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House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agency.

Topics

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, here is another joke for the Liberal government. For three years the agriculture department has been in chaos. Programs are dysfunctional. The agriculture policy framework is a failure. Staff morale is at an all time low. This bureaucracy has completely failed agricultural producers.

Now we understand that this year's farm programs will be delayed by one year. There are only 10 weeks left until farming begins. What past unworkable program will the minister be dredging up and forcing farmers to endure in 2003?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the hon. member has just said, we will have some changes to the support for agriculture, starting in April of this year. Crop insurance will continue, with some improvements. The industry and the producers have asked us to take a look at improving programs such as NISA, including a disaster component to a new design of NISA with different levels of contribution and different participation choices by producers.

I can assure the hon. member that we will continue those discussions with the provincial ministers this Friday.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister has admitted that the APF is a failure. It will not meet its deadlines. He and his department have spent two years planning a new agriculture policy framework and the government is once again failing farmers.

Twenty-two farm organizations have written directly to the Prime Minister about their concerns about the APF. Farmers realize that the minister is wrecking NISA. Farmers fear they will be stuck again with CFIP in 2003 and they are facing reduced crop insurance coverage.

The minister knew years ago that these farm programs were ending and needed to be replaced. Yet he can still not get new programs in place. Why?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we have been consulting with the industry and consulting with the provinces. We will continue that.

I can assure the hon. member that every province will have the opportunity to make improvements to their crop insurance program, for example, for the 2003 crop. That is what the producers have been asking for. They have been asking for changes to the net income stabilization account. We are discussing those changes. I can assure the hon. member that we will have those changes in place for the 2003 crop year by April 1 of this year.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Premier of Quebec gave his word that all the federal money Quebec received would go to patient care. So it is hard to understand why the federal government is not satisfied with this unequivocal commitment.

Can the Prime Minister tell us why he is obstinately refusing to transfer money unconditionally, when the provinces have proven that they are the experts in patient care?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is very important that the governments have the same priorities. The Premier of Quebec said that this was the case, and the Prime Minister of Canada said that this was the case. So things are moving along, and we do not see why the Bloc Quebecois is objecting.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the federal government decided to cut health services, it cut everywhere, leaving the provinces to deal with the mess.

Now that money must be restored to the health care system, why has the government suddenly decided to make such a fuss about where and how the provinces should spend the money?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada restored the transfer payments while the provinces, during that same period, made $22 billion in cuts. So much for the past.

With regard to the future, we all know that Canadians want their governments to make health care a priority, and that is what we intend to do in partnership with the provinces, while respecting each other's jurisdictions and agreeing on the priorities that will ensure that our health care system remains one of the best in the world.

Canada Elections ActOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, last fall the Supreme Court gave imprisoned murderers the right to vote in Canada, even though their victims lost all of their rights. Recently, child killer Clifford Olson announced from prison that he supported the decision and that he would vote Liberal in the next election.

Could the minister tell Canadians what he has done to ensure that imprisoned murderers, pedophiles and other violent criminals cannot vote in the next federal election?

Canada Elections ActOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada, as the hon. member knows, put in measures regarding this. They have now been overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The justice department and other departments of government are actively reviewing the decision with a view to doing everything we can both to respect the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, because it is supreme, which is why it is called that, to the surprise of the hon. member, and at the same time to have fairness in a democratic society.

Canada Elections ActOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

A minister, Mr. Speaker, who speaks about fairness for murderers but nothing for the victims that these murderers have killed. Last fall the Liberal minister promised to review this decision. Unfortunately, the minister and the justice department have done absolutely nothing to prevent child killers and other violent criminals from voting, even in the last byelections.

Because of Liberal inaction, the Canadian Alliance brought forward the only motion that can be made, a motion to reverse the decision by a constitutional amendment. The government opposes it. Why does it support the rights of murderers?

Canada Elections ActOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, first the hon. member proposed an alleged solution that we should use the notwithstanding clause. Then he discovered that the notwithstanding clause did not even apply to that particular section. Now he wants to have another constitutional amendment that requires the consent of all the provinces and to do that before the next byelection.

The hon. member knows that this is a very serious issue. He should not trivialize it in the way that he is. There is a Supreme Court of Canada decision. He should also know about what the Government of Manitoba did with a similar issue at the time when he was a provincial minister many years ago.

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions.

The central bank rate has been set at the lowest levels we have seen in decades, at around 3%. At the same time, interest rates for popular credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are hovering at 18%, six times the bank rate. Traditionally, credit cards have moved up and down with the bank rate and the spread has been around 10%, but not since 1995. The spread is now more than 16% at a time when consumer credit debt has achieved levels that are unsurpassed.

My question for the minister is, what is the Government of Canada doing to protect Canadian consumers from the avarice of our credit--

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions.

FinanceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Actually, Mr. Speaker, real assets have grown faster than real debt in Canada, which means that Canadians are worth a lot more today than ever.

Second, on the issue of credit cards, our responsibility as a government is to create vibrant competition in the sector. Over 600 products exist in that sector, including low interest credit cards. It is clear to me that Canadians have choice, and they will always act in their best economic interests for themselves and for their families, but to help we have created the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to make them wise consumers.

Child PornographyOral Questions

January 28th, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, we now know that Project Snowball uncovered 2,329 suspected pedophiles living in Canada. With the few police officers we have working around the clock, they were able to arrest between 50 and 100 people.

When it comes to the safety of children, does the Solicitor General consider a 4.2% arrest ratio a success?

Child PornographyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, child pornography is a terrible crime. It is unacceptable to Canadians and it is unacceptable to the government.

On the specific point the member raised, the government has been moving forward. We have increased the penalties and we have increased the funding for police. I am pleased to announce today that the RCMP, working with the Ontario Provincial Police, will create a joint steering committee to develop a national strategy on Internet based child pornography. This group will include representatives from CISC and other large police services.

Child PornographyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, an Alliance government would immediately put into place a national strategy to stamp out child pornography in its entirety and give the police the tools to accomplish that goal. As well, an Alliance Party would develop a zero tolerance of child pornography, implement it immediately and not wait with their silly games.

Child PornographyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, there is a big difference, certainly, between the Canadian Alliance policies and the government's. This government believes in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and we believe in discussing solutions with people. That is why we are setting up the steering committee to develop the national strategy with police forces across the country.

In addition, the RCMP's national missing children's service will be expanded to provide a high level, strategic approach to child exploitation, including child pornography. We are doing our job on this side of the House.

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, poverty is al around us. Sad cases are on the rise. There is an increase in homelessness; more and more children do not eat three meals a day; families live in unsanitary dwellings or dwellings that are too expensive. The situation has become unbearable and requires solutions and resources as soon as possible.

The government is preparing to spend large sums of money on a possible war against Iraq, but does it feel that it is just as important to provide means to fight—

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I draw the hon. member's attention to the progress that has been made in reducing child poverty in Canada. It has been and will continue to be a priority for our government.

The hon. member need only read the Speech from the Throne to see the continued commitment from the government in supporting low income families through the national child benefit and in working with the provinces and territories to create and increase the services available to our children, our very important youngest citizens. We have made investments in homelessness projects right across the country, and we will continue to do so because poverty must be beaten.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, despite all the rhetoric about wanting stronger partnerships with first nations and Métis people, the Liberal government refuses to work cooperatively with first nations governments. The government refuses aboriginal leaders their rightful place at the table with first ministers deciding the fate of health services in Canada.

Will the government put an end to this shameful disrespect for the aboriginal people and their leaders and give them their rightful place at the first ministers meeting on health?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the first ministers meeting is for first ministers. Ministers are consulting with the aboriginal leaders, but when we have a meeting of first ministers we mean by that the leaders of the provinces and the territories.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, after last fall's announcement of the closing of the asbestos mine in Asbestos and the loss of 350 jobs, we learn today that Noranda is announcing the closing of the Magnola plant, which is also in Asbestos. This closing for at least one year, which will lead to the loss of 380 more jobs, is due to the impact Chinese production has had on the drop in the price of magnesium. All of this puts the town and the area in a catastrophic situation.

I ask the Secretary of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec the following. When will there be concrete action, when will a special emergency fund be created to diversify the Asbestos economy?