House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was claims.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I will say again that if the province of Quebec wants to, it can continue to contribute above and beyond what the federal government contributes on a provincial basis. We ensure that every farmer in every province in Canada under similar circumstances is treated the same way federally for trade reasons and for equality reasons. The province is free, willing and able to do as it has in the past with the extra support to its farmers. As a federal government, for trade reasons and equitability reasons, we are going to treat every farmer in the same way.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency recently forbade farmers from using their land, claiming that the land might transfer chronic wasting disease. The government neglects to consider how farmers are supposed to earn an income when they cannot use their land.

Will the minister table before the House scientific proof that CWD resides in soil and is communicable in this form?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we have worked with the industry's cooperation in order to try to eradicate chronic wasting disease in the elk herds across the country. There is still scientific work being done to try to find out when a herd of animals have contaminated the soil and are removed, how long the contamination stays there so that animals can be safely put back on that soil and not be reinfected with chronic wasting disease. That work is not solid. There is work that needs to be done. We are working with the industry so that the safety and--

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. member for Blackstrap.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, the environment minister tells us his plan to reorganize weather station personnel is an act of efficiency. What he is really talking about is centralization and closures. There is no substitute for local input into weather forecasting. We learned this after the last cuts in Saskatoon.

Why is the government so intent on centralizing weather forecasting when history tells us that Canadians will be negatively affected?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

York South—Weston
Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian meteorological service is a fundamental part of all programs across the country to keep people informed and in fact, to keep specialized services in place. There is no suggestion that there will be a relinquishing of that responsibility or a reduction in service. In the Canadian Avalanche Centre, as we said the other day, we are providing on a daily basis the kind of information that hopefully will avoid a recurrence of the tragic events that occurred last week.

National Identity Card
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister of Citizenship and Immigration recently launched a debate that might well result in the establishment of a mandatory national identity card. Yet, in his latest annual report, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada stated that he could “find no justification for a national identity card”.

How can the minister reconcile his plans with the opinion of the commissioner, who views this as a further restraint on the right to privacy?

National Identity Card
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Brampton Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the opposition was asking for consultation. This is nothing more than consultation by the minister with Canadians. Next week the committee will travel across the country to listen to their points of view on the issue. It will come up with a proposal if there is a need for a proposal, but it is only consultation, nothing more, nothing less. There is no proposal by the minister at this stage.

National Identity Card
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. parliamentary secretary that the committee will indeed be on the road, but to consult on the citizenship bill, Bill C-18. In my humble opinion, there is nothing in there about a national identity card.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is hard pressed to find support within cabinet. His colleague, the Minister of Revenue, feels that this measure is highly intrusive.

Will the minister abandon his plans for such a card since, for one thing, it is strongly criticized by his own colleagues?

National Identity Card
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Brampton Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, yesterday when the minister made a presentation to the committee on this subject, the hon. member herself said it was a good idea because her husband has one. Why is she complaining again in the House?

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we now know the Minister of National Revenue has been hiding the massive levels of GST fraud committed by organized crime. What we do not know is why the minister refuses to tell Canadians how much has been stolen. Losing $1 billion is such a regular thing with the government that theft of $1 billion by criminals makes no difference to it.

How much money needs to be stolen from hardworking Canadians before the minister will properly investigate the problem?

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious issue and I object to the frivolity that the member opposite engages in when he suggests a number, while in fact there is no evidence to suggest that the number which the member keeps repeating is at all accurate. There is no evidence to suggest that at all. I have told him that several times in the House.

I will continue to say that we have a special investigations unit that is looking into fraud. We have 1,000 people doing that. We have 5,000 auditors. We are doing our job.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, $1 billion is hardly frivolous.

Yesterday, the trade minister was asked twice to assure Canadians that he would not drop our softwood lumber dispute legal challenges at NAFTA and the WTO. Both times the minister evaded the answer.

Will the minister assure the House that Canada will not drop its legal challenges unless the provinces and industry are in agreement?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey
Ontario

Liberal

Murray Calder Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the member across the way fully knows that we are in negotiations with the United States right now on a long term strategy for softwood lumber and in fact, the WTO is an option that is available to us.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the Minister of Public Works and Government Services indicated that he would soon have some further information to provide about his department's administrative review of the sponsorship files.

Before the House adjourns for the weekend, could the minister tell us where the matter now stands?