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 #15 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was heritage.

Topics

AgricultureOral Question Period

October 26th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Belinda Stronach Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of International Trade.

Last weekend the governments of the United States and Japan proudly announced the deal to restart trade in beef and set aside BSE concerns. That deal was sealed in just three days.

It has been 525 days since our border was slammed shut. A Japanese day of negotiation is therefore worth 175 Canadian days. This does not seem right.

Canadian cattlemen and farmers would like to know what the Japanese and Americans did to open their border, which the Canadian government has failed to do.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the preamble of the hon. member's question is clearly inaccurate.

When I was in Japan two weeks ago, we received a very firm commitment from the Japanese government that it treated us, Canada and the United States, as an integrated North American beef marketplace.

Those arrangements that were being put in place for the United States would also be put in place for Canada in the same timeframe. What has taken place is good news for Canadian cattle producers.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Belinda Stronach Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gets worse. Just hours ago Taiwan also announced it would open its border to U.S. beef.

The BSE crisis has now reached a level of desperation in Canada. Since the minister is unable to negotiate the opening of our border, is the minister prepared to proceed with the chapter 20 claim under NAFTA to get the border open once again to Canadian beef?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, let me start by complimenting, which is something I rarely do, the Leader of the Opposition for the outstanding critic he has appointed for international trade. She brings to this portfolio a wealth of international business experience. I am very pleased that at long last the opposition will be devoting to international trade and investment the attention that it deserves.

I must say I look forward to working with the member for Newmarket—Aurora to promote Canadian interests around the world.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, calling a community “monkeys” and “pigs” is utterly unacceptable. The statements made by the head of the Dar al-Madinah Islamic Society are outrageous and offensive because they divide communities. In fact, Sheik Younus' comments threaten the multicultural fabric of this country. Also, the comments by Dr. Elmasry, calling all Israelis terror targets are against Canadian values.

My question is, why has the government not condemned these intolerant acts? Why?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, in relation to the cleric mentioned by the hon. member, it is my understanding that a complaint has been received by the RCMP. The RCMP will in fact investigate that complaint, and is doing so.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to anti-Americanism the Liberals just cannot kick the habit. We have had Liberals refer to Americans as “morons”, “bastards” and “idiots”. Then last week we had Liberal ministers picking sides in the U.S. election. Now we have the Liberal MP for Don Valley East blaming the United States for global terrorism. In an interview she said terrorism is “the result of the policies of the United States”.

Why does the Prime Minister continue to tolerate these damaging anti-American outbursts and why do Liberals blame the victim when it comes to terrorism?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government and our country, Canada, have embarked on the fight against terrorism very closely. The Deputy Prime Minister is doing an outstanding job of making sure that we are squarely on side to fight terrorism in Canada and internationally, and we shall continue to do so. We are in the fight against terrorism.

Infrastructure ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 21 the province of Ontario announced that $680 million from the provincial gas tax will be allocated to transit authorities across Ontario over the next three years.

Would the Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities outline whether this deal will impact his approach to the delivery of a portion of the federal gas tax for sustainable infrastructure projects in cities and communities across Canada?

Infrastructure ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, we welcome this initiative by Ontario. We work very closely with the Ontario government. We support its decision to invest in public transit. We have already done so for Toronto, for Ottawa and for other parts of Ontario. We will continue to do so as we start working with the gas tax dedicated toward sustainable development.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the environment, the government is racing George W. Bush to the bottom of the international heap.

Today the environment commissioner in her report denounced the government for a lack of leadership, a lack of priority and a lack of will. With a record this embarrassing, will the minister at least commit today to implementing the recommendations of the environment commissioner?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada welcomes the report of Madam Gélinas and is willing to act accordingly. Even today the Prime Minister announced that a new ad hoc committee on sustainability and environment will exist. It will be chaired by the Minister of Industry. It will bring to the table the views of natural resources, fisheries and oceans, health and myself. This shows how much we want to change the way the environment is taken into account in this country.

Communications Security EstablishmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, immense powers and resources are granted to the Communications Security Establishment with virtually no checks and balances, with no court order, no accountability and no specifics. CSE needs only the defence minister's authorization to listen to and record any communication from any Canadian to a designated country. To make matters worse, the oversight commissioner is a powerless part time watchdog. This is terrifying.

Where are the checks and balances? Why has the government failed to ensure proper accountability?

Communications Security EstablishmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that the House would appreciate, and I do not think the Canadian public would appreciate a former chief justice of Canada being attributed the title of being a powerless watchdog.

I have met with Mr. Justice Antonio Lamer. He has eight people working with him constantly watching over CSE to make sure that it respects the law. I meet regularly with the director of CSE. I can assure the House CSE is watched. They are people with a culture of obeying the laws of Canada and recognizing privacy concerns. They operate within the law and they protect Canadians in that optic.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the OECD places us at the bottom of the environmental chart. Today the commissioner of the environment blasted the government for its environmental performance. I quote again what the commissioner said, “I am left to conclude that the reasons are lack of leadership, lack of priority, and lack of will”.

Why has the government not lived up to some of its environmental commitments and shown some leadership, some priorities and some vision?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, indeed the report said that the government has some improvements to make on the environment file. The Government of Canada welcomes this report and it is in fact what we want to do in order to increase our capacity to put the environment at the heart of the decision making process. It is why the Prime Minister created a new ad hoc committee to ensure that the environment and the economy go together in this country.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, another committee just will not cut it.

In her report the environment commissioner studied five out of the more than 100 international agreements that this country has signed. She found most of them lacking. She said that Transport Canada does not know how much oil is being dumped in the oceans; Environment Canada cannot even define what wetland conservation is; and the DFO does not know how many fish we have.

The government is about to embark on the Kyoto implementation plan. It is about the government. It just does not know where it is going. Why do you not come clean with Canadians and tell them--

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

I remind the hon. member for Red Deer, who has a lot of experience in the House, that he must address his comments to the Chair.

The hon. Minister of the Environment.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, although the report is far from being as negative as the hon. member wants to portray it, it is true that Canada has to improve its performance at a time when more and more the environment has become a condition to succeed as a sustainable economy. It is a matter of having a better environment and a better economy together, and it is what the Government of Canada will do.

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, Louise Pargeter's alleged murderer was granted day parole in 2000, but in 2001 Ms. Pargeter revoked his parole because of his violent treatment of his girlfriend. Ms. Pargeter's murder was brutal and marks the first time a parole officer working with an offender inside the community has died or has been killed on the job.

Could the Minister of Public Safety tell us if CSC staff had any concerns about granting full parole, and if so, did the Parole Board take these concerns into consideration?

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, this is a very tragic situation. On behalf of all members of the House we extend our deepest sympathies to the family of the parole officer, Louise Pargeter.

In fact there is an investigation ongoing. It would be inappropriate for me to comment in relation to that investigation, but the very matters raised by the hon. member will obviously be part of that investigation.

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, Jan Fox, the regional director for Correctional Services, reportedly stated that she did not know the risk category of Louise Pargeter's alleged murderer, but Ms. Fox said, “He must have been doing well on his earlier day parole since he had been granted full parole”.

Does the Minister of Public Safety support her regional director's assertion? Did in fact Eli Ulayuk's behaviour warrant full parole?

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is fully aware, the Parole Board makes independent decisions based upon the best evidence before it. I do not comment on any individual decision made by the Parole Board of Canada but, as I have indicated, this tragic situation is under investigation. I have further indicated that there may well be aspects of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and parole procedures that do warrant review in the name of public safety.

TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, all the stakeholders in the Quebec City area are wondering why the Minister of Transport will not fund part of the study to improve passenger transportation between Quebec City and Montreal and, at the same time, the feasibility of a high-speed train in that corridor.

How can the Minister of Transport justify his refusal, when a consensus exists among the stakeholders in the Quebec City area, who are themselves prepared to assume half the costs, and when this connection is crucial for the economic development of both the region and Quebec as a whole?

TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question. Quebec officials did indeed request funding for a study. Their request was considered among all the other projects, and it did not make the cut.

I can tell the hon. member, however, that the future of VIA Rail transportationis not dependent on additional studies. We have enough studies to fill all the libraries. What we need now are proposals, something that VIA Rail's board of directors will eventually come up with.

We are talking about a very substantial investment. There will have to be discussions with my finance colleague, at some more or less distant point in the future.