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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

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, clearly everyone in the House is against child pornography. I do not think there is any question about that. We are all interested in doing the right thing to make sure that child pornography is minimized and hopefully eliminated, but the reality is that we have to use sentencing procedures that make sense and that work. The evidence before committee was that minimum sentencing simply does not work.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, last March this House adopted a motion referring the subject matter of Bill C-202 to the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

Hon. members will recall that the purpose of the bill was to add a sixth principle to the Canada Health Act, namely the respect of linguistic duality. The report was to be produced by today.

Can the committee chair tell us what progress the committee has made on this?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

I have the honour to report that the committee did indeed address this matter last spring and finished its work this past week. With leave of the House, I will have the honour to table its report during routine proceedings.

I realize it is inappropriate to discuss its content in reply to a question in the House, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who came before the committee or sent in comments, the experts who shared their knowledge with us, our clerk, and most particularly our researcher. Naturally I also thank the committee members for their serious and constant hard work, which we hope will prove productive.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week in opposing Bill C-338, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice said that the Liberal government will not take any action against street racing.

Numerous serious injuries and deaths have been caused by these irresponsible drivers. RCMP Constable Jimmy Ng was killed when his patrol car was T-boned by an alleged street racer. Why is the government refusing to make our streets safer for our citizens and the police who patrol them?

JusticeOral 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, the hon. member is taking this matter seriously, as do we in the government. We look upon this as being a very important part of law enforcement, making sure that in fact those who would street race do find appropriate penalties for their crime. We examined it, and I mentioned in my speech that day that in fact it is very clear we already have the appropriate provisions in place within the Criminal Code. All we need to do now is make sure that they are properly exercised by the judges within our communities.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has also failed to respond to demands to strengthen our impaired driving laws. The minister is well aware of the carnage and the misery caused by drunk drivers.

Last week, RCMP Commissioner Zaccardelli was injured in a crash involving a suspected drunk driver. An impaired driver has injured Canada's top cop. Again, what is it going to take for the government to get serious about protecting not only our citizens but our police?

JusticeOral 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, I think it is very clear that we have taken active steps to deal with this matter in the Criminal Code. It is clear that we have gone through with chemical tests that are available and that in fact samples can be taken at the roadside, but there are many ways in which we can deal with those who would drive impaired. We think we have a very effective program that works. There will be exceptions, which is unfortunate, but we believe that we have in place something that is very meaningful and works well for the Canadian public.

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have questioned the Minister of Transport and his parliamentary secretary, and both have confirmed to me that the government is prepared to pay 50% of the cost of building highway 175. The government's intentions with respect to cost overruns are not quite as clear.

Again, as part of its commitment concerning highway 175, does the government also intend to pay 50% of cost overruns? And when will the agreement be signed?

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Proulx LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I explained this to the hon. member yesterday, and I will take the opportunity again today to congratulate my hon. colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, who has done such a fine job on this issue.

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Oh, oh.

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

If the hon. member bears with me and listens to the answer, perhaps she will not have to ask the question again.

The agreement was signed over the summer by the Prime Minister and the Premier of Quebec at the time. The agreement states that the costs will be shared 50-50 by the federal and provincial governments. I remind hon. members that the costs are estimated at $525 million—

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, this week we learned that another funding crisis has hit the health care system in Nova Scotia. The largest health district, the Capital District Health Authority, has been forced to cancel overtime for nurses in order to save money, yet despite the difficulties the province is having in providing acceptable levels of health care, the Liberal government is threatening to claw back over $80 million in equalization payments.

Will the Minister of Finance guarantee that Nova Scotia will not be forced to cough up these funds instead of paying for vital services like health, education and disaster relief?

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, we are working on the renewal of equalization at the present time. It would be helpful if opposition parties would facilitate the passage of a bill which will ensure that equalization payments can be made through next April. I do expect that we will have renewal in place before then, but this is an insurance policy. Secondly, I would remind the hon. member of the $35 billion that was added to the CHST specifically for health care as a result of the health accord of 2003.

TradeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is losing its ability to compete in Asia. The Asia Pacific Foundation in its latest report reveals that our share of the top Asian markets has plummeted by nearly one-third since 1996 and by 13% in the last year alone.

We need to diversify our trade, but the Liberals simply lack the long term vision needed to revitalize our trading relationship in Asia. When will the government abandon its inconsistent, haphazard policies and open Asian markets to Canadian companies?

TradeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Edmonton Southeast Alberta

Liberal

David Kilgour LiberalSecretary of State (Asia-Pacific)

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the only region of the world where our trade is up is southeast Asia. Therefore we are doing better in southeast Asia.

His point about our market share being down in most Asian markets, unfortunately, is true and all of us in the House and in our country have do more trading with Asia generally.

HarassmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the International Labour Office, Canada has the fifth highest incidence of workplace harassment in the world. Moreover, many psychological harassment cases are being reported within the public service itself.

Can the government tell us what steps it intends to take to help victims of psychological harassment in the federal public service?

HarassmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we have a policy to prevent harassment in the public service of Canada. This policy has been reviewed with our union partners. I must say that, in terms of enforcing this policy in the federal public service, there are some difficulties at the moment. We are discovering that there are still cases of harassment.

We are currently holding workshops to build awareness throughout the public service, in conjunction with the unions, in order to ensure that harassment becomes a thing of the past in Canada's public service.

EthicsOral Question Period

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, ministers sign the cheques and drive the legislative agenda. They are the ones the lobbyists go after.

The much touted new ethics package of the Prime Minister will not change the way the ethics commissioner deals with ministers who accept freebies. The commissioner will still give confidential advice to the Prime Minister and to the ministers, just as he does now.

Why did the government set lower standards for ministers than for ordinary MPs?

EthicsOral Question Period

Noon

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely inaccurate and the hon. member should know it.

He knows that the framework legislation that we put forward, Bill C-34, has two components in it, one for ministers, and that the ministers, in any case, are also subject to the code, generally, as it applies to members of Parliament. In fact, there are supplementary requirements for ministers, not less requirements.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

October 31st, 2003 / noon

The Deputy Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the hon. Sergio Bitar, Minister of Education of Chile.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

Noon

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Office of the Privacy CommissionerRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the interim Privacy Commissioner, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Report to Parliament on Actions Arising from the Auditor General's Report on the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

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

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

Pursuant to reference order made by the House of Commons on March 20, 2003, your committee has considered Bill C-202 and agreed, on Wednesday, October 29, 2003, to report its observations and recommendations to the House.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

This is a very important report for official language minority communities. The committee makes fourteen recommendations to improve access to health care for these communities.

For several years, we have found that, all too often, these communities lacked access to health care in the official language of their choice. Our recommendations seek to provide them with permanent and improved access to health care so that they too can benefit from the Canada health system, which is one of the best in the world. We realized that these communities have not always had such access. It is extremely important, if not essential, that the government provide a positive response to these recommendations.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Canadian Alliance Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Madam Speaker, I have the honour today to present three petitions on behalf of the good people of Dauphin--Swan River.

The first petition calls upon Parliament to take immediate action to develop internationally recognized protocols designed to restore confidence in Canadian beef products and to open international beef markets to Canadian producers.