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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

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said before the committee this morning, the RCMP operated within its mandate and within the laws of the country.

I can tell members that the government, as a whole, worked strenuously to ensure that Mr. Arar was returned to Canada. He is back and we certainly are pleased to see him back in this country.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that the Liberals had removed immigration officers from the Thousand Islands border crossing from midnight to 8 a.m. We now have an email from the eastern director for immigration stating that it was to allow people into the country on the honour system with the understanding that they would return the next business day.

How can the minister possibly justify reducing our border security to an honour system? Does he not know that the bad guys will not respect the honour system?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. His colleague asked the same thing yesterday, and I said I would look into it.

Indeed there will be changes at the Thousand Islands Bridge entry point, at Lansdowne Ontario. There will be no immigration officer on duty between midnight and 8 a.m. between October and April. There will, however, be a customs officer, who will be able to contact an immigration officer around the clock, seven days a week. What is more, under the arrangement we have with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, this officer could act as an immigration officer.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, at many of these border crossings the customs agents do not have access to immigration records. The minister should actually find out what is going on.

Let me inform the minister that the government has lost 34,000 deportees in its experience. We now have Immigration Canada telling its officers in Ontario to swing the border open between midnight and 8 a.m.

Will the minister confirm that it is now the policy to allow immigration cases across the border without proper scrutiny?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat slowly. I just mentioned that those officials will not be there but that we will have people from customs who will have the same authority as an agent of immigration. We are available 24 hours a day in case they need us. We are there and security is our priority.

CinarOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked whether or not the government had received the RCMP investigation report on CINAR, the government House leader said he could not comment, and I quote, “on whether or not there was an investigation”. His colleague, the Minister of Canadian Heritage herself, confirmed that she had requested the RCMP investigation into the CINAR affair.

How can the government announce that it requested an RCMP investigation on CINAR and now claim that it cannot say whether this investigation has concluded and whether it has received a report?

CinarOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would not want to repeat myself, but I will have to. I told the member clearly, the first time he asked the question, that I would inquire. I did so. The member alleged that there was an RCMP investigation.

I gave an answer, a few hours later, saying that the government would not comment on whether or not there was an RCMP investigation, let alone on the investigation report.

That was true yesterday, and on Friday, and it may be a surprise to the member, but it is still true today.

CinarOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, as friends from the days of the rat pack, he should talk to his colleague, the Minister of Canadian Heritage. No one asked the government to disclose the content of the RCMP report. All we want to know is whether the investigation has concluded and if the government received a report, that is all. There is no reason for the government to hide this information.

I will repeat my question. Yes or no, did the government receive a report following the RCMP's investigation into the CINAR affair? It is not complicated.

CinarOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, at the risk of repeating myself, the answer is not complicated either. I told the member that the government would not comment on whether or not there was an investigation, let alone whether or not there was a report, nor whether the government received the report, since this is an RCMP case and the government does not interfere in this kind of thing.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, since the Solicitor General failed to answer my questions yesterday regarding the closure of the forensic labs in Edmonton, Regina and Halifax, I am forced to ask him again today.

Are these forensic labs scheduled for closure in 2003 or 2004?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. The Regina forensic lab is not closed or closing. Indeed, the Regina forensic lab is becoming the national lab for expertise in firearms. What that means is not less full time equivalent workers but more full time equivalent workers. It means a bigger payroll for the Regina area.

The member opposite should be standing in the House and congratulating us on what we are doing for Regina with the forensic lab.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable that the Solicitor General brags about the improved turnaround times for DNA testing when the fact remains that urgent cases are taking three times longer than the RCMP's very own mandated timeline.

The RCMP forensic scientists are frustrated. They are underfunded. They simply do not have the resources to do their jobs.

Is the reason they are underfunded simply because the minister is planning on phasing out the evidence recovery units and then replacing it with something else? Could the minister answer?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, of course I can answer but I find it remarkably strange that the party opposite, on some Auditor General reports, talks about the recommendations but on this Auditor General report with regard to forensic labs, in which we are following the recommendations of the Auditor General, it attacks us for following those recommendations.

The facts of the matter are that we are increasing the efficiency of the system and we are establishing better turnaround times.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Liberal Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, having regional RCMP detachments is extremely important and very reassuring to the public.

We know that the RCMP tabled a report with the Solicitor General following a study on RCMP resources in Quebec. Statements by credible sources indicate that it has already been decided to close nine detachments in Quebec.

My question is for the Solicitor General of Canada. Can he assure us that he is continuing to study the report and that no decisions have been made to date on these closures?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Frontenac—Mégantic for his question and indeed for the representations from him and from his colleagues who are affected by the presence of the RCMP in other areas as well.

As with all organizations, the RCMP continually reviews its methods of delivery to ensure that its resources are aligned with its priorities. In this case, let me assure members that any decisions we make will be guided by the safety and security of Canadians and the integrity of our border.

There has been no final decision made in this regard.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

October 7th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, last December many Canadians and the international community expected the Canadian government to be genuine in its intent to not only ratify but implement the Kyoto accord. Many believed there was no plan that was doable and that in fact the government was just making a promise it had no intention of keeping.

Today the commissioner of the environment confirmed that the Government of Canada is behind in all its Kyoto initiatives that were examined. Is the Prime Minister content that his green legacy will be on how much time he spent on the golf course and his disingenuous ratification of the Kyoto accord rather than preserving the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government has not only been actively implementing and working toward the objectives of the Kyoto accord since the last budget, but back two budgets: $1.7 billion under the action plan at that time was implemented toward new technologies, $2 billion, $1 billion of which has been on retrofitting, new technologies and looking at new forms of fuels and so on. This is a record of accomplishment that the opposition should be lauding the government for.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, all money and no outcomes whatsoever.

The government has a disturbing pattern of ratifying agreements it has no intention of actually ever keeping. When no one was looking, the cabinet actually passed an order in council that delayed the species at risk legislation by another year.

Why is the government taking a Liberal, GST-esque approach to its promises on environmental public policy, whether it is species or climate change? When will it take the environment seriously and keep its promises?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Here again, Mr. Speaker, with respect to the species at risk legislation, since June the department has been actively implementing the provisions of the species at risk legislation, in partnership with the provinces and in partnership with all the stakeholders right across the country. In fact, the foundation that has been established which would look for stewardship of those lands where species at risk would be protected is being pursued as we speak. This is a record, again, of accomplishment of the government, and it should be congratulated instead of criticized.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, the commissioner of the environment has just released a report with some very interesting facts on pesticides.

It is government policy to re-evaluate all 405 pesticides on the market, by 2006, although this process has been under way for years and today only six have been re-evaluated. All six now are either restricted in use or banned outright. At this rate, they are going to have to re-evaluate one pesticide every two days to meet the deadline.

Will the Minister of Health guarantee that these re-evaluations will in fact be completed by 2006?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the PMRA's re-evaluation program is making significant progress. As of March 31, 2003, 61 pesticide active ingredients have been addressed. It has resulted in the phase-out of 53 pesticides, improved safety guidelines for DEET and new standards for several organophosphate pesticides. We are making progress on behalf of all Canadians.

Film IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is election day in California and if Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected governor it is very bad news for Canada. One of his main issues is to stop American companies filming movies and TV series here in Canada. The film industry is vital in cities like Halifax, Montreal, Toronto and my own city of Vancouver.

We know what has happened to the softwood, steel, auto and wheat industries. The government can barely manage damage control mode.

I would like to ask the Minister of Canadian Heritage, does she have a plan to defend--

Film IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Film IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we will terminate the plan as executed.

Former Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, it was July of 2000 and a former speech writer for the Prime Minister was being offered the position of Privacy Commissioner. There was only one problem: He had to cut a bankruptcy deal with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency for about $675,000 in unpaid taxes. CCRA got him to pay $68,000 and wrote off the remaining $607,000.

When CCRA cut this deal, did anyone in CCRA know that the former Privacy Commissioner was on the verge of an appointment to a very well paying job? Did it know?