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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

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have four separate petitions. The first one is from the good people of Newfoundland and Labrador. They call upon Parliament to extend and accept the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans' recommendations to take over custodial management of the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Four Harbours Legion in my riding point out to the government that they would like the same standard of long term care in provincial hospitals for veterans as the standard of care that is provided in Sainte-Anne's, Quebec.

Mr. Speaker, I could not support something like that more than I do now.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the next petition is on behalf of thousands of Canadians across the country who have written in in support of my Bill C-206. They are asking Parliament to support and enact the legislation to allow caregivers an opportunity to leave their place of employment for up to a year to care for someone under a palliative care situation.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, in this petition, the people of Halifax and Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia call upon Parliament to enact legislation to ensure that incidents like Westray do not happen again. That is where the mine managers and mine owners got away with what they consider a despicable act as no charges or fines were laid against them with regard to the deaths of 26 miners. The petitioners want to ensure that never happens again and never goes unpunished again.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 158, 175, 189 and 210.

Question No. 158Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

With regard to the web application AROSuite, designed by and for aboriginal groups under the aboriginal human resource development agreement to manage grants and contributions relating to training contracts: ( a ) when will AROSuite be deployed to aboriginal organizations; and ( b ) does it have the functional capability to be used to manage grants and contributions being delivered on behalf of Human Resources Development Canada by third party partners such as youth and homelessness agencies?

Question No. 158Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Under the capacity building component of the aboriginal human resources development strategy and under the information exchange section of the aboriginal human resources development agreements, AHRDAs, Human Resources Development Canada worked with AHRDA holders to develop web-based tools to improve accountability and results reporting of AHRDA holders. The ARO Suite is a package of web-based tools for AHRDA holders to seamlessly perform the following functions: screen clients to determine EI funding eligibility; case manage client files; manage the financial aspects of training and other service contracts; report results to HRDC through the data gateway, complies with Gs and Cs audit requirements.

Presently, the ARO Suite of web applications is being successfully piloted with two AHRDAs: the North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society, remote location, and the Vancouver Friendship Centre, urban location. No decision has yet been made on the deployment to other organizations. Dependent on the results of the pilots, HRDC will then review the feasibility for use by other parties.

Question No. 175Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

For the past five years: ( a ) what is the total amount of advertising spent by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation CDIC on an annual basis; ( b ) what contracts were entered into with advertisers; ( c ) what minister is responsible for the CDIC and was there any correspondence between the minister's office and the CDIC pertaining to the advertising; and ( d ) was Communication Canada involved in the decision to advertise CDIC services, please provide relevant information?

Question No. 175Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

I am informed as follows:

For the past five years:

a) The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation has spent the following amounts on advertising by fiscal year:

1998-99 $1.3 million

1999-2000 Nil

2000-01 $2.15 million

2001-02 $2.12 million

2002-03 $2.3 million

b) Contracts were signed with the following advertising agencies: Goodgoll Curtis Inc. and Focus Strategies and Communications Inc.

c) The Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions) is responsible for CDIC. The Minister of Finance has delegated all his powers, duties and functions regarding CDIC to the Secretary of State. Over the last five years, CDIC and the Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions) corresponded with one another on several occasions with respect to CDIC’s public awareness campaign.

d) Although Communication Canada is responsible for coordinating advertising for the Government of Canada, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, CDIC is an entity listed on schedule III of the Financial Administration Act. As such, the CDIC does not have any obligation to report its advertising activities to Communication Canada. Consequently, Communication Canada was not involved in CDIC's decision to advertise its services.

Question No. 189Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Concerning the Canadian Forces: ( a ) how many operational aircraft has the air force had each year since 1940, broken down by aircraft type by year; ( b ) how many operational ships and submarines has the navy had each year since 1940, broken down by ship type by year; ( c ) how many tanks, light armoured vehicles, self-propelled artillery and towed artillery and other heavy equipment has the Army had each year since 1940, broken down by equipment type by year; ( d ) how many regular force personnel have the Forces had each year since 1940, broken down by army, navy and air force regular force personnel by year; and ( e ) how many reserve force personnel have the forces had each year since 1940, broken down by army, navy and air force reserve force personnel by year?

Question No. 189Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

A detailed list with the requested information is not readily available. Developing such a list would be labour intensive and expensive. It would also involve extensive coordination, and a manual search of existing and archival material. Such an undertaking cannot be completed during the time period allotted to respond to Order Paper questions.

Question No. 210Routine Proceedings

April 28th, 2003 / 3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White Canadian Alliance North Vancouver, BC

With respect to products and services provided by the private sector in the precinct of the House of Commons during fiscal years 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003, what percentage of those contracts were awarded to, or in the case of long term contracts, held by companies or individuals based in the Province of Quebec, and by companies or individuals based in the Province of Ontario, and what were the nature of those contracts for products and services?

Question No. 210Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

The subject matter of this question falls within the responsibilities of the Speaker of the House of Commons and not the Government of Canada.

Question No. 210Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Question No. 210Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The questions enumerated by the hon. parliamentary secretary have been answered. Is it agreed that the remaining questions stand?

Question No. 210Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Request for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair has applications for emergency debates pursuant to Standing Order 52. The first one received was from the hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest.

Request for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, under Standing Order 52 I wrote a letter to you dated April 23 requesting an emergency debate on severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS. In the absence of a response in the House from the government, I believe this debate is critical. I quote from my letter to you, Mr. Speaker:

Ignorance and panic are significant enemies in battling this disease. A debate in the House of Commons would allow the government to place facts before the House.

That is something it has not done.

Members of the House of Commons would also have an opportunity to express their views on the measures taken.

We would be able to review and debate some of those measures taken by the government and put forward some of our own ideas.

This is not just a Canada issue; it does not affect just Canada, or only Toronto or Vancouver. It affects all of Canada and in fact the international world as we know it. Despite our best efforts, we cannot function in isolation from the rest of the world. This disease does not understand international boundaries. It does not respect international boundaries.

It has taken a huge toll in Canada, not only a human toll, but a huge economic toll. We only have to look at the tourism industry and the words of the governor of the Bank of Canada who said that it has had a severe impact on Canada's economy.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, our original request back on March 31 was put forward by the member for Cumberland—Colchester. Mr. Speaker, I think you were accurate in your response to that request and in fact, giving you full credit, you invited us, once the facts were out and known by all of us, to reapply for the emergency debate.

We believe the time is right to bring this issue before the House of Commons. There has been a notable absence in the House by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health. As individual members of Parliament, we have an obligation to bring an issue as important as this one to the floor where it can be debated. I think Canadians support us, the opposition, in that request.

Mr. Speaker, the request is now before you. I look forward to a timely response on your behalf.

Request for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair has also received an application on the same subject from the hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas. He knows it is the practice not to hear two submissions at the same time, but I note that he has forwarded an application. I know of his interest in the subject and for that I thank him.

Request for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair also received an application for an emergency debate from the hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore which he withdrew, but he has filed another for tomorrow.

The hon. member for Bonavista—Trinity—Conception, however, also filed an application in respect of this matter. Since his has not been withdrawn, he may proceed to tell me about the issue he wanted to raise.

Request for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, under Standing Order 52 I wrote your office and asked for an emergency debate on the situation of the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador.

We consider the announcement the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans made last Thursday to be unnecessary. Many other options could have been put in place to deal with the serious situation of the fishery.

In 1992 people in the fishing industry were decimated in the province. It is 11 years later and communities now have been kicked again. The people involved in the fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador are saying very clearly that DFO does not understand the situation with the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador and it is not working with the people in the industry to create a major rebuilding plan.

We need this debate in the House of Commons to get across to and implant in the minds of the people in DFO and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, who inherited this problem, an appropriate way to deal with a very serious situation. The biomass of northern cod today is less than it was in 1992. The outmigration of people from Newfoundland and Labrador has continued at a rapid rate and is unnecessary.

This is a renewable resource. It is part of the world food chain. It does not benefit just the people living in the communities of Newfoundland and Labrador; it is part of the world food chain. It is the responsibility of the Canadian government to manage this resource appropriately. We want the opportunity to debate this in the House of Commons to send a clear message and work in partnership with DFO and the minister to create an appropriate rebuilding plan.

Request for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I note also that the hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore is interested in this matter, as has been indicated previously. Again, I know he knows that I do not normally hear two submissions on each of these matters.

I want to thank hon. members for drawing to the attention of the Chair their concerns on these important issues.

Having considered the matter carefully this morning and having heard their submissions this afternoon, I am inclined to grant an emergency debate in respect of the request of the hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest, to be held this evening. In respect of the hon. member for Bonavista—Trinity—Conception, I will grant the request, the debate to be held tomorrow evening. We will have two emergency debates in the next two days.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-32, an act to amend the Criminal Code and other acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say at the outset that I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore.

This debate today is about Bill C-32, an act to amend the Criminal Code and other acts. Bill C-32 is an omnibus bill that changes the Criminal Code in a variety of ways. I want to start out by saying that I wish, by way of talking about amendments to the Criminal Code, that we had before us those amendments to the Criminal Code for which we have been lobbying for such a long time. It would have been great if today, on April 28, the national day of mourning for workers killed or injured on the job, we could have begun a debate on amendments to the Criminal Code which would have incorporated some kind of criminal penalties for corporations that behave in ways that lead to the death or injury of workers. Of course I am speaking of the cry for such legislation that came out of the tragedy of the Westray mine disaster over a decade ago.

Let me begin with that. I know the government has indicated in the past that it intends to bring forward amendments to the Criminal Code along the lines of what came out of the Westray mine disaster inquiry, but we are not sure exactly what it is the government has in mind. We understand that this kind of legislation might be coming forward in May. May is not long off. I would certainly urge and I am sure my other NDP colleagues would urge the government to bring in that legislation in May. Let us have a look at it. Let us see if it is good enough, and if it is not, let us get it into committee and make sure that it is good enough by the time it comes back to the House at third reading.

In the legislation that we actually have before us, Bill C-32, we do have amendments to the Criminal Code that are relevant to the question of protecting workers. For instance, Bill C-32 contains amendments to the Criminal Code having to do with more legislated protection for on duty firefighters and first responders from criminal acts.

Bill C-32 institutes harsher penalties for Canadians who protect criminal businesses such as drug labs or grow operations with traps that would likely kill or injure a person. The proposed maximum sentence of 10 years in prison increases to 14 years if injury occurs and to a life sentence when a trap kills someone. This change was strongly supported by the International Association of Fire Fighters, the IAFF, which has lobbied the government for a number of years now to have just this kind of amendment made to the Criminal Code.

Certainly we in the NDP support the government in bringing forward this amendment. We know, for instance, that in the recent budget there was one other change for which the firefighters had lobbied for a long time, one having to do with the changes in pension accrual. It would seem to me that we at least have something to celebrate in terms of the things for which the firefighters have been asking for a long time.

I remember rising in the House a year ago this week when the firefighters were here and saying that if we are all for it, if the firefighters come here year after year to lobby individual members of Parliament and nobody is against it, why does it not ever happen? I remember saying that to the then minister of finance, now the aspiring Liberal leadership candidate and prime minister. At the time, members on this side of the House and perhaps even members on that side of the House in chorus agreed with me. If all members of Parliament think something is right, then it should happen. It took a long time, but at least it finally happened. We hope the other things for which the firefighters are lobbying this time around will happen at some point. I hope it will not be too far into the future. That is what we have before us here in these amendments to the Criminal Code: more legislated protection for on duty firefighters and first responders from criminal acts such as the setting of booby traps. We certainly support that.

Bill C-32 clarifies Canadian law, which generally recognizes that anyone may use reasonable force to prevent a serious crime. The amendment brings Canada's laws in line with international law by recognizing that everyone on board an aircraft is explicitly authorized to use force to prevent a criminal act that endangers the safety of the aircraft or other passengers. Again this sounds like something that is certainly supportable.

The bill would also modify section 117.04 of the Criminal Code to ensure compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I will not go into the details of how this section of the code is made charter compliant, but certainly anything which will make our laws more compliant with Canada's basic law, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is something to be welcomed. There may be some discussion of that in committee, I do not know, but certainly in principle we support that.

Bill C-32 would amend the Criminal Code to allow the civil enforcement of all restitution orders, thus making it easier for people to collect restitution, money that was to be paid to them following an offender's conviction. Currently these orders can be enforced only by civil court action if the order is separate from the sentencing order. This is something that has deserved attention in the past and we certainly welcome the attempt by the government to deal with this particular problem. We would welcome more exploration at committee stage to see if more can be done to make it easier for people to obtain restitution.

Bill C-32 also adds a new clause to section 160 of the Financial Administration Act to create exceptions to the offences of intercepting a private communication and of disclosing its content. This, as I understand it, is to allow information technology managers in government and the private sector to use intrusion detection systems, otherwise known as IDS, to screen suspicious electronic communications and to detect attacks on computer systems by hackers, viruses, worms, et cetera. To address privacy protection concerns, we are told, the government will impose limits on the use and retention of private communications harvested through IDS. Treasury Board will issue standards to ensue that the application of IDS technology across all government departments is consistent and complies with the Privacy Act and the charter. This is good to hear, but I think one of the things we will want to hear more about in committee is this whole question of privacy. I would personally recommend that the privacy commissioner, if he has not already done so, certainly should be taking a look at the bill and giving us his best judgment as to whether or not this is an acceptable intrusion on the privacy of Canadians.

All in all, let us get the bill to committee and let us see if we can improve it in some respects. As I have said, we welcome the changes, particularly with respect to protection of firefighters and other first responders and the section having to do with the strengthening of restitution orders.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for my hon. colleague from Winnipeg. It is April 28 and we have been waiting 12 years for legislation like the Westray legislation. Twenty-eight miners were killed in the Westray mine disaster and still to this date we have no effective legislation in this country to prevent something of that nature from happening again. If possible, could the member elaborate as to what Bill C-32 would mean to workers and their families if this type of legislation were enacted?