House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was life.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, on February 3 the trial of Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai began in Harare. The trial's principal witness is Ari Ben-Menashe, a Canadian who produced a tape that led to the charges of treason against Mr. Tsvangirai.

An RCMP investigation showed very clearly that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever linking Mr. Tsvangirai to the alleged murder attempts against Robert Mugabe.

Will the government release the outcome of this RCMP investigation and make it available to the court in Harare?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will endeavour to look into the matter that the member has raised.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is not an academic exercise. Mr. Tsvangirai is the leader of the opposition. The evidence demonstrated that this is a failed and flawed tape.

Mr. Ben-Menashe has been known to lie like people breathe. He is allegedly involved in the trafficking of blood diamonds and is wanted for fraud internationally.

Will the Government of Canada ensure that the trial of Mr. Tsvangirai is going to be free, fair, transparent and that a Canadian is not going to be implicated in the murder?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question because I know he is following this trial with interest.

We are very concerned that this trial, when a leader of the opposition is charged by a government, has a political dimension to it. Canadians and Canada are following it closely. We have had representatives at the trial. We are insisting that the trial be conducted with scrupulous attention to the international standards which it requires.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, in connection with the sponsorship affair, the Minister of Public Works wants to wait for the end of the investigation before taking action against certain departmental employees.

The deputy minister responsible for the investigation, Janice Cochrane, told the committee that the problems with the sponsorship program were not because of any ethical shortcomings on the part of departmental staff. The Auditor General, however, has already said otherwise.

Is it not surprising that the person responsible for getting to the bottom of this affair is already drawing conclusions before even starting to investigate? Is this not proof of the need for an independent public inquiry?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I think that is an unfair allegation. It was the deputy minister after all who initiated the file review process. She initiated the administrative review process. She made some of the very early references to the RCMP. She has been assiduous in pursuing the file and getting to the bottom of it.

I hope that within a matter of a few days we will be in a position to comment further on the proper procedures with respect to the administrative review process.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, earlier today the Minister of Justice confirmed that the government intends to continue to fund the gun registry.

Will the Minister of Justice tell the House whether the government intends to use closure on Bill C-10A which the government needs to pass before any changes can be brought to the gun registry? Will he advise whether the government will allow a free vote on this gun registry bill?

Firearms Registry
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, I think the right hon. member has his facts incorrect. First of all, Bill C-10A is not before the House. It is an amendment produced by the Senate to C-10A, the result of which is to lower the cost of gun control. He is now trying to depict that it increases the cost. He has the facts backwards. The facts speak for themselves again.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week seven young skiers tragically lost their lives in an avalanche. Avalanche forecasting like that provided by the Mountain Weather Station in Kelowna could not be more critical at this time to the local communities and to search and rescue units.

We cannot believe that the Minister of the Environment is suggesting that Canada's second largest weather station be closed. Will the minister recognize the critical role this centre plays in mountain safety and keep the Mountain Weather Station open in Kelowna?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

York South—Weston
Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, all members of the House share in the tragedy and the concern for the families, and we have indicated that.

However the Meteorological Service of Canada, on a daily basis, does provide the information in order that the Canadian Avalanche Centre in Revelstoke can take that into consideration and issue warnings. There is no suggestion that any less information will be provided. As we speak, this information will help in avoiding the kind of tragedy that occurred.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the obstinacy of the Minister of Human Resources Development, seniors who have been deprived of the Guaranteed Income Supplement have had to go to court to get their entitlement recognized.

Now that the judge has examined this case, does the minister plan to revisit her decision and allow full retroactivity to the seniors who have been treated so shabbily by her department?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has referenced, this is still with the courts and it is inappropriate for me to make comments on such an undertaking.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I wish to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Neil LeBlanc, Minister of Finance for the province of Nova Scotia.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

February 5th, 2003 / 3 p.m.

The Speaker

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 81(14) to inform the House that the motion to be considered tomorrow during consideration of the business of supply is as follows:

That, the first sitting day following a decision by the government to involve Canada in any military action to disarm Saddam Hussein, a motion “That this House concur in the decision by the government regarding Canada's involvement in military action to disarm Saddam Hussein”, shall be deemed moved and seconded at the call of government orders; and that any dilatory or other motions, including motions during routine proceedings, with the exception of requests for unanimous consent, shall not be receivable by the Chair; that in relation to the motion to concur in the decision by the government, at 15 minutes before the expiry time provided for government business on that day, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the said motion shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

This motion standing in the name of the hon. member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast is a votable motion. Copies of the motion are available at the Table.

The Chair has notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for Yorkton--Melville and I will hear from him now.