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House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, just being told to bite the billion dollar bullet is not good enough for Canadians.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

I hear hon. members saying they cannot hear. I am not surprised; I cannot. The hon. member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke has the floor and we will want to hear her question.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, since I am unable to get a satisfactory answer from the minister, I will ask the chair of the public accounts committee what the committee is doing to ensure that Parliament is being properly informed on the management of this program.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise that the President of the Treasury Board will be at the committee this very afternoon. We fully expect that we are going to get much better answers than we just had from her right now.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Wood Liberal Nipissing, ON

Mr. Speaker, the official opening of the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France will be on June 6 this year.

The centre, which was developed by a group of World War II veterans who participated in the D-Day landings, will be the first Canadian second world war interactive centre in Europe.

Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs please update the House on the involvement of the Government of Canada in this particular project?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to announce in Winnipeg last Friday that the Government of Canada has decided to provide an additional $1.775 million toward the Juno Beach Centre project, bringing Canada's contribution to a total of a little over $3 million.

The funding will help in the completion of the project, in the official opening event and as well, in the creation of an interpretive program.

The Juno Beach Centre project will recognize Canada's overall contribution and achievements during the second world war.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, negotiations to settle the softwood lumber dispute have ground to a halt. Fourteen months ago I asked the minister to initiate a cost analysis of the dispute to provide Canadian stakeholders with a framework for negotiations. The government has not done this. Why?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we continue to work very closely with Canadian industry from east to west. We are continuing to work with the provinces. The channels are wide open with the Americans at this moment.

We continue to have a very strong dialogue. However, two weeks ago we came to the decision that negotiations per se were difficult on the interim measures because the gap was too wide between the two of us. We made great progress in January and February on the substance of the issue and the forestry management programs in our country.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, there has been no progress at all. The American lumber lobby is in the same place today that it was 12 months ago.

How does the minister expect to get to second base when he refuses to tag first? You are not displaying leadership by sitting in the dugout or cheering from the sidelines--

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order please. I am sure the hon. member is addressing his remarks to the Chair when he says those things.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was not talking to the minister. I was referring to somebody in an analogy in a baseball game.

Why is the minister so resistant to completing a cost analysis to provide strong Canadian leadership on negotiations?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I think it is only the member who is saying that the government has not been providing the leadership to the Canadian industry.

For the first time, Canada has not blinked before the Americans. For the first time, we have made progress with the Americans on the softwood lumber issue. It has been two years that Canada has been fighting these duties. It has been two years that we have been working with the secretary of commerce, who has now come to terms with our position and is trying to help. There are senators in the United States on our side asking the American administration to pull with us. That is leadership and progress.

IraqOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's decision to maintain officers within the unified command in Qatar flagrantly contradicts our position to not intervene alongside the United States, Britain and Spain.

Therefore, I am asking the Prime Minister: would it not be wiser and more consistent to recall the Canadian officers in this unified command, because we cannot pretend that they are going to deal solely with Afghanistan when there is an intervention in Iraq, and Canada risks losing its credibility by wanting to play both sides of the fence?

IraqOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can remind the hon. member that, with regard to this group of ships, Canada is not the only country present; there are four other countries, including France.

The American authorities in charge of these ships are concerned not only with Iraq, in the event of war, but also with the war against terrorism. If we are to know what is happening in the war against terrorism, we must be informed. That is our objective.

TradeOral Question Period

March 17th, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

The WTO from time to time reviews the trading policies of its members. I want to ask the minister what the WTO has found in its latest review of Canada's trading policies, considering Canada is one of the four largest trading partners in the world. Could the minister tell us what it has found in its review?

TradeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, indeed the WTO has very good news.

Canada has been recognized by the WTO as one of the most transparent and liberal traders in the world.

Canada has been recognized by the WTO as one of the world's most transparent and liberal traders. The WTO recognizes that sound economic policies and an outward looking trade regime have allowed Canada to maintain economic growth in the face of a global economic slowdown. We are on the right track thanks to our international policies.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt Canadian Alliance Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment.

Internal documents from the department tell us very clearly that failure to properly fund Canada's weather stations is putting at risk the safety and security of Canadians because of the lack of access to warning information. The $75 million announced by the minister last week will not even restore the critical infrastructure requirement.

Will the minister admit that the continual underfunding by his government is causing the consolidation of the weather stations like Kelowna?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has already pointed out, last week we announced $75 million more for the Meteorological Service of Canada. In addition, we are carrying out certain reorganization which will increase the efficiency of the service and therefore continue to have our primary objective, the safety of Canadians, paramount and successfully protected in the future.

This is an important reorganization, an important addition of new money. I think the hon. member and other members of the Alliance Party should welcome it.

IraqOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, Kofi Annan has stated that the legitimacy of any unilateral intervention conducted without the authority of the Security Council would be seriously compromised.

Does the Prime Minister intend to advise the President of the United States that he agrees with Kofi Annan and that Canada condemns the American and British intervention?

IraqOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I could take this opportunity to read the rest of my statement, and answer the question at the same time.

Canada worked very hard to find a compromise to bridge the gap in the Security Council. Unfortunately we were not successful.If military action proceeds without a new resolution of the Security Council, Canada will not participate.

We have ships in the area as part of our participation in the struggle against terrorism. Our ships will continue to perform their important mission against terrorism.

This answers the question pretty well. The remarks I have made were along the same line as those—

IraqOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Prime Minister, but this is all the time we had for oral question period. The hon. member for Calgary Centre, on a point of order.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I hope the Prime Minister might delay his retreat for just a moment.

The House welcomed, finally, some clarity from the Prime Minister on the government's attitude toward Iraq, but surely, Sir, a statement of that importance should have been given by the Prime Minister on motions or in a formal statement to this House rather than being smuggled into question period in the way that he did it.

Points of OrderOral 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 most members would agree that this intervention has nothing to do with a point of order. Obviously the Prime Minister not only has a right but a duty, which he manifests all the time, of responding very forthrightly to questions from hon. members. Had he not done that today, the same right hon. member would probably have been up asking the Prime Minister why he failed to do exactly what he just did.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to rise in support of the point of order from the right hon. member. While we welcomed the Prime Minister's willingness to make a statement in the House, we have a procedure for that in our Standing Orders. It is called Statements by Ministers. The Prime Minister, instead of trying to smuggle something into question period that would have been properly done elsewhere, should have made a statement under Statements by Ministers, or he could have sought unanimous consent of the House to make a statement before question period or after, all of which would have provided a much better opportunity for the House to deal with this issue.