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House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Kamloops, Thompson and Highland ValleysStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise today to commend the many helping hands who have come to the aid of the people of Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys.

The North Thompson Relief Fund, headed by George Evans, has raised tremendous amounts of money to bring relief to the people in the valley as have the Red Cross, the Mennonite Disaster Service, and Habitat for Humanity. Last night, the coup de grâce, the All Party Party also raised money for the North Thompson relief and we will be making that presentation on behalf of every party in the House very soon.

On behalf of the people of Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, it is with great pride that I say thanks to one and all for being so generous of spirit.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the House unanimously accepted an all party report on VIP benefits. This report asks that benefits be extended to all qualifying war widows.

When will the government act on this recommendation?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as has been said before in the House and I pretty well have it memorized, the Department of Veterans Affairs exhausted its budget enabling 10,000 additional widows to receive VIP treatment.

As reported in the press, the Prime Minister has said that he would take a look at this and see what he could do. I am sure that the Prime Minister, with the other important decisions that he has to make in the next while, will do so.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government has money for VIA Rail but nothing for our war widows. It took cabinet only 24 hours to buy two luxury executive jets, but it leaves our widows hanging.

How much longer will Canada's war widows have to wait?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as to the time interval, I cannot answer. It is under study at the moment. I am quite sure that a favourable answer will come somewhere down the pipe.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, on November 11 we will pay honour to those who fought so hard for our country. Their widows deserve to be honoured as well.

Will the government commit to extending the VIP benefit by November 11, 2003?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, inasmuch as I take a very important part in Remembrance Day ceremonies, I wish that I could make that kind of commitment.

I cannot make that commitment on behalf of the government. I am sure that a favourable decision will be made in the near future.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Canadian Alliance Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians and police agencies across the country are worried about the Liberal's marijuana legislation, Bill C-38.

The bill sends not only the wrong message but mixed messages to our youth about the use of drugs. Health Canada has already labelled marijuana as a dangerous substance. How can this help our youth?

My question is, how will decriminalization of marijuana prevent our youth from using pot?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, clearly, there has been a message that has been sent to youth. It has been a very uncertain message because it has not been absolutely equal across this country.

We have found that in rural Canada there has been treatment that has been different from urban Canada.

Bill C-38 attempts to bring forward a penalty that is appropriate for the crime and that will be enforced. I urge the support of Bill C-38.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Canadian Alliance Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP and other federal agencies spend over a half a billion dollars every year trying to reduce the supply. Has Canada given up on drug control?

Just exactly what is the intent of Bill C-38? Is it to help criminal organizations increase their market share? We know that will happen. Is it to help the Prime Minister after he retires so that he can toke up a bit?

Exactly who are we helping, the criminals or the recreational users, or both?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this is a very complex matter. The reality is that it has a very solid basis in harm to the individual.

Bill C-38 is intended to deal with that harm responsibly and respectfully, and to ensure that we do everything to diminish the use of marijuana.

For those that produce marijuana through grow ops, we are substantially increasing the penalties. We want to get tough on those who would harm our youth.

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Quebec National Assembly unanimously reaffirmed that “the people of Québec form a nation”. Full stop. Not a nation dependent on the Canadian nation, as the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs would wish, but a Quebec nation, complete in every way.

Following the example of the National Assembly, is the federal government prepared to recognize, outright, that Quebec really does constitute a nation?

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, first, the question was on one single issue and did not, confusingly and dishonestly, mix up two issues. Second, the question came from someone whom we know to be a great Quebecker and a great Canadian, proud to be both, and in no way asking us to renounce either of our identities.

I have a clear question for the Bloc Quebecois. In the very improbable event that they were to hold another referendum, they could add it to their agenda. They could ask Quebeckers the following referendum question, “Do you want to stop being Canadian?” They would get their answer, even in the riding of Trois-Rivières.

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, it might be significant and interesting for the minister to remember that this is the oral question period and that he, as a minister, has a duty to answer questions.

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

An hon. member

He is the one who has to answer. If he would rather be in opposition, just let him say so.

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

The minister may suffer from double nationality but yesterday the National Assembly reaffirmed that Quebec forms a nation, without no need for further details.

The question I am asking him is clear; it is not multiple choice, and I am asking the minister to reply without evasion: does Quebec form a nation, yes or no?

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, is the hon. member saying that to be Canadian is to be evasive?

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

An hon. member

You cannot answer the question?

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

No, I am answering. Like all the Quebeckers on this side of the House, we are part of the nation of Quebec and the nation of Canada. What is most unfortunate is that the members of the Bloc Quebecois are rejecting a part of their identity. They are rejecting something that life has given them and it is very sad for them. I hope that one day they will be reconciled with their Canadian identity, which is part of their identity as Quebeckers.

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, true to form, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is trying to cloud the issue. However, I too asked a simple question.

Is the government prepared to recognize the Quebec nation, and I do mean Quebec nation, in the same terms as those unanimously reaffirmed by the Quebec National Assembly yesterday?

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if I understand correctly, the hon. member is saying that being Canadian means clouding the issue. It is a serious thing to renounce one's identity. I want to ask him the following question. Why, in the 1980 and 1995 referendums, did they not ask Quebeckers, “Do you want to stop being Canadian?”

We are quite happy to be Quebeckers, to be part of the Quebec nation and the French-Canadian nation. We are quite happy to share a country with the Acadian nation and with all the first nations of Canada. We do not want there to be a barrier erected in this country between—

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I can guarantee the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs that the next question will be clear, “Do you want Quebec to become an independent country, yes or no?” And he will get his answer.

I am telling the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs this; back in the days of the Patriotes, he would have been considered a real “chouayen”. He knows what I mean by that. Now, today, we are asking the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs to answer the question and it is his turn to answer, “Does Quebec unequivocally constitute and form a nation, yes or no?”

QuebecOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to say two things. First, to the Quebec premier, the answer is yes; to the Bloc Quebecois, the answer is no, because their idea of nation excludes a Canadian dimension.

Second, the hon. member has just made a confession. He has just confessed that the questions asked in 1980 and 1995 were not clear and that they were frauds. I challenge him to make his most recent question a part of the Bloc Quebecois' platform.

National DefenceOral Question Period

October 31st, 2003 / 11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Stryker is not a tank and, therefore, it cannot replace our main battle tank.

The notion that the Stryker can be airlifted overseas by our Hercules aircraft is likewise utter nonsense.

To add to this, an internal defence department memo now raises concerns about the Stryker's weapon system, armour and confined operating space.

Considering all the above, why is the defence minister now voluntarily reducing the future capability of the Canadian army?