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House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was war.

Topics

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, Justice Parker defined conflict of interest as:

...a situation in which a minister of the Crown has knowledge of a private economic interest that is sufficient to influence the exercise of his or her public duties and responsibilities.

So, knowing alone creates a conflict of interest. The member for LaSalle—Émard acquired such knowledge at least 12 times while he was finance minister.

The Prime Minister endorsed Mr. Justice Parker's definition in the Sinclair Stevens case. Why is there a different standard for the member for LaSalle--Émard?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has established clearly in the House that any minister faced with a conflict of interest must withdraw from the discussion and he has not been informed that this particular rule has been contravened in any way.

The former minister of finance, as we have stated, followed all the rules established by the previous government, of which the right hon. member was a member. I do not think there is an issue here.

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, this defence minister recently stated that Canadian ships in the gulf are not authorized to intercept, detain or transfer suspected members of the Iraqi regime. Apparently, our sailors can only inform U.S. headquarters that the bad guys went thataway.

We are obviously already involved in the Iraqi conflict. Why will the government not completely commit to our troops and our allies, full steam ahead?

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we are completely and utterly committed to our troops.

Since obviously many of our troops have put their lives on the line, it is equally obvious that the House should come together united. No matter what our differences are on Iraq in general, we should be united in support of our troops, in thanking our troops for putting their lives on the line, and in wishing them a safe trip home in the not too distant future.

As for our allies, I think I have run out of time, Mr. Speaker.

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

He has that right, Mr. Speaker.

In fact, the minister just does not get it: that the war in Iraq is part of that war on terrorism. He claims we are in the gulf for the war on terrorism only, but he has just announced a huge security loophole. Any ship can now get by our naval patrol simply by flying an Iraqi flag. One wonders if they learned about these flags of convenience from the owner of Canada Steamship Lines.

The minister has said that the Canadian navy would protect allied ships from any potential attack, so why patrol the gulf at all if those very ships that pose the greatest danger and threat can just sail on by?

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, the hon. member is talking utter nonsense. Our job is to patrol the gulf to protect the shipping in the region against terrorist attacks. It matters not a whit whether the terrorist is an Iraqi or a Saudi or even a Canadian. Any individual in a ship who is suspected of doing damage to shipping in the area will be boarded and inspected. Should any danger be there, the navy will take action to prevent that from happening.

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister cited precedents to not officially support the war in Iraq, a war being waged without the UN's approval.

How can the government reconcile using precedents to justify not supporting the war and contending that the decision to send soldiers to war was not based on precedents? Why do precedents matter in one instance and not in the other?

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have tried to explain earlier today that there are principles, and that some are not necessarily explicit in relation to one another. We have followed a very clear principle before the UN, asking that the Security Council support the war. However, we also have agreements with allied countries. Our troops are committed under commitments with other allies of ours. We can therefore do both.

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, could the Deputy Prime Minister explain to this House on what basis he can justify the presence of Canadian soldiers in a war he has described as unjustified? How can he justify the unjustifiable?

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our troops are in fact part of a commitment to the armed forces of other countries. That is how our system works. We have done the same thing other times. I think that the principle of meeting our commitments to our allies is totally consistent with the other principles we have followed.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the World Health Organization recommended to Canada that we have a screening interview for potential SARS for airline passengers leaving Canada.

My question is for the health minister. Why did we choose a poster and a card instead? Baggage handlers ask questions very easily about baggage and who packed it. Surely they can ask a question about SARS as well.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before for the screening procedures that we have put in place for outbound passengers at Pearson International Airport, we informed the WHO in relation to those procedures. Those procedures, at this point in time, are satisfactory to the WHO.

We believe that we are taking all reasonable measures to screen outgoing passengers at Pearson, but if in fact after review additional measures are required, we will take those measures. We are reviewing these issues virtually on an hour by hour daily basis.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, airport baggage handlers in Jacksonville, Florida, now have been asked to be very careful with baggage and passengers coming from Canada. I wonder why that would be.

Could it be that we expect other countries to have proper screening efforts? So why do we not have the most effective screening efforts here in Canada? That is the expectation of other countries.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

In fact, Mr. Speaker, working in consultation with the WHO, as I have mentioned before in the House, the screening procedures that we have put in place are being used as an example by some other countries and other international airports.

Obviously Toronto has been identified as one of the centres of the SARS outbreak and therefore nobody should be surprised that if there are flights leaving from Toronto, where those planes in fact land there might very well be an additional caution noted and--

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Champlain.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, as regards the class action suit initiated by seniors against Human Resources Development Canada, we know that the department will now ask the court to refer the case to an administrative tribunal. This will have the effect of eliminating any possibility of a class action suit.

If the federal government is so convinced that it acted properly, why is it doing everything it can to avoid having a court rule immediately on the merits of the case?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me speak generally to the issue of ensuring that the programs that are so important to Canadian seniors are available to them. The government, through my department and other sources, speaks to Canadian seniors in many ways to ensure that they are aware of the programs, whether it be the old age security program, the Canada pension program, or the guaranteed income supplement. We are fully aware of how important these programs are to seniors and we will continue to work for their benefit.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, every week, seniors who were deprived of their rights die in poverty without obtaining justice.

Does the minister not feel something for the thousands of seniors who, because of her, will not be able to assert their rights?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, I have itemized for this place the numbers of different strategies that we have to ensure that Canadian seniors are aware of the programs that are there to support them in their senior years.

I would remind the hon. member that it is precisely because of these programs that we have been able to reduce poverty among Canadian seniors from a level of over 20% in 1980 to just over 7% in the year 2000.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the immigration minister was finally forced to do the right thing for an elderly woman for whom he had no compassion until her plight appeared on the front page of The Globe and Mail . Then he quickly used his ministerial powers on her behalf in order to protect himself from public outrage.

He also could use his ministerial powers, on behalf of Canadians, to protect our country from security risk Ernst Zundel. Why will he not do that?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to drag the case that we settled yesterday through the political arena. I think we acted properly.

As regards the other individual, it is precisely because we complied with the process and wanted to protect Canadian citizens that this person is now behind bars.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, what the minister actually showed was that he can do the right thing with the stroke of a pen, as he did yesterday for Mrs. Dougherty. He has been given these powers by Canadian law. Why will he not use the stroke of a pen to kick out Ernst Zundel?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, in both cases, when we take a final decision it is because we go through a process, so not only do we respect the process, we respect the rule of law. When the time comes to take the proper steps, we will do what is good for the country.

National DefenceOral Question Period

April 3rd, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government announced in October 2000 an ambitious policy to revitalize Canada's army reserves. I know that the Brockville Rifles in my riding and neighbouring units like the Princess of Wales' Own Regiment are very interested in the status of this process. Could the Minister of National Defence offer the House an update on the effort to strengthen this important national institution?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all I can say is what a pleasant question. I am pleased to say that we have achieved significant success in revitalizing our army reserves, as per the policy announced by my predecessor in 2000. The total number currently stands at 15,500 and it is our plan to increase that by yet another 750 people in the current fiscal year.

With more than 130 units in 125 communities across Canada, there are members of the reserves in the ridings of almost every member of the House of Commons. This is great news for Canada's reserves and clearly demonstrates--