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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was life.

Topics

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the family and friends of Irene Thorpe of Vancouver have now suffered two devastating blows. The first was her senseless death when she was killed by a speeding street racer. The second blow came Monday, when a judge decided that the man convicted will remain free to live and work as before.

This man is a guest in Canada. The law says his criminality makes him inadmissible to stay in our country. Does the government intend to apply the law and remove this culprit from Canada?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her question. The answer is very simple. Under the Immigration Act, we expect that sentences will be commuted and then the act will be enforced, allowing for removal.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's new immigration law says that engaging in acts of violence and endangering the lives of persons in Canada will result in inadmissibility to live here. It also says someone is inadmissible who is convicted of a crime that can get 10 years in jail.

The man who ran down Irene Thorpe was convicted of criminal negligence causing death. This crime can draw a life sentence. Therefore, the person responsible for Irene's death is inadmissible to Canada. Will he be removed as the law requires?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I think that the translation was not adequate. What is being said is that, according to the Immigration Act, before a removal order can be carried out, a sentence must be commuted, the individual must fully serve their sentence, and then the act can be enforced.

We shall enforce the act as set out by the department.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question I put to him last week, the Minister of National Defence was unable to explain why the Quebec City dimensional metrology reference laboratory was being closed and moved to Gatineau.

Is he now able to defend this completely unjustifiable decision, which is causing the loss of high tech jobs in Quebec City?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as part of a broad plan to improve efficiencies in the Canadian Forces calibration program, two underused laboratories were merged in Gatineau.

The decision to move the laboratory was made based on consultations with representatives from my department and specialists. The answer is that it is more efficient.

I can say that not one of the MD1 employees who worked in Sainte-Foy has ended up unemployed as a result of this merger. Therefore, it has been a great success in terms of both efficiency and—

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Québec.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not what we are being told by the employees who are affected by this decision made on the sly, without consulting employees or political or socioeconomic stakeholders in the Quebec City area.

Will the minister tell us how could he have allowed this decision to be made?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said several times, one of my major objectives is to increase efficiency in my department for the benefit of taxpayers.

However, at the same time, in this case, there were extensive consultations and five out of five employees are extremely satisfied with their current jobs.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week the Manitoba Court of Appeal ordered house arrest, overturning a two year sentence in prison for a man convicted of dangerous driving killing two women.

Canadians are outraged by the courts no longer treating these crimes seriously. However, the fault lies with the Liberal government which opened prison doors for criminals with the introduction of conditional sentences in 1996.

Will the minister commit today to change the law to restrict the use of conditional sentences to non-violent crimes?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, conditional sentencing has been in place for quite some time. It has been used as well by the courts.

As I said yesterday, we have been discussing the question of sentencing as a whole, and to be more precise, the question of conditional sentencing at the last meeting with my provincial and territorial colleagues. We would like to tell the House as well that the justice committee has the mandate to review the question of conditional sentencing.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the death of innocent people requires a clear denunciation by the justice minister. Instead, the minister looks for consensus, conducts more discussions and shuffles things off to committees but does nothing to step up to the plate and stand up for victims of crime.

How can the minister ask Canadians to accept that living at home instead of two years in prison is an appropriate sentence for killing two innocent Canadian women?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is referring to a sad event, but the question that he is asking me today is about conditional sentencing. That has been developed with the legal community. It has been used as well by the courts. It has been used well and has a good purpose. We are reviewing it. To be more precise, as I said, the justice committee is looking into it at this very moment.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a world model for federalism, Canada and Canadians have worked with pride through the Forum of Federations to enhance these systems of government.

Last week the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding with Mexico's Secretary of the Interior, Santiago Creel, to cooperate on federalism.

Could the minister's parliamentary secretary tell the House what this MOU will mean for Canadians and for Mexicans?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Richmond B.C.

Liberal

Joe Peschisolido LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I know that the member has worked very closely with the forum. This is the first time that Canada has signed a memorandum of understanding on federalism with another country.

Mexico is working very diligently on this active reform program and it is important for Canada to enhance and work with Mexico in this process. The areas of cooperation in this field include transparency and accountability, intergovernmental affairs and intergovernmental relations. Through this agreement, Canada will work very closely with its friends in Mexico.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, on February 3 the trial of Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai began in Harare. The trial's principal witness is Ari Ben-Menashe, a Canadian who produced a tape that led to the charges of treason against Mr. Tsvangirai.

An RCMP investigation showed very clearly that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever linking Mr. Tsvangirai to the alleged murder attempts against Robert Mugabe.

Will the government release the outcome of this RCMP investigation and make it available to the court in Harare?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will endeavour to look into the matter that the member has raised.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is not an academic exercise. Mr. Tsvangirai is the leader of the opposition. The evidence demonstrated that this is a failed and flawed tape.

Mr. Ben-Menashe has been known to lie like people breathe. He is allegedly involved in the trafficking of blood diamonds and is wanted for fraud internationally.

Will the Government of Canada ensure that the trial of Mr. Tsvangirai is going to be free, fair, transparent and that a Canadian is not going to be implicated in the murder?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question because I know he is following this trial with interest.

We are very concerned that this trial, when a leader of the opposition is charged by a government, has a political dimension to it. Canadians and Canada are following it closely. We have had representatives at the trial. We are insisting that the trial be conducted with scrupulous attention to the international standards which it requires.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

February 5th, 2003 / 3 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, in connection with the sponsorship affair, the Minister of Public Works wants to wait for the end of the investigation before taking action against certain departmental employees.

The deputy minister responsible for the investigation, Janice Cochrane, told the committee that the problems with the sponsorship program were not because of any ethical shortcomings on the part of departmental staff. The Auditor General, however, has already said otherwise.

Is it not surprising that the person responsible for getting to the bottom of this affair is already drawing conclusions before even starting to investigate? Is this not proof of the need for an independent public inquiry?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I think that is an unfair allegation. It was the deputy minister after all who initiated the file review process. She initiated the administrative review process. She made some of the very early references to the RCMP. She has been assiduous in pursuing the file and getting to the bottom of it.

I hope that within a matter of a few days we will be in a position to comment further on the proper procedures with respect to the administrative review process.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, earlier today the Minister of Justice confirmed that the government intends to continue to fund the gun registry.

Will the Minister of Justice tell the House whether the government intends to use closure on Bill C-10A which the government needs to pass before any changes can be brought to the gun registry? Will he advise whether the government will allow a free vote on this gun registry bill?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I think the right hon. member has his facts incorrect. First of all, Bill C-10A is not before the House. It is an amendment produced by the Senate to C-10A, the result of which is to lower the cost of gun control. He is now trying to depict that it increases the cost. He has the facts backwards. The facts speak for themselves again.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt Canadian Alliance Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week seven young skiers tragically lost their lives in an avalanche. Avalanche forecasting like that provided by the Mountain Weather Station in Kelowna could not be more critical at this time to the local communities and to search and rescue units.

We cannot believe that the Minister of the Environment is suggesting that Canada's second largest weather station be closed. Will the minister recognize the critical role this centre plays in mountain safety and keep the Mountain Weather Station open in Kelowna?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, all members of the House share in the tragedy and the concern for the families, and we have indicated that.

However the Meteorological Service of Canada, on a daily basis, does provide the information in order that the Canadian Avalanche Centre in Revelstoke can take that into consideration and issue warnings. There is no suggestion that any less information will be provided. As we speak, this information will help in avoiding the kind of tragedy that occurred.