House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I hope that the hon. member will agree with me that the Prime Minister's comportment in this matter has been very careful and very wise. This is not a wisdom that comes from anything except a respect for our United States colleagues, a respect that he owes President Bush, that I owe Secretary Powell, that the Deputy Prime Minister owes Mr. Ridge, and right through the system to Mr. Ashcroft and the good relations we have both with the administration and the American people.

I promise the House that the government will continue to be guided in that light. We have good relations with the United States. We will continue to have good relations with the United States.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the war in Iraq began, the Minister of National Defence keeps saying that maintaining Canadian troops in the Persian Gulf region is essential to the fight against terrorism. Yet, yesterday in the House, he confirmed that the Canadian ships escorting the allied ships would have to respond if any of them were attacked.

Does maintaining troops in the region not contradict Canada's stated anti-war position?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I said that the NDP does not get it, and it seems that neither does the Bloc Quebecois. What happened last night is that the Bloc's amendment, seeking to pull out our ships, was very soundly defeated. As I said several minutes ago, we are proud of the role our ships continue to play in the Gulf in the fight against terrorism. We are proud that we are there to protect our allies from potential terrorist attacks.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence must realize that his message is extremely ambiguous. On one hand, he talks about working for peace, and on the other, he says that he will defend his belligerent allies if they are attacked.

How can the Minister of National Defence reconcile two such contradictory approaches?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Bloc Quebecois says, our message is extremely clear, and it is based on two principles.

First, we respect the right of the United States, but we also have the right to decide for ourselves. That is what we have done in deciding not to participate in the war. But the second principle, which is just as important, is that Canada has been a full partner in the war against terrorism since September 11. The risk is greater than ever before, and our efforts continue.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the defence minister dismissed the concerns of Sea King crews about the danger of flying Sea Kings without proper night vision equipment while at the same time he is looking at buying a new building for head office staff.

Good government is about setting priorities, about knowing what is important and what is not as important. Does the minister think it is good government to purchase a new building for headquarters staff while he will not buy night vision equipment which could improve the safety of our Sea King crews?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I did not dismiss the concerns of helicopter pilots yesterday. I dismissed the unwarranted comments of the member across the way. Indeed, I said that I had received assurances regarding safety from the Chief of Defence Staff, a former helicopter pilot, and I had spoken to three helicopter pilots myself in the morning who assured me of the safety. It is also the case that we have equipment to provide night vision. Our new helicopters will have superior equipment and we are in the process of developing improvements in that area.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, post-9/11 the downtown Ottawa Department of National Defence headquarters location became a security risk, according to the minister, yet the minister is insisting on moving the Emergency Preparedness College from Arnprior, outside Ottawa, where it was designed to serve an alternate disaster operations centre, to Ottawa. Since the national capital has been identified as a potential target for terrorists, why is the government moving the logical alternate command centre site from Arnprior to ground zero?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I must say I have a little difficulty following that convoluted logic, but my first responsibility is to ensure the preparedness of first responders to potential terrorist attack. That responsibility has if anything augmented as a consequence of events in Iraq and, as the member well knows, the facilities in Arnprior were not appropriate to carry out those fundamental responsibilities of the government. It is for that reason that the decision to move was taken.

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to yesterday's Toronto Star , the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is preparing to make some major changes to the Immigration and Refugee Board. It would appear that he is, in fact, contemplating replacing the board members, currently appointed by the governor in council, with Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials.

Can the minister explain why he wants to abolish an independent system and replace it with one in which public servants would be simultaneously judge and jury?

Immigration and Refugee Board
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 hon. member read the article like everybody else. The minister did not propose anything. He just suggested ways to improve the deal we had in 1989. Anything that can improve on that system I think is a job to look forward to. I hope in the future the hon. member supports the streamlining of refugees so we can make it easier, faster and cheaper.

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its 2000 election platform, the Bloc Quebecois proposed replacing the present political appointment process for Immigration and Refugee Board members with a transparent appointment procedure based on candidates' professional qualifications and experience.

Can the minister explain to us why he has not gone with an option that would ensure an appointment process based, not on political connections, but professional qualifications and experience?

Immigration and Refugee Board
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 assumption is totally wrong. Every appointment the government has made in the last nine and a half years has been fantastic, based on the ability of the person, nothing more, nothing less.

Child Pornography
Oral Question Period

March 21st, 2003 / 11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government may talk about protecting children, but it does exactly the opposite.

Prominent human rights lawyer David Matas has recently stated that Bill C-20, the proposed child pornography legislation, goes in exactly the wrong direction. Instead of narrowing the defence of artistic merit, indeed it broadens the defence.

When will the government finally find the courage to protect children, rather than siding with the interests of child pornographers?

Child Pornography
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, on the issue of child pornography, clearly we have brought forward a bill that we believe will be very effective in dealing with the concerns that were raised by the Sharpe case. We believe that eliminating the artistic merit defence will in fact be in the best interests of the children of our community. We are very interested in maintaining the priority of children as part of the government's process of making sure that children are safe within our community.