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House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, what Mr. Arar has been through is the direct consequence of the events of September 11, 2001. Since then, it is easier and easier for the Americans to obtain private information about Canadian citizens.

Is the Prime Minister aware that this case illustrates what we were afraid of, that is, that the government will sacrifice freedom to the cause of so-called security?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have passed laws here in this House to ensure that the security of Canadians is safeguarded. Since September 11, 2001, the world has changed. I think that the hon. member does not want to admit that.

Terrorism is a problem that must be taken very seriously. Here, we have passed laws that have passed the charter test and that ensure the security of Canadians and combat international terrorism. This is an obligation we have, and we are shouldering our responsibilities.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, an important vote on human cloning will be held tomorrow at the United Nations. There are 65 countries that will be supporting a resolution that would ban all forms of cloning. However, there are 23 countries, including Canada, that will back a weaker proposal that would allow therapeutic cloning.

It is strange that the government would be supporting therapeutic cloning at the United Nations, even though Bill C-13 aims to ban human cloning.

Why would the government be supporting a resolution that does not reflect its own legislation?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, to the best of my knowledge, my department has been working with the Department of Foreign Affairs. We will be supporting a resolution that bans all forms of cloning, be it therapeutic or reproductive.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is certainly a change from what she answered on October 6, when I asked that same question.

Let us call human cloning what it is. It is an affront to human dignity, individuality and rights. Human life should not be created to harvest spare parts.

What led the minister to change her mind?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we did not change our mind. Hon. members may recall that we indicated supporting a total ban on cloning. Unfortunately, it appeared in late September that we would not be able to get sufficient support at the United Nations to move that resolution forward.

However, because of work that has taken place over the past number of weeks, I understand Costa Rica is currently proposing a comprehensive mandate to negotiate a convention that would ban human cloning. It is my understanding that we will be supporting Costa Rica.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency recently hit a new high in efficiency.

Two cases of wine valued at $20,000 were seized, and it took only 10 days for the owner to be able to get his wine back. Usually this process takes 90 days and seized alcohol is almost never returned.

Are we to understand that the speed with which Canada Customs and Revenue Agency released the seized wine is due to the fact that the wine was for the Prime Minister's son-in-law?

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, not at all.

I want to be absolutely clear on this. I will not permit anyone to hurt the integrity of the customs program.

I also want to be clear that nobody gets a free ride. The seizure of goods, whether it be wine or anything else, is reversed if an error has occurred.

We make every effort to ensure that when individual rights or customs procedures are not followed, that the reversal happens expeditiously if we know we are not going to be successful through the adjudication process. If the seizure is reversed, the individual still has to pay taxes and duties.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, what assurance can the minister responsible for customs and revenue give us that, even though this case involves the Prime Minister's son-in-law, a full and impartial investigation will be done to determine what really happened with this wine?

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the member knows that customs legislation and privacy legislation do not permit me to speak to any individual case.

But in all cases, for all Canadians, if proper procedures are not followed, then the agency has the authority, at the local level, to reverse a seizure decision that is in the interest of saving time and expense for the agency, and also for the individual; however, nobody gets a free ride. Taxes and duties must always be paid.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of October there have been seven gang-related slayings in Toronto. This past weekend alone, there were three murders, 28 robberies and five home invasions, including one where a baby had a gun pointed at its head. Toronto police say the gangs are out of control.

Why will the government not provide effective anti-gang laws and police resources to protect the people in Toronto?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member knows very well that the government has been involved in legislation that started some years ago. That is when we decided to proceed with special legislation regarding the question of organized crime.

The legislation has been tested across Canada and has been proven to be efficient. Lately, at the last federal-provincial meeting, we discussed the question of mega trials with colleagues from across Canada. There is a special working group working on that. We intend to come back as soon as we can to make the justice system even more efficient.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the only thing this government has to show for its efforts is a billion dollar gun registry that has been an absolute failure.

The increase in gang activities across Canada reflects years of neglect by the government. One expert recently stated, “The government and society are afraid of the gangs, but the gangs are not afraid of our government”.

Why has the Minister of Justice failed to take any effective legislative measures to stop the expansion of violent gang activities?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

First of all, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows very well that the gun registry and gun control system in Canada has been very effective. I advise the member to have a look at the stats that we have seen lately.

Second, with regard to organized crime, we have been very effective in moving ahead with a new piece of legislation that is now part of the Criminal Code. With regard to the mega trial, as I said, we will come forward following the work which is taking place with the provinces and territories at the beginning of next year in order to make sure that we will improve the system and, to be more precise, the question of the mega trial.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, next week the people of Canada will stand in remembrance to honour our veterans, yet this government has already dishonoured our veterans by creating two separate classes of war widows. Some will get extended coverage under the VIP for life, while others will be helpless.

Given the surplus announced by the finance minister earlier this week, how can this government claim that it does not have the money to treat all war widows equally? This government will leave the worst legacy ever left in Canada if it does not treat all war widows equally.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have said several times in this chamber, it was not for lack of heart nor for lack of will that we were not able to move last May when we added and improved the program for other widows. We will continue to work hard for our widows and I hope that we will succeed.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, in 2001 when the present minister of ACOA was upset over the amount of ACOA funding going to his riding, he had this to say, “If the minister of ACOA is going to act responsible, then he'd also list off for the Telegram exactly what goes in every other riding. Then we will have a yardstick on which to gauge it”.

Why should we be denied today exactly what the minister felt he deserved then? Will the minister lay out riding by riding all the dollar amounts and projects funded in Newfoundland and Labrador?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne LiberalMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, for the third time, the hon. member is very consistent, I will give him that, on certain things, but where he is inconsistent is on the fact that I have explained to him on numerous occasions, again and again, that certain projects do not fall within a geographic constituency. They fall within a pan-provincial basis. They sometimes encompass the entire Atlantic region.

If he goes to the website, he can provide himself with some very valuable information. If he does not quite get it right, let me help him out in the process. No, Mr. Speaker, do not cut me off--

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. minister knows the rules, but perhaps he will get another question another day.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, when I asked about an American customs inspection facility being built on Canadian soil, the revenue minister assured us that “the actions that are being taken are both appropriate and well considered.” Yesterday she changed her tune, saying, “I can tell the House that no project has been approved”. Within minutes, her colleague from Essex told the media that the minister was surprised to hear where the facility was being built.

Meanwhile, CP Rail tells us the site was picked by the American Office of Homeland Security and it was told by the government to just do it. The bulldozers just rolled in.

Could the minister tell us how she could possibly not know that this facility was being built on Canadian soil? And if she did not, who approved it? Has she handed our sovereignty over to the Office of Homeland Security?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

No, Mr. Speaker. In fact, it is not intended that any security measures would seriously have an impact on traffic in Windsor. The original site that was discussed was the Windsor Walkerville site. We have now been informed that the other site has been looked at. We have been very clear that any solutions to the pre-clearance issue must not have a negative impact by blocking intersections or a negative impact on traffic. The matter is under review by all parties.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. It has been almost a year since Roy Romanow tabled his bold report with recommendations on the future of our public health care system, and over a year since the report of the Canadian nursing advisory committee.

This minister has ignored all of these key recommendations while our public health care system weakens, privatization increases and nursing shortages grow. When will this minister finally listen to Romanow and Decter, listen to the voices of Canadians, and act on these vitally important recommendations? When at last will she stand up for Canada's public health care system?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this government, in the health accord of February of this year, put $34.8 billion in new dollars into our publicly funded health care system. In fact, if the hon. member read the health accord of February 2003, he would see that all the major structural reforms called for by Mr. Romanow are in fact included in one way or another in that very important document.

I can in fact reassure the hon. member that all health ministers, provincial, territorial and federal, are working very hard to ensure that we have a publicly funded, high quality, sustainable health care system for the future.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the new safety net program requires farmers to deposit $26,000 cash into an account in order to have full coverage of a production margin of $100,000.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food does not deposit any government money up front. This is a double standard.

Farmers cannot afford to have $26,000 cash tied up all year in a low interest account. If the government cannot afford to put the money into the account, why would it expect a farmer to?

AgricultureOral Question Period

November 5th, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the way the program is developed at the present time is that we are asking farmers to make a deposit. It is not an annual payment, as the old program was. In order to build support there in the past in the older program, they had to continue putting money into the account every year to build it up. If they used that at any time, they went back to zero, and if they had a call on it in the next year, there was nothing there for them.

The new program is designed so that, as the opposition and other industry people out there asked for and as my own caucus encouraged, it makes sure it is there for beginning farmers and for back to back situations. That is the way it is designed.