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House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was antarctic.

Topics

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the Chaudière—Appalaches region, represented by the Secretary of State in charge of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, nine mills and 389 jobs were affected during the week of May 30.

How can the Minister of Industry care so little, considering how much the crisis has affected companies and workers, when his hon. colleague's region suffered badly that week?

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey Ontario

Liberal

Murray Calder LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I have to repeat what I have already said to the hon. member. We have a number of government departments involved in this. We are putting forward assistance and we will continue to monitor the situation very closely.

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, here is what we know about Hagar the horrible, the minister responsible for ACOA. He claims he had the sole responsibility to host public receptions for the Viking Millennium celebrations, but both the federal and provincial governments say that is not so.

He then used that responsibility to raise thousands of dollars, all of it sent directly to his home, but then conveniently neglected to actually hold any public receptions and now refuses to give an account on how the money was raised or how it was sent.

Since there are no records to show that the money raised was used for either political or government business, has the Minister of National Revenue started an investigation to see if the minister claimed this money as taxable income?

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is asking about the administration of a constituency association. I can understand his concern with that because of the troubles in his own party. Today's Calgary Herald tells us that the Canadian Alliance fund in Calgary Southwest has cooked books. Now we know why these questions are being asked. It is a lack of transparency in the system that we have improved with Bill C-24 and that the hon. member and his friends have voted against.

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, so far it appears that the only celebration surrounding this minister's money making scheme is when he and his wife opened the envelopes and deposited the cheques in the basement vault.

When the minister responsible for ACOA sent out invoices to his constituents asking them to send money to his home, he told them that he needed the money because “others had backed out of the proceedings”. However now the minister admits that there never were any others involved and that he simply used that as a pretext to make his pyramid letter-writing scheme more convincing.

Since the money was raised under false pretences and since the minister cannot produce a single receipt on either how the money was raised or spent, will the Minister of National Revenue investigate whether it was claimed as personal income?

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, these are ridiculous accusations that should not be said on the floor of the House.

We are talking about a constituency association. He says that the minister sent such letters. The individual in question was not a minister at the time that he is even alleging. These are factually incorrect and I believe they are even out of order. They do not involve the responsibility of the government.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights passed a motion in support of broadening marriage to include same-sex couples. The courts have spoken, now Parliament has spoken as well.

Will the government pledge to put an end to its attempts at obstruction and not to appeal the decisions of the courts of appeal of Ontario and British Columbia?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the Minister of Justice is aware of the decision that the House of Commons justice committee made yesterday but I understand it has not reported.

As I also said earlier, this is a very important social issue for Canadians. The Minister of Justice will take all those points into consideration. He has stated publicly that he will review those discussions with his cabinet colleagues before making any decision.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, since Tuesday, many same-sex marriages have been performed. These marriages are perfectly legal and are binding today. The legal situation across Canada is however uncertain, and the federal government must clarify this situation.

When will the government do the right thing by clearly stating that this matter has been resolved, that same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples throughout Canada and that, from this day forward, they are entitled to marry?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada and the Minister of Justice take this issue very seriously. The Minister of Justice is not going to make a hasty, off the cuff decision, as I have indicated. He is taking into consideration the points of view of Canadians, of members of the House and of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and will discuss those points of view with his caucus and cabinet colleagues before making any decision.

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadians must have faith in the cabinet in terms of how it manages the public purse, but when questioned about the fundraising with regard to the Viking commemoration event the Liberal minister for ACOA has given three different answers to how this unfolded.

If the minister cannot give the House and Canadians a straight answer about a straight problem and a straight, clear conflict of interest, how can Canadians trust him to manage a department that has a budget of $1.4 billion?

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the questions being asked are about how a constituency association of a political party has raised funds in the past, how it is receipted, how it pays income tax and so on.

Let me read again what is really behind this:

--an investigation by Canadian Alliance Fund chairman Shawn Rattai into the Calgary Southwest books.

There is trouble in the Alliance Party fundraising. It is trying to bury that by questioning other political parties and neither case, of course, has to do with government policy at all.

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, there is a difference between a private organization and a public official using public money under the veil of public office.

The problem with this is that at the time we have a government that is supposed to be cleaning up its scandals, we have a backbench Liberal member of Parliament who engages in behaviour that has a clear appearance of corruption. Then what is the Liberal government and the executives--

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

That is out of order. We will move on. We will have no more. We will deal with it later.

The hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment. Quebec has already begun its public hearings on the environmental assessment of the Lac Kénogami water level regularization project, which has been anxiously awaited by the people of the Saguenay since the terrible floods of 1996. Now the federal government must also hold public hearings on this.

What can be done to avoid any delay in getting this much needed work completed?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that a draft agreement has been reached with the Quebec Minister of the Environment on the creation of a joint project review panel. The agreement will make it possible for the public review to be a joint undertaking. The best way to avoid any duplication is to ensure full complementarity between the two levels of government, and doing so will enable the tight deadlines to be met.

Public ServiceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, unbelievably, the Government of Canada is advertising five jobs in Nova Scotia. In these job descriptions it says “Non-whites must clearly self-identify”. At no time does it ever say that whites must self-identify.

It is obvious that non-whites and whites are being treated differently by the government. No matter what the excuse, racial discrimination should not be allowed and non-whites should never have to self-identify as being not white.

Will the government remove all these offensive references from every publication relating to whites and non-whites now?

Public ServiceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has raised this kind of question before and certainly, as he portrays it, there are some troubling aspects to what he is saying. I will certainly bring it to the attention of the President of the Treasury Board.

Public ServiceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the tone of that answer very much but the fact of the matter is, this is on a website that people all over the world can read and it says that in Canada we divide our society between non-whites and whites. It is unacceptable. It is awful that we even have to talk about it.

Again, I ask the government to act quickly to remove all references to whites and non-whites from every publication.

Public ServiceOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have just said that we will bring this to the attention of the President of the Treasury Board, but I think everyone in this country knows that we have the most multicultural, multiracial society on earth where we all live together in harmony, and that must be reflected in all aspects of society.

This certainly will be brought to the attention of the President of the Treasury Board.

Occupational Health and SafetyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it has been 11 years since 26 Nova Scotians were killed in the Westray mine disaster.

An exhaustive public inquiry, a decade of pressure by labour and the introduction of three Westray bills by the NDP have finally forced the government to introduce legislation to hold corporations criminally responsible for jeopardizing workers' lives.

Will the government now give the unequivocal commitment that there will be no more foot-dragging and that before the end of 2003, the Westray bill will be fully implemented in this country?

Occupational Health and SafetyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the bill introduced yesterday on both the Westray disaster and corporate crime would enshrine in legislation a duty for those who direct employees to be responsible.

I want to say as well, in direct response to the member's question, that our sympathies as a government go out to the families of the 26 miners who were lost in the Westray disaster.

The Government of Canada is taking strong action as a result of that disaster so it will not happen again.

Canadian TelevisionOral Question Period

June 13th, 2003 / 11:50 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, this week the heritage committee released a review of the Broadcast Act showing the government's shameful legacy of mismanagement of the Canadian TV system.

One example is the finance minister's announcement of no new money in the budget for the Canadian television fund. Instead, he has decided to borrow $12.5 million from next year's fund.

Will the finance minister today heed the heritage committee's report and its recommendation and restore funding to the CTF, or will he allow Canadian drama to simply wither away?

Canadian TelevisionOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Laval East Québec

Liberal

Carole-Marie Allard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage who worked so hard for more than two years to produce this report. My colleague was one of them, and I congratulate her.

As for the future of the Canadian Television Fund, as she is very much aware, there are several possibilities at the present time, and we have had many comments about the need to review governance and fund operations. The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has made the same recommendation.

The report will be studied in detail—

Canadian TelevisionOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Prince George—Bulkley Valley.