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House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-17.

Topics

Foreign AidOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa. When the Prime Minister announced a special $500 million fund for Africa at the G-8, he told Canadians it would lift Africa out of poverty. He did not say the money would line the pockets of Canadian businesses.

Earlier this month though the Treasury Board approved the PM's plan to allocate 20% of the fund to support Canadian businesses instead of Africans.

Given the performance of some Canadian businesses in Africa, including Talisman Energy, Acres International and the five mining companies in Congo recently found in violation of international UN regulations, will the minister agree to independent monitoring of their performance and an assessment of the development impact of this money?

Foreign AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, the plan for NEPAD, the new partnership for the development of Africa that is being proposed by Africans for Africa, provides first of all that, to get investments in Africa—and this is the only way out for Africans, they say—there has to be progress in democracy, human rights and good governance.

This is the blueprint for Africa. For this purpose, last year, in Canada, as the hon. member indicated, we in this House voted $500 million in special funding to help Africa.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, to protect itself from a possible bioterrorist attack, the United Kingdom has already vaccinated health care workers against smallpox. In an emergency, the United States is prepared to vaccinate 280 million people within a week. It has also secured 100,000 doses of the vaccine antidote DIG produced by a Canadian company.

Can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us why Canada has not yet secured access to a single dose of this antidote? What is the plan to protect Canadians against smallpox?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member may be aware, we are working with the provinces and territories on the updating of our national smallpox strategy.

I can reassure the hon. member and all members of the House that the Government of Canada has approved the purchase of additional vaccine as well as antidote. We are moving forward with that procurement strategy right now.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is rambling simply because the government does not have a plan.

As a reminder, following September 11 the government announced the creation of a committee of experts to deal with bioterrorism. However that committee has not yet met.

Can the Deputy Prime Minister explain why the committee of experts to deal with bioterrorism has not met?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the committee to which the hon. member refers is chaired by Dr. Low, a renowned microbiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. It is a 12 member advisory committee. In fact it had its first meeting by teleconference in October and will be meeting again in December.

Clearly we seek the advice of the committee as we need it and look forward to recommendations it might have for us coming out of the December meeting.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Al Trotter is a highly decorated former prisoner of war being denied his full pension by Veterans Affairs.

For over a year I have been appealing to the minister to set things right and extend benefits to this Canadian hero. The minister has told the media that his officials are reviewing the file. He has had the facts for over a year. What is left to review?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, I cannot discuss this individual case. However, I should say that all who had been prisoners of war and who have filed applications for benefits within the law passed by this Parliament have received the benefits according to the law of Parliament.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot hide behind a loophole. I have met with his predecessor and himself and we have talked about this.

Mr. Trotter is 79 years old. It seems that the minister is delaying until Mr. Trotter and others in his situation are no longer around.

He could make the change today. When can I tell Mr. Trotter that the cheque will finally be in the mail?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, this is a very heart-rending case for all of us. That is why I have asked my department to revisit the issue. If amendment of the law remains an option, when the answer is available I will give it to the House of Commons.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Department of Foreign Affairs has been toying with the idea of an identity card. The Minister of National Revenue has closed the door on the project, calling it inappropriate, while his colleague from immigration has said that the card may facilitate travellers' access to the United States.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister realize that the solution being proposed by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is not the right approach, particularly since the Privacy Commissioner has said that the type of information contained on the card could violate the right to privacy?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I think some clarification is in order.

First, we have always talked in terms of a debate. What about the Maple Leaf cards for permanent residents, given the situation between the United States and Canada regarding the border?

Second, when it comes to Canadian citizens, we wondered if we should have a broader debate. We wondered if we could have tools that would facilitate certain situations and ensure that there were preventative measures.

In a democracy, debate is essential, but the government has not taken any position yet.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this debate the minister mentioned, he is promoting an identity card, saying, among other things, that it would spare Canadians from having to obtain a visa to cross the border.

Does the minister realize that by opening the door to an identity card, he is upsetting the balance that must exist between security and freedom?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the question the member raises is extremely relevant. This is why it is important to have this balance between openness and vigilance.

That said, we do not wish to create any new identity card. We propose looking into whether or not we could have a debate that would allow us to decide, based on existing technology, what we would like to use. As such, I think that this type of debate would be good. It is up to us to decide.

When we had the debate on the card for permanent residents, it was viewed as a tool to regulate the system. I think that debate is healthy. Canadians will decide, but once again, the Government of Canada has made no decision on this. It is healthy to debate things in this country.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

November 18th, 2002 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the new Solicitor General has inherited a department that is plagued by serious problems that threaten the security and safety of Canadians. Of immediate concern are 800 parolees who are apparently no longer reporting to their parole officers, thereby dramatically increasing the likelihood of reoffending.

Does the Solicitor General confirm or deny the fact that Correctional Service Canada has lost track of 800 parolees?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member struck the nail on the head. I will neither confirm nor deny whether there is a number of parolees. The fact of the matter is though--

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. It is very important that the Chair be able to hear the Solicitor General's answer and there is so much noise I can hardly hear a word.

The hon. minister is trying to answer the question raised by the Alliance Party. Most of the comments that I am sure are intended to be helpful are coming from the Canadian Alliance and I know that they would want to hear the minister's answer since the question came from there.

I know that hon. members are also exchanging their pleasure at seeing one another after a week away, but we do have to be able to hear the questions and the answers and the Solicitor General has the floor, so we will now hear him.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I do know that Correctional Service Canada and the National Parole Board take very seriously those people who are granted parole and are out on parole. They do everything within their power to ensure that those people are rehabilitated back into society in a way that ensures the safety of Canadians.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is awfully hard to rehabilitate them back into society when we do not know where they are.

Repeatedly last year the Canadian Alliance brought forward case after case where police officers acting in the line of duty were murdered by parolees. According to Correctional Service Canada's own statistics last year, convicts on parole committed 6 murders, 10 attempted murders, 60 major assaults, 33 rapes and 102 armed robberies.

I ask the Solicitor General, how many more police officers and innocent Canadians have to die before he puts an end to this--

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Solicitor General.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing how the member can find every bad example in the book when really the record is in fact improving. The fact--

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Again, the hon. member for Crowfoot will want to hear the answer and he cannot if everybody is making all this noise. It is hard for the Chair to hear the Solicitor General who sits very close to me.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the records clearly show that through the system that we have in place, through granting parole and integrating people slowly into the system, their chances of reinstituting crime are very much less. We take great pride in our system of parole and corrections in this country.