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House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me say again that this government has taken the threat of organized crime very seriously. Since 1994 we have been working with the provinces, the territories and law enforcement agencies all over the country to make sure that we have the right laws in place.

Let me assure the hon. members of the opposition that if we need new laws we will get new laws.

Let us look at law enforcement and what we need to do in terms of making sure the police have the tools and the resources necessary to fight organized crime. That is why my colleague, the solicitor general, has been so successful in getting more finances for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other law enforcement agencies to fight organized crime.

Drugs And PharmaceuticalsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

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

In Canada today we spend more money on drugs than we do on doctors. For seven straight years the federal Liberal government has been promising to bring in a drug plan and promising to do something to drive down the cost of prescription drugs.

My question for the Prime Minister is very simple: Where is the drug plan?

Drugs And PharmaceuticalsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, exactly a week ago, the Prime Minister, all the premiers and the leaders of the territories managed to have an historic accord on health. In this accord the provincial governments and the federal government have agreed on a plan to deal with all the elements of the health of Canadians.

Drugs And PharmaceuticalsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the only premiers who got exactly what they wanted were Klein, Harris and Bouchard, and the Prime Minister knows it.

Today there are seniors everywhere who are being forced to choose between the prescription drugs they need and the groceries they require. What do the Liberals do? They applaud. One out of ten patients in this country cannot afford to pay for his or her prescription drugs. What do the Liberals do? They applaud again.

I ask the Prime Minister, again, where is the drug plan?

Drugs And PharmaceuticalsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, one of the elements that was agreed to among all governments in the health action plan was that we would work together to solve some of the problems the member referred to.

Let us look at the NDP's position on health. In the 1997 election it said it wanted to move the cash floor and the transfers for health purposes to $15 billion. We have now undertaken, under the plan, to move it to $21 billion. The NDP said it wanted to add $7 billion to the transfer for health care. We have now added five times that much. It wanted to add $2.5 billion—

Drugs And PharmaceuticalsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint John.

Fuel CostsOral Question Period

September 18th, 2000 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians could be faced with one of the coldest winters on record, made worse because of the skyrocketing price of heating their homes. Senior citizens and the less fortunate in our country will be hit the hardest by their heating costs.

Will the Prime Minister help low income families and the seniors of this nation by immediately cutting the GST on home heating fuel?

Fuel CostsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that higher oil prices are causing great pain and that governments at both levels, federal and provincial, have to deal with it. However, let us understand where the problem lies.

The problem lies not in the gas prices themselves, which have not gone up, but in the fact of these very high oil prices. That is what we as a government and other governments around the world have to deal with. It makes no sense to have a small cut, which would occur if only one level of government acted alone, because it would simply disappear into the pumps or into the profits of the oil companies. It would not benefit those people—

Fuel CostsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint John.

Fuel CostsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like us to deal with what we can deal with in the House. I would like the government to deal with that.

Canadian truckers have seen a 40% increase in the cost of diesel fuel and are facing difficult decisions about keeping their rigs on the road. We must think about the effect on our economy if those trucks do not deliver.

The Minister of Finance keeps saying that he has to talk to the provinces. He never talked to the provinces when he raised the taxes, so why talk to the provinces when he has to lower them?

Will the minister commit right here and now to cut in half the excise tax on diesel fuel?

Fuel CostsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, surely the hon. member knows of the presence of the GST tax credit. Surely the hon. member knows that in our last budget we indexed all the benefits and that these accrue directly to senior citizens.

At the same time, surely the hon. member knows that the last time her leader was in government he raised the excise tax six times. It was also his government that introduced the tax on diesel fuel.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, back on March 5, 1998 in the Edmonton Journal , the justice minister promised to protect prosecutors, prison guards and police officers reportedly intimidated by members of outlaw biker gangs. This promise was as empty as her 1997 promise to make the Young Offenders Act a priority.

In light of the horrific incident involving crime reporter Michel Auger, why has the minister done nothing about the bloody turf war in Quebec and many other parts of the country?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as we have already made clear, since 1994 organized crime and fighting organized crime has been a priority of the government.

As the hon. member should know, and I look forward to hearing his views on it, we issued a consultation paper just a few months ago in terms of the intimidation of key actors in the justice system.

What I find interesting is that nobody, as far as I know, from the official opposition has bothered to comment on that paper.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I do not hear much consolation for Mr. Auger.

I have heard the minister say “since 1994”. It is now 2000 and nothing is happening. “If we have a need for legislation” she says “then we will have legislation”. One hundred and fifty people have died as a result of gang wars in Quebec alone. Organized crime is threatening the economic and social stability of the country.

No more promises. It is time for action. After six years, can the justice minister explain to me why there is no plan to deal with this deadly problem?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, not only is there a plan, there is a plan that federal, provincial and territorial ministers agreed to last year and reiterated their commitment to just last week when we met at Iqaluit.

The hon. member wants to know what we are doing. Well I guess since 1994 he has been asleep. He has missed the anti-smuggling initiative. He has missed the witness protection program. He has missed Bill C-17. He has missed integrated proceeds of crime. He has missed Bill C-95. He has missed Bill C-8. He has missed the cross-border crime forum. He has missed the joint statement on organized crime. He has missed Bill C-51. He has missed the Extradition Act. He has missed the $15 million for surveillance at international airports.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice is quick to remind others of things they have forgotten.

However, she herself has forgotten that the governments of Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Sûreté du Québec, the Press Council, the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, are all calling upon her to pass anti-gang legislation. Has she forgotten this already? Is she going to come up with it?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, my predecessor, the then minister of justice, worked with Quebec officials and other provincial officials to put in place an anti-gang law that came into force in 1997.

We know by working together that organized crime is pervasive, insidious and that it evolves. Therefore it is important that our laws evolve. My deputy minister and the solicitor general's deputy minister will be in Quebec tomorrow meeting with their counterparts to see what changes we need to make to our laws more effective to break the back of organized crime.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister that amending the criminal code is their responsibility. It is up to them. The citizens of Quebec, all of these organizations, and all of these governments want to know this evening whether there will be anti-gang legislation or not.

I would ask the Prime Minister to look straight into the camera and to tell all Quebecers who will be watching this evening “Yes, there will be anti-gang legislation”. That is what is expected of him.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, my officials and the solicitor general's officials are going to Quebec tomorrow. They will be meeting with Quebec officials and other provincial and territorial counterparts.

If we need changes to the criminal code to effectively fight organized crime those changes will be made.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Reform Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is of the opinion that taking a firm position in connection with biker gangs is too extreme.

What we in the Canadian Alliance find extreme is the current wave of violence and the underfunding of our police forces.

Could the minister tell us again what he considers too extreme?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague heard the last budget he would be well aware of what the government did. It put its money where its mouth was and made sure that the RCMP and other police forces across the country had the tools to do the job. The RCMP received $585 million, out of which $116 million went to upgrade CPIC to make sure that we had the most up to date computer system across the land.

The government will continue to make sure that police forces have the tools to do their job.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Reform Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister's words are far from reassuring. The Canadian Police Association is calling for a law with some teeth and the RCMP is calling for more funding.

Is the minister of the opinion that the Canadian Police Association and the RCMP are extremist organizations?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is, with all due respect, ridiculous. We are working closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. As the solicitor general has indicated, the government has provided an unprecedented infusion of new resources to the RCMP so it can work with its provincial and territorial counterparts to fight organized crime.

Let us not forget that local and provincial policing is a local and provincial matter. However, we are at the table doing our share. As I said before, if we need new laws to fight organized crime we will work with our provincial and territorial colleagues to make sure that we have those effective laws in place.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is unfortunate about EI reform is the minister's insensitivity to the terrible consequences for our seasonal workers and their families.

With surpluses of more than $6 billion annually, how can the minister justify her continued assault on seasonal workers, such as those in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, North Shore, Charlevoix, Gaspé and lower St. Lawrence regions, and their families?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the hon. member will know that by statute, every five years we have to review the employment insurance boundaries. We are implementing those changes as we speak.

We are very concerned about the impact of these changes on seasonal workers in western New Brunswick and on the north shore of Quebec. Last week I along with my colleagues, the ministers of revenue and labour, were pleased to announce changes that will transition us over four years to these new boundaries. That is absolutely out of respect for the impact that these have on seasonal workers.