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House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Air CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, while the hon. member continues to speculate on various permutations of what may or may not happen, what I am saying in this House is that Air Canada has a requirement to meet the obligations under the Air Canada Public Participation Act. I, as transport minister, have said that repeatedly in the House and I will continue to say that. It is the position of the government.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question on the order paper, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans sent me a list of 319 foreign vessels that have been issued citations over the last decade for breaking NAFO rules in the east coast fishery. Issuing a citation is one thing. Actually punishing a violator is another.

Can the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans explain why only 21 of these offenders, 7%, were actually convicted of their crimes?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his interest in this issue. I can assure him that foreign overfishing is a serious concern of mine and of the government. In fact, the Prime Minister discussed the issue of foreign overfishing recently in meetings with the EU president. The president of the EU indicated that they are open to addressing this problem.

As members may be aware, we are increasing at-sea patrols and aerial surveillance on the Grand Banks and we will follow up with the EU to make sure we can enforce the rules. Let me make it clear that all options are on the table.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, let me indicate to the minister that citing these 319 foreign fishing vessels has happened over the last 10 or 12 years. Given such a lax enforcement system and given that these fisheries violators are raping a world food resource to the point of extinction, can the minister tell me why he continues to ignore this disaster?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am following this issue very closely and working on it. In fact, my hon. colleague ought to know that not long ago I announced an additional $17.5 million to increase our at-sea patrols. We have been boarding these vessels and we are boarding them. If we find improper activities, we are going to prosecute those activities. We are taking effective, strong action.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, prosecutions by authorities in both Vietnam and Cambodia of ethnic minorities such as the Montagnards in Vietnam are increasing. Religious persecution, confiscations of land, and arrests have occurred recently.

My question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Given Canada's stand on human rights, what steps has the government taken, either with the United Nations commissioner for refugees or through diplomatic channels, to convey our concerns and opposition to these actions? States that abuse human rights surely cannot expect to have relations continue as usual.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member from Oak Ridges both for his interest in the Orient and for his interest in human rights, which he has expressed regularly in the House. He would know that the government regularly expresses Canadians' concerns about human rights violations against minority groups, both in Vietnam and in Cambodia.

Indeed, at the March 2004 meetings of the UN commission on human rights, Canada's country statement encouraged Vietnam to stop the detention of citizens for their political and religious views and allow greater freedom of speech and association for minority groups. For several years now, Canada has co-sponsored a commission on human rights resolution on Cambodia, and Canada has called on Cambodia to improve its cooperation with the UNHCR.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in December, the Prime Minister abolished the sponsorship program and asked Canadian Heritage to find another way to fund festivals. Today, the Minister of Canadian Heritage said that festivals that do not have a cultural component will not be receiving funding from her department.

While we totally disagree with the minister when she claims that the sponsorship program was a good initiative, how does she now intend to fulfill the commitment made by the government when the sponsorship program was abolished, to the effect that the government would find a way to provide financial assistance to festivals? How?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Hélène Scherrer LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Québec for reminding us exactly where the sponsorship program is at: it was indeed abolished on December 12.

At the time, the Prime Minister asked us to see how, with the existing programs at Canadian Heritage, we could support these events. Concrete efforts were made to contact the 780 events that received grants last year. We are proceeding with them.

Support will be provided through Canadian Heritage programs, which means that certain events will not be affected. The 50% figure was challenged. We are currently examining it.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the original retirement plan for older workers in the fishery assisted those who were 55 years of age and over despite the fact that they might have only had a few years working in the industry, while it ignored people under 55 who might have had in fact over 35 years in some cases.

These people are still trying to eke out a living in an industry that has been mismanaged by the government and has a complete lack of leadership. When is the minister going to introduce a new plan for older workers so that they can retire in dignity--

FisheriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

FisheriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I gather from the question that the hon. member is looking for solutions for those who cannot find work or find work that remunerates them at a level that will allow them to lead their life in dignity.

I might add for him that over the course of the last several years we have been engaging in programs that have increased the employment opportunities. It has not happened everywhere, and we are the first to acknowledge that there are some problems associated with the programs as they exist, and we are moving in the direction of remedying those problems and eliminating anomalies.

FisheriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, all this hon. member is asking for is fairness for older workers who have dedicated their lives to an industry and have been ignored by this government.

Let me ask a question of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Inshore herring catches are down 80% on the north side of Prince Edward Island. This is mainly caused by seiners fishing inside the traditional 25 fathom line. If the department can change the harp seal hunting line from one mile to seven miles off P.E.I., why can it not move the herring seining line back to the original 25 fathom mark to protect the resource and the P.E.I. fishermen who depend on it?

FisheriesOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in fact my hon. colleague may be aware that there was a study done on this issue. There was a report done not that long ago by Mr. Allister Surette, who studied the issue.

As he should know, there is a conflict between the fishermen of Prince Edward Island and herring seiner fishermen from New Brunswick who have different views about this matter. My department has been consulting as a result of this report and will be announcing results of that consultation in due course.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Veterans Affairs recently appeared before a parliamentary committee stating that he was committed to modernizing services for Canadian Forces veterans and their families. Could the minister please inform the House of what types of programs he is considering for our younger veterans?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question and for her support of veterans. Today the government announced the most fundamental reform of veterans programs since the second world war, with a commitment for legislation in the House by the end of the year.

The government will go beyond simply compensating people who are sick to a new set of programs designed to make people well. As a country and as a government, we owe no less to those brave Canadians who put their lives on the line for us and come back physically hurt or psychologically broken.

TaxationOral Question Period

May 4th, 2004 / 3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, last summer's devastating fires in British Columbia have many landowners caught in a log salvage, higher income, no tax deferment situation. Is the Minister of Finance going to help B.C. landowners by allowing income tax on this emergency profit to be deferred and paid over 10 years, yes or no?

TaxationOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for that question. It is one which I would not pretend to try to answer in this situation. I will undertake to the hon. member to respond in due course.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in debate on Bill C-33 I indicated that I would table certain correspondence in relation to consultations on that bill. I wish to do so now.

The House resumed from April 29 consideration of the motion that Bill C-9, an act to amend the Patent Act and the Food and Drugs Act (The Jean Chrétien Pledge to Africa), be read the third time and passed.

Patent ActGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. It being 1:04 p.m., the House will now proceed to the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-9.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Patent ActGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

(bill read the third time and passed)

The House resumed from April 29 consideration of the motion that Bill C-12, an act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children and other vulnerable persons) and the Canada Evidence Act, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-12. The question is on the amendment.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, if you were to seek it, I believe you would find unanimous consent that the members who have voted on the previous motion be recorded as having voted on the motion now before the House, with Liberal members voting no, except those who indicate otherwise.