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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

EthicsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have long accepted the fact that Bombardier is the favoured child of the Prime Minister and that special treatment is always a factor.

The Auditor General is looking into one of the latest questionable deals: the purchase of two Challenger jets for the Prime Minister. Now we learn that government officials rode on a subsidized Bombardier jet to its plant in St. Louis for this purchase.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister think this is acceptable?

EthicsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is obviously not appropriate for government employees to accept free flights from suppliers.

The officials took the most expeditious and reliable way to meet the commitments they had at a meeting. They in fact negotiated a price for the travel that was in the same range as normal commercial travel at economy rate, and they did so at a bargain rate for taxpayers.

EthicsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, some of the bureaucrats involved in the trip to St. Louis on a Bombardier plane knew that it was a conflict of interest. They realized that by using a supplier's plane, it compromised the impartiality that the civil service is required to maintain.

Employees of defence, public works and Transport Canada knew that using Bombardier's plane was unethical.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister admit that the unethical behaviour in cabinet makes it difficult to enforce Treasury Board guidelines in the bureaucracy?

EthicsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, not at all. The hon. member is quite mistaken in her facts. If she would check the record, she would find out that this trip to a meeting in fact occurred after the transaction, not before.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Liberal York North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government recognizes that it is important to collaborate with provinces and territories to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. We also understand that discussions are currently ongoing to sign bilateral agreements to achieve this goal.

Could the Minister of the Environment inform the House on the status of these discussions?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made it very clear when $1 billion in budget 2003 was allocated for our strategies to reduce greenhouse gases consistent with our Kyoto commitments.

These bilateral initiatives with the provinces as partners will be made operational through memorandums of understanding.

I am pleased to report to the House that the minister is in Iqaluit, Nunavut, signing a bilateral protocol with the territory, and this is the first of many to come.

Elections CanadaOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the government's haste to speed up the timing of the next election it has forgotten one important element: the appointment of returning officers in all parts of Canada. We have a vacancy of returning officers.

I do not think I have to point out to the Minister of Public Works how important that position is for the democratic process, not only for candidates but for political parties, for democracy.

When will those appointments be completed? Will it be during the time of the present Prime Minister on his watch or will we have to wait for a regime change to get those appointments in place?

Elections CanadaOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there is no delay in the appointment of returning officers. As of a little earlier this morning, over 280 returning officers have so far been appointed. The others are in the process. Verifications are being made with security checks and so on for the remaining appointments to get to the total of 308. There are no delays at all.

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, river guardians in Newfoundland and Labrador have had significant cuts in their hours of operation. It is expected that next year their hours will be further reduced by another 30% to 50%. Concerns are being raised that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is in the process of eliminating our river guardians entirely. Will the minister confirm today his department's position with respect to river guardians?

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok Québec

Liberal

Georges Farrah LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I think it is completely normal for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to be in the process of re-evaluating all the duties of everyone who works in the department, in order to ensure, in any event, that money is being spent efficiently.

The process is currently under evaluation. No decision has been made. The minister will inform us of the decision once it is made.

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we know now that trans fats are really bad for us and especially bad for our children, yet instead of banning trans fats as other countries have, the Liberal government says it is okay to put this poison in our foods as long as it is clearly labelled, and even then only three years from now, and even then, unbelievably, baby food is exempt.

Why will our health minister not stand up for our public health and take concrete steps now to eliminate this toxic garbage from our food? Why will she not simply ban trans fats now?

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should actually do better research in terms of how the rest of the world is responding to the challenge of trans fat. In fact we know that trans fat is an ingredient in our food that the public needs to know about. They need to know how much trans fat they are consuming. They need to know the risks of trans fat. That is why we in fact are requiring mandatory nutritional labelling. When our labelling is in full force and effect, we will have the best science based nutritional labelling of any country in the world.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, one of the greatest challenges people have in this country is that of caring for a child under palliative care. Earlier this year, the government had an initiative that palliative care leave for parents looking after children in that situation would start in January 2004, but with the new regime change happening we understand that this program may be under review and may be delayed.

I would like assurances from the Minister of Human Resources. Will this program for parents looking after children under palliative care be started in January 2004?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, indeed I am very happy to tell the hon. member that this government is on track to introducing one of the world's first compassionate care programs on January 4, 2004.

We know how difficult workplace and family balance issues are, and we believe as a country that we have to help Canadians deal with the moral issue of going to work while at home they have a gravely ill child, parent or spouse. This is indeed a great and positive addition to Canada's unbelievably important social safety net.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, on October 23 this government transferred Darcy Bertrand, a triple murderer and known pedophile, to a minimum security facility that does not have a fence. In 2001, Darby Cairns, another murderer, walked away from this facility.

Surviving family members of those Darcy Bertrand killed live only 20 minutes away from this facility. On behalf of the family, will this government reconsider the choice of moving this triple murderer, who committed the crime only six years ago, into a minimum security facility and put him back behind a real, real jail cell?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Solicitor General cannot discuss the specifics of any offender's case, but I do wish to assure this House on behalf of the Solicitor General that the Correctional Service of Canada is managing this case in accordance with the law. Risk assessment processes were used to evaluate this offender and he is currently in a facility that meets his security and programming needs and those of the Canadian public.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the family does not care about his security needs. I care about the security needs of my constituents and the family members who are left behind by this murderer. I do not care about this convicted murder. This guy, on Thanksgiving Day 1995, walked up to a church in Coquitlam with a knife and murdered his mother-in-law and father-in-law and then murdered his wife in front of their seven year old child. He was convicted of three murders.

He is supposed to have three life sentences. After six years, he has been transferred to a minimum security facility with no fence. To the family, how is that justice, and why will this government not reconsider putting this murderer behind a real jail cell with real bars? What is the problem with that?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that the Correctional Service of Canada takes its role, its duties and its responsibilities very seriously. The question of public security is a prime goal and mandate of that service. The Correctional Service of Canada also takes the concerns of victims very seriously and will continue to keep the victims apprised of this offender's case to the extent that our Privacy Act permits.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Gaudet Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the occasion of the huge demonstration by beef producers at the National Assembly, the Quebec minister of agriculture made the following statement, “The new program, as set up by the federal government, is not what the Quebec industry hoped to see”.

Can the minister confirm that the assistance program will be flexible enough to compensate all producers affected by the mad cow crisis?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, any further programs that are developed in conjunction with the industry and with the provinces will treat dairy farmers and beef farmers in exactly the same way in all provinces in this country, as they should. I can tell the hon. member and both the dairy producers and the beef producers of the province of Quebec that they will be treated the same as those in other provinces.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Gaudet Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, in September the Quebec assistance program left out the cull cow producers, and the federal government has not yet announced its assistance plan.

Will the minister acknowledge that financial distress is financial distress, regardless of the type of animal operation concerned, and announcement of a program that will compensate all producers affected by the crisis is urgently needed?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I do not have to repeat. I gave the answer earlier and it is the identical answer here, because all producers, dairy or beef, in all provinces will be treated the same.

Child PornographyOral Question Period

October 31st, 2003 / 11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-20 fails to alleviate the burden on those who prosecute child pornographers for their perverted crimes against children. Investigators must itemize and document every pornographic image seized, often numbering in the tens of thousands, before being able to prosecute.

Will the justice minister amend the rules of disclosure so that police will not have to examine every single image before prosecuting?

Child PornographyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-20 is clearly meant to deal with the problem of dealing with child pornography within our society and clearly it does so. It has addressed the Sharpe case and has brought forward a defence that is clear and well defined. It was placed before the House yesterday, so hopefully in the final debate the member will bring forward any concerns he has as the bill goes forward.

Child PornographyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, there are plenty of concerns. Bill C-20 fails to legislate stronger sentences for convicted child pornographers. Maximum sentences are rarely used. What is needed is mandatory prison sentencing. The justice minister fails to use even the most basic of deterrents for predatory pornographers. Child pornography is child abuse.

Will the minister act to protect children by committing to some level of mandatory prison sentencing for convicted child pornographers?