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House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

International AidOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I have said it before in this House, and the hon. member is well aware, that CIDA's primary mandate is to reduce poverty through sustainable development. China has over 240 million people who are classified as being the world's poorest.

Our programming in China involves projects that help reduce poverty, that ensure sustainable development and that improve human rights. It is very important that we deal with 20% of all the world's poor people, and the hon. member should be well aware of that fact.

International AidOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Canadian Alliance Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are generous but they are not stupid. India has officially called on us to halt our aid to it. The reason for this is because it can take care of its own problems.

Why does this minister continue an aid policy that targets countries that no longer need our help, while ignoring the needy regions of Africa and Latin America?

International AidOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the government is very pleased to hear how far India has come in terms of its own development. The announcement by the government of India highlights that its ability to take a leadership role in its own development is very important.

We will continue to work toward reducing poverty for sustainable development around the globe to ensure that all countries, including Canada, will see the benefits of those results. The hon. member should be well aware of that.

CloningOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec health and social services minister Philippe Couillard has taken a stand against Bill C-13, the cloning bill, arguing that this bill clearly encroached on Quebec's jurisdictions.

Will the Minister of Health listen to her counterpart in Quebec and withdraw from an area that does not concern her by dividing her bill in two, to ensure that the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces are respected?

CloningOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member and I have discussed this matter for some time and he knows that my answer to this question is no.

My Quebec counterpart and I have had very fruitful discussions on this issue. Mr. Couillard is well aware that there are equivalency provisions in the legislation, except for the criminal prohibitions, that would permit the province of Quebec to enact an equivalent regime as it relates to the challenge of infertility.

I look forward to both my officials and myself being able to carry on these discussions with the Quebec government in the weeks ahead.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, according to The Sports Network, the Toronto Maple Leafs have spent more money on defence than the government.

The finance minister has denied Veterans Affairs the funds needed to extend the VIP to those widows whose husbands died before May 12. As I said, May 12 is the blackest day in the history of this country.

Why will the Minister of Finance not do the right thing and give the Veterans Affairs minister the money that is needed to treat all war widows equally?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I should remind the hon. member that Veterans Affairs Canada delivers many programs for veterans, their families and surviving spouses. We spent $1.6 billion on pensions and allowances for veterans and their families, one-third of which went to surviving spouses. We spent $650 million on health care benefits, of which $185 million went to the VIP.

We will continue to do more.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the government is aware by now of the demonstration that took place in Belledune last Sunday. Two thousand people protested against the construction of an incinerator in Belledune without any independent environmental impact study.

My question is for the Minister of Transport. People are wondering if the land on which Bennett Environmental is building the incinerator in Belledune harbour is owned by the federal government or is otherwise connected with the government. Could the Minister of Transport tell us whether the land is owned by the federal government or not?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would think this is really an Order Paper question. I will endeavour to get an answer for the hon. member.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, real criminals are still on the loose because of cutbacks in DNA analyses at RCMP labs and yet at the same time the federal government continues to spend millions registering the guns of law-abiding citizens.

We fully expect the minister to stand and continue his song and dance about how wonderful the registry is but this is the question: Will the minister please explain why registering firearms is a higher priority than uncovering DNA evidence that would put real criminals behind bars?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it has been a little while since we heard the song and dance from that member opposite on the same old issue on which he continues to have a real problem getting his facts straight.

If he would look at yesterday's Hansard he would see, in response to a question from the member for Crowfoot, where I talked about the forensic labs and said that we were increasing FTEs in Regina and that we were doing a better job of turnaround times.

Those are the facts. We are doing a good job on the forensic labs as well as on gun control.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 8th, 2003 / 3:05 p.m.

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 13 petitions.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Health.

Pursuant to its order of reference dated Thursday, November 28, 2002, your committee has considered Bill C-260, an act to amend the Hazardous Products Act with regard to fire safe cigarettes, and agreed on Tuesday, October 7, 2003, to report it to you with amendments.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 46th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding its order of reference of Tuesday, October 7, 2003, in relation to Bill C-49, an act respecting the effective date of the representation order of 2003.

The committee has considered Bill C-49 and reports the bill with an amendment. I would like to thank the committee and, before it, the subcommittee, which worked on the important matter of reorganizing our electoral boundaries following the last census.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 22nd report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. In accordance with its order of reference of Tuesday, September 23, 2003, the committee has considered Vote 20a--Auditor General under finance in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2004, and reports the same.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-454, an act to amend the Criminal Code (section 606).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to reintroduce my private member's bill which would amend certain provisions of section 606 of the Criminal Code relating to plea bargaining. It would ensure that when a plea bargain is used for a serious crime the Attorney General of Canada must approve it in writing.

My bill sends a clear message to Canadians that there will be a new level of accountability in our justice system. It also sends a message to the legal community that Canadians, while supportive of plea bargains, believe they are all too common and often favour the criminal.

I am confident all members will support it when given the opportunity.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions containing thousands of names and they are in regard to the traditional definition of marriage.

A recent court decision has redefined marriage contrary to the wishes of Parliament and now the government wants Parliament to vote on new legislation but only after it has been approved by the Supreme Court. This is a dangerous precedent for democracy in Canada. Elected members of Parliament should decide the marriage issue not appointed judges.

They therefore ask Parliament to immediately hold a renewed debate on the definition of marriage and to reaffirm, as it did in 1999, its commitment to take all necessary steps to preserve marriage as a union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

I cannot go through all of this but there are people from throughout Saskatchewan. Hundreds of different towns are represented here. I will simply submit these without going through a list of all the different places the petitioners come from but there are thousands of names.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I as well will state that the undersigned citizens to this petition I have draw the attention of the House to the following: that marriage is the best foundation for families and the raising of children and that the definition of the institution of marriage as being between a man and a woman is being challenged. Marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table petitions duly certified from close to 1,000 Canadians calling upon Parliament to ensure that Canada not participate in a star wars missile defence program, condemning George Bush's destabilizing plans, and calling upon us to work with our partners in peace for more arms control and peacefully bring an end to the production and sale of weapons of mass destruction and any material used to build them.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I also have a series of petitions duly certified according to the appropriate standing order. There are some 50,000 drawn from my riding and other areas in and around the great metropolis of Toronto and they express the concerns of many of our citizens regarding marriage. I will read their petition: “Whereas marriage is the best foundation for families and the raising of children--

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I appreciate the hon. member's concern, but I am sure he knows the rule that reading of petitions is not permitted. He will want to give a succinct summary of the petition.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thought you might grant me a little more indulgence inasmuch as I have 50,000. I can present them either singly or in a batch, but I thank you for drawing this to my attention.

The petitioners are concerned about the definition of marriage and pray that this Parliament will pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I thank you for your attention, Mr. Speaker.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Canadian Alliance Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present today.

The first petition has to do with the definition of marriage. The petitioners ask that Parliament confirm the traditional definition of marriage and provide constitutional protection for same.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Canadian Alliance Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I have to present today concerns the addition of sexual orientation as a protected category under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The petitioners express concern that religious freedom may be impacted by this inclusion and call on Parliament to protect the right of all Canadians to their religious beliefs.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Canadian Alliance Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the third petition I have, over 1,000 petitioners have signed on. They are expressing concern about the government's handling, so to speak, of the purchase of a replacement hovercraft for Sea Island in Richmond. They note that the 20-year-old hovercraft that is being touted and is probably going to be purchased as a replacement hovercraft is certainly unsuitable for the task at hand. They call on Parliament to ensure that when a replacement hovercraft is made available, and they want that to happen soon, it is one that is going to be capable of doing the job.