House of Commons Hansard #146 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was code.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this is a great day for the army because we are moving forward with state of the art transformational equipment at record speed.

I do not take advice from dated reports, retired military and the opposition; I take it from the current military.

Lieutenant-General Hillier said earlier today that the strong qualities of a Leopard tank parked in Valcartier were useless to soldiers in Kabul. When asked about the loss of the tanks, he went on to say that he was losing a millstone around his neck.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, let him tell that to the Iltis drivers.

Canada already has the smallest tank force in NATO with only 114 tanks. Now the Liberals want to reduce this to merely 66 wheeled vehicles. Not only are we getting a vehicle that is less capable, we are only getting half as many. Under the minister's transformation plan, our army is losing quality and it is losing quantity. This will cost more Canadian lives.

Why is the minister reducing the number of vehicles?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

That is absolute nonsense, Mr. Speaker. When Lieutenant-General Hillier spoke to the regimental sergeant major from Kabul upon his return to Canada, he quoted the soldiers' reactions in Kabul to this vehicle and they thought it was fantastic.

I take my advice from the current soldiers and from the current military leadership, not from the retired military leadership and certainly not from the opposition.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, throughout Canada women entrepreneurs advised the task force that one of the most important contributions this task force could make was to take back to Parliament a recommendation to remove the exclusion of women entrepreneurs from EI legislation, particularly maternity leave.

Could the Minister of Human Resources Development tell us what the government can and will do to address these important concerns?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's task force on women entrepreneurs has emphasized yet again how important the government's decision to double parental benefits has been to Canadian families. It clarifies indeed that women entrepreneurs, those who are self-employed do not pay premiums and therefore do not have access.

I welcome the recommendation of the committee and the information it has provided that suggests that women entrepreneurs are prepared to pay premiums. We will do what we can to provide this important benefit to women entrepreneurs.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week in our foreign affairs meetings in Iran with reformist MPs and human rights activists, we were told it helps them inside the regime when we speak up loud and clear outside the regime on human rights issues like the Kazemi case. We believe it was that approach which finally got Canada a guarantee of three seats at the upcoming trial.

Yesterday the Iranian reformist MPs accused the discredited prosecutor in the Kazemi case of a cover-up. What specific steps has the minister taken to communicate loud and clear to the Iranian government that this corrupt prosecutor should be removed from the Kazemi trial?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member from the opposition for his question. I thank him very much for going to Iran. I thank him for following our ambassador to Iran, who I put there to enable parliamentarians to enter into a dialogue with the Iranian government. I have long said we have to work with the reformist members in the Iranian government. I said that to the member and I said it to the House.

The member has constantly said he is responsible for what occurred in Iran in terms of access to the trial, but I remind the hon. member that decision was made days before he arrived there. It was made when we sent our ambassador back and the government engaged in a real conversation--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Okanagan—Coquihalla.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I did not want him to get upset. I am asking him some honest questions about some joint efforts that got some results.

In another meeting last week, this time in Saudi Arabia, we were asked about the possibility of sharing intelligence in the war on terrorism. At the same time we all heard about the intelligence concerns raised about the terrorist threat of surface to air missiles right here at home in Canada. We need effective intelligence capabilities on threats gathering abroad so that we can stop them before they land on our doorstep.

I do not want him to get upset. I am just asking him an honest question. In the interest of protecting Canadians, has the Minister of Foreign Affairs taken any steps to support our request for the creation of a Canadian--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Solicitor General.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had been listening to some of the answers to questions earlier, one of the complaints from one of the other opposition parties was that CSIS was in fact doing its job as the agency protecting national security in terms of having facilities abroad and having people overseas. As the director of CSIS already indicated, they are doing some of what the hon. member wants them to do and they are doing a very good job at it.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec agriculture minister stated this morning that $20 million was available from Ottawa for producers who own cull cattle. There are still technical details that need to be worked out.

Does the Minister of Agriculture realize that this is an urgent problem, that time is of the essence and that he must commit this funding immediately? This is urgent, Mr. Minister.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we have been working with the provinces, with all of the ministers and with the cattle industry, both the beef and the dairy industries, across the country for the last number of days in order to put together a program to help in this situation of older animals. This shows very clearly the urgency the government recognizes in the situation with the older animals.

When that program is completed, it will apply to Quebec dairy farmers and beef cattle farmers in the very same way it will apply to dairy farmers and beef farmers in every other province in Canada.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

October 29th, 2003 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Public Works purchases $11 billion of goods and services annually. The task force on women entrepreneurs report that women owned small businesses have been disproportionately unsuccessful in selling their goods and services to the federal government.

Given the unique barriers these businesses face, will the government commit to establishing a diversity procurement policy that would level the playing field to improve access for women entrepreneurs?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the member for Parkdale—High Park and other colleagues, including the member for Vancouver Centre, for their very hard work on the needs of women entrepreneurs and the report of the recent task force. The advice that they have had to offer is extremely valuable.

For my part, and on behalf of the Department of Public Works and Government Services, I can assure the members of the task force that we intend to take their recommendations and put them to work.