieces of mail I do not personally stuff the envelopes.

We have 50,000 dedicated employees who are human. Sometimes human error occurs. The server was left out but it should have been put away. That long time good employee feels terrible, as I do.

Our priority is to notify those people so that they can take appropriate action to ensure that no one has access to their information and uses it inappropriately. The member should support that.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we would like to know why the President of the Treasury Board did nothing in the Radwanski case. Closer examination has shown that George Radwanski obtained special permission directly from the Prime Minister's Office to keep two principal residences, at great expense, although this practice is usually limited to one year.

Can the Prime Minister deny that, since the authorizations came directly from Eddie Goldenberg, his chief of staff, they carried a powerful signal that Mr. Radwanski could bend the rules with impunity?

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the practice of providing housing to someone who obtains a senior public service position in the government and who lives in a city other than Ottawa has been applied in the past. The hon. member may claim today that this is a precedent, but it is not.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we must get this clear. Eddie Goldenberg was able to tell the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, who was getting involved in the Montreal Grand Prix, “You—shut up”. If he was able to say that, he is probably able to say to the President of the Treasury Board, “You—do not get involved; this is none of your business”.

And can the President of the Treasury Board'failure to take action not be explained by the fact that Mr. Radwanski already had a defender, one very close to the Prime Minister?

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, these accusations are totally baseless. I clearly explained to the hon. member, in answer to his first question, that this is not a precedent. In fact, in the past, senior public officials with a residence outside Ottawa were treated similarly. It is not a precedent. Claiming that it is one is completely wrong.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue has dismissed the theft of 120,000 confidential tax files as trivial, referring to them as old files on an old database.

Those files were stolen on September 4, but we have learned that it was not until September 19 when CCRA employees in Ottawa were pulled off their regular duties in order to deal with this problem.

Did the minister not think that personal security of Canadians was worthy of immediate action?

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the member is completely wrong in the premise of his question. When the break-in occurred, the police were there within 15 minutes.

We take this extremely seriously. Because the databases were contained in that server, which was a computer used as a server, what we had to do, and which was very labour intensive, was rebuild those databases and match that information against current information, of which we have millions of pieces. Our people worked very hard and I can tell the member that we immediately contacted not only the police but the RCMP to assist us.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we will congratulate the law enforcement officers, but this minister is obviously out to lunch with what is happening in her own department. Yesterday she said that it is up to Canadians to protect themselves from this type of identity theft.

She has no excuse for taking 15 days to task the appropriate people to do the job. How does she expect Canadians to protect themselves when the government is casually leaving its personal information lying about the office? Why does she not try a new approach and start taking responsibility for her department?

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I call on the member opposite to be responsible. He has suggested that 120,000 identities have been stolen. That is false.

We take very seriously the theft of a computer which included personal information. We have done everything we can. We have contacted the police and we are checking our security systems, but the most important thing we can do and are doing is notifying those people, giving them accurate information and telling them what they can do and should do to ensure that their information is not used improperly.

Biochem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, today representatives of the Fonds de solidarité and emeritus research scientists who are committed to helping Biochem Pharma get back on its feet are proposing a solution to the Minister of Industry to allow Shire to transfer to the new company the intellectual property rights for drugs under development, which are a long way from being ready to be put on the market.

Will the Minister of Industry make every effort to get Shire to transfer the intellectual property rights for certain products, this being all that is standing in the way of the laboratory becoming operational again? Under the legislation, he has the right to do so. Will he?

Biochem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry will ensure that all obligations that have been made to the federal government are fulfilled.

Biochem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, all that is missing are the intellectual property rights for certain products, then they can go ahead and save high quality jobs—some 100 of them.

Can the Minister of Industry assure us that he will not give up until he has obtained from Shire a commitment that will help save 100 high level research jobs?

Biochem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the Minister of Industry is working to ensure that all the obligations are fulfilled. As the hon. member knows, there are strict confidentiality provisions under the Investment Canada Act and those have to be adhered to as well.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we reminded the Prime Minister of a Canadian Hamas fundraising group that his security officials warned him about almost three years ago.

As he will recall, the warning said, “...fundraising in support of violent foreign struggles takes place in Canada...Front groups operating in Canada include the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (Hamas Front)”.

Thirty-six months later, the Prime Minister has done nothing to seize this group's assets. Now that he has had another 24 hours to reflect, could he tell us what actions he has taken to seize this group's assets and to shut them down?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that the Government of Canada is taking very decisive steps to address the global threat posed by terrorism, by terrorists around the world. We take every piece of information seriously.

The fact of the matter is that the listing process is a very thorough and strenuous process. In the listing process we take into consideration criminal and security intelligence information. I believe that on that basis we are certainly doing our job to protect the security of Canadians.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, this has nothing to do with the Solicitor General. This item landed securely and firmly on the desk of the Prime Minister. It is bad enough that he will not crack down on the terrorists' fundraisers; it appears that the government even allows them some fundraising assistance.

According to the association of Palestinian Canadians, the Hamas group's parent organization is the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy, which, we have just learned, is a Canadian organization that has tax deductible status. In other words, the Hamas front group can use its parent body to raise these funds and get a tax receipt.

This is an issue for the Prime Minister. Why will he not shut--

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Revenue.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite is talking about an organization that has a charitable status number in this country and has it inappropriately, I would like that information because we can take immediate action. I can tell him that we are very careful to ensure that anyone who has a charitable number in Canada is a legitimate charity. If anyone has information that this is not the case and gives it to us, we can take immediate action.

Devco
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, through the process of winding down the coal operations in Cape Breton, Devco, the crown corporation in charge, has identified a surplus in the miners' pensions, but the board of directors has determined that the surplus belongs to the corporation.

The member for Bras d'Or—Cape Breton and I know only too well the impact of the closing of these mines. The former employees see the most recent board decision as unfair and unjust.

My question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. Will the minister intervene in this case so the corporation's former employees are assured a fair and equitable settlement on this issue?

Devco
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to acknowledge the good work done by the member for Sydney—Victoria as well as the member for Bras d'Or—Cape Breton, because both of them have spent a fair amount of time on this issue in relaying the concerns of their constituents to me directly.

I want to inform both those members that, first of all, all benefits to pensioners, as defined in both of their plans, will be fully met by Devco, but Devco, in regard to the surplus, has made application to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to determine the entitlement of that surplus. As the matter is before the courts, I think I cannot--

Devco
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, in early summer both the Prime Minister and the Solicitor General expressed concern that information about Maher Arar may have come from Canadian sources to the United States.

I ask, did any agency of Canada give any agency in the United States any information about Mr. Arar before, during or after he was detained in New York and deported by U.S. authorities to Syria?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have made this very clear before and one of the assistant commissioners of the RCMP has made it very clear before the foreign affairs committee: the RCMP was not involved in the decision made by United States authorities to arrest and deport Mr. Arar.

The RCMP did not at any time suggest to United States authorities that Mr. Arar should be deported to Syria. Those are the facts. The hon. member may not like the facts, but those are the facts.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, he is right. I do not like the answer because he did not answer the question; I said all agencies.

But moving right along, when asked why Canadian citizen Mr. Arar was held in custody in Jordan for 12 days, foreign affairs officials indicated that the Jordanians said he was just, and I quote, “in transit” for 12 days. That just does not make sense.

Could the minister tell this House the real reason that Mr. Arar was held in Jordan? And could the minister tell this House who held him in custody: the Americans, the Jordanians or the Syrians?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can really only go back to the previous answer that the RCMP was not involved in any way with suggesting that Mr. Arar be deported to Syria. It was just not involved. Those are the facts. I cannot go beyond that because the facts are the facts.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Dalton McGuinty said he may allow Toronto's garbage to be dumped into the Adams mine, as if dumping toxic garbage into a porous hole is a good idea.

It is a bad idea. It was bad when Mike Harris wanted to do it and bad now, because it will pollute farms, first nations and the watershed, including the Ottawa River. Yet the federal Liberals refuse to conduct a federal environmental assessment.

My question is, before Dalton starts dumping on northern Ontario, will there be a federal environmental review of the Adams mine?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York South—Weston
Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Adams mine proposal, first of all, there has been no application that has come from the City of Toronto. Second, if there were an environmental assessment, it would be within the context of the Ontario government's environmental assessment. Those would be the provisions that would have to be met.

At this point there is no processing of any application by the city or through the province.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, this government has decided that only women receiving benefits under the veterans independence program in May 2003 will have them extended for life and now blames veterans organizations for the decision.

That leaves 23,000 elderly women with no help to stay in their homes, where they selflessly cared for their partners for years. Our unending gratitude stops a few years short.

Will this minister explain why some widows deserve those benefits and others do not? Will he finally do the right thing and extend those benefits to these noble Canadian women who have also served their country?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul
Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, as I have earlier explained to this House, we were confronted with six urgent issues that the leadership of the veterans organizations posed to us. We wanted to address those issues. We could not address only one issue. We wish we could have done it as well for all widows. It is the reality of time; it was not for lack of heart.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Friday a constituent of mine called the RCMP asking for protection from her ex-husband. Two days later, Mrs. Fekete and her three year old son Alex were dead.

The RCMP is doing everything it can and the best job it can, but the Red Deer RCMP detachment is short-staffed because of a chronic lack of money for RCMP training. When will this government restore full funding to the RCMP?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I certainly offer, on behalf of the Government of Canada and myself, our full sympathies to the family who faced this terrible tragedy.

With respect to funding for the RCMP, we have increased funding to the RCMP since the 2001 budget in terms of financial and human resources. In the last budget as well we increased the funding for a number of measures in order to try to protect the security and safety of Canadians.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP has lost 16% of its officers in the last 10 years. It has reassigned 2,000 members since 9/11.

The RCMP in Red Deer is understaffed by at least 10 members. The city has authorized and budgeted for 91 members. The RCMP has not been able to provide those members for a number of years. The RCMP is doing the best with what it has, but it is short-staffed and now there are three people dead. How can this government justify the cuts to RCMP training?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that specifically with respect to the RCMP we have increased the training in Regina at depot so that the depot is going full out.

With regard to the specifics in the province of Alberta, the RCMP operates in Alberta on the basis of a contract with the provincial government. That is how we operate. The funding is shared.

Federal-Provincial Relations
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said, with respect to the existence of a Quebec nation, that it was a simple question of semantics, clearly refusing to comment on whether Quebec was a nation or not.

Will the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, given his responsibilities, tell this House whether he feels that Quebec is a nation or not?

Federal-Provincial Relations
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is with a bit of nostalgia that I will answer, since this was the first question the Bloc asked me when I first set foot in this House on March 26, 1996. The answer remains the same: Quebeckers are part of the Quebec nation and of the Canadian nation, and they are very proud of it.

Federal-Provincial Relations
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, given the fact that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada said that Quebec is a nation, what is the Canadian government waiting for to give this Quebec nation, in all Canadian logic, the powers that come with this recognition?

Federal-Provincial Relations
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we can easily say there is a Quebec nation, as we can say there is a Canadian nation or several nations in Quebec. We can say many things. But one thing we can never deny is the contribution of Quebeckers to building this great country, Canada.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, a modern day Nazi state has developed in Africa. A recent report by the South African Council of Churches clearly shows that Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, is forcing children as young as 10 to carry out brutal atrocities such as murder and torture against innocent civilians.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs finally do the right thing and indict Robert Mugabe for crimes against humanity?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what I can say for the government is that what we have been doing, and the hon. member knows it well, is pursuing effectively through the Commonwealth, through the United Nations and through every other forum to put pressure on the government of Robert Mugabe to change, to allow democracy to develop in Africa.

The Prime Minister will be attending the Commonwealth conference at the end of this year. This will be a primary subject of conversation, as it has been with myself and other foreign ministers when we met in New York last week.

The problems in Zimbabwe and the people of Zimbabwe are a great preoccupation of ours. We will take concrete actions to protect them, not just threats, but concrete actions.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Zimbabwe have been asking for concrete action for two years. The Commonwealth is a paper tiger.

Our government's quiet diplomacy has done nothing and will continue to do nothing. Incredulously many African leaders either congratulate Mugabe for what he is doing or say nothing.

The only way to stop this megalomaniac is to indict him for crimes against humanity. Again, will the Minister of Foreign Affairs do the right thing for the people of Zimbabwe, do the right thing for Canadians and Canada and stand up, be counted and indict Robert Mugabe for crimes against humanity?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to do the right thing for the people of Zimbabwe by taking actions through every multilateral and bilateral forum to enable us to bring pressure on the government of Zimbabwe to change its conduct for the betterment of the people of Zimbabwe.

Indicting the president of Zimbabwe might be one option, but there are many other options. This government has been pursuing them for years and will continue to do so with our African partners in a positive way to obtain positive results.

Algoma Steel Inc.
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Carmen Provenzano Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, in December 2001 the Government of Canada contributed $50 million in loan guarantees as part of the financial restructuring of Algoma Steel in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie.

Will the Secretary of State for Rural Development and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario confirm that Algoma Steel has satisfied all of the conditions of this guarantee and any obligations of the Canadian government respecting this guarantee have now expired?

Algoma Steel Inc.
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise that Algoma Steel has successfully been able to restructure and obtain its financing from the private sector.

All the terms and conditions of the loan guarantee have been fulfilled. The guarantee has in fact been discharged and appropriate fees collected.

If I may, I will take the opportunity to congratulate the management, the union, the workers, and most of all, the people of Sault Ste. Marie who working together with the federal government have been able to preserve thousands of jobs and help ensure the creation of wealth in northern Ontario. To all those involved, and in particular my colleague from Sault Ste. Marie, well done.

Correctional Service of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, talk about computer problems. Recently at Ferndale prison the following items were found on computers: instructions on sending letter bombs and making tennis ball explosives; lessons on picking locks; and instructions on how to tap telephone lines.

Where is the Solicitor General's boundary on what is and what is not acceptable material for inmates in prisons to have?

Correctional Service of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, Correctional Service Canada has a very strict policy on what is allowed on computers in prison.

We have tightened up that policy over the last several months because of incidents that happened in some other correctional facilities across the country. We will continue to improve our policy as it relates to information that is on computers within institutions.

Correctional Service of Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, that certainly sounds tight. We just found more child pornography on some of the computers. In addition to that, another inmate had a sophisticated tool used to capture a system's passwords and then break into it. One official in CSC said the discovery is a potentially serious threat to CSC.

What is more important to the government, the right of offenders, inmates, to possess any material they want to, or the protection of the public?

Correctional Service of Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows full well that inmates cannot possess any material they want to within Correctional Service Canada institutions. For him to say that, he knows that he is wrong.

Of course, Correctional Service Canada and all agencies under the authority of the Solicitor General and the Government of Canada are interested uppermost in public safety in the country. I think all our agencies do a pretty darn good job at doing that.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the unemployed of Charlevoix are resolutely awaiting an announcement from the Minister of Justice. They are demanding that he announce, as soon as possible, an extension of the transitional employment insurance measures scheduled to expire on October 11. A true employment insurance policy is not a series of temporary measures. The government knows that, sooner or later, it will have to review its program.

In the meantime, what is it waiting for before announcing the continuation of the transitional measures?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Shefford
Québec

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the plan was for these regions to benefit from a three-year transition period to allow people time to adapt to these changes, these new rules.

Now, since we are approaching the end of that period, the minister is in the process of examining the possibilities, and we will be announcing the results very soon.

Forests
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a nation of forests. Those forests provide employment to hundreds of thousands of people and play an essential environmental role as well as improving our social well-being. My question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

What is the government doing to ensure that Canada's forests will be preserved for future generations?

Forests
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, last week Canada had the honour to host the 12th World Forestry Congress for the first time in Quebec City. This was in partnership with the Quebec government. There were 4,000 delegates from 140 countries. We talked about the importance to the world of how to protect our forests and how to ensure that for the long term our forests survive and they contribute to the betterment of all citizens around the world.

Environment
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Meteorological Service of Canada receives guidance from an advisory board on meteorological services. The president and CEO of Pelmorex Communications Inc. is on this advisory board. Pelmorex is the parent company that owns and operates the broadcasting licence for the Weather Network.

With the closure and downgrading of weather stations in this country, there is a potential for conflict of interest. What steps did the government take to ensure there was no conflict of interest?

Environment
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

York South—Weston
Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting that the issues relating to meteorological services that have been raised in the past in fact have been brought full course with the tremendous results of the preliminary information that was sent out with respect to hurricane Juan.

The meteorological services in fact have been rationalized in order to anticipate changes in weather conditions. The changes that have been referred to by the member will have absolutely no impact whatsoever.

Environment
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the U.S.government is refusing Canadian beef, and does not accept our softwood lumber except with a 29% tax. Yet the Canadian government is prepared to readily accept toxic waste from the United States at the planned incinerator at Belledune, which could put the environment of Chaleur Bay and its coastline at risk.

Will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans order a moratorium and an independent study. Will he stop kowtowing to the United States, yes or no?

Environment
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok
Québec

Liberal

Georges Farrah Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I and the minister as well have already said here in this House, following discussions with Fisheries and Oceans, the project has been modified and nothing will be discharged into the sea. There are, therefore, no tools at our disposal with which to invoke the legislation. Consequently, in my opinion, the hon. member ought to be satisfied with the present situation, because the fish habitat has been protected as a result of the department's intervention.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the hon. Dr. Linda Baboolal, President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 81(14) to inform the House that the motion to be considered tomorrow during consideration of the business of supply is as follows:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should initiate immediate discussions with the provinces and territories to provide municipalities with a portion of the federal gas tax.

This motion , standing in the name of the hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, is votable. Copies of the motion are available at the Table.

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among House leaders and I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following:

That, immediately after the adoption of this Order, the member of Parliament for Brampton Centre be permitted to propose the following motion:

That this House unanimously call on the Government of Iran to exhume and return to Canada the body of the late Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian-Canadian photojournalist;

And that, after a representative of each party has spoken to the motion for not more than one minute each, the said motion shall be put and be deemed adopted.

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House for this proposal?

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Brampton Centre, ON

moved:

That this House unanimously call on the Government of Iran to exhume and return to Canada the body of the late Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian-Canadian photojournalist.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues and the government House leader for accepting this motion unanimously.

A few months ago Canadian citizen Ms. Zahra Kazemi was arrested in Iran and killed soon after that. Iranian authorities have accepted responsibility. They have already charged an Iranian security officer for the crime that person committed against a Canadian citizen.

I would also like to thank the Iranian government for its cooperation. I look forward to full cooperation from the authorities in returning the body of Ms. Kazemi as soon as possible to her son. Canadians all across the country are waiting for her body to be returned so they can celebrate the end of what has been a difficult period for us as Canadians and for the family of Ms. Kazemi.

I thank all members of the House for making this motion unanimous.

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the demands obviously are important within this motion, and we support it because it is what we have been asking for all along. We have been asking the government to be firm on this particular item all along and it has not. In fact, it does beg the question: Why is the government presenting this motion now after so long a period of time? I believe the answer is politics.

The government is attempting to distract from the fact that the foreign affairs minister's soft diplomacy has utterly failed in all respects to advance Canada's demand in the case of Zahra Kazemi. The Iranian dictatorship buried her body against the family's wishes and now her likely killer, one of the suspects, is involved in the murder investigation.

Throughout all of this, Canada's foreign affairs minister has attempted to validate rather than to challenge the actions of the Iranian dictatorship. When it tried to blame two low-level female medical workers for the murder, our foreign affairs minister applauded and said it was a step in the right direction. After that arrest failed to convince anyone other than the foreign affairs minister, the Iranian authorities released the two women and now they have apparently arrested a member of the intelligence service. Once again the minister praised the so-called arrest knowing absolutely nothing about the guilt or innocence of the accused.

Now in the ultimate validation of the murderers in Tehran, the minister has decided to return Canada's ambassador to Iran, without any forgiveness. The request for the body to be returned has been denied. The request for an apology has been denied. The request for some kind of recognition of the violation of the rights of a Canadian has also been denied. We send our ambassador--

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I regret to inform the hon. member that his time has expired.

The hon. member for Mercier.

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact that the House of Commons of Canada is unanimously demanding that the body of Zahra Kazemi, the Montreal photojournalist who was murdered in an Iranian prison in early July, be repatriated and returned to her son, Stephan Hachemi, is the least we could do. I think we should be proud of this motion.

However, this is only the beginning. Her son, along with a coalition of 19 organizations, including Amnesty International, Reporters without Borders, the Fédération des journalistes professionnels du Québec and the International Centre for Legal Resources, is demanding that Canada take all means necessary, in Canada, Iran or at the UN, to learn the truth about her murder.

So, I want to this motion to address not only the return of—

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but she has run out of time.

The hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester.

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to support the motion. I applaud the member for raising it. On one hand I applaud it, but on the other hand I think his party has let down this family dramatically by not pushing harder and by not demanding that the issue be dealt with differently from day one.

Again, I applaud the member for his motion, but I criticize the government for mishandling from day one. It has not put enough pressure on Iran. It has not made the demands that should have been made and now the family is requesting that the body be brought back to Canada. Perhaps if it came back to Canada, we could find out what actually happened to her and how her death occurred.

Every indication is that the Iranians will not take this issue seriously. They arrested two people, then they released them. Then they arrested somebody else and so on but there is no real action on this. There is no satisfaction from anybody's point of view. What happened to her was awful and we should demand that the body be brought back.

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my New Democrat colleagues and our leader, Jack Layton, we join in this unanimous call from all sides of the House to the Iranian government to finally do the right thing and return the body of Zahra Kazemi to Canada, to exhume the body and return it, so we can finally learn the truth of what happened.

We know she was interrogated for a period of some 77 hours. She was beaten and murdered. We know there were at least three different agencies involved, and we do not want to see a whitewash on this. The truth must come out. There must be an independent inquiry for which Reporters without Borders, Amnesty International and others have called. We as New Democrats join in this call. We urge the government of Iran to listen to the people of Canada and certainly to listen to her son, Stephan Hachemi, who is calling for justice on behalf of the family.

Zahra Kazemi
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

In accordance with the order adopted earlier this day, the motion is deemed adopted.

(Motion agreed to)

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised on Monday, September 15 by the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville concerning statements of the hon. Minister of Justice in relation to the financial administration of the firearms program.

I would like to thank the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville for raising this matter as well as the government House leader for his comments.

The hon. member for Yorkton—Melville contends that the hon. Minister of Justice misled the House on February 3 in describing the results of a financial review of the firearms program carried out by the consulting firm KPMG and that similar statements were contained in a justice department press release issued on the same day. The hon. member also alleges that the minister had shown contempt for the office of the Auditor General by failing to substantiate the justice department's assessment of the KPMG report.

In support of his charges, the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville pointed to concerns expressed in a letter from an official of the Auditor General's office sent to the deputy minister of justice on February 14. The hon. member cited the following passage from that letter, and I quote from the debates of September 15, page 7340:

We are concerned that there may be insufficient information in the KPMG Report to support the conclusions in the Press Release. We would like to be able to respond to any Parliamentary concerns about the KPMG Report that may be raised in the forthcoming hearings.

There are two statements in the Department's Press Release that are causing concern. These statements conclude that the KPMG Report has allowed the Department of Justice to confirm that the necessary systems are in place to ensure the integrity and completeness of relevant financial data; and

This work has provided the Department with confidence that the information compiled on past expenditures is accurate.

We are concerned that the work described in the KPMG report and accompanying transmission letter does not appear sufficient to support these statements.

The letter from the Office of the Auditor General went on to question whether other aspects of the position taken by the Department of Justice could be fully supported by the report of the consultants’ study.

The hon. government House leader in his intervention pointed out that the KPMG study in question was tabled in the House by the Minister of Justice on February 3, the day that the minister made the comments complained of. The House leader characterized the statements made by the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville as a matter of debate, a difference of opinion, in regard to the report. He noted that since the report in dispute had been made public, members were free to reach their own conclusions with respect to its findings.

Indeed, the government House leader added, that the justice minister and the Auditor General had appeared before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts concerning the firearms program on February 24. Both the minister and the Auditor General had an opportunity at that time to elaborate on their views and respond to questions from hon. members.

As members of Parliament, we all deal regularly with differing interpretations of various events or situations and differing views of documents laid before the House. Members can, and often do, disagree about the actual facts of the same situation. Disagreements of this kind form the basis of our debates. Our rules are designed to permit and indeed to encourage members to present differing views on the given issue. This tolerance of different points of view is an essential feature of the freedom of speech and of the decision making process that lie at the heart of our parliamentary system.

I have examined with care the documents provided to me by the hon. member for Yorkton--Melville. I have also reviewed the arguments both he and the government House leader presented to the House when the question was raised on September 15. I can find no evidence that the hon. Minister of Justice intended at any time to mislead the House.

In my view, the minister simply presented his views regarding a document that he had tabled in the House and his department repeated those views in a press release. I can see no basis in the documents provided by the hon. member for Yorkton--Melville that the minister acted in anything but good faith.

As the government House leader pointed out, the disputed report has been tabled and members can read it and form their own opinions of it. The officials of the Auditor General's office did so, and they seemed not to endorse the minister's view. They have expressed their reservations and have requested further information. Members may do likewise and, if they so choose, pursue the matter directly with the minister through various avenues available here in the House or in committee. However these are matters for debate and they are not matters that the Chair must decide.

With respect to the final point raised by the hon. member for Yorkton--Melville, if the Auditor General requires the assistance of the House to obtain information, she can always seek that assistance through the usual means, such as a special report to the House or in consultation with the public accounts committee and the House can then take whatever action it deems appropriate. At this stage, I see no basis on which, as Speaker, I could intervene on procedural grounds.

I thank the hon. member for Yorkton--Melville for having raised this matter, and of course in his usual very thorough fashion. However, on the evidence before me, I can find no indication that either the minister or the department have breached the privileges of the House in this case.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour to lay upon the table the report on the Canadian parliamentary delegation to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from May 17 to 23, 2003. I commend it for reading to all hon. members.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 14 petitions.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the twentieth report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on chapter 6 of the April 2003 report of the Auditor General of Canada entitled “Federal Government Support to First Nations—Housing on Reserves”.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the twenty-first report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on chapter 6 of the May 2003 report of the Auditor General of Canada, entitled “Reform of Classification and Job Evaluation in the Federal Public Service”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to these two reports.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jacques Saada Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move:

That the membership of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be modified as follows: Judi Longfield for Guy St-Julien.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, today I have three separate petitions from my constituents of Red Deer.

The first petition contains the names of 44 petitioners who call upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to ensure that all materials which promote or glorify pedophilia involving children are outlawed.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is signed by 221 constituents. The petitioners request that Parliament take all measures necessary to protect the rights of Canadians to freely share their religion and moral beliefs without fear of prosecution.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, my last petition is signed by 108 petitioners who are against Bill C-13, assisted human reproduction.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jacques Saada Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, I have the honour of presenting a petition regarding an amendment to the Income Tax Act with respect to volunteers who provide emergency services.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to present a petition today signed by some 536 of my constituents of Prince George—Peace River, mainly from the cities of Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, but also from the rural communities of Cecil Lake, Charlie Lake, Tomslake, Clayhurst, Goodlow, Montney, North Pine, Pouce Coupe, Taylor and Tumbler Ridge.

The petitioners wish to draw to the attention of the House that in their opinion marriage is the best foundation for families and the raising of children. They note that the House passed a motion in June 1999 that called for marriage to continue to be recognized as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being a lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of presenting two petitions on behalf of a great number of my constituents.

The first petition deals with the issue of invasive species. The petitioners believe that invasive species have become a significant threat to the productivity and the function and biological integrity of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin and the inland lakes and rivers of Ontario.

As a signatory to the United Nations convention on biological diversity in 1992, the Canadian government made a commitment to prevent, control or eradicate alien invasive species.

The petitioners therefore call upon Parliament to acknowledge and honour repeated national and international commitments by the Government of Canada to take action against the threat posed by alien invasive species.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, my second petition has to do with the matter of rural route mail couriers. The petition may be redundant because the very action requested today has already been taken. The petitioners are calling upon Parliament to repeal section 13(5) of the Canada Post Corporation Act.

I simply present the petition as has been given to me.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present four petitions today.

The first petition is signed by many of my constituents. The petitioners are requesting that the government have a full public inquiry into many of these government contracts that have gone off the rails, which is certainly a good initiative.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, in my second petition, the petitioners call upon the government to introduce in Bill C-13 that non-embryonic stem cells be used. Adult stem cells have shown significant research progress in dealing with some of those diseases.

This is an excellent petition.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, we are getting back into hockey season, so in the third petition, petitioners from Saskatchewan request that the revenue minister get off her back and not tax young hockey players as she did last year. That stopped as she reached the Manitoba boarder. She simply picked on Saskatchewan. We do not think that is a fair use of the revenue situation.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, last but certainly not least, many petitioners in my riding are calling for the government to get tough on child pornography. The government gets close, but it never quite implements legislation that will require child pornographers to really pay some stiff harsh penalties.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table petitions bearing the signatures of some 400 of my constituents who call upon Parliament to reaffirm the heterosexual nature of marriage and invoke the section 33 notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to maintain the heterosexual definition of marriage against misinterpretation by the judiciary.

Those who signed the petition did so in taking part at a event in front of my constituency office some three weeks ago.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the constituents of Surrey Central to present five petitions signed by hundreds of petitioners who call upon Parliament to immediately hold a renewed debate on the definition of marriage and to reaffirm, as it did in 1999 in response to a Canadian Alliance motion, its commitment to take all necessary steps to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

The hundreds of petitioners signed the petitions while attending various town hall meetings I held during the summer break.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of presenting a petition asking Parliament to oppose any plans to restrict access to income tax credits for persons with disabilities, and to ensure that the government refrain from having the House of Commons pass any measures at all without consulting the organizations of disabled persons and health professionals. This petition is signed by constituents in my riding.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I wish to present a petition on behalf of the constituents of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex who call upon Parliament to protect the health of seniors and children and to save our environment by banning the disputed gas additive MMT as it creates smog and, hence, global warming.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed from September 25 consideration of the motion that Bill C-34, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner and Senate Ethics Officer) and other acts in consequence, be read the third time and passed.

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That the question be now put.

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, it says something when the only substantial debate that the Liberals can come up with on this particular bill is to make sure that other people cannot do anything about it, like amending it to make it better. That is atrocious. The Liberals on the other side ought to be hanging their heads in shame. They have come close to coming up with an ethics package that would be useful and workable but it has serious flaws and they will not fix them. I am very disappointed.

I want to talk a little about this whole ethics thing. As we all know it was a little more than a year ago that the Prime Minister came up with an ethics package. One might ask why he would do that. Is it because they were keeping an election promise after 10 years? I do not think so because if they were working on keeping that election promise, one would think they would have brought forward the legislation a long time ago.

The fact of the matter, which is inescapable, and I do not see any Liberal on the other side objecting to what I am saying, is that they brought this forward simply as damage control at a time when the wheels were coming off the Liberal ethical bus. As a matter of fact, I think they have had a tow truck dragging it for the last five or six years. It is a desperate action that they have taken in order to make it look as if they are fixing the problems.

We are in a difficult situation in our party and that is that we have to vote against this package because of its flaws. That produces for us, of course, an extraordinary communication package. I can just see them in the next election going around the country and saying “Here we are, the wonderful Liberal Party. We brought in an ethics package”. Of course they will want the people to believe that they are now becoming very highly ethical. Then they will say “The Canadian Alliance Party voted against it. They are not in favour of ethics”. That is what they will be saying.

Well, I sincerely hope that Canadians will see through that facade and will recognize it for what it is because the occurrences which brought us to this place will not be solved by the ethics package that the Prime Minister announced. I believe that what they are doing is building yet another series of steps that they can take when ethical problems occur so that they can deflect the media interest. I am very concerned about that.

All these breaches that we have heard about have had to do with the executive branch of government: the Prime Minister and the front row of the Liberal Party over there called the cabinet, which is the executive branch in our system of government. Whenever there have been problems, that is from where they have derived. It began, of course, with the Prime Minister himself. He alone has the power to determine whether or not there is an independent inquiry into the thing, and surprise, surprise, he declined. No, let us not find out the truth in this. There was more than ample evidence that he interfered but the results of that are still not in. The new ethics package, which the Liberals have introduced, will not address that problem. It will not require that there be an independent inquiry into such things. It will not require that the minister or the Prime Minister be held to account.

Then we had this dreadful situation with government services and the advertising contracts; contracts being given to advertisers in Quebec, where the only work they did to collect the money was to sign the cheque and take it to the bank. I cannot believe it. No wonder Canadian taxpayers are outraged. We have a government that just loosely gives away the hard-earned taxpayer money.

I regularly hear from constituents that they are having trouble making ends meet and yet their incomes are high enough that they are taxable. I hear particularly from seniors and widows who have a limited amount of income, say $15,000 to $18,000 a year. With that, they have to pay horrendous utility bills and property taxes. Yet the government thinks it is fine for them pay income taxes.

After that money goes to the federal government what does it do with it? It gives it to Liberal friends who presumably contribute to its party during election campaigns, but who do not do anything. They may copy a document that they wrote the year before, put a new date on it, print it again and get another $180,000, or whatever it is that they get for these contracts.

However that money is the hard-earned money of Canadian taxpayers, including those widows who come to my office or who phone me. They want to know what to do. They say that they have expenses but that they will run out of money. They tell me that they have skimped and saved to provide for their future but that after paying high utility bills and all the taxes they will not have enough. Then they read in the paper how some people are getting that money just because of political inbreeding and they are justifiably upset.

The government comes along and says that we will have an independent ethics commissioner because that is what was promised in 1993. That would be wonderful if it were accurate. Unfortunately, it is not. Unfortunately, under Bill C-34 the appointment of the ethics commissioner is, as always, made by the Prime Minister. That is our primary objection to the bill.

When it comes to dealing with ethical breaches on the part of the government, that is the cabinet, what we find is that the ethics commissioner will still be investigating and providing private information and advice to the Prime Minister.

Sure the bill states that the Prime Minister will consult with the leaders of the other parties on the appointment of the ethics commissioner but consultation is left undefined and there is no requirement in that consultation that the Prime Minister actually has to respond if they object.

I find it repulsive that the next time one of the Liberal boondoggles shows up, with a waste of thousands or millions or billions of dollars, the Liberals may haul up some petty little complaint against a backbench MP or an opposition MP and sic the ethics commissioner after them, an ethics commissioner who would have been appointed by the Prime Minister without the concurrence of the other parties.

Some have argued that the ethics commissioner should have the same status as other officers of Parliament. I would tend to agree with that but I would have a further proviso. Since the ethics commissioner would be making judgments that could affect the whole future of another member of Parliament, it should be absolutely mandatory that he receive, for all intents and purposes, the unanimous support of all members of Parliament, instead of just having the Prime Minister appoint him or her.

This is a very frustrating exercise. It is frustrating to the point where one just wants to ask what the point is of it all. What is the point of standing here and arguing, trying to get all those Liberals over there to change their position on this? They do not listen. If they agree with me, let them say so. If they disagree, let them say so. They will not say a thing because they are totally entrenched in their old ways. They will simply vote the way they are told.

The bill will come up for a vote later today and they will stand on command and say that, yes, they agree with the way the Prime Minister wants to do this stuff. That will be the end of the matter and we will have to live with it.

I pledge on behalf of my constituents and all Canadians that we will not rest until there is a procedure in place for a truly independent ethics commissioner, and a truly and transparent set of rules that guide our behaviour so that Canadians can once again put their trust and faith in their institution of government.

Without that, our democracy is at risk, our country is at risk, and our children's future is at risk. We can settle for nothing less.

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to this bill. When I became an MP ten years ago, there was already talk of needing to take measures to toughen ethical standards in the government. In the meantime, it has become apparent that there was a serious need in this area and that it was important and urgent to take action.

We have before us a bill that sets out to improve the situation. Fortunately, this bill was sent to committee before second reading. This allowed us to have amendments that improve the bill and strengthen its provisions.

We are assured that the leaders of recognized parties in the House of Commons will be consulted on the appointment of the ethics commissioner, since this will be a statutory obligation henceforth. The Prime Minister had made a commitment to this effect, but it was not part of the draft legislation. It was immediately included during consideration by the committee.

When we look at what happened in the case of the former Privacy Commissioner, Mr. Radwanski, we realize that it is good for things to be clear and accurate vis-à-vis the Prime Minister. Yesterday, he said that when Mr. Radwanski was appointed, all the parties in the House voted in favour of his appointment. He then had to apologize because the Bloc had voted against it.

With a change like this comes an obligation for consultation and written records. As such, we can be assured that the appointment is made properly. So this is an improvement.

The other improvement that was accepted in committee is that the House will have a little more control over the ethics code. Initially, the bill said that the Prime Minister was to prepare an ethics code. Parliamentarians were never meant to see it.

With the proposed amendment, there will be an obligation to table the ethics code. We will then be able to judge its content and check that it is not full of holes, like those that allowed for Mr. Radwanski's appointment, and correct it in a definitive manner. It is important to ensure that a bill will improve the situation.

Nevertheless, other elements could have been added to the bill and were not. For example, the Liberal majority rejected the amendment whereby candidates could be proposed when an ethics commissioner is being appointed.

With it, the selection could have been made from among a number of candidates put forward by all parties as well as the general public. This would have made it possible to screen candidates, and thus right at the start to avoid selecting only the cronies of the regime. After the appointment of such people, they do things which put the government in an awkward position, as we have seen in the case of the Privacy Commissioner. This lands the President of the Treasury Board in dangerously hot water.

In this case, a partisan appointment gave us an administrator who was very lax, coupled with a President of Treasury Board incapable of keeping a close enough rein on his spending. The bottom line: all Quebeckers, all Canadians were the losers. In the end, we appointed someone who lacked some of the required qualifications, someone whose partisan behaviour was tolerated by the government. As a result, funds were wasted and those funds came from the tax dollars of all the people of this country.

In the case of the ethics commissioner, we will have a little more control over his appointment and his actions. There is still no provision that would make it possible to propose several candidates, in order for there to be a choice. Nevertheless, we can say that this is, overall, a bill that will improve the situation and be of some use.

Let us recall the whole history of the ups and downs since 1993, the situations we have seen over and over again. The present ethics counsellor was appointed by the Prime Minister, and was answerable to him. He was, therefore, in conflict of interest when he was required to provide an opinion on a consultation, whether for the Prime Minister or for someone in cabinet. We were left with a situation where the adviser was required to pass judgment on the person responsible for his appointment. That was a completely unacceptable arrangement.

This was a long, drawn out battle to ensure that in future the person appointed is verifiably qualified for the job.

In that sense, consulting all party leaders will ensure that the assessment does take place. Should a party leader disagree with a given appointment, we will be able to say so publicly. We will be able to show disapproval, thereby allowing the public to form a judgment about the merits of this appointment.

I think that we will see the results of these improvements in the next few months and years. They are contained in a bill nearing the end of third reading. We are hoping for a favourable outcome, which will at least remedy some of the rather inappropriate behaviour of the government. In the past decade, on a number of occasions, there has been an indication of the government's inconsistency with respect to messages from the Prime Minister's office, and the facts have borne this out.

It is true that, at the same time, the former minister of finance was in a conflict of interest because of his private holdings, which results in him paying his taxes abroad, and that the Prime Minister tolerated that because, after all, he was the one who had appointed him as the Minister of Finance. But that is no excuse for the behaviour of the former minister of finance. I do think changes are in order in that respect.

Then there was the whole series of consultations conducted by the ethics counsellor, which became something of a joke. The counsellor was asked to assess the merits of actions taken by Mr. Gagliano when he was the Minister of Public Works and Government Services. He found that there were major problems. However, because he reported directly to the Prime Minister, I would say he did not have the courage to condemn things he ought to have condemned.

Now, with this new bill, the person appointed will have all the independence necessary. He or she will be able to form judgments truly independent of government and get more reliable input that can be taken into account.

Let us remember that during the 2000 election campaign, that was one of the Prime Minister's arguments, when he pulled an opinion from the ethics counsellor out of his bag of tricks. He used this phenomenon, since the general population was unaware of every detail surrounding the appointment of this ethics counsellor, of all the consequences and of all the peculiar situations that had arisen.

During the 2000 election campaign, the Prime Minister, as leader of the Liberal Party, had an opinion published and it became the opinion of the ethics commissioner. A citizen who did not know all the facts might have thought, “Wow, that is extraordinary; it must really mean that the government's behaviour is pure as the driven snow”. Still, when we dig a little deeper into the issue, we find that this opinion had been issued by a subordinate and not by a person answerable to the House of Commons and the elected representatives. Thus, it was not a person who was independent of the government.

The amendments to this bill ought to make it possible, in the end, to make substantial improvements that should have an impact. As soon as the new ethics commissioner is named, it will be possible for us—I hope and believe—to obtain much more independent opinions.

There will also be a preventive aspect to this. When the ministers recognized the ethics counsellor—not the person, but his status and his dependent relationship to the Prime Minister—it was quite funny. Knowing that the ethics counsellor would not cause them any problems, thinking that “he is in our pocket and that is how it works”, that allowed them to behave in dubious ways.

From now on, ministers will have to look at things more closely and before taking actions that might place them in a conflict of interest position; they will have to think twice, because the ethics commissioner will be able to issue important public opinions that will have an impact on public opinion. I think that democracy will be much better served in this way.

In conclusion, the Bloc Quebecois is very pleased that a certain number of its amendments have made their way into the bill. We think this is an interesting turn of events, and we hope that the bill will be passed as soon as possible.

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3:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to add my voice to the debate regarding the government's ethics bill.

I find it difficult however to give the government much credit for this long overdue legislation when so many scandals have emerged and continue to emerge on a daily basis.

These ethical question marks take away from the work of government and tarnish the reputation of parliamentarians and Parliament. They draw attention away from key issues that remain to be resolved, such as the continuing difficulties resulting from softwood lumber, the BSE trade concerns with the U.S., and the timely provision of emergency aid in response to crises, such as the recent hurricane that hit Nova Scotia, as well as the VIP, of which I spoke about today.

Meanwhile, long standing concerns continue to be neglected, such as the reduction of our foreign diplomatic presence and reputation, our inability to protect our coastlines, and the shocking state of funding that exists for Canada's military. All these important issues are not given the attention they deserve because the Liberal government remains distracted by one scandal after another.

This is one last attempt to carve out a legacy for the Prime Minister in the final days of his 10 years in power. History books will reveal a different story on the legacy of the government. Beginning in the early 1990s, when the government took office, it campaigned on a theme of ethical government.

Canadians will remember that this is the government that promised, in its 1993 red book, to introduce change to revive parliamentary democracy by improving ethics, elections and introducing parliamentary reform. A decade later these promises have not yet been met and one wonders if the government ever intended to fulfill these promises.

The government was once quick to pounce on the former Conservative government on ethical questions, even though it pursued this path with only the slimmest shreds of evidence. The Liberals continued to follow this road, even after allegations were proven false and millions of dollars were spent, and official apologies had to be given to the individuals under suspicion. That was a disgrace and a great deal of lost money.

At the same time the government faced a long list of scandals and ethical debacles that forced the resignation of four ministers of the Crown.

Prime Minister number one, as I will call him, faces unresolved questions regarding the now infamous Shawinigate affair. Prime Minister number two faces unresolved questions regarding his blind trust and conflict of interest with his multimillion dollar shipping empire.

Canadians unfortunately are not provided the details of the secret meetings he enjoyed as finance minister. Instead, Canadians and Parliament are expected to trust the word of the Prime Minister and his loyal ethics counsellor.

How this situation gives the Liberals the mandate to introduce legislation on the ethical conduct of government is beyond me, but that is what is on the table today.

Canadians now sit and wait as Prime Minister number one sits on his throne long enough to cause Prime Minister number two as much grief as possible and prevent Parliament from doing its job.

The incoming Prime Minister has taken to saying absolutely nothing at all on any policy issue, including legislation that is still before the House and that will be in place only when the current Prime Minister is long gone.

Our new Prime Minister will be the man responsible for implementing an ethics bill, yet his Liberal government has failed to earn the public's trust to set ethical standards. We all know that as we voted a week ago on marriage and now it is talking about decriminalizing marijuana.

Let me tell the House that I have worked with children who were on marijuana and I worked to get them out of an alleyway. They have come to thank me for that. This is another big mistake for the government.

The Liberal government has also failed to hold to the principles of effective parliamentary democracy or accountability. In recent days one example after another of lavish spending practices has cast a deeper shadow on Liberal government fiscal accountability. This is a government however that, in spite of its long list of ethical problems, proposes to introduce ethical reform in Canada's Parliament. We can only shake our heads in amazement and look for a silver lining.

The PC Party supports the principles of improved ethics, parliamentary improvement and electoral reform. For the last decade, PCs have been by far the most effective party in holding this government to account in Parliament and our efforts are now forcing results.

Effective democracy in Canada will be well served by efforts to recognize the need for an appointed, independent ethics commissioner reporting to Parliament, not reporting to the Prime Minister.

The proposed ethics commissioner will have powers to investigate ethical issues, analyze facts and draw conclusions. That information will be released to the Prime Minister, to the person making the complaint, and to the minister under investigation.

I have to say that the Auditor General we have today does an independent job. She does not hold back. She does what she thinks is right. That is the type of ethics commissioner we should have as well.

The PC Party notes, however, that Bill C-34 discusses only the means to enforce ethics rather than the code of ethics itself. If this bill were to pass, what ethical code would the ethics commissioner enforce?

We note also that although the bill calls for information to be released simultaneously to the public, the commissioner will also provide the Prime Minister with confidential information that will not be included in the public report. That is not right.

In other words, the government is reserving the right to edit the public record and hold back any damaging or unethical findings. The PC Party urges the government to ensure that all relevant findings are made available to both Parliament and the public, all of them, not just part of them but all of them.

We have also raised concerns on the issue of the salary of the ethics commissioner. Currently the salary would be set by cabinet, despite the fact that this could have the negative effect of making the commissioner beholden to cabinet for raises in pay. I would like the government to explain how someone can conduct an unbiased investigation into individuals who buy their groceries and pay their rent.

The PC Party would prefer that the salary of the ethics commissioner be set as it is for the privacy and information commissioners. That is:

That the Ethics Commissioner should be paid a salary equal to the salary of a judge of the Federal Court, other than the Chief Justice or the Associate Chief Justice of that Court, and is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred in the performance of duties under this or any other Act of Parliament.

My party also has serious concerns that the reports tabled in Parliament will not contain more than a simple statistical list of investigations conducted, dismissed or completed. We trust that they will be considerably more detailed.

Finally, the Progressive Conservative Party is pleased that after many years of appalling ethical conduct, prime minister number one's last gift to Canada will be to impose a stricter code of conduct on his successor. Canadians will wonder, however, whether the timing of this bill is for the good of the country or if it is one last joke at the expense of prime minister number two.

It is the hope of the Progressive Conservative Party that it will not be lame duck legislation and that it will be a first step in leading to improved ethical standards and parliamentary reform in Canada. Canada desperately needs the effective, ethical leadership that it has lacked for far too long.

We can only trust that prime minister number two chooses to improve the ethical standard rather than trample on it as it has been for the last 10 years. Rest assured that the Progressive Conservative Party will continue to hold every government to account and work toward genuine ethical standards and parliamentary reform in Canada.

We look forward to seeing this bill. We look forward to many changes that need to take place.

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4 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Is the House ready for the question?

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4 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

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4 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The question is on the motion that the question be now put. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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4 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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4 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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4 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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4 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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4 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

All those opposed will please say nay.

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4 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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4 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

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4 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The division stands deferred until 5:29 p.m. today.

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-36, an act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence, as reported (with amendment) from the committee.

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4 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

There are 23 motions in amendment standing on the Notice Paper for the report stage of Bill C-36.

Motions Nos. 1, 3 to 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19 and 22 will not be selected by the Chair because they could have been brought forward in committee.

Motions Nos. 2 and 15 will not be selected by the Chair because they were lost in committee.

All remaining motions have been examined and the Chair is satisfied that they meet the guidelines expressed in the note to Standing Order 76.1(5) regarding the selection of motions in amendment at the report stage.

Motions Nos. 12, 17, 20, 21 and 23 will be grouped for debate and voted upon according to the voting pattern available at the table.

I will now put Motions Nos. 12, 17, 20, 21 and 23 to the House.

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4:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

moved:

Motion No. 12

That Bill C-36, in Clause 8, be amended by replacing lines 23 to 25 on page 4 with the following:

“it;

(j) carry out such other functions as the Governor in Council may specify; and

(k) transfer Communication Canada's Depository Services Program to the Library and Archives of Canada.”

Motion No. 17

That Bill C-36, in Clause 13, be amended by adding after line 39 on page 7 the following:

“(5) The Librarian and Archivist may review any record that the Minister claims to be of a personal and political nature to verify that it is of such character.”

Motion No. 20

That Bill C-36 be amended by deleting Clause 21.

Motion No. 21

That Bill C-36 be amended by deleting Clause 22.

Motion No. 23

That Bill C-36, in Clause 57, be amended by replacing line 23 on page 21 with the following:

“sections 53 and 54, come into force on”

Madam Speaker, Bill C-36 may not be seizing the nation, but it is an important bill because it does bring together for the first time in an official way the Archives of Canada and the Library of Canada. The bill does this in a way that would allow them to organize their efforts to minimize duplication and also would allow them to organize themselves in a way that would allow one input for both library and archival material. That part of the bill is worthy of support and should be supported. I will talk more about that at the end of this debate.

There are only 10 minutes to debate all of these motions. That is barely enough time, but I will whistle through them, give an explanation, and hopefully make a case for why we have these motions before us today.

Motion No. 12 calls for the government to:

(k) transfer Communication Canada's Depository Services Program to the Library and Archives of Canada.

This may seem like a small technical problem, but it is a huge issue for librarians across the country. Over 790 public and academic libraries in Canada are concerned about the current management structure, which does not ensure that publications of the Government of Canada are properly handled by libraries and archives across the country.

We heard ample evidence in committee that this depository service should be moved under the Library and Archives of Canada. Right now, for example, only 46% of government documents are ever delivered to local public and academic libraries across the country, and that is because it is just not handled by librarians and archivists right now. Certainly librarians and people who deal with this material want to have access to it and they have suggested this as the best way to handle it.

I have received letters from people in my riding about this issue. Believe it or not, it is very important to librarians. I would like to thank Kim Isaac in my riding for bringing this to my attention initially and her other colleagues across the country who have made a very strong and convincing case that this is the way we should be handling it. I urge all members of Parliament to support Motion No. 12, which would officially put that depository service under the auspices of the new Library and Archives of Canada.

Motion No. 17 is primarily about the principles of accountability and transparency. As it is worded now, clause 13 would allow no objective oversight by the librarian and archivist to make sure they are receiving from the ministers of government all ministerial records that they feel have historical significance. This is done by law in the United States. As the secretary of state or for any position in the United States, that individual has to provide records to the archives. They have no choice. It is a legal requirement.

When the access to information commissioner gave testimony before our committee, he very strongly indicated his concern that, either through oversight or deliberate efforts by ministers, information that should be archived will not be. This amendment is brought forward in an effort to force all ministers to allow the archivists to have access to this material because it really belongs to the people of Canada and to the Government of Canada, not to individual ministers.

We also had testimony about what happens right now. Ministers get shuffled from one post to another or kicked out of cabinet, and who knows what may happen as time progresses, so they tell their staff to put tape on top of all the boxes in their offices or on the entire floor because they believe the information is theirs, that it is personal information and is therefore is not available to the archivists. That is simply not true. It may be useful if they decide to write books later in their life, or it may be useful memorabilia, but it actually belongs to the people of Canada and it should be available to the archivists. All kinds of information is simply lost. It is not done in a nasty way; it is just lost. Obviously material that belongs to the government should be available to the archivists. Motion No. 17 would allow the archivists to have that access and to make that determination.

One of the things mentioned in committee was document management. If I could quote from the May 12 Ottawa Citizen , it said about document management:

Today, government decisions are being made in oral briefings and over e-mail, voicemail, BlackBerry and faxes, with few or no records kept. Files are scattered on paper, diskettes and hard drives. Minutes of meetings are rarely kept and what is kept is usually hand-scribbled notes that bureaucrats squirrel away in their files which they take with them when they move or retire. To compound the problem, Mr. Reid has charged that bureaucrats are told right from the top to avoid keeping records at all.

That culture which is being created is one which we need to reverse to openness and accountability. It will be reversed if we pass Motion No. 17 which would make all information available to the archivist.

Finally, Motions Nos. 20, 21 and 23 delete copyright provisions that have been tacked on to the end of the bill almost willy-nilly and ad hoc. We heard from so many people who said that the way to revise copyright is to do it holistically. In fact, the Canadian heritage committee has been tasked with the statutory review of copyright. It must be done within a set period of time by statute. It is a requirement. It should be done holistically and all at the same time.

These clauses, which some people are calling the Lucy Maud Montgomery clauses, benefit only a very few people and are not the proper way to amend copyright legislation. It has made the bill difficult to handle in committee and it is going to make it difficult here again in the House. We are making the case today that the clauses should have been deleted.

In fact, there was broad agreement in committee to delete these clauses. Through some unfortunate shenanigans that went on in the committee, they were not deleted. They were kept in the bill and they are back here today. They should never have been in the bill and it is unfortunate that we are dealing with them today. They should be dealt with as part of a copyright debate and a proper change, an amendment to copyright legislation generally.

These amendments that are in the bill currently will have a negative impact on Canada's families, researchers and writers and Canadian culture. A copyright lawyer told the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, “Canadians will have to wait another 14 to 34 years to get access to historical material in various estates of public persons who may wish to suppress it”, to lock it up through publication effectively restricted by technological protection measures, “or to price it so high as to effectively limit access, using the powerful weapon of copyright law”. This would hardly help Canadians to tell their stories.

The copyright amendments located within the bill, if passed, would have a negative impact on Canadian families, on Canadian culture, and on historic researchers and writers generally. I just hope that today we are going to fix what should have been fixed in committee, that we are going to delete these clauses and we are going to deal with this properly in the review of the copyright legislation.

I think the members of the committee know that it was done poorly and improperly. It was not thought through well. Person after person testified before us that this should not go ahead.

It is not just the Lucy Maud Montgomery heirs who will benefit. It is funny that people are calling it the Lucy Maud Montgomery amendment because it so exclusively benefits such a small group of people, but historians have asked about the papers, letters and so on from R. B. Bennett, the Prime Minister of Canada during the Depression. They will not be able to publish from those letters because they will get caught up in this clause. What about Sir Robert Borden, the Prime Minister of Canada from 1911 to 1920? It is the same problem.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier was a legendary Prime Minister of Canada. Any of his unpublished works would now have protection until 2024 if they are published first before the end of this year. In other words, they have another long period of copyright protection, even though Sir Wilfrid Laurier of course has been dead and gone for almost a century. The same goes for Stephen Leacock, who is a well noted Canadian educator and humorist.

I urge people to support, first of all, my Motions Nos. 12 and 17 for the reasons I have already laid out. It would make the bill stronger. It would make it more palatable to many Canadians and give more direct instructions to our ministers. I also urge them to support Motions Nos. 20, 21 and 23 which will delete the copyright provisions.

It was the right thing to do in committee and we had a deal to do that in committee. The fact that it was not done there is unfortunate, but we can fix it here today by deleting those clauses and then doing a proper job of copyright review in committee. That is the way it should be done. That is the proper way to make legislation. To just throw it in an omnibus fashion at the end of the bill is a travesty for the archivists and librarians who just want to put their organization together. It has made it controversial when it should have been straightforward.

I urge all people to follow that course of action. I look forward to the debate. I hope the government will support these motions.

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4:15 p.m.

Laval East
Québec

Liberal

Carole-Marie Allard Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Madam Speaker, I would like to answer my colleague who just put forward the motions. Motions Nos. 12, 17, 20 and 23 were selected by the Chair.

I will first speak to Motion No. 12. It says, and I quote:

(k) transfer Communication Canada's Depository Services Program to the Library and Archives of Canada.

Under the motion, the librarian and archivist would have the authority to transfer the program. However, I would add that it is the government's decision, not the librarian's and archivist's. It is certainly not the practice, in Canadian legislation, to identify programs of this nature. That is why I think Motion No. 12 should not be carried.

As for Motion No. 17, it proposes that:

(5) The Librarian and Archivist may review any record that the Minister claims to be of a personal and political nature to verify that it is of such character.

This motion deals with ministers' private or political records. The motion proposes that the deputy head be able to examine any document to verify that it is personal or political in nature, as the minister claims.

The framework of and the definitions contained in the legislation—such as the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, the National Archives of Canada Act—were all carefully formulated to reflect or supplement the substance of each statute, thereby ensuring their overall linguistic uniformity given that they must interact.

Any change to the legal order governing information created or used by government institutions must be made to all three statutes. A fragmented approach to such amendments, as my hon. colleague is proposing here today, would lead to legal confusion that would jeopardize the implementation of these three statutes and would probably lead to court challenges.

This is why I suggest that my hon. colleague's motion not be retained.

Motions Nos. 20 and 21 deal with amendments to copyright. The purpose of Motion No. 20 is to eliminate the proposed application of copyright to unpublished works.

Of course, there has been ample discussion of the proposed amendments to the Copyright Act, now being debated, and in relation to which my hon. colleague is moving a motion. This legislation was studied in great depth in committee. The committee heard witnesses of all political persuasions, some of whom supported these amendments while others did not.

This issue was discussed over the course of several meetings. The committee concluded that the numerous concrete advantages to this proposal, not only for the authors but also for archivists and users, outweighed the potential inconveniences, which have yet to be proven, for some unspecified groups.

The important thing is that section 7 of the Copyright Act will be amended to extend copyright protection to unpublished works by Canadian authors who died after 1929, but before 1949, until 2017. This would allow the author's heirs to publish this previously unpublished work. If the work remained unpublished at the end of this fourteen-year period, it would come into the public domain. If the work is published during that period, it would then receive copyright protection for twenty years following the date of publication.

The conditions for the protection of unpublished works of authors who died before 1929 are unchanged. Protection terminates on December 31, 2003. If the works in question were published before their protection expired, they would be protected for an additional 20 years from date of publication.

In 1997, section 7 of the Copyright Act was considerably amended by Bill C-32. Before that, unpublished works had perpetual copyright protection.

The amendments proposed in Bill C-32 proved to be highly controversial. Historians, archivists and genealogists lobbied vigorously to have the transitional periods shortened so that older archival material, a large part of which remains unpublished, would enter the public domain sooner.

Their arguments carried enough weight that the government decided to shorten the transitional period, and as a result copyright protection on unpublished works whose author had died before 1949 would expire at the end of 2003.

The people whose interests were being threatened by this therefore launched a campaign to extend the protection of unpublished works to allow heirs the time to publish the works in question.

After a number of meetings, a compromise was struck, and that is what was adopted and is found in clauses 20 and 21 of the bill.

Section 7 of the Copyright Act would be amended so that unpublished works by Canadian authors who died after 1929 but before 1949 would be protected. This protection would be extended beyond the end of 2003, until 2017.

This is a compromise that had already been negotiated. Section 30.21 of the Copyright Act would also be amended to remove the condition that archivists must keep a record of persons to whom single copies of unpublished works are provided for the purposes of research and private study, where copyright has not expired but for which the copyright owner cannot be located.

In light of the compromise agreed to by the stakeholders and given the need to amend section 30.21, on behalf of the Library and Archives of Canada, this amendment is put forward so that it can be approved by December 31, 2003.

This is an important date, because unpublished works would enter the public domain at that time and any subsequent change would have the effect of according protection again, retroactively, which could be a source of even greater confusion.

Allow me to note that the changes in question are consistent with the consensus achieved by all the stakeholders, who agree that the changes I mentioned a moment ago are necessary. That is why the motion put forward by the hon. member opposite must not be passed.

Motion No. 21 proposes to delete clause 22, the same way that Motion No. 20 proposes to delete clause 21. As indicated earlier, the amendments to the Copyright Act flow from the efforts of this government to promote greater access to unpublished works and are part of the agreement reached by all stakeholders regarding this change.

Bill C-36 will amend section 30.21 of the Copyright Act to remove certain conditions that archival institutions must meet in order to make single copies of unpublished works. Such copies are used for the purposes of research and private study.

I am sure members will agree with me that this bookkeeping is only adding to the administrative burden of our archival services and squandering our limited resources which could be better used serving the customers of the Library and Archives of Canada.

Finally, Motion No. 23 proposes to remove references to sections containing amendments to the Copyright Act. I think this motion should also be rejected for the reasons I have already given.

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4:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this debate on the motions by my hon. colleague from Fraser Valley, with regard to Bill C-36.

The aim of this bill is to create a new institution called the Library and Archives of Canada. I must inform the House that the Bloc Quebecois opposes this bill, but before I explain why, I want to briefly discuss the motions now before the House.

I want to talk about Motion No. 12, which deals with clause 8 in the bill, under the heading “Objects and Powers”. The Bloc Quebecois will vote in favour of this motion, because it will ensure impartiality. As a result of everything we witnessed today and everything that happened with the sponsorship program under Communication Canada, we discovered all the goings-on and the friends compensated with taxpayers' money.

The Bloc Quebecois believes that if this motion were defeated, it would mean that the current government has not learned from its mistakes with Communication Canada and the sponsorship program. Constituents and taxpayers would appreciate less partisanship when it comes to public funds. In fact, under the current Liberal government here in Canada, there is increasing partisanship and cronyism. I congratulate the hon. member for Fraser Valley for having introduced this amendment.

As for Motion No. 17, which would amend the bill by adding clause 13(5). Clause 13 is found in the part of the bill dealing with “government and ministerial records”.

I can tell the hon. member for Fraser Valley that the Bloc Quebecois will vote against this amendment, because if we add this paragraph and limit access to verification in such a bill, it would also limit transparency. I think that our constituents, all Canadians and Quebeckers, are asking their elected officials and the government to be increasingly transparent and, when supposedly impartial bodies are created, to allow them access to all documents. I am against the Alliance motion, which would restrict this access.

The other motions, numbers 20, 21 and 23, deal with copyright. I am very surprised that copyright is still included in this bill, since, when we discussed this bill in committee in June, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage agreed to withdraw all these clauses from the bill. We came to an agreement and here it is again in the bill.

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is currently studying copyright.

I do not understand how copyright can be included in this bill creating an institution. Matters of copyright are too important.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage mentioned just now that there would be copyright for people who died between 1929 and 1949. I do not understand this. It is totally confusing.

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage must look into this concept of copyright very seriously. The Bloc Quebecois agrees completely with the Canadian Alliance in its decision to propose these amendments.

It is important that people who have written books in the past be recognized. As for those who were not recognized and whom we now define as persons desiring recognition, can we really lump all that into a bill? I say no. It is too important. It would mean that the government did not accord as much importance to the country's authors as the public did.

The Bloc Quebecois agrees with the Canadian Alliance. We must do it. It is urgent. It is necessary. Everything having to do with copyright must be removed from this bill. That is the opinion of the Bloc Quebecois concerning the motions for amendment proposed by the Canadian Alliance.

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4:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Perth—Middlesex, ON

Madam Speaker, as the PC Party critic for Canadian heritage and culture it is with great pride that I rise to speak to Bill C-36.

During the early stages of the development of the bill, the Progressive Conservative Party was cautiously supportive of the legislation. We felt the joining of the National Library and National Archives was necessary to best preserve Canadian history.

Because of the confusion surrounding the effects clauses 21 and 22 may have on the future of research, academic scholarship and publishing in Canadian literature, I am inclined to remove that initial support for what is otherwise an appropriate bill.

I have a background in municipal politics and can appreciate the benefits that can occur when organizations are joined together and resources pooled to provide people with more effective services, better use of taxpayers' dollars and ease of use.

When first glancing over Bill C-36, I felt the government had actually drafted a good piece of legislation. It was about time. Then I read clauses 21 and 22 which have nothing to do whatsoever with the amalgamation of the National Library and National Archives. These clauses deal with copyright law of all things. These clauses do not belong in the bill. They stick out like sore thumbs.

Before my second committee meeting it was my understanding that there was an agreement among my colleagues on this committee that if clauses 21 and 22 were removed, then we could, for the most part, agree it was a good bill.

I felt good about the agreement because it struck me as if it was an example of parliamentarians working well with each other, bargaining in good faith, et cetera. I understood that clauses 21 and 22 were to be removed and I understood at that point that most of the committee members, if not all, would support the bill.

Lo and behold, as our second meeting progressed--a meeting which was a special meeting that was called after the House recessed and during which the committee examined the bill clause by clause--we eventually arrived at clauses 21 and 22. These clauses were introduced to be withdrawn as per the agreement. However, debate began on the merits of keeping the clauses in the legislation. Being the only opposition member present, I felt betrayed by this.

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4:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

You felt betrayed?

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4:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Perth—Middlesex, ON

Madam Speaker, that is right. The member was not there. He had already gone home because it was after recess.

I know some of my more seasoned colleagues from the opposition and others may not be at all that surprised to see this type of shenanigans, however, I was shocked. I suppose I should have expected it. After all, this is the same gang of Grits who promised Canadians they would be ripping up the free trade agreement and scrapping the GST.

The meeting was one with very few hon. members in attendance. In fact, if I had left the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage there would not have been a quorum. I could have left in disgust, but I suppose I am of the opinion that more good can come from rolling up the sleeves and getting to work than simply taking my marbles and going home.

I have learned a lesson. I have always been of the opinion that we can attract far more bees with honey than with vinegar. But I sure hate when spreading the honey attracts a big bumblebee that stings. I feel stung by the government majority on the committee.

I know a shady deal when I see one. I do not want to say I was not told the truth by the committee, but I was certainly told one thing would happen. When it was time to cash in the chips, another thing entirely occurred. We can call that what we like I suppose, but it is enough from my standpoint to cloud the process sufficiently for me to vote against the bill. However, I will continue to debate.

If the Liberals want to change the Copyright Act, then they should table a bill, have meetings with hon. members and expert witnesses in order to deal strictly with the very complex issue of copyright, in accordance with proper parliamentary tradition. If they want to try to sneak through a couple of clauses to correct a Grit error from a few years ago, then they should be open and honest about it. Perhaps some of their opposition colleagues may actually help them to do so. However trying to slip through a part of a bill that does not belong there without explaining why, is not right.

When government members, who make a deal to remove these clauses, then learn from their political masters in the Prime Minister's office that they need to break their word and keep these clauses in, is very suspicious behaviour. It is very fishy indeed. They forgot they had a deal. They forgot they gave us their word. They told us not to worry and assured us that we could trust them. I found out about that in short order at my first ever committee. That is how long it took me.

Aside from the shady behaviour on the part of the government in trying to railroad through sections 21 and 22 of the bill, much of the work I have done on my own has done nothing to ease my concerns about amending these copyright laws without due diligence.

Through a publisher, the esteemed, maybe most highly esteemed and respected figure among Canadian historians, Dr. Jack Granatstein, informed my office that in his expert opinion:

This bill will interfere with scholarship, complicate the lives of researchers needlessly and cost everyone time and money. It is simply unnecessary.

That does not sound too good.

Don LePan, president of Broadview Press, is on record as saying that these copyright provisions in Bill C-36 represent, in his own words:

...one of several significant threats in the current horizon to the public domain; copyright restrictions in Canada are already more stringent than they need be, and it is crucial that we resist further incursions on the public domain.

The following are points of concern surrounding sections 21 and 22 of Bill C-36.

With a review of copyright law in general about to get underway, there is no good reason to include as an add on to an unrelated bill these provisions regarding copyright.

Who would benefit from these provisions of Bill C-36? It is often claimed that authors as a whole benefit from extending copyright provisions. In practice, however, it is typically only a handful of the best known and most enduringly successful writers whose heirs benefits from such provisions in any significant financial way.

One thing I remember just from my life was a deal I made one time to buy a piece of property. It was owned by an estate. We could never get a clear deed on that estate because the descendants of those people lived all over the world. We could never get anyone to come in to sign the papers that were required. This is what I am talking about on the extended copyright. To try to find some of these people would be very hard.

Indeed, extensions of copyright restrictions can be directly contrary to the interests of many deceased authors, not least of all because publishers who might be interested in making certain works available will frequently be discouraged from doing so if the author's heirs are difficult or impossible to locate.

However I am of the opinion that the joining together of the Library of Parliament and the National Archives is of such importance as to require me to look deeply into the bill, and I will be taking advice from my colleagues.

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4:40 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to the amendments put forward on Bill C-36, an act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada and to amend the Copyright Act .

I listened to many of the witnesses who came before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and I heard their concerns and solutions. I have also heard today in the House a great deal of rancour about the way the legislation unfolded and was dealt with in sort of the dying days of the last session. Much of that was unfortunate. I urge members of the House to not allow the hurry and the politicking that went on at that time to get in the way of what I think is very important legislation which meets several needs at this time for some important institutions and also for writers in Canada.

I feel confident that the bill satisfies the needs of the two institutions in question, the Archives and the Library. I have gained assurances from the departments and the institutions that this merger is not a cost cutting exercise, that in fact the merger is for the very best reasons, to make this a storehouse of incredible capacity for the stories, histories and archives of Canada, and I completely support that.

I believe members of the House have to value the archival and the heritage nature of these institutions. We have to value the previous generations of Canadian writers, politicians and citizens. These institutions are all about that. We are bringing together two storehouses of information which are critical to the public good and to our heritage.

The bill will also redress some wrongs done to creators in the previous revision of the Copyright Act. I believe it does that in clauses 21 and 22. I support those clauses.

Clause 7 of the bill has created a lot of controversy, probably more controversy than the original change to unpublished copyright in 1997. The NDP supports any measure that protects the creators of works and their heirs.

Janet Lunn, who is the past chair of the Writers' Union of Canada, said it best in her testimony before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on June 3. She stated:

A writer's legacy to his or her family is the copyright in the works created during his or her lifetime. Often a writer is able to leave little else. We don't as writers have large estates and stocks and bonds usually. Our works are our legacy.

In 1997 the perpetual copyright on unpublished works was changed to match copyright on published works, 50 years after the death of the author. A change like this does not take effect right away. Therefore works from authors who have died since 1948 were automatically protected for a 50 year grace period. Works from authors who died before 1948 only received protection for a five year transition period before implementation. When a similar change was instituted in the U.K., a 50 year transition period was considered fair notice and the U.S. chose a 25 year transition period.

Janet Lunn explained the unintended consequences of such a short transition period. She stated:

--works not published by the end of 1998, even if they have been published since, will come into the public domain on January 1, 2004. This means that while an author who died on January 1, 1949, is protected until 2048, an author who died one day earlier, on December 31, 1948, is protected only until January 1, 2004

Today in question period I asked the veterans affairs minister about a piece of legislation which targeted, or excluded, 25,000 widows of veterans because their husbands happened to pass away one day before the legislation offering assistance was put in place. We realize this incredibly arbitrary date will have such horrible, unintended consequences on 25,000 very vulnerable older women.

I mention that because there is some parallel here, that we have to look at people on either side of these arbitrary dates and try to establish what the consequences would be. I would say they are astounding and would have ripple effects in different sectors of the cultural industry.

Five years may seem a sufficient length of time to publish material, even though it can take that long or longer to convince a publisher of the worth of the material. However the five year transition period would mean a publisher would only enjoy the benefits of publishing material until January 1, 2004, which is a ridiculously short period of time to recoup the publishing costs of a book. In other jurisdictions that removed perpetual copyright on unpublished works, a decade long transition was planned.

Our oversight of 1997 needs to be redressed before the end of this year. It is important that this legislation has the copyright provisions in it.

We all are aware that a major revision of the Copyright Act is to be undertaken shortly and I welcome the opportunity to be part of that. What this is, though, is a stopgap measure to protect people from the unexpected consequences of the changes that were made in 1997. I think anyone in this House would agree that one day should not create such a discrepancy in the lives of our writers and publishers in this country.

The unintended consequences of the bill are the following.

Our authors do not have to publish their books in Canada. Nor do the publishers have to publish them. Given the situation now facing them, many will go elsewhere. They will go offshore and they will be published other places.

Other jurisdictions have lengthier copyright protection than we do. If unpublished work is not protected here for a fair amount of time, authors or their publishers can take the work out of the country for publication.

Is that loss of heritage what we want to bring about in a bill such as this? What about the loss to the publishing industry in this country, which is in fact struggling at all times anyway?

Therefore, I repeat that this section of the bill would not make it impossible for researchers or genealogists to use information from archives or collections. This is a point that has been made and I think it is a bogus point. They were able to do that under the perpetual copyright provisions pre-1997 and we all benefited from the books, essays, plays and movies created from people looking at old letters and papers that had never been published.

As always, the concept of “fair dealing” still applies, which means people could use copyright material for research and review, but the right to publish material in its entirety remains with the copyright owner until copyright expires.

I would like to return to the bill as a whole.

Both these institutions under discussion are charged with maintaining the documentary heritage of Canada. It is an important and a costly exercise.

Under the former finance minister, both these institutions saw their budget slashed in half. It is time that we focus again on these institutions and ensure they are economically viable. We need legislation in place which will give them the tools to move forward with this important merger. We need the copyright provisions in place that will protect writers, publishers and historians. I want to work to ensure that the legislation goes through before the House possibly comes to a premature end.

I and the New Democrats will be supporting the bill in its entirety.

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4:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure today to stand and address Bill C-36, an act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain acts in consequence. It is also my pleasure to support the five motions introduced by my colleague, our critic for Canadian Heritage.

As my colleagues in the Canadian Alliance have stated, we support the preservation and protection of Canadian heritage, including the documents and artifacts that will be held by the new entity created by the bill.

On a personal note, I am accused often by my staff and others of being both a librarian and an archivist. I love to read and my office is filled with books on many subjects. Plus, with the amount of paper I refuse to throw away, I may consider becoming an archivist if the politics thing does not work out.

As the Canadian Alliance senior critic for industry, my interest in the bill lies primarily with the clauses that affect copyright, clauses 21 and 22, and the subsequent Motions Nos. 20 and 21, both of which seek to delete the copyright clauses.

Copyright is the right of the creator of an original work to authorize or prohibit certain uses of the work or to receive compensation for its use.

I find it quite ironic that in a bill which seeks to promote the work of institutions that have as their mandate to put on display and preserve works to be viewed by the public, we find clauses with the express intent to restricting public access to historical works.

In terms of housekeeping provisions, I also find it strange that copyright amendments were introduced in this fashion. Because copyright issues change so quickly, there is a requirement under section 92 of the Copyright Act, which states:

Within five years after the coming into force of this section--

For example, no later than September 1, 2002.

--the Minister shall cause to be laid before both Houses of Parliament a report on the provisions and operation of this Act, including any recommendations for amendments to this Act.

Clearly, no such revisions have been laid before the House. However I understand that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage announced in June of this year that it hopes to launch its statutory review of the Copyright Act later this fall.

In addition to this, last year Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage jointly issued a report entitled “Supporting Culture and Innovation: Report on the Provisions and Operation of the Copyright Act”. Surely the Minister of Canadian Heritage could have raised the copyright issue in that report, instead of trying to put it into a bill in which we think it is not appropriate to be there.

These are very technical amendments that concern the protection of unpublished works. In Canada, the standard term of protection for published material is 50 years after the death of the author.

Unpublished works of authors who died before 1949 will come into the public domain on January 1, 2004. In other words, their copyright protection and the opportunity for their family to make any financial gains from work will expire in the new year.

What the legislation would allow is for the heirs of authors such as Lucy Maud Montgomery to maintain control of Montgomery's unpublished diaries a further 14 years in hopes of finding a publisher.

As legislators, and especially in the age of the Internet, we are often asked to be mediators between the protection of creative works in order to allow the creator to preserve his or her integrity and to earn a living, and the opportunity for the general public to enjoy such creative works. It is a difficult balance to strike I admit.

This situation has been recently raised with respect to access to census records. What is a reasonable time period as to how long such information should be kept from public release? For copyright, in my view, 50 years is a reasonable time period.

One of the roles I have as industry critic is to support and promote research and development. R and D is not limited to the lab or to scientific works. It includes written works and works that obviously deal with the human arts. I would not like to further inhibit the work of historical and social researchers for the sake of protecting the possible financial returns of a few families.

Many have noted that copyright protection for unpublished works in the United States has been extended to 70 years after death. This extension was engineered by the Walt Disney Corporation in order to protect its profits.

What is interesting is to actually think about Disney in terms of borrowing from others in order to create the great films that it has in the past. Cinderella was not originally written by Mr. Disney. Beauty and the Beast was not originally written by Mr. Disney, nor was Winnie the Pooh . The fact is that the Disney empire has greatly benefited, as all of us who have watched these films have, by borrowing from works that have fallen out of copyright.

There is no doubt that copyright is important to innovation. It reinforces an author's rights and entitlements to his or her hard work. However, there is also a relationship between the written word and the role it plays in the process of social and political dialogue.

For example, the genome, also known as the book of life, is a map of all the genetic information stored within our cells. The White House intervened in 2000 to make sure the genome would not remain hidden from public view through intellectual property rights protection.

In the case of the genome, compromises were reached to both protect intellectual property and further research. The public has free access to the genome sequence over the Internet, but those who did all the hard work have legal protection against data piracy. In addition, those who want to use the sequence for commercial purposes must negotiate an agreement with one of the organizations that completed the sequencing.

In my opinion, the genome is an excellent example of how we as elected officials can mediate property rights for the greater good.

From an innovation perspective, it is good to see we are speaking more and more about copyright, patents and intellectual property in the House. Most companies that patent scientific research seem to be able to balance the common good with the clear financial rewards of owning intellectual property.

Ideas and creations are part of an innovative economy and country. According to Industry Canada, patents and copyrights are highly correlated with R and D spending. They help us to work better and compete with each other. They stimulate us to experiment and to eventually reap the rewards of our hard work.

However, at some point we need to share these creations and designs with others so that we can learn from our successes, we can learn about each other and we can learn about our failures. It is finding that balance between the protection of intellectual property to reward the creator and the innovator and allowing the public good to have access to that work.

In conclusion, I am supporting the motions introduced by my colleague, particularly to delete clauses 21 and 22.

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5 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this debate. I will start by saying that we are in favour of the motions by the Canadian Alliance concerning the removal of everything pertaining to copyright in Bill C-36.

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is already looking at this issue. It is extremely complex, as we know, particularly when we want to be able to take into account both the rights of the heirs of the authors in question and those of researchers or members of the general public to have access to these works.

It is completely logical to remove any references to copyright from Bill C-36. Let us hope the heritage committee will succeed in striking a fair balance in this complex matter.

I believe that Canadian Alliance Motions Nos. 12 and 20 address this and therefore have our support. As for Motion No. 17, however, I believe we will vote against it.

That being said, this whole debate is extremely important. A number of my colleagues have taken the opportunity to point out how opposed to Bill C-36 the Bloc Quebecois is, particularly the issue of merging the Library and the Archives, which have two different missions.

The hon. member for Laval Centre has suggested I look up the dictionary definitions of “archives” and “library”. I think that reading those definitions will provide a clear understanding of the fact that their mandates are different and are not such that they can be combined, as Bill C-36 seeks to do.

The definitions are from Le Petit Larousse , which I am sure all will agree is a totally reliable source.

The definition of “archives” given by this dictionary is: “Body of documents relating to the history of a city, a family etc, or those of a corporation, administration and the like”. “Archives” is also defined as “a location in which such documents are stored”. We can clearly see that archives have to do with a certain type of document with a connection to a family or company, as well as certain historical documents.

The definition of “library” given in Le Petit Larousse is: “Location, room or institution, public or private, in which a collection of books, texts, manuscripts and the like are shelved and managed”. Hon. members can see that this is really connected with the printed word and not with documents that could be described as archival.

When we consider a land register, which records properties with buildings on them or under cultivation, with the names of owners, it is quite clear that this type of record has its place in an archive, but not at all in a library, according to the definitions in Le Petit Larousse .

Moreover, most of the industrialized nations have understood very well that these entities have two different mandates. In France, Germany, the United States and Belgium, these are separate entities, with their own administrations, which develop their own logics, since they are not the same.

I think that by merging the two, Bill C-36 creates a great deal of confusion, as much in terms of administration as of mandate. Whether it is the archivists or the librarians, one of these two professions will end up losing.

When I was general secretary of the CSN, I had the opportunity to manage staff. I have already been an employer. We had a records department and a library. When we hired a records clerk, an archivist if you will, we hired someone who was trained to be a records clerk, not a librarian. However, when we needed a librarian, we hired a technician in that speciality, or someone who had studied library science.

Two completely different kinds of training, work and mandate are involved, and Bill C-36 does not take this into account. If it is adopted—we hope it will not be—it will surely result in a loss, for one group or the other, of a fundamental mandate.

Why is the government seeking to combine the two mandates? This is a question that remains unanswered. It is no doubt for reasons having to do with what we could think of as economies of scale. But as far as the mandates of the National Archives and the National Library are concerned, are economies of scale really that important? Will the savings make up for the cost of losing one mandate or the other? I do not think it is appropriate to think in those terms.

Is the idea more to give the new institution a broad propaganda mandate, to promote the Canadian vision of history and culture? That is probably closer to the truth. We know full well that this is a debate that we had right here, during question period.

Like most Quebeckers, including the current Premier of Quebec, we in the Bloc Quebecois believe that Quebec is a nation with a culture of its own. But just recently the Minister of Canadian Heritage referred again to Canadian culture. For her, anything relating to Quebec's culture is in fact a regional aspect of the broader Canadian culture.

I think it is more in this perspective of building Canada according to the Canadian vision that Bill C-36 must be viewed. Especially since the bill expands the mandate of the new institution, Library and Archives of Canada, to include a reference to the interpretation of Canadian history.

There is great cause for concern there, because if there is one area in which diversity and complexity preclude any official interpretation or something of the sort it is that one. I would be curious to know how Canadian history would be interpreted under that mandate. Take Louis Riel for example.

I will tell members a story. I had opportunity to visit Charlottetown. They have a sort of Fathers of Confederation museum, where they outline how the Canadian Confederation came about. This kind of information is always interesting, but it was set in a clearly Canadian vision. For instance, I learned there that Louis Riel had played an important role in the creation of the province of Manitoba. But there was no mention anywhere of the fact that he was hanged for high treason. Is that the interpretation we will be given of this tragic chapter of our history?

There was also conscription, both in 1917 and during the second world war. Canadians and Quebeckers interpret this event completely differently. In this respect, which interpretation will be considered the right one? I can give another example, the War Measures Act of 1970. No matter how we try to look at this, surely our interpretation will be different.

This is extremely dangerous. One of our top sociologists, Guy Rocher, conducted a study with one of his colleagues, whose name I unfortunately forget, on the perspective found in the history books used by schools in Canada and Quebec. He was able to prove that this perspective was completely different, depending on whose it was, Quebec's or Canada's.

As a result, I think that this aspect should be totally eliminated from the mandates of the Library and Archives of Canada. This results in a reductionism that does not correspond to reality. History is constant evolving. Our interpretation of the past is constantly subject to change.

For example, our current view of the first nations is quite different from our view at turn of the century. We realized a number of things that might not have been so important back then. Values also change.

All this to say that this aspect must be totally eliminated. Overall, this legislation is not relevant. As a result, although we agree with some of the Canadian Alliance's motions, in the end, the Bloc Quebecois will vote against Bill C-36.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is the House ready for the question?

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The question is on Motion No. 12. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

All those opposed will please say nay.

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The recorded division on Motion No. 12 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 17. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

All those opposed will please say nay.

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The division on Motion No. 17 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 20. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

All those opposed will please say nay.

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

In my opinion, the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The recorded division on Motion No. 20 stands deferred.

The recorded division will also apply to Motions Nos. 21 and 23.

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5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. With the vote deferred until 5:29 p.m. I think you might find some agreement to suspend until that time.

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5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent to suspend the sitting until 5:29 p.m.?

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5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(The sitting of the House was suspended at 5:14 p.m.)

The House resumed at 5:29 p.m.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-34, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner and Senate Ethics Officer) and other Acts in consequence, be read the third time and passed; and of the previous question.

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5:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

It being 5:29 p.m. the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the previous question at third reading stage of Bill C-34, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

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6 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the motion carried.

The question is on the main motion for third reading of Bill C-34.

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6 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe if you asked, you would find consent in the House that those who voted on the previous motion be recorded as voting on the motion now before the House, with Liberal members voting yes.

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6 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this way?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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6 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Alliance members will vote no to this motion.

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6 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, members of the Bloc Quebecois will vote in favour of this motion.

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6 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Progressive Conservative members will be voting yes to this motion.

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6 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, NDP members vote yes on this motion.

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6 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Guy Carignan Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am voting in favour of this motion.

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6 p.m.

Independent

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, my party votes yes on this motion.

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6 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am voting against this motion.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

6 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-36, an act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence, as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and of Motions Nos. 12, 17, 20, 21, and 23.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded divisions at the report stage of Bill C-36. The question is on Motion No. 12.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find consent in the House that those who voted on the previous motion be recorded as voting on the motion now before the House, with the Liberals voting no.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

(The House divided on Motion No. 12, which was negatived on the following division)

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare Motion No. 12 lost.

The next question is on Motion No. 17.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find unanimous consent in the House that the vote on the previous motion be applied to Motion No. 20, exactly as it occurred.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this way?

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(The House divided on Motion No. 20, which was negatived on the following division:)

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare Motion No. 20 lost.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe now that we have disposed of Motion No. 20, we can deal with Motion No. 17. I think that you would find consent that those who voted on the previous two motions be recorded as voting on this motion now before the House with the Liberal members voting no, with the exception of the member for Burin—St. George's and the member for Labrador.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this way?

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Alliance members will support this motion.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Quebecois will vote against Motion No. 17, but in favour of Motion No. 20.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Progressive Conservative Party vote no.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, members of the NDP will vote against this motion.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Guy Carignan Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will vote against this motion.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Independent

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will vote in favour of this motion.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will vote in favour of this motion.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the whip for the Liberal Party stood, she mentioned two members who were not to be included in the votes. I think it might help the clerks at the table if it were ascertained whether they were abstaining or voting opposite.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am informed that the member for Burin—St. George's and the member for Labrador wish to vote yes on the amendment.

(The House divided on Motion No. 17, which was negatived on the following division:)

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare Motion No. 17 lost. I also declare Motions Nos. 21 and 23 lost.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

moved that the bill be concurred in at report stage.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find consent in the House that those who voted on the previous motion be recorded as voting on the motion now before the House with Liberal members voting yes, with the exception of the member for Labrador, the member for Burin—St. George's and the member for Ottawa—Vanier who wish to be recorded as voting no.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

It there unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
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6:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Alliance members present tonight will vote no on this motion.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, members of the Bloc Quebecois will vote against this motion.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, members of the Progressive Conservative Party vote yes.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, members of the NDP are voting yes to this motion.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Guy Carignan Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will vote in favour of this motion.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
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6:20 p.m.

Independent

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will vote in favour of this motion.

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will vote against this motion.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Library and Archives of Canada Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from September 25, 2003, consideration of the motion: That Bill C-406, an act to amend the Employment Insurance Act, be now read a second time and referred to a committee.

Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Pursuant to orders made on Thursday, September 25 and Tuesday, September 30, 2003, the House will now proceed to the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading of Bill C-406, under private members' business.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the motion lost.

The House resumed, from September 25, consideration of the motion.

Social Condition
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Pursuant to orders made on Thursday, September 25 and Tuesday, September 30, 2003, the House will now proceed to the deferred recorded division on Motion M-392, under private members' business.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Social Condition
Private Members' Business

6:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the motion lost.

The House resumed from September 26 consideration of the motion.

Appointment of Judges
Private Members' Business

6:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Pursuant to orders made on Friday, September 26 and Tuesday, September 30, 2003, the House will now proceed to the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 288, under private members' business.

Appointment of Judges
Private Members' Business

6:45 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think that if you were to ask for it we could have unanimous consent to adopt Motion No. 288.

Appointment of Judges
Private Members' Business

6:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent to adopt the motion?

Appointment of Judges
Private Members' Business

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed from September 24, 2003, consideration of the motion and the amendment.

Firearms Program
Private Members' Business

6:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, September 30, 2003, the House will now proceed to the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 387, under private members' business.

(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Firearms Program
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the amendment lost.

The next question is on the main motion.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Firearms Program
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Firearms Program
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Firearms Program
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Firearms Program
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Firearms Program
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

All those opposed will please say nay.

Firearms Program
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Firearms Program
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

In my opinion, the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Firearms Program
Private Members' Business

7:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the motion lost.

The House resumed from September 30 consideration of the motion.

Health
Private Members' Business

7:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Pursuant to order made Tuesday, September 30, 2003, the House will now proceed to the recorded division on Motion No. 83 under private members' business.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Health
Private Members' Business

7:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the motion lost.

Health
Private Members' Business

7:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would suggest you might wish to ask the consent of the House to see the clock as 8:20 p.m.

Health
Private Members' Business

7:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is that agreed?

Health
Private Members' Business

7:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Health
Private Members' Business

7:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7:21 p.m.)