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

Environment
Oral Question Period

October 1st, 2003 / 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.