House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we decided not to appeal. That decision, first, said that the Canadian government has indeed the jurisdiction with regard to youth criminal justice. Second, it struck down the section of the bill regarding the question of the presumption in place.

The fact that we decided not to appeal does not water down the bill at all. We will be able to meet the same objectives while respecting the Canadian Charter of Rights. This is important. As I said, we will go ahead this fall with something in order to clarify the legislation.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister should be talking to victims or their families about the impact of new trials. Maybe he should go to Victoria and talk with Reena Virk's family.

The minister says that he intends to consult with the provinces in response to this recent court decision. Ontario's attorney general said that Ottawa has ignored provincial concerns over youth justice. Other provinces have said the same thing.

Ontario proposed more than 100 amendments before the new act was passed into law and not one was adopted. Why has the minister reneged on his political commitment to crack down on violent youth crime?

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I just do not know what he is talking about. When we look at the existing legislation, it is still possible for a youth to face an adult sentence under some circumstances.

Having said that, the court of appeal decided that the two presumptions were against the charter. We decided not to appeal because we believe there is a way to meet the objective of the legislation without appealing. As I have said, this fall we will proceed with amendments to the act in order to clarify the situation. In that way we will meet the objective while respecting the Canadian Charter of Rights because we believe in the Canadian Charter of Rights and--

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a $45 billion surplus in the employment insurance fund, to which everyone has contributed. Exceptional measures are required in both the softwood lumber and fisheries industries, yet all the minister can think to tell us is that there are regular programs and they are working very well.

Could the minister not change his tune, show some initiative and announce specific measures for the softwood lumber and fisheries workers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. I would like to say to the hon. member that we are there and through the employment insurance system we are assisting workers who find themselves, through no fault of their own, without employment.

When it comes to the fisheries, as the hon. member knows, and my colleague made clear, we contribute to the provinces every year a significant amount of money for active measures. In the case of the Province of Quebec, the government receives well over half a billion dollars every year to deal with active measures in this regard.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is pathetic. Even if the minister has run out of inspiration, there are workers in trouble in both the softwood lumber and the fisheries industries. Then there are the eastern plant workers.

How can the minister, with her $45 billion surplus in the EI fund, refuse to put more money into helping them?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have added additional moneys. She made reference to softwood lumber. The hon. member knows that $246 million were made available for those who were affected by that trade dispute.

When we are talking about providing assistance to workers, the employment insurance system is there. We have strong partnerships with the provinces and territories. We have additional money for older worker pilot projects, as well as specific moneys for youth. We are there and we are being responsive.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

May 12th, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the ground based, mid-course defence mission that is being proposed is not the so-called star wars plan. The system would allow Canada to pay its own way because it is designed to protect friends and allies of the U.S., in addition to Americans.

Why will the Prime Minister not commit to the ground based missile defence system now, to allow Canadian aerospace companies the opportunity to bid on a potential $8 billion in contracts?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as we have pointed out, this matter is being discussed by cabinet. It is being discussed at our caucus. It can be discussed in Parliament.

We will take measures that will ensure security for Canada and security for Canadians, and that the steps we take will be consistent with our foreign policy objectives around the world.

If, in arriving at that, we are unable to benefit Canadian companies by participating in advanced technology, of course that will be the case, but the most important thing is to ensure the safety of North America and Canadians in North America.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, participating in the anti-ballistic missile defence system would bring research and development to Canada. Our participation would also go a long way to repairing our fractured relationship with the United States.

Rather than continuing corporate welfare to companies like Bombardier, why does the government not take steps to develop a viable aerospace industry in Canada by signing on to the missile defence system now?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the Canadian people wish us to sign on to something to do with the security of this country to develop an industry in the country. What we search is the best interests of Canada and of Canadians and of their security, and we put that ahead of all commercial gain.

If the members of the opposition really want to help here perhaps they should stop trying to stir up the suggestion that Canadians are anti-American, the way they usually do. That would be a heck of a lot more helpful than this type of question.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Wood Nipissing, ON

Mr. Speaker, veterans, through their organizations, such as The Royal Canadian Legion, the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada and the National Council of Veterans Associations, have raised several priority issues lately, such as the extension of VIP for widows for life, which they would like addressed by the government.

Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs let the House know what progress has been made on these files?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul
Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce today my intention to address a number of Canada's veterans' urgent needs, including the extension of the veterans independence program for life for surviving spouses; greater health care benefits for veterans with severe disabilities; home care benefits for veterans on the waiting list; access to long term care benefits for allied veterans; enhanced compensation for former prisoners of war; and education assistance for children of members of the forces killed in the line of duty.

Marijuana
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it does appear that we did manage to convince the government that decriminalization of marijuana should not be 30 grams but something less.

Decriminalization of marijuana is but a small part of a national drug strategy. The government has been without a coherent national drug strategy for 10 years.

Why has a national drug strategy not been put in place prior to the announcement of the decriminalization of marijuana?

Marijuana
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, essentially last year the standing committee of the House of Commons tabled a report. As well, the Senate tabled a report. We have reviewed the recommendations. As we said, we are planning to proceed shortly with a national strategy with regard to the use of cannabis in the county.

When we are talking about proceeding with a strategy, we are talking about a reform of the cannabis law and, at the same time, the renewal of the national drug strategy as a package.