House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, for years National Defence officials have cautioned against an overcommitment of our armed forces personnel. Despite this, while overseas the Prime Minister has once more mused about yet another commitment in the Middle East.

Yesterday, Canada's newly appointed army commander, Lieutenant-General Hillier, urged the government to consider reducing the number of foreign missions.

Why does the Prime Minister not understand that our armed forces are already at the breaking point?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, given the importance of the Middle East situation and given Canada's long historical role in the Middle East going back to Lester Pearson, I think Canadians would be expecting that were an historic peace agreement to be arrived at Canada would be there, and that indeed is what the Prime Minister said.

At the same time, there are stresses and strains in the military. It is the job of the government, any government, to reconcile the aims of government with resource constraints, and that is what we shall do.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the armed forces, on the other hand, are expecting support from the government. Lieutenant-General Hillier also said:

Any commander who would stand up here and say we didn't need more soldiers should be tarred and feathered and rode out of town on a rail....

Well, Mr. Speaker, I say to the defence minister, happy trails. With ever increasing commitments by his government and the Prime Minister, why will the Minister of National Defence not recognize Canada's armed forces desperately need to be increased?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it was the recognition of the needs of the armed forces that caused the government in the last budget to increase the base budget by $800 million per year, the largest increase since at least 10 years.

Moreover, due to a very successful recruitment campaign, in the latest year total numbers in the Canadian Forces have gone up 10,000. The budget has increased substantially. The numbers are increasing substantially. We are on that track.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Public Works and Government Services. On May 28, a mere six days before the annual draft for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which will take place this week at Val-d'Or from June 4 to 7, Gilles Pelletier, the Director General of the Sponsorship Program, refused a contribution of $15,000 for the event. It will involve organizations from Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and various American states, Maine in particular.

For this provincial, national and international event, will the minister review the decision of her officials, who waited until only six days were left to announce—

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, last December the Minister of Public Works and Government Services announced a new sponsorship program for this year, which many of us have heard about, with tighter criteria, more accountability and transparency.

While assessing these applications under this new program, some difficult decisions have to be made. The decision not to fund this application was one such decision. However I would like to remind my colleague that the Government of Canada does sponsor major junior hockey across the country including Les Foreurs de Val-d'Or.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the first of many charter challenges was launched against the gun registry.

Courts will not begin to hear these challenges until the fall. However the government has imposed an arbitrary registration deadline of June 30. Courts may rule that the registry violates the charter.

Will the government extend the registration deadline until a court decision has been reached?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government on this side of the House has argued a number of times that we are trying to work with gun owners to have them understand that the intent of the system is not to penalize hunters and legitimate gun owners. The intent of the system is to make our streets safer.

Specifically in answer to the member's question, no, the deadline will not be extended.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the final deadline for registration is less than a month away. Almost 300,000 gun owners have not yet registered and over 300,000 gun owners have yet to re-register their handguns. The government has received letters of intent of registration from only a fraction of these.

What is the government planning to do with half a million gun owners who are non-compliant come July 1?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the intention of the government, myself as Solicitor General and the Canadian Firearms Centre is to not leave the impression that we will extend the deadline because we do not intend to do so.

I would advise that the system is working much more efficiently than it was sometime ago. Internet registrations are working well. The 1-800 number is working well. I would encourage all gun owners to get on the system and get registered.

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

June 2nd, 2003 / 3 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, Liberal supporters of the member for LaSalle—Émard are doing everything they can on the issue of St. Lawrence pilots to curry favour with shipowners before the former Minister of Finance, himself a shipowner, comes to power.

Will the government promise that under no circumstances will it jeopardize safety and the environment on the St. Lawrence and that it will maintain marine pilotage for all St. Lawrence shipowners, without exception, whether the future Prime Minister likes it or not?

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague opposite knows full well that this issue is under consideration, not only by the Standing Committee on Transport, of which he is a member, but also by the department. Right now we know that there would be no danger to the environment in the St. Lawrence.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Recently the Secretary of State visited Bulgaria and Turkey, accompanied by a large Canadian business delegation, to meet with government officials and support Canadian business in exploring and developing commercial opportunities.

Will the minister please share with the House his views of the outcome of the visit?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Elgin—Middlesex—London
Ontario

Liberal

Gar Knutson Secretary of State (Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking my colleague for his question and for accompanying me to Bulgaria and Turkey. I led a Canadian business delegation of 19 companies, including General Motors, Electro-Motive, of London, Ontario.

Several important contracts between Turkish businesses and Canadian companies have made considerable progress, including sales of some 65 locomotives and several hydro turbines, creating many jobs in Canada.

I am confident that as a result of this successful mission many business deals will continue to be forged between Canada and these countries.