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House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fish.

Topics

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if exactly every single dollar, but my department is a very transparent department and the money would be in the accounts.

The $15 million is to help the associations of softwood lumber producers. I think everybody in Canada will acknowledge that the softwood lumber associations of this country, from the east Quebec association to the British Columbia association, have been doing an outstanding job of promoting our interests in the United States.

Our government wants to stand by the associations and of course it would be transparent about the use of that investment in softwood lumber.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the latest attempt to silence its critics, the government has recently decided to cut the $75,000 annual grant to the Conference of Defence Associations. All members from both sides of the House know of the invaluable contribution that the CDA makes to the defence community and the powerful criticisms it has levelled at the government for its treatment of the armed forces.

My question for the Minister of National Defence, how can the minister possibly defend cutting this annual grant when all the CDA has ever done is speak for those who guard our freedom? We need its advice and the minister needs its advice.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the government certainly appreciates the support the CDA has provided the military. In this age of reallocation, my officials recommended to me that we no longer support advocacy groups and the CDA was the last of these on our books.

To put this matter in perspective, were the CDA to collect 12.5¢ per year from each of its members, it would easily make up the amount that the government has been giving it.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Canadian Alliance Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, we are watching.

I asked this question yesterday and I will ask it again today. It has now been eight days since Ernst Zundel entered Canada. The minister's own department calls him a security risk. Is this man still in Canada?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it is in the public domain that the individual is in Canada. There is a process right now and we will let the process continue. I will not comment on any specifics. We believe in the rule of law. We believe in the due process and I cannot wait for the same question tomorrow.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Canadian Alliance Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister has told us that knowledge of Mr. Zundel's presence in Canada is in the public domain. I think Canadians are more concerned about actions that are in the public interest.

When will the minister fulfill his duty by removing Ernst Zundel from this country?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, my duty is to ensure I respect the system. I said that we believe in due process. There are ways, but I want to respect that process so I will not intervene personally. I want to protect the system.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources answered yesterday that if additional measures were needed to assist victims of the softwood lumber crisis, he would provide them. Entire regions are suffering from this trade war. Industries are in danger, and thousands of families are hit by unemployment.

Will the minister open his eyes and realize that phase two of the initial plan is needed now more than ever?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are preoccupied by the potential negative impact of this trade dispute on the workers in the softwood lumber industry. That is why we have added to the $450 million in EI benefits that are already provided every year through the employment insurance fund.

With $246 million, $71 million over two years to build on existing employment insurance programs and $110 million to support communities to diversify their economies, the hon. member can rest assured that we are following this file very closely.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, is Canada unable to stand up, to stop grovelling before the Americans and start defending workers and businesses hard hit by the softwood lumber crisis? The workers have had enough. Do something.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are following this file very closely and we are heartened at this point to see that the Quebec lumber industry has in fact had a 7% increase in employment between January 2002-03 and that the number of employment insurance claims in Quebec continued to be lower than in the previous year in this industry. As I said, we are following it closely and we are responding as we should.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

February 26th, 2003 / 3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of immigration says it is his duty to respect the system and yet for the last two days his answers have shown that he is desperately trying to run away from a court verdict saying that he misled Parliament. Even more disturbing, he gave a twisted version of his own legislation in a futile attempt to deny the clear findings of the court.

Will the minister finally stand up, admit his mistake, or must the Prime Minister take action to ensure that he is accountable for his unacceptable behaviour?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, another lawyer who cannot read the law. I am sorry about that.

Section 74(d) is a procedure that mentions that when a case for immigration is still pending we are able to address certain questions. When it is certified we will see if we are going to appeal or not. That is why the process is still on and I will not comment on the process or the issue. The member should read the law.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is not showing respect for the system. It is incredible for this minister of the Crown to suggest that reasons of a judge delivered in public are only a draft. The reasons of a judge, in fact, are final. They are the law. It is clear that this is simply a desperate attempt by the minister to avoid the consequences of misleading Parliament.

How can Canadians have any confidence in the system and in the minister, given his conduct?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, desperate and disturbing are what you call an opposition with only 14% of the popular vote, unable to do its homework or comprehend the Immigration Act.

We respect the rule of law; we respect procedure. There is a process, and I intend to follow it.

Crown CorporationsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister said, integrity and public trust are the foundation of democratic government. More than ever Canadians are demanding transparency, openness and accountability from all governments.

I would like to ask the Minister for International Trade, what steps he is taking to ensure that the important crown corporations under his authority are truly accountable to the Canadian public?

Crown CorporationsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for London—Fanshawe for his question. It gives me the opportunity to congratulate EDC on winning the Auditor General's award for excellence in annual reporting. This is the fifth time since the award was launched in 1994 that EDC has won the Auditor General's excellence award.

I also want to commend EDC on its corporate disclosure policy addressing transparency and accountability which reflects the government's policy on the openness of trade.

TransportationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk Canadian Alliance Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport has stated on numerous occasions that the air security tax is justified because those who use air travel must pay all the costs associated with it.

That being the case, how does the minister justify providing almost $3 billion to VIA Rail since 1993 to subsidize those who choose to travel by rail?

TransportationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we believe in the passenger rail system. Nowhere in the world does passenger rail make money. It is subsidized because it is needed. It is needed to bring Canadians together and to relieve congestion. I hope the hon. member continues his attacks because it only highlights the fact that the government is totally committed to passenger rail.

TransportationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk Canadian Alliance Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has been bragging about his government's success in privatizing and commercializing a large part of the national transportation system. Recently, he admitted that 40 companies had responded to his previous solicitation of interest in running VIA Rail and that something could have been done.

Why then did the minister not pursue this alternative instead of continuing the $.5 million a day in operating subsidies and providing an additional $400 million in capital funding?

TransportationOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is true that many companies were interested in operating between Montreal and Toronto, but they were not interested in operating between Winnipeg and Churchill. They were not interested in operating between Montreal and Senneterre and serving Atlantic Canada. Only a crown corporation subsidized by the people of Canada will look after the interests of all Canadians.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport has described the new British tax to reduce traffic in downtown London as extraordinary and seems tempted by the idea.

Rather than thinking about taxing the taxpayers yet again, would it not be better if the minister refunded the special gas tax of 1.5 cents per litre for the deficit, and used the 10 cents per litre excise tax for road development, as is done in Quebec where the majority of fuel tax revenues are being reinvested in the ground transportation system?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, this issue of taxation keeps coming up and I do not understand. This is one of the great strengths of the government. We have reduced taxes by $100 billion. The average family is now saving 27% and the tax burden has really gone down.

Latin AmericaOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Liberal Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and the Francophonie tell us what the Canadian government's reaction is to the anti-guerilla struggle and tensions between Colombia and Venezuela?

Latin AmericaOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, the President of Colombia, Mr. Uribe, is trying to make the revolutionary forces in Colombia see reason. The forces are currently holding 3,000 hostages in the jungle, including Ingrid Betancourt.

We support the efforts of the Organization of American States regarding peace in the region. We ask the international community, and more particularly the neighbouring countries, to give support and to provide solidarity so that violence will be alleviated in Colombia and in the whole region.