House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was students.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister told the defence committee that Norad would have died had Canada not agreed to provide radar information to the U.S. missile defence system.

The minister's delineation between presence and participation in missile defence is spin-doctoring. He thinks that just because Canada does not push the button, it is absolved of meaningful participation. This is simply false.

The Prime Minister has said we are not in missile defence, but the minister has confirmed we are. Who are Canadians to believe?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I hope Canadians will believe the accurate reporting of what I actually said before the committee. What I said was that we are participating with our American colleagues in providing information about what is going on around space and around Canada and the United States because we are their partners in the defence of North America and that is a natural thing for Norad to do.

That does not make us participants in the ballistic missile delivery system. What it makes us is participants in the defence of North America as a great colleague with the United States. We are building stronger ties every day and we will continue to do so.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is obscuring the facts: we are in missile defence.

Yesterday the minister said that “at the moment we've decided not to” participate in missile defence. Does this mean that the Liberal government will reconsider Canada's participation in the future?

Was the Prime Minister's recent decision merely a ploy to ensure that he would receive a favourable vote on his leadership at the Liberal convention?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this government and this Prime Minister take policy decisions for the good of Canadians and for the good of Canada. Our government is committed to providing the correct defence posture for our country.

We will work with our American colleagues in defending North America, but we will work with them in our way, under our conditions, with our priorities, under the direction of our Prime Minister.

Passports
Oral Question Period

April 6th, 2005 / 3 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, in paragraph 3.46 of her report, the Auditor General expresses surprise that the Passport Office does not always possess the information it needs to refuse to issue a passport to individuals who are not entitled to one.

How does the government justify the fact that the Passport Office is so ill-equipped, even though crown prosecutors always have access to such information, and have had for quite a while, by the time a defendant appears in court within 24 hours after arrest?

Passports
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP and the Passport Office share information and are in further discussions to ensure that all information presently found in CPIC and relevant to the Passport Office's activities is shared in real time.

In addition, on March 31 of this year, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Passport Office and the Correctional Service of Canada to ensure for any of those in the corrections system at any stage, including parole, that information is provided to the Passport Office so that it can act upon it accordingly.

Passports
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not what the Auditor General said. The information does not seem to be used in a timely manner.

Not only is security control lacking when passports are issued but, furthermore, we learn in paragraph 3.94 that the government has acted illegally by not revealing how it is using the fees collected.

How does the government explain that as it was increasing passport fees by over 40%, it was drastically lowering its service standards?

Passports
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Passport Office finances its own operations from the fees its collects for passports. This has been the practice for a number of years. So, this agency finances its own operations with the revenues from passports.

I want to add that what the Deputy Prime Minister said is quite appropriate. We have already signed a memorandum of understanding with the RCMP to improve the exchange of information.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I wish to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of Mr. George Chuvalo, former Canadian heavyweight boxing champion and recipient of the Order of Canada in recognition of his dedication to Canada's youth.

I invite all hon. members to a reception to meet Mr. Chuvalo, following the votes, which I believe are imminent.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, during question period the Speaker ruled that perhaps I should withdraw the comments I made because I might have unfairly impugned members on the other side. I guess we will leave that to the people of Canada and Judge Gomery to decide, but I do believe that my words were unparliamentary so therefore I withdraw.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as a consequence of discussion in question period today, I wonder if there might not be unanimous consent for the following motion, seconded by the hon. member for Toronto--Danforth, the leader of the NDP: “That, notwithstanding the Standing Orders or usual practices of the House, a minister of the Crown be permitted to table a bill without notice that implements the Atlantic accord; when such a bill is called for debate it be deemed read the second time and referred to a committee of the whole, deemed considered in committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage, deemed read a third time and passed”.

This would certainly clear up any problem and we could all get our wish to have this accord passed immediately.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to indicate the support of the New Democratic Party for this proposal. This will move the long awaited aspirations of Atlantic Canada into being. We call on all members to support the motion today.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the House give its consent to the motion proposed by the Leader of the Opposition?

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.