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House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was acadian.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, to date discussions have been almost exclusively about the first Kyoto period, which is 2008-12. We will begin discussions on the second Kyoto period, which is the five years that follow, in 2005.

That said, I would like to point out that the Prime Minister has asked the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy to study and inform Canadians on the potential for future emissions reductions and, similarly, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences to report to Canadians on the science of climate change.

We welcome the statement by Prime Minister Blair. We believe it is important to consider the long term issues related to climate change.

Canada PostOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, despite the 1994 moratorium on the closure of rural post offices, many offices, such as McKerrow, Ontario, are being closed under the guise of exceptional circumstances. This is a threat to the very infrastructure of rural Canada and it severs the only link between the federal government and most rural communities.

Will the minister affirm that the government will stand by the 1994 moratorium and prevent further closures of rural post offices?

Canada PostOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Mississauga West Ontario

Liberal

Steve Mahoney LiberalSecretary of State (Selected Crown Corporations)

Mr. Speaker, the moratorium was put in place by the government because the government and Canada Post are very much committed to providing good quality mail delivery and all mail services in rural Canada.

The moratorium, however, does not mean that Canada Post cannot look at better ways to deliver the mail in communities where improvements and perhaps consolidations would improve the situation for Canadians.

Canada Post has assured me that it will be very sensitive to rural Canada needs. I am quite confident it will and we will look at creating better situations for mail in this country.

Canada PostOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister is selling out rural Canada and the government has plans to close the Tancook Island post office in South Shore. This island is home to 152 people who are permanent residents, and if closed, those individuals would require a two hour round trip ferry ride to pick up a registered letter.

The government talks about supporting rural and coastal Canada. I would like to see it put its money where its mouth is, and a good place to start would be by keeping the post office open on Tancook Island.

Canada PostOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Mississauga West Ontario

Liberal

Steve Mahoney LiberalSecretary of State (Selected Crown Corporations)

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post is very sensitive to the needs of rural Canada, as is the government. I again say to the member that the moratorium does not necessarily mean a ban when there is an opportunity to provide better service to Canadians for their mail services. Canada Post will look at each and every individual situation on its own merits and make the decision that is appropriate.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the only people who support the idea of a biometric national ID card are the Minister of Immigration himself and Allan Dershowitz, the high priced O.J. Simpson Hollywood lawyer. That is why our minister is spending $35,000 to bring Mr. Dershowitz in to be the guest speaker at a conference that is supposed to debate the merits of this card. Surely that will bias the tone of this conference.

The privacy commissioner has condemned the national ID card in no uncertain terms. Will the Minister of Immigration save us all a lot of money and time and cancel this conference, and put the idea of a biometric national ID card to bed for now and forever?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, my definition of democracy is to have those kinds of society debates. I truly believe that the time has come, especially when we look at the polls, when people are ready to have that kind of discussion. The governments of the G-8 right now are having that discussion. We have many areas where people should debate that kind of issue. I do not think it is painful to decide what kind of future we want for our society. It seems that the Canadian population is ready for that but not the member.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the acting prime minister.

Unfortunately, as many as 650,000 cattle may have to be killed because of restrictions on Canadian beef exports. Those cattle older than 30 months cannot be exported and therefore have a lower market value because of the lack of market in our country. These cattle are an acting time bomb for the industry.

Could the acting prime minister tell the House what the government has planned, to deal with a national cattle cull, and how this cull strategy will be financed?

AgricultureOral 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 position that has just been expressed by the hon. member is not even the position of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association.

I will read from its press release of September 10, 2003, in which it says that Canadians are proving their confidence in buying Canadian beef and that this support would be jeopardized if the cattle industry were to advocate a massive cull of cattle.

That is not the position of the industry at all and that is not what it has said.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, from the time Canada took delivery of the first Victoria class submarine, these subs have been plagued by problems, starting with the HMCS Victoria arriving in Canada with a dent in its hull.

Now we learn that last June the government hid a serious incident with HMCS Corner Brook . During a routine training exercise, the crew had to perform an emergency surfacing after a leak was discovered on the sub.

How long before these subs will be fully operational, all the repairs completed, and how much will it cost Canadian taxpayers?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, with some 75% of the life remaining and at a cost of 25% of the original cost, this is truly an excellent deal for the Canadian taxpayer.

In addition, there have been some problems in testing but that is why we do the testing. We do the testing so that these problems can be solved and they do not occur in operations.

Finally, there is good news. A couple of days ago the HMCS Victoria arrived in Victoria. For the first time in 50 years, Canada has a submarine presence on the west coast.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister did not answer the question.

The HMCS Victoria , while it is on the west coast, is not operational. These subs seem to leak more often than a puppy with a bad bladder. Even when purchasing a used car the buyer has some protection.

Did the government negotiate a money back guarantee before it signed the lease on these subs, or was this simply a colossal case of buyer beware?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the submarine is a stealthy vessel, well suited for today's security environment. I should think that the hon. member, who comes from the west himself, would be pleased that for the first time in 50 years we have a submarine presence on his coast.

Yes, there are always teething problems but soon these submarines will be operational and that will be good news for Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard said that efforts must be made to ensure that Canada plays a lead role in the green industries of tomorrow. This is clearly not enough. The focus must be on the real source of greenhouse gases: the western oil companies.

Does the Minister of the Environment acknowledge that the most urgent action in pursuing the Kyoto objectives is to require polluters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, rather than give them a hand with their taxes, as the member for LaSalle—Émard is doing in the interests of his Liberal Party leadership race.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the hon. member that Canada already plays a lead role as far as environmentally friendly industry is concerned. The province of Quebec is one of the leaders in this area. We already have made major strides in this area.

As for the matter of greenhouse gas emissions, I can assure him that the plan is already in place, as is its implementation.

Despite growth in the gasoline sector, we are going to reach the target of 6%—

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the lead role the government is playing relates to financing the oil and gas industry rather than environmentally friendly industries.

Does the Minister of the Environment intend to make the next leader of the Liberal Party aware of the true issues at stake with the Kyoto protocol, and to remind him that attaining those objectives is irreconcilable with the taxation measures put forward by the member for LaSalle—Émard, measures that benefit the major polluters, namely the oil and gas companies bankrolling his campaign?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that green industry is truly one private sector industry that is a leader worldwide. Clearly, exportation of our industry is very high, and this is a sector supported by the federal government.

As for greenhouse gas emissions, I repeat: we are convinced that we will achieve a 6% reduction over the 1990 levels.

Human Resources Development CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it was more than a year and a half ago that the minister was alerted to serious problems within her department concerning a $7.5 million Toronto area jobs project. Rather than asking the hard questions and getting to the bottom of the problem, she chose to turn a blind eye and do nothing for months. It was just two weeks ago that the RCMP was finally contacted.

Why has the minister consistently avoided making the difficult decisions necessary to clean up her department?

Human Resources Development CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can continue to engage in speculation but he knows there is an ongoing police investigation. He knows that the Department of Human Resources Development Canada is co-operating with the police. He knows that the department has already taken severe disciplinary action up to and including firing. He knows that I will not be sharing any more details with him because I do not want to jeopardize this ongoing investigation.

Human Resources Development CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it always seems to be somebody else's fault.

We all remember the notorious Paul Cochrane, the junket king, the centre of the Virginia Fontaine scandal, he of the Caribbean cruises, the only man in Canada who has wasted more taxpayer money than the heritage minister. He should have been run out of the civil service on a rail a long time ago but, despite an investigation and criminal charges, he landed a job with HRDC.

Who is the minister going to blame for that one?

Human Resources Development CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, with specific reference to that question, I can tell the hon. member that the department contracted work to be done by a company called MaxSys under competitively tendered standing offers established by Public Works and Government Services Canada in the year 2001.

MaxSys provided the services of Paul Cochrane to conduct the human resources work. However, when a firm is contracted to supply services to the department, Public Works and Government Services Canada does ensure that the contractor personnel are security screened to the appropriate level.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

September 19th, 2003 / 11:50 a.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the revenue minister.

I noted with interest recently that union leaders representing customs workers and MPs from the Canadian Alliance have been making allegations with respect to our border points being understaffed and security equipment going unused.

Could the Minister of National Revenue provide us with some accurate facts on this issue?

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, first, let me put this in context. As you would know, Mr. Speaker, the negotiating process has just begun and the fact is that some union leaders and some of their political pals are speaking out making, what I would call, intemperate and inaccurate statements.

Here are the facts. Customs security at our seaports, our airports and our land border crossings are the best that they have been in the history of our country and Canadians can have confidence. There are no staff shortages at any of our border points. We have equipment that is being rolled out and used. Since 2001 we have hired 450--

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The member for Prince Albert.