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House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Queen's Jubilee MedalStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the International Day of Volunteers. I rise to pay tribute to the thousands of Canadians who dedicate their lives serving others here at home and abroad.

For their outstanding contributions to my community of York West, I presented 20 special citizens with the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal. They are: Carolynn Armstrong, Uliana Badiali, Michael Colacci, Norm Cornack, Veena Duta, Rose Ibarra, Marianne Iozzo, Leila Jackson, Iginio Lanzarro, Sharon Lustig, Julie Molinaro, Stephanie Payne, Michael Perreault, Mario Pipia, Antonietta Ramundi, Pabla Gurdal Singh, Paramsothy Sothymalar, Valarie Steele, Leslie Walmer, and Sophie Zeber.

I join with all members of the House to celebrate the extraordinary commitment that they and others like them made and continue to make to enrich our communities.

ZimbabweStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Zimbabwe is in crisis. It now has one of the highest torture rates in the entire world. Half the population is starving to death, not because of inclement weather but because of a deliberately engineered famine created by Robert Mugabe to kill half of the population.

To make matters worse, Mugabe and his thugs are preventing international food aid, aid that we contribute to, from getting to the starving people. Behind this are state sponsored camps where torture, gang rape and murder are commonplace.

Our government for nearly two years has touted its African agenda, yet in the face of the genocide that is taking place right now in Zimbabwe and which will kill up to seven million people, our government has maintained a hypocritical, stony silence. Next year when the pictures on CNN show the carnage in Zimbabwe and the millions of people who needlessly lost their lives, will the Liberal government merely wring its hands or will it say “Never again” and act?

The answer is to act now. The government must act to save lives in Zimbabwe or it will be culpable in the murder of seven million people.

Parliamentary Internship ProgramStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize two groups of remarkable young Canadians.

This week, eight interns from the Ontario legislature internship program in Queen's Park have come to Parliament Hill for their annual study tour, hosted by the parliamentary internship program that places 10 young graduates here with MPs during the parliamentary year. They are intelligent, eager, bring fresh energy and ideas to Parliament and their presence here on the Hill and in Queen's Park is an asset to us all.

These interns will be Canada's leaders of tomorrow. I ask members to join me in welcoming the eight Queen's Park interns and at the same time salute the 10 interns who are currently serving with MPs on both sides of the House. I am proud that we will all benefit from their experience.

Yukon River Salmon AgreementStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, yesterday after 17 long years of negotiations the United States and Canada signed the Yukon River Salmon Agreement.

I had the pleasure of accompanying the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to Washington, D.C. where he officially signed the agreement with the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky.

Key elements of the agreement include the formation of the bilateral Yukon River Panel, Yukon River Joint Technical Committee, abundance based harvest sharing for upper Yukon chinook and chum salmon, and the Yukon River Salmon Restoration and Enhancement Fund. Additionally, this agreement provides direction for coordinated management, rebuilding plans, habitat protection, restoration and enhancement.

As the minister said, this agreement is an important achievement as it will provide long term certainty and stability for salmon fishing in the Yukon River.

I would like to thank the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for their hard work in achieving this agreement. It bodes well for the future of Yukon residents and our American friends and neighbours.

Jean-Pierre PerreaultStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday evening, a star of contemporary dance passed away in Montreal. According to former dancer Vincent Warren, Jean-Pierre Perreault was the greatest choreographer of his generation.

He took an interest not only in dance, but also in architecture, the sacred arts, and costumes, to understand how they influence dance. In his vision, human beings interact with one another and with the space they inhabit, which also contains them.

For Chantal Pontbriand, the director of the International Festival of New Dance, there is a dimension to Perreault's work that is typical of Quebec, that reflects a unique connection to the earth; in his art, all movement, in relation to the ground and to mass, is an expression of Quebeckers' endeavours to break free of the anonymity of the time, which still exists, as they try to develop their own model.

We mourn the loss of a humanist. The Bloc Quebecois extends its condolences to the family of Jean-Pierre Perreault, his friends and the dance community, particularly the contemporary dance community.

Cultural IndustriesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Liberal Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced that her department, through its Canadian Culture Online program, was providing more than $596,000 in financial support to Musilab Inc., for its project Le Monde d'objets parlés.

In recent years, Drummondville has demonstrated the phenomenal impact that cultural industries can have on the economy and the quality of life of our communities. The goal of this project is to promote French and Aboriginal language oral folk traditions through the Internet.

Canada is rich in oral traditions that deserve to be more widely known. Thanks to this digital portal, Canadians, and particularly young people, will benefit from an exceptional tool for exploring the musical and oral cultural heritage that surrounds us.

I congratulate all those who worked together to make this initiative possible, namely Musilab Inc., TELUS solutions d'affaires and the Cégep de Drummondville.

Government SpendingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant McNally Canadian Alliance Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals seem to be starting their 12 days of giving a little early this year. Tonight Parliament will vote on giving the government over $5.5 billion to reward its unprecedented record of financial mismanagement and indefensible incompetence.

As late as last week, the government denied opposition suggestions of a $1 billion cost overrun in the failed gun registry. The Auditor General has confirmed what the Liberals have been trying so desperately to hide, that they have spent too much already and should not get one more red cent.

According to the justice minister the Liberals may have to get even more creative with their secretive spending to avoid losing a confidence vote tonight. This will not change the fact that this scandal will cost Canadian taxpayers 500 times what they were promised.

The Liberals' out of control spending has been funding their scandals for years. They have forced taxpayers to pay for Shawinigate, the HRDC billion dollar boondoggle, the EI ripoff and the advertising sponsorship scam to name just a few.

As the Liberals vote tonight to give themselves more to spend, once again it is Canadians who will be stuck with the bill.

Berthier—Montcalm ByelectionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Serge Marcil Liberal Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have great confidence in the future of Berthier—Montcalm. The Liberal candidate, Richard Giroux, is sincerely committed to working with and for the population.

Richard Giroux is very much involved in the community. He is familiar with its needs and intends to take the necessary action to meet those needs. Berthier—Montcalm has been neglected for too long.

Things need to change. Better representation in Ottawa is necessary. Regional priorities need to be heeded and contact must be made with the Government of Canada. The community of Berthier—Montcalm is prepared to build a better future and to help build our society.

Richard Giroux made the right choice: he opts for solutions, and solutions mean the Liberal Party of Canada.

Next Monday, December 9, the riding of Berthier—Montcalm will go Liberal.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the anniversary of one of the darkest days in Canadian history, December 6, 1989, when 14 young women were brutally murdered at Montreal's École Polytechnique, murdered for no other reason than they were women. This horrendous event has become a catalyst in the Canadian struggle to end all forms of violence against women.

Tragically today in Canada, 13 years after the event, young women are still not safe from violence. In fact, according to a study released this week, women under 25 who have separated from their partner are the most vulnerable, with the murder rate almost double that of other women at the hands of their domestic partners, appalling enough on its own. The horror of this is only surpassed by spousal murder rates for aboriginal women, which are eight times higher.

Personal safety is not a luxury. It is a right and it is a right that half the population of the country cannot realize because the government reserves it Cadillac innovation strategies for profit generation instead of basic needs.

Thirteen years later we are still asking, when will the government do what is necessary to secure the safety of Canadian women?

Liberal GovernmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Liberal government is insisting that Ottawa must determine health care priorities, the Auditor General has confirmed that this government is incapable of managing its own responsibilities.

Having lost track of hundreds of millions of dollars at Human Resources Development, having had the federal government's propaganda activities go completely out of any administrative control and millions of dollars disappear into thin air, now that same government has also lost control over the firearms registration program.

Initially expected to cost $199 million, it will end up costing $1 billion, or close to nine times the initial estimate. What a fiasco, Mr. Speaker. How much of that $1 billion went to the buddies of the Liberal party this time?

In Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, and in Berthier—Montcalm, people want to see their tax dollars go to health care, rather than be squandered through incompetence. Now we know that, when the Liberals get involved in something, waste and patronage are the order of the day.

Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay ByelectionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

André Harvey Liberal Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, members of the Bloc Quebecois are in a state of panic.

In the final stretch of this election campaign in the beautiful riding of Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, the riding of the founding father of the Bloc Quebecois, they are making all kinds of unfounded statements. People are tired of the Bloc Quebecois working itself into a state everyday without ever proposing any constructive action.

In the meantime, our candidate in Monday's election, Gilbert Tremblay, is out working the riding. He is not simply giving speeches. He is already acting as a member for his neighbours, whether it is on the Agropur issue in the heart of the riding of Roberval, the riding of the Bloc Quebecois' House leader, where he has already organized ministerial meetings, or on the issue of Monts Valin, which he wants to be turned into a Canadian winter sports centre for economic diversification.

On Monday, the people of the riding of Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay will choose to vote for a member who is already working for our region. Monday night, the riding of Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay will give the Bloc the chop.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is a call to the Liberal backbenchers. Surely they have much to consider before they vote tonight.

The Auditor General stated in her audit of the long gun registry that there were significant shortcomings in the information provided; imagine that.

In response, the government has hired KPMG to do a special audit of the information that the Auditor General could not find, or could not see, or was not allowed to see, or was hidden from her. This is worse that ridiculous; it is ludicrous. It is simply smoke and mirrors to pacify Liberal backbenchers so that they acquiesce, roll over and vote one more time to support the unsupportable one billion dollar gun registry. It will not save lives. It has not saved money. Ministers have not been held accountable for their deeds. Yet, Liberal backbenchers have an opportunity to save their self-respect and they can vote against this ill-begotten spawn of Liberal incompetence.

Health CareStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 27 Mr. Romanow released his long anticipated report on the future of health care in Canada.

The national debate that is currently taking place focuses on the financial considerations of health care, which government has jurisdiction over which area and the values upon which the health care system is built. It is critical however that we not lose sight of what is more fundamental to a quality health care system. All citizens have a right to expect an appropriate level of care that we, their elected representatives, are accountable to provide.

Romanow and Kirby make it clear that Canadians must have enough doctors and nurses to serve them, enough beds in the hospital in which they can stay, timely surgery for painful problems and emergency service at the closest hospital when their lives are in jeopardy.

The citizens of Canada support our public health care system and want their elected representatives to provide the tools now to improve upon its strengths, fix its weaknesses and most important, be there for their time in need.

The time is now for the government to act on behalf of all Canadians for a quality health care system.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

December 5th, 2002 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has confirmed that the costs of the universal gun registry have ballooned from $2 million to $1 billion; 500 times more. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Industry and other Liberals are out there blaming gun owners, blaming the provinces and, in some cases, getting it accurate and blaming each other.

Today the Minister of Justice has on the Order Paper a request for another $72 million for the registry. Is he now prepared to withdraw his request today for that additional money?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, the Auditor General has been pointing at some elements of the program. I have said many times as well that we accept all her recommendations. One more time, all the numbers have been reported through Justice Canada or the other ministries or departments involved in the program delivery.

Having said that, through supplementary estimates, we have obtained an additional amount of money. We are getting ready to vote on $72 million tonight, which we will postpone to give us the time to have access to the audit, if we have unanimous consent of the House.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government will get consent from this party not to spend any more money, I can assure him of that.

However, for a majority government to walk into the House on the day of its estimates and pull its request for the money is unprecedented political and financial mismanagement. It has already committed to spending $113.5 million. This request for supplementary money was tabled in October.

I want to ask the Minister of Justice this. If we do not proceed with this today, is he assuring us that none of the $72 million has already been spent?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the amount of money that has been authorized through the supplementary estimates has to be voted on tonight.

I said yesterday that we had frozen all major spending with regard to the program. We are keeping the system up and running because on this side of the House we believe in protecting our society. We have said there are problems and we will fix the problems.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, society is protected by being tough on crime, not by spending $1 billion on a gun registry.

The government says that it will go ahead. If the government actually needs the $72 million that it is now not asking for and not spending, how will it finish the gun registry when, by its own admission, 2.5 million to 3 million guns still need to be registered? How will this thing go ahead?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a valid, sound policy which is there to offer good protection for our society. They, of course, do not believe in protecting our society.The hon. member should repeat what he just said to Vince Bevan, the Ottawa Chief of Police, who has said:

--without information about who owns guns...there is no way to prevent violence or to effectively enforce the law. Information is the lifeblood of policing... this law is a useful tool which has already shown its value in a number--

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would remind hon. members when they ask questions that they have to be able to hear the answers and the Speaker has to be able to hear the answers.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what this party will do is tell the chiefs of police across Canada to put policemen on the street to enforce real laws against real criminals including the thing the minister is unwilling to do today, to have tough laws against child pornographers and pedophiles.

Let me go on. The minister has no idea how the policy will work but he continues to defend it. Let me ask him a couple of straightforward questions.

How much more money will he need to finish the gun registry? How much will it cost annually to maintain after that? Does he have any idea?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr.Speaker, if the hon. member believes in protecting our society he should believe in gun registration. As we said--

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I have already urged hon. members that if they do not want to hear the answer to the question they should not ask the question. A question has been asked and we have to be able to hear the answer. The minister might say something out of order and then we would have real objections. I want to hear the minister and I ask hon. members to allow him to speak.