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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

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, once again, I would like to remind the House that the first time we were faced with delaying application of section 24 of the act, the section on sponsorships, it was the hon. members on this side of the House, the Liberal members, who succeeded in getting this delay, because of our basic faith in this event, which has benefits not only for Quebec, but for all of Canada.

Let Mr. Legault go ahead with his discussions, and let us see what kind of financial structure there could be. I would like to point out that no stakeholder has yet made a commitment. The Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal are examining the financial structure, and after that we shall see what our plan of action will be.

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, I repeat: in tax revenues on tickets alone, the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal is generating $10 million a year for the federal government.

Does the minister not believe that these figures are justification enough for the federal government to contribute financially to keeping the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal? Instead of talking about leadership, should the minister not become more actively involved and take concrete action? The Montreal area would be much better off.

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think that we are saying essentially the same thing in terms of leadership and action. On this side of the House, we are showing leadership and action; we are taking it one step at a time.

I know that last week Mr. Legault met with the various players in the world of Formula 1 racing. He should be coming back with a position concerning the future of the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal as well as the financing structure. No players have yet taken a position in the context of this new structure, because the details of this structure are not known yet.

Let us start with this first step. Let us see what the structure will be and then determine what position the Government of Canada should take to ensure that the Canadian Grand Prix stays in Montreal.

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are but a few days left to save the Grand Prix. The solution is on the table; it will cost the federal government very little, because the necessary funding could very well be provided by reallocating from within existing spending, and this will be for two years only.

Will the minister sit on his hands and do nothing or will he reconsider and provide $5 million to save the Grand Prix? There are only a few days left. That is very little time. Time is of the essence. This minister must take action for Montreal.

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that in the past, when efforts were initially made to save the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, it was members of the Liberal Party of Canada who, through their initiative and forcefulness, succeeded in having the legislation changed.

Once again, I would like to thank our colleagues from the Liberal Party who work day in and day out at networking and promoting cooperation with the City of Montreal, and the Government of Quebec as well, to develop a good strategy so that the Montreal Grand Prix can continue. We are waiting to see what proposal—

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, in 2002, prior to sending more Canadian troops to Afghanistan, the American commander in Kandahar, Colonel Wiercinski, refused to allow Canadian troops to patrol outside the base unless they were in American armoured Humvee vehicles.

My specific question is for the Minister of National Defence. Prior to the present deployment, did the minister know that the Americans considered the Ilitis vehicle dangerous and capable of putting Canadian soldiers' lives at risk and if he knew that, why did he not get them proper equipment?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, apart from the fact that the Kandahar operation is entirely different from the Kabul operation, I have already spoken to the perhaps unique attitude reflected in General Leslie's comments of Canadians, that we want to reach the hearts and minds of Afghanis. We want to reach the people. Therefore, our commanders in the field do not go out exclusively in armoured vehicles. They have many foot patrols and they have many patrols in jeeps, depending on the risk. This reflects an ongoing desire on the part of all Canadians to help the people of Afghanistan and to communicate with them.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

My sentiments, Mr. Speaker too, but that was not my question. My question was, did the minister know that the Americans had expressed concern about the vehicles?

The minister stated earlier, “If we put people in harm's way, we have to give our people proper equipment. It is as simple as that”. The Department of National Defence knew in 2002 that the equipment it was procuring was not adequate. Is the minister telling Canadians that although his department was aware, he was not aware, or is he saying it did not tell him?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the new vehicle that we are procuring, the Mercedes vehicle, is adequate. It is considered adequate by the U.S. marine corps. It is considered adequate by France, Germany and Holland. It is a top rate vehicle that we are acquiring.

The hon. member is right. I have said repeatedly that this is my top priority. I have instructed General Leslie to let me know directly any time he is not getting the right equipment. He has not done so because we are all seized of this issue in the defence department.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday we asked if the Liberals would keep their promise and invest $2 billion in medicare. We were basically told no since the promise was conditional on economic growth. We have heard this Liberal trick before, like the 1993 red book promise that tied child care spaces to economic growth. The growth came, but the spaces sure as heck did not.

Why does the finance minister have money to abolish the capital tax for banks, but no money for medicare as promised? Where is that money?

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know the NDP loves to spend, but the member really should be more responsible in describing the commitment that was made.

I have said this repeatedly in the House. The commitment was that we would review the stated fiscal situation of the government in the month of January 2004. This is what the health accord said. If it appeared that we would have a surplus in excess of the normal contingency reserve, then up to $2 billion would be made available to the provinces in addition to the other $34.8 billion for health care funding.

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a Liberal promise that was made but was not delivered on.

Let us talk about the incoming prime minister, the one who is on a cross-country disaster tour, a prime minister in every way except for being accountable. There has been no photo op in Toronto for SARS. There has been no prairie photo op for mad cow. Two prime ministers, two disasters, but still no help.

I am sure the finance minister would not want us to think that all his new boss is up to are photo ops across the country. We would like to hear him leap to his defence.

Has the incoming prime minister raised with him the need to help with SARS and mad--

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I am afraid there was no question that was in order in that one so we will move on to the hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister promised to hold an open debate about biometric ID cards but information is leaking out that paints quite a different picture. Let us guess who will not be at the minister's biometrics forum. That would be the leading world expert in the use of fingerprints and iris scans, who is also Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner. She is not allowed to attend, even when she asked to.

It is clear that the minister wants to force national ID cards on Canada. Is the forum not really just a PR exercise?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I do not think so because the member for Calgary--Nose Hill will be there.

First of all the national Privacy Commissioner will be there. The privacy commissioner from Quebec will be there. The former privacy commissioner from British Columbia will be there. Because I accepted, the national Privacy Commissioner asked if we could have one representative from the province, and guess what. The deputy privacy commissioner from Ontario will be there.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us look at what open debate means with the minister.

First he pays O.J. Simpson's lawyer $36,000 to open the forum with a stirring speech in favour of ID cards. This is followed by the minister himself, the one pushing the whole idea. Next comes a spokesperson for the industry that stands to make billions if this thing goes through.

Is this forum not really about giving the minister a public excuse to impose ID cards on Canadians?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be a great deal of interest in this forum, which makes me very proud, as it is an extremely important debate.

Last week the deputy prime minister met with Secretary Ridge and biometrics were indeed discussed. This debate is essential to our society, and internationally as well. Most certainly, having more than 120 experts representing all aspects of the issue will ensure that we will be able to address the issue of document integrity and how we can maintain an open Canadian border.

The question is not whether or not to have an identity card. We wish to determine whether there is an increasing need for biometrics in this country.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, the people of Gaspé and New Brunswick held a major demonstration demanding a moratorium on the Belledune project.

Section 35 of the Fisheries Act provides the federal government with the means to impose the necessary moratorium on this. Why is it refusing to do what everyone in our area wants? Why is it being so stubborn?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member is asking me to misuse federal powers to interfere in areas of provincial jurisdiction. We on this side of the House find that totally unacceptable.

Airborne emissions are the responsibility of the province and of the Department of the Environment, not Fisheries and Oceans.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, environmental assessments are the responsibility of Quebec and New Brunswick, but the federal level can impose a moratorium on this project under the Fisheries Act.

If he is so certain, can the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans state without the shadow of a doubt that the Belledune project represents no danger whatsoever to fish? Can he make that commitment officially, from his seat? I challenge him to do so.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the minister or the department can tell the hon. member that, if ever any specific information were to come to light indicating harmful effects, we would take the necessary steps.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

October 6th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance has learned that as of today, the immigration minister will not be staffing the Thousand Islands Bridge border crossing from midnight to 8 o'clock in the morning. This means there will be no immigration officer on duty from Lacolle, Quebec to Niagara Falls for eight hours to screen travellers who require secondary screening for immigration purposes.

Can the minister explain how this will enhance security for Canadians?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I will take note of the question and get back to the hon. member.

Clearly, in terms of immigration, our role is to work with the various agencies so as to ensure security. I will investigate further and give her a response shortly.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, we understand that the United States was not even informed that Canada would not have immigration officers in place from midnight to 8 o'clock. The United States has actually increased its immigration officers at this point of entry, while Canada has decreased its officers.

Will the minister assure Canadians that any individual with immigration concerns will not be allowed into Canada until the individual has been put through a secondary screening?