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House of Commons Hansard #173 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mace.

Topics

Summit of the AmericasStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, one year ago today, the Summit of the Americas ended in Quebec City, and I was present there myself. Save the adoption of the inter-American democratic charter by the Organization of American States, the real situation of democracy has deteriorated since that time, both here and elsewhere.

First, the Government of Canada has yet to ratify any of the regional treaties on human rights after 12 years at the OAS. Domestically, legislation passed since the tragic events of September 11 demonstrates to what extent Canada's reputation on democratic rights is overrated.

When it comes to the negotiation process, the Liberal government has done nothing, in contrast to the Government of Quebec, which has introduced a bill that will give parliamentarians the opportunity to debate and vote on any FTAA agreement.

If Canada is keen about the integration of the Americas, then democratic, social, cultural and environmental concerns will have to become the focus of the negotiation process again, putting the economy back in its rightful and important place: at the service of the people of the Americas.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, for a year a group has held a Friday vigil outside my riding office in opposition to the sanctions against Iraq. Since September 11 this has not been a popular public stance but those concerned have persisted in good weather and bad.

With the events of September, the deterioration of conditions in the Middle East, and the U.S. position on Iraq the cause of this group seems even less hopeful than it was when they began. Yet this should not be the case.

Saddam Hussein has not been weakened by the sanctions. The weakest of those in his power, including children, suffer most from the sanctions. Surely this means the sanctions are encouraging future terrorists at the very base of the population pyramid. Poverty and ignorance breed violence. A reasonable standard of life and education breeds peace.

Whatever we do to Saddam Hussein let us start feeding and educating the children of Iraq. They in turn will help us against the Saddam Hussein's of the future and the terrorists of the future.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

April 22nd, 2002 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, today school children across Canada and around the world will be taking part in Earth Day activities: planting trees, learning about hazardous waste, water pollution, pollution emissions and how to reduce, reuse and recycle to minimize our impact on the environment.

Those are just some of the issues school children will be learning about as part of Earth Day activities. Six million Canadians will join 500 million people worldwide celebrating Earth Day.

The Progressive Conservative Party has always been recognized for its environmental stance, particularly as a result of its efforts at the Rio summit. However those efforts have been allowed to lapse by the current government. The Liberal government has turned its back on the environment having failed to pass a single piece of environmental legislation.

Earth Day reminds us all that we are stewards of this planet. I encourage all Canadians to take part in protecting their environment.

Organ Donor AwarenessStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week has been designated National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. Today 4,000 Canadians are on waiting lists for organs and tissues. Many will die unless we take the time to sign our donation cards and inform our families.

One donor can save the lives of nine people, while tissues from one donor can help up to 40 people improve the quality of their life. Ninety per cent of Canadians support the idea of organ and tissue donation, yet less than half have signed up to be donors. At the same time, the need for organs and tissues continues to rise.

I encourage all Canadians to discuss this important issue with their loved ones and to sign their donor cards.

VaisakhiStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend in Toronto and across Canada Sikh communities gathered to celebrate the annual harvest festival of Vaisakhi , the first solar day of the Sikh new year. Vaisakhi is a special day for the Sikh faith. On this day each year more than 400,000 Sikhs in Canada join 20 million followers around the world in celebration and recommitment to a path of spiritual disciplines that embody the remembrance of God, truthful living, hard work, equality of all mankind, compassionate service, hope and renewal. A free community kitchen can be found at every Sikh temple which serves meals to people of all faiths, following their basic principles of service, humility and equality.

The Canadian Alliance joins with all Canadians in commending Canadian Sikhs as they add to our diverse Canadian culture the values that make them strong, and we wish them a happy and very prosperous new year.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the majority of Canadians now believe that the federal government is corrupt. Let us talk about corruption.

Ministers are raising money secretly for leadership campaigns, the government is buying luxury jets and as long as the government is unaccountable it will be perceived to be corrupt.

Will the Prime Minister take one small step toward ending this perception of corruption by finally delivering on his promise to appoint an independent ethics and integrity counsellor who reports directly to parliament?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor appears four or five times a year in front of a committee to report on lobbyists to the committee and to the House of Commons.

When he advises the Prime Minister on the responsibilities of the Prime Minister he has to talk to the Prime Minister. However on the other matters he can do that through the committee of the House and he has done it many times.

The reality is that since this government has been in operation, almost nine years, not one minister has been obliged to resign because of corruption.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the status quo is unacceptable. Change is needed. The Prime Minister has the wrong priorities. He will not even take the smallest steps to make his government more accountable to the hardworking taxpayers who are looking at the kinds of rules he has.

We now have the perception that the finance minister may have been selling tax dodges, and I say may, in order to raise money for his leadership slush fund.

Has the Prime Minister taken any action to put rules in place to ensure that these ministers are not compromising their cabinet roles as they scramble to replace him?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, the Leader of the Opposition was very happy that we had a Challenger to take him to Trenton. I invited him and he went on the plane. He had no scruples using the plane to go to pay tribute to the soldiers there. I would like to give the facts and stop that hypocrisy.

I said, yes, that there will be guidelines. People have the right to organize, like the opposition parties, if there is a leadership campaign. There eventually will be a leadership campaign. I do not think that I will be here for another 30 years, so some day some of these kids who are around me can hope to take over from me.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I was proud to go in the Challenger jet on Saturday to honour those brave Canadians. However that has nothing to do with corruption in government.

In my party, members in the shadow cabinet had to step down to run for the leadership. We would be quite prepared if the Prime Minister brings in rules to declare all the moneys that are donated.

Seventy-one per cent of the Canadian public has a perception that government is corrupt. When will the Prime Minister bring in the rules so we can show Canadians that we are all above board in what we are doing in the House?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no leadership race at this time. I know the other party had a race a few weeks ago and it has not given the names and the amount of money that has been collected. It dares to tell us to do something that it does not do itself.

There will be rules when there is a leadership campaign. I have said that in the House of Commons and I have said that in caucus, but in due course, and probably quite soon.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, through an access to information request we have learned that in June 2001 the ethics counsellor asked that a draft letter be prepared to be sent out to ministers to advise them on how to conduct fundraising for their leadership campaigns.

Could the Prime Minister tell Canadians if ministers who are raising money for their leadership campaigns were informed of these draft guidelines? If they were not notified, why have these guidelines not been enforced?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I received a letter from the ethics counsellor last week and I want to see him because I think they need to be improved. When the regulations are ready, I will make them public. He was not there last week so I could not meet him.

I intend to meet him, and to discuss that with a few people. I hope that we will have rules ready to tabled in the House before the end of May.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, these access to information documents state that in June 2001 a draft paper had been written by the ethics counsellor on the leadership campaign issue. Yet the final guidelines were delivered by the ethics counsellor to the Prime Minister on April 12. These guidelines had been ready for nearly a year.

Why did the Prime Minister allow almost a full year to pass before receiving these guidelines and why did he not make the draft guidelines public last year?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member just said that the letter was sent to me on April 12 of this year. Therefore, I could not act on them before I received them. I received them last week and I will act before the end of next month.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1997, Quebec and the provinces all agreed that the increase in greenhouse gas emissions had to stop. There was full agreement that Canada should take action.

Unfortunately, Canada has not yet gotten past the talking stage. In fact, while Canadian emissions have increased by 20%, the government is caving in to pressure from certain lobbies and certain ministers, and backtracking on Kyoto.

Will the Prime Minister admit that by refusing to use these consultations to examine ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the government is leaving itself a way out of ratifying the Kyoto protocol?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have been saying for many months now that we wanted to consult the provinces and those with an interest in this issue. It is very important that we have co-ordination with the provinces so that an environmental protection plan can be implemented by Canadians. The matter is not closed.

Only this morning, just a few hours ago, I discussed this problem with Japan's Prime Minister, who is planning to ratify the accord. They too have certain problems. We are hoping that eventually, here in Canada and internationally, we will find common ground and that the accord can be signed by as many countries as possible, including Canada.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have nothing against consultations, but they must not be used as an excuse for not taking action. If we are to implement Kyoto as quickly as possible, the consultations must focus on a tangible proposal.

Yes or no, will the Prime Minister tell us whether, with a view to consultations, the government has submitted a clear proposal to implement Kyoto and, if so, what that proposal is?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Energy are working on this right now. They will, I hope, be in a position to put forward tangible proposals to the ministers of the provinces and territories in the coming weeks.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the federal government is using the consultations with Quebec and the provinces as an excuse to delay ratification of the Kyoto protocol. But when international negotiations were taking place, everyone in Canada agreed with the principle that we must not increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Does the government's lack of leadership and its inability to make a clear proposal to the provinces not leave a lot of room for some lobbies that are using certain ministers to get the government to back off on the ratification of this accord?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the federal government's position is clear and that it is supported by all the ministers of the Government of Canada.

We will have consultations with the provinces, the territories, the industries that are affected and the general public. Following that, we will have a plan to ensure that no region of the country has to support an undue burden. We will then be in a position to make a decision on ratification of the protocol.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment should realize that while the government is backing off regarding the Kyoto protocol, or, at best, is standing still, according to observers, between 1990 and the year 2000—this is recent, and the period during which this government was in office—greenhouse gas emissions in Canada increased by 20%.

Does the government realize that this is the situation in which it is putting everyone right now?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right. There has been an increase in greenhouse gas emissions since 1997. However, he should also know that the first period under the Kyoto protocol only begins in 2008. We have a few years to put in place the plan to which the Prime Minister referred a few minutes ago.

TradeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance apparently told the U.S. treasury secretary that there are some very serious problems in the Canada-America trade relations. He referenced hit and run duties on softwood lumber and a tax on the Canadian Wheat Board, both of which he said were politically motivated.

Americans need Canada's approval for the northern natural gas pipeline route. So far our government has been falling all over itself to co-operate. Did the finance minister indicate that this pipeline approval process would be slow walked should the U.S. continue to harass our lumber and grain exports?

TradeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I covered a wide range of areas with the U.S. secretary of the treasury who, in his previous life as a business person, has an extensive understanding of Canada. The point that I made very clearly is that this government will make all of its decisions in Canada's interest.