This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was referendum.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for South Shore.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Transport Canada posted some 5,000 confidential documents on a non-encrypted database open to hackers. These files included secret documents on airport security, national security as well as cabinet discussions.

How can the minister stand in the House and ensure the safety and security of Canadian travellers and travel?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think I just answered the question. Once the breach was found through an internal audit on the internal system we dealt with it. Officials have assured me that there has been no breach of security.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week Transport Canada ran an ad for intelligence officers. The ad read, “to coordinate intelligence among various agencies at different levels of government”.

This week the same Transport Canada accidentally released 5,000 secret documents.

Canadians do not have a clue who is in charge of Canada's security. They have not been given instructions on what to do in an emergency or even been given one update on Canada's security system.

Who is in charge of coordinating Canadian security: Transport Canada, CSIS or Parks Canada?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member can be absolutely assured that the Government of Canada is in charge of security in this country. I am responsible for national security within this country. We have been making great progress in terms of our relations with the United States.

Canadians should be able to feel absolutely confident that Canada, through CSIS, the RCMP and through its co-operation with other agencies, is among the best in the world in dealing with security threats to this country and around the world.

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, Export Development Canada has a massive outstanding loan portfolio to two companies, Nortel and Bombardier. The total amount outstanding to these two companies is $10 billion.

Over the weekend it was revealed that the Liberal government added to that total with a $1 billion loan guarantee to Nortel.

With taxpayers already on the hook for $10 billion in guarantees, why did the government commit to another $1 billion of corporate welfare?

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I understand that EDC has agreed to provide Nortel cover for bonds secured against assets in support of future transactions. It is well within EDC's commercial mandate to provide trade finance services for Canadian exporters and investors. EDC is a financially self-sustaining crown corporation that has made money every year since 1944 with the exception of one year.

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. Over 50% of EDC's loans were for the purchase of two companies. No private sector institution would ever do that.

Corporate welfare takes away from our health care, our military and our basic services of government. When the lion's share of taxpayer dollars go to two large corporations, it harms our competitive market. EDC puts billions of taxpayer dollars at risk. This must be changed.

Will the minister today make EDC more accountable to Canadians and publish a list of loans and loan guarantees, including the amount repaid to taxpayers?

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, EDC has been doing a fantastic job supporting Canadian exporters. Ninety per cent of its clients are small and medium sized enterprises.

The government will not take advice from an Alliance Party that prefers to support Embraer against Bombardier before the WTO by giving it information and supporting it. This is a government that stands by all Canadian exporters, small, medium and large sized enterprises.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is using the strategic plan on agriculture to establish national standards for the agricultural support program from coast to coast.

The Prime Minister recently wrote to the President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, and I quote:

The current approach is irreconcilable with the principle by which all Canadians are equal, regardless of where they live in the country.

How can the government justify to Quebec's farmers the fact that it is destroying all of the agricultural programs that have worked for 30 years because the Prime Minister wants to standardize support programs from coast to coast? Everyone is treated the same, is that the price they have to pay to be Canadian?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more, Canadians are Canadians no matter where they live, which is precisely why, during the federal-provincial ministers' meeting in June 2002, the province of Quebec agreed that we should have national standards for business risk management for Canadian farmers from coast to coast to coast. We also should have national standards but with flexibility in how they are delivered within the provinces for such areas as food safety, environment and that type of thing so we can ensure, for trade reasons and equitability, that Canadians are Canadians no matter where they live.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the Prime Minister be so dogmatic and destroy programs that have proven effective for 30 years, instead of accepting that agriculture, which is different from one province to the next, requires different and appropriate support programs?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we are working with the province of Quebec, and, I think, very successfully, in showing, with the designs, that every farmer is treated the same in the business risk management area and that Quebec producers will be better served. Quite frankly, the Quebec government, because it does decide from its provincial perspective to spend more on its agricultural support than other provinces, will be at liberty to do so and it will have even more money left over to do that than it had in the past. We will have a win-win situation for Quebec farmers.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Canadian Alliance Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, changes to the Canadian Forces insurance plan will provide unreduced lump sum payments to soldiers who suffer accidental dismemberment while in the line of duty.

Retired Major Bruce Henwood lost both of his legs in 1995 while serving in Croatia and did not receive one nickel in compensation. The minister is very much aware of this case and stated that he is working on the retroactivity section of the proposal.

My question to the minister is, when will soldiers like Major Henwood receive lump sum payments for their injuries?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, when I first came into this job and I heard through the media about Major Henwood's experience it made an important impression upon me. I have worked since that time to resolve this obvious anomaly whereby, if one loses legs or arms, one gets the money, but only if one is a colonel or a general. That seemed clearly wrong.

It takes some time in defence to change things. We have already made that change. Looking forward, I am still working on the retroactivity section of the problem.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Canadian Alliance Calgary Northeast, AB

The cheque is in the mail, Mr. Speaker. That is the response from the government thus far.

Colonels and generals who suffer dismemberment definitely receive a lump sum payment while soldiers on the front line receive little or nothing.

Why would the minister want to allow this double standard to exist in the first place and when will he fix it?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the essence of my answer is that I do not want this double standard to continue. That is precisely why I addressed the issue and why we have changed this so that there is no double standard.

There is a single standard for all members of the Canadian Forces, irrespective of rank. It takes time to move things in government, I am discovering. We have not yet solved the retroactivity section of the issue, but we are working on it.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Carmen Provenzano Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, last June the Government of Canada announced its goodwill offer response to the grievances of first nations veterans who returned to reserves after the war. I understand the deadline for applications was February 15, just this past Saturday.

Will the Minister of Veterans Affairs inform the House what response was received to this offer and what are the government's next steps?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the response was overwhelming. Close to 2,000 applications were received out of the estimated 1,800. They are being processed with diligence and speed. As soon as they are completed offers of payment with a request for a waiver will be sent to eligible veterans. Upon receipt of the completed acceptance, the cheques will be mailed to them as promptly as possible.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, earlier in question period the Prime Minister received an important question about the operation of blind trusts which he did not answer.

I want to ask the government this question again. Is it true that the blind trust rules of the government allow ministers, while in cabinet, to receive regular private briefings about the business of companies they own?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the Prime Minister had to leave question period. I will certainly take notice of the hon. member's question and we will get an answer for him.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this man is a minister of the cabinet. He should know the answer to the question. A blind trust should also be a deaf trust.

Is it conceivably true that the former finance minister knew about the dealings of Canada Steamship Lines in Indonesia?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, these are prime ministerial guidelines and the Prime Minister will answer for those guidelines in the House when he is next in the House.

Seal HuntOral Question Period

February 17th, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the fall of 1999, the federal government has worked with the American authorities in order to authorize seal product imports. These negotiations have been dragging on, and this situation is harming the seal industry in Quebec and the Maritimes.

What does the Minister for International Trade intend to do to exert the necessary pressure to speed up and finalize the negotiations?

Seal HuntOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the Minister for the Environment, and I have been following this issue very closely with regard to American legislation. We continue to monitor the situation and pressure Washington regularly to defend our interests.