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House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yukon.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, recent media reports have highlighted the case of Simon (name redacted), a 17 year old from Varennes, who has been incarcerated in New Jersey, where both the language and culture are completely foreign to him and he has no family, for two years now. He has already served more than half of his sentence and could have been released on parole, or at least transferred to a Canadian prison.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs give us an update on what the Government of Canada has done, both at home and in the United States, to have this young man brought home as soon as possible?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the member for his question and his interest in the welfare of the young Mr. Chevarie-Dudemaine and his family. His situation is obviously very difficult. We sympathize a great deal with his situation. We have done our job by visiting him and by providing this young prisoner with consular access.

However, I must point out that the process for transferring inmates between Canada and the United States is solely managed by Correctional Service Canada. As for the United States, the decision is made by the Governor of New Jersey. We will work together in order to—

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Skeena.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Canadian Alliance Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the environment minister why he is so negative toward offshore oil and gas development in B.C.

Does the minister not know that the offshore oil and gas industry has a history of success around the world, from Alaska to California, Hibernia, and Aberdeen in Norway? For example, comments made in the B.C. legislature last week made it clear that the minister had no credibility with the B.C. Liberal government.

Why will he not admit that he is a major stumbling block toward development in B.C. and just sail off into the sunset?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the principle the government accepts and holds dear is that we do not embark upon industrial ventures, oil and gas development, without a proper analysis of the social, economic and environmental impacts of any such development.

It is not a question of saying no to the development. It is saying that if we wish to have development, we have to analyze what the benefits and costs from an environmental point of view might be. That is all I have asked for, that we have a proper assessment of the potential impact of this industry on the environment of the west coast.

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and it is based upon media reports from British Columbia. Because of salmon aquaculture operations, wild salmon are exposed to severe sea lice infestations which in turn have led to a drastic plunge in the number of pink salmon.

Will the minister set firm rules banning the bad practice of net-cage salmon farming which is the root cause of sea lice outbreaks, and also not resort to the use of pesticides?

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question and for his genuine interest in the matter of the protection of wild salmon stocks. It is a matter we are taking very seriously in light of the recent problems that have been outlined with the Broughton Archipelago.

We have a five point program to do a study to make sure that we understand fully whether the sea lice problem is increased by aquaculture in those areas and to make sure that we minimize the risk. It is our belief that we can have both an aquaculture industry and at the same time protect the wild salmon resource. It is very important that our first priority be the wild salmon resource.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, demonstrating a complete lack of compassion, will deport Fatima Marhfoul to Morocco, her country of origin, where she faces the threat of a severe prison sentence because her application for permanent residence in Canada is considered an insult to Morocco's monarchy.

Knowing that Fatima Marhfoul was shamefully exploited as a domestic in Canada for 10 years, does the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration not feel that he should demonstrate humanity in her case and cancel the deportation procedure before it is too late?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Brampton Centre Ontario

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as members know, we cannot comment on specific cases in the House. However, I would like to inform the member that the information she has and the information the department has are different. We have to make sure the case proceeds appropriately so we can make a final judgment which will be appropriate for the government and for the individual concerned.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, today we hear that former Cape Breton MP David Dingwall will become the president of the Royal Canadian Mint, which includes an annual salary of $250,000, a car and a chauffeur. It is a nice gift from the Prime Minister to his former minister of health who was rejected by his Cape Breton constituents and who presided over billions of dollars of cuts to health services, leaving our health care system in the state it is today.

Is this the first in a long string of patronage postings to be handed out by the Prime Minister to Liberal loyalists, or will he consent to having a public process for this type of appointment?

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

Noon

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I could not think of anyone better qualified to be master of the mint than the former minister, who was minister of public works and who understands the mint, has a good grasp of its issues and of marketing its products around the world.

I would have thought the hon. member would have been happy, as a Nova Scotian, that someone from that province, and especially from Cape Breton, has been recognized by the board of the Royal Canadian Mint. He will serve with distinction.

ZimbabweOral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, on February 18 the member for Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca asked if Canada would oppose the reinstatement of Zimbabwe to the Commonwealth. The Minister of Foreign Affairs outlined the position of South Africa, Nigeria and several others, but did not indicate the position of Canada.

Will the minister clarify Canada's position and confirm that Canada will oppose the reinstatement of Zimbabwe to the Commonwealth?

ZimbabweOral Question Period

Noon

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House and the hon. member that we are working closely with the Commonwealth secretariat, particularly the right hon. Donald McKinnon who is the secretary-general of the Commonwealth and the members of the troika to see if we can resolve this matter through the troika.

We recognize that the conduct of Zimbabwe and President Mugabe at this time is totally inconsistent with their Commonwealth obligations. However, we wish to work through the Commonwealth process before we make any clear decisions as to what should take place at the Commonwealth leaders meeting where this matter will be considered.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, earlier in question period, the right hon. member for Calgary Centre accused me of uttering a false statement in reply to one of his questions that the conflict of interest guidelines emanated from the Parker commission and the former Mulroney government, of which he was a member.

He challenged me to put documents on the table to prove my answer. I do not need to do that. This was confirmed by Mr. Mulroney himself in a published statement this week when he said he thought a blind management agreement might have been used for a public servant who worked on the free trade agreement.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport will know that there is a world of difference between a statement outside the House saying something might have happened and the document that I requested saying it did happen.

If the Minister of Transport believes that he has a document which proves his case, let him not rely on testimony from outside the House; let him have the courage to come to this Parliament and lay upon the table the document itself.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

The Deputy Speaker

I think I heard a difference of opinion which amounts to a debate in this place. It is not a point of order.

I have a notice of a question of privilege from the hon. Minister of State and Leader for the Government in the House of Commons.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this is in fact not a new question of privilege. It refers to something that was raised in the House yesterday. I committed yesterday to return to the House on the question of privilege at the earliest opportunity, which of course is today.

Yesterday the hon. member for St. Albert asked about details on the firearms funding in the supplementary estimates by way of a question of privilege.

A total of $77.5 million was requested for Justice in the supplementary estimates. Of this amount, $59.4 million was requested in support of the Canadian firearms program, of which $50.5 million is in Justice vote 1, operating, and $8.8 is in vote 5, contributions. The remaining $18 million is to cover four additional items, namely: incremental funding--which has an asterisk beside it and I will get back to that in a moment--to address core operational requirements, $16.4 million; public security and anti-terrorism initiatives, $.4 million; additional operating costs, $1 million; and partnering with the voluntary sector, $.2 million.

On the use of Treasury Board vote 5 for Justice, as it was alleged yesterday, in the 2002-03 supplementary estimates part B, the member for St. Albert also asked whether Treasury Board vote 5 was used for firearms funding. As I answered yesterday, and I am willing to provide more detail now, the answer is no.

As I indicated yesterday, $14 million was provided from Treasury Board vote 5 specifically for prosecution and legal costs associated with an increased workload in drug prosecution. When the minister appears before committee he can give details of that. That is the custom. The remainder is for aboriginal litigation cases.

The asterisk in the supplementary estimates denotes the fact that the request was made by the Minister of Justice for access to vote 5 for this specific item only. The department will use this temporary allocation only for this purpose.

It should be noted that all departmental expenditures in either the main or supplementary estimates are approved by Parliament and reported in the public accounts, which of course ultimately is the verification method. They are subsequently reviewed, as we know, and verified by the Office of the Auditor General.

I am pleased to inform the House on this. I hope it will assist the Chair in making its decision as to whether or not the privileges have been breached, which of course we maintain they have not.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think the government House leader is just trying to deflect the whole issue.

The point of my question of privilege was that he gave information, and he repeated some of that information today, that is not in the main estimates for 2003-04 that was supplied by the spokesperson for the Department of Justice outside this chamber to the general public, referring to the fact that the House would be advised of this information later when the plans and priorities, the part IIIs, were tabled in the House later this month.

This is information that first belongs here before it goes out there, not the other way around. That was my question of privilege.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Of course, this original question of privilege was heard yesterday by our hon. Speaker himself. He has undertaken to review the matter so I am sure that today's information will again give him more subject matter for reflection. His decision will be brought to the House at the appropriate time.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport in his capacity as acting prime minister referred to documents which he said had respect to a blind management agreement entered into by the former government. He knows that he has the authority of the prime minister of that former government to lay upon table documents which might otherwise be unavailable to the House that pertain to that particular matter. I think it would be in the interest of debate in the House that if the hon. minister has documents that prove his case he table them now in the House of Commons.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the guidelines we have codified a practice that developed with the Mulroney government, which followed on from the commission of Mr. Parker.

The right hon. member says he speaks for the former prime minister in this matter. I would like to hear from the former prime minister himself. He also said in an earlier point of order that the statements made by Mr. Mulroney outside the House could not be regarded. I regard his statements at face value and I will accept them. I am sorry that he does not.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Respectfully to both hon. gentlemen, I believe this is a continuation of an earlier debate as the words were already spelled out, so I still arrive at the same conclusion.

Report of the Canadian Forces Housing AgencyRoutine proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Beauséjour—Petitcodiac New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, two copies of the 2001-02 annual report of the Canadian Forces Housing Agency.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine proceedings

February 28th, 2003 / 12:10 p.m.

Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the delegation from the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association at the meeting of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Development, held in London, England, January 23 and 24, 2003, and at the first part of the 2003 ordinary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held in Strasbourg, France, from January 27 to January 31, 2003.

Committees of the HouseRoutine proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Liberal Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities entitled “Taking the Necessary Measures to Enhance the Integrity of the Social Insurance Number: A Review of the Action Plan”.

I wish to read one of the many recommendations of the committee. The committee recommends that: “Human Resources Development Canada immediately require all new applicants for a social insurance number to provide, in addition to one of the currently accepted primary documents, one other document that contains a photograph of the applicant (e.g. passport, driver's licence, etc.) or, if photo identification is not possible, at least two other identification documents”.