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House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parks.

Topics

Search and RescueOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Gander Beacon , a local newspaper in my riding, states that the Minister of Natural Resources has told the town of Gander officials that 103 Search and Rescue Squadron is not going anywhere. The article continued on to say, “Staff at his St. John's regional minister's office said he was able to make that confirmation through discussion in Ottawa”.

However, the town of Gander has no written guarantee or commitment from the Minister of National Defence. I ask the Minister of National Defence today, will he confirm to the House that 103 Search and Rescue Squadron will remain in Gander?

Search and RescueOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there are no plans whatsoever to change the location of that particular search and rescue squadron.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

That is good, Mr. Speaker. I am glad the minister can be as clear as the other minister from Newfoundland and Labrador.

As early as March 31, 2004, members of the House of Commons stood in the House to vote for changes to the EI program to benefit seasonal workers. The majority of Liberals in the House rejected that proposal.

On Wednesday of this week, the hon. Minister of Natural Resources stated publicly that he is pleased changes are coming to the EI program to benefit seasonal workers.

Over the last three years the government has failed to implement changes for seasonal workers, and we now see, prior to an election, that the government is talking about it again. Why is the government playing games with the lives of seasonal workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Ahuntsic Québec

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Social Economy)

Mr. Speaker, we are not playing with the lives of seasonal workers. Exactly, we have brought changes to EI over the years, in fact, and we will continue to bring changes, as the hon. Prime Minister said the other day and as the minister has said. We will continue to improve the EI system, especially for seasonal workers, but we are also working with our partners to make sure that we have employment in those regions. This government has a track record on employment.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Liberal Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, increasingly these days consumers in Canada and around the world are concerned with food quality and food safety.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell us what Canada is doing to help producers meet consumer demands?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Sydney—Victoria Nova Scotia

Liberal

Mark Eyking LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Portneuf for asking this question. He always works hard on agricultural issues, not only for his riding and his province but also for the country.

In December 2003, $62 million was provided to support systems development for food safety, quality, tracking and traceability. Last month, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced $80 million to help producers implement food safety systems on their farms. This will put producers in a stronger position to meet consumer demands.

EthicsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the conflict of interest code for members of the House of Commons addresses potential breaches of conduct for ordinary members of Parliament, government backbenchers and members in opposition.

However, this is not where the problem is. The problem is with ministers who control billions of dollars. Why has the government done nothing to address potential corruption and untoward behaviour on the part of cabinet ministers?

EthicsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, a new code was introduced on December 12. It was fully respected by all members of the cabinet. The ethics commissioner requested clarification on some of these matters. These clarifications have been provided within the deadlines set. This process is transparent. I really do not know what he is trying to imply.

EthicsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, this new code that has been tabled is essentially the same as the old code. The ethics commissioner still provides private and confidential advice to the Prime Minister, just like with Mr. Chrétien. The old code did not prevent millions of dollars from being derailed. Why should we expect that the new code, which is really a new name for the old code, would be any different?

EthicsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing to hear this question when this party had agreed to the code we are tabling in the House before prorogation. Are those members changing their minds? Are they flip-flopping? Or are they maybe playing political games?

We have done what we had to do. We passed Bill C-4 to implement the position of a commissioner of ethics. We have had an appointment of a commissioner of ethics. We have a code of conduct before the House to be debated and finished with. We have done everything we had to do and committed to do to make sure we are transparent before the Canadian public.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, three years after the tabling of the unanimous report of the human resources committee proposing a true reform of the employment insurance program, we are still waiting for the Liberal government to take concrete action and do the right thing by the unemployed and seasonal workers.

Will the government finally stop talking and start acting, and will it commit to voting in favour of EI reform before the elections? Will it support the motion I will be introducing shortly to that effect?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Ahuntsic Québec

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Social Economy)

Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the premise of the hon. member's question. In fact, we have responded and made changes to employment insurance in the past three years. We have invested in excess of $500 million in Quebec for that very purpose.

We have made changes relating to the small weeks, enabling people to take part time jobs. The intensity rule has been abolished, the length of the benefit period increased, and the average weekly benefits raised by about 9%. We continue to make changes, as the minister has already said here in the House.

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, at the Arar inquiry government lawyers are objecting to Mr. Arar being represented by legal counsel when the commission considers what evidence should be in secret.

How can the government justify arguing that it needs to be represented in these hearings but Mr. Arar does not? Will the government withdraw its objections and allow Mr. Arar to be represented on a fair and equal basis with the government?

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies Québec

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Emergency Preparedness)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Ottawa West—Nepean for her question, which reflects the sensitivity of public opinion in connection with this case and this inquiry, for indeed it is an inquiry and not a trial.

It is not appropriate for a parliamentarian, minister or not, to comment on the arguments used by counsel for either side. I must emphasize to everyone here, as well as to the general public, that we have confidence in Justice O'Connor's ability to carry out the inquiry appropriately. He will be the one to hear representatives of both parties and he will decide on the proper way to hold this inquiry.

CopyrightOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago the Minister of Canadian Heritage said she would “as quickly as possible, make changes to our copyright law” to end peer to peer file sharing on the Internet. Creators want to know, will the minister table legislation to deal with this loophole before the expected election is announced?

CopyrightOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalDeputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister has said that this matter is being addressed. It is being addressed, and as soon as the appropriate measures have been approved by the authorities within the government, these measures will be introduced to the House.

Port SecurityOral Question Period

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Canadian Alliance Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's national security police announced this week that the RCMP has established national ports enforcement teams at only three Canadian ports: Vancouver, Halifax and Montreal.

My question is simply this: What federal assistance will be given to enhance security at other significant Canadian ports, such as the port of Prince Rupert in my riding of Skeena?

Port SecurityOral Question Period

Noon

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I have said here in recent days, the government will participate in assisting our ports and port facilities in meeting international requirements. In the coming days, an announcement will be made to assist ports and port facilities in meeting that standard.

Marine security continues to be a very key priority in the overall transportation security envelope. Transport Canada is committed to working together with our stakeholders to ensure that not only do we meet a North American standard but that we meet the international standard by July 1.

Canada Labour CodeOral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, eloquent examples such as Radio-Nord Communications show that the absence of an anti-scab law prolongs the duration of a strike. We have been saying this for a number of years.

Today, on the eve of May 1, international labour day, we ask the Minister of Labour once again: when will there be an anti-scab law for businesses operating under federal jurisdiction? Does she understand that, because of her lack of action, she is taking the side of the employers in their disdain for employees?

Canada Labour CodeOral Question Period

Noon

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, as we have always said, when there is an employer-employee process in place, we must respect that process. That is what the minister has been doing, since the beginning, and she does it very well, too.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

April 30th, 2004 / noon

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Prime Minister has recently announced the establishment of a public advocacy and legislative secretariat at the Canadian embassy in Washington. Would the government tell us how this centre will function and what specific role is envisaged for members of the House?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

Noon

Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, whose question is an extremely important one. I can inform the member as well as the House that the secretariat of course will work with the provinces as well as parliamentarians to plan and support new outreach activities directed at members of the U.S. Congress.

It is completely consistent as well with the commitment made by the Prime Minister in the throne speech--bad news for the opposition but good news for Canadians, of course--that the government will begin to improve by this process federal, provincial and territorial partnerships in implementing a new and more sophisticated approach to management of Canada-U.S. issues.

Port SecurityOral Question Period

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Canadian Alliance Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian ports cannot be expected to absorb all costs related to security and customs services.

For example, the new container port facility in Prince Rupert has been told that it must pay customs-related costs when it becomes operational. How can it be competitive with existing major ports that do not pay these costs? When will the minister change this very unfair policy?

Port SecurityOral Question Period

Noon

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, with respect to ports I have said over and over again in the House that ports are an integral part of our transportation system. They are effective in terms of ensuring that trade comes to Canada and then is transshipped to other parts of the world, in particular the United States.

We will continue to work with our ports because we think they are economic enablers that contribute to our economy. I have said over and over again that as the Minister of Transport I will work with my stakeholders to ensure that ports are able to compete in North America and to ensure that in fact they can contribute to our economy.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the NAFTA ruling gives the United States three weeks to lift countervailing and anti-dumping duties on softwood lumber from Quebec and Canada.

Can the minister assure us that the softwood lumber dispute will be resolved in full compliance with the ruling and that there will be full reimbursement of the countervailing and anti-dumping duties to the companies that paid them?