House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, information is available to all people, including members of the House, citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador, citizens of Atlantic Canada and members on the opposite side.

One of the things that the hon. member is alluding to is the fact that assistance has been provided to those who have been negatively impacted by cod fishers on a proportionate basis. I am delighted that we were able to provide that assistance. That information is available.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, of course he is delighted, but holding grants up for his own riding is quite disgraceful.

Being given responsibility for a portfolio is not a licence to spend money on every conceivable project in one's riding just to get elected.

Does the Minister of State responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency understand that the word opportunities is not for himself but for all citizens to benefit from?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Langley--Abbotsford is promoting an interesting proposition.

Fisheries assistance is provided to those who need it on a proportional basis. If the hon. member is suggesting, for example, that funding for forestry compensation through the community economic development initiatives related to the softwood lumber agreement should be given to everybody in the country, whether or not they have actually been impacted, that is a ridiculous proposition.

We target funding to where the impacts occur on a proportionate basis and that is exactly what is happening in this particular case.

Foreign Aid
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is probably nobody who knows more than the Prime Minister about the urgent need for drugs for AIDS in the developing countries.

In August the WTO made an urgent appeal for governments to provide these needed drugs to developing countries in a manner consistent with the protection of intellectual property.

Could the Prime Minister please tell us what our government will do?

Foreign Aid
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada fully supports the agreement reached by the World Trade Organization to allow poorer countries better access to the medicines needed to respond to public health problems, especially those resulting from HIV-AIDS and other epidemics.

Today we have served notice to the House that we will introduce legislation this week to implement the WTO agreement. Canada will be the first country to introduce legislation to implement the WTO agreement. We hope that our quick response will encourage other countries to follow our example.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of State for ACOA is insisting that it is impossible to show how much money has been spent in each riding. There was a different tune from him when he was a backbench MP claiming his riding was not getting its fair share of ACOA funding.

The then minister of ACOA was certainly able to give him and others the exact total per riding. Is the minister now saying that since he took the office of ACOA that riding by riding figures are no longer kept? Is he admitting that he changed things to make sure that no one knows how much is going into his riding in comparison to other ridings?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, a lot of projects do not occur distinctly in a particular riding. In fact, I pointed out yesterday in the House of Commons that several initiatives were on a pan-provincial, pan-regional point of view. This information cannot be compiled on a riding by riding basis.

However if he would like some further instruction as to how to access the website or anything else I would be more than happy to provide it to him.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am not the person who has the problem. He has the problem.

The people of Gander—Grand Falls, Burin—St. George's and Labrador deserve to know that they are getting their fair share of ACOA money. They deserve to know how projections were evaluated and approved and whether or not the ACOA minister's riding received more than its fair share.

Is the Prime Minister willing to invoke section 11 of the Auditors General Act to determine if that office should conduct an independent audit of ACOA funding for Newfoundland and Labrador?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, regrettably, there is a serious problem throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and Atlantic Canada, and that was the closure of the cod fishery, which created a great negative economic impact.

Those impacts, particularly on the northern peninsula, have been very severely acute. Of course we put in place an assistance program to provide some level of assistance based on those impacts.

That is exactly what occurred and that is exactly what will continue to occur.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue is building a search facility for the United States customs in the middle of Windsor. American customs will be inspecting trains to search for bombs and other security threats within yards of a high school, park, major roads and a football stadium.

The minister has said that this location was “appropriate and well considered”. Windsor city council does not think so.

Will the minister kill this project before she kills our community and our economy?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, very clearly any initiative that blocks intersections and has a negative impact on the community has to be considered in the context of whether or not it is valid.

I can tell the House that no project has been approved that would block intersections. That message has been loud and clearly given. It is illegal to block an intersection for five minutes when there is a train standing still. The fact that the train could be moving does not make that acceptable.

I want to assure the member that all--

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

A deeply disturbing aspect of Maher Arar's nightmare is that Canada may have been complicit in shipping one of our citizens to Syria to be tortured and then treat confessions gained through torture as credible.

Is the government now prepared to support the foreign affairs committee's call for a comprehensive public inquiry to get to the bottom of this sordid affair, or does the government have something to hide?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first of all the member's allegations are absolutely ridiculous.

The fact of the matter is, as I have already answered in the House several times, there is a process set up by previous parliaments to look into these kinds of issues and that is through the CPC. In fact, that process is taking place.

We are glad that Mr. Arar is back in Canada. The Government of Canada, including the Prime Minister, his envoys and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has done everything in their power to ensure that he got back here.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

November 4th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, within the invitation to applicants for the new ethanol expansion program, applicants are instructed to communicate to only one bureaucrat. It is quite clear if they talk to anyone else about their application, it could disqualify them from the program.

Canadians have a right to talk to their member of Parliament about their dealings with government. To disqualify someone for simply doing so is offensive.

Are members of Parliament included in this prohibition?