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House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Crowfoot.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

That is right, Mr. Speaker, we do things much differently. As the world reacts quickly, we react slowly. And shame on the Solicitor General.

The revolutionary armed forces of Colombia are referred to as the most dangerous terrorist organization in the western hemisphere. Moro Islamic liberation front threatened the Canadian embassy last year, killed 13 people abroad in a Canadian mining truck in December 2002, and reportedly has been trying to extort money from a Canadian mining firm.

Neither of these terrorist organizations are on the Canadian list. Why not?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the House how the official opposition operates. It operates on the basis of creating fear from that side of the House. We will not accept that on this side of the House.

We are doing our job in terms of listing entities. We are doing our job in terms of the security intelligence service of the country. We are doing our job in terms of working with other international services around the world to combat terrorism without trying to create headlines.

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of the inspectors presenting their report, the U.S. Secretary of State has given the Security Council an ultimatum. Colin Powell said, and I quote, “—if the UN will not act (and) demonstrates its irrelevance, then the United States is prepared, with a coalition of the willing, to act”.

With the Prime Minister scheduled to speak in Chicago today, will the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us here, in the House, that under no circumstances will Canada be part of a coalition of the willing without the support of the UN?

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the message the Prime Minister will be giving in Chicago tonight is the same as the one he has been giving here in the House all along. He favours acting through the United Nations Security Council. That has always been our approach.

We have resolution 1441. We have established a process. Mr. Blix has established that this process is serious and credible. We are committed to this process and we will remain committed.

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if that is the case then, if Canada has decided against participating, under any circumstances, in a coalition of willing countries that does not have the Security Council's support, has the Minister of Foreign Affairs told Colin Powell that under no circumstances will we be a part of such a coalition, the one Colin Powell is referring to? Because he said clearly that if the UN would not act, they would, with allies and countries willing to join them. Did the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell him not to count on us? That would be clear.

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the fact that when I was in Washington, not long ago, with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, I told him that we are a sovereign country, that we make our own decisions based on our interests, on the interests of Canadians and especially on the interest of safeguarding peace around the world.

In this context, I clearly explained that Canada believes that the United States would be better served by acting within the United Nations, for their own security and for the security of the whole world.

IraqOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mexico is a very close trading partner of the United States and, like Canada, it borders the U.S. However, this has not prevented President Fox from clearly saying no yesterday to unilateralism and war, and yes to peace, disarming Iraq and strengthening the United Nations.

Will the Prime Minister, who says he supports the peace process, but is moving toward war, not show as much courage as President Fox and remove the shadow of ambiguity from Canada's position?

IraqOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this House and the entire world have followed what Canada has done since the Prime Minister told President Bush, a long time ago, that Canada believes that the best course of action, and the only way to ensure the survival of important international institutions and promote world peace, is to work within the United Nations.

This is what we are doing and what we have always done, and we are proud of this approach. It is a successful one right now. Let us stick to this course, which is the best one for everyone.

IraqOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we heard the Prime Minister say in the House that resolution 1441 was sufficient. There will be an important meeting of the Security Council tomorrow. Tonight, the Prime Minister will be speaking in Chicago.

Is it not time for him to follow the Mexican president's example and clearly tell the entire world what Canada's position is? Is resolution 1441 reason enough to throw our lot in with the United States or will it take a second resolution from the Security Council? When will he stop being a yes-man?

IraqOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, tonight, our Prime Minister will be speaking in Chicago. He is going to tell our close American ally what the Canadian position and approach are.

We do not need to copy the Mexicans, as the Bloc would have us do; we do not need to copy the French, as the Bloc would have us do; we do not need to copy the Germans, as the Bloc would have us do. We are Canadians and we want to adopt a Canadian policy.

TaxationOral Question Period

February 13th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government has been doing so much skating on Iraq lately that I thought I would change the subject and ask it about hockey.

I wonder if the government could tell us whether it approves of the use of $60 million worth of taxpayer money that appears to be going into the savings of the Senators hockey club.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the confidentiality of taxpayers does not permit me or CCRA to confirm or deny whether or not there has been a specific request for an opinion. Any taxpayer or corporation can request an opinion, but it is a Criminal Code offence in this country to release taxpayer information.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I did not ask for confidential information, unless the minister's view of whether taxpayers should pay to bail out a hockey club is somehow confidential. I am asking the minister whether or not the government approves of taxpayer money being used in this way.

In the budget, instead of having a national capital hockey strategy, will we have something that people really need, like a national housing strategy, for a change?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, now that the member opposite has clarified that he in fact is not interested in any particular ruling from CCRA, I want to inform him that the budget will come down next Tuesday, February 18, at 4 p.m.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in June 2001, three months before the al-Qaeda attacks, CSIS warned the government, “Canadians, now more than ever, are potential victims and Canada a potential venue for terrorist attacks”. The government did nothing about that warning.

Now it is reported that CSIS has intelligence that al-Qaeda may be preparing strikes in North America, including Canada.

Are those reports wrong? Does CSIS say that there is no threat to Canada equivalent to the threat that has mobilized Britain and the United States?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I answered that question earlier. We have no discernable information that Canada is the focus of such an attack. I think we all should try to cool the rhetoric because the situation is very dire, not just in the United States but in Europe and the Middle East. We have to reassure Canadians that we are doing all we can in terms of security to protect them and their best interests.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is an astounding statement in light of the fact that, on the basis of its intelligence, the United Kingdom has dispatched tanks to Heathrow airport. The United States has anti-aircraft weapons on the streets of Washington. As long ago as June 1998, the director of Canada's intelligence service warned:

With perhaps the singular exception of the United States, there are more international terrorist organizations active [in Canada] than any other country of the world.

What leads the government to believe that the threats, which are considered to be deadly serious in Britain and the United States, require no special measures to protect Canadians?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am shocked that a former prime minister would come forward with this alarmist rhetoric at this time.

I have answered the question. We have no discernable information that there is a pending security threat in Canada. That does not stop us from taking all the necessary precautions. We have increased security since September 11, 2001, and we will continue to be vigilant.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the Minister of Justice spoke of “cash management” in reference to funding the firearms registry. Yet, on December 5 this Parliament unanimously withdrew the funding to the Canadian Firearms Centre.

Why has the Minister of Justice continued to fund his gun registry in spite of the expressed will of the House to discontinue funding?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if my memory serves me right, this issue is the subject of a question of privilege which Mr. Speaker will rule on. I would rely far more on the objective answer of your honour than the rhetoric I am hearing from across the way.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like an answer to my question. They are avoiding it, definitely.

Members on that side of the House are in agreement with the Canadian Alliance that the government has wasted $1 billion on the firearms registry. This House spoke with one voice in restricting any further spending, yet the minister continues to fund the program from unnamed sources.

Why does the minister believe that he can override a vote of this Parliament?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we are not talking about $1 billion and the member knows it very well.

Second, let us talk about the benefit of the program. Some 1.9 million owners have been licensed. Six million guns have been registered. Police use the registry 2,000 times per day. Some 9,000 licences have been revoked or refused.

We are talking about a good program. We are talking about Canadian values. We are talking about public safety. We are heading in the right direction and we will proceed with the program.

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have learned that U.S. soldiers are apparently already in Iraqi territory, involved among other things in building landing strips that could be used in a military conflict against Iraq.

Can the Minister of Defence tell us whether Canada is taking part in any illegal activity of this type?

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, not only are our troops not in Iraq right now, but there have been no decisions made as to whether they will be if there is a war.

As we have said a number of times, close to a thousand it seems, this is a hypothetical question. We are with the UN. The government will make the necessary decision later.