House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was labour.

Topics

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

A little order, please, and hon. members know that cellular telephones are not permitted in the chamber.

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

How about BlackBerries?

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Somebody is going to get a raspberry from the Speaker if they do not watch out.

The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier.

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is the deadline for the federal government to file an appeal with the Supreme Court against the Quebec Appeal Court opinion on the Young Offenders Act.

Rather than using the appeal process, does the Minister of Justice plan to amend the act to bring it into compliance with the charter, as the Bloc Quebecois has been demanding from the start?

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are particularly pleased with the Appeal Court opinion as far as jurisdiction is concerned, as the court has confirmed that the Canadian government did have jurisdiction over this.

It did indeed declare two sections of the act invalid under the charter, namely the two concerning presumptions on sentencing and publication.

I would just like to say that we decided not to appeal today because there are other ways of satisfying the legislator's intent.

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the minister seems to be at last seeing sense, ought he not to do the only proper thing and consult Quebec's new minister of justice, who shares the opinion of the previous government, namely that Quebec must be exempted from this legislation?

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have just explained that it is possible to satisfy the legislator's intent without an appeal, and I have also explained that we would not be appealing.

That said, we will see that all provinces are consulted in order to ensure that we can move on certain amendments to clarify the legal situation.

That said also, I am a bit surprised at my colleague's comment that I finally get it, when an examination of the existing philosophy in connection with this law is essentially based on current Quebec practice, namely ensuring that social objectives are met while also making it possible for young offenders to be reintegrated into society while maintaining appropriate sanctions. It is a matter of giving young people a chance.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, these Liberals ran in 1993 with a promise to have an independent ethics commissioner. Now, 10 years and a multitude of scandals later, we have legislation in this House that has an ethics commissioner who is appointed by the Prime Minister, who answers to the Prime Minister and who advises the Prime Minister in regard to ethical breaches by ministers. To add to the insult, this Prime Minister-appointed commissioner will have jurisdiction over backbench MPs and opposition MPs.

Why can these Liberals not keep their straightforward promise and legislate a truly independent ethics commissioner?

Ethics
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, I am quite pleased and quite honoured to have had the opportunity of introducing Bill C-34 in the House yesterday, which appoints the independent ethics commissioner.

I want to remind the hon. member that the system for appointing the ethics commissioner is identical to the one utilized in the first modernization committee report about all officers of the House. Here is what the then House leader for the Alliance said on October 24, 2001, “The appointment of important positions like the clerk of the House and officers of parliament should be approved by parliament”. That is--

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Elk Island.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, what does he do after he is appointed? He is still appointed by the Prime Minister.

Under this bill tabled by the minister, the ethics commissioner will be appointed by the governor in council after consultation with the leaders of the parties. The majority government will have its members voting on command, as usual, to endorse the Prime Minister's choice. Consultation has no power to change anything. We have suggested a meaningful, all party input prior to selection and the House ratification by free vote, secret ballot, and a higher than 50% standard.

Why this fixation on prime ministerial control?

Ethics
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, again we are hearing some things which are a little different than what would be accurate, to put it mildly. The hon. member says he made such recommendations. There were all party recommendations regarding the draft bill. No such recommendation appeared there.

Second, in terms of what the former House leader of his party said about this method of appointment, I will read further. “That is...a step forward,” he said. “I anticipate no problem with that. In fact, we have been blessed with good clerks and good officers of parliament”.

That is referring to the system utilized in this bill. Maybe he should talk to his seatmate.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence O'Brien Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, four years ago the crab quota off Labrador was cut by 30%. This year it was slashed by a further 40%. The cod quota has been cut by 100%. Yet while 60% of Canada's northern shrimp is caught off Labrador, only 5% of it is harvested and processed in Labrador by Labradorians who live in rural and aboriginal communities adjacent to the resource.

My constituents want to know: How does the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans plan to correct this gross injustice, and when?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I am currently preparing the northern shrimp plan. We will have some new opportunities that greatly increase quota. Access will be guided by the recommendations of the independent panel on access criteria. We will make sure to maximize the opportunities to local communities and their people without risking the viability of the established industry, and we will be doing that very, very soon.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

May 1st, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians decry the return of star wars, and I do not mean the movie. The signs are unmistakable that the government is getting ready to buy into the U.S. ballistic missile defence system as a kiss-up to Bush for Canada's non-participation in his Iraqi war. Why does the Prime Minister not show some backbone and say no to Bush's ballistic missile defence madness?