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 #48 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was iraq.

Topics

IraqOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I fail to understand the question. I thought I answered it clearly the last time.

What I said and what I will repeat is that for a hypothetical unknown case that may or may not occur in the future, obviously we do not have rules of engagement.

For the Canadians who are there today in Canadian vessels, we have rules of engagement, which I cannot reveal, but quite clearly they are Canadian rules of engagement that are used by the Canadian Forces.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Canadian Alliance Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, retroactive GIS payments are supposed to be limited to an 11 month period.

In August 1999, a claimant received a cheque for over $20,000 covering a period of over five years. The minister of HRDC had previously denied the claim. The OAS review tribunal denied the appeal and ruled in favour of the minister.

What mock parliamentary authority was used to justify the cheque?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should understand that where administrative errors are made the minister has the authority to make retroactive payments. That is the case in this regard and it is an appropriate way of managing the file.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Canadian Alliance Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, neither the minister nor the bureaucracy should be able to override the OAS review tribunal and cut cheques for tens of thousands of dollars on a whim.

I have written to the Auditor General today asking her to look into this matter. Will the human resources minister also investigate this issue and report back to the House with a full explanation of why her department broke the rules by arbitrarily cutting a cheque for over $20,000?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat that as far as the system that is in place, there is a one year retroactivity provision for most guaranteed income supplement reviews.

I think the hon. member would accept that where there are administrative errors, we do have to respond to individual Canadians appropriately. That is part of the process and I for one believe it is the right process.

National DefenceOral Question Period

January 29th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence has decided to close the dimensional metrology reference laboratory in Quebec City, thereby depriving the rarea of high calibre expertise and knowledge. DND consulted no one except the member for Louis-Hébert, who did nothing.

I am asking the Minister of National Defence why a laboratory was closed when it was working very well?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not have a detailed response for the hon. member at this time, but I will obtain one and get back to her tomorrow.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would also ask the Minister of National Defence whether he intends to treat the area properly and whether he will suspend his decision and carry out a proper consultation of the Quebec City scientific and political community, which is greatly concerned about this.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the importance of the matter and of the area, and will do my best to obtain an answer very promptly.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the federal government says it is only willing to consider new funding for three health priority areas. The provinces, the people who deliver health care, have identified eight priority areas, eight areas that need a total of $5.4 billion.

Why is the government only willing to consider new money for some provincial priorities?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, provincial and territorial health ministers and I met in early December and we did identify key priorities.

If the hon. member took the time to read the draft accord presented to provincial and territorial premiers by the Government of Canada, she would find that all eight of those priorities are mentioned somewhere in that accord.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the provinces are asking for $5.4 billion of funding. The minister is ignoring priority areas identified by the provinces.

The government should negotiate agreements to ensure any new money goes to provincial priorities.

Why can the government not provide the provinces with their priority funding?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, actually I would be very interested in having the hon. member, either this afternoon or at another time, identify for me any of the provincial and territorial priority areas that are not addressed in one way or another in our proposed accord.

I reiterate, I do believe that the priorities my provincial and territorial colleagues and I discussed in early December are all in one way or another addressed in our draft accord.

French in International InstitutionsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for the Francophonie.

It has been noted that French is being used less and less in international institutions. Could the minister tell us what he plans on doing to promote the use of French in international institutions?

French in International InstitutionsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, Canada actively promotes the use of French in international organizations. During the Francophone Summit in Beirut and the last ministerial conference in Lausanne, I announced that Canada would be providing $500,000 to promote the use of French in international organizations in New York and Washington, more specifically at the UN and the Organization of American States.

In the very near future, we will be asking Canadian companies if they are interested in this initiative.

IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry should be aware that the marketplace, free of political control, is the best way to deliver high speed or broadband Internet access to rural communities.

Political control of the Internet has failed. Why does the minister believe that if business cannot provide a service, the taxpayers can?

IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, just last year we allocated $105 million to communities across the country asking them to work together and with the private sector to come forward with plans to make broadband access available in those communities.

We understand that public-private relationship is the best way of proceeding. We are taking advantage of that relationship in making this important service available to Canadians across the country.

IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us hope the minister was not using gun registry math to do his calculations.

Funding business plans that cannot be implemented is another waste of taxpayers' dollars. Many communities were missed in last Friday's announcement. His announcement had more to do with pork barrel politics than providing Internet service to Canadians.

Instead of another Liberal spending spree using taxpayers' dollars, why does the government not simply eliminate the capital tax altogether?

IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the member just has it wrong. The rural communities, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and small cities throughout the country welcomed this opportunity to work with Internet service providers and with business interests to make these services available.

What we are doing is enabling these small communities to make proposals that will allow them access to e-health, e-commerce for their small businesses, and distance education. The member should realize this is a way of opening up opportunities to rural Canada.

Road InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the issues that concerns all the members from Haut-Richelieu and Brome—Missisquoi is Highway 35.

The Minister of International Trade and the former Minister of Finance, during a visit to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, both maintained that the funds were available under the Border Infrastructure Fund. The Quebec government is willing to fund 50% of the project.

What is preventing the minister responsible for infrastructure from signing the protocol with Quebec, putting the money on the table and keeping his government's commitments?

Road InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, Quebec still has not signed the agreement on provincial bridges and roads, unlike the other provinces. We are willing to sign the agreement and to consider investing in any highway.

Species at RiskOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, the species at risk act received royal assent in December.

Would the Minister of Environment please inform the chamber as to when the act will come into force and what the government is doing to support stewardship, the protection of species at risk and their critical habitat?

Species at RiskOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I can inform the hon. member that we expect proclamation in June. I thank him for his support on this legislation.

In the meantime, we will be working under the stewardship programs of the act and under the money made available by the Minister of Finance in past budgets on the issue of stewardship throughout, with the provinces, territories and with landowners.

Finally, if there is need for further information sessions, we will arrange those before June.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, Parliament continues to be kept in the dark about the costs of the gun registry. Maybe the public accounts committee will shed some much needed light on the subject.

Could the chairman of the public accounts committee provide Parliament and Canadians with a status report of its upcoming review of the federal firearms fiasco?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his excellent question.

The public accounts committee will begin hearings on February 24 into the Canadian firearms program. We will start by calling the following witnesses: the Auditor General, the Minister of Justice, the Deputy Minister of Justice, the President of the Treasury Board and the current and former CEOs of the Canada firearms program.

Let me be clear. Parliament has a responsibility to investigate this billion dollar boondoggle to the fullest on behalf of all Canadian taxpayers to find out how the program could have spiralled so far out of control.