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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

Public Service of CanadaOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that 21% of federal public servants in general report that they have been subjected to harassment. The situation is comparable in the prisons.

Can the Solicitor General inform us of what efforts have been made by his department to ensure effective application of the policy on harassment policy by Correctional Services?

Public Service of CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the RCMP and other agencies under the department of the Solicitor General do take these matters seriously. We ensure that the guidelines, as established for the Government of Canada and the Human Rights Commission, are in fact followed, and if they are not, there would be penalties.

Public Service of CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the government is currently investing considerable sums to determine the extent of the problem, but there was a report back in 1999 that pointed out that there was much still to be done to eliminate harassment from federal workplaces.

How many reports does the Solicitor General need before actually implementing the harassment policy in his department's facilities?

Public Service of CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we always welcome reports that outline if there is a problem in any area. The Treasury Board minister yesterday mentioned that progress was not made to the extent that had been fully hoped, but what these reports do for us is give us an analysis of areas where there should be improvement.

I can assure the House that the Government of Canada is working on improvements because harassment should not take place in the workplace.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

December 6th, 2002 / 11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Maurice Vellacott Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 the Liberal red book promised to establish an independent claims commission to resolve certain types of disputes between the government and first nations. In 1998 a joint task force report from the government and first nations also concluded that a claims commission should be independent and not controlled by the government, but in Bill C-6 the government has broken its promise to have a truly independent claims commission. In committee, the government rejected all amendments that would have brought independence to the commission.

Why is the Indian affairs minister no longer committed to an independent claims commission?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Liberal

John Finlay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. There are three parties involved in specific claims: the first nations, Canada, and the provincial governments. This commission is being changed in order that decisions can be made more quickly and more satisfactorily so that first nations can get on with the matter of controlling their own land.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the disastrous national energy program costs hundreds of businesses thousands of jobs and leaves families in turmoil due to failed Liberal Ouija board economic planning. We all want a clean environment. The Kyoto costs are not explained and not detailed. Provinces and businesses have not had their say. The members for Edmonton West and Edmonton Southeast must stand up with Albertans and say no to Kyoto.

How could the government have the audacity to ask Canadians to buy into the unexplained Liberal, shoot from the lip, Kyoto plan? How?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the problem that the opposition has is denying that there is a plan, denying that there is this document in existence, and therefore it cannot get around to reading what is in it.

However, if the hon. member would like to, this weekend, off the record, perhaps behind closed doors, sneak out a copy and look to page 31 he will get the figures that he is asking for. It is all in the book. All he has to do is recognize the book exists and read it.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has a remarkable commitment to francophone minorities in Canada. In fact, she is in Moncton delivering the goods yet again.

Could the parliamentary secretary to the minister tell us what good news the government has for francophone minorities in New Brunswick.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that today the Minister of Canadian Heritage along with Premier Lord in New Brunswick are announcing $2 million to assist in the implementation of New Brunswick's new Official Languages Act.

We are proud to be partners with New Brunswick as it assists its local municipalities to comply with the act, the purpose of which is to create an awareness and to promote the use of French and English in the administration of that province.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, at a recent meeting with Quebec softwood lumber workers, the Minister for International Trade stated his intention to extend the financial assistance for laid-off workers.

The Canadian Alliance has continually called for a targeted income support program for softwood lumber workers who have been laid off.

When is the government finally going to provide some help to workers who have been laid off as a result of this government's poor handling of the softwood lumber issue?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are already taking action because we are concerned about the impact and the potential impact of this trade dispute on Canadian workers in the softwood lumber industry.

I would remind the hon. member that each year on average $450 million is provided through employment insurance benefits to workers in the forestry industry. We recently identified $246 million in specific new targeted measures specifically for workers in the softwood lumber industry. In Quebec alone, $600 million is transferred every year for active measures through the employment insurance fund, as well as additional money specifically for older workers.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ontario has already had a blind date with Kyoto. The federal government signed a treaty capping sulphur dioxide emissions in 1988 and imposed those limits only in Ontario. It has cost Ontario consumers an arm and a leg when it comes to paying electricity bills. The Kyoto agreement will drive hydro bills even higher when it caps greenhouse gas emissions.

Why will the government not heed the lesson learned in Ontario and save us all from Kyoto ugly?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely astonished that an Ontario member would get up in the House and reject the concept of reducing acid rain, which has had such a dramatic impact on the streams and lakes of Ontario.

I would further suggest that it is extraordinary that she would get up here and talk about the program to reduce acid rain and SO

2

, and fail to point out that, when we finally came to do it, it cost industry in Ontario one-fifth of the amount that it had calculated at the beginning.

Ingenuity takes over and people reduce costs when they are required to do it. That is why ratification of Kyoto is so important next week.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the cancellation in 1993 of the EH-101 contract, which cost taxpayers over $500 million, and following the government's attempt to split the contract into two parts to let the Prime Minister save face, the government has decided to change its mind yet again and is now proposing a single tender to replace the old Sea Kings.

Since our national defence policy still has not been defined, why did the Minister of National Defence wait so long before starting all over, delaying the replacement of helicopters that put their crews' lives in danger, and whose service life has completely expired.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Haliburton—Victoria—Brock Ontario

Liberal

John O'Reilly LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the minister has said many times that he wants to get the right aircraft for the Canadian Forces as soon as possible. He moved yesterday to announce that he is doing just that. These aircraft will be on stream quicker on a single source contract and they will be fully equipped to replace the Sea Kings.

This approach accelerates the process, has less risk and reduces the cost to Canadians. It is expected that the winning bid will be announced some time in 2004.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the human resources minister.

There is another group of people in this country who could really use some good news and those are caregivers who deliver care to thousands of families across the country, and most of those caregivers are women.

Two throne speeches, a Romanow recommendation and a private member's bill delivered by the NDP and to be debated on Thursday, deal with that specific issue.

Will the human resources minister at least announce a program before Christmas that will help these people in the financial stress that they undergo and alleviate the pain that they are going through?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

Noon

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, supporting Canadians balance workplace-family challenges is a priority for the government. We recently doubled parental benefits so Canadian parents have the choice of staying home with their new children for up to a year.

In the Speech from the Throne, as the hon. member mentioned, we also recognized that there is a role to be played in reducing the moral dilemma of working and caring for gravely ill children or dying parents.

The Romanow commission has recommended that we act on this, and, with the support of the hon. member and the House, I hope we will do so very soon.

FisheriesOral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, following the fishery moratorium in 1992, the government offered a number of licence buyouts to fishermen in order to reduce the numbers involved in the fishery.

Some of those who sold back their licences to the government were given a lump sum tax free payment. Some were taxed on 75% of the amount, some were taxed on 50% of the amount and some were taxed on 25% of the amount. Why the discrepancy in such a program?

FisheriesOral Question Period

Noon

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to receive that question as notice. It does require that the Income Tax Act be followed. I would be happy to see that the member opposite receives a detailed analysis so that he will understand the differences.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, a year ago when I pointed out that employment insurance payments were taking six to eight weeks to reach laid off workers in eastern Ontario, the minister promised that her department would soon meet its four week promise of performance.

A year later things are worse, not better. Laid off workers have to wait as much as eight weeks. A local weekly reports that one young woman has been forced to survive on social assistance payments of $50 a month while waiting for benefits to which she is legally entitled.

The Liberal government has never been shy about extracting EI premiums from eastern Ontario. Why will the government not devote the manpower needed to pay out timely EI benefits?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

Noon

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it is a priority for us to ensure that benefits that are in place are in the hands of recipients. We have continued to focus on the challenges before us.

The hon. member can rest assured that the department is following these requirements on a weekly basis and doing its very best to make sure that these important benefits are in the hands of individuals.

If he has an individual case he would like me to look at I would be pleased to do that on his behalf.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the aftermath of September 11, the Minister of Transport approved the introduction of an $24 airport security tax. This tax was included in the most recent budget, tabled in December 2001.

He stated at the time that he would review his decision to keep this tax, based on its relevancy. Since then, the airline industry has said unanimously that this tax is a burden that is causing them considerable damage.

Will the Minister of Transport yield to the demands of the industry, which is asking loud and clear for him to honour his word and withdraw the airport security tax—

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

Noon

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

Noon

Oak Ridges Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the minister is listening to the industry. In fact, the minister has indicated that until the end of this month he is taking representations on this particular issue. He will report back at an appropriate time. We are looking at all of the information.

It is a concern, particularly to the members on this side of the House. We have addressed the issue in the past. We have said that we will make sure that it is in the best interests of Canadians.

First and foremost, however, public security while travelling on aircraft is very important to the government.