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House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as a correction I would like to say that I am the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, not the political minister. We are all politicians, some cheaper than others but all honourable I am sure.

As for the rules established by Treasury Board, I do not have the details and I will refer this to the President of the Treasury Board, but I understand that they were established under the Conservative regime some time ago.

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, recently when addressing the issue of changing the age of consent, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice told the House that “there are many social and cultural differences that have to be reflected in that law”.

One would ask, what in the world? Could this parliamentary secretary stand up and just tell us exactly which cultural differences he is talking about?

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, I answered this question yesterday in the House, but it does deal with the various cultures within our multicultural society that have different sexual mores, and they are taken into consideration. They are represented and reflected by the provinces and the territories at the meetings that are currently going on.

We are going to look at broad ways of dealing with the issues. The minister is going to follow up on these issues and see what we might be able to do, looking at the predators that are involved in these matters.

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is just hard to believe. After all, we are in Canada. Surely we could have a made in Canada policy. He talks about getting together with the provinces. This is under the federal Criminal Code. Obviously it falls under federal jurisdiction.

The government is holding up legislation for the protection of our children because of cultural considerations, and he now says that we all have different sexual mores. I can hardly believe that. Even insinuating that this kind of behaviour might be appropriate or acceptable in Canada is unbelievable.

I would like the member to stand up and answer this question. Which culture is it that allows the sexual exploitation of children?

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, that is sheer nonsense.

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I know hon. members are trying to help the parliamentary secretary with an answer, but I think he will give an answer on his own and we have to be able to hear it. The hon. parliamentary secretary has the floor.

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Liberal Northumberland, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are all opposed to sexual exploitation of children and the minister has clearly indicated that he will look at all types of measures and bring forward something toward the end of this year.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

November 6th, 2002 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage just rose and told the House that nobody in her department, none of her officials, had ever incriminated the secretary of state for having pressured them to choose Everest.

How can the minister make such an outrageous statement, when the former director of the task force on amateur sport, Roger Farley, wrote in an e-mail message dated March 17, 2000, and I quote, “Everest is the firm that the secretary of state wants to hire. It has a standing offer with Public Works Canada. I do not have more information. I would like to meet them next week to see what expertise they can provide”.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, all that was said, according to the department, was that procedures that have existed for years were to be followed.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are limits to what can be said here. We ask her the following question. How is it that officials incriminated the secretary of state, yet she overlooked it? She replies that nobody incriminated the secretary of state.

Well, not only was it said, but it was also written. How can she rise as Minister of Canadian Heritage and make such an outrageous statement, unless she is trying to cover up for her colleague and the government?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the information I received from my department was that everything was complied with, including the procedures for deadlines, particularly because the contract decision was made at Public Works.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, it has been brought to my attention that funds set aside to increase security at our borders are being used to fill holes in the CCRA budget. Customs management is being forced to cook the books to cover sick leave and overtime. Canada's borders are barely able to operate.

How can the government say that it is taking border issues seriously when it is shuffling funds away from security to cover up Canada Customs and Revenue Agency mismanagement?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I reject completely what the member has just said. In fact, we have received additional resources. We have hired additional people. We have equipment on order. Our borders are functioning well. They are well protected.

From time to time CCRA management uses its resources to ensure that we are functioning properly and efficiently and I am proud of the job they do.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, once again the consistency of this minister on the issue is the fact that she still does not know what is happening at our borders. She should take the time to visit with some of these customs agents to find out what exactly is happening.

Dangerous incidents occur daily at our borders. Customs officers still do not have the equipment to enforce the Criminal Code.

Before a customs officer dies in the line of duty, will the minister finally show some leadership and commit to supplying firearms to our customs officers?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I want to inform the member opposite that I have visited customs officers at our seaports, at our airports and at our land borders, remote and large and small. I can state that they have the tools they need. They do not need guns. They are not policemen. They are acting in the public interest in Canada. They have the tools they need to do the job.

AfricaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, southern Africa is currently facing a major humanitarian crisis. The governments of several southern African countries have declared national disasters due to actual and anticipated food shortages.

This year, people in a number of countries in Africa, including refugees and internally displaced people, still have great unmet needs, with several million children going hungry.

Could the Minister for International Cooperation please inform the House of what the government is doing to address these very urgent needs?

AfricaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada is deeply concerned about the crisis facing several of the south African countries. On Monday I had the opportunity to meet with Jim Morris, who is the executive director of the World Food Program, inform him of our continued commitment to address this crisis and announce that Canada would be contributing an additional $7.9 million immediately, raising our total from $34.2 million to $42.1 million, to deal with the famine in southern Africa.

The government is very concerned and is committed to dealing with humanitarian crises. I want to thank the hon. member for raising this issue so that all members can be aware of the situation.

Search and RescueOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, Vancouver International Airport has been operating since October 4 without adequate marine rescue capability.

The minister is now panicking and planning the purchase of an aging hovercraft, which served as a passenger ferry, for conversion to a search and rescue hovercraft.

Why is the minister intent on purchasing a relic to perform marine search and rescue?

Search and RescueOral Question Period

3 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Coast Guard is part of the rescue package that is provided at Vancouver International Airport. The primary responsibility is the airport's itself.

Along with every other agency in the area, we have formed part of the response and relief program, with a brand new $25 million hovercraft. A backup hovercraft that has been ordered is being purchased and we are making plans in our capital plans to replace that one with a new one in the years to come.

Search and RescueOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, the hovercraft I am talking about is this replacement. This hovercraft operated as a passenger ferry in a relatively sheltered area. Senior Coast Guard officials have advised that the craft may not be able to operate in the sea conditions off Vancouver airport. Giving this passenger ferry to the Coast Guard is akin to giving a school bus to the fire department.

How does the minister justify the purchase of this relic for Coast Guard search and rescue?

Search and RescueOral Question Period

3 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I should first point out that this vessel is a backup vessel and that senior Coast Guard officials have designed the requirements needed, have evaluated the vessel and have indicated to me that it is the vessel that they need to do the job. I agreed with them and we are going to supply the Coast Guard with that vessel.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Heritage tells us that her department negotiated all contracts before they were given the OK by Public Works.

Might I know whether it was indeed her department which gave Everest permission to start work two weeks before the contract was authorized and to access the Department of Canadian Heritage web site? I imagine that they needed permission before they could access the site. People do not just come along and go into a departmental web site to work on it. Could she, who claims to know everything, answer this specific question?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is the same answer as before.

Parliamentary ReformOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Rumour has it that as a result of heightened interest in parliamentary procedures, another special committee may be established to modernize the Standing Orders. Is this so?