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House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was citizens.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Liberal Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has mentioned his ongoing review of the supply chain project and his intention to make an announcement this month.

Given the interest in this issue of the House and various stakeholders, could the Minister of National Defence tell us whether a decision on the future of this important project has been made?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her excellent question.

I have advised my department that we will not be proceeding with the supply chain project. Instead we will be moving forward with a strategic approach to managing materiel within the Department of National Defence.

This decision will improve the management and lower the costs of our supply chain. It is also consistent with my commitment to achieve administrative efficiencies with the department as I outlined in my Toronto Board of Trade speech.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft confirmed today that place of birth remains one of the criteria for U.S. screening at the border. This means that Canadian citizens born in foreign countries are still facing arbitrary arrest, detainment and interrogation.

In light of these developments, could the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us why he pulled the travel advisory warning Canadians about the potential trouble they face if they cross the border?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the first thing I would challenge in the premise of the hon. member's question is to suggest that these are arbitrary measures.

The arbitrary measure was to take somebody on the basis of where the person was born. We raised this with the United States and they responded to us as good neighbours do and said they would look at it. They have come back with a positive response. Mr. Ashcroft said this morning that will no longer be their policy.

We cannot say to our American allies that they cannot take objective standards and objective measures to ensure their security. We are assured by them that is what they are doing. We will monitor the situation and we will work with them always to ensure the security of our borders together.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on September 25 the Prime Minister and the Premier of Ontario launched a 60-day process to determine the best use of $300 million to alleviate the border problems in Windsor. We looked forward to an open and accessible process that would have the best interests of the community in mind. That is not happening. The joint management committee will not hold a single public meeting. The integrity of the process is also in question.

Can the acting Prime Minister tell us if the Minister for International Cooperation has used her office to influence or interfere with the integrity of the process and will there be a public meeting before decisions are made?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the member of course is wrong. The people of Windsor do not want more process. They want action. That is the reason the Prime Minister and the premier said within 60 days they will have action. No more public meetings. No more wasting time. They will be focusing on solutions.

The hon. member ought to know as someone from that community that Windsor and the region support the member for that constituency because she knows what is needed now is action and not more talk. That is what we will be doing.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

November 7th, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is now clear that the government intends to introduce a bill on the implementation of the Kyoto protocol next spring. However, the Prime Minister is still insisting that the House must adopt a meaningless motion before the end of the year.

What is the point of such a motion if the government is already expecting to introduce a bill? Why not just go ahead and introduce it?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member on his election as vice-chair of the environment committee. It may be his only election win in recent months and it is important for him.

I would point out to him that the vote in the House will be the vote on ratification. A similar motion will be presented in the Senate. It will come before the House before the end of the year. As I was explaining to the Leader of the Opposition, it will come sometime following the meeting on November 21 with the provinces and territories.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, for months the government has insisted it has a plan to implement Kyoto, but it keeps hiding the details. The Prime Minister will not even meet with the premiers to discuss the plan.

Earlier this week the leader of the government in the other place revealed that the enabling legislation to implement Kyoto will only come to Parliament probably in the spring.

If the government already has a plan, why not bring the legislation to the House immediately so that we can have a real debate on Kyoto prior to ratification?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat again that we had a meeting with the provinces on October 28. They made some proposals to the draft plan that we put forward. These proposals are being considered. We are incorporating them into another document, the final plan, which will be presented sometime before November 21 so the provinces and territories can look at it before the meeting on November 21.

On the basis of that plan and of course a resolution of the House, the House will have a debate and will be called upon to vote on the issue so the Prime Minister has the guidance of all 300 other members of the House on whether or not he should ratify the Kyoto accord.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, this morning U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft made it clear that strong borders make good neighbours.

Clearly the Americans do not trust the government's commitment to security, which is why they are strengthening their border measures to the detriment of all Canadians.

Has the government been advised as to what specific concerns the Americans have about our lack of security?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the facts are that the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States were working very closely for a long time on border security. The Manley-Ridge exercise has been extremely successful. We have greater security and greater efficiency, and that is in the interests of both Canada and the United States.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, individuals who claim refugee status at a port of entry into Canada are given a preliminary interview and invariably released into Canadian society. About 25% of these claimants fail to show up for any subsequent immigration proceedings. That is almost 10,000 people. The government has no idea who they are and where they are.

Is this one of the reasons that the Americans are strengthening their border controls?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely inappropriate to ask this kind of question, considering that Canada and the United States have signed a safe third country agreement and that this agreement will soon be ratified. On the contrary, there is very good cooperation between our two countries.

Agropur Plant in ChambordOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone in the region of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean is outraged about Agropur buying the plant in Chambord only to close it down and have the milk produced locally shipped to its plant in Granby.

Will the minister responsible for the Canada Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec make a commitment to the people of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean that the federal government will do everything in its power to support any initiative to get this business going again?

Agropur Plant in ChambordOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin LiberalSecretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, two meetings have taken place already, and Canada Economic Development will, as usual, follow this issue closely and do everything in its power, within its program, to support the region.

Agropur Plant in ChambordOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, given that it is important that he react quickly if and when a recovery project is submitted to him, could the minister responsible undertake to proceed swiftly and to provide financial assistance in order to preserve the concept of local processing, which is being jeopardized by the plant closure in Chambord?

Agropur Plant in ChambordOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin LiberalSecretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, if promoters put a new project on the table, we will look at it, as I just told the House, within our program, with a view to supporting them.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, new U.S. border security measures are going to affect Canadians negatively, thanks in part to the government's failure to cooperate with the Americans in creating a continental security perimeter to keep terrorists out.

Given that there are over 50 terrorist groups operating in Canada and that the government has lost track of 24,000 people in this country with extradition orders, why is the government surprised to hear about these tougher measures? When will the government get serious about continental security by tracking down the 24,000 people in Canada who have extradition orders and whom it has lost track of and remove them from the country?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who is the opposition critic is much more familiar with this issue than this member.

I think hon. members know that not only was the legislation amended but we have new regulations and a new agreement with the Americans, who are saying that we are doing a wonderful job. Today, Mr. Ashcroft was not critical of Canadians. On the contrary, he was very positive. So, let us be careful when asking questions.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us be careful when we allow people who have extradition orders to remain in this country. Let us be careful in creating a continental security perimeter to ensure that American immigration policy does not continue negatively to affect Canadians.

I ask again, when will the government take measures to track down and remove the 24,000 people who are illegally in Canada and who pose a risk to both our security and that of our neighbours?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, not only are we efficient but we have invested another $600 million since September 11. We put in place more immigration control officers. We have had removals. We do not believe that refugee claimants are potential terrorists. We believe in this country that we should fulfill our international duties. When those bad seeds are here, we kick them out. We are doing what we have to do.

MarriageOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Liberal Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. In July and September of this year, the courts in two provinces, Quebec and Ontario, found that the opposite-sex definition of marriage is unconstitutional. Both gave the government two years to deal with this issue.

If Parliament fails to act, marriage will automatically be modified in these two provinces.

What is the government doing about this?

MarriageOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like thank my colleague for this excellent question. As hon. members are aware, over the summer I had the opportunity to express, on behalf of the government, our views on this matter and to indicate that, in the current context, this being an issue fundamental to Canadian society, all parliamentarians have a role to play as well. For that reason, I have this very day asked the Standing Committee on Justice to proceed with consultations, in order to allow the public to have a say on this important issue.

At the same time, I have tabled a discussion paper containing a number of options. We are open to others as well, not just to those set out in the document.

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the walkout of grain handlers at the port of Vancouver has been going on for over two months. Now picket lines at Prince Rupert have completely shut down the movement of grain out of the west coast. Due to the drought, this is one of the worst years that farmers in western Canada have ever had. Now the government will not even ensure that their meagre grain crops can be shipped to customers.

Why will the government not help powerless farmers caught in the middle of this dispute?