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House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are receiving contradictory information on the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Reuters is reporting that the International Committee of the Red Cross estimates that the numbers are low but the UN representative in Islamabad is concerned that they are on the rise.

Did the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was in Washington yesterday, have any discussions with his American hosts about this? Does he have other information he could share with us on this troubling matter?

AfghanistanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, all the discussions I had yesterday with my counterparts had to do with matters of security. I hope to speak with the U.S. secretary of state later today before leaving for the Middle East. I am certain that I will have an opportunity to speak with my counterparts in the Middle East and Asia about the situation in Afghanistan after the war.

AfghanistanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, these are not the only contradictory messages we are receiving.

Conflicting versions are coming from Mr. Bush's own entourage. According to defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Taliban is putting up more resistance than expected. According to secretary of state Colin Powell, the conflict will not go on for very long.

When he speaks to Mr. Powell, will the minister try to get some information and report back to us? The outcome of this conflict hinges on the answers.

AfghanistanOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will certainly discuss the situation in Afghanistan with the secretary of state when I have an opportunity.

I must say that it is not surprising that there is some slightly contradictory information, because this is a very complicated situation in which it is difficult to obtain precise information.

I am certain that in time we will have all the necessary information.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP under the Liberal government has suffered unprecedented cuts, with $175 million slashed from its budget and 2,200 job losses. How can the solicitor general boast about his new funding when RCMP detachments across the land are left begging for more money and adequate personnel?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said a number of times to my hon. colleague, the government, including the last budget and since, has put $2 billion into the public safety envelope. Just in the last couple of weeks the government put $100 million into policing and security intelligence agencies to make sure this country remains one of the safest countries in the world to live in.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, how can the solicitor general brag about his paltry increases to the RCMP? The reality is the RCMP has faced a decade of cuts and lost personnel. He is the solicitor general who gutted its resources. The remaining members are spread too thin and are left begging for adequate resources.

With the responsibilities expanded, does the solicitor general not understand that stable, long term funding is essential, especially with the added threat of terrorism?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am not just sure what my hon. colleague does not understand. He had special sources informing him yesterday.

What I am saying is that this government put $2 billion into the public safety envelope. The commissioner of the RCMP has indicated quite clearly he has the resources to fulfil his mandate. The director of CSIS has indicated it has the funding to fulfil its mandate. What does my hon. colleague want?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Tirabassi Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today's businesses, large and small, have become reliant on numerous technologies for their very existence. In keeping up with the ongoing changes and the speed with which changes occur, could the Minister of National Revenue explain what new initiatives the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency is undertaking in support of Canadian businesses?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency of course offers the business community a wide range of services online. Today I am pleased to report to the House that we have launched a new website for businesses called business registration online. It provides the opportunity to businesses to register for certain programs of Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and the government of Nova Scotia and the government of Ontario. This is a good initiative for the business community and this is what we can do when we work in co-operation.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, at the public accounts committee the commissioner of the coast guard admitted that unless a ship approaching Canada voluntarily announces its pending arrival the coast guard has no way of knowing who is approaching our shores.

My question is for the minister of fisheries in the Government of Canada. What assurance can the government give to Canadians that we are safe when no one has any idea what criminals may be reaching our shores?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to report to the House that we have adopted the same regulation as the U.S. in that all ships that come to Canadian ports are now required to provide 96 hours' notice, not 24 hours as in the past, so we can provide better security on our waters. This is a substantial increase and is very consistent with what the U.S. is doing.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is a voluntary announcement, not a required, supervised, “we found you” announcement. The coast guard has also been short $150 million a year for so many years under the Liberal government that it will need $2 billion to get the ships out to sea and out of dry dock.

Will the Minister of Finance tell us that there will be money in his upcoming budget to get the coast guard up to shape and doing the job properly?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, obviously the hon. member has not been following what has been happening in the coast guard. In fact the finance minister provided just last year $115 million to the coast guard to make sure that we can do the job.

The hon. member should spend more time reading the budgets and following closely instead of asking us questions before he has done his research.

Charitable OrganizationsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, L'Action nationale , which has been publishing for 85 years, is at risk of losing its right to issue tax receipts for donations.

According to Revenue Canada, “this publication does not meet the criteria for charity status”. It has had that status since 1967, and now Revenue Canada is withdrawing it.

Can the minister explain to us why L'Action nationale should have to lose its charity status, while he has not taken the same attitude toward the Council for Canadian Unity, which benefits from such a privilege?

Charitable OrganizationsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I can indeed confirm that this organization had its charity status withdrawn this past June.

As for any specific questions concerning it, I would like to point out that this is confidential information--

Charitable OrganizationsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, Oh!

Charitable OrganizationsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Liberal Outremont, QC

--under section 241 of the Income Tax Act.

I would also like to point out that the minister responsible for the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency does not intervene in decisions of this kind.

ApecOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Liberal Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, on October 20 and 21 Asia-Pacific leaders met in Shanghai to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Some media reports characterized the APEC statement on counterterrorism as weak. Would the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific please tell the House what was achieved at the summit?

ApecOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalSecretary of State (Asia-Pacific)

Mr. Speaker, the APEC leaders in fact issued a strong and unprecedented political statement unanimously condemning the terrorist attacks in the United States.

They committed themselves to enhanced co-operation on counterterrorism in very specific ways under the UN charter and other international laws. They in fact indicated in the statement that the APEC leaders are very much against terrorism.

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Health did not know what he was doing in the Apotex affair why was he not advised that he was breaking the law by the minister responsible for patents, the Minister of Industry?

Was it because this minister is also unaware of the law or was there another reason why he left his colleague to bear the cross?

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this member, like his party, seems to be learning the facts slowly so let us go through them again.

A week ago Canada did not have a secure supply of or access to the drugs we need. Now we do. We got Bayer to reduce the price to American levels. We also made sure that Canadians did not pay a cent more than they had to to get the drugs they need. The opposition knows from the facts that Bayer could not give us the drugs when we first asked.

Those are the facts. The member should remember them.

HousingOral Question Period

October 25th, 2001 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, a federal investment in social housing in the order of 30,000 to 40,000 units, which is what every national group agrees is needed, will produce 46,000 jobs immediately, increasing to 90,000 jobs in five years.

I would like to ask the finance minister now that he has finally agreed to a budget, first, will he honour his commitment to poor Canadians and not leave them out in the cold, and will he commit to such a housing program not only to help people who are homeless or poorly housed but as a sound economic investment in the country with good jobs?

HousingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in the last election we promised that we would house Canadians, as we always have. We committed $680 million in the Speech from the Throne on negotiating with the provincial ministers. As a matter of fact, we have a meeting at the end of November in Quebec City with all the provincial and territorial ministers of housing. I hope by then we will have a national housing program to which Canadians can look forward.

Pay EquityOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned this week that, after delaying the appeal for over nearly a year, the federal court will finally hear the case of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, which is trying to obtain recognition of the right of some 6,000 public servants to pay equity payments.

Will the President of the Treasury Board stop using legal means to prevent her own employees from being entitled to pay equity and does she intend to see they get justice by paying them their due?