House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was registration.

Topics

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, that was neither a yes nor a no, but I would like to remind the Prime Minister that he is doing exactly what he criticized the Tory government for doing in 1990. He said at that time, “You cannot say over and over that what you do does not matter, and that you are right and everyone else is wrong. That is not democracy, that is a dictatorship”. What he has on that side of the House is just that: a dictatorship.

Here he has an opportunity. Will the Prime Minister keep one promise? Will he allow a free vote so that his MPs do not have to wimp out or duck out?

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across the way knows perfectly well how Parliament functions. He knows perfectly well of the confidence convention of the House. He knows how it operates. He knows better than what he is saying. I should suggest to him that he should concentrate on discipline on his own side of the House, particularly in view of the fact that so many of his own colleagues have been kicked outside of caucus back to another party and back in several times. We cannot even follow which side they are on.

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Perhaps the Chair could remind the House that question period is intended to be one question and one answer, not a hundred questions and a hundred answers and all at different times. It is very difficult for the Chair to hear today and it is only Tuesday, so I would ask for a little co-operation from hon. members.

The hon. member for Frontenac—Mégantic.

Journée de la Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 20, as part of the Journée internationale de la Francophonie, a ceremony was held on Parliament Hill in honour of His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

Can the Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and the Francophonie tell us what was done to promote the Journée internationale de la Francophonie with young Canadians?

Journée de la Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi
Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, as part of the Journée internationale de la Francophonie, young Canadians were invited to enter a writing contest promoting the importance of French literary writing.

The winners of the contest, some thirty young Canadians, came here to Parliament to meet the Prime Minister and His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali. His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali also spoke to 500 young people in Farnham, in Brome—Missisquoi, to discuss the Francophonie and the world we live in.

It was a resounding success.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, Agriculture Canada is using a Saskatchewan research station to test GM wheat from Monsanto. Incredibly, conventional wheat is also grown on that experimental farm, which leads to the real fear of contamination. Canadian Wheat Board customers want no part of GM wheat or conventional wheat that has been contaminated.

Why is the government putting at risk our conventional wheat, the best in the world, by testing GM wheat on experimental farms? Second, what assurances can the government give that these GM wheat tests will be discontinued immediately?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the hon. member has given me the opportunity to clear up an erroneous report that was on a national television channel last night. The report said that the wheat was 3 metres apart. That is incorrect. It was 1,500 metres apart. Scientists say that it only has to be 30 metres apart, but it was 1.5 kilometres away from any other variety of wheat.

Health
Oral Question Period

March 25th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. Over three years ago, the government set up an industry dominated task force to write its own rules for voluntary labelling of genetically engineered food.

Now that the head of that group admits that it is going nowhere, that it is a joke, when will the government finally listen to the over 80% of Canadians who want to know what they eat and agree to the mandatory labelling of genetically engineered foods? When will the government stop shilling for the biotech industry and stand up for Canadians?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is probably aware, regulations require that any genetically modified product be reviewed by Health Canada prior to being sold in this country to ensure that there are no safety concerns. In fact, we have voluntary labelling requirements. We were working very hard with the Canadian General Standards Board to see if agreement could be reached around mandatory labelling provisions. No agreement, no consensus, could be reached, but Health Canada officials along with other federal government officials continue to work to see if a consensus can be reached on this difficult and important issue.

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General. On April Fool's day, the Solicitor General inherits one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated on the Canadian public. I can only say they picked the right day.

The truth about the costs and the practicality of the gun registry have been hidden from Canadians and continue to be hidden from Canadians. Will the new Solicitor General stop this Liberal sleight of hand and guarantee public disclosure on a regular and consistent basis on all gun control costs and information?

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows very well what the costs are for the gun control centre. He knows that last fiscal year we were talking about $688 million. He knows as well that this party, this government, will be voting on the supplementary estimates (B) tonight, and on the main estimates as well. He knows that we have been reacting to the report of the Auditor General before Christmas.

As well, he knows that we have tabled a good plan of action in order to make sure that we will improve management and improve services. Having said that, it is a good and sound policy and we are starting to see the results, and this party and this government will keep talking--

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Gander—Grand Falls.

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is widely believed that Air Canada is on the brink of bankruptcy. It has a $12 billion debt and its CEO is on the record stating that the company business model is broken.

Will the minister now bail out Air Canada to allow it to continue its core business model or will he do the right thing, like any other company would have to do, and let it file for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act?

Why will the minister not come clean and declare that Air Canada will not receive special treatment without having to go through proper business practices?

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think everyone knows that the aviation industry around the world has been challenged since September 2001 and never really fully recovered. Of course the events now going on in the Middle East have exacerbated the situation, in particular for U.S. air carriers, and Air Canada has not been exempted.

The situation is serious and we are working with Air Canada and other airlines to ensure that the issue is dealt with in the appropriate fashion.