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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

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, he might want to ask his seatmate for some help on these questions. On second thought, maybe not.

The Auditor General has concluded that the Department of Justice hid from Parliament the fact that there were massive cost overruns. Rather than suspend or cancel the registry, the minister has now called for an outside, after the fact audit. He owes it to the House to not make the same mistake twice.

The current report states that Parliament was kept in the dark. Will he commit today to table the KPMG audit as soon as he has received it?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, everyone in the House and the Canadian population know that all the numbers have been reported. They have been reported for Justice Canada and for all the other departments that were involved in the program delivery.

What I said was that it was a question of accountability, and how we should be accountable for the whole program. We have said that we will make sure that we put the book in a format that will be transparent to the Auditor General, as well as to better inform the Canadian population. We are deeply committed to accountability.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, in case the justice minister did not understand the Leader of the Opposition, who clearly indicated that he would consent to the withdrawing of funding from the gun registry, I would like to ask the question again. How much will it cost to complete the gun registry and how much will it cost to maintain it?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what we are dealing with now are the recommendations of the Auditor General with regard to managing the program. What we said is that we agree with all the recommendations. I said yesterday as well that we had frozen all the major spending that could take place within the program itself.

I am also glad to hear that we now can postpone the vote on the $72 million to give us time to see the audit. Are we concerned? Yes, we are concerned and we will fix the problem.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I gather from the answer that he does not know what he is doing, so I will ask him again. How much will it cost to complete the registry and how much will it cost to maintain it after that?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member knows very well that the numbers have declined over the past two years. The member also knows that big spending is behind us. We on this side of the House believe that our policy is protecting society and its values. What we want to do on this side of the House is to fix all the problems in order to have a very good and valid program for the whole Canadian population.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the government is crumbling under the weight of scandals involving tens of millions of dollars for the sponsorship program, and billions of dollars lost through tax loopholes and the firearms registry program, the École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe is still waiting for its $59 million to ensure its survival.

Will the Prime Minister take his responsibilities and immediately provide the money to save the École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe, the only French school of veterinary medicine in North America?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member speaks of only one veterinary college in Canada. He obviously knows that there are four in Canada. One is in Quebec, yes. The accreditation of that college is being reviewed in the next number of days.

I will say again in the House that we are looking at ways in which we can support that because we want to ensure that the accreditation of that college stays in place.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the minister does not understand is that Saint-Hyacinthe has already lost its full accreditation. The final deadline for the American Veterinary Medical Association to decide on whether or not this loss will be permanent, is four days from now.

Are the Liberal members from Quebec asleep at the switch? Are they not about to be shown up for the amateurs they are once again, as was the case when the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean was shut down? Is that what is going to happen in Saint-Hyacinthe?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I hope the member is not trying to give information that is not correct. That veterinary college has not yet lost its accreditation. There is some documentation that it needs to produce and provide to its board of directors, which will, in turn, be provided to the accreditation body for review. There are a number of days yet for that to take place, but I want to assure the college and Canadians that the college has not at this time lost its accreditation.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the answers or non-answers that we are getting from the justice minister with respect to the firearms registry are a complete disgrace. Canadians are very concerned about whether or not the government has any clue how it is spending money on the registry. Today the minister is confirming that in fact it has no idea.

Could the minister tell us how much it will cost to finish this registry and how much it will cost every year to maintain it?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have all the numbers going back to the beginning of the program as well as the past seven years. We have the numbers that we have tabled in the supplementary estimates. If members were to look at the supplementary estimates they would see the situation with regard to justice is very clear in the program.

There is no money missing. Everything has been reported. The question here is, how should we be accountable? How should we make the situation clearer for all Canadians in order to access the costs? This is what we will do in answer to the recommendation of the Auditor General.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, if this minister knows the numbers then it is a contempt of Parliament and a contempt of Canadians not to reveal them here today.

What I would like to know is, how much will it cost to finish this registry and how much will it cost every year to maintain it? We want an answer.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, members know very well what I said many times. We want to fix the problems. There is some question in terms of management involved in the department.

We managed to fix the problem. Having said that, the difference between that side and the Liberal side is that we believe in the protection of our society. We believe in our policy and we also believe in the gun registry. We will ensure it will be a good and valid program to protect our Canadian society.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General is questioning certain tax practices allowed by the government. These practices cause the government to lose of hundreds of millions in tax revenues by allowing companies to take advantage of tax havens.

What is the Minister of Finance waiting for to amend these tax practices criticized by the Auditor General for 10 years now?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, tax treaties are signed with other countries to avoid double taxation. That is very different than the audits required on international accounts. At CCRA we have many experts and we recognize that we need more.

We are hiring auditors. In fact, we are planning to hire 9,600 auditors over the next three years, half of those to replace those that are retiring and those that have been poached by the private sector, and the rest as new auditors so that we will have the capacity we need.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand that the government's tremendous tolerance, which prevents it from closing up tax loopholes, is due to the fact that the former Minister of Finance, who should have been the first person to see that these loopholes are closed, took full advantage of them during all these years?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, that is an absolutely outrageous assertion by the member opposite. I must tell her that it is the role of CCRA to ensure that all Canadians pay their fair share of taxes, that they do so and meet the obligations of the Income Tax Act. We do that and Canadians should be proud of our efforts.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the gun registry boondoggle is the result of government fiscal deception. The government is asking Canadians to trust it on major issues like Kyoto and health care. The gun registry is now 500 times higher than the original estimate. The government has failed to produce any cost estimates on Kyoto.

Why should Canadians trust that Kyoto will not bankrupt the country when the government has failed so miserably at estimating the gun registry cost?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, very careful studies were undertaken by the territories, the provinces, the federal government, their officials and private sector firms working together.

Obviously, we cannot know all the variable factors in the economy ten years out. Members opposite may have such clairvoyance, but most of the rest of us do not and therefore we have done the very best job we can. It is contained in the document “Climate Change Plan for Canada”.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, original estimates for the gun registry were $2 million. It has now cost close to a billion dollars. That is 500 times what the government said it would cost taxpayers.

The government has completely mismanaged the gun registry. The government has failed to provide any cost estimates on Kyoto. Why should Canadians believe the government on Kyoto?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is incorrect.

The cost estimates with respect to the impact on the economy and the various provinces of Canada have been done. These have been made public and commented on by provincial premiers and others, as well as the private sector. This is the process whereby we attempt to wholly refine the estimates that have been made.

They clearly have been made and very careful work has been done. I can assure him that no country in the world has done more in an effort to anticipate future costs.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, there has been a great deal of concern expressed by Canadians on the urgent need to replace the Sea King helicopters. Could the Minister of National Defence update the House on the status of the maritime helicopter program?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have often said that a top priority was to get the right helicopter at the lowest possible price as soon as possible.

Accordingly, today I have instructed my officials to proceed as soon as possible with a single tender for a fully equipped helicopter. This action, which is consistent with the industry consensus, is a major step forward in getting lower risk for the taxpayer, better value for the Canadian Forces and, last but not least, speedier development of the helicopter.

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

December 5th, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry.

We welcome today's Supreme Court ruling that protects the public interest by rejecting the patenting of life forms. This is a clear message that we must do more to protect the public from the abuse of patent laws that put profits before people. We need a rock solid ban on the patenting of all life forms.

Will the minister commit to amending the Patent Act to make this happen?