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House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-17.

Topics

Former Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows that I cannot speak to any individual case.

What I can tell him is that the bankruptcy laws apply to everyone in Canada equally. For anyone who makes a proposal in bankruptcy which involves the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, CCRA then becomes a creditor like any other.

I will say to the member on the proposal in bankruptcy that, in my understanding, the timeline, which is public information, was long before; that was completed long before the decision on the appointment.

Former Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty hard to believe that on July 26 George Radwanski knew nothing about the job and on July 27 he got the job.

Unless he misrepresented the facts, there is no doubt that the agency knew he was about to step into a $210,000 per year job. It should have rejected the deal and forced him to pay his back taxes.

Now, will the minister take the necessary steps to reopen this file and to recover the money?

Former Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, what I can say is that the member opposite is wrong in his assumption. If he looks very carefully at the timeline of the information, which is in the public domain, he will know that in fact the efforts of CCRA were appropriate. We treat everyone equally and fairly under the bankruptcy act and the Income Tax Act, which we administer, and where anyone has any concerns or complaints we always investigate to ensure that people pay their fair share.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Belledune project, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans said yesterday that if ever, and I quote, “any specific information were to come to light indicating harmful effects, we would take the necessary steps”.

Did the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans not just admit that, under the Fisheries Act, he has the means to act after the fact; what then is stopping him from acting before the fact?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I realize that the hon. member has problems with this project and that he does not like it. There are always complaints and problems, whether it be an incinerator, an oil refinery, a pulp and paper mill or an aluminum plant. I cannot misuse federal powers to interfere in provincial jurisdiction. The province is going forward with this project, and we respect the Province of New Brunswick.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Fisheries Act is a federal responsibility. Resource protection is a federal responsibility.

The people of Belledune are concerned. All the communities along Chaleur Bay fear the negative impact of this project on the resource.

Does the minister not think that there should be a moratorium on Bennett's project in Belledune, and that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in the first proposal for Belledune, there was a plan to discharge water into Chaleur Bay. That required a response as it would have had an impact on the habitat. The department was required to respond. The project was amended to include a closed system, and no waste water will be discharged into the water at Belledune. Therefore, the department has no jurisdiction here.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association and the U.S. beef association are both calling for the harmonization of health standards in cattle. Industry on both sides of the border is in agreement. Harmonized health standards are essential to an open border and normal trade.

Why will the government not listen to industry, accept the science, remove the barriers and get the border open?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member fails to recognize the fact that before these types of things have to happen we need to have all the scientific risk assessments taken.

I understand, and I have heard him very clearly, that the industry wants it open, and there is no question that we want our borders open as much as we possibly can. But we have to recognize, for the health of the whole cattle industry in Canada and for the health and concerns of humans in Canada, that all of the disease and the risks that go around that have to be taken into account.

That we will do. When that risk assessment is completed, then we will act upon that risk assessment.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the risk assessments have been done over and over again. The industry says the risk is manageable. It is willing to take the risk. It is this minister who is standing in the way of that open border.

The government has a clear choice to make. It can do the right thing, and remove the barriers, harmonize the health in cattle and get the border open, or it could keep the border closed and be the grim reaper when it comes to the cattle industry in Canada.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the risk assessment has been done and is being redone as we speak. The risk assessment results to date have indicated clearly that to this date the border should not be open, but in that stage, even with that, some pilot projects were done this year so that risk assessment continues. I remind the hon. member again that all risk assessments by the scientists, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to date have indicated that the border should remain closed.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Bonwick Liberal Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for CCRA. Since becoming an agency, Revenue Canada has effectively become judge, jury and executioner, with virtually no accountability to the Government of Canada.

In the last three years, we have witnessed CCRA officials aggressively pursue outstanding penalties on elderly widows, terminally ill people and large families.

The collection tactics used in any other realm would be inappropriate and unfair. What is the minister going to do to correct this totally unacceptable action before more families are ruined?

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, in fact, CCRA prides itself in treating all Canadians fairly. There are fairness provisions in place and the statistics tell a very important story. Last year 41,000 individuals who were having difficulty paying their taxes received a break when it came to interest and penalty, through the fairness provisions, which resulted in forgiving some $166 million. Last year as well, 1.9 million everyday Canadians were assessed and got a total of $321 million back, while 477 corporations paid an extra--

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Canadian Alliance Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians are aware that the Prime Minister and his cabinet are currently reviewing the legislation that excludes 23,000 war veterans' widows from the independence program. If this study is truly a government priority, it should have been discussed in cabinet this morning.

My question is for the Prime Minister. When can Canadians expect the long awaited announcement that all veterans' widows will be included in this program?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the member continues to maintain interest in the issue, and I am pleased that all members of Parliament continue to maintain an interest in this issue although the member had claimed that this was only his issue. I am very pleased that we have been able to extend to date benefits to the widows, some 10,000 of them.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Canadian Alliance Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, if I heard the news right, I am delighted on behalf of the Liberals but despite pleas from the veterans' widows, the veterans' associations, the national media and his own government members; I appreciate, and thousands of people across Canada are going to be happy today, when this announcement becomes complete and these war widows have the money in their hands on November 11.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier here, it was not for lack of will nor for lack of heart. We are committed to resolving this issue. I just would like to say that we extend as well some $185 million for the veterans independence program for the veterans themselves.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, here is an example of the language used in ads on Human Resources Development Canada's website, “L'équipe de demoiselles est intéressées par des individus mûrs et responsables”.

After 35 years of operation of the Official Languages Act, how can the Minister of Human Resources Development justify posting such poor and demeaning translations on its website? Will respect ever be shown for French in her department?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

2:55 p.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 thank the hon. member for his question.

We are hunting out this kind of unacceptable linguistic nonsense. The fact is, however, that Canada has been a leader in promoting the use of French on the Internet worldwide and that, in the early 21st century, Canada developed an action plan for official languages, which the Commissioner of Official Languages described yesterday as the single greatest act of leadership for bilingualism in Canada since the Official Languages Act was revised in 1988.

Canada will take advantage of its good fortune, since both its official languages are used internationally.

LabourOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour. The minister recently travelled to Salvador, Brazil to attend the 13th Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labour. Could the minister please inform the House of the outcome of this meeting?

LabourOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as Canada's Minister of Labour, I have chaired the conference for the last two years. In Salvador I handed over the chair of the conference to the Brazil minister of labour.

At the conference, labour ministers from 34 countries in the Americas adopted a declaration and action plan that focused on poverty reduction and creating decent work in the hemisphere.

The conference addresses some key issues of our time and I am pleased that Brazil will continue Canada's initiative to actively involve business--

LabourOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Palliser.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, that only one-third of women are eligible for employment insurance benefits is made worse because airline attendants are no longer considered flight crew. Although the airlines want this ridiculous ruling reversed, and employees were assured by the transport committee last May that relief was imminent, nothing has changed. Seventy-five per cent of flight attendants are women and hundreds pay full EI premiums despite being ineligible for full time benefits.

When will the government stop discriminating against the predominantly female workforce by treating them the same way they treat predominantly male pilots?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the hon. member that when hours of work are restricted by federal or provincial statute, the Employment Insurance Act considers full time employees to have 35 insurable hours per week. There is currently no statute that limits work weeks of flight attendants in this way.

We have advised the airlines, however, that they should count not only flight time but also ground time. The employers are currently remodelling their reporting systems, but we have a system in place so these employees can receive benefits.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

October 7th, 2003 / 3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, last year the RCMP reported that marijuana grow ops are epidemic. Last spring the Solicitor General saw the problem firsthand in my riding. Last month another RCMP report revealed that international drug gangs are spreading across Canada.

Grow ops threaten communities with drive by shootings, home invasions and house fires. Apparently the Prime Minister thinks that marijuana use is some kind of joke. Families living next door to grow ops do not share his humour.

Why is this government dragging its feet in addressing marijuana grow ops despite repeated warnings from the RCMP?