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House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was protection.

Topics

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

It is clear the Minister of Industry who has risen to answer the question is a very popular minister. We have to have some order so we can hear his answer. The difficulty is we are wasting time and some members are going to miss their questions.

The hon. Minister of Industry has the floor.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the reality is we have recovered the $350,000 from the company, which is the party with whom we have the legal relationship. If the party wishes to pursue Mr. Dingwall, it can do that. It has a legal relationship with Mr. Dingwall. We have a legal relationship with Bioniche. We have recovered the money.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence have committed 1,000 of our soldiers to hunt down the Taliban in Afghanistan without ensuring that they have the necessary equipment to do the job. This is a politically irresponsible act that places our troops at unnecessary risk.

The minister is now rushing through an obscene number of sole source contracts to cover his and the Prime Minister's political posteriors. Committing troops to battle is not a casual political decision.

Why did the minister make this decision without first confirming that the forces are properly equipped to engage in guerrilla and mountain warfare?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has a long and proud military tradition himself.

I can assure the hon. member and members of the House that this government will never commit our troops to any operation without our Canadian Forces being behind us and without the advice of the top military officers of our country. They have advised us that we are going to this mission with the best led, best equipped and best prepared military we have ever had and the best one in Afghanistan. The hon. member should know that.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is the old “the CDS made me do it“ defence.

Because the government made a hasty decision to commit troops to battle, it is also making hasty decisions to equip them. It is carrying on with the questionable procurement practices of the past. The minister is in the process of committing billions of taxpayers' dollars to directed contracts. I am sure many people are asking who one has to know in the PMO to get a contract.

Who will benefit financially as the government skirts the checks and balances of competition? Why is the minister starting down the slippery slope of following one bad decision by another?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member and many members of the House rejoice in the fact that in the last budget some $13.5 billion was consecrated to our forces. That is the largest single commitment to the armed forces in some 20 years. It will enable us to equip ourselves to do the job we have to do.

We will be going to Afghanistan with allies. They bring different equipment. We bring our assets. We are committed to making sure that our military is equipped with the best resources that we can possibly provide. I give the undertaking to the House that we will be doing that. The finance minister has provided us with the funds and the Prime Minister has provided us with the support to enable us to do that.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have all seen the pizza flyers at our doors, two for one pizza, $19.99 pizza, pizza with chicken wings, and the list goes on, but I have never heard of a $138 pizza like the immigration minister spent for him and a guest on July 4 at Camarra Pizzeria in Toronto. I have heard of extra toppings, but this is ridiculous.

When the most expensive item on the menu is $34, how did he manage to spend $138 for two people at a pizzeria?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for recognizing that one of the functions of the minister is to have consultations and to think in terms of developing a plan for immigration.

I will be pleased when he recognizes, as the press has today, that three cities in Canada, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, have made it to the top 10 list of most desirable cities. They have one thing in common and that is they are filled with immigrants.

I look forward to discussing those issues with the House as we unfold the plan.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have been asking pretty straightforward questions of the minister but he seems to always complicate the answer.

Managing to spend $138 at a pizzeria for two just does not add up. Either he ordered some very expensive wine, or maybe he ordered a lot of take-out, or maybe he is a very generous tipper. The most incredible thing is he is trying to justify that the taxpayers picked up this bill.

I ask the minister again, how did he manage to spend $138 on pizza for two?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, once again, everyone in the House is aware that one of the reasons we post these on a proactive disclosure is so everyone sees exactly where the money is spent and how it is spent. I am quite happy that the House is going through a period where it is beginning to understand all of these.

As for the member, it is difficult to appreciate what he says because he is one of those individuals who has not seen a $3 bill that he would not idolize.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Minister of Revenue, the mail sorting centre in Quebec City is being closed because even grandmothers no longer use conventional mail to send birthday cards, but use e-mail instead.

How can the minister explain, other than by the behaviour of grandmothers, that Canada Post has six sorting centres in Ontario, two in Alberta, two in Saskatchewan, and two more in British Columbia, yet it is so urgent to close the one in Quebec City, leaving just one centre for all of Quebec?

Canada PostOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the main thing is that no jobs will be lost. That is the first reason.

Second, it is not just in Quebec, but throughout Canada, that Canada Post has to become more efficient, since the use of conventional mail is in decline. We do not want to go back to a deficit. We want to preserve the rural mail system. Canada Post has to become even more efficient than it already is.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, given the number of sorting centres in Canada, would it not be fairer and more reasonable to the Quebec City area, before closing the sorting centre in Quebec City, to require Canada Post to submit a comprehensive restructuring plan so that we can know why it is so urgent and so essential not to have a sorting centre in Quebec City? I would like the minister to explain that to me.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, this plan is not unique to Quebec. Canada Post has a mandate to become more efficient in every province in Canada. In this case, as I mentioned, no jobs will be lost. However, the challenge for Canada Post is that this is an industry in decline as more people are sending their mail electronically. Canada Post therefore has to become more efficient not just in Quebec, but throughout Canada.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are outraged by the fact that the Liberal government refuses to raise the age of consent. They are extremely uncomfortable with the justice minister's strategy of trivializing the safety of our children by constantly referring to this issue as an issue of puppy love.

Everyone knows the real issue is about protecting our children from adult predators. Raising the age of consent will allow our police departments, our courts and most important, our parents the ability to protect children.

When will the minister stop mocking the issue, do what Canadians want and raise the age of consent?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Northumberland—Quinte West Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member simply does not understand the issue at hand. The issue at hand is not the age of consent, but rather can one actually consent to be exploited. The reality is that no one can consent to be exploited. The purpose for which they are moving forward is totally at odds with what the goal is.

Each and every one of us wants to protect our children and that protection is a priority of the government. We are going to do so through Bill C-2 when it is fully enacted and the section dealing with sexual exploitation which deals with the predator—

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fleetwood—Port Kells.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, before voting on my age of consent motion, the justice minister claimed that it would criminalize teenage kissing. The minister also claimed that police and prosecutors would be overwhelmed with puppy love cases.

Sex between a 14 year old and a 45 year old is not puppy love. In fact, I offered a close in age amendment to the minister. Will the minister stop trivializing this issue and raise the age of consent or will parents have to wait for a Conservative government to protect our children?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Northumberland—Quinte West Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Again, Mr. Speaker, clearly the issue of consent is of some concern to the member. I think what one has to appreciate is that exploitive conduct where one cannot consent are such things as pornography, prostitution, or a relationship of trust, dependency or authority, which we already recognize. What Bill C-2 is doing is actually adding one more category, and that is one of sexual exploitation where one cannot consent to the exploitation.

TransportOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, transport ministers recently agreed to designate new highways as part of the national highway system. Two highways in my riding of Madawaska—Restigouche were included as collectors, namely highways 11 and 17. A few months ago, the Minister of Transport of Canada visited my riding to meet with groups calling for these highways to be upgraded.

Could the Minister of Transport summarize briefly for us the meeting he had with his provincial counterparts on September 22 in Calgary?

TransportOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche as well as his colleagues from the New Brunswick caucus. Their pressure, combined with the efforts of local mayors and all the people who mobilized, have ensured that highways 11 and 17 are now part of the national highway system.

This decision was unanimously approved by the council of ministers responsible for transportation in Canada. We are very pleased, and we are now looking forward to new funding being put into the infrastructure program, so that this decision can be implemented in the field, or should I say on the road?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have asked the Minister of Public Works repeatedly to confirm or deny that the RCMP attended the public works offices and seized in excess of 100 boxes of sponsorship documents. First the minister claimed ignorance, next it was a single invoice, and since then he has just been avoiding the question.

I would like to give the minister another opportunity to confirm or deny. Did the RCMP attend the public works office and seize over 100 boxes of documents? If so, why has the minister not been forthcoming? What is the minister trying to hide from the Canadian public?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

3 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again, it is a public fact that there are criminal proceedings against a number of individuals, including Mr. Guité and Mr. Brault. We are cooperating with all RCMP investigations, both as the Department of Public Works and the Government of Canada. We will continue to cooperate fully but we will not comment on specific investigations of the RCMP. That would be inappropriate. That hon. member, who once claimed to be a lawyer, ought to understand that.

Canada Border Services AgencyOral Questions

October 4th, 2005 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, we continue to have some serious issues at Canada's international crossings. This last summer in Niagara alone we had four unscheduled shutdowns at the borders by Canada's border guards. The border guards have some understandable concerns about security. At the same time, this has huge implications for the Canadian economy.

What is it going to take for the minister to settle this issue? Are we going to have to wait for 40 unscheduled shutdowns or, better yet, wait for a Conservative government?

Canada Border Services AgencyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me say that I am aware of the shutdowns. We take the security and safety of our border agents very seriously. That is why we have had Labour Canada do a number of reviews of border officers' safety, and time after time it would indicate that the conditions under which they operate are safe.

Clearly our goal is to ensure that we facilitate the movement of low risk travellers and goods across the border. We will continue to work with everyone in good faith to ensure that happens.