House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge
Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am familiar with this situation. The member for Brome—Missisquoi is constantly working on this matter. It is essential to remember that this situation needs to be dealt with in stages.

There are two levels of government in Vermont. We will take action when the time is right—at a particular time, when everything is in place—and we will evaluate the situation with regard to pure, clean water.

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the member has answered the wrong question. I am talking about the expansion of the St. Lawrence Seaway, since three of the five options in the study conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers propose dredging the St. Lawrence Seaway, with all the serious environmental problems this will cause.

How can the Prime Minister explain his decision not to address this issue with President Bush, unless he has already made up his mind but does not want Quebec to know before the election?

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have responded to the hon. member previously in the House. The joint study that is going on with respect to Canada and the United States will in fact assess the ongoing maintenance needs required to sustain the seaway infrastructure. I emphasize that the study will not consider major infrastructure modifications, such as the expansion of the seaway.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the important issues to be addressed by the Canadian Prime Minister in his meetings with President Bush is the softwood lumber dispute, on which the NAFTA ruling has just been released. The U.S. has three weeks to lift the countervailing duties and antidumping tariffs it imposed on Quebec and Canadian lumber.

Does the Prime Minister intend to demand that President Bush cease his delaying tactics so that we may immediately resume total free trade in this area?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Liberal

John Harvard Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted that the hon. member has asked this question because it is a good day in the softwood lumber dispute.

The NAFTA panel, on the alleged threat of injury to the U.S. softwood lumber industry, released its decision today. It is good news for Canada and it is a total victory for Canada.

We said all along that the U.S. was wrong. Our industry does not threaten injury to the U.S. industry. We have said all along that we have free trade in softwood. The decision today supports our position. We hope the U.S. respects the decision.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, outside of this self-congratulation, can the government assure us that the Prime Minister will not be tempted by electoral concerns to negotiate a cut-rate agreement with the United States and will demand full reimbursement of all sums wrongly collected from Quebec and Canadian softwood lumber producers?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

April 29th, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Liberal

John Harvard Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my first response, we hope the United States will respect this decision. This is an important decision. In fact it is an important decision to both countries.

Yes, the Prime Minister is in Washington today. The Minister of International Trade is in Washington today. On the agenda is softwood lumber. I assure the member that they will continue with their best work in the interest and support of free trade in softwood lumber.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are serious problems with the government's plan to spend $10 million to add a facial recognition biometric to Canadian passports.

Bruce Schneier, one of the world's foremost security experts states, “A system like this is clearly not worth it. It costs too much, is much too intrusive, and provides minimal security in return”.

Why are the Liberals throwing millions of dollars into a system that expert opinion says is not worth it?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies
Québec

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Emergency Preparedness)

Mr. Speaker, I must point out that the government has announced this policy because it is in keeping with the most recently set standard of the International Civil Aviation Organization. We are therefore basing our decision on major studies that have been carried out on the international level. If we are moving toward biometrics, this is because it is what we find to be the most advanced and the most effective on the international level.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, actually the organization did not say that Canadians should do this. It just said that if we are going to do it, facial recognition is the least intrusive. But it does not work.

Canadian expert Dr. Ann Cavoukian says that, “$10 million is not enough for a biometric system of any sort, particularly facial biometrics. You will get nothing for that money and certainly couldn't implement such a system for that amount”.

The Liberals have a sadly tarnished track record of lowballing cost projections. Is this just the start of another Liberal boondoggle?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies
Québec

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Emergency Preparedness)

Mr. Speaker, I would invite the hon. member of the opposition to take time to read “Securing an Open Society: Canada's National Security Policy” in its entirety. This is a series of measures, an integrated overall action plan, one measure among many. It is a plan that will evolve over time. It reflects the best of what is available as far as international standards are concerned at this time.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, we have heard Liberal promises before. At one point the government promised that the gun registry would only cost $85 million. Today the cost has spiraled to more than $1.4 billion, perhaps as much as $2 billion.

Now we learn that the government is promising facial biometric information on passports for a bargain, a mere $10 million. This involved a much more complicated technology than a simple gun registry database.

Why are the Liberals deliberately misleading Canadians on this $10 million database?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Mississauga East
Ontario

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Civil Preparedness)

Mr. Speaker, the government recognizes the challenges associated with the gun registry. As I mentioned at the outset, we are analyzing the challenges that the gun registry poses. I can assure the hon. member that once our recommendations are finalized, the benefits will far outweigh the costs.

With respect to the passport issue, my hon. colleague has--

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for South Shore.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, there is no upside to an invasion of privacy to Canadian citizens. Liberals want us to believe that Canada's new national security policy will cost $700 million. Again, the federal gun registry cost twice as much and has delivered nothing. For the price of the gun registry, we could already have two national security policies.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister believe that all of Canada's security problems can be solved for half the cost of the gun registry, or was the gun registry money simply wasted?