House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was heritage.

Topics

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 hon. member can let his imagination run wild this afternoon in the House. However, his imagination bears no connection to reality. I clearly stated that this case had not set a precedent. This allowance had been granted, for similar or even longer periods, to other individuals. This benefit was extended for a third year, and the individual was informed that this was the last year. This did not set a precedent.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, nearly two months ago I wrote to the Solicitor General asking for an immediate response regarding the proposed closure of the RCMP forensic labs. To date, the Solicitor General has failed to respond to those questions.

I ask him again today, will the Solicitor General stand today and confirm that the RCMP forensic labs in Edmonton, Regina and Halifax are scheduled for closure?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP is always looking at ways to improve the system, to have quicker turnaround on DNA testing. We are in fact doing that through the forensic labs.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General refuses to answer the question.

There is a massive backlog within the RCMP forensic labs. Police are being hampered in their investigations. Court proceedings are being stalled. Justice is not being served. Why? Because the Liberal government has failed to properly resource these crucial police services.

Again I ask the Solicitor General, how can he possibly justify the cutbacks or the closure of these forensic units?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is not unusual for the member opposite to have his facts wrong.

The facts are that in 1999-2000, DNA turnaround time was greater than 365 days and currently, DNA turnaround time is 55 days. I would say that is a substantial improvement and we are looking to improve it more.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence. We have learned recently that Canada has offered to assume overall command of the next rotation of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. We have also learned that NATO agrees a Canadian commander would be the ideal choice given the size of Canada's commitment.

Could the Minister of National Defence tell us today if a specific flag officer has been identified for that important mission?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for that excellent question. I am very pleased to announce today the appointment of Lieutenant-General Rick Hillier as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, beginning early next year.

General Hillier, who is a very able and experienced officer, will command the entire NATO force, which includes nearly 6,000 international troops from 31 countries. This is a very good moment for Canada and a very good moment for the Canadian Forces.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence on February 27 said, “In a democracy, the army does not decide where to deploy the army. The government, the elected government, makes that decision, and I think that if things go wrong then that responsibility will come back to the government and I accept that responsibility”.

Whose responsibility was it that Canadian soldiers were using jeeps that the minister knew were dangerous?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member understands that quote. It is politics 101 that in a democracy it is the government that decides where to deploy the army and not the other way around.

That having been said, the government receives military advice from the army, and this government has not acted, at least not while I have been defence minister, without appropriate and positive military advice from the Canadian Forces.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear about this, then. Is the minister saying that it was his officials who said, “Send our troops out in dangerous jeeps”? Is he blaming the officials?

He talks about hearts and minds. This is about life and death. Why did the minister, when he was warned that these jeeps were dangerous, not send better vehicles? Why did he put Canadian lives at risk?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, the military in Afghanistan has a menu of choice and they use that menu depending on the risk and the situation, whether it is patrols by foot, patrols by jeep or patrols by armoured vehicles. As I have said before, they do not need opposition members from thousands of miles away to play soldiers and give unsolicited military advice to our commanders on the field.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week political observers are witnessing a rare and wondrous thing: the genesis of a boondoggle. These catastrophic events occur when a minister ignores all public opinion and ignores all the leading experts and plows ahead anyway with a bad idea: in this case, the $5 billion biometric national ID card.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration cannot seem to explain why this state interference into our privacy rights is warranted, so will he simply today tell us that he will scrap this disastrous idea before it blows into a full-blown boondoggle that would make the gun registry seem like a good deal?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what he is talking about but I know one thing and that is that we will have a debate in this country. I believe that when we look at public opinion we should take a look at the polls because the polls are pretty clear. If I were following the polls, he would be disappointed.

That debate is so important because internationally every country on this planet is having that debate right now. The International Civil Aviation Organization is working on international standards. There is the relationship between Canada and the United States, at the transport level and at every level, regarding the use of biometrics, so we believe that even before taking any decision we should talk about it.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

October 6th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, this year's initial prices for wheat, durum and barley have been set by cabinet and are well below last year's. In fact, they are well below the prices that were recommended by the Canadian Wheat Board directors.

Farmers are already suffering from the mad cow fallout, including an inadequate and inequitable recovery program. Why does the government add insult to injury by offering initial prices on board grains that are well below farmers' production costs?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the initial payment at August 1 of every year is set in relation to the level of world prices at the time. As the crop year unfolds and as the marketing season progresses, if the market conditions improve then it is possible for the Canadian Wheat Board to recommend increases, which the government ultimately responds to.

Recommendations have been made by the Canadian Wheat Board and they will be given very careful attention, bearing in mind the needs of farmers and the fiscal responsibility of the government.