House of Commons Hansard #72 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was saskatchewan.

Topics

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government is very concerned about this unilateral action by North Dakota. That is why in April of last year we formerly approached the United States to make the outlet the subject of a joint reference to the International Joint Commission.

Tomorrow, the Prime Minister and I intend to raise the issue with President Bush and Secretary Rice. We will remind them that it is in the interest of the United States just as much as it is in Canada's interest to take a responsible attitude to protect our precious transboundary water resource projects, such as the Devils Lake outlet. They must be fully assessed before they are implemented.

Air-India
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the former senior minister from British Columbia has publicly stated that slamming the door on a public inquiry to find out what happened in the Air-India bombing would be a betrayal of the Liberal Party's commitments to Canadians.

The current Minister of Health has publicly stated that CSIS treated the Air-India crisis in a casual manner because it involved people from the South Asian community. Former MP and Solicitor General critic, John Nunziata, has said that there was a massive cover-up. All Liberals.

What is the government afraid of? A public inquiry is needed. Will the Prime Minister commit today to a public inquiry if there is no appeal?

Air-India
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, far from there being a cover-up in this tragic incident, there has been a considerable number of reviews and hearings including the longest criminal trial in the history of this country.

I have offered, along with key government officials, to meet with family members and representatives. I would like to sit down with them, identify the questions that they think are still unanswered, and then determine whether at this point, 20 years later after this tragedy, we can find useful answers to those questions for the families.

Air-India
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

That is another weak answer, Mr. Speaker, and another betrayal of the victims' families.

It is unbelievable that the government would show no respect to the 329 families and refuse to ensure that this never happens again. We know what the families are calling for. They have been calling for a public inquiry for 20 years. As a spokesperson for the families said, “The dead deserve more”. These families deserve more.

Will the Prime Minister apologize to the 329 families of victims of the Air-India disaster for the cavalier comments of the Deputy Prime Minister? Will he commit to a public inquiry today?

Air-India
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I find it very interesting that it is this government, and indeed myself in my capacity as minister of public safety and the first public official who has offered to sit down with these family members and talk to them about what happened 20 years ago and, in fact, what has changed.

Indeed, this was a horrible tragedy. The very least we can do is sit down with the families and work together to determine what lessons can be learned.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the federal budget set aside $1 billion in a fund to reduce CO

2

emissions in Canada or to buy hot air credits from other countries.

Last week the environment minister said Canada needs to build power plants in China to meet Canada's obligations. Every dollar Canada spends to build plants in China is a dollar not spent in Canada to reduce emissions. China has no Kyoto commitments.

Why is the minister proposing to buy hot air in China instead of investing in Canadian technology?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the improved climate change plan that will be released pretty soon will increase tremendously the capacity of Canadian technology to succeed here in Canada and everywhere in the world. It will be a way to improve our capacity and show Canadian knowledge about environmental technologies. It will be very good for the economy.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is putting the cart before the horse here. China is building power plants as fast as it can and already has plans to build 562 new coal fired plants. It is not accountable to us. It is ludicrous to buy these hot air credits. We should not be rewarding China's poor environmental record.

Why is the government prepared to spend billions in China, instead of investing in Canadian technology which will help the world?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we will invest in technology in Canada.

My colleague said that China will use dirty coal. The best technology to have clean coal in China appears to come from Calgary. In using our investment to improve our technology in Canada and using our investment to help our industry to export abroad, we will help the planet. We will help the environment. We will help the economy.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

March 22nd, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, thousands of vehicles cross into Canada illegally each year without stopping at customs. Unfortunately, this government refuses to acknowledge this as a concern to our national security.

In fact, the minister told a House committee recently that only a few drivers blow through the border in a given year. Yet, her own agency has testified that there are thousands going through without any consequences.

My question is for the minister. Why has this government failed to do what is right for the protection of Canadians and their border, and made security a priority?

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, security, whether at the border or elsewhere, is a priority for this government, which is why we spent over $9 billion in total since the tragic events of September 11. The hon. member may not know that some 71 million people cross our border every year. In fact, there are those who would choose to break the law and cross the border illegally.

Let me assure this House that every one of those brought to the attention of the CBSA is pursued and they are dealt with appropriately under the law. Let me also say that in this budget, due to the far-sightedness of my colleague, the Minister of Finance--

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Portage—Lisgar.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, our border cannot be secured by patrols that are armed only with calculators.

The fact is that an armed border patrol is estimated to cost about $15 million. Perhaps the government could find that money in the $1 billion failed gun registry that protects no one in this country. This government chooses to protect the security of the Canadian border by having our personnel act as tax collectors rather than as law enforcement agents.

When will the government commit to properly training and equipping the Canadian Border Services Agency?

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, CBSA agents are peace officers under the law, as the hon. member is probably aware. They are trained and they are properly equipped.

Let me remind the hon. member that in this most recent budget we have received some $433 million additional dollars to ensure that the CBSA is able to carry out its job at its border to protect Canadians. In addition, I remind the hon. member of the some $135 million received by the RCMP to create integrated border enforcement teams which work with the CBSA and other law enforcement agencies to protect Canadians.