This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taiwan.

Topics

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance has just uncovered that another $17.5 million has been wasted on the gun registry and that the government's accounting is still incomplete. Seven other departments and agencies incurred gun registry costs but they were not reimbursed or reported to Parliament by the Department of Justice.

Why did the government hide the $17.5 million in additional gun registry costs from Parliament? Why was that hidden?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I really find it difficult to understand where this member is coming from. The government hid nothing in terms of costs. The costs were all tabled before the committees and before estimates.

Let me provide an example. There were 325 actual police investigations using the services and information database of the Canadian firearms program in the month of December. The member would have us believe that if there is an arrest as a result of that investigation, we should charge the cost of incarceration to the firearms--

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Yorkton—Melville.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, even the Auditor General of Canada said that answer was not correct, that it was being hidden from Parliament.

It has been almost six months since the Auditor General blew the whistle on this billion dollar boondoggle and the government still cannot tell Parliament or the oppressed and exhausted taxpayers how much the gun registry will cost.

I ask again, how much will it cost to fully implement the registry and how much will it cost to maintain it?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, when we were discussing estimates before the justice and human rights committee the other day maybe the member should have raised that question. He continues to blow things all out of proportion in the House of Commons.

The fact of the matter is that the Minister of Justice and I announced an action plan for the firearms centre some time ago in which greater efficiencies are now being brought into the system. Measures have been taken to improve the system. The Internet registration is working well. There is a continuous improvement plan on which I have already reported.

Maybe when the member comes to committee he should listen to the facts.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, last October, eight months ago now, the Minister of Natural Resources announced an assistance plan to help with the softwood lumber crisis, which was to be followed by a second phase. We are still waiting for phase 2. The crisis continues however, to wreak havoc on all parts of Quebec, Témiscamingue, Mauricie and today Chibougamau, where major slowdowns have been announced.

What is the minister waiting for before he moves ahead with phase 2 of his plan, improves employment insurance for the workers and provides loan guarantees for the companies?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, first, I am glad the hon. member has recognized that we did have a phase that was very important; $350 million to make sure we work on new markets, on R and D and in a variety of other areas to support the industry.

The hon. member makes a good point. We have to make sure that we monitor the situation closely. We are seeing hardships in certain parts of the industry and we have to ensure that we do everything we can to look at the next phase.

However our first priority is to make sure we get an agreement, which is what the Minister for International Trade is doing. Our priority right now is to make sure we have a long term agreement with the Americans.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister appears not to know that the American strategy is to continue the legal wrangling in the courts for months, with appeals of any decisions unfavourable to them.

Will the minister open his eyes? Plants are closing down one after the other, workers are losing jobs. Does he not see in the American attitude just one more reason to move on to phase 2 of his assistance plan forthwith?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are monitoring the situation very closely. We had hoped to have some sort of an agreement but unfortunately that has not come out. We are still hopeful that there will be an agreement.

I can assure the hon. member that if we do not get an agreement in the near future we will be looking at other measures. However our focus right now is on making sure we get a long term agreement. We also want to monitor the industry closely.

We appreciate the hon. member's view. We will be looking at this issue to see if further action needs to be taken. We want to make sure that our industry can survive during this difficult time and our employees can continue to do the work in the forest industry across the country.

MuseumsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is obviously in the middle of his magical legacy tour and nowhere was that more obvious than today's announcement that he wants yet another Ottawa museum, this time a museum of political history.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Museums Association is none too thrilled with this legacy loving Prime Minister and is asking the government to instead come up with a coherent national strategy to help out the entire museum community, not just the 500 metre egocentric zone beside Parliament Hill.

Why did the Prime Minister ignore the finance committee of the House when it recommended that funding should be provided for the entire museum community, the ones most in need, and not just an edifice to polish the image of politicians in Ottawa?

MuseumsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if I were an Alliance member I would be very worried about history because they do not have a very big place there.

The building has been there for a long time. It is an historic building that needed to be repaired. I think it was a very good idea that we could celebrate the history of Canada with all the millions of Canadians and other visitors that are coming. They should look at Canada, how it was built and how successful Canada is today. We have to know that based on history.

MuseumsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal caucus may be a little more reluctant to cheer when they realize the Prime Minister will not stay in this political museum of history as its first exhibit.

It is time the Prime Minister realized that the museums across the country, which have millions of visitors, need funding as well. The finance committee recommended that. The Canadian Museums Association recommended that.

The last thing Ottawa needs is another politically motivated museum driven by a politically motivated Prime Minister to glorify more politicians.

Why does the Prime Minister not just forget the legacy, do the right thing and help out museums from coast to coast, not just on Parliament Hill?

MuseumsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is about telling all Canadians about Canadian history, telling Canadians that we have had prime ministers from the west and the east, from Quebec and Ontario, telling Canadians that we have had members of Parliament from all across Canada coming to this city for a long time and that they built a country that is an example for the world. I now know why the Alliance is going nowhere. It is because it has absolutely no sense of what Canada is all about.

International AidOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, a major earthquake struck Algeria last week, causing over 2,000 deaths, as well as leaving over 8,000 people injured and over 1,000 people homeless.

Could the Minister for International Cooperation tell us what with and how the government is responding to this emergency?

International AidOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, first let me say how deeply saddened I was to hear about the tragic consequences of the earthquake. On behalf of all Canadians I would like to extend our sympathies to the families of the victims.

Last Friday I announced that Canada would make an immediate contribution of $200,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help alleviate the immediate suffering and to help provide emergency relief to the victims of this devastating consequence.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Canadian Alliance Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is about to embark on a series of very expensive job interviews thinly disguised as a farewell tour. There is no benefit for Canada since he can no longer speak for Canada. He has been neutered. He is a lame duck. His retirement is not only imminent, it is overdue.

Will the Prime Minister do what any other job seeker does, namely pay for his own expenses out of his own pocket?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is really ridiculous how they can be. There is a meeting of the G-8 and the Prime Minister of Canada has been asked, on behalf of all Canadians, to explain to the rest of the world how this country has performed so well in the last 10 years. Last week the Prime Minister of France wanted to know how we managed to put the finances of the Canadian nation in order. I will carry that message on behalf of all Canadians to the G-8 meeting in Europe next week.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Canadian Alliance Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, such enthusiasm for this tour. Too bad he did not take that kind of interest in this country.

Back in 1993 a member of the opposition caucus, in which the Prime Minister sat, said this:

How can...Canadians have any hope with this government's sense of priorities when the federal government is spending $1 million on a final farewell tour by [the then] Prime Minister [Brian Mulroney]?

If it was wrong for the then prime minister Brian Mulroney at that time, why is it acceptable now?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, every year the Prime Minister of Canada has a meeting with the European Union and it is a meeting that is scheduled years ahead. It is the same thing with the G-8. Every year there is a G-8 meeting in one country where Canada is represented. It is not a tour that I have organized. These are meetings that have been organized for a long time.

I want to tell the hon. member that only one person was elected across the nation as the leader of a party that had 172 members elected in the last election and he is on this side of the House. The Alliance had its third bad defeat.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, having promised to restore the funding she had cut from the Canadian Television Fund, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has not kept that promise, nor has the Minister of Finance kept his commitment, although he did meet with the industry last Friday.

Does the Prime Minister find it normal for the Minister of Heritage to commit her government while the Minister of Finance is using blocking tactics, because the two are leadership hopefuls?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, once the hon. member has examined the documents I submitted to the House on May 3, she will see clearly that there will be $230 million put into the Canadian Television Fund this year, which represents $30 million more than when we created that fund.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 20 petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

May 26th, 2003 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Clifford Lincoln Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, an interparliamentary delegation report.

This is a report of the OSCE Parliamentary Association which represented Canada at the expanded bureau meeting held in Copenhagen, Denmark on April 24 and 25, 2003.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Fontana Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2004, reporting the same less the amount granted in interim supply.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Canadian Alliance Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have some petitions that I would like to present.

The first petition comes mainly from people in the city of Weyburn. The petitioners are asking that the Government of Canada ensure that junior hockey league players and teams be treated like Olympic sport participants and that billeting costs and modest reasonable expenses and allowances not be treated as taxable income under the provisions of any applicable federal tax legislation.