This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #157 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was security.

Topics

Public Service CommissionOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the government is truly committed to employment equity in the federal public service, and particularly so for persons with disabilities.

Efforts have been made for a number of years and positive measures were taken precisely to promote employment equity within federal departments.

A centre had been set up to provide advice to the departments and create a momentum, so that this would truly become standard practice everywhere. We are now at this stage and will definitely keep pursuing the same objective.

Public Service CommissionOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister did not understand. The centre is being shut down; it will close on March 31.

The Liberal government's decision is a real insult to the work of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development.

Is the President of the Treasury Board telling witnesses, who travelled from all regions of Canada, and committee members, that the die has already been cast and that their work is not worth the paper that it is written on?

Public Service CommissionOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, let us put things in perspective.

When we created that centre, it was for a limited period of time, to provide advice and opinions to the departments. Now, the departments will be responsible and will be guided by a policy.

Let us look at the results: progress has been made year after year for women, aboriginals and persons with disabilities. We still have problems with visible minorities, but we have an action plan that will help us achieve our objectives.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, tuberculosis is endemic in deer and elk living in Riding Mountain National Park. These animals have transmitted TB to local cattle herds on several occasions. One more case of tuberculosis in cattle before April of 2005 could result in Canada losing its TB free designation. Yet the heritage minister who is responsible for our national parks is doing nothing to control these outbreaks.

Why does the minister of heritage refuse to sign on to the disease control agreement proposed by the province of Manitoba and the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we certainly are proud of the record and the fact that we are tuberculosis free in Canada. We are always monitoring the situation to do all we can to ensure that that continues to be the situation.

We are working with Heritage Canada. We are working with all the sectors of the bovine industry in Canada to ensure we have a plan and the surveillance in place so we can continue to have the status that we have.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, that answer does not indicate the seriousness of this issue. The agricultural minister better get thinking about the economic situation of farmers and agriculture in the country. Agriculture with livestock accounts for over $10 billion a year going into the economy and he virtually is ignoring it.

The president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association has referred to this very issue and the idea of setting up zones of containment for diseases. The minister of agriculture has the CFIA and full control of the zoning issue. Why has he not done anything about the issue?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had been paying attention at the standing committee when I was there not too many weeks ago, I explained very clearly that this was one of the approaches we were taking in the agriculture policy framework we were developing with the provinces to regionalize the country. If we ever get into the unfortunate situation of a foreign animal disease outbreak or tuberculosis, we will be able to regionalize it and continue to have the free status that we have at the present time.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation in today's air industry insurance market is a worldwide concern. I would like to ask the Minister of Transport what action the Government of Canada will take to ensure that aviation services can be maintained uninterrupted when the indemnity for third party aviation war risk liability expires soon.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we addressed this rather urgently after September 11. Canada was one of the first countries that extended the war risk liability coverage, and I am announcing today that we will extend it for a further period of time because the insurance market worldwide has not yet recovered sufficiently to reintroduce acceptable commercial coverage.

We are involved in discussions with other countries, airlines and the industry to find a permanent solution, as the intervention of the government obviously will be temporary.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, natives who are poor do not pay taxes because they have the same exemption that other poor people have. Natives who have higher income should pay taxes at the same level as their next door neighbours. This is not about on reserve treaty rights. It is about two businesses side by side in one of our cities or two families side by side in one of our towns. One pays taxes, the other is exempt.

When will the government begin implementing policies which treat Canadians equally and stop differentiating based on race?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

Sophia Leung LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has mentioned a very important and complex issue. We think it requires more consideration. If he is referring to treaty 8, right now the government has filed an appeal on this matter.

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, in areas such as Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the new air security charge is going to have a major negative impact. The Minister of Finance is claiming that the security measures will be based on the user pay principle. The airport at Rouyn Noranda will be spending $50,000 a year on security. Yet, the costs to passengers are estimated at over $550,000.

Is this what the Liberal government means by the user pay principle?

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the user pay principle means that, over the next five years, users will pay the overall cost of $2.2 billion.

It will not be the same every year but, over a five year period, that is the policy. If, in the fall, it looks like revenues will exceed costs, the charge will be reduced.

AgricultureOral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. farm bill could have devastating effects on Canadian agriculture.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was going to take our serious concerns to the lawmakers in the United States. Last month he was going to meet with the secretary of agriculture, Ann Veneman. It did not happen. On March 4 he was going to meet with American congressmen. It did not happen. As a matter of fact, nobody seems to want to meet with the minister.

Unfortunately, the president of the United States wants to have the bill passed by Easter. How is the minister going to explain to Canadian farmers that he dropped the ball?

AgricultureOral Question Period

Noon

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Even better still, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister himself raised it with President Bush at their meeting yesterday in very clear terms.

International Co-operationOral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Cooperation represented Canada at the 43rd annual meeting at the Inter-American Development Bank earlier this week in Fortaleza, Brazil. Could the minister inform the House what was discussed and achieved at the meeting?

International Co-operationOral Question Period

Noon

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the Inter-American Development Bank plays a very important role in the social and economic development for both Latin America and the Caribbean.

I was very pleased earlier this week to meet with the president, Mr. Iglesias, to sign a formal agreement between Canada and the Inter-American Development Bank. Hopefully it will deepen our longstanding partnership and allow CIDA to have better investments to collaborate on specific projects and works in the Americas.

Grants and ContributionsOral Question Period

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, you will be glad you have acknowledged me.

Canadians have been enquiring about the Groupaction report for over two years and have been told that it cannot be found. Suddenly, in a matter of days, the minister has cut and pasted a shoddy copy together for the House. However, producing the report is just the tip of the iceberg.

Will the minister table the report immediately without waiting for the translation? Will he have a computer forensics expert analyze the hard drive to make sure that the report was actually completed when the company claims it was?

Grants and ContributionsOral Question Period

Noon

Mississauga South Ontario

Liberal

Paul Szabo LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the member alluded that the government has pasted this document together. He is quite incorrect. The documents that were provided today to all of the opposition party critics were provided by Groupaction itself. They were located on the company's hard drives.

The member is quite right. It is important that we get them authenticated. That will be done. They will also be translated. We will continue to co-operate with all parties to ensure they have all the information available.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Oak Ridges Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to five petitions.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 48th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the selection of votable items pursuant to Standing Order 92.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Regarding the tabling of the report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, is it possible to find out which items have been selected as votable items?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

Noon

The Speaker

Certainly. The list is available at the table. The hon. member will no doubt find it there.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present two petitions today.

The first petition from my constituents asks parliament to amend the Income Tax Act to include disabled people with extremely high medical expenses by a refundable medical expense supplement.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition has more signatures to add to the tens of thousands of signatures on petitions by constituents from Winnipeg to Toronto asking the government to work and co-operate with Canadian Pacific Railway and VIA Rail to consider very seriously the reintroduction of the VIA passenger service from Toronto on the CPR tracks to Winnipeg. This was discontinued in 1990.