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 #52 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chapter.

Topics

EnergyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows that the biggest and cheapest energy source is conservation, and yet the U.S. vice-president clearly signalled yesterday that the Bush administration's choice is open ended fossil fuel consumption. The heck with conservation.

Why is the government going along with the American's decision to thumb their noses at the international Kyoto consensus? Why will Canada not act responsibly, denounce the American's environmental recklessness and restore Canada's international reputation for conservation and environmental stewardship?

EnergyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just said a minute ago that the goal of the government is to achieve the objectives that were agreed upon in Kyoto.

The government has already done one-third of what has to be done to meet the level that was established in Kyoto. We intend over the period that has been allocated to meet the objectives of Kyoto. It is the environmental policy of the Canadian government.

EnergyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows that there are made in Canada solutions, that we could be doing a lot more about environmentally responsible alternatives ourselves, things that Canada could be exporting with a vengeance.

Instead of promoting these alternatives which would be in Canada's interest economically and environmentally, why is the government acting like the drug dealer helping to keep the American's habit going?

EnergyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is well known for its major investments in new technology. Let us look at the money and the success of Ballard in Vancouver.

Is the member for Halifax proposing that the Canadian government stop selling natural gas from Nova Scotia to the American market?

Canada Mortgage And Housing CorporationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, as part of its fight against poverty the government is insuring the construction of million dollar condominiums at One Post Road in Toronto. CMHC is also insuring the construction of Thornwood in Toronto. Those units start at $400,000 each.

What is the total amount of taxpayer money being used in projects like these to insure condominiums for the rich? What is the total liability of the Government of Canada if these construction projects fail?

Canada Mortgage And Housing CorporationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has established a mortgage insurance program with financial institutions. It does provide mortgage insurance. The program has helped many people who needed affordable housing. For example, 95% of a mortgage can now be insured so that people can have access to housing. We cannot have it both ways.

Let me assure the member that CMHC's insurance program is profitable and costs the taxpayers nothing.

Canada Mortgage And Housing CorporationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the government promised to provide housing for the poor and the homeless. But in fact the Liberals are subsidizing condominiums for the rich. In Calgary, in Quebec and elsewhere, some Canadians spend over 50% of their salary on housing, but the Liberals would rather help the rich.

When exactly will the government announce a national housing strategy for low income and homeless Canadians?

Canada Mortgage And Housing CorporationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, very soon.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, regarding documents moving in and out of Canada, the immigration minister stated that her officials look at the documents but they do not read them.

How does the minister know and, more important, how can Canadians be sure that her officials only look at the documents and do not read them?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. My department does not read the member's grandmother's mail.

We receive and inspect documents that customs believes and suspects are fraudulent. How does the member think that the Ressams of this world operate? They use phony passports, false birth certificates and forged documents.

We do not read the mail. We use sophisticated, high tech equipment to identify fraudulent documents using the most up to date techniques.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, now the minister says that it is okay to read the mail. In a recent immigration standing committee, the minister stated “Canadians love the fact that we are free. Nobody monitors our movements. Nobody checks our whereabouts in a way which makes us feel like big brother is watching us”.

That is what she said but it flies in the face of what she actually does. She acts like big brother when she opens our mail. When will the minister end this practice?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the member is wrong. My department does not open mail. Customs has the authority under the law to check documents and packages coming into Canada. It looks for fraudulent documents.

It was that party in 1994 that identified a loophole when a fraudulent document was identified by customs. In 1994 there was nothing the Government of Canada could do about it. That party said that we should fix that law and in 1995 we did.

Today that party has flip flopped. It wants Canada to be the fraudulent document capital of the world.

Food InspectionOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the minister refused to answer our questions on the Starlink corn grown in Canada and currently sold on the Quebec and Ontario markets.

As seeding is about to begin, can the minister guarantee that, since last Friday, his department has tracked down the contaminated seeds?

Food InspectionOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there was some confusion in the question yesterday in which corn was referred to as food. It was seed corn.

The company found some genetically modified seed corn and withheld the sale of it. The rest of the lot of corn that tested negative did go out to some farmers. It is my understanding that it has not been planted. The company will recall it and make sure that it is negative as the original test showed.

Food InspectionOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past three months, the Starlink gene has been found in feed corn, in corn sold in groceries and, more recently, on the Quebec and Ontario seed markets.

Will the minister admit that not only is his inspection system no longer adequate to control Starlink shipments to Canada, but that it also cannot control the production of genetically modified corn in the country?

Food InspectionOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the system is working. When we find a product we are concerned about, it is recalled and taken off the market.

Business Development Bank Of CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, after it failed in its unlawful fishing expedition to seize and destroy documents related to the Auberge Grand-Mère, the Business Development Bank is again trying to cover for the Prime Minister by demanding documents that may or may not exist.

Why is the BDC, a crown corporation of the government, helping to conceal the Prime Minister's involvement in the Auberge Grand-Mère?

Business Development Bank Of CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that statement is absolutely false.

Business Development Bank Of CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, that was a question and I have another one for the minister.

The BDC, the Prime Minister and all his ministers insist that the firing of the BDC president had nothing to do with the Auberge Grand-Mère but then the BDC mounted an unlawful raid on his private home and is now trying again to seize documents. I wonder what is in those documents that they are so afraid of over there.

Instead of using the BDC to protect him, why will the Prime Minister not call for an independent inquiry which might happen to clear him?

Business Development Bank Of CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, just to be consistent, those additional statements were also false.

Space ShieldOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a telephone conversation yesterday with the Prime Minister, President Bush indicated that the States wanted to involve their allies, including Canada, in a proposed space shield. In addition, at the Quebec City summit, the Prime Minister discussed this matter with President Bush.

Can the Prime Minister inform this House on the content of his discussions with the American president yesterday?

Space ShieldOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the President is speaking on the subject at the moment.

He told me simply that he would be giving a speech and intended to fulfill a promise he had made to us and to other political leaders, in Europe, Russia and China, that there would be dialogue with these countries before the Americans decided on the matter.

Space ShieldOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, could the Prime Minister make a commitment that at no time will his government take a stand on this proposal without holding a debate and a vote on it in the House?

Space ShieldOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there could be a vote very quickly if the members of his party take an opposition day to debate the issue.

I think it is entirely premature, because the American proposal has not yet been made public. They intend to make a proposal and to try to convince others to accept it.

So, we will wait and see what they have to propose. We will have a dialogue with them. I imagine it could take not only weeks, but probably months, if not years, before a conclusion is reached.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Joe Peschisolido Canadian Alliance Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, in February the Minister of Transport said that a dedicated fuel tax with regard to the highway system was a good idea. However, over the weekend he said that it was a bad idea.

The minister has admitted that his own highway program is a mere drop in the bucket. Why then has the Minister of Transport rejected out of hand one of the possible solutions to our impending highway crisis?