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

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

October 1st, 2003 / 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?