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House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Liberal Hamilton East, ON

The hon. member in question has always served the people of Canada and the people of Prince Edward Island well. It is unfortunate that a few people in central Canada do not understand Canada's Atlantic regions policy.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the end, what guarantee do we have that the new bill on ethics will really improve things and that it will not just be a smokescreen, considering that the Prime Minister, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the former Minister of National Defence, the former Solicitor General and the ministers of Public Works have shown and are continuing to show that the problem goes beyond ethics and is in fact rooted in a blatant lack of political morals?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will get the answer to his question in 25 minutes.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the coalition of industries in Canada who oppose the Kyoto accord is growing each and every day. The steel producers are opposed because of its impact on jobs and economic growth. Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters has estimated that at least 450,000 jobs will be lost in the manufacturing sector alone.

My question is for the Minister of Industry. Why is the government continuing to ignore the concerns of our industries in Canada on this issue?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, far from ignoring the concerns of industry, we have been engaged in constant consultations with the private sector and business over the past five years since the Kyoto accord was signed. This is ongoing. In fact we even delayed a meeting that was scheduled for two days ago until next week because we wanted to continue those discussions and make sure that we had an opportunity to incorporate their views in the federal document.

We are working very closely with industry as well as the provinces and territories on what is a national, pan-Canadian, all-Canadian approach to this issue.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, if Canada ratifies the Kyoto accord it will be the only major industrialized nation in the Americas to have to reduce its emissions. Brazil, Chile and Mexico are not forced to reduce their emissions and the United States has refused to sign the accord. This obviously would put Canada at a disadvantage with our major trading partners. It would dramatically impact our quality of life because our well-being is so dependent upon our exports.

Why is Canada going to be the only industrialized major nation in the Americas to have to live under the accord? I would like the Minister of Industry to finally stand in the House and state where he stands on this accord and why he is not listening to the concerns of the industries in Canada.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government speaks as one voice on this issue. It is particularly important for the opposition to understand that the concerns of industry are being fully accounted for. The fact is that through measures to improve energy efficiency, large numbers of companies including Boeing, General Motors, Shell and BP have all discovered that they made more money as well as satisfying their climate change goals.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development confirmed the government still does not know how many of its own sites are contaminated, has not classified the most dangerous sites and that, “steps must be taken on an urgent basis in light of the immediate risk to human health and to the environment” for 800 sites that it has contaminated.

While the minister endorsed the polluter pay principle in Rio in 1992 and has asked all those who pollute to clean up their mess, how does he explain that he is not following this clear principle when it comes time to applying it to his own sites?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, two years ago, an inventory was started across government to identify and classify all contaminated sites.

More than 85% of the sites have been identified and classified, which translates into more than 10,000 sites that have been assessed. The member can even find this inventory himself on the Internet, ranked according to risks. This has been an important first step.

The second step is the following: we are currently spending $100 million and in the Speech from the Throne, the government has committed to accelerating the cleanup of contaminated sites.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the minister is not saying is that 800 of these sites represent a danger to public health. That is the reality. The government is refusing to accept its responsibilities.

Does this attitude not explain the lack of clarity surrounding the Kyoto protocol and the unwillingness of the Minister of the Environment to make the polluter pay principle the centrepiece of the implementation plan for Kyoto?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the polluter pay principle is very important, but there are other principles that are also very important.

I would point out to the hon. member that it is often necessary to reduce pollution at the lowest possible cost, spending the least amount possible. That is another principle. It is also important to have systems whereby no one region of the country is disadvantaged.

That makes three principles. All three are important and I cannot say that any one is more important than another.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, tragically a second Canadian has now died from wounds inflicted in the terrorist strike in Bali. He joins another Canadian who is presumed dead and over 200 other victims, mostly Australian. This tragic news, I am sure, signals to the Prime Minister the need for a strong counterterrorism agenda at this weekend's APEC summit.

Therefore, what specific steps will the Prime Minister be taking at APEC this weekend to build that coalition of APEC countries to seek out and destroy this odious terror network which now murders innocent people all over the world?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the APEC meeting has just begun. Our Minister of Foreign Affairs is there engaging with his counterparts from Pacific and other areas. As they come together in Mexico, many issues will be discussed. Since the meeting has just begun, I am sure they are determining the priorities at this time.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

It is alarming that there are no specifics, Mr. Speaker. I hope the Prime Minister's supposed rhetoric on this will be matched by some action.

Today we learned that a terrorist from Canada in U.S. custody has linked the organization known as Jemaah Islamiah to murderous Bali bombing. Until today our government had failed to specifically add the group, Jemaah Islamiah, to the list of groups whose activities are banned in Canada.

Will the Prime Minister simply stand up and I hope announce today that the activities of Jemaah Islamiah have now been banned in Canada? Will he do that please?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is the responsibility of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to work on this list. I will convey the request of the hon. member to him.

I was coming into the House when he was asking his previous question. However I want to answer, yes, I will discuss over the weekend with all leaders the problem of terrorism. It is the main problem today because it is a problem around the world. I want the coalition to remain very strong and I want to ensure that all governments commit all resources possible to ensure that terrorism is destroyed around the world.

Persons DayOral Question Period

October 23rd, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, October 18 was Persons Day, a day which marks the landmark victory of five remarkable Canadian women in the struggle for equality.

Persons Day was also of particular importance to the Government of Canada this year as it took action in the international arena in ensuring that human rights of women were respected both in Canada and around the world.

Could the Secretary of State tell the House what action is being taken by the federal government to secure women's equality and human rights?

Persons DayOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Jean Augustine LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, Persons Day was chosen as the date of Canada's accession to the optional protocol to the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

We announced on this day, because of the significance of that protocol, that we would ensure that all women in Canada recognized that they now were enabled as women or groups of women to bring complaints to the committee on the elimination of discrimination against all women, consisting of 23 experts, after they had exhausted all national--

Persons DayOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Income Tax ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, six months ago I asked the revenue minister to plug the tax loophole that allows businesses to deduct fines and penalties from their income tax as a business expense. Since when is breaking the law supposed to be tax deductible? The minister seemed to agree that it undermined the very purpose of a fine if they could use it as a tax write-off.

Again, why is she letting yet another tax year go by without making a simple amendment to the Income Tax Act, putting a stop to this outrageous practice of business fines as tax deductions?

Income Tax ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as a result of the Supreme Court decision, most fines and penalties are deductible as a business expense. However the court also said, and this is extremely important, that where fines or penalties were found to be egregious or repulsive, they could not be claimed as legitimate business expenses. Any change that would disallow fines and penalties, such as parking fines, would require a change in legislation and the Income Tax Act, and that of course is the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Income Tax ActOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, six months have gone by and Revenue Canada could not find time to put an end to this farce of tax deductible fines, yet it found plenty of time to crack down on disabled people. In fact it launched a nationwide campaign of harassment over the paltry $900 disability tax credit and drove 30,000 disabled people off the program.

How can the Minister of National Revenue defend such a warped set of priorities? Will she agree today to put in place the simple amendment required that the court suggested to the Income Tax Act to plug the loophole, to do it in this session of this Parliament and before the end of this year?

Income Tax ActOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency has responsibility to ensure that the Income Tax Act is implemented and administered in a fair way so that all Canadians are treated fairly. Whether it is the tax credit for those who suffer from serious disabilities or any other aspect, I want to assure the member, and I know that he would agree, that he would not want to see people receiving tax credits to which they were not entitled.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the new Solicitor General and wish him as well as his predecessor.

Two weeks ago I asked the former solicitor general to explain why prisoners were actually telemarketing on behalf of the private sector. The minister responded it was no problem.

Canadians are very troubled at the thought that prisoners could do telemarketing.

Could the new Solicitor General tell us whether he believes Canadians are comfortable with personal information like credit cards and addresses being given out over the phone and could he tell us whether he agrees with his predecessor's position?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I first want to thank the Right Hon. Prime Minister for having the confidence to put me in this position. I also thank other members at the outset for their messages of congratulation.

With respect to the member's question, the member knows full well that the former solicitor general answered that question before. He did indicate that there was a review committee looking at it, that it dismissed the complaint and the complaint had no substance.