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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

Government ProcurementOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the rule was not broken. It is not a matter of getting an exception to the rule if it is not broken. An exception was not necessary. In fact, this contract is exempt both under WTO and under NAFTA.

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

April 22nd, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judi Longfield Liberal Whitby—Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the recent court decisions relating to child pornography there has been much discussion about the age of consent for sexual activity. Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada clarify what the actual age of consent is in Canada?

Age of ConsentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, on age of consent there is a common misunderstanding of the criminal law treatment of this issue.

Since 1890 the age of consent for most purposes has been set at 14. The age is 18 however where the relationship is exploitive, such as in the case of prostitution, child pornography, or where there is an existing relationship of trust or authority. Any non-consensual sexual activity regardless of age is sexual assault. However, there is concern that the motion tomorrow by the opposition may in effect reduce the age of consent from 18 to 16 and we are against that.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I cannot deduct my traffic tickets from my income tax yet a recent court ruling says that businesses can deduct fines, penalties and levies as a legitimate business expense. I find this outrageous.

Will the Minister of National Revenue agree that it undermines the deterrent value of a fine if a company can write it off as a tax deduction? Will she agree to have her department study this issue and bring forward amendments to the act so that fines and penalties that are imposed by law on a company are not allowed as legitimate tax deductions? Will she make that commitment today?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the recent supreme court ruling. I want to assure the member and others who are interested in the subject that we are reviewing the matter at this time. It is an important issue that should be looked at.

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are still waiting to benefit from the housing agreement that was signed with the provinces and the territories last year. In B.C. the provincial Liberals are diverting desperately needed housing dollars into seniors care. In Ontario they are trying to get away with group homes and care facilities while ruling out affordable housing by definition. It is a far cry from what was supposedly agreed to.

The Deputy Prime Minister has this important file. Why is he not insisting on affordable clear outcomes for affordable not for profit housing instead of letting the provinces off the hook while lining the pockets of developers? Why is this agreement--

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the federal government is very proud to have committed an additional $680 million to public housing to provide an opportunity for low income Canadians in every part of Canada to have access to affordable quality housing.

We continue to negotiate an agreement with the province of Ontario. The member should be assured of the fact that it is our intention to ensure as best we can that we have a significant increase in the number of units that are available in the province of Ontario.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, a poll released today confirms what Canadians have been saying for a long time: 69% of Canadians feel the little guy from Shawinigan has become the big enchilada from Ottawa.

The government continually puts its own interests and politics ahead of the interests of Canadians. When will the Prime Minister and his government make integrity and accountability a priority?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, coming from that corner of the House, I am surprised to get a question like that.

This government has been in office for nine years. None of the cabinet ministers has been forced to resign because of this problem but we saw more than half a dozen in the few years that the Tories were in power.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government has given us: broken promises; red book reversals; GST and free trade; the ethics counsellor; the Somalia shutdown; APEC; homeless friends; the rewarding of friends; the strangling of protestors and parliament; patronage; nepotism; Gagliano; Liberal fundraising scandals; contract cancellations; Pearson airport; helicopters; waste; AG ignored; billion dollar boondoggles; jazzy jets; convicted Liberal fundraisers; shady Shawinigan golf course deals; BDC interference; disdain for ethics, due process and accountability. Why?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I guess I have just heard a leadership candidate. I would like to know if he has started to collect money. I say to the person who is sitting just in front of him, watch your back.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, in direct contradiction to the solicitor general's response a week ago, reportedly dozens of inmates, not just one as he has stated, received incentive pay from CorCan, some up to $700 per week.

I therefore ask the solicitor general, exactly how many convicts have received incentive pay and how much?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated to my hon. colleague previously, this action was inappropriate. Correctional Service Canada has indicated to me that it will not happen again.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general obviously did not hear the question. The question was how many inmates received the incentive pay and how much?

While individuals like Candice Bridgman and her two infant children are home grieving the murder of her husband, his killer, Dennis Smysnuik, is apparently making thousands of dollars from CorCan. Quite obviously the government does not believe that crime does not pay.

How can the solicitor general justify convicts, particularly killers like Smysnuik, making more money than many hardworking honest Canadians, let alone making any money at all?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that is quite a wild statement from my hon. colleague.

I have indicated a number of times that what happened was inappropriate. My hon. colleague is also well aware I am going before the standing committee on Thursday. This question would be appropriately answered at that time.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Americans are imposing a 29% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, the Minister for International Trade contends that it is still too early to implement assistance programs to help our lumber sector, as requested by labour and industry.

The minister's position is surprising, considering that a number of sawmills may have to shut down and that thousands of jobs have already been lost following the American decision.

How does the Prime Minister explain the comments made by the Minister for International Trade?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

London—Fanshawe Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear the government does not want to take precipitous action in this regard. It is consulting very widely with the industry. It is consulting with all the provinces. It keeps an open mind. All options are open.

It may be that existing programs will not be sufficient and that further action will have to be taken. The last thing we would want to do is make a wrong mistake quickly.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the issues change, but the government's inaction remains the same, whether on the softwood lumber issue or the Kyoto protocol. This government never takes action.

The minister claims that the situation in which some softwood lumber producers are finding themselves could be the result of bad business decisions on their part and that, consequently, it would not be up to the government to correct these mistakes.

Will the Prime Minister recognize that the Minister for International Trade is once again evading his responsibilities by blaming the industry for a situation that it did not create?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

London—Fanshawe Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member ought to consult with industry in his home province. It has just written to the Prime Minister saying that for its part it wants to assure him and the responsible minister, the Minister for International Trade, of its continued and unrelenting support. Industry Quebec understands that the government is doing its job very well.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, under Canada's statutory release program a prisoner must be released after serving only two-thirds of his sentence if the prisoner is not a risk to public safety. However, it has been shown that at least 42% of all statutory releases last year resulted in repeat offences.

Why does the solicitor general continue to place prisoners back into society before it is safe to do so? Why is it that Canadians are always in second place?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member, as a former attorney general, is well aware of why stat release is in place. The fact is a person is released with conditions on the release. If not, the person will be released into society with no conditions, scot-free.

What the government wants to do is have control on the offender and make sure the offender is integrated back into society as safely as possible.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, we know there is no control in prisons but that does not mean we can turn them loose in the streets.

At the Frontenac Institution, figures show that historically 66% of escapes from that prison have been drug related. Drugs are an issue in most of the escapes there.

If rehabilitation is such an issue for the solicitor general, could he explain why there are only two prisoners there who receive methadone treatment and why there is no detoxification program for those who need it? If he cares about rehabilitation in prisons why does he not do something about it?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think it is a bit unfair for my hon. colleague to indicate that I have no concern about addiction in penal institutions. In fact, if there is anything that I have emphasized since I became solicitor general it is addictions of human beings.

The fact of the matter is that we are having an international conference in Charlottetown at the end of this month. If we want the brightest minds in the world to look at problems and come up with solutions, that is in fact what the government will do and will continue to do.

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East.

Canada has always enjoyed an excellent trade relationship with the United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai. My own riding of St. Catharines in the last year signed contracts for many goods and services. However I would like to know if the present situation in the Middle East has adversely affected our trade relationship and, if so, what is he doing to overcome this and increase trade with the UAE?