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House of Commons Hansard #97 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was airports.

Topics

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is quoted today in the media as dismissing allegations that Ottawa ignores the west. We often hear the Liberals say that it is very important to hear from the people in the west and that it wants their input in Ottawa.

There are five jobs on the government's website this morning paying up to $58,000, from five different departments. Who can apply for them? Only those people in eastern Ontario and western Quebec; eastern Ontario and western Quebec; eastern Ontario and western Quebec; and eastern Ontario. No one from the west can apply for any of these jobs.

How does the Prime Minister justify the contradiction when he says that Ottawa wants to hear from people in the west but they just cannot work here?

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I have a problem with the question asked by the member. He has himself contacted the Public Service Commission. He has himself asked questions to the president of that commission. He has himself looked at the pilot project that is going on in the country right now. He has himself asked the Public Service Commission to report to Parliament.

It will do that at the end of this month and parliamentarians will be able to make a decision about it.

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, in the upcoming byelection in Perth-Middlesex a prisoner has been placed on the voters list who has been convicted of stabbing his wife to death while their children watched.

Canadians are outraged that murderers and violent criminals take part in the democratic process for which they have shown contempt.

The minister promised to review the decision last fall. Why is he allowing this person to vote on Monday?

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member is not suggesting that ministers personally decide who goes on the voters list and who does not by way of his question. Heaven forbid that would ever be the case.

On the issue that he has raised specifically, he will know, and if not he can discuss it with his House leader and other members of the procedure and House affairs committee, I referred the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee some time ago. He should ask that committee, once it completes its review of the redistribution and other matters before it, if it wants to provide a forum and then make recommendation in regard to the issue which he has raised.

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, that minister promised to review the decision and come back with a decision and he has done nothing. That minister has been silent on this issue because he knows the only way to change it is through a constitutional amendment. Because the Liberals refused to act, the Canadian Alliance put forward a constitutional amendment in the House of Commons last December and the minister refused to support it.

Why does the minister continue to support the right of murderers to vote?

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, that is sheer and utter nonsense. The Supreme Court of Canada made the decision to which the member is referring. He is asking the House for a constitutional amendment to overrule the Supreme Court and to revoke the right to vote. If that is the contribution he intends to make before the committee, I am sure all members have heard it now and they will give it due regard.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation in the softwood lumber market is the worst the industry has seen in years. Poor exchange rates, falling prices and stalled negotiations do not make things any better.

What more will it take before the Minister of Industry wakes up and sees that his plan is inadequate to deal with the situation? And what is he waiting for before announcing the second phase of his plan?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada announced $356 million to support the workers and the communities. In fact we are now asking for proposals for community programs that can ensure that we diversify the economy of small communities which have been affected, and we are working together.

Also my colleague, the minister of trade, is working very hard to ensure that we get a resolution to this issue. It is the government's priority to resolve the softwood lumber issue with the U.S.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, workers in the softwood lumber industry are still waiting for the second phase of the plan that the minister promised.

Does the government realize that its laissez-faire is tantamount to abandoning the regions to their fate, since the first phase of his plan is inadequate, as well as impractical to implement?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we are monitoring the situation very closely across the country and, yes, if we need to do more, we have said right from day one that we will. However what we really need to do is resolve this issue to ensure that we have a long term agreement so we can benefit from free trade and so our lumber products can go to the U.S. without any duty. That is what we intend to do.

JusticeOral Question Period

May 7th, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister's tweaking of the Criminal Code sadly did not include changes to provisions regarding conditional sentences. The government's coddling of rapists and other sadistic criminals is resulting in case after case of violent offenders serving out their sentences in communities.

When will the government make protection of society the guiding principle of the justice system and limit conditional sentences to non-violent offenders?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the minister has taken action and has referred the matter to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. It is continuing its study and when it is complete the committee will report back on what appears to be an excellent program. There have been exceptions to the rule, but we will wait and see, and then we will act.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government's philosophy is to always wait and allow the victims to suffer.

In May 2002 John Wilson was convicted of manslaughter. This violent offender was given a two year conditional sentence. In other words, he was told to take 24 months and stay at home. This for the brutal murder of his own daughter.

Again, when will the justice minister amend the Criminal Code to ensure that murderers such as John Wilson are not safe at home but behind bars?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have clearly stated, this matter is before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. It is being studied. The committee will come back before the justice minister and the House. We will then be able to see if there are changes needed, and if so, they will be made.

Smart Regulation StrategyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government committed to a smart regulation strategy in the Speech from the Throne. We have heard little of this since the government House leader addressed the House on the appointment of Hugh MacDiarmid as chair of the external advisory committee.

Could the minister update us on this very important matter?

Smart Regulation StrategyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, indeed this is a very important issue because it is another example of our Prime Minister delivering on a throne speech commitment, as he does with all throne speech commitments.

Not only has the chair of the committee been appointed, but on May 1 the Prime Minister also appointed the 10 member blue ribbon panel of Canadians from coast to coast who will be charged with the mandate of making smart regulations for the 21st century in a very modern country.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Gary Gillingwater was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. There were over 1,400 images of children and many of these pictures depicted men with three year old and four year old boys. In March, Gillingwater received a four month conditional sentence to be served in the community.

Will the minister explain why these men are still receiving such insignificant sentences?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to sentencing, it is done by the courts that are closest to the situation. They are able to assess all of the evidence before them and to make what we hope are the right decisions. We trust that the judges in these cases have made the right decision. We trust those judges to make the right decisions and we will rely upon them.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that the courts are doing a very poor job on this particular issue. For example, Bill C-20 does not close the loophole for artistic merit and does not create tougher sentences for these predators. However, the Liberals are ramming it through with the help of a Tory justice critic who spoke in favour of it, saying we have no choice. We do have a choice.

When will the Liberal government finally get tough, close all the loopholes, and put child predators behind bars so our children will be safe?

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, obviously this party would like to simply choose to put people behind bars, throw away the key, and walk away. We believe in the process of rehabilitation of those who we are bringing before the courts. It is very important. We will simply not accept the logic of that party.

FisheriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the crisis hitting the crab fishers is spreading now to the plant workers, such as those in Chandler and the Lower North Shore. More and more workers will soon find themselves out of a job.

What concrete measures does the federal government intend to implement to assist workers experiencing not only a financial catastrophe, but also an unparalleled human catastrophe? All the fishers on the Lower North Shore are out of work.

FisheriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin LiberalSecretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, at the same time that decisions had to be made in collaboration with our colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, we announced short-term measures of $14 million for Quebec to assist people earning their living from the fisheries, and we immediately took steps to consult the public about long-term measures.

I can assure the House that we on this side are working very hard to support those in difficulty at this time, and we will be there for them.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, true to his track record of using Canada's court system to full advantage, Ernst Zundel is starting a long process to challenge the constitutional validity of the minister's slow moves to deport him.

Will the minister continue to allow Zundel to stay in Canada, at taxpayers' expense, while his constitutional challenge winds through the courts?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I will not comment on a case that is in the hands of the federal court. She is a lawyer. She knows exactly how the process works. We should provide the opposition with some questions in order to talk about serious questions.

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, in Ottawa, there was an international meeting to discuss world standards for labelling GMOs. As we know, Canada still does not have mandatory labelling and the voluntary federal labelling process is collapsing.

Given that people like to know what they are eating, is the federal government planning on paving the way for making GMO labelling mandatory?