House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Question No. 109
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Of the approximately 7000 individuals who have been refused gun licenses: ( a ) how many are due to errors in license form processing; ( b ) how many are due to multiple, failed attempts by the same person; ( c ) how many are due to the false flagging of individuals through mistaken identity or improper entry in the Firearms Interest Police database; ( d ) how many refusals subsequently resulted in the issue of a license; ( e ) how many individuals have been legitimately refused and how many of these lied on their application in order to apply; and ( f ) how many of those who have been denied a license have been prosecuted for making false statements on their applications?

Question No. 109
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

With extensive and continuous background checks on applicants and licence holders, about 9,000 firearms licences have been refused or revoked by public safety officials. That is over 70 times more revocations from potentially dangerous individuals since December 1, 1998, compared to the total for the last five years under the old program.

(a) There are no statistics available for this type of scenario;

(b) This would constitute an administrative rejection which is not included in the 9,000 refusals or revocations;

(c) There are no statistics available for this type of inquiry;

(d) 177 firearms applications within the refusal process subsequently resulted in the issuance of a licence;

(e) 9,000 firearms licences have been refused or revoked. There are no statistics available that indicate how many people have lied on their application form;

(f) The Canadian firearms centre does not have any statistics available on false declarations.

Even though there are no statistics compiled on the accusations or situations of false declarations, it is clearly stipulated in section 106(1) of the Firearms Act :

It is an offence to knowingly make a false or misleading statement, either orally or in writing, or to knowingly fail to disclose relevant information, for the purpose of obtaining a permit, a registration certificate or an authorization.

Every person who commits an offence under Section 106:

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction

Question No. 112
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

With respect to the May, 1976 Peace and Security paper distributed by Justice Minister Ron Basford and with reference to the statement on page 41: “At the same time, there has been a steady increase in the number of firearms in Canada. Estimates place the number at over ten million in 1974, with almost one-quarter million added to the stock every year. Most of these firearms are long guns (rifles and shotguns)”, what evidence did the department use to produce these estimates, and based on this evidence, how many firearms are there in Canada today?

Question No. 112
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

The estimate of the number of firearms in Canada referred to in the department’s 1976 peace and security paper was produced by Statistics Canada.

With respect to current estimates, the Canadian firearms centre commissioned a third party organization to conduct a survey into this issue and obtained an updated estimate of the number of firearms in Canada in August 2002. A respected market research firm, GPC Research, conducted this survey and the non-partisan public policy forum oversaw and rigorously reviewed its methodology.

In the fall of 2001, GPC Research contacted 21,650 Canadians, achieving a sample size of over 3,000 firearm owners. Based on the results of this study, the number of firearms in Canada was estimated at 7.9 million. The study also confirms that there has been a consolidation in firearm ownership. It shows that the top 3% of firearm owners hold more than one third of all handguns in the country and approximately 15% of all firearms or, on average, 15.5 firearms per owner. For the remainder of the firearm-owning population, the mean number of firearms owned is 2.74.

This survey has a margin of error of ±2.06% at the national level, with a 95% confidence level.

Question No. 113
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

With respect to a Statistics Canada survey published in May of 1977 that questioned approximately 65,000 Canadians over the age of 14, living in 31,000 different households, about their ownership and use of firearms and considering the number of firearms manufactured in Canada and firearms import and export records since that date, how many firearms does Statistics Canada estimate are in Canada today?

Question No. 113
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Statistics Canada does not have the data to support the calculation of a reliable estimate of the number of firearms in Canada today. In particular, business and trade statistics on imports and exports and manufacturing from Statistics Canada cannot be used to produce a reliable estimate of the current stock of firearms in Canada.

In August 1976, Statistics Canada conducted a survey of Canadians regarding their ownership and use of firearms. This survey was sponsored by the federal ministry of the solicitor general. Results indicated that there were almost 2.5 million gun owners aged 15 and over and more than 5 million guns owned by individuals in 1976 (Statistics of Estimated Gun Ownership and Use in Canada, Special Bulletin, Justice Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, May 1977).

The report notes that the results underestimated the total number of firearms in Canada due to the exclusion of guns owned or held by police and military personnel, prisons and penitentiaries, firearm importers and exporters, and manufacturers and retailers. Also excluded were residents of the territories and persons living on Indian reserves. The report notes that the estimate of firearms could have ranged between 6 and 10 million in 1976. The survey was not repeated.

Question No. 114
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Do the health warnings and health information mandated by the Minister of Health pursuant to subsection 3(2) of the Tobacco Products Information Regulations of June 2000 (JUS-601413) constitute the official view of the government?

Question No. 114
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

The information contained in the tobacco products information regulations represents the official view of the government. In fact, section 42.1(1) of the Tobacco Act requires that all proposed regulations must first be laid before the House of Commons.

Subsection 3(2) of the tobacco products information regulations includes the health warning messages and health information messages contained in the health warnings and information for tobacco products.

The health warning messages help ensure that Canadians are much better informed about the many serious health hazards associated with tobacco products. The regulations also require that smokers receive cessation information or information on tobacco-related diseases on the inside of the tobacco package.

The current labels are the result of approximately two years of intensive study and evaluation. Each health warning and health information message has been reviewed and approved by a scientific panel.

Question No. 116
Routine Proceedings

March 17th, 2003 / 3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Since 1993, what is the value in dollars of all Canadian aid and assistance (money, services, personnel) to St. Lucia?

Question No. 116
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Minister for International Cooperation

Canadian official development assistance disbursements to St. Lucia from fiscal year 1993-94 to fiscal year 2001-02 were approximately $36.3 million.

Question No. 117
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Can the Minister responsible for Agriculture and Agri-Food provide an estimate of the impact on net farm income of the Country of Origin labelling regime contained within the U.S. Farm Bill on: ( a ) the beef industry; ( b ) the pork industry; ( c ) the lamb industry; ( d ) the seafood and shellfish industry; ( e ) the poultry industry; ( f ) vegetable growers; ( g ) fruit growers; and ( h ) peanut producers?

Question No. 117
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

The answer is as follows:

(i) The comment period provided in the official U.S. federal register notice for the interim voluntary country-of-origin labelling, COL, program ends on April 9, 2003. Upon completion of the comment period, drafting of mandatory regulations will begin through the normal U.S. rule-making process, which will include a proposal and an opportunity for public comment. Mandatory COL is scheduled to be implemented by September 30, 2004. Until this date, COL is a voluntary program in the U.S. As a result of the complexity of the provision and U.S. industry opposition to the measure, widespread implementation of the interim voluntary COL guidelines is not anticipated.

(ii) Poultry is not a covered commodity under the COL law.

(iii) Preliminary analysis of the COL provision indicated that it would have a serious adverse trade effect on Canadian exports of covered commodities to the U.S., for those items that are currently co-mingled at retail with U.S. product, and which now carry no distinction as to country-of-origin. While attempts have been made, it is very difficult to accurately measure the impact on farm income because of the complexity and sheer size of the U.S. agri-food industry, a great deal of uncertainty as to the possible response of the U.S. industry to mandatory COL, the high level of market integration among the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as the fact that the U.S. has not yet published regulations for the mandatory implementation of COL. Attempts that have been made to assess the impact of mandatory COL implementation, such as a congressionally mandated USDA study, as well as a study published by the George Morris Center, and most recently a report commissioned by the U.S. national pork producers council, confirm our decision to oppose mandatory COL.

Prior to U.S. farm bill being passed into law, Canada's opposition to COL was articulated at the highest levels. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food raised the issue with cabinet-level officials (Agriculture Secretary Veneman and U.S. Trade Representative Zoellick) as early as September 2001. Deputy Prime Minister Manley raised farm bill issues with Vice-President Cheney during their meeting on March 8, 2002, and the Prime Minister raised these same issues with President Bush during their meeting on March 14, 2002.

On February 7, 2002, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food again raised Canadian concerns about COL with Secretary Veneman, and on February 12, 2002, he raised the matter with Mr. Paul Cellucci, the U.S Ambassador to Canada. On March 18, 2002, Canada's ambassador in turn wrote to the congressional conference directors, who were responsible at the time with reconciling the house and senate versions of the farm bill. He detailed our specific concerns with the proposed legislation and insured that copies of these views were also distributed to other influential voices in Washington in order to re-emphasize these same concerns. During an April 2002 trip to Washington with Canadian industry representatives, and in a bilateral meeting with Secretary Veneman on May 3, 2002, held in Ottawa, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food again expressed Canadian concerns that this legislation would disrupt bilateral trade. COL remains a priority issue for the Government of Canada, GOC.

Canada is currently focussing its efforts on marshaling the best-possible case for why U.S. stakeholders should demand the repeal of the COL law, including participation in a private U.S.-based consortium that is anticipated to produce analysis critical of COL from within the U.S. The government of Canada has been working with industry and the provinces to share information and to develop and implement a cooperative, strategic response to have the entire U.S. COL provision repealed before it becomes mandatory.

Consultations are ongoing with industry and the federal-provincial agriculture trade policy committee to share information and to gather input into strategy development. The Manitoba Pork Board, Canadian Pork Council, Canadian Meat Council, Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Canadian Sheep Federation, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Fisheries Council of Canada and the Canadian Horticultural Council are among the participants in these consultations. Organized under the agricultural policy framework, the agenda of the recent beef value-chain round table that took place on January 27 and 28 in Calgary focussed on coordinating the beef industry's strategy on COL with that of the GOC. In outreach activities, government officials have made presentations on COL at a number of national industry association meetings as well as to the seafood sectorial advisory group on international trade, SAGIT, C-Trade (i.e. a federal-provincial committee of trade ministries and departments), and broader stakeholder meetings in Mississauga, Moncton and Fredericton and at a meeting in Chicago on COL.

Canada is active in the U.S. domestic debate through trade-advocacy initiatives targeted at provoking the repeal of the U.S. COL legislation. On July 9, 2002, the GOC, in consultation with industry and the provinces, submitted comments to USDA that were influential in shaping discussion in the U.S. in advance of the release of the interim voluntary COL guidelines. Similarly, on January 17, 2003, comments on the interim-voluntary guidelines were submitted to USDA on the “utility” of the measure and on January 21, 2003, comments were submitted on a USDA proposal for information-gathering related to the drafting of the mandatory regulations.

Other targeted advocacy activities in the U.S. have included Assistant Deputy Minister Mark Corey's participation in the tri-national accord meeting in May 14-17, 2002, in Nogales, Arizona, and a meeting in Chicago organized by the province-state advisory group in July 2002, which was dedicated specifically to COL. This meeting brought together U.S. states, provinces and federal government officials from both sides of the border. Canadian embassy and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AAFC, officials presented Canada's position on COL on the margins of the U.S. farm bureau convention in Tampa, Florida, January 17-19, 2003 and at “Canada Day on Capitol Hill” in Washington on February 5, 2003. Embassy officials are also participating in a U.S. industry-led coalition in Washington and are engaged in other ongoing efforts to have COL repealed.

Bilaterally, Canada made strong interventions opposing COL at the November 15, 2002, meeting of the Canada-U.S. consultative committee on agriculture, CCA. COL is a priority item on the agenda of the next meeting of the committee scheduled for April, 2003. Interventions have been made by Canada on the U.S. notification of COL in the World Trade Organization's technical barriers to trade committee, and will be pursued in future meetings of the Committee and other international forums where appropriate. Development of a formal trade challenge is ongoing as information is made available and milestones are reached on the way to the scheduled mandatory implementation of COL in 2004.

Question No. 120
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

What were the total costs incurred by the Department of Foreign Affairs for the distribution, including Federal Express postal charges, of “A Dialogue on Foreign Affairs”?

Question No. 120
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

The total cost of mailing the discussion paper “A Dialogue on Foreign Policy” was $4,323.33, including Federal Express postal charges

Question No. 121
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Gatineau, QC

Pertaining to the sale of land by the National Capital Commission: ( a ) for what purpose and according to what process did the National Capital Commission determine that the sale of land to the Vorlage Ski Club, between September 2, 1992 and September 2, 2002, was necessary; ( b ) on what date, or dates, in parcels of how many hectares/acres, and for what price per parcel, did the National Capital Commission sell this land to the Vorlage Ski Club; ( c ) did the National Capital Commission subject this sale to a public consultation; If not, why not; and ( d ) did the National Capital Commission inform the public about this sale; If so, on what date and by what means; If not, why not?