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House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

TaxationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Surrey Central knows he cannot suggest that members have stolen money from anyone by taxation and he would not want to persist in such questioning. I know he will not do it the next time.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the hon. member's question because in fact we had a fulsome discussion of this yesterday at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in response to the report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

Obviously the part V fees are being reviewed. I believe the committee on statutory instruments and regulations is looking at the whole issue of fees more generally.

The member can be assured of the great support of all members in rectifying this situation.

Palestinian RefugeesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, some 100 Palestinians whose requests for asylum have been turned down will soon be deported to refugee camps in Lebanon.

The fact that Canada does not recognize the validity of the claims made by these people who have lived for many years in refugee camps is an insult to logic.

Since there is no country they can consider their own and since their return to refugee camps may well, it appears, put their lives in danger, can the minister tell the House if he intends to intervene in this matter by immediately suspending the deportation process that has already begun?

Palestinian RefugeesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the minister is fully aware of the situation. Naturally, he will act in a humanitarian fashion. He is always prepared to act according to Canadian legal principles.

Palestinian RefugeesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ahmad Abdel-Majeed, a Palestinian refugee who was held in Laval for several days, was deported yesterday and is now imprisoned in the United States. It is high time something was done.

It is urgent that this government suspend the many deportation orders and put into place a fair and equitable procedure for the Palestinian refugees. When will something be done?

Palestinian RefugeesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure the hon. member and the House. The minister will act, as always, in a fair and equitable way, not only according to Canadian law but also according to humanitarian principles.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of boys were sexually abused and thousands of assaults inside and outside of Kingsclear Training School in New Brunswick.

Victims have named 14 assaulters yet only Karl Toft was charged criminally. Millions were paid in hush money, including to RCMP Staff Sergeant Clifford McCann's victims. Victims who have come forward have been told by the RCMP not to make complaints.

Will the Solicitor General seize the pre- and post-Kingsclear files, conduct an independent review and report back to Parliament?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I do not have information about this file. Therefore, I will bring it to the attention of the Solicitor General for him to review and to provide a clear answer to the member opposite.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Kingsclear boys were taken with the knowledge of New Brunswick Corrections and the RCMP into the back seat of RCMP patrol cars, and to the house of senior RCMP officer Clifford McCann.

If the Solicitor General cannot act on this, will the Prime Minister of Canada have the Kingsclear and post-Kingsclear files seized and conduct an independent review of the entire investigation?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I stated, I do not have any particular information on this issue. I will seize the Solicitor General of the concerns of the member opposite and have the Solicitor General respond to him in full when he is in the House.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Liberal Haliburton—Victoria—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know the Canadian economy has experienced some unique challenges during 2003.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development provide the House with an update on the latest job numbers published today by Statistics Canada?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Shefford Québec

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his excellent question and especially for referring to the good news we announced this morning.

Despite the problems we have had this year, our market performance has been very good. In October, 65,000 jobs were created and the unemployment rate dropped from 8% to 7.6%. A total of 164,000 jobs have been created in Canada since January and nearly 3 million since 1993.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, one of the busiest trade corridors in the country is the trade corridor between the State of Maine and the province of New Brunswick.

There is presently an application to address two of those border crossings: one, in Woodstock, New Brunswick, to upgrade the highway leading to the border; and the other is the construction of a third bridge in St. Stephen, New Brunswick.

Could the minister give us an indication of where those applications are and how the negotiations are proceeding with the Province of New Brunswick on those two projects?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal members from New Brunswick have brought to my attention the need for border infrastructure improvements at both Woodstock and St. Stephen. I know it is a matter in which the member has an interest as well.

We have been in discussion with our partners in the Government of New Brunswick. We believe we are close to agreement with them, with respect to investments there. We want to upgrade both those crossing. We recognize their importance to the economy and to the local population.

I am working with my colleagues in the New Brunswick caucus, and we hope to announce real progress very soon.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, I guess we would call that all-party agreement. I appreciate the minister's response. I want to move on to the Minister of External Affairs.

Yesterday, as we all know, the minister denied any need for a public inquiry into the William Sampson case, indicating that he would be meeting with William Sampson.

Has that meeting taken place and has the minister reviewed the testimony that William Sampson gave yesterday before the committee, indicating complete displeasure at how the Government of Canada conducted itself during his incarceration? Has the minister changed his mind or has he in fact met with William Sampson today?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, like the hon. member, and other hon. members in the House, we take this case extremely seriously.

I have not had the opportunity, unfortunately, to meet Mr. Sampson. I have an appointment with him this afternoon and I will be meeting with him then

I want to assure the hon. member that I, and I have already asked my department to do this, will looking at everything we do in our department in light of not only this case, but other cases which have come to our attention.

Our object is to secure the security of Canadians abroad in often very difficult circumstances.

I come back to the fact that extraordinary efforts were made on behalf of Mr. Sampson, and I will be discussing that with him. We are certainly more than willing to learn from him how we could do better.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government insists that the presumption of innocence remains firm under the Liberal's watch. The horrifying ordeals of Maher Arar and William Sampson indicate otherwise.

The government hides behind the RCMP review, while other Canadians languish in jail, such as Almalki, in Syria, Maati, in Egypt and who knows how many next door, in the U.S.

Why will the government not launch the comprehensive public inquiry that is needed and that Canadians want now?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this Parliament created an independent agency called the Public Complaints Commission Against the RCMP. That commission, which is impartial and has authority over the RCMP, is conducting a review as we speak. I would urge the member to let the commission do its work.

If the member has information about other cases where she is alleging, or others are alleging, wrongdoing on the part of the RCMP, she should bring those allegations to the commission. If the member has allegations against SIRC, she should bring it to the SIRC--

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

HealthOral Question Period

November 7th, 2003 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP fully supports the creation of the National Health Council as an integral aspect of health care reform. However, as Roy Romanow has now pointed out, the province of Alberta is blocking its creation.

It seems Premier Klein was happy to take the extra cash last February, but he has reneged on the rest of the deal to establish this critically important institution.

What concrete steps is the Minister of Health taking in her home province to get Premier Klein on board and what is she doing to ensure the National Health Council gets up and running without any further delay?

HealthOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, obviously we expect all premiers to live up to the commitment that they made in the health accord of February 2003.

My officials continue to work very closely with the officials in all provinces and territories. We are in the process of determining who will chair this new body. We are in the process of determining our own federal government representatives on this body, and a number of the provinces are working to determine their representatives.

Within the next few weeks I obviously would like to see the health council up and running.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Calgary police apprehended criminals who were smuggling Asian women and girls into Canada to sell them as sex slaves. Calgary police should be applauded for this small victory against Canada's sex slave trade.

However, city police forces cannot do this alone. This is an international crime against humanity and they need help from the federal level. RCMP and Calgary police spokesmen said that this reprehensible crime is actually on the rise in Canada.

When will this Liberal government give police the resources they need to eliminate the sex slave trade in Canada?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it allows this government, through me, to again talk about the initiatives that we have taken to strengthen our law enforcement to provide new financial resources to the RCMP to create integrated investigative teams.

The sex trade is abominable and our law enforcement, the RCMP, and provincial and municipal police forces will work together and are working together to see that it is eradicated in Canada.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, they should speed up the process. Canada should be leading the world in the fight to protect women and children. Instead, this year's trafficking in persons report states that Canada has made “uneven efforts to prosecute traffickers” and “no specific efforts to work with and rehabilitate trafficking victims”.

Traffickers need to know that Canada will not tolerate this despicable activity, but convictions are rare.

Why are victims and witnesses so often deported before justice can be served?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, with regard to such a crime, which is indeed an awful crime, I would like to draw the attention of the hon. member to what we are doing as a country at the international level.

For example, lately we had a meeting in Paris among G-8 colleagues and talked about the question of child pornography and protection of our children, not only in Canada but anywhere in the world.

We have Bill C-20 as well, which is before the House. At the international level we know that people are using more technology and we need more international cooperation. It works well and--