House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pornography.

Topics

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Verchères—Les-Patriotes has the floor, and we must be able to hear his question. He may start his question over.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister is welcoming the Secretary General of the United Nations. It is interesting to note that the amount Canada devotes to international aid keeps dropping year after year. Lester B. Pearson set the objective for international aid at .7 % of GDP. In the time of the Conservatives, the percentage was around .45% of GDP. Since the Liberals took office, the percentage has been almost halved.

How can the Prime Minister explain that, during his watch as finance minister, Canada's international aid spending was reduced by half?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that our aid spending has done nothing but increase over the past two years. The Prime Minister has already said so. It has increased since the conference in Monterrey and will double over the next five years.

This Prime Minister has promised the House and the people of Canada that this government will be more active on the international scene. This will include adopting a smart approach and targeting aid to those countries that need Canada's help. We are there for them and we will do even more for them in the future.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, when an amount is cut in half, and then a bit is added to it, that is insignificant. Moreover, the $25 million announced today by the Prime Minister represents a mere three one-thousandths of 1% of the objective. The target is .7%. Now, thanks to the Prime Minister's efforts, the reality is that we are still only halfway there.

How can the Prime Minister strut about before the international community with all his talk about concern for foreign aid when, during his 10 years as Minister of Finance, he merrily cut back the resources earmarked for international aid?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is a Canadian presence in Afghanistan. Canada is prepared to help rebuild Iraq. Canada is helping Haiti through these troubled times. Canada helped deliver aid to Africa.

Canada continues to be active throughout the world. As far as the environment, health, welfare and good governance are concerned, we have an excellent record, in my opinion, but we are going to improve that record in the future.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, it might have been great to be a cabin boy on that ship, but I will say one thing, it is not great to be a cabin boy on the HMCS Victoria , the submarine that went from Halifax to British Columbia, because access to information reports say that the temperatures went up to 150°. The captain was scared the shells were going to self-ignite; they were moving them from one compartment to another.

We bought these boats six years ago and not one of them works. Two are tied up; two are in dry dock. When will the minister stop wasting time, money and the reputation of the Canadian navy and do what it takes to get these boats working?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is important for the hon. member to keep in mind that the submarines that were purchased from the British by the Canadian navy were purchased at a cost of approximately a quarter of their value, with 80% of the operational life of the submarine.

As well, I would like to advise the hon. member that temperatures in engine rooms do get very hot, whether it is in submarines or in surface ships. However, they are fully automated and there is no need for any crew member to spend a prolonged period of time in those particular engine rooms.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister should go to the Halifax shipyard and talk to the people who were on the boat. They had to run into the engine room, do the work and run back out again before they got burned.

Not only that, we have had these boats for six years. We have four submarine crews that have not had a place to go to work for six years. It is a waste of money. When is the government going to give the taxpayers value for their money and get these boats working?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the taxpayers are getting incredible value for their dollar with these submarines.

The hon. member has to keep in mind as well that the prolonged period for which there has been no service from these submarines was a result of the reactivation period which took place in the United Kingdom. The Canadianization of these submarines is proceeding quite nicely. We expect to have the first submarine operational in the fall of 2004 with the rest to follow shortly after.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

The Canada-U.S. 30-point smart border plan included a provision for a safe third country agreement. As the minister knows, up to 60% of refugee claimants arriving in Canada come from the United States, which is a Geneva signator country and offers safety to refugees in need.

I would ask the minister today if she could tell us if the safe third country agreement has been implemented.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has asked a very important question. As she well knows, because she signed the safe third country agreement with her U.S. counterpart, it is very important for us, with the United States, to ensure that we are able to deal with refugee claimants along our common land border in an efficient and fair way.

I am very pleased to inform the House that not only has Canada issued its draft regulations under the safe third agreement, but yesterday the United States of America issued its draft regulations for comment. We are very hopeful that this agreement will be implemented in the very near future.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

March 9th, 2004 / 3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, today in the House we have stood and asked the Prime Minister to disclose the documents of the cabinet meeting back in July. He does not seem to want to disclose them to Parliament although he said maybe if the committee comes, he will later disclose them.

Will he come today to Parliament and disclose and bring forward those documents from that cabinet meeting?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, that is the same group that every time there is a problem wants an instant solution. That is the same group that finds people guilty before there is any evidence. That is the same group that rushes to judgment.

Each time we have put in place processes that are clear, open and responsible. If we get the request, the Prime Minister has committed, as he has in the past, to deliver the information.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Prime Minister is, will he come to Parliament today and disclose to us the names of the cabinet ministers, not the documents, the names of the cabinet ministers who appeared with Groupaction in 1998, that came to their meeting? Will he tell us which ministers were there?