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House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. gentleman is confusing two different purposes. The Government of Canada, through the Department of Canadian Heritage and through a variety of other departments, including regional agencies, provides a broad range of programs to support local groups and organizations across the country in their various specific purposes.

The sponsorship program had a broader purpose. In addition to supporting community events, it also sought to improve the presence of the Government of Canada in every corner of the country and thereupon to build upon Canadian cohesion and a sense of belonging for all Canadians.

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government refuses to raise the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16 years. The Minister of Justice says that he cannot reach an agreement with the provinces but we know that Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia support the change.

Last week the minister refused to say which groups in the community would not support this change. Will he at least tell us which provinces do not support it?

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the minister has said in the House, we have looked at many options for sexual exploitation issues with respect to children and other vulnerable groups. In that process we have tried to consult with the provinces and come up with ways which would be effective. We believe we have found an effective way and will be introducing it very shortly in the House.

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, in Canada 14-year-olds cannot legally drive, they cannot vote, they cannot legally buy cigarettes or alcohol and they cannot attend restricted movies. Yet in Canada 14-year-olds are routinely sexually exploited and it is all legal as long as they consent. Will the minister please explain why this is?

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are taking a very broad view of this matter. In that process, when we look at the entire area, we start to find out that there are matters that need to be given special attention. We believe it is the predators that need to be given the special attention and we will deal with those predators.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East, and the Caucasus. Recently the secretary of state visited Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia to meet with government officials and business dealers to broaden Canada's contacts in the rapidly developing Caucasus region.

Will the secretary of state share with us his views on this very important visit and the outcome he achieved?

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, I would like to thank my colleague for his question and commend him for his interest in this region.

My visit to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia was clearly a success. I was well received and met with all three presidents. This is a critical time for the region as all three countries face challenges ranging from systematic corruption, conflicts and poverty.

Notwithstanding these challenges, there are many positive signs in these countries as they move through transition from being former soviet republics to democratic countries enjoying the benefits of a free market economy.

I believe that Canada and our business community have a large role to play in providing assistance to these countries.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian stakeholders require federal support to continue to pursue the expensive and time consuming legal challenges for softwood lumber trade with the U.S. at NAFTA and WTO. Some stakeholders are losing confidence and calling for a self-imposed border tax to replace tariffs. Some unemployed forest workers and lumber producers require federal backing to remain committed to the lengthy legal process.

Why is the government failing to provide this support?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his interest in this area and his good work on the forest problem we have with the U.S.

First, we have taken a number of steps. We have invested in research and development, as well as looked for new markets. The total package is more than $340 million. We have also said that this is the window of opportunity to get an agreement with the Americans. If we do not do it in the next four or five months, we have an opportunity to do more and we will if it is necessary.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources is not only unable to retain his constituency executive, he also failed to deliver an effective softwood lumber package. The trade minister spends more time jet-setting around the world than he spends on critical Canada-U.S. trade relations.

Liberal ministers are so busy fighting each other that they are not fighting for the Canadian softwood industry. As a result, Canada is in jeopardy of folding a winning hand at NAFTA and WTO. When will the minister--

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Natural Resources.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member raised my trip to India. I would add that we were able to support and promote our forest products. I was able to visit a major sport centre that used Canadian wood. A company that was with us signed a one-half million dollar contract to sell wood from Canada. We are working for Canadians to sell forest products around the world.

Phone ServiceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2002, while the federal government is proposing initiatives to connect certain regions to the Internet, hundreds of people still do not have basic phone service. This is the case with the residents of Saint-Michel-des-Saints in Berthier—Montcalm. Yet back in 1999 the CRTC announced its intention to provide better service to areas where costs were high.

What explanation can the Minister of Industry give for the fact that, three years later, the CRTC is still busy negotiating “service improvement plans”, and what does he plan to do—

Phone ServiceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Phone ServiceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has referred to a commission that is independent of the government. The government's responsibility is to create the economic conditions to attract investment, in order to make services available to consumers throughout Canada. We have done precisely that.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. Congress has passed the new homeland security bill to improve domestic security. The U.S. is moving ahead but in Canada the government keeps our navy and coast guard in port to save fuel. Our air force can only fly minimal hours for the same reason.

The government provides no funds to increase port security. Its biggest security initiative has been a new tax to discourage Canadians from flying. When will the government come up with a real security plan instead of one that just increases our taxes?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is a multi-faceted question. It is a good question and we have a good answer for it.

I might draw the member's attention to the fact that the Deputy Prime Minister is chair of the security committee of cabinet, which has been putting in place all our border security, airline security and all those responses to the attacks on the World Trade Center, long before the U.S. Congress passed its legislation to create the homeland security department.

This government has a good record in defending its borders, a good record in defending its airports and a good record in defending its ports.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the Air Transport Association of Canada denounced special charges and taxes. These extra costs are reducing travel demand and undermining Canadian competitiveness. In 2001-02 alone, Ottawa took $308 million out of the airline industry and only reinvested $77 million in the industry, the rest having disappeared into the government's general revenues.

Will the Minister of Finance listen to the demands of the Air Transport Association of Canada and take immediate measures, including lowering the $24 security charge, imposing a moratorium on the fuel excise tax and eliminating the GST on—

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I have already announced that we are reviewing the security charge. It must be noted that when the government took over the responsibility for airport security, it reduced airline costs by some $70 million per year. We believe that users should be the ones to pay for airline services.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the unfortunate comments by the Prime Minister's director of communications regarding the U.S. president will clearly not help trade relations between our two countries, but more on that later.

The Canadian Wheat Board is now enduring its 10th challenge in 12 years and like a punch-drunk boxer, we just absorb the pounding. Even if we win, the latest challenge will cost $10 million in legal costs and Canadian farmers will have to pony that up.

Would the minister responsible for the board tell us when this country will start pounding back?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this hon. gentleman would certainly know everything about eavesdropping, given his record and reputation.

However let me say this about the Canadian Wheat Board. The government has stood by the Canadian Wheat Board in all the previous challenges. The United States, through a whole variety of U.S. official organizations, has raised these allegations not once, not twice, not three times, but nine previous times. The Canadian side has successfully defended every one of those challenges. The score now is nine to nothing in favour of Canada, and we will fight the fight again.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

November 25th, 2002 / 3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of a number of distinguished scholars.

The recipient of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, Dr. Tito Scaiano, is also one of the three winners of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Award of Excellence.

We also have with us the other two recipients of the NSERC Award of Excellence: Dr. Barrie J. Frost and Dr. Brian K. Hall.

These eminent recipients are accompanied by the 2002 winners of the NSERC Steacie Fellowships, the Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize and the Doctoral Prizes.

I invite hon. members to join them at a reception in Room 216-N at about 3:30 p.m. later this day.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The other day the Chair heard a question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst. The hon. member for Nickel Belt will make submissions now, I understand, on the same point. The hon. member for Nickel Belt.