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House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, the United States and Australia have chosen to develop their own emissions reduction targets rather than committing themselves to the unachievable goals of Kyoto. Other nations such as Argentina, Chile and Mexico have not committed to a firm Kyoto target. All of our major free trade partners, the U.S., Mexico and Chile, are working on their own solutions.

Why can we not have a made in Canada solution to Kyoto that balances our economic and environmental needs for the future?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canada did choose its own target just as other countries have done. Furthermore, Canada has developed a made in Canada plan with the cooperation of the provinces and territories. All 14 governments have been working on this for the last five years.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, if there is a made in Canada plan, it might be a surprise to the environment minister that Kyoto is not a Canadian city. He might think it is in British Columbia, given his lack of visiting B.C., but it is not in fact a Canadian city.

If Kyoto is what he considers a made in Canada plan, then why are provinces asking for a first ministers conference to talk about the issue so we can develop a real one with real numbers?

What is the government's principal opposition to having a first ministers conference to talk about Kyoto and work out real numbers in cooperation with the provinces?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the principal issue that the hon. member has failed to grasp about climate change is that it is a global problem and it has to be dealt with on a global basis.

With respect to the meetings we have had with the provinces and territories, I believe we have had three this year with another to come. We had two or three last year. They are virtually continuous. In fact, we had one last year where less than half the provinces sent ministers because they complained we had had too many.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works keeps repeating that his department was the one that ultimately authorized the contract to Everest. That is not the problem; the problem is whether the former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport intervened on behalf of Everest in securing the contract.

Is the Minister of Public Works prepared to rise in his place and state that the former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport did not get involved at any time before Public Works Canada awarded the contract to Everest?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing in the material that I have reviewed that would indicate any contact or lobby between the secretary of state and the Department of Public Works and Government Services.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we want to know from the minister is not whether the contract was awarded to Everest by Public Works Canada; that much we know.

The question is the following: Can the minister sincerely deny there was any intervention by the former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport to ensure that the contact was awarded to Everest, as stated in an e-mail from an official at Canadian Heritage, which he should have read by now?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I have seen news reports about the e-mail. I must say that I have never seen it myself. It is not something that is in the files of the Department of Public Works and Government Services. There is nothing in the material on the files for which I am responsible in public works that would support the allegations being made by the opposition.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration continues to deny any involvement with awarding a one-half million dollar contract yet his former executive director is adamant that he was given orders to hire Groupe Everest.

We have been down this road before with the minister refusing to admit that he stayed at the firm's condo and then later admitting to it. The ethics counsellor said he is investigating whether he should investigate. Will the Deputy Prime Minister direct him to look into this matter and determine who is telling the truth, the minister or Mr. Farley?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor is free to look into any matters he wishes to look into. In the recent past he has shown that he is willing to do just that.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps he is waiting for a directive. This is a very simple issue.

There is a direct contradiction between what the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration recalls and what his former assistant remembers. Only one of them can possibly be telling the truth.

The Prime Minister has launched his new so-called ethics package. What good is it if it does not compel the ethics counsellor to seek out the truth?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the package we have tabled has certainly provided every member of Parliament with the ability to go directly to the ethics commissioner, as he would be known, in order to ask for the conduct of the minister to be looked into.

The current ethics counsellor has also shown his willingness to respond to issues that were raised either in the media or in Parliament. I invite the member, if he wishes, to write his own letter to the ethics counsellor.

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the new version of the Public Safety Act makes some minor changes to the provisions allowing the RCMP and CSIS to access information on air passengers and to use that information to draw up arrest warrants. The Privacy Commissioner has described these changes as “an insult to intelligence”.

How can the minister justify the potential use of information gathered under these extraordinary powers for purposes that have no connection with terrorism, transportation safety or national security?

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, certainly the privacy commissioner is entitled to his views.

There was a lot of discussion in the House and by colleagues in this party about previous Bill C-55. We believe that we have found the balance in this bill that protects the privacy of individuals while at the same time doing our job to ensure that national security issues are undertaken.

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Privacy Commissioner has stated that “the right to anonymity with regard to the state is a crucial privacy right”. According to him, “this would set the extraordinarily privacy-invasive precedent of effectively requiring compulsory self-identification to the police”.

How is it that the minister did not take any notice of the numerous warnings by the Privacy Commissioner, when such a fundamental right is at stake?

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have taken the Privacy Commissioner's previous concerns into consideration and we do believe we have found the balance.

I would invite the hon. member opposite, rather than just reading the latest story in the press from the Privacy Commissioner, to actually sit down and read the bill. He will see that we have found the balance in terms of protecting privacy rights while at the same time ensuring that CSIS and the RCMP can do their jobs in terms of protecting the security of the nation.

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

November 4th, 2002 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, a European Union report says that Canada is turning into a place where children are sexually exploited because of our age of consent laws. Increasingly, tourists visit Canada in search of sex with our children. Police and parents want the age of sexual consent raised from 14 to 16. Will the government commit to do this today and help guard Canadian children against sexual exploitation?

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, clearly the government has been looking at this. We set up a consultation process in 1999. It was brought forward in February of this year. The ministers directed their officials to bring forward recommendations. This week in Calgary they are bringing forward those recommendations and we will see what they result in.

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, here is a golden opportunity for the government to actually do something, because this issue is at the top of the agenda of the justice ministers meeting this week. They want to raise the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16. Canada's young age of consent brings in tourists seeking sex with girls as young as 14.

When will the Liberal government give police and parents the tool they need to protect Canadian children who fall prey to sexual predators, by raising the age of consent in Canada?

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there is something clearly wrong with the member's question and it relates to the issue of prostitution. If she is referring to prostitution as bringing tourists to this country, the age of consent for prostitution is 18.

Child PovertyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, once again another study documenting the national disgrace of child poverty has been released. It confirms that 300,000 children in Canada rely on food banks every month. That is 1,000 hungry children for every member in the House.

It was in 1989 that the House passed a motion unanimously calling for the eradication of child poverty by the year 2000. Thirteen years later, the situation is worse. Families in need are having more trouble escaping from poverty.

Will the finance minister commit the necessary resources to correct the government's pitiful record on child poverty?

Child PovertyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Raymonde Folco LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the publication by the Canadian Council on Social Development.

We are, however, encouraged to see that, contrary to what the hon. member over there tells us, the rate of child poverty is continuing to drop. The Canadian Council on Social Development report also reports there was a decrease in 1999 in the extent of poverty, and in how far poor families fall below the poverty line.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, 300,000 children have to go to the food bank every month and the government is proud because it has cut employment insurance when we have $40 billion in surplus.

Are the government and the Deputy Prime Minister ready to make changes to employment insurance to make sure that children in our country do not go to the food bank, but go to the refrigerator to get some food every morning?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Raymonde Folco LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would add, if I may, that a Statistics Canada report released last week indicates that the rate of child poverty continued to improve between 1999 and 2000, to reach—I repeat—one of the lowest levels recorded in the last 20 years.

These are encouraging findings. We are aware, however, that there is still much to be done to reduce the incidence of poverty, and we intend to do what needs doing.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, 10 days ago the Minister of National Defence went public with his concerns about his government's defence policy. He described the treatment of our soldiers as “shabby” and he said that we needed more money just to sustain current operations.

Why is the minister facing resistance from his Minister of Finance and cabinet colleagues for more money for the military? Why does the government want to cut the military?