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

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

October 1st, 2003 / 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?