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House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Port FacilitiesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government has decided to extend the process by which ports are transferred. We are prepared to continue discussions with the Province of Quebec; that is not a big problem. Port operations are going very well. I would be happy to speak with my Quebec counterpart about this issue.

Port FacilitiesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the minister acknowledge that if he has changed his mind, it is because he wants to preserve the federal government's visibility in Quebec ports, even if his actions harm the economic development of many regions in Quebec?

Port FacilitiesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government's visibility is, in my opinion, very good for the country and everyone. But this is not what we are setting out to accomplish here. We are working with the Quebec government on this process. We are prepared to talk about port divestiture; that is not a problem.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General stated that the firearms program is a major crown project that requires more stringent Treasury Board reporting policies. The Auditor General also stated that the gun registry should have its own business line in the main estimates.

The deputy minister of justice disagreed, so the cover-up continues. Who is right, the Auditor General or the deputy minister?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, according to my information the program was not formally designated as a major crown project.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister displayed no ability to explain anything at the committee meeting yesterday. The gun registry goes 500 times over budget and his answers are all of the Forrest Gump variety, “It just happened”.

It has been almost three months and the justice minister still has not told the House what the total costs of the gun registry have been for all departments and agencies, including all the unreported costs itemized in the Auditor General's report.

If the minister cannot give us the total cost of the gun registry so far, how can we possibly trust him on the future cost projections?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Yorkton--Melville has put a question and his colleagues must want to hear the answer. The hon. Minister of Justice has the floor. If they did not want to hear the answer they would not have asked the question. So we must be able to hear the answer and the Minister of Justice will give it.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, obviously the member did not listen. I was in committee for two hours yesterday. I had an opportunity to explain the challenges that we have been facing through the development of that fantastic gun control program.

The member cannot understand knowing what he said in a press release in 1995. He said that gun control would result in more crime, more injuries and more theft. He should be ashamed knowing the stats that we have.

Gun control works. It is about value. It is about saving lives and we will keep proceeding with that program.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

An hon. member

You should be ashamed. You've got a million dollar boondoggle going.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We have finished with that question and that answer now. Perhaps hon. members could go behind the curtains and carry on some of these discussions. We want to get on with question period or we will lose time. The hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre has the floor.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

February 25th, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, a recent article in the press pointed to the jurisdictional no man's land for urban aboriginals caught between federal and provincial responsibility. The difficulties faced by aboriginal people are readily apparent to anyone who has spent time in downtown Winnipeg or any other major Canadian city.

What is the government doing to circumvent these jurisdictional issues and address the special needs of aboriginal people living in our major urban centres?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question as well as the hon. member's interest in urban aboriginal people. I am hopeful that federal and provincial governments, and other stakeholders can and will leave their jurisdictional arguments parked for awhile, while we all concentrate on practical real life solutions to urban aboriginal issues.

I am happy that in last week's federal budget we provided some new financial resources to help devise such solutions, at least $17 million to start with in eight Canadian cities. I note that the hon. member herself has helped to organize a symposium next week on the needs of urban aboriginal Canadians.

TransportationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, we will get into a real question after a Liberal commercial.

Post September 11 the Minister of National Revenue suspended the port of entry status for dozens of airports across Canada. This action at the Lethbridge airport, like many others, has caused a loss of economic opportunity.

Port of entry status is critical to our economic development. Lost opportunity with international industry has already cost us jobs. Relying on CANPASS has resulted in a documented 96% drop in international flights in Lethbridge alone.

Southern Albertans along with many other communities want to know when the minister will reinstate port of entry status.

TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Before the minister gives her answer, I can see that the minister is being offered much help with her answer by suggested sentences and phrases to include, but we must be able to hear the answer and so far today each minister and each member of the opposition has been able to fill in their 35 seconds without a lot of help from the other side. Perhaps we could have less help from the other side and let the minister give her answer on her own.

TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I am well aware of the issue that the member raises. It is true that in the post-September 11 environment small airports did have their status changed. We have been working with those airports to look at other methods, such as cost recovery, that would permit them to have international flight arrivals, but as in all things, when looking at what is possible and what budgets are available, priority is given to higher volume airports.

TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question was for the Minister of National Revenue, not the minister responsible for the Wheat Board. I hope he will be quiet this time.

The government continues to put roadblocks in the way of development. The $24 tax on international flights is bad enough. The Minister of National Revenue is picking winners and losers across Canada by suspending port of entry status at her whim.

The minister has stated that on-site customs inspectors would be available where air traffic warranted the service. Why then are busy airports like Lethbridge being denied port of entry status?

TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the only thing that was accurate in the member's question was the policy, which says that where numbers warrant based on volume. We review that from time to time to determine whether or not an airport meets that criteria.

In fact, I can tell the member opposite that we are working to reinstate wherever it is practicable. We look for other solutions such as cost recovery for those airports where the volume of flights do not yet meet the criteria that has been established because we want to provide the best, most cost effective service right across this country.

Production AssistanceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the Jutra awards ceremony, upon receiving the Jutra-Hommage, Rock Demers said he was saddened by Ottawa's $25 million cut in production assistance, when several projects are wrapping up and an $800 million budget was announced for the army.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us if she intends to ask the Minister of Finance to review his decision so that the Canadian fund can benefit from stable funding of $100 million a year for at least three years?

Production AssistanceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to thank the Premier of Quebec, Bernard Landry, who this week finally recognized the accountability and importance of artists.

His action complements what we are currently doing in Quebec, which is investing $1 billion in Radio-Canada, the Canadian Television Fund, the National Film Board, Téléfilm, and so on.

We can guarantee an investment of $200 million a year, the amount that we have invested in the Canadian Television Fund. We are so pleased that the Bloc is on board, because—

Production AssistanceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. Last Friday, the government unveiled its action plan to correct what is wrong with the firearms registry. Among the measures announced is the transfer of responsibility for the Canadian Firearms Registration Program from Justice to the Solicitor General.

Can the minister explain what makes the Solicitor General more competent than he to administer this program, or is this more a way of ducking questions about a scandal that might hurt his campaign for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think that what is important here is for us to continue together to build a firearms control system that will meet the government's and the public's desired objectives, that is to provide maximum protection to all of Canadian society as well as to develop the values we share as Canadians.

That said, there are certain elements within the action plan that address the issue of administration, different technologies, and consultations. Among the elements raised by the action plan is the matter of transferring the portfolio to the Solicitor General, which is essentially a—

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore.