House of Commons Hansard #147 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to answer this question again for the member because he clearly has not understood the previous answers.

As I have said before, CCRA has the responsibility to ensure that the Income Tax Act is complied with equally by everyone across the country.

I can assure the member that we are working with the Canadian Hockey Association to ensure that the hockey teams across the country know what their obligations are, and to ensure that young players have access to the benefits that they might be entitled to. That is our job and we are doing it not only in Saskatchewan but right across this country, and the member should know that.

Veterans
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 9, the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs unanimously adopted a report to put right the injustice done by the Minister of Veterans Affairs in denying access to the veterans independence program to 23,000 surviving spouses.

Since the House unanimously adopted the sixth report of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs yesterday, when does the minister intend to follow up on the report's recommendations and rectify this intolerable situation?

Veterans
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in May we announced that we would have a program for the VIP from then on henceforth. Our remaining challenge is to see how we can address the needs of those whose benefits lapsed before that and to see what we can do. At that time, we will have the reality of fiscal resources.

We are continuing to be engaged on the issue. I assure the member that the sensitivity of the government to veterans issues remains very high.

Justice
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, 80% of the Canadians polled said they believed that the age of sexual consent between children and adults should be raised to at least 16.

This week in the House the Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General said “I do find that the age of consent at 14 is too low”.

Why does the justice minister condone sexual exploitation of children by adults by refusing to raise the age of sexual consent to age 16?

Justice
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the question of the age of consent, the hon. member knows very well that around the table of the federal-provincial meeting there was no consensus.

The government has created a new offence of exploitation that will offer much better protection because the protection will be for all young Canadians between the ages of 14 and 18. If the opposition members wants to offer good protection to young Canadians, they should be supporting the government in the passing of Bill C-20. What they are doing is a disgrace.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I wish to draw the attention of the hon. members to the presence in the gallery of Mr. Willy de Clercq, chair of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Canada and chair of the European delegation to the 27th annual meeting of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, it being Thursday, I would like to ask the hon. House leader of the government what business he has in store for the rest of the day, tomorrow and next week.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we will return to consideration of Bill C-32, the Criminal Code amendments, followed by Bill C-54. If we get through this, we will proceed to consideration of Bills C-19 and C-6, two bills on first nations. If we have time, we will also look at Bill C-51.

If that is a bit too ambitious, the first item for consideration tomorrow will be Bill C-6, the specific claims legislation. After oral question period, we will come back to Bill C-54, which we debated this morning, concerning fiscal arrangements. If there is time, this will be followed by Bill C-46, the market fraud bill, and Bills C-19, on first nations, and S-13, concerning the Statistics Act.

Next week, we will continue to consider bills that have not been completed, beginning on Monday with Bill C-46, on financial institutions. We will add to that list Bill C-23, the sexual offenders legislation.

By mid-week, we hope to be in a position to consider Bill C-52, the radio communications bill, and Bill C-20, the child protection legislation, as mentioned by the Minister of Justice during oral question period.

The House resumed from October 29 consideration of the motion that Bill C-32, an act to amend the Criminal Code and other acts, be read the third time and passed.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

October 30th, 2003 / 3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Yesterday, the hon. member for Joliette gave a speech on the bill. He has a 10 minute question and comment period remaining.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to ask a question of my colleague from Joliette. I congratulate him on the excellent speech he gave yesterday in this House. I would have liked every government member and every Canadian Alliance member to be here.

In his speech, our colleague from Joliette mentioned that the Liberal government is cutting positions at the RCMP detachment located in his area. As we know, this bill will create new offences and new penalties targeting organized crime.

I would like our colleague from Joliette to describe what is going on in his area with regard to the dwindling number of RCMP officers there.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Jonquière for her question. It takes us back into the debate on Bill C-32, which the Bloc Quebecois supports.

In closing, I said there was something somewhat contradictory about the fact that a number of penalties have been increased, which we support, especially those targeting organized crime, while RCMP detachments are being pulled out of several regions in Quebec—and I imagine the same must be true across Canada.

In the Lanaudière area, we have a detachment based in Joliette. I explained that it was supposed to be staffed by 13 officers. Due to the transfer of officers who have not been replaced over the past years, there are now only four officers left to look after the whole area of Lanaudière, which is not enough.

In spite of that, these four RCMP officers are working in close cooperation with the QPF and especially with the municipal police of greater Joliette.

If this detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were to go to Saint-Jérôme and to Trois-Rivières, all of Lanaudière would be unprotected. In this regard, in his speech, the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot talked about the situation in his area, where a number of fields were taken over from farmers for the illegal production of marijuana or cannabis.

Unfortunately, we have the same situation in our area. It is a area where tobacco is grown and where there is also a great amount of corn. Unfortunately, these crops facilitate the hiding of this illegal production by the organized crime.

Thus, by neglecting Lanaudière to concentrate RCMP personnel in Saint-Jérôme and Trois-Rivières, the government will totally abandon Lanaudière to the organized crime and the taking over of these fields.

I also explained that, fortunately, citizens have taken action to promote an Info-Crime line, 1-800-711-1800. It allows citizens to anonymously and confidentially report crimes they have witnessed.

Of course, once they have called in, the police must build a case. Thus, if the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is no longer in Lanaudière, the work this group of citizens has done and is still doing will be in vain. There will be no use calling this Info-Crime line to report a crime if no one is able to act upon the information.

I remind the House that the RCMP, within the divisions in the different police forces, particularly in Quebec, plays a very important role in search and seizure to gather evidence on organized crime issues.

It is also important to point out another element. The Commission scolaire des Samares, which serves the north of Lanaudière, also has a number of people who work with the commission to ensure that drug traffickers do not use our schools and school yards to recruit consumers and also possible young drug dealers.

These people were hired by the school board and by Thérèse Martin school, Barthélemy Joliette school and even a private school, the Académie Manseau, and are working in cooperation with the Joliette RCMP detachment. If the solicitor general followed up on the RCMP internal management report, and its recommendation to close down nine detachments in Quebec, we will have to do without a detachment in the Lanaudière area. As citizens and as taxpayers, we are entitled to the same services the RCMP is providing to other areas in Quebec and throughout Canada.

The hon. member for Repentigny will agree with me. This issue affects him directly also, even though the detachment is not located in Repentigny, but in Joliette.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

An hon. member

We are all one big family.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

True, we are one big family in Lanaudière. In fact, all the members from our area are sovereignists. I think the hon. member for Repentigny shares my concerns.

As taxpayers, we want the same services as the rest of Canadians and Quebecers.

If the federal government is no longer able to provide RCMP services to the Lanaudière area or even to the whole of Quebec, then they should transfer the money to us. I am sure the Quebec Police would do what is needed to take over from the RCMP.

However, as long as we keep paying taxes and as long as the RCMP has duties to carry out in our area, the RCMP detachment in Joliette should remain open for the good of the people of Lanaudière, under the provisions of Bill C-32.

To conclude, I do not see what good increasing the sentences set out in the Criminal Code would do if the police does not have the manpower to enforce the code.