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House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I very much regret that position and hope that when the Prime Minister comes back, it will be reconsidered.

Earlier this week, the supporting documentation on the long gun registry report was published in English only. The government leader in the other place said it is a legitimate position to ask that official documents be published in both official languages. It is more than a legitimate position; it is an obligation under the Official Languages Act.

Why did the Government of Canada abandon the spirit and perhaps the letter of the Official Languages Act in this case? May we have a guarantee that the government will begin again to respect both the spirit and the letter of the Official Languages Act?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the right hon. member has it incorrect. In fact what happened was that all documents that were available at the time were tabled in the House of Commons. A backgrounder for the people that were working on the information had not been translated at the time and therefore was not tabled. It is in the process of being translated. I am informed that it could be tabled possibly as early as next Monday.

Child PornographyOral Question Period

February 7th, 2003 / 11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, a tip from American authorities led police to arrest a Markham, Ontario man. He was convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography. The pictures included weeping babies being sexually assaulted. On February 5 the man was sentenced to 14 months house arrest and three years probation.

Can the minister explain why these people are still receiving such insignificant sentences for such horrific crimes?

Child PornographyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is fully aware that the government tabled some time ago new legislation with regard to the protection of our children in our nation, as well as protection of the most vulnerable people. Of course we will touch on the question of the defence of artistic merit in order to change that defence and replace it with the public good defence. The member should know as well, if he has read the bill, that we are also going to be tougher on sentencing.

I would refer the hon. member to the bill. If the member really believed in public safety, he would stand up to support that wonderful piece of legislation for Canadian society and for the protection of our children.

Child PornographyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Toronto police sex crimes unit announced another child pornography arrest. In this case it seized over 50,000 pictures and 2,000 homemade movies belonging to a 57-year-old man. We ask again, will the Minister of Justice commit right now to restrict the use of conditional sentencing so that this individual, if convicted, is not just sent home as so many others have been before him?

Child PornographyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the protection of our children is of course the top priority on this side of the House. The question of public safety is also a top priority for the government.

If members are interested in this topic, they should look at the bill that we have tabled, Bill C-20, which talks about the protection of our children, as well as the protection of the most vulnerable people in our society. In that bill we talk about changing the defence of artistic merit following the Sharpe case in B.C. We are talking as well about a tougher sentencing regime. They should be supporting--

Child PornographyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. member for Champlain.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our committee heard evidence from senior officials at Agriculture Canada to the effect that Quebec had three years to adjust downward to match the federal department's program, penalizing those farmers, and Quebec, which are ahead in terms of stabilization insurance.

How can the minister justify an approach that sets farmers back and denies Quebec's agricultural specificity?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I want to make this very clear. As we know, the contribution the federal government makes to agriculture in the provinces is on a 60:40 basis. The province of Quebec provides $1.60 to its farmers above and beyond the contribution and most provinces make contributions in the low forties.

The work that is being done with the province of Quebec is to modestly change not how much, but how 24¢ out of the $1.60 is spent in the province of Quebec. It continues to spend the other $1.36 as it can and has for its industry in the past.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has sound financial tools developed as part of a complete overhaul of its stabilization insurance programs.

Will the minister finally inderstand that it is out of the question that our excellent programs in Quebec be jeopardized to accommodate the federal government's visibility objectives?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I will say again that if the province of Quebec wants to, it can continue to contribute above and beyond what the federal government contributes on a provincial basis. We ensure that every farmer in every province in Canada under similar circumstances is treated the same way federally for trade reasons and for equality reasons. The province is free, willing and able to do as it has in the past with the extra support to its farmers. As a federal government, for trade reasons and equitability reasons, we are going to treat every farmer in the same way.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency recently forbade farmers from using their land, claiming that the land might transfer chronic wasting disease. The government neglects to consider how farmers are supposed to earn an income when they cannot use their land.

Will the minister table before the House scientific proof that CWD resides in soil and is communicable in this form?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we have worked with the industry's cooperation in order to try to eradicate chronic wasting disease in the elk herds across the country. There is still scientific work being done to try to find out when a herd of animals have contaminated the soil and are removed, how long the contamination stays there so that animals can be safely put back on that soil and not be reinfected with chronic wasting disease. That work is not solid. There is work that needs to be done. We are working with the industry so that the safety and--

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. member for Blackstrap.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Canadian Alliance Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, the environment minister tells us his plan to reorganize weather station personnel is an act of efficiency. What he is really talking about is centralization and closures. There is no substitute for local input into weather forecasting. We learned this after the last cuts in Saskatoon.

Why is the government so intent on centralizing weather forecasting when history tells us that Canadians will be negatively affected?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian meteorological service is a fundamental part of all programs across the country to keep people informed and in fact, to keep specialized services in place. There is no suggestion that there will be a relinquishing of that responsibility or a reduction in service. In the Canadian Avalanche Centre, as we said the other day, we are providing on a daily basis the kind of information that hopefully will avoid a recurrence of the tragic events that occurred last week.

National Identity CardOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister of Citizenship and Immigration recently launched a debate that might well result in the establishment of a mandatory national identity card. Yet, in his latest annual report, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada stated that he could “find no justification for a national identity card”.

How can the minister reconcile his plans with the opinion of the commissioner, who views this as a further restraint on the right to privacy?

National Identity CardOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Brampton Centre Ontario

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the opposition was asking for consultation. This is nothing more than consultation by the minister with Canadians. Next week the committee will travel across the country to listen to their points of view on the issue. It will come up with a proposal if there is a need for a proposal, but it is only consultation, nothing more, nothing less. There is no proposal by the minister at this stage.

National Identity CardOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. parliamentary secretary that the committee will indeed be on the road, but to consult on the citizenship bill, Bill C-18. In my humble opinion, there is nothing in there about a national identity card.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is hard pressed to find support within cabinet. His colleague, the Minister of Revenue, feels that this measure is highly intrusive.

Will the minister abandon his plans for such a card since, for one thing, it is strongly criticized by his own colleagues?

National Identity CardOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Brampton Centre Ontario

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, yesterday when the minister made a presentation to the committee on this subject, the hon. member herself said it was a good idea because her husband has one. Why is she complaining again in the House?

Goods and Services TaxOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we now know the Minister of National Revenue has been hiding the massive levels of GST fraud committed by organized crime. What we do not know is why the minister refuses to tell Canadians how much has been stolen. Losing $1 billion is such a regular thing with the government that theft of $1 billion by criminals makes no difference to it.

How much money needs to be stolen from hardworking Canadians before the minister will properly investigate the problem?

Goods and Services TaxOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious issue and I object to the frivolity that the member opposite engages in when he suggests a number, while in fact there is no evidence to suggest that the number which the member keeps repeating is at all accurate. There is no evidence to suggest that at all. I have told him that several times in the House.

I will continue to say that we have a special investigations unit that is looking into fraud. We have 1,000 people doing that. We have 5,000 auditors. We are doing our job.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, $1 billion is hardly frivolous.

Yesterday, the trade minister was asked twice to assure Canadians that he would not drop our softwood lumber dispute legal challenges at NAFTA and the WTO. Both times the minister evaded the answer.

Will the minister assure the House that Canada will not drop its legal challenges unless the provinces and industry are in agreement?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey Ontario

Liberal

Murray Calder LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the member across the way fully knows that we are in negotiations with the United States right now on a long term strategy for softwood lumber and in fact, the WTO is an option that is available to us.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the Minister of Public Works and Government Services indicated that he would soon have some further information to provide about his department's administrative review of the sponsorship files.

Before the House adjourns for the weekend, could the minister tell us where the matter now stands?