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House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was heritage.

Topics

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, because of the lack of funding and the cutback in personnel, numbers of RCMP forensic experts have moved to the United States. More are anticipated to follow suit if the Solicitor General continues with this closure, slash or cutback, whatever it is, of the forensic lab in Regina, which is being turned into office space.

How can the Solicitor General justify the loss of some of the most important crime fighters in Canada and the loss of an eight year old facility to equip them?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, maybe the hon. member did not hear me previously. I talked about improvements to the system and that is what we are doing. We are improving the system. We are getting better turnaround times than in the past and we will continue to work at improving the system and bringing in greater efficiencies. Just last week, in fact, we announced a fairly major milestone in terms of DNA, and that was the one-thousandth match.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, the member for Jonquière and I met with people from the Syndicat des employés d'Abitibi-Consol, a division of the Port-Alfred plant, who are victims of a temporary shutdown and are having a hard time coping with the employment insurance waiting period. These workers are among the victims of the softwood lumber crisis, since their company is directly affected by these woodlands operations.

My question is for the government. The government reacted swiftly for the Toronto workers who were victims of the SARS crisis. Why, then, is it refusing to do the same for the workers in my region who are victims of the softwood lumber crisis?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Shefford Québec

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are always very concerned when there are massive layoffs. Naturally, our goal is to help the affected employees re-enter the labour force.

We have introduced major changes to the employment insurance plan in response to the problems that these workers are faced with. Moreover, the small weeks initiative has become a permanent feature in employment insurance, and we recently increased the small week threshold to $225.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the SARS crisis in Toronto, the Minister of Human Resources Development, who is from Toronto, decided within days to help the workers who were affected by the crisis, and good for them.

However, the victims of the softwood lumber crisis in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and all the regions of Quebec would like to receive the same treatment. They are depending on the government. What is the government waiting for?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Shefford Québec

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we waived the waiting period for people infected with SARS in order to support efforts to control the epidemic. Rest assured that the government is aware of the needs of seasonal workers and of whatever difficulties they may be going through.

HealthOral Question Period

October 6th, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, an international convention on human cloning is being debated at the United Nations. Many countries want to see a comprehensive ban on human cloning, both therapeutic and reproductive.

In fact, the government's Bill C-13 calls for prohibitions on both reproductive and therapeutic cloning, but our negotiators at the United Nations are seeking prohibitions on reproductive cloning alone. Why the double standard?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

In fact, Mr. Speaker, there is no double standard. Let me be absolutely clear that the hon. member is right, that in Bill C-13, which I would ask this House to pass with alacrity, we ban all forms of human cloning. However, achieving a broad international consensus to ban all forms of cloning may not be possible at this time.

But it is clear that the international community is ready to pass a ban on human reproductive cloning. I would suggest that Canada is supporting this effort. We should all support this effort because not taking that step at this time may mean having no convention at all.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, in January the minister said when it comes to therapeutic cloning, “not at this time”, but she would not rule it out in the future.

Creating human life for the purpose of harvesting spare parts is deplorable, yet Canada's position at the United Nations amounts to support for an attack on human dignity. Why would we have one position at home and another one abroad?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as far as I am concerned, the only attack on human dignity is perhaps the antics of the opposition in relation to their delay in passing Bill C-13, which in fact speaks to human dignity for families, for men and women in this country who would like to have families and cannot.

Let me reassure everyone in this House that Bill C-13 bans all forms of human cloning for any purpose, howsoever done. Let me also indicate to the House that we believe it is much better to ban reproductive cloning in the international community than to have no--

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Peterborough.

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Smith Ennismore Lakefield Township in my riding has been negotiating with Fisheries and Oceans for years about a dock.

This summer the dock had to be closed, seriously interrupting a tourist season already hard hit by SARS and West Nile. Could the minister assure the House that this dock will be open next summer?

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his hard and diligent work on this file and his cooperation with us. My department is actively negotiating with the township. We hope to be able to resolve this matter in this fiscal year so that it can be returned to workable condition and contribute to the economy of his community.

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board. The minister said public servants should change their mentality about concealing information, but the government has had 10 years to make things transparent. Instead, it has spent 10 years making it more secret. The access to information office is backlogged with requests.

Why did it take getting caught for the minister to look at changing the rules?

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that modernizing management practices is an ongoing exercise. I think that when we look at the last 10 years there have been a lot of successes, and if we look at the citizen satisfaction level right now, I have to say it is increasing every day. Having said that, I am not saying that there is no place for improvement. There is always place for improvement in our system. We will do so.

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Citizen satisfaction, Mr. Speaker. Treasury Board has a lot of rules and guidelines on the shelf, but there is one rule over there that seems to be missing and that is transparency and the public's right to know.

The access to information office is overworked because government is too secret. Even the Auditor General says we do not need more rules; we just need transparency. When is the Treasury Board going to create proper transparency in government, just putting it all on the Internet for every single taxpayer to read it?

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Yes, Mr. Speaker, we need greater transparency. No one argues with that.

However if people look at the recent developments we have had I think they should be satisfied with what we have done.

Right now we are working with parliamentarians to improve the reporting mechanisms to Parliament on the plans and priorities of each department and the results they have achieved.

On the estimates process I can tell the House that we are committed to having greater transparency.

Identity CardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration claims not to have made up his mind about the future identity card. He says he wants to hear from as many people as possible, to have the widest range of opinions before making a final decision.

How can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration reconcile what he said with the fact that he has once again stacked a conference on biometrics by refusing to hear those experts who oppose his plan for an identity card?

Identity CardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I wonder how the word used by the hon. member will be translated.

Quite the contrary, we made sure that all aspects will be covered and that those on both sides of the issue can be well represented. I know for instance that the Quebec Privacy commissioner will be in attendance. Experts will come and enlighten us so that we can make an informed decision.

La FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada is host this week to the deputy head of the Agence internationale de la francophonie. Could the Secretary of State to Latin America, Africa and the Francophonie tell this House what role Canada plays within the Francophonie?

La FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalSecretary of State (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, Canada is proud to be a major partner in the international Francophonie.

The International Organization of the Francophonie has 54 member states as well as two observer governments: the Government of Quebec and the Government of New Brunswick. It deals with various issues such as language and culture and issues relating to Canadian values, namely democracy, human rights and good governance.

This is an exceptional opportunity for Canada to showcase itself on the international scene.

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals insist on undermining equality by enforcing an illegal race based fishing scheme on the west coast.

This segregationist approach is consistent with hate-monger David Ahenakew and it ignores court rulings which state that Indian-only fishery regulations are discriminatory.

The government's internal polling shows that Canadians oppose special race based privileges for Indians.

Why is the minister imposing an Indian-only fishing scheme in spite of public opinion and court rulings which declare these programs racist?

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

3 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, obviously the member is confused. I understand he does not have the benefit of a lot of research assistants.

What he does not understand is that the government, as do all other members of the House, wants all Canadians to have reasonable access to all resources, and that includes all races.

What the member would recognize is the exclusion of races.

CinarOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government House leader is avoiding replying to a very simple question we have been asking him for a week now, regarding the CINAR case.

We know that there has been an investigation of CINAR. The heritage minister has even given us the telephone number of the RCMP so that we can give them information.

We know there has been an investigation. What interests us is whether the RCMP has given its investigation report to the Solicitor General to pass on to the Minister of Justice so that the latter can take action. Has the RCMP made a report or not?

CinarOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated clearly last Friday, the government does not comment on whether or not there was an investigation, let alone whether or not a report was submitted, since we have not said whether or not there was an investigation.

The government's position has not changed on this since Friday.