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House of Commons Hansard #147 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to two petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

November 3rd, 2005 / 10:05 a.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women and Minister responsible for Industry (Women Entrepreneurs)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present to the House the report from the Canadian branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association concerning the 51st Commonwealth parliamentary conference that was held in Nadi, Fiji, from September 1 to September 10.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Richmond Hill Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Japan interparliamentary group respecting its participation in the second General Assembly of Interparliamentarians for Social Service held in Seoul, Korea August 24 to 28, 2005.

I might say that at that conference I was re-elected international vice-president of the organization.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 14th report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

In accordance with order of reference on Thursday, March 24, your committee has considered Bill C-331, the Ukrainian Canadian Restitution Act, and agreed on Tuesday, November 1, to report it with amendments.

Canadian Ballast Water Management ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-434, An Act to provide for the management of ballast water in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to put in place mandatory ballast water management controls and thereby provide real protection against aquatic invasive species that threaten the delicate ecosystems of our inland lakes and waterways.

The Conservative government of Brian Mulroney was a leader in introducing the very first guidelines. Unfortunately, the Liberal government has fallen behind and has failed to act for 12 years.

As time has passed, new invasive species, like the round gobi and the quagga mussel, have been introduced to Lake Simcoe's watershed threatening its environment. It is my hope that the pressure brought by this bill will embarrass the government to act, as it now can, to introduce mandatory regulations.

Our environment is too important to be sacrificed by an indecisive government afraid to offend big shipping interests. Now is the time for action to protect the environment and the delicate ecosystem balance of Lake Simcoe and the entire Great Lakes Basin. It is our obligation to our families, our communities and to the generations to come.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Bill S-38Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, discussions have taken place among the parties and I believe you would find unanimous consent that the House proceed with report stage and third reading of Bill S-38, the spirits trade bill, as the first government order this morning.

Bill S-38Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this manner?

Bill S-38Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from constituents in Kingston, Ontario who call upon Parliament to pay attention to the situation of two objectors to the American war in Iraq who have sought refuge in Canada.

They recall the actions of Canada in giving refuge to objectors to the Vietnam War and call upon the Canadian government and Parliament to demonstrate its commitment to international law and treaties, to which it is a signatory, by making provision for U.S. war objectors to have sanctuary in this country.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 177, 178, 180, 182 and 199.

Question No. 177Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Since 1995, with regard to the Restricted Weapons Registration System, the Canadian Firearms Registry and the Canadian Firearms Information System: ( a ) how many successful firearms traces have been performed; ( b ) how many successful firearms traces linked crime scenes to the accused; and ( c ) how many of the registered owners of these firearms were charged for the crime committed with their firearm and/or for knowingly providing the firearm used in the crime?

Question No. 177Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the reply is as follows:

a) The RCMP National Firearms Tracing Unit has processed the following number of tracing requests: (Does not include traces performed by the Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit managed by the OPP in Ontario)

The RCMP does not keep statistics on the outcome of a trace—it is up to the client if they wish to do so. The Firearms Tracing Unit is responsible only for tracing a firearm for clients (both RCMP and non-RCMP) within Canada, the United States and, where possible, internationally. Once the trace results are provided to the client, it is the client’s responsibility to pursue the investigation and lay charges if applicable. Each individual client would have to search their own records management system to identify the success of investigations where a firearms trace had been provided by the Firearms Tracing Unit.

b) and c) The National Tracing Center is a support unit and is not directly involved in investigations. The Tracing Center does not track the success of ongoing investigations by the agency of jurisdiction. As indicated above, the National Firearms Tracing Unit does not have information related to these two questions

Question No. 178Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

With regard to the statement made by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness on June 16, 2005, that “since December 1, 1998, more than 13,500 individual firearm licences have been refused or revoked. The program is accessed over 2,000 times a day by front line police officers”: ( a ) how many of the firearms licences were refused or revoked because the person had committed criminal offences, were placed under prohibition orders, restraining orders, bail conditions, and/or committed other violent acts that were reported to police; ( b ) how many firearms licences were refused or revoked because of the information provided by the applicant on the licence application; ( c ) how does the program track the addresses of these 13,500 now too-dangerous-to-own-firearms persons once their firearms licences have been refused or revoked; ( d ) how does the Minister know that the program is actually being accessed by “front line police officers”; ( e ) what specific types of information in the system are actually being accessed and accessed most often by police; and ( f ) how many times per day do the police actually get information from the system compared to not-in-the-system responses?

Question No. 178Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the reply is as follows:

a) (i) Criminal offences and/or other violent acts are considered along with other public safety factors in evaluating the eligibility of an applicant for a firearms licence; however these are not specifically identified as the sole reason for refusal or revocation of a firearms licence.

(ii) From 1998 to December 31, 2004, 5,893 licences were refused while 8,104 licences were revoked

1

. Factors leading to a refusal (538) or revocation (2,518) of a firearms licence in 2004 included:

Beginning in 2004, chief firearms officers, CFOs, can report in the Canadian Firearms Information System, CFIS, all of the factors that cause the refusal of an application or the revocation of a licence; for this reason, total percentages are greater than 100%. Prior to this date, CFOs only reported a single reason per decision.

b) The information provided by a licence applicant is one of several factors considered in evaluating the eligibility of an applicant for a firearms licence. Firearms licences are considered for revocation using current information from continuous eligibility checking along with information provided on the original application. In 2004, approximately 1% of refusals and 10% of revocations were due to the provision of false information

1

c) The Canada Firearms Centre, CAFC, does not track address information for individuals whose licence has been refused or revoked. In the event one of these individuals makes a new application for new firearms licence, the previous refusal or revocation will be considered in the application process. Individuals applying for a new firearms licence are “client-matched” in the CFIS using their name and date of birth, along with other historical data in the database, for example, photograph, reference information, eye colour, height.

d) Approximately 360 police agencies, representing 59,906

2

police officers, have access to the Canadian Firearms Registry Online, CFRO, through the Canadian Police Information Centre, CPIC. CPIC is a resource of National Police Services, which is administered by the RCMP. Police agencies, as well as a small number of investigative and enforcement branches of other federal and provincial departments query CFRO through CPIC. CFRO can only provide the total number of queries made by all agencies with access to it.

e) The following list contains the types of queries which may be performed in CFRO in the descending order of their frequency of use:

Name

Address

Firearm serial number

Licence number

Certificate number

Telephone number

Owner

Firearm identification number, FIN

Corporate

f) Over the last quarter, an average of more than 5,000 queries have been made daily to CFRO. Each query generates a response and provides useful information that can be used by the police to assess public and officer safety risks or determine whether enforcement or other interventions are needed.

1

2004 Report of the Commissioner of Firearms, tabled in the House of Commons, July 20, 2005

2

Statistics Canada table 254-0002, September 9, 2005

Question No. 180Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Conservative St. John's South, NL

SWith regard to the U.S. booster rocket that was launched over Newfoundland and Labrador in May of 2005: ( a ) when was the government notified that the rocket was to be launched; ( b ) what was the government’s initial reaction to the notification of the launching of this rocket; ( c ) was there a request made by the government that the rocket not be launched and, if so, was the request an official request and was it oral or written; ( d ) was a Canadian environmental assessment performed before the launch of this rocket; ( e ) has a Canadian environmental assessment been performed since the launch of the rocket; ( f ) are there plans to do an environmental assessment; ( g ) what chemicals, if any, were deposited into the ocean as a result of the launching of this rocket; ( h ) was a clean-up of any chemicals performed as a result of the launching of this rocket and, if so, by whom and at what cost; ( i ) does the government have any scientific reports of the effects of the booster rocket chemicals on marine life; ( j ) is the government aware if the U.S. intends to launch future rockets over similar areas of our coastline and, if so, when will these rockets be launched; ( k ) has the booster been retrieved from the ocean floor; and ( l ) are there plans to retrieve the booster from the ocean floor and, if so, when and at what cost?

Question No. 180Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the reply is as follows:

a) The Government of Canada was notified of the U.S. rocket launch on March 31st, 2005.

b) The government’s initial reaction to the notification of the launch was to advise the emergency management organization, EMO, Province of Newfoundland/Labrador on March 31st, of the potential launch of April 11 as well as of the possible launch hazard area.

c) There was no request made by the government not to launch the rocket.

d) According to Environment Canada, no Canadian environmental assessment was performed. There are no requirements to perform an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. A U.S. environmental assessment was completed involving the U.S. Air Force and NASA. While copies of the U.S. government environmental assessment, EA, were not available for security reasons, it was confirmed to PSEPC by the U.S. council of environmental quality that an EA was completed.

e) According to Environment Canada no Canadian environmental assessment has been performed since the launch of the rocket. There are no requirements to perform an environmental assessment post project.

f) According to Environment Canada there are no plans to do an environmental assessment.

g) Environment Canada stated that in the case of the Titan rocket, there was a possibility that the residual fuel (Aerozine – 50) might be released into the surrounding marine environment. Although no Canadian environmental assessment was conducted, Environment Canada scientists were convened to evaluate and examine in detail the potential impacts of the release of the fuel, and possible release scenarios: the first being a complete breakup of the rocket booster on impact and the second in which the booster rocket would survive the impact of hitting the ocean surface, sink to the bottom and slowly leak its remaining fuel. In both of these scenarios, the fuel was expected to be short-lived in the ocean environment and to be rapidly dispersed due to evaporation and ocean currents. Environment Canada’s experts concluded that long-term environmental impacts were very unlikely.

h) Based on the scenarios examined for potential release of the fuel into the marine environment, no chemical recovery is feasible.

i) Environment Canada is unaware of any scientific reports of the effects of the booster rocket chemicals on marine life.

j) The U.S. has several launches listed on the NASA public web site but the Government of Canada is not aware if the U.S. intends to launch future rockets over similar areas of our coastlines.

k) The booster has not been retrieved from the ocean floor.

l)There are no plans to retrieve the booster from the ocean floor.

Question No. 182Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Since December 2003, how many removal orders have been issued by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration to detain and expel foreign citizens, providing: ( a ) the total number of removal orders issued in this period; and ( b ) the total number of removal orders issued in which the stated reason was that the individual is known to be a violent or sexual offender by his/her homeland authorities?

Question No. 182Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the reply is as follows:

Since December 2003, the responsibility for the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, IRPA, has been shared between the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Enforcement actions, such as the issuance of removal orders have become the sole responsibility of the CBSA.

a) From December 2003 to the end of September 2005, the CBSA has issued 49,650 removal orders. The majority of removal orders are issued to foreign nationals claiming asylum who lack the proper documentation to enter Canada when arriving at our borders.

b) From December 2003 to the end of September 2005, the CBSA issued 372 removal orders due to a criminal offence that if it had been committed in Canada, it would have been punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years and would constitute serious criminality.

Question No. 199Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Inky Mark Conservative Dauphin—Swan River, MB

With respect to the firearms registry: ( a ) how many Possession-Only Licences (POL’s) have expired within the last 3 years; and ( b ) what follow up has been undertaken by the government for those who have not renewed their POL’s?

Question No. 199Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the reply is as follows:

a) The following is a breakdown of possession only licences, POLs, that have expired within the last three years for which there has been no renewal. The numbers shown are directly related to the increase in the number of POLs issued five years ago, which are now due for renewal.

b) The government undertakes a number of activities to help firearms owners stay in compliance with the Firearms Act. Specifically:

--Ninety days prior to the expiration date of a POL, the Canada Firearms Centre mails the client a firearm licence application form which is pre-populated with client information and a notice reminding them that their licence is due to expire.

--If no application has been received 30 days prior to the expiration of the licence, a second reminder notice is mailed to the client.

If the firearm owner does not renew his/her POL, the Canada Firearms Centre takes action to initiate the lawful disposal of the firearms. Specifically,

--The Canada Firearms Centre begins the process to revoke any firearm registration certificates associated with that licence.

--A notice of refusal / revocation is sent to clients via registered mail, informing them of the revocation of their registration certificates, their appeal rights and the acceptable options for disposal of the affected firearms, such as transfer, deactivation, export or surrender to a police agency.

--A copy of the revocation notice is sent to the respective Chief Firearms Officer and the local police agency to ensure awareness and coordination.

If records indicate that the client possesses any or all of, an authorization to carry, ATC, special authority to possess, SAP, or authorization to transport, ATT, a separate notification is sent to the Chief Firearms Officer as a reminder that these permits should also be revoked.

If within 30 days, the Canada Firearms Centre receives no appeal request from the client, has no indication of lawful disposition of the client’s firearms, and all administrative measures have been exhausted, the matter is referred to the local police for their action.

Question No. 199Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Madam Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Question No. 199Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine)

Is that agreed?

Question No. 199Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill S-38, An Act respecting the implementation of international trade commitments by Canada regarding spirit drinks of foreign countries, as reported, without amendment, from the committee.

Spirit Drinks Trade ActGovernment Orders

10:10 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberalfor the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of State for Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

moved that the bill be concurred in at report stage.