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House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offenders.

Topics

Nuclear IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has made no decision on the program to dispose of Russian plutonium.

Senior officials have met representatives of Greenpeace on several occasions. They are aware of their concerns and share many of them, naturally.

At some point, if the government decides to go ahead with this program, it will certainly be on condition that safety and environmental standards are set and that this does not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is getting awfully close to decision time. I think it is fair to say that every responsible citizen and every responsible nation agree that we need to rid the planet of weapons grade plutonium.

The G-8 proposal under active consideration is simply too high risk: too high risk in environmental insecurity and in health terms. Why is the government not now using its diplomacy, its influence and its resources to promote the immobilization of plutonium as the safer solution?

Nuclear IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, the Canadian government has not yet taken a decision.

We received representations from Greenpeace and some other groups. We share some of those recommendations. There is nothing in front of us on the table right now. We will assess the situation and if we go ahead we will be sure it is in conditions that are safe, sound environmentally and do not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Access To InformationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government has set its attack dog, Liberal lawyer David Scott, on the access to information law. Mr. Scott has filed 15 separate legal proceedings designed to keep the Prime Minister's records secret. He wants to hide information that may shed more light on the Prime Minister's inference in Shawinigate.

Did the regular lawyers of the Department of Justice refuse to launch these actions which are designed to subvert the law of parliament? Why is the Prime Minister trying to shut down the information commissioner?

Access To InformationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the law is a law that was passed by the Conservative government. It is being implemented. We want to respect the law.

There is a debate among lawyers on how to interpret that. There is nothing to hide, but there is some confidentiality in government that has been authorized by parliament. The lawyer is arguing with the other lawyers about exactly what we have to make public or not make public. I will do whatever the court decides.

Access To InformationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government's task force asked the Public Policy Forum to consider the Access to Information Act.

Could the Minister of Justice confirm that the first round of discussions was held in camera, in the absence of the media? Why are meetings on the subject of openness held behind closed doors?

Access To InformationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, far from being secret, my colleague the President of Treasury Board and I have put in place a process by which all Canadians can participate in our review of access to information legislation.

It is true that we are consulting with those who use the act and have studied the act, but we are also encouraging all Canadians through our website and by other means to participate in an open and public dialogue about the future of access to information.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, Bill Sampson has been in a Saudi prison for six months now. He has never been charged with any crime and yet may potentially face the death penalty. Canadians are deeply concerned about his fate.

He was visited yesterday by our ambassador and by a doctor. Would the government bring us up to speed on the condition of Mr. Sampson?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada has regularly raised the case of Mr. Sampson with Saudi authorities and has, on a number of occasions to the various authorities, expressed its concerns over his treatment, his right to have a lawyer and his right to a fair and impartial trial.

Canada reacted swiftly and firmly to recent reports that Mr. Sampson had been mistreated. We called in the Saudi ambassador. We had meetings. Our ambassador in Riyadh had meetings with the deputy minister of the interior, and we will continue to put on pressure.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that this is a very delicate situation. There have been fairly recent newspaper reports speculating on his condition.

We know that the ambassador visited him yesterday with a doctor. Canadians are very concerned. I wonder if the parliamentary secretary could tell us about Mr. Sampson's medical condition.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows because he was briefed this morning, we do not have the doctor's report yet.

Like I said yesterday, as soon as we have the report we will analyze the situation. We will continue to put pressure on Saudi authorities for good treatment for Mr. Sampson. I can assure Mr. Sampson and his family that we are doing all things possible to have a good situation for him.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the existing Young Offenders Act is flexible enough to allow Quebec to deal successfully with its young offenders. The new act is much stricter when it comes to standardizing the approach with young offenders from coast to coast.

Will the Minister of Justice admit that there is still time to refer the bill back to the committee before it is passed at third reading and to amend it so that Quebec can continue to apply the act as it is currently doing so successfully? There is still time, Madam Minister.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, we have gone out of our way to ensure that the legislation is flexible and will permit local jurisdictions to pursue policies, programs and approaches that they feel are fitting for their young people, their communities and their provinces.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a problem. According to the minister, the judges, lawyers, the national assembly, stakeholders and police officers in Quebec are all mistaken. Everyone is mistaken except the minister, who is in Ottawa but who knows what is going on in Quebec.

Is the minister not making young Quebecers pay the price for Canadian unity? This is the truth.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, indeed, nothing could be further from the truth. Let me underscore again that the legislation is flexible and permits local approaches.

Therefore I encourage the province of Quebec to continue those policies and programs that work for Quebec. As I have said before, we will even give it more money to do it.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Canadian Alliance Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, last year in Canada gasoline averaged 41 cents a litre before tax. At the same time in the U.S. the average price of a litre of gasoline was 47 cents before tax. Yet after taxes a Canadian litre costs 71.2 cents whereas an American litre would cost 62 cents, a difference of 9 cents a litre because of the different tax rates.

The current energy crisis is an American crisis, but Canadian consumers are paying more than U.S. consumers for gas. Given that Canadians are now paying all time record prices for gasoline, when will the government provide tax relief for gasoline prices?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, gasoline taxes are imposed at both the federal and provincial levels. In many instances the taxes at the provincial levels are higher than they are at the federal level.

The Canadian government has offered to sit down with the provinces. It has recognized that if action is to be taken on this basis it would have to be taken by both levels of government. So far the provinces have not indicated a desire to do so.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Canadian Alliance Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the government did not have to consult with the provinces before it raised gas taxes, so as the senior level of government why will it not show some leadership, cut gas taxes and provide relief to Canadian motorists?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as a number of provinces have already indicated, unless there were a very large decrease it would not make any difference given the volatility of the price. That would require action by both levels of government and the majority of provinces have said exactly that.

Department Of Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

May 29th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, through its official propaganda office, the Canada Information Office, the government has decided to further step up it propaganda activities and is now meddling in the content of educational material intended for schools in Quebec.

Will the minister tell us the principles which guided cabinet in changing the content of educational material intended for Quebec?

Department Of Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the program under which funding was provided is one which was begun when Lucien Bouchard was secretary of state.

Department Of Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

An hon. member

That was ten years ago.

Department Of Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we want is for the minister to stop interfering in matters that concern Quebec's department of education.

Why is the minister butting in?

Department Of Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Bloc Quebecois sees problems where none exist.

The program was introduced by the former secretary of state, who wanted all students throughout Canada to have access to educational materials in both official languages. This is only normal in a bilingual country.

EnergyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week the premier of Alberta announced that he plans on meeting with American vice-president Dick Cheney in an effort to discuss energy exports. The Prime Minister's reaction is to claim federal jurisdiction in the matter, undermining the premier's credibility or at least attempting to do so.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Why does the Prime Minister insist on turning provincial initiatives into power struggles?