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House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was registration.

Topics

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not realize that we had made some commitments concerning the war on terror and are collaborating with the United States in this regard. Our ships and planes were sent there over a year ago to fight against terrorism and to restore order in Afghanistan.

We are very proud of Canada's contribution. Geographically, Afghanistan and Iraq are on opposite sides of the gulf or, if you prefer, the sea; we are there to fight against terrorism, and we are very proud of our role.

IraqOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Spain officially supports the war in Iraq but has not sent any military personnel. Canada has decided not to support this war, but is taking part by land, air and sea.

I am asking the Prime Minister the following question: does Canada's current participation in the war not prove that Canada is one of the 15 anonymous countries that secretly gave the United States the go-ahead before the war started?

IraqOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. member is willing to look so foolish. He witnessed the vote in the House a few days ago. There was nothing ambiguous about it.

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dale Johnston Canadian Alliance Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, believe it or not, back in 1993 this Prime Minister told the Toronto Star that Canadians felt alienated from their political institutions and that they wanted to restore integrity to them, that they had enough of the abuses of Parliament and the arrogance of government.

For his information, Canadians still feel that way but we are wondering about him. Will the Prime Minister stop riding roughshod over Parliament and his caucus and allow Liberal MPs a free vote on the plan to dump another $59 million into the useless firearms registry?

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, if my memory serves me right, is the chief whip of his own party, charged with discipline on his side of the House. For him to remonstrate from across the way about discipline on our side, he is pontificating from afar. The hon. member across should know that his own predecessors as chief whip have sent people to the back row of his own party. Some of them are still there today, waving at me as I speak.

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dale Johnston Canadian Alliance Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, that was neither a yes nor a no, but I would like to remind the Prime Minister that he is doing exactly what he criticized the Tory government for doing in 1990. He said at that time, “You cannot say over and over that what you do does not matter, and that you are right and everyone else is wrong. That is not democracy, that is a dictatorship”. What he has on that side of the House is just that: a dictatorship.

Here he has an opportunity. Will the Prime Minister keep one promise? Will he allow a free vote so that his MPs do not have to wimp out or duck out?

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across the way knows perfectly well how Parliament functions. He knows perfectly well of the confidence convention of the House. He knows how it operates. He knows better than what he is saying. I should suggest to him that he should concentrate on discipline on his own side of the House, particularly in view of the fact that so many of his own colleagues have been kicked outside of caucus back to another party and back in several times. We cannot even follow which side they are on.

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Perhaps the Chair could remind the House that question period is intended to be one question and one answer, not a hundred questions and a hundred answers and all at different times. It is very difficult for the Chair to hear today and it is only Tuesday, so I would ask for a little co-operation from hon. members.

The hon. member for Frontenac—Mégantic.

Journée de la FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Liberal Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 20, as part of the Journée internationale de la Francophonie, a ceremony was held on Parliament Hill in honour of His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

Can the Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and the Francophonie tell us what was done to promote the Journée internationale de la Francophonie with young Canadians?

Journée de la FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as part of the Journée internationale de la Francophonie, young Canadians were invited to enter a writing contest promoting the importance of French literary writing.

The winners of the contest, some thirty young Canadians, came here to Parliament to meet the Prime Minister and His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali. His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali also spoke to 500 young people in Farnham, in Brome—Missisquoi, to discuss the Francophonie and the world we live in.

It was a resounding success.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, Agriculture Canada is using a Saskatchewan research station to test GM wheat from Monsanto. Incredibly, conventional wheat is also grown on that experimental farm, which leads to the real fear of contamination. Canadian Wheat Board customers want no part of GM wheat or conventional wheat that has been contaminated.

Why is the government putting at risk our conventional wheat, the best in the world, by testing GM wheat on experimental farms? Second, what assurances can the government give that these GM wheat tests will be discontinued immediately?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the hon. member has given me the opportunity to clear up an erroneous report that was on a national television channel last night. The report said that the wheat was 3 metres apart. That is incorrect. It was 1,500 metres apart. Scientists say that it only has to be 30 metres apart, but it was 1.5 kilometres away from any other variety of wheat.

HealthOral Question Period

March 25th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. Over three years ago, the government set up an industry dominated task force to write its own rules for voluntary labelling of genetically engineered food.

Now that the head of that group admits that it is going nowhere, that it is a joke, when will the government finally listen to the over 80% of Canadians who want to know what they eat and agree to the mandatory labelling of genetically engineered foods? When will the government stop shilling for the biotech industry and stand up for Canadians?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is probably aware, regulations require that any genetically modified product be reviewed by Health Canada prior to being sold in this country to ensure that there are no safety concerns. In fact, we have voluntary labelling requirements. We were working very hard with the Canadian General Standards Board to see if agreement could be reached around mandatory labelling provisions. No agreement, no consensus, could be reached, but Health Canada officials along with other federal government officials continue to work to see if a consensus can be reached on this difficult and important issue.

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General. On April Fool's day, the Solicitor General inherits one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated on the Canadian public. I can only say they picked the right day.

The truth about the costs and the practicality of the gun registry have been hidden from Canadians and continue to be hidden from Canadians. Will the new Solicitor General stop this Liberal sleight of hand and guarantee public disclosure on a regular and consistent basis on all gun control costs and information?

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows very well what the costs are for the gun control centre. He knows that last fiscal year we were talking about $688 million. He knows as well that this party, this government, will be voting on the supplementary estimates (B) tonight, and on the main estimates as well. He knows that we have been reacting to the report of the Auditor General before Christmas.

As well, he knows that we have tabled a good plan of action in order to make sure that we will improve management and improve services. Having said that, it is a good and sound policy and we are starting to see the results, and this party and this government will keep talking--

Firearms ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Gander—Grand Falls.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is widely believed that Air Canada is on the brink of bankruptcy. It has a $12 billion debt and its CEO is on the record stating that the company business model is broken.

Will the minister now bail out Air Canada to allow it to continue its core business model or will he do the right thing, like any other company would have to do, and let it file for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act?

Why will the minister not come clean and declare that Air Canada will not receive special treatment without having to go through proper business practices?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think everyone knows that the aviation industry around the world has been challenged since September 2001 and never really fully recovered. Of course the events now going on in the Middle East have exacerbated the situation, in particular for U.S. air carriers, and Air Canada has not been exempted.

The situation is serious and we are working with Air Canada and other airlines to ensure that the issue is dealt with in the appropriate fashion.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have no problem with the concept of checks and balances as they relate to gun control but they do have a problem with unbalanced cheque books and billion dollar cheques for unworkable programs like firearms registration.

Canadians know that Liberals cannot grasp the difference between gun control and firearms registration. Gun control targets criminals; firearms registration targets law-abiding farmers, ranchers and duck hunters.

Will the Minister of Justice scrap his ill-conceived gun registration scheme and redirect future money to fighting crime?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, licensing and registration are two important components of gun control. We do it here. We as well are not the only country to do it.

If we look at Germany, for example, it has exactly the very same system. Having said that, when we look at the results we have obtained through licensing and registration, I guess it tells a lot about what we want to do in terms of public safety.

In terms of cost, over a seven year period of time, it has been $688 million for Canadians. We are heading in the right direction. It is a good and sound policy and we will keep talking about gun control and public safety.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would not be very proud of that. I certainly would not be shouting it from the rooftops.

It is apparent to Canadians that the uptown Liberals across the way have never been in a rural area where firearms are actually a day to day part of everyone's life and it is painfully obvious to Canadian taxpayers that the Liberals have absolutely no regard for Canadian tax dollars.

Does the minister deny the firearms registration will cost an additional billion dollars for enforcement?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is very simple. That opposition party does not believe in gun control. However I would like to refer to a press release from the member for Yorkton—Melville dated January 25, 1995. He said:

Gun controls will not improve public safety, it will put the public at more risk. Gun controls will not reduce violent crime, it will increase violence. Gun controls will not save lives, it will cost lives.

When we see such nonsense, how could they understand common sense?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture wants to impose his income stabilization program and is raising the ire of all the provinces, especially Quebec. His stubbornness is jeopardizing existing programs that have proven effective for years.

The Minister of Agriculture must negotiate in good faith with farmers. Is he prepared to put his fiscal framework on hold for one year as the Union des producteurs agricoles of Quebec is asking him to do in order to give these negotiations a chance?