House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, prosecutions by authorities in both Vietnam and Cambodia of ethnic minorities such as the Montagnards in Vietnam are increasing. Religious persecution, confiscations of land, and arrests have occurred recently.

My question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Given Canada's stand on human rights, what steps has the government taken, either with the United Nations commissioner for refugees or through diplomatic channels, to convey our concerns and opposition to these actions? States that abuse human rights surely cannot expect to have relations continue as usual.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member from Oak Ridges both for his interest in the Orient and for his interest in human rights, which he has expressed regularly in the House. He would know that the government regularly expresses Canadians' concerns about human rights violations against minority groups, both in Vietnam and in Cambodia.

Indeed, at the March 2004 meetings of the UN commission on human rights, Canada's country statement encouraged Vietnam to stop the detention of citizens for their political and religious views and allow greater freedom of speech and association for minority groups. For several years now, Canada has co-sponsored a commission on human rights resolution on Cambodia, and Canada has called on Cambodia to improve its cooperation with the UNHCR.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in December, the Prime Minister abolished the sponsorship program and asked Canadian Heritage to find another way to fund festivals. Today, the Minister of Canadian Heritage said that festivals that do not have a cultural component will not be receiving funding from her department.

While we totally disagree with the minister when she claims that the sponsorship program was a good initiative, how does she now intend to fulfill the commitment made by the government when the sponsorship program was abolished, to the effect that the government would find a way to provide financial assistance to festivals? How?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Louis-Hébert
Québec

Liberal

Hélène Scherrer Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Québec for reminding us exactly where the sponsorship program is at: it was indeed abolished on December 12.

At the time, the Prime Minister asked us to see how, with the existing programs at Canadian Heritage, we could support these events. Concrete efforts were made to contact the 780 events that received grants last year. We are proceeding with them.

Support will be provided through Canadian Heritage programs, which means that certain events will not be affected. The 50% figure was challenged. We are currently examining it.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the original retirement plan for older workers in the fishery assisted those who were 55 years of age and over despite the fact that they might have only had a few years working in the industry, while it ignored people under 55 who might have had in fact over 35 years in some cases.

These people are still trying to eke out a living in an industry that has been mismanaged by the government and has a complete lack of leadership. When is the minister going to introduce a new plan for older workers so that they can retire in dignity--

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I gather from the question that the hon. member is looking for solutions for those who cannot find work or find work that remunerates them at a level that will allow them to lead their life in dignity.

I might add for him that over the course of the last several years we have been engaging in programs that have increased the employment opportunities. It has not happened everywhere, and we are the first to acknowledge that there are some problems associated with the programs as they exist, and we are moving in the direction of remedying those problems and eliminating anomalies.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, all this hon. member is asking for is fairness for older workers who have dedicated their lives to an industry and have been ignored by this government.

Let me ask a question of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Inshore herring catches are down 80% on the north side of Prince Edward Island. This is mainly caused by seiners fishing inside the traditional 25 fathom line. If the department can change the harp seal hunting line from one mile to seven miles off P.E.I., why can it not move the herring seining line back to the original 25 fathom mark to protect the resource and the P.E.I. fishermen who depend on it?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in fact my hon. colleague may be aware that there was a study done on this issue. There was a report done not that long ago by Mr. Allister Surette, who studied the issue.

As he should know, there is a conflict between the fishermen of Prince Edward Island and herring seiner fishermen from New Brunswick who have different views about this matter. My department has been consulting as a result of this report and will be announcing results of that consultation in due course.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Veterans Affairs recently appeared before a parliamentary committee stating that he was committed to modernizing services for Canadian Forces veterans and their families. Could the minister please inform the House of what types of programs he is considering for our younger veterans?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question and for her support of veterans. Today the government announced the most fundamental reform of veterans programs since the second world war, with a commitment for legislation in the House by the end of the year.

The government will go beyond simply compensating people who are sick to a new set of programs designed to make people well. As a country and as a government, we owe no less to those brave Canadians who put their lives on the line for us and come back physically hurt or psychologically broken.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, last summer's devastating fires in British Columbia have many landowners caught in a log salvage, higher income, no tax deferment situation. Is the Minister of Finance going to help B.C. landowners by allowing income tax on this emergency profit to be deferred and paid over 10 years, yes or no?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for that question. It is one which I would not pretend to try to answer in this situation. I will undertake to the hon. member to respond in due course.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

May 4th, 2004 / 3:05 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in debate on Bill C-33 I indicated that I would table certain correspondence in relation to consultations on that bill. I wish to do so now.

The House resumed from April 29 consideration of the motion that Bill C-9, an act to amend the Patent Act and the Food and Drugs Act (The Jean Chrétien Pledge to Africa), be read the third time and passed.