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House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vote.

Topics

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are urgent needs in social housing and the government must take immediate action.

How can the Minister of Public Works and Government Services justify allocating to Quebec $147 million of the total budget of the program to create affordable housing when the province should get $163 million based on its demographic weight and $183 million based on actual needs? Why such a shortfall for Quebec?

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, Quebec will get its fair share, based on its demographic weight, of the total amount of $680 million that we announced during the last election campaign and included in the throne speech.

I already wrote to Ms. Harel, the minister. I met her in New York on Friday and I told her that instead of issuing a press release she should have read the letter carefully, because she would have understood that Quebec will get its share based on its demographic weight.

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, under the minister's plan, rent for the social housing units that would be built in Montreal would be $700 per month.

Does the minister not realize that at $700 per month needy families would not have access to these housing units and that his plan is totally off target?

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary.

Ms. Harel's press release says that a $25,000 involvement is necessary for these programs to work. It just so happens that we are proposing that $12,500 come from the federal government and that $12,500 come from the provincial government. This amounts to $25,000. I think we are on the right track.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is odd, is it not, how opposition ethics are blamed for something that cannot pass through the House with a majority government in place?

The reason the bill is not going forward is that it is an omnibus bill dealing with many issues such as sexual predators on the Internet, firearms, cruelty to animals and disarming a police officer.

This issue could have been separated out and the bill would have been passed through the House by now. I would like to ask the Minister of Justice why it is that sexual predators are not a priority of the government.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have made it plain over and over again that sexual predators are a priority of the government and the protection of our children is a priority of the government.

Unfortunately it does not appear to be a priority of the official opposition. We are ready this afternoon to pass Bill C-15. Why do they not put their petty posturing to one side and join us this afternoon in the passage of Bill C-15?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, talk about petty posturing. Three months ago in the House we passed a unanimous resolution to develop a sex offender registry, only to find out afterward that the government had no intention of bringing in enabling legislation to get the thing operational.

It is just another case of the government saying to the Canadian public “We will fix you up with sexual predators; we will bring in the legislation” and it is not doing a damn thing about it. I would like to know why the government is not dealing with sexual predators or a sex offender registry.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is asking us to put a registry in place like some of the states in the U.S., where less than 50% of the people convicted of crime register on the database.

What we have in this country is one of the best databases for police in the world. We work in co-operation with the provinces and territories to make sure we will continue to have the best database to support the RCMP and other police forces in the world.

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, this morning we learned that Loblaws is requiring its suppliers to stop labelling products as GMO free. The government's lack of leadership is creating chaos in the food industry.

Considering how tough the food industry is and considering that now we have a company like Loblaws resorting to bully tactics, what does the minister intend to do to avoid the situation becoming worse?

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I have said to the House a number of times, the Canadian General Standards Board is working with many partners in the industry to put in place a system so that we are able to label foods for genetic modification. Those regulations are not in place.

At this time the decision is there from the buyer to work with the seller to arrange how they will accept labelling at the present time, but there are no regulations at this time to allow that to happen.

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister seems not to understand the urgency here.

Now we have Loblaws forbidding its suppliers to provide it with GMO free labelled products. This is not the same thing at all.

Does the minister not see this as a signal not only that the producers of biological food items must be protected, but also that legislation must be passed so that GMO free labelling applies to all products?

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the process and the parties have been in place now for about 18 months in order to come up with a set of recommendations that can be used hopefully in the future for the labelling of products that have some parts that may be genetically modified or that are genetically modified.

I look forward, the government looks forward and the industry looks forward to the recommendation from that body, which, it tells me now, will not be before us until this fall. I encourage that group to get its work done and get its recommendations to us so that we can move forward in this area.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I rose on a point of order to indicate that the government was spending about $4 million or $5 million without the appropriate authority of the House of Commons. Now we find that the auditor general said on Bill C-4 in the Senate committee:

I am concerned about the transfer of large amounts of public money to foundations long before it will be spent on delivering services.

Why does the Minister of Natural Resources, who is responsible for Bill C-4, insist on engaging in shady accounting practices that will not stand up to the light of day?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. gentleman's question is absolutely wrong.

In order to establish a foundation of this nature there are three ways in which the government could proceed: either under specific legislation passed by the House, or under the general authority of the Canada Business Corporations Act, or by contract with an independent third party.

In any event the funding was provided for in the February 2000 budget and duly voted upon by the House.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, here we go again. A few years ago the Minister of Finance gave $2.5 billion for the millennium scholarship fund so he could spend the money just before the election. Here we have another slush fund being set up by the government so that it can just spend it before the next election. Therefore—

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair has concerns about some of the language being used and I urge the hon. member to show proper temperance in his speech.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, but when they set money aside in a private bank account I have to call it something. The point is that parliament has to know what is going on.

My question is for the minister. When will they keep the public in public business and ensure that the public knows what is going on and how taxpayer money is being spent?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the accounts of my department are audited by the auditor general. The funding arrangement between my department, the Department of the Environment and the new foundation will be reviewed by the auditor general.

The actual spending decisions by the foundation will be audited by a distinguished, independent auditing firm from the private sector according to generally accepted accounting principles fully within the law and all authorized by the budget of February 2000 in the House.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, as a member of parliament from Manitoba I am proud of the rich cultural diversity of my province. I am also proud of the government's commitment to create a more prosperous society that builds on the strengths of our citizens.

I understand that the member of parliament for Winnipeg North—St. Paul and Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific was in Winnipeg on Monday to announce Canada-Manitoba infrastructure program funding for the Philippine Canadian Centre. Could the secretary of state share with the House the importance of this project?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Winnipeg South Centre. Indeed I was pleased to announce yesterday on behalf of the minister responsible for the Canada-Manitoba infrastructure program funding for the Philippine Canadian Centre in Winnipeg to the tune of $900,000.

The centre will help with the settlement of new immigrants to the city and meet the social, educational and cultural requirements of that community and the community at large.

Human RightsOral Question Period

June 12th, 2001 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, complaints of grocery store supermarkets discriminating against low income people is a graphic example of why it is imperative to have social condition in the Canadian Human Rights Act. This has been recommended by the commission.

At the very least the government could stagger its own cheques to prevent stores from gouging poor people. Will the Minister of Justice take immediate action to change the way the government issues its cheques and change the act to include social condition in the Canadian Human Rights Act?

Human RightsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I do not think I am in a position to comment on how the government issues its cheques, but I will take that up with one of my colleagues, maybe the Minister of National Revenue.

In relation to the other issue of social condition, as the hon. member is probably aware, Mr. Justice La Forest undertook a review of the Canadian Human Rights Act. His task force issued a report with over 160 recommendations, one of which was to look at the possibility of adding social condition. We will pursue that as we—

Human RightsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Windsor—St. Clair.

EnergyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Wind Energy Association launched an initiative today. Its goal is to create 10,000 megawatts of wind power capacity and provide at least 5% of Canada's electricity by 2010.

At the same time communities across Canada continue to issue smog alerts and thousands of Canadians are suffering from the harmful effects of air pollution.

Will the government take the opportunity today to endorse the association's ten by ten initiative?

EnergyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, in the last couple of hours I have had an opportunity to receive the document from the Canadian Wind Energy Association. It will be reviewed with a great deal of care by the government.

I would also point out that we have been purchasing green power in the province of Alberta for the last three years. We will be purchasing green power in the province of Saskatchewan before the end of this year. Two weeks ago we signed a new wind power agreement in the province of Prince Edward Island.