This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of the member's question. When I appeared before the immigration committee I said very clearly that I thought a safe third agreement with the United States could be beneficial and that we were pursuing those discussions. I have said that in the House.

I have also informed the member that we received $49 million. During the security concerns we have been able to add over 100 new immigration officers on the frontline to secure our borders. The member's question--

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lakeland.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister rejects the premise of anything anybody in the opposition says. The fact is that she has not stopped economic migrants from claiming refugee status. The fact is that she has not ended refugee claims from safe third countries. The fact is that she still has not put in place common standards with the United States. She has not done that. Those are the facts.

Will the minister of immigration finally admit that she has been wrong, that the chair of the committee is right, and make the changes we have been calling for, for eight long years.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has been a member of the immigration committee for quite some time. He should know and understand that while the Geneva convention allows for agreement between countries for a safe third provision, no country can or should act unilaterally.

I have said to him and to others that Canada is interested and has been interested for some time in negotiating a safe third agreement. I think there are a number of items that the member as a former member of the committee should understand.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question we asked him yesterday about airfare in the regions, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport said, and I quote:

All the measures taken... by the various departments promote fair competition.

If fair competition should lead to reasonable prices, does the Minister of Transport find it reasonable to have to pay $1,191.12 for an Ottawa-Mont-Joli return airfare, when one can fly to Europe for half of that amount?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, since the airline system was deregulated 15 years ago, consumers have been getting a good deal because prices have come down.

However, the fares between major cities are one thing, but those between smaller communities are another matter. The hon. member is right, small communities do not have the same advantages as larger ones in this country.

For that reason, we are going to encourage competition country-wide.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the minister that this is also a problem in northwestern Quebec.

In Abitibi, for instance, a round trip between Rouyn and Montreal cost $483 in 1995. Today, the same ticket costs $743. Is a 60% increase fair competition?

How can the minister say, as he did last week, that fares are cheaper and that there are more flights, when it is plain that the opposite is true?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, before September 11, the policy of competition in the airline industry was working extremely well. Seventy-five per cent of Canadians were within two hours driving distance of airports where there was choice, where there was competition and where there were fares that were quite acceptable. Had we not had the events of the 11th and the competition that emerged, the smaller communities gradually would have had a much better regime.

I was in British Columbia yesterday and the smaller communities in British Columbia have that competition. Unfortunately this is not uniform across the country and that is why we have to look at our policy to encourage further competition.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, following Catherine MacLean's tragic death just 10 months ago the foreign affairs minister said publicly that immunity should apply only in the course of a diplomat's duties. Yet the Liberals have been giving out blanket immunity in cases where it is not required by the Vienna convention.

Break and enter, sexual assault, drunk driving and other actual crimes against Canadians have nothing to do with diplomatic immunity, nothing to do with diplomatic duties.

I would like to ask the government in how many of the 90 plus cases in the last five years has Canadian justice been served by the waiving of diplomatic immunity.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this question has been asked a number of times by the hon. member. It has been answered many times. It has been answered in the House since the bill came in. It has been answered in committee. It has been answered here just recently.

I would like to tell the hon. member that he knows full well we have a zero tolerance policy, that we have brought that into place in the Department of Foreign Affairs and that it is below contempt that he would continue to use the MacLean incident in a cheap political manner.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the honest answer if the member chose to answer the question is three times. Three times diplomatic immunity has been waived, only three, which means that more than once a month a Canadian individual or a family is victimized by someone to whom the government has given immunity, and that causes genuine heartbreak.

The minister can do more than express regret after it happens. Genuine compassion means preventing hurt, not just reacting to it with crocodile tears after it happens.

This bill guarantees there will be more victims of crime so I want to ask the government if it will show compassion for the Canadian people and scrap the bill.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, one could only deduce from the comments across the floor that if he had the power the hon. member would in fact reduce and gut the entire Vienna convention so that we no longer are able to operate diplomatic relations with any country.

Immunity is a necessary condition to the ability of our Canadian diplomats abroad and our foreign diplomats to work. His continued inference that the people who come here to represent their countries are criminals is utterly disreputable.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, while he said he wanted to strengthen air transportation in Canada, the minister has to face the fact that the quality of service provided by air carriers has deteriorated and the complaints commissioner has received 2,912 complaints this year, an increase of 33%.

Where is air transportation in Canada headed and how does the Minister of Transport intend to reverse this deplorable trend?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in giving his report yesterday I think the commissioner gave the answer. The fact is that parliament through its good sense provided for the first time a complaints commissioner. This provides someone that passengers across the country can go to. That is why we are having such a large number as compared to before.

However, if the hon. member would look at what he also said, the airlines are dealing with these complaints and they are improving their service. The intent of parliament is indeed working.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the services provided by air carriers is deteriorating, in general terms, and the mediocrity of services in the regions, the exorbitant costs and the infrequency of flights is a threat to their development.

Is the minister going to continue to pretend everything is fine or will he assume his responsibilities and demand that air carriers correct the situation soon?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, unlike in western Canada where there still remains very healthy competition, the hon. member is right. There are certain communities across the country in rural Quebec, in northern Ontario and in parts of Newfoundland and Labrador which do not have the same degree of competition.

Unfortunately this has been set back because of the events of September 11. We have to ensure that our policy going forward encourages further competition, and that is indeed what the government is working on.

TerrorismOral Question Period

November 30th, 2001 / 11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, recently a business card belonging to 4-U Enterprises of Surrey, British Columbia, was found in an abandoned al-Qaeda hideout in Kabul. Amir Mohamed Hamad, reportedly killed in a bin Laden camp, and Essam Hafez Marzouk, now in an Egyptian prison, formed that company in 1998.

Could the solicitor general tell us if 4-U Enterprises or either of its founders were known to his ministry before that business card was found?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House, the RCMP and CSIS are working with their United States counterparts to make sure that any of these people are brought to justice. However what I cannot reveal is the message of an investigation. It would be inappropriate.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Here we go again, Mr. Speaker. Just yesterday a suitcase full of what appears to be middle eastern currency was found in a dumpster in Surrey and turned over to the RCMP. There is a report that cash is from Iraq.

Could the solicitor general confirm the country of origin of that cash? Could he tell us if there is any connection between that cash and the business card found in Kabul?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have respect for my hon. colleague for sure, but the fact of the matter is what I cannot do as solicitor general is reveal information that is involving an investigation.

My hon. colleague is fully aware all that would do is be harmful to one of the biggest, if not the biggest, criminal investigations in the history of the world.

Summit G-20Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the solicitor general. A few weeks ago barricades went up around the American embassy in Ottawa. Some of us thought initially that they would be removed once the G-20 event was over, but they are still there.

They are a hindrance and are affecting businesses. Are we to take it that these barriers are there permanently? If not, will he tell us when we can expect them to be removed?

Summit G-20Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am certainly aware, as is the RCMP, that these extra security measures around the United States embassy have been an inconvenience for the citizens and merchants of the Ottawa area.

We certainly thank them for their patience and assistance. I can assure them also that these measures will be in place only as long as they need to be for the security of the embassy.

Patent ActOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, while the government keeps dragging its heels over reproductive technologies, it could at least be banning private patents on life forms. Even its own appointed blue ribbon advisory committee on biotechnology has just recommended that companies should be banned from having patents over human beings.

Will the government today finally show some leadership and say that the patenting of human beings and all life forms is just not on and immediately introduce such changes to the Patent Act?

Patent ActOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is raising in the House the advice given in the advisory panel's interim report which recommends that there not be the possibility under Canada's legal structure that will allow for the cloning of human beings. The government absolutely agrees.

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, more resources are desperately needed in the aboriginal community to cope with a 91% increase of persons living with HIV-AIDS. Fully 20% of new cases are aboriginal people, yet only 9% of the funding from the Canadian AIDS strategy is directed towards them.

When will the funding scale of the Canadian AIDS strategy match the changing face of the AIDS pandemic? Why does the government not fund the AIDS crisis in the aboriginal community to the same degree that they fund the general population?