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House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

EthicsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I want to follow-up the questions put to the industry minister.

He claimed to have been un-involved in cabinet decisions related to the Irving shipyards during the blackout period. I note that on July 19, 2002, in the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal and on January 22, 2003, in the The Evening News he gave indications to the public both times that he was intimately briefed and knowledgeable on the procurement process and the decisions being taken in cabinet.

I would like to ask the minister, was he involved in these decisions or was he simply deceiving the public as to his knowledge?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, from and after the time when I spoke to the ethics counsellor I was out of the decision process. If I was asked publicly, I said only that the government would make a decision when the government had something to announce. I took no part in the decision-making process.

The Prime Minister's Office, the PCO, and other members of my own department, including the deputy minister, were involved. I was not.

The decision was made without my involvement from and after the time the ethics counsellor gave me advice. It was then included in the budget in February of this year, which was news to me, and it was followed through with the usual procedures.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ahmad Cheriam, an individual wanted by the Quebec police in connection with a juvenile prostitution ring, crossed the Canadian border without any problem, in spite of two arrest warrants and a national all points bulletin.

How can the government explain that, despite the investments in security that were made, our borders are still sieves?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform all members that there was no lookout in our system at the time that this individual entered Canada.

I can tell the member that since July 2000 customs officers have apprehended and arrested 2,136 individuals, criminals who were in our system. If they are in our system, we stop them and arrest them.

AgricultureOral Question Period

October 20th, 2003 / 3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the cattle industry and Canadians have been kept in the dark by the government on the issue of BSE and the resulting border closure.

It was confirmed today by the U.S., while we were told a week ago by the U.S. consulate, that in the next few days the U.S. government will publish the rule change that will allow the importation of live cattle under 30 months of age.

Why do the Canadian cattle industry and Canadians continually have to get this critical information from the United States instead of its own government?

AgricultureOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I have frequent conversations with my counterpart in the United States and I can tell members that I had one of those within the last hour and a half.

The secretary in the United States is not able to inform anyone as to when the regulations will be published. The Americans have a process that is very similar to what we have. Regulations are published and then there is a comment period. No announcement has been made as to when the regulations will be published and that has been confirmed to me today.

We anticipate it will be in the not too distant future. No date has been set and that date has not been given to anyone at this time.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, climate change and global warming have contributed both in number and severity to many environmental disasters.

We ratified the Kyoto protocol because of that reality. Now the environment commissioner tells us that we will only meet 50% of our targeted quota for reducing greenhouse gases. We also hear that the future Prime Minister intends, as he did as finance minister, to slash department budgets.

Will the government commit today that funding for Kyoto will be secured and safe from the knife of the next Prime Minister?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the hon. member that we have in place a plan for implementation of our Kyoto target. We fully expect to achieve that and obviously, as has been said on a number of occasions, there will be need for further budgetary measures.

There will be a need perhaps for tax measures. There will indeed be the need for the provinces and ordinary citizens to act as well. We have in fact a plan which we will put into effect to achieve our target.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the recipients of the Governor General's Awards in commemoration of the Persons Case: Nicole Demers of Laval, Quebec; Eira Friesen of Winnipeg, Manitoba; Joyce Hayden of Whitehorse, Yukon; Marilou McPhedran of Toronto, Ontario; Jayanti Negi of Edmonton, Alberta; and Jennifer Hustwitt of Waterloo, Ontario.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

The House resumed consideration of the motion

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

3 p.m.

The Speaker

It being 3:04 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at report stage and second reading of Bill C-49.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded division, government orders will be extended by seven minutes.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 10 petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

David Price Liberal Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association, which represented Canada at the annual tour of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly held in Italy from July 28 to August 2.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Bonin Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, Northern Development and Natural Resources regarding its order of reference of Tuesday, September 23, concerning the supplementary estimates A. Your committee has considered the supplementary estimates A and has agreed to report without amendment.

Whistle Blowers Protection ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-457, an act respecting the protection of whistle blowers and to amend the Auditor General Act, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Public Service Staff Relations Act.

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to introduce this bill today, which would have the effect of introducing a legal framework for true whistleblower protection in the country. More and more people feel strongly that this is long overdue, especially in light of the recent horrific example of the Radwanski scandal.

The reason this bill calls for amending the Public Service Staff Relations Act and the Auditor General Act is that we believe the Auditor General's office should be the proper place to which whistleblowers may come. We know that they need to come to some place where they feel safe and free of reprisals, and we believe the office of the Auditor General is the right institution to be this new whistleblower office.

I am happy to introduce this legislation today.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canada Elections ActRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-458, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act.

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to introduce this bill to amend the Canada Elections Act to fully include the dependants of Canadian Forces personnel within the special voting provisions designed to take into consideration their relocation away from home communities in the service of their country.

Currently under the act, members of the armed forces, including reserves, are permitted to have their votes counted in their normal home electoral constituencies simply by filling out a special residency form. However their spouses and other dependents who accompany them on their postings have no such choice and must vote in the ridings in which their partners have been posted.

The purpose of this bill is to remedy this unfairness by extending to Canadian Forces dependants the same rights as their spouses or parents to choose their home constituencies for voting purposes.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of tabling two petitions today. One is from the regions of Calgary, Edmonton, St. Paul, Beiseker and Whitecourt.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to provide Canadians with greater access to natural health products and to restore freedom of choice in personal health care by enacting Bill C-420, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I also have the pleasure of presenting a petition from my riding of Wild Rose and the towns of Olds and Didsbury.

The petitioners call on Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being a lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present to the House seven petitions totalling 1,846 signatures.

The petitioners are requesting that the Government of Canada hold a binding national referendum in the next general election to ask the following question. Must the Government of Canada continue to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, yes or no?

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present petitions from the people of Thunder Bay--Superior North with respect to hate literature under section 318 and section 319 of the Criminal Code.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to protect the rights of Canadians to be free to share their religious beliefs without fear of prosecution.

I might add that the issue was referred to the justice committee and to the Minister of Justice, and I am advised by both that those precautions have been entered into the legislation.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by a number of Canadians, including from my own riding of Mississauga South. The petition concerns the issue of marriage.

The petitioners point out that on June 10 the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that same sex couples must have the legal right to marry on the basis of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The petitioners also point out that the government can only do this in areas of law within its jurisdiction and that only the federal government can pass legislation to provide who can marry.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to invoke the notwithstanding clause to pass a law so that only two persons of the opposite sex can be married.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I would like to present five petitions on behalf of constituents from my riding of York West and from the greater Toronto area.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to take all necessary means to maintain and support the definition of marriage in Canada as a union between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present three petitions from Brampton Centre. The first petition calls upon the House to recognize marriage as the union of a man and a women to the exclusion of all others.