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House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

International AidOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, fresh from the G-8 the Prime Minister in yet another vacuous utterance said that he favoured health initiatives for combating HIV-AIDS and improving affordable drug access for developing countries.

However there was no commitment to increase Canada's contribution to the global fund for AIDS, TB and malaria. There was no guarantee of pharmaceuticals for poor countries. Talk is cheap.

When will Canada triple its global fund commitment? When will we lead the fight to help desperate countries get the drugs they need for people at risk, and dying by the millions?

International AidOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada contributed significantly to the creation of the global fund to fight HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

We have pledged a total of $150 million from the year 2001 to 2004. We are ranked seventh in the donors of those that are contributing to the global fund. Last year we announced $50 million for HIV-AIDS vaccine through the Canada-Africa fund. We are quadrupling our HIV-AIDS commitment over the next three years within Canada. We are doing our part.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, when smog season hits or when sustainable transportation is not in play, the Liberal government acts like it has not been in power for a decade, but it has been. Canada had record smog last summer, and our public transit and rail infrastructure is in shambles.

Will the environment minister get serious about meeting Kyoto targets and mark Environment Awareness Week, which we are celebrating this week, by announcing that 5% of the gas tax will be dedicated to communities to build public transit and freight rail services?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member is well aware of the clean fuels and engines program of the Government of Canada which extends over 10 years. The fact is we are reducing the amount of emissions that create smog from the average vehicle in Canada by 90% and the average SUV of last year by 95%, and it will happen over the next four years.

He knows that. He knows the same measures are being taken with respect to diesel fuel and on-road diesel. He knows we have measures in place for small engines, such as lawn mowers, weed trimmers, snowmobiles, et cetera. I suggest he just looks at the record once again.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, a week and a half ago the Canadian softwood negotiator tabled a quota-based offer to the Americans, which took almost every Canadian stakeholder by complete surprise. Provincial softwood associations and industry stakeholders continue to be ticked off at being excluded from consultations prior to development of this offer.

Why did the minister allow for this betrayal of the softwood stakeholders?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we have been working very closely with the stakeholders for two and a half years. We have met them time and again. We are absolutely working on their behalf. When they asked us to challenge the American action before the courts, it was on their behalf that we did it. When we are trying to bring the Americans back to the negotiating table, it is also on their behalf that we are working.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, rather than meeting with the national stakeholders group, the negotiator excluded other points of view and instead met only with five CEOs in favour of a quota-based offer. This is furtive behaviour. This has weakened Canada's negotiating position due to internal divisions. No future offer should be tabled with the Americans unless the stakeholders group is consulted.

Will the minister commit to doing that, right now?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we have always consulted with the stakeholders of the industry from east to west, including Quebec, the Maritimes and Atlantic Canada, Alberta and British Columbia. It is very important that we include Manitoba as well. One per cent of our exports to the United States come from Manitoba.

We will continue to work with the stakeholders. We will continue to consult them very closely, and clearly they will be part of the resolution that we are seeking with the Americans.

ShippingOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport told the House that the disappearance of pilotage on the St. Lawrence would result in no danger, thus contradicting what his own minister recently told the Hill Times , namely, that there would be risks between Quebec City and Montreal.

Can the minister tell us, once and for all, so as to calm down the members supporting the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, whether he intends to maintain the requirement for specialized pilots to ensure protection of the environment along the entire St. Lawrence, all the way from Les Escoumins, as is currently the case?

ShippingOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is a very controversial issue because for a number of years pilots have been required on the St. Lawrence Seaway system. With new technologies, arguments have been made that we do not need pilots or do not need as many pilots.

Certainly in the area from Quebec City to the Gulf of St. Lawrence new technologies are obviating the need for pilots. However between Montreal and Quebec City the level of traffic is such that they probably should remain.

This is a matter of debate that I know the transport committee is interested in and I would look forward to any recommendations that come forward from that august--

ShippingOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. minister for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.

ShippingOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister appears to be ready to find a compromise between those who would protect the St. Lawrence River and those who support the next leader of the Liberal Party, who is himself a shipowner.

As he defends this position, does the minister not understand that the environmental safety of the St. Lawrence may fall victim to a deal with those who support the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada?

ShippingOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to repeat my earlier answer, but I would invite the hon. member to discuss this with his colleagues at committee. I know the member for Hamilton West is quite anxious to have this kind of debate at the transport committee, and I would certainly look at their recommendations.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, at a news conference this morning, Nova Scotia's justice minister, Jamie Muir, called Ottawa's gun registry a “bad law”, a boondoggle, and unnecessary red tape, and he is directing provincial prosecutors to refer any charges relating to long guns to their federal counterparts. Why will the Liberal government not just admit that its so-called gun registry simply does not work and scrap it?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I do find it strange that a person in that high authority would be advising people in his own province to basically break the law.

The member knows, and I would encourage the minister in that province to get up to speed, that we are improving the system. I have said a number of times in the House that it is not our intent within the legislation to criminalize legitimate gun owners. It is our intent to use the registry system to assist NWEST in its ability to track down illegal weapons and make this country safer.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, eight provinces and three territories now say they will not support this fiasco. How does the government plan on implementing the law if these territories and provinces refuse to implement it?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I fully believe that when people understand how this system works and when it continues to work more efficiently than it has in the past, those sensible Canadians out there, and that includes legitimate gun owners, when they see the benefits of the system, will want to register on time so that we can use the system the way it was intended to be used, which is to make our streets and communities safer.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and la Francophonie represented Canada at the presidential inauguration in Nigeria. Could the Secretary of State please tell the House what he and President Obasanjo discussed during that meeting?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, we discussed Nepad, the New Partnership for Africa's Development, based on democracy, human rights and good governance. We congratulated Nigerians as the country moves from one civilian government to another for the first time.

We also raised Canada's concern regarding human rights in Nigeria, especially the application of the Sharia law.

Finally, I must add that President Obasanjo, an important leader of Nepad, shares Canada's view that peace and good governance, including anti-corruption measures, are essential to fostering prosperity on the continent.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White Canadian Alliance North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday in North Vancouver, Judge Rodgers handed down a sentence of six months at home to a 21 year old man for dangerous driving causing the death of a 17 year old student in my riding.

Judge Rodgers said he could not give jail time for this crime because of this government's conditional sentencing law.

Who over there still wants to defend this disaster they call the conditional sentencing law? Does anyone on the government's side really believe that six months at home is an appropriate sentence for dangerous driving causing death?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first he will understand that as Minister of Justice I cannot comment on any decision that has been rendered by a court. As well, I do not feel that it is responsible to comment on a decision.

Having said that, some years we put in place conditional sentencing to be used by the courts. It is used when an offender does not represent a danger to the public. It has been proven to be efficient as well. Having said that, we are going through a review period at this point in time. I know that the justice committee is working on that and we will see what the result is of that review process.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White Canadian Alliance North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the parents of the student killed as a result of Mr. Arimi's dangerous driving emigrated from Iran in 1997. They said they could not believe that their new country's legal system would permit people to go free under such circumstances. They asked, and I quote, “How can this decision be fair when my son is dead and that man goes free?”

I will ask the Minister of Justice one more time. Does he actually believe that being grounded for six months is an appropriate sentence for driving dangerously and killing a 17 year old? Is he happy with the consequences of his conditional sentencing law?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is very simple. No judge actually is forced to use conditional sentencing. It is one of the tools that they have access to in order to deal with offenders. As I said, they use conditional sentencing essentially when the offender does not represent a risk or danger to the public.

Having said that, there is a review process in place and we will see what will be the outcome of that review process.

Air CanadaOral Question Period

June 3rd, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, Air Canada's accumulated debt is up to $12 billion. The company is getting ready to demand major concessions from its creditors, including several regional airports in Quebec.

The concessions Air Canada is demanding could cause serious financial problems for the regional airports in Rouyn-Noranda, Gaspé, Val-d'Or and Bagotville, to name just a few.

Having transferred regional airports that were previously under its jurisdiction to the municipalities, does the federal government intend to grant the Government of Quebec an equivalent subsidy to help the regional airports cope with the financial crisis that Air Canada might put them in?

Air CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we cannot prejudge the outcome of the restructuring efforts involving Air Canada, but there is no doubt that airports across the country have been suffering. That is why we are reviewing the leases that Transport Canada has with the major airports and we are reviewing our small airport policy. Hopefully in our deliberations we will be able to deal with some of the issues raised by the hon. member.