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House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, 13 years ago a lone gunman walked into a classroom in Montreal's École Polytechnique and viciously murdered 14 young women. The victims were chosen, not because of something they had said or done, but simply because of who they were and what they aspired to become.

Today we mourn the passing of those 14 young women who were taken away from their loved ones at a tragically young age. However our reflections must go beyond the brutal acts that took place in that classroom.

Today we mourn all the women who have suffered in silence at the hands of a stranger, a father, a brother, a husband or a boyfriend.

The unthinkable act of December 6, 1989, must serve as a cold reminder of the countless acts of violence against women that occur every day. As individuals and as members of this House we have a duty to do everything we can to put an end to that violence.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, today has been marked as a day of remembrance, not just in memory of the horrific murder of 14 young women at École Polytechnique, but to remind us of our collective responsibility to protect the innocent and vulnerable.

Violence against women also devastates the lives of those who loved them: their partners, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandparents, friends and neighbours. The circle of sadness and grief is infinitely wide.

The ugly echos of violence against women sound in the lives of far too many children. Violence against women is violence against us all because members of a society are interdependent.

On this day of special remembrance, I urge parliamentarians and all Canadians to renew their resolve to make the protection and safety of every member of our society a matter of utmost importance.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, December 6, is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Surely, there is no need to demonstrate that violence against women is unacceptable.

However, the various types of violence of which women are victims are specific manifestations of a broader social issue that requires unique attention and solutions. Violence can stand in the way of full equality for women in our society, and it remains a problem in Canada.

It is important that all Canadian men and women recognize that violence is unacceptable, regardless of whom it is directed against.

This recognition should also not end when the sun sets today. It should be apparent every day of the year.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I invite members to rise for a minute of silence.

[Editor's Note: The House stood in silence]

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

December 6th, 2002 / 11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government was asked over and over how much it would cost to complete the firearms registry and how much to maintain it. Either unwilling or unable to answer that question, it has had 24 hours to go through its advisers and strategists, so I will ask the question again.

How much will it cost Canadian taxpayers who are paying the bill to complete the firearms registry and how much to maintain it?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice dealt with these questions yesterday. He has taken very firm action in response to the Auditor General's report.

At his request, less than 24 hours ago, all parties of the House agreed to withdraw the supplementary estimates of $72 million. The minister has frozen discretionary spending. He has asked a private firm to audit the program and report in January. Once this happens, we will be able to come forward with more details.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the answer still is not forthcoming. I did ask two questions but I will make it easier for the minister answering for the government.

How much is it going to cost to complete the firearms registry? Just one question this time.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice has acknowledged the criticisms in the Auditor General's report and has agreed to accept the recommendations.

What we cannot forget is the real end game here of the Canadian Alliance. The real end game of the Canadian Alliance is to undermine a law that is supported by 80% of Canadians, which went through this House and the Senate, and is working.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wonder how many Canadians will still support the law when they realize that we were promised it would cost $2 million and it ended up costing $1 billion.

Let me ask the second part of the question since the minister is either unwilling or unable to answer the first part. How much will the annual cost be to maintain the registry when it is completed? That one is easier.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, what is interesting to note is in the last 24 hours other people from the law enforcement community have come forward to support this law and how effective it has been at reducing crime with weapons. In fact, the commissioner of the RCMP said that the wider community in the country supports not only the law, but the gun registry.

The gun registry will continue. Any problems we have had with the administration of it will be dealt with and they will be dealt with very quickly.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious the minister is not answering that question.

In fact, the minister yesterday stated that all major spending for this program had been frozen, yet he said the registry will remain operational. How is that going to work? The money has to come from somewhere.

Can the minister guarantee to the House that he will not be taking money away from front line police officers to pay for this gun registry of his?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if we looked back at some quotes over the last few years we would see a systematic attempt by the reform party, now the Canadian Alliance, to undermine the law passed by Parliament.

The former member for Crowfoot, remember him? He was another great member of the reform party. He released details about a loophole that would have allowed people to avoid the registry by leasing guns instead of buying them.

Another former reform member from Cypress Hills--Grasslands, remember him? He said, “There will be many thousands of people who will resist this law, even with the jail sentence staring them in the face. I will be in there and if I have to do a year, fine”.

That is what is really motivating the Canadian--

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Peace River.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, that does not address the issue of the Minister of Justice of the day saying it would cost $2 million and it is now running to over $1 billion. That is incompetence.

If the minister is determined to keep this program running, it is obvious it will have to be financed. Will the Minister of Justice tell the House what justice department program he intends to pilfer to pay for this latest billion dollar boondoggle?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is quite evident that the Canadian Alliance has been taking its lead on this issue from the National Rifle Association in the United States. The Alliance should know that Charlton Heston is not really Moses, he just played him in a movie.

Unlike the Alliance, we do not believe that Canada with guns on the street is the way to the promised land.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Agriculture attended the Union des producteurs agricoles conference, he got a pretty chilly reception for his presentation of the main funding thrusts for the new federal agricultural policy. This confirms farmers' fears, because the minister plans to have Ottawa make the decisions regarding Quebec's agricultural development.

Does the minister understand that he would do far better if he demonstrated some real flexibility and transferred the federal funds to the Financière agricole?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I assume that the issue the hon. member is raising is the distribution of the $600 million transition money that the government put forward to support our industry. The government made the decision, as the government should make the decision, that farmers in Canada would all be treated equitably. The money was distributed in such a way that they are treated equitably whether they live in Saskatchewan, Ontario, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, or Quebec. We will maintain that approach.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the farmers of Quebec fear that they will be hard hit by the federal government's unfair policies, and by one more fight started by Ottawa because of its inflexibility.

When is the minister going to understand that the agricultural reality of Quebec requires tailor-made policies and that these policies must be administered within Quebec using tools developed by the farmers of Quebec that reflect their reality and their needs?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, in June 2001 at the summer and annual meeting of the ministers of agriculture from the provinces, the territories and the federal government, all ministers, including the minister of agriculture from Quebec, agreed that we needed to move forward in an equitable way with national standards so that all farmers in Canada would be treated the same, including those in Quebec. That is the approach we will continue to take as a national government.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Quebec Farmers' Association, Cindy Duncan McMillan, summarized the position of Quebec farmers rather well: “Our counterparts in other provinces are envious of our programs, our union and our industry. If you want equity, allow us to show the rest of Canada how it is done. Show trust in us and in the Financière agricole”.

This message could not be any clearer. Did the minister get Mrs. Duncan McMillan's message?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the federal dollars will be distributed on an equitable basis to farmers across Canada. A grain farmer in Quebec is treated the same as a grain farmer in Saskatchewan. There is equitability in that way, for example.

There is absolutely nothing prohibiting the provinces, there never has been and there is not now, from doing other things and more things, as the province of Quebec has done in the past for the Quebec farmers with the money from the province of Quebec. Provincial programs are available to be put in place by the provincial governments.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, a motion has been adopted unanimously by the Quebec National Assembly, and the general congress of the UPA was also unanimous in calling for the federal funds to be transferred to the Financière agricole.

What more does the Minister of Agriculture want?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, what this minister wants and what the government insists on and will continue to insist on is that all farmers in Canada, when it comes to the use of federal money, will be treated in exactly the same way.

As we have in other provinces, the actual administration of the distribution of those dollars can be handed over to the provinces, but not how they are distributed because we are going to ensure that producers are treated in exactly the same way across the country.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, we know that yesterday the government was forced to back down from the $72 million increase for the firearms registry. This issue is not about guns. It is about unacceptable waste by the government.

On at least five occasions the government secretly shifted money to the firearms registry through the Treasury Board contingency fund and then repaid that money to the fund. Will the government give a commitment now that the Treasury Board contingency funds will not be used to fund the firearms registry? What we want is a guarantee that the government--

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I regret, but the time is up. The hon. Minister of Transport.