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House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sars.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I explained to the right hon. gentleman, we are very proud that we will be sending 1,500 to 2,000 troops to Afghanistan for six months and another 1,500 to 2,000 for the following six months.

Yes, some Hercules were grounded. Five, not nine, are undergoing inspection. This is the same that has happened to the same aircraft in the British navy and the U.S. air force. This is under control, and of the few that are grounded work is being done and they will soon be airworthy once again.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Canadian Alliance Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government has failed our troops. Our soldiers will be forced to fly these planes well into their fifties. Pretty soon these planes will be able to collect old age pensions, just like the former finance minister. There is no coherent plan for replacing the Hercules planes, just as there is no coherent plan for getting the forces the money it needs to do the job.

When will the government replace our Hercules aircraft?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the government, unlike the opposition, has been supporting our troops at every moment. We have not supported them only when it was politically expedient for us to do so, as was the case for the Leader of the Opposition, we have supported them at every moment. We continue to support them and we will support them at every turn in the future.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the courts are getting ready to hear a class action suit filed by the FTQ and the CSN to recover the money taken from the employment insurance fund by the federal government.

Will the government admit that this confirms what the Bloc Quebecois has been saying about the government stealing from the EI fund and using money that does not belong to it?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I can confirm for the hon. member and for the House that the employment insurance system is there and is working well for all Canadian employees. The system, as it is designed, covers fully 88% of Canadians who may be in need of it.

I would remind the hon. member that every year $2 billion is conveyed to provinces and territories for active measures, through EI part II, and another $9 million, through EI part I, in direct benefits.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, in reality, the federal government took $44 billion from the EI fund; this money belongs to businesses, workers and the unemployed.

Why is the federal government refusing to use some of the funds it stole from the EI fund to help victims of the softwood lumber crisis or the fisheries crisis? After all, it is their money.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. The government has ensured that the employment insurance system is there and has responded to the needs of Canadian workers. That is why we review the program every year and make changes to it where changes are warranted.

I would ask the hon. member to pay attention to the program in its entirety, to look at all the details in the separate different programs that are there to support Canadian youth, older workers and others, because we understand full well when an individual Canadian finds himself or herself between jobs, the employment insurance system must be there to assist him or her.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

April 28th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the problem with the government's first nations governance act is that it fails to demonstrate any understanding that it has learned from the failures of the past.

The thin-skinned Indian affairs minister wants us to go back to the future to an approach that is both dictatorial and top down. That is exactly the approach the governments of the past took; a father knows best approach, which is unilateral. Governments of the past did not listen and this government is not listening now.

The first nations governance act, like the Indian Act, is well intentioned but it is clumsy, unilateral and imposed.

One stains our past. When will the minister realize that the other threatens to endanger and stain our future as well?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing how a member can be a critic and never read a piece of legislation himself.

First, the Indian Act is very much a paternalistic, prescriptive piece of legislation.

Bill C-7 is an enabling piece of legislation that would do three things. It would allow a code for electoral purposes. It would allow the Financial Administration Act. It would allow for administration as a code to allow first nations to improve their fundamentals of governance with the idea of allowing first nations to develop that on their own, using their traditions and their cultures. That is very different from what has been described by the member.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is somewhat hilarious but not hilarious to those who oppose the legislation, and that is virtually every Canadian who has read it. Like a stubborn little boy, he covers his ears, stomps his feet, jumps up and down and says, “I can't hear you. I can't hear you.” It is time for him to start listening.

The Canadian Alliance wants to see the minister and the government address serious problems. The Canadian aboriginal population wants the same.

What about home ownership? What about property rights? What about women's rights? What about human rights? What about the equality for aboriginal Canadians to be treated as Canadians?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, there you have it. What the member is basically articulating is the fact that they want assimilation. They do not believe in the unique rights of aboriginal people. They do not believe in the treaty rights or aboriginal rights of first nations people. That is not the policy of the government. It is not the policy of our Canadian citizenry.

Quite frankly, the enabling legislation of Bill C-7 is an interim step toward the inherent right of self-government, which is what this government believes in.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Matthews Liberal Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday's announcement by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans was devastating for fishermen, fish plant workers and communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. In past fishery closure announcements there were always provisions for an early retirement program and a licence buyout program.

Is the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans considering an early retirement program, a licence buyout program and an extension of EI benefits for those immediately affected by this closure?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I mentioned earlier that during the 1990s and until 1998 a series of measures were taken by this government to assist fishermen in their communities to exit the industry with packages. This was a very limited fishery that unfortunately we had to close. We have announced some measures to assist and maintain communities rather than individuals, but assisting individuals through their communities. ACOA will be consulting with the communities and the provinces on long term economic development objectives.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, it has been 68 days since Ernst Zundel was allowed to enter Canada and make a refugee claim. The minister pledged he would protect our system from abuse by Zundel. He boasted “Just watch me”.

We watched Zundel being housed and fed at public expense. We watched hearing after hearing. We watched the minister allow Zundel's unfounded claim. We watched Zundel remain in Canada. Why did the minister break his word?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to welcome the immigration critic; it is always a pleasure to talk to her in the House.

I would tell her that not only are we respecting the rule of law, but this individual has been detained. Not only are we ensuring the safety of Canadians—this person is now in detention—but we will take the appropriate action when the time is right.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, what time is the minister waiting for? He is part of the process. It is his lawful duty to protect the process.

Zundel is a known security risk. That is why he is in detention. Zundel's claim is an abuse of Canada's refugee system.

The minister acted within hours to save himself from embarrassment in the case of Helen Ann Dougherty but he has had weeks to put a stop to Zundel's abuse of our refugee process.

Why has the minister not removed Zundel from Canada?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I can give her some more subjects to talk about. We keep repeating ourselves.

I can say one thing. He is being detained because he is a risk. He has been there for several detention reviews. We believe in the process and we are doing what it takes. It takes time to build a case. We will not let anybody make a mockery of our refugee system. That is the reason we went through cabinet and we are discussing the issue.

The most important thing is that we have a balanced approach with security and at the same time we have to build a case. When we are ready, just watch us.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Indian Affairs has said that he was not afraid of protesters, that he was immune to them. He encouraged them to go back home because he will impose Bill C-7 on them.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Today, there is—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member is holding up something that is really not appropriate in the House. Yes, I saw it, and I have already spoken to the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre. It is inappropriate and I therefore ask the hon. member to withdraw it and continue with his question.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, today there is a demonstration on Parliament Hill to make the government aware of the aboriginal people's indignation and opposition to Bill C-7 on governance.

Does the minister intend to repeat his cynical and arrogant words or will he instead take advantage of this opportunity to put aside for once and for all Bill C-7, which no one wants, and instead lay the foundation for a true nation-to-nation partnership with the aboriginal people?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, as you know, there is a standing offer for all aboriginal leaders and communities to participate in consultations with the Government of Canada. My point is very clear. The option to protest is to consult and be involved in the process with the Government of Canada.

Let me read what has occurred so far under phase one: 135 information sessions have been conducted across nine regions; 335 consultation meetings have been held both on reserve and off reserve; and 8,465 first nations citizens have participated in consultation meetings. That is just the beginning of the first phase.

The second phase, which is going on now, I will read a little later into the record.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

R. John Efford Liberal Bonavista—Trinity—Conception, NL

Mr. Speaker, as we sit here today, DFO offices in Newfoundland and Labrador are being occupied by frustrated people, frustrated fishermen in the province. I am not so sure the government today understands how serious this is and the impact it has on people's lives.

To say that we are going to ask seals to leave exclusion zones is making a joke and making fun of the people. It is not right to do that.

Let me ask the minister a serious question. Will he reconsider his decision--

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.