House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firefighters.

Topics

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, WHO has said that we are relatively well prepared as a country. We need to be prepared internationally which is why this conference is taking place. Representatives from over 30 countries will be there. We will be talking about capacity building. We will be talking about vaccine manufacturing and sharing. We will be talking about communications during such disasters as pandemics.

These are the kinds of issues where we need to work together internationally so that we are not a risk to each other but in fact a help to each other across borders.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

October 20th, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

For two hours yesterday, David Dingwall, responding to questions from the Conservatives, from the Bloc and from ourselves, said time after time that he was after his entitlements. It became very clear for him that meant getting severance pay. He said that he would take the money and run if it were offered.

Considering Canadians do not believe he is owed one cent in severance, would the Prime Minister get up and make it clear that he will not get severance pay?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Dingwall resigned. I accepted his resignation. The reason he gave was that he thought it would be better for the Mint and I did not disagree with his point of view.

As for matters of legal obligation, as is normal under our system these are under discussion in the Privy Council Office by the lawyers and by the lawyers representing Mr. Dingwall.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is again for the Prime Minister.

It is clear that Mr. Dingwall resigned. There is no moral obligation to give him a cent.

Do you agree with me or not, Mr. Prime Minister?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Given the long experience of the hon. member for Ottawa Centre in this House, he knows very well that questions must be put to the Chair, not to the Prime Minister or any other minister.

The hon. Minister of National Revenue.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is true that Mr. Dingwall told me on the morning of September 28 of his intention to resign. The reason he gave was that he thought it was best for the Mint that he do so. I felt the same way.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, last weekend we found out how the Liberals really feel about deadly drugs like crystal meth.

Larry Campbell, a Liberal patronage appointee, said, “This idea that there's a huge crystal meth disaster happening in this country is garbage”. He also said that warnings that the crystal meth addiction is an epidemic are exaggerated and a knee-jerk reaction.

Does the Prime Minister agree with Mr. Campbell that the meth crisis is exaggerated? Is that the real reason his government dithered for months on tougher sentences for meth traffickers?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we did not dither. We acted immediately after a conference to that effect was held. This summer, on August 11, we moved to increase maximum penalties with regard to production and distribution to life imprisonment. We have also acted with regard to the regulation of precursors, so we have acted immediately.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, we pushed for that for months. Today the Supreme Court announced that it will not reconsider the case of a Saskatchewan man who sexually assaulted a 12 year old girl but was not sent to prison.

Dean Edmondson was convicted of sexual assault in 2001 after he and two other men intoxicated and attempted to rape their young victim, but because of the government's soft on crime justice system this vicious criminal got away with two years of house arrest.

How can this government continue to defend a justice system that gives house arrest instead of prison time to child rapists?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite may not know, the matter is still before the courts because there are trials that have been ordered with regard to the co-accused.

With regard to conditional sentencing, we have said we will be introducing amendments so that no questions of sexual and violent offences will be liable for conditional sentencing.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canadians heard more dithering when the justice minister dismissed calls for mandatory prison sentences from front line police groups by referring to evidence that such sentences do not work.

In the next breath, he also said that Canada already has mandatory minimums and that he has told police and victims groups that he will consider more of them.

Which is it? Is he for or against mandatory prison sentences? Will he admit that they are necessary in more crimes than is currently the case?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on a number of occasions, it almost is counterintuitive to think that mandatory minimum penalties will not work. When I took on this responsibility, I assumed that mandatory minimums would work. They were already in the Criminal Code with regard to gun related offences, among others.

The point is that the evidence that has emerged suggests, and not only suggests but has concluded, that they do not work, with adverse consequences for the criminal justice system, but we are open to taking any initiatives that will help promote public safety.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister is on the record as suggesting he is philosophically opposed to mandatory minimum sentences, but yesterday he stated that he has no aversion to these sentences.

Not only does the justice minister have to clarify this position, but he must explain to Canadians why legal counsel from his department stated in committee that extending mandatory prison terms to criminals would amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

I ask the minister, when Louise Russo is shot and confined to a wheelchair, when a four year old child is shot, or when a bus driver is shot in the face and blinded, is that not cruel and unusual punishment?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is mischaracterizing the evidence given before that committee. What was said before that committee was that if we ask for a mandatory minimum of 10 years, then we are running the risk of it being declared unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court itself has indicated.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, in September, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal found that imports of bicycles under $400 caused serious harm to the bicycle industry and even threatened its survival. This ruling recommends that the government apply safeguards, namely 30% duties the first year, 25% the second and 20% the third.

Does the Minister of International Trade intend to follow through on these recommendations and impose the safeguards suggested by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal?