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House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, in early summer both the Prime Minister and the Solicitor General expressed concern that information about Maher Arar may have come from Canadian sources to the United States.

I ask, did any agency of Canada give any agency in the United States any information about Mr. Arar before, during or after he was detained in New York and deported by U.S. authorities to Syria?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have made this very clear before and one of the assistant commissioners of the RCMP has made it very clear before the foreign affairs committee: the RCMP was not involved in the decision made by United States authorities to arrest and deport Mr. Arar.

The RCMP did not at any time suggest to United States authorities that Mr. Arar should be deported to Syria. Those are the facts. The hon. member may not like the facts, but those are the facts.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, he is right. I do not like the answer because he did not answer the question; I said all agencies.

But moving right along, when asked why Canadian citizen Mr. Arar was held in custody in Jordan for 12 days, foreign affairs officials indicated that the Jordanians said he was just, and I quote, “in transit” for 12 days. That just does not make sense.

Could the minister tell this House the real reason that Mr. Arar was held in Jordan? And could the minister tell this House who held him in custody: the Americans, the Jordanians or the Syrians?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can really only go back to the previous answer that the RCMP was not involved in any way with suggesting that Mr. Arar be deported to Syria. It was just not involved. Those are the facts. I cannot go beyond that because the facts are the facts.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Dalton McGuinty said he may allow Toronto's garbage to be dumped into the Adams mine, as if dumping toxic garbage into a porous hole is a good idea.

It is a bad idea. It was bad when Mike Harris wanted to do it and bad now, because it will pollute farms, first nations and the watershed, including the Ottawa River. Yet the federal Liberals refuse to conduct a federal environmental assessment.

My question is, before Dalton starts dumping on northern Ontario, will there be a federal environmental review of the Adams mine?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Adams mine proposal, first of all, there has been no application that has come from the City of Toronto. Second, if there were an environmental assessment, it would be within the context of the Ontario government's environmental assessment. Those would be the provisions that would have to be met.

At this point there is no processing of any application by the city or through the province.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, this government has decided that only women receiving benefits under the veterans independence program in May 2003 will have them extended for life and now blames veterans organizations for the decision.

That leaves 23,000 elderly women with no help to stay in their homes, where they selflessly cared for their partners for years. Our unending gratitude stops a few years short.

Will this minister explain why some widows deserve those benefits and others do not? Will he finally do the right thing and extend those benefits to these noble Canadian women who have also served their country?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, as I have earlier explained to this House, we were confronted with six urgent issues that the leadership of the veterans organizations posed to us. We wanted to address those issues. We could not address only one issue. We wish we could have done it as well for all widows. It is the reality of time; it was not for lack of heart.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Friday a constituent of mine called the RCMP asking for protection from her ex-husband. Two days later, Mrs. Fekete and her three year old son Alex were dead.

The RCMP is doing everything it can and the best job it can, but the Red Deer RCMP detachment is short-staffed because of a chronic lack of money for RCMP training. When will this government restore full funding to the RCMP?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I certainly offer, on behalf of the Government of Canada and myself, our full sympathies to the family who faced this terrible tragedy.

With respect to funding for the RCMP, we have increased funding to the RCMP since the 2001 budget in terms of financial and human resources. In the last budget as well we increased the funding for a number of measures in order to try to protect the security and safety of Canadians.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP has lost 16% of its officers in the last 10 years. It has reassigned 2,000 members since 9/11.

The RCMP in Red Deer is understaffed by at least 10 members. The city has authorized and budgeted for 91 members. The RCMP has not been able to provide those members for a number of years. The RCMP is doing the best with what it has, but it is short-staffed and now there are three people dead. How can this government justify the cuts to RCMP training?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that specifically with respect to the RCMP we have increased the training in Regina at depot so that the depot is going full out.

With regard to the specifics in the province of Alberta, the RCMP operates in Alberta on the basis of a contract with the provincial government. That is how we operate. The funding is shared.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said, with respect to the existence of a Quebec nation, that it was a simple question of semantics, clearly refusing to comment on whether Quebec was a nation or not.

Will the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, given his responsibilities, tell this House whether he feels that Quebec is a nation or not?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

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 with a bit of nostalgia that I will answer, since this was the first question the Bloc asked me when I first set foot in this House on March 26, 1996. The answer remains the same: Quebeckers are part of the Quebec nation and of the Canadian nation, and they are very proud of it.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, given the fact that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada said that Quebec is a nation, what is the Canadian government waiting for to give this Quebec nation, in all Canadian logic, the powers that come with this recognition?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:55 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, we can easily say there is a Quebec nation, as we can say there is a Canadian nation or several nations in Quebec. We can say many things. But one thing we can never deny is the contribution of Quebeckers to building this great country, Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

October 1st, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, a modern day Nazi state has developed in Africa. A recent report by the South African Council of Churches clearly shows that Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, is forcing children as young as 10 to carry out brutal atrocities such as murder and torture against innocent civilians.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs finally do the right thing and indict Robert Mugabe for crimes against humanity?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what I can say for the government is that what we have been doing, and the hon. member knows it well, is pursuing effectively through the Commonwealth, through the United Nations and through every other forum to put pressure on the government of Robert Mugabe to change, to allow democracy to develop in Africa.

The Prime Minister will be attending the Commonwealth conference at the end of this year. This will be a primary subject of conversation, as it has been with myself and other foreign ministers when we met in New York last week.

The problems in Zimbabwe and the people of Zimbabwe are a great preoccupation of ours. We will take concrete actions to protect them, not just threats, but concrete actions.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Zimbabwe have been asking for concrete action for two years. The Commonwealth is a paper tiger.

Our government's quiet diplomacy has done nothing and will continue to do nothing. Incredulously many African leaders either congratulate Mugabe for what he is doing or say nothing.

The only way to stop this megalomaniac is to indict him for crimes against humanity. Again, will the Minister of Foreign Affairs do the right thing for the people of Zimbabwe, do the right thing for Canadians and Canada and stand up, be counted and indict Robert Mugabe for crimes against humanity?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to do the right thing for the people of Zimbabwe by taking actions through every multilateral and bilateral forum to enable us to bring pressure on the government of Zimbabwe to change its conduct for the betterment of the people of Zimbabwe.

Indicting the president of Zimbabwe might be one option, but there are many other options. This government has been pursuing them for years and will continue to do so with our African partners in a positive way to obtain positive results.

Algoma Steel Inc.Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Carmen Provenzano Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, in December 2001 the Government of Canada contributed $50 million in loan guarantees as part of the financial restructuring of Algoma Steel in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie.

Will the Secretary of State for Rural Development and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario confirm that Algoma Steel has satisfied all of the conditions of this guarantee and any obligations of the Canadian government respecting this guarantee have now expired?

Algoma Steel Inc.Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalSecretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise that Algoma Steel has successfully been able to restructure and obtain its financing from the private sector.

All the terms and conditions of the loan guarantee have been fulfilled. The guarantee has in fact been discharged and appropriate fees collected.

If I may, I will take the opportunity to congratulate the management, the union, the workers, and most of all, the people of Sault Ste. Marie who working together with the federal government have been able to preserve thousands of jobs and help ensure the creation of wealth in northern Ontario. To all those involved, and in particular my colleague from Sault Ste. Marie, well done.

Correctional Service of CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, talk about computer problems. Recently at Ferndale prison the following items were found on computers: instructions on sending letter bombs and making tennis ball explosives; lessons on picking locks; and instructions on how to tap telephone lines.

Where is the Solicitor General's boundary on what is and what is not acceptable material for inmates in prisons to have?

Correctional Service of CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, Correctional Service Canada has a very strict policy on what is allowed on computers in prison.

We have tightened up that policy over the last several months because of incidents that happened in some other correctional facilities across the country. We will continue to improve our policy as it relates to information that is on computers within institutions.

Correctional Service of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, that certainly sounds tight. We just found more child pornography on some of the computers. In addition to that, another inmate had a sophisticated tool used to capture a system's passwords and then break into it. One official in CSC said the discovery is a potentially serious threat to CSC.

What is more important to the government, the right of offenders, inmates, to possess any material they want to, or the protection of the public?