House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am sure remanufacturers will appreciate the comments, but that was not the question. The question was on Atlantic Canada's exemption.

Last May 21 the government promised that Atlantic Canada's softwood lumber exemption would be protected. The very next day it bargained it away to the Americans. Finally, on October 29, the United States responded to our May proposal and offered 30.5% of market share with the removal of Atlantic Canada's exemption.

What is the minister doing to reinstate Atlantic Canada's longstanding exemption since the early 1980s against countervail?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I find it very regrettable that the Tories do not care about the remanufacturers, because I can say that remanufacturers are very important and should have been out of the present punitive measures by the United States.

As for the Atlantic Maritimes, what are we doing to reinstate this? There is no need to reinstate the Atlantic exemption because it is a fact: Atlantic provinces have been exempted from the punitive measures of the United States. We do not need to reinstate it. They are out and we want to keep them out.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, with regard to its investigation on Maher Arar, the RCMP conducted several searches in the Ottawa area in January 2002. No one knows what the RCMP seized because the search warrants are classified. The only thing we know is that, during the course of an interrogation, Maher Arar's lease was shoved in his face by U.S. authorities.

Do those two factors alone not justify a public inquiry into the Canadian government's actions in the Arar case?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine
Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first, as the Solicitor General has already stated many times in the House, we cannot comment on the RCMP's activities, particularly when it is a matter of national security.

With regard to the lease, the RCMP complaints commission is currently reviewing the matter. It is now before the commissioner.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the parliamentary secretary has said, the Solicitor General has acknowledged that the intelligence services did exchange information and, at the same time, he exonerated the RCMP. He has made an unfounded conclusion that Maher Arar's lease was stolen by foreign spies.

The facts speak for themselves. The RCMP conducted several searches, and Maher Arar's lease ended up in the hands of U.S. authorities, who deported Mr. Arar without the Canadian consul taking the threat seriously.

Is a public inquiry not fully justified, given Canada's role in this sequence of events?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine
Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the entire House knows that there are media reports and then there are facts. The facts are that the Solicitor General does not and cannot comment on RCMP activities involving national security.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.S. Ambassador Paul Celluci have acknowledged that Canada provided them with intelligence on Canadian citizen Maher Arar.

Do these revelations alone not justify a public inquiry?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine
Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question.

It gives me an opportunity to again inform the House, as the Solicitor General has done on a number of occasions. The RCMP complaints commission is already involved in an investigation. The commissioner will review the investigation report and determine what further action is to be taken. This complaints commission was created by Parliament itself; it is impartial and independent. So, I would ask that the process be allowed to take its course.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be serious here. The number of disturbing occurrences is increasing. First we had the death of Zahra Kazemi, then Bill Sampson's two and one-half years of torture and imprisonment, and now ten months of torture and imprisonment in the case of Maher Arar. Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs agree that it is now imperative for the government to undertake a thorough review of its policy on protecting the rights of all Canadian citizens when they are out of the country?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I agree, along with every member here, I am sure, that these are highly disturbing cases. We have a great deal of sympathy for Canadians in trouble in other countries, and have worked very hard on their behalf. There are 3,000 Canadians imprisoned in other countries for a variety of reasons. I can assure you that we are working hard to protect them.

In light of these tragic events, we will be reviewing procedures within our department in order to see how we can improve them. We will continue to act in the best interests of Canadians who are in other countries, whether in prison or not.

Transport
Oral Question Period

November 7th, 2003 / 11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, here is what Liberals pass off as sound government policy. The airport at Charlevoix, Quebec receives $5.3 million in federal grants while the airport in Red Deer gets only a used snowplow. Charlevoix has 1,500 flights per year and Red Deer has 40,000.

There is another difference. The major user at the Charlevoix airport is none other than the Desmarais family, the family that is related to the current Prime Minister and helped set up the shipping empire for the future prime minister. Is that why there is so much money for Charlevoix, Quebec, but so little money for Red Deer, Alberta?

Transport
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Secretary of State (Western Economic Diversification) (Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Mr. Speaker, let us speak about airports in western Canada. I made an announcement last month that the airport in Prince George would receive from the WD fund $1.85 million for an expansion. We are in negotiations now, as the member for Kootenay—Columbia knows, with the airport in Cranbrook to look at expansion opportunities.

The fact is that under the Canada infrastructure program, priority was not given by the City of Red Deer to the airport expansion. It used up the allocated funds for other priorities. If it wants to apply--

Transport
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fraser Valley.

Transport
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us do the math for the minister. The airport in Charlevoix, Quebec gets $5.3 million in federal grants. The airport in Red Deer gets a used snowplow. That works out to $3,500 for each of the 1,500 flights into Charlevoix and two handfuls of rusty bolts for every flight into Red Deer.

How can the Liberal minister stand in his place and claim he is being fair and impartial when clearly this is another case where the friends of the current and future prime ministers are the ones who get the federal help?

Transport
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Secretary of State (Western Economic Diversification) (Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Mr. Speaker, hearing the hon. member repeat his question and his accusation, I will try to do more than just repeat the explanation I gave to him.

It is extremely important when we have infrastructure programs that we look to local municipalities to identify their priorities. This has been done in the City of Red Deer. I am sure that perhaps with the future municipal-rural infrastructure program the City of Red Deer will want to give priority to the expansion of its airport. We as a federal partner with the province and the local governments will want to pay great attention and give emphasis to its priorities.