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 #3 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was destruction.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite, who is very familiar with international law, will know that he is wrong in qualifying the right to consular access in these cases.

This young man in an unfortunate situation was arrested in the course of having been accused of killing an American serviceman in the course of a conflict. There is no consular access in the course of conflicts or we would have had consular access to all of our prisoners during the second world war.

We have access. We have requested to the United States to have access and it has assured us that we will have access. The Red Cross has assured us that the young man's health is in good condition. We continue to press the United States to ensure that his rights will be protected, but I want to assure the House--

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cumberland--Colchester.

National RevenueOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians are being denied the disability tax credit because the form is convoluted and complicated, but at least 20,000 disabled Canadians are being denied simply because the forms were not returned. Whether they are disabled or not, they are taken off the list, kind of like negative billing.

Has the minister made any effort to contact these people to find out why the forms were not returned?

National RevenueOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we are determined to see that those people who are entitled to receive this tax credit do so.

We also are consulting at the present time to ensure that the form is clearly understood. What we are finding through our consultations is that in fact there has been some confusion in the past. We are working very hard to make sure that anyone who needs information about how to fill out this form is able to receive it quickly.

I appreciate the member's question. We are determined to make sure that when we do our audit we do it in a way that conforms with the law and helps people get the assistance they need.

National RevenueOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the question again. Will the minister contact the between 20,000 and 30,000 Canadians who are disabled and who did not return the form? Will the department contact those disabled people to make sure they are able to reapply for the tax credit?

National RevenueOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we are aware that many people have not returned the form simply because they recognize that they no longer need the credit or do not in fact qualify.

However, wherever we have received a request for additional information or an explanation of the form we do that because we are determined to make sure that anyone who is entitled to receive this credit does receive it.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Canadian Alliance Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, on August 13 five lives were lost, including those of a mother and two small children, when the fishing vessel Cap Rouge II capsized. Coast Guard divers were directed not to attempt to rescue the persons trapped inside. Yesterday the Coast Guard commissioner stated that policy which would have permitted the divers to enter an overturned vessel had not been communicated to the divers.

What policy is he talking about?

The fleet safety manual prohibited divers from entering capsized vessels. Senior bureaucrats ordered them to stay out.

I ask the minister to table the policy which would have permitted a rescue attempt in this instance.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Coast Guard's diving policy is consistent with the Canada Labour Code. As such, divers do not enter restricted areas, but under the Canada Shipping Act there is a provision for joint coordinators of search and rescue to permit any actions necessary to save human life under reasonable circumstances.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Canadian Alliance Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian labour code does not prohibit rescue dives. The fleet safety manual does. This minister's policy does.

The real issue here is that the minister and his senior bureaucrats have created a straw man. They would rather be held accountable for failing to communicate policy than putting in place a policy that may have cost five people their lives, including a mother and her two small children.

If that is not true, I challenge the minister to table the appropriate policy documents.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the government offers its condolences to the families and friends of all the people whose lives were lost, but it regrets the actions by the members opposite and others who would have it seem to be the responsibility of the Coast Guard and due to actions of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard, the divers, search and rescue, the fire departments and all responders did a beautiful job. They save 1,500 people annually in B.C. and will continue to do so. To indicate any less is irresponsible.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the sponsorships scandal, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services yesterday denied that 80% of program spending was flawed.

However, the report produced by his department, which would give us a clearer picture, has yet to be made public, despite the minister's promise.

Why has the Minister of Public Works and Government Services not made this internal investigation report public, as he was supposed to do? Has he had a sudden change of heart?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, first, let me congratulate the hon. member on his new assignment as critic for this portfolio. I should have offered my good wishes yesterday. I forgot to do so and I will do so at this time.

I am pleased to inform the House that the review of files in my department, which I announced in the spring, is nearing its completion. There are some 720 different files that had to be examined, about 125 or 130 of those in great detail. I am informed that the report is being finalized. I am looking forward to it, just as I am sure the hon. gentleman is.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has always refused to conduct an investigation pointing to the internal investigation and police investigation already underway.

Could the minister tell us how many police investigations are underway, how many contracts they involve and which companies are being targeted by these investigations?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it has already been noted in the public domain that there are some 13 matters that the police may have inquired into. I cannot confirm the number of investigations because, of course, it is up to the police themselves to determine that which they will investigate and that which they will not.

Airline SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, on May 22 this year on the issue of the $24 air tax, the Minister of Transport promised in the House that the government “will review the charge in September”. It is now October 2. I ask the transport minister, when will we see the report that he promised, or did he keep his word at all?

Airline SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we will review the transport charge when we have adequate data in order to be able to review it properly. However, we do have a difference in principle with the opposition members. That is that we believe the users of the air transportation system should bear the costs of the additional security measures. They believe we should simply spend more and take it out of other revenues.

Airline SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, since the tax was introduced, Stephenville, Newfoundland; Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; and St. Leonard, New Brunswick have lost all Air Canada service. One airline in Saskatchewan has reported that boardings in Regina are down 52% and in Saskatoon they are down 42% from last year.

How many cities have to lose their air service before the government reacts by lowering or eliminating the air tax and getting more Canadians flying? When will the government listen?

Airline SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, boardings are down all across North America in the wake of the events of September 11 last year. In attempting to determine the appropriate level for the security charge in the last budget, an attempt was made to estimate the level of boardings that would be experienced during this year in light of those events. In fact the estimate was fairly close, although perhaps boardings will prove to be slightly fewer than had been estimated in advance. These are variables we will take into account in the review of the charge.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

October 2nd, 2002 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The secretary of state will be visiting the gulf region next week. In light of the increased tension in the area due to Iraq, would the secretary of state please tell us what he hopes to accomplish during this visit?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Elgin—Middlesex—London Ontario

Liberal

Gar Knutson LiberalSecretary of State (Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East)

Mr. Speaker, my trade mission to the gulf next week, accompanied by 30 Canadian companies, including SNC-Lavalin and EnCana, along with the member for St. Catharines, will stress that Canada's relationship with the Arab world is not simply one-dimensional. We can help achieve regional stabilities through strengthening our economic ties while at the same time conveying messages of Canadian values.

However, I will have the opportunity to sit down with leaders of these countries and convey Canada's desire to see a resolution of the current impasse regarding Iraq and the absolute necessity of getting the weapons inspectors back to work.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, another piece of hype in the government's throne speech is its claim to the free flow of people, goods and commerce at our borders. The reality at the border crossings in my riding is mile long backups and two to four hour delays. Is it the government's position that two to four hour delays constitute the free flow of goods?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we are monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis.

The safety and security of Canadians is paramount. We know that there is the occasional job action going on. There is a collective agreement and an ongoing grievance process. However, I can assure the member that safety and security is not being jeopardized and the flow of traffic is moving and is being monitored because we recognize its importance to all Canadians, as do the dedicated officers who are working at the borders.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, this problem existed prior to the job delays. Despite a significant influx of U.S. customs personnel at the border, delays are caused by the American concern over the lack of Canada's commitment to continental security. Despite all the agreements, the Americans still do not trust the Liberal government to provide an appropriate level of security. What steps is the government taking to alleviate these concerns?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I have met about every four to six weeks with the director of homeland security, Governor Tom Ridge. We were able to conclude a historic agreement which was acknowledged on September 9 at an important meeting in Detroit between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Canada.

I can honestly tell the member I do not know her source of information, but in all those months of meetings dealing with issues that have bedevilled both governments for years, I have never heard any of the U.S. officials, political representatives, or secretaries of the cabinet suggest that they had any doubts about Canada's security.

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Transport said that he had no doubt that highway 30 would be extended shortly. On January 29, 2001, he considered this same highway a priority. In the spring of 2001, work would be starting as soon as possible. In a letter dated August 20, 2001, it was again a priority, and on August 6, 2002, it was a question of weeks, if not days.

Rather than spouting one empty statement after another, will the Minister of Transport give a formal commitment today that he will sign the memorandum of understanding the Government of Quebec sent him almost ten months ago, in order to extend highway 30 between Candiac and Vaudreuil?