House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Question No. 14
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

William V. Baker, Commissioner of Firearms, testified before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on October 23, 2003 that the gun registry provides “a tool for police to trace firearms”, that “it does help police solve crimes and we do have incidents of this by being able to trace the origin of the firearm recovered from a crime scene”, and that police are “…using that information to help them, but it can help enforce a court order.”; since the government has been registering firearms since 1934: ( a ) what is the total number of attempted firearms traces; ( b ) what is the total number of successful firearms traces; ( c ) what is the total number of crimes that were solved as a result of these successful traces; ( d ) what is the total number of court orders enforced using the information from the gun registry; and ( e ) what is the total number of registered and unregistered firearms seized as a result of the enforcement of these court orders?

Question No. 14
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

The national firearms tracing program was initiated in 1974, in cooperation with the U.S. alcohol, tobacco and firearms, ATF, tracing center. The primary goal of the program is to contribute to keeping Canadians safe and secure by providing necessary information to law enforcement authorities on firearms seized in the course of criminal investigations. Assistance is also provided to and by the U.S. ATF tracing center.

In implementing the program, the national firearms tracing unit was established. The unit currently consists of three RCMP regular members and remains an integral part of Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, CISC.

The national firearms tracing unit assists investigators in identifying owners of firearms and provides further information to police agencies regarding unregistered firearms such as: point of origin, name of retailer, name of purchaser.

In regard to a) in 2003, the national firearms tracing unit received 8,726 firearms tracing requests: 7,001 from Canadian law enforcement agencies; 1,471 from the U.S.; and 254 from international agencies. In 2004, up to February 13, the national firearms tracing unit received 1,717 tracing requests: 1,600 from Canadian law enforcement agencies; 99 from the U.S., and 18 from international agencies.

In regard to b) according to the national firearms tracing unit, there were 4,908 successful firearms traces made from January1, 2003 to December 31, 2003. Successful is defined as law enforcement authorities being provided with information on the firearm’s history to assist in their investigations. Firearms without serial number, caliber or make cannot be traced.

In regard to c), d) and e) the national firearms tracing unit provides an operational service to law enforcement authorities, domestic and international. Follow-up information as to the use of a firearm trace result is not required by the unit; therefore CISC has no statistics for these questions. There is no agency in Canada, not even Statistics Canada, that can provide this type of information. The information would need to be collected by reviewing all files from all law enforcement agencies in the country who request a trace, which would be extremely labour intensive.

Question No. 15
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

On February 16, 1995, Justice Minister Allan Rock stated in the House of Commons (Hansard, page 9708), “Registration will assist us to deal with the scourge of domestic violence.” For each year since 1995: ( a ) what is the total number of domestic homicides; ( b ) what is the total number of domestic homicides committed with firearms, by type of firearm and whether the firearm was registered or not; ( c ) how many of the suspected murderers were licensed to own firearms; and ( d ) in each case in which the homicide was committed with a registered firearm, why did the gun registry fail to prevent the murder?

Question No. 15
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

The Canadian firearms program is an important element of the federal government's overall public safety efforts. The deadline for the licensing of individuals passed on December 31, 2000, and the deadline for the registration of firearms passed on December 31, 2002. The program is now beginning to enter the full implementation ongoing operations phase. Nonetheless, since 1998 more than 12,000 firearms licences have been refused or revoked in view of public safety concerns and to respond to the potential for violence or injury.

The government is committed to delivering the firearms program so that it can continue to meet its important public safety objectives in the most cost effective manner.

Question No. 16
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

—Given that the government has required the mandatory registration of handguns since 1934, how does it justify its past, current and planned spending on a long-gun registry when Statistics Canada’s Annual Homicide Reports for 2000 (Table 6, page 9) and 2002 (Table 8, page 16) show that the use of handguns in firearm homicides has been steadily increasing from 26.9% in 1974 to 63.6% in 2002, and that, conversely, firearm homicides with rifles and shotguns, which only started to be registered on December 1, 1998, dropped steadily from 65.8% to 24.8% over the same 28-year period?

Question No. 16
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

The Canadian firearms program is one of the key contributors to the government's goal of enhancing public safety and security for Canadians.

On February 21, 2003, the Minister of Justice, together with the Solicitor General of Canada, announced an action plan to improve management, enhance service delivery, and increase transparency and accountability. The program's action plan is being implemented successfully by the firearms centre. There have been important improvements in program efficiency and management over the past year. We are building on these improvements.

The government remains committed to delivering this important public safety program in the most cost effective manner possible.

Question No. 23
Routine Proceedings

March 22nd, 2004 / 3:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Do Canada and the United States have a fishing treaty and, if so, what are the relevant details?

Question No. 23
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Canada has a long history of fishing treaties with the United States, dating back to Empire Treaties that were negotiated on Canada's behalf by Great Britain. These include agreements such as the 1912 agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States respecting the North Atlantic fisheries, which prescribed the method of promulgating fisheries regulations and the delimitation of certain bays on Canada's east coast.

Aside from historic treaties, Canada currently has seven bilateral fishing treaties with the United States, which are as follows:

Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Pacific hake/whiting: This recently negotiated agreement was signed by Canada and the United States on November 21, 2003 , in Seattle, Washington, but is not yet in force. It prescribes the formation of scientific and management committees for the purpose of determining the total allowable catch of Pacific hake/whiting and the respective harvest quotas for Canada and the United States.

Agreement between the Government of Canada and Government of the United States of America on fisheries enforcement: This treaty was signed on September 26, 1990, in Ottawa, Canada and entered into force on December 16, 1991. It aims to improve the enforcement of fisheries laws and regulations within both countries' respective internal waters, territorial seas and 200-mile zone.

Treaty between the Government of Canada and Government of the United States of America concerning Pacific salmon: The Pacific salmon treaty was signed in Ottawa, Canada, on January 28, 1985, and came into force on March 18, 1985. The treaty obliges Canada and the United States to conduct fisheries so as to provide for optimum production and equitable of salmon stocks and establishes the Pacific salmon commission, a body that directs the joint managment of transboundary pacific salmon stocks and works for the protection and management of pacific salmon runs. The treaty also includes four annexes, creating fishery panel committees and fishery regimes to regulate fisheries activities in the regions specified by the treaty, and a memorandum of understanding which provides for each country to receive benefits equivalent to the production of salmon originating in its waters. Also, an agreement respecting Yukon River salmon was reached in 2002 and incorporated as chapter 8 of the Pacific salmon agreement.

Treaty between the Government of Canada and Government of the United States of America on Pacific coast albacore tuna vessels and port privileges: This Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. on May 26, 1981, and came into force on July 29, 1981. It was amended in 1997. The treaty allows each party to engage in fishing for albacore tuna in waters under the jurisdiction of the other party that are seaward of the territorial seas, and to land, transship or sell their catches in specific ports of the other party. An amendment to this treaty was recently negotiated, but is not yet in force, which provides for annual consultation between the parties on albacore tuna stocks and limitations on the amount of fishing by each party's vessels in the waters of the other party.

Convention on Great Lakes fisheries between Canada and the United States of America: This convention was signed on September 10, 1954 in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. and entered into force on October 11, 1955. The convention addresses the decline in productivity of some of the Great Lakes fisheries and seeks to prevent further serious damage to some of these fisheries caused by the parasitic sea lamprey. The convention provides for the establishment of the Great Lakes fishery commission to co-ordinate and implement effective research, conservation and management programs.

Convention between Canada and the United States of America for the preservation of the halibut fishery of the northern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea: This treaty was signed on March 2, 1953, in Ottawa, Canada, and entered into force on October 28, 1953. The treaty continued the international Pacific halibut commission (the origin of which was the 1923 convention for the preservation of the halibut fisheries of the northern Pacific Ocean), a body that conducts stock assessments of, and performs biological research on, Pacific halibut.

Exchange of notes (March 4 and April 30, 1948) between Canada and the United States of America regarding sanitary practices in the shellfish industries and related matters: This agreement was made by an exchange of notes on March 4, 1948, and April 30, 1948, and came into force on April 30, 1948. It aims to improve sanitary practices in the shellfish industries of Canada and the United States and to facilitate the exchange of information with reference to endorsement of shellfish certifications.

Question No. 24
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

What would be the penalty to the government for cancellation of its contract with Lockheed Martin for the conducting of the Canadian census of 2006 by Statistics Canada?

Question No. 24
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

The current contract does not contain a provision for a penalty per se for cancellation. However, there are two possible scenarios for cancelling the current contract with Lockheed Martin Canada: 1) Terminating the contract for convenience; and 2) Exercising the contract's Exit Plan--Off Ramp. The main intent of the Exit Plan is to provide for a transition, logically after the Census Test in 2004, in the event that Canada decides not to proceed with contracting with Lockheed Martin Canada for the subsequent systems development, hardware procurement, printing and follow-on operations contract. The costs resulting from this scenario would be dependent upon how Canada wanted to move forward. The options are: for Statistics Canada to operate the system developed by the contractor, expected in March 2006, or to totally abandon the developed system.

PWGSC has been advised by Statistics Canada that if the contract were to be cancelled now, it would not be possible for Statistics Canada to deliver a full comprehensive census. Statistics Canada might only be able to collect basic demographic information and only provide population estimates required for the fiscal transfer program. The agency could not provide the information needed by a number of statutes and regulations (Canada pension plan, official languages, multiculturalism, employment equity regulations, etc.) that require a comprehensive census. Statistics Canada is exploring the possibility of re-scoping the contract with Lockheed Martin Canada following the census test. The proposed re-scoping of the contract would permit a comprehensive census to be delivered as well as ensuring that Statistics Canada alone would process the completed questionnaires.

Should Canada terminate the current contract for convenience, the contractor would be entitled to be paid the cost for all completed and partially completed work and capital expenditures, as well as all cost of the termination of the contract including the cancellation of obligations incurred by the contractor. The actual cost would be dependent upon when the contract was terminated and could be as much as the cost to complete the contract. The cost to terminate the current contract could reach $12-15 million.

Question No. 26
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

With respect to HRDC's payment of grants and subsidies, in the 75 ridings in Quebec, for fiscal years 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, can the government provide the following information: ( a ) the name of the recipient organization; ( b ) the date; ( c ) the amount; ( d ) the name of the program; and ( e ) the federal riding of the recipient organization?

Question No. 26
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

The data concerning the grants and contributions payments for all of the constituencies, as of fiscal year 1997-98, is available on-line, at the following addresses: 1997-98/1998-99/1999-2000: http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/dept/reports/2_lmya.shtml; 2000-01: http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/dept/reports/pay-paie/00-01/note_00-01.shtml; 2001-02: http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/dept/reports/pay-paie/01-02/note_01-02.shtml; 2002-03: http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/dept/reports/pay-paie/02-03/note_02-03.shtml

Data related to fiscal year 2003-04 will be available after the tabling of the Public Accounts of Canada in November 2004.

Question No. 34
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

With regard to Parks Canada's attempts to close the Jasper and Banff airstrips, what is the total accumulated cost to the Crown of the court proceedings in this matter?

Question No. 34
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

The cost to the Crown for court proceedings related to Parks Canada’s attempts to close the Jasper and Banff airstrips is $26,725.07.

Question No. 35
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

With regard to natural health products: ( a ) on what legal grounds are federal government officials prohibiting the importation of natural health products from the United States; and ( b ) can the government prohibit the importation of foods or natural health products from the United States or Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and, if so, what are the relevant provisions of NAFTA?