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House of Commons Hansard #60 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

JusticeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is something that should have been dealt with long ago.

In 1981 repeat offender Ralph Power beat Sheryl Gardner to death with a hammer. When he was arrested after a failed attack on another woman, Power had a list of 10 women he was intending to attack. Power was convicted of first degree murder and is eligible to apply for day parole as we speak. Power has only one murder conviction and therefore he is not in the DNA databank.

Will the Prime Minister please explain, for the sake of protecting Canadians, why his government does not believe Ralph Power should be in the DNA databank?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I respect the hon. member's concern with cases which involve tragic victimization. We are reviewing the legislation now. If there is a category that should be enhanced, it can be enhanced through the legislative process.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the spouses and common-law partners of permanent residents are currently facing uncertainty during the review of their immigration applications. In the past, they had to leave Canada.

At the end of this magnificent St. Valentine's week, and with all the love in the House, can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration tell us if he will stand by love to ensure the rapid reunification of these families?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to give the hon. member really good news and the House as well. I hope they will rejoice in it.

Consistent with our streamlining process in reducing backlog and reuniting families, effective today, all spouses and common law partners in Canada, regardless of their immigration status, are now able to apply for permanent residence from within Canada under the spouse or common law partner in Canada class.

At the same time, all spousal applications from abroad will be prioritized and accelerated in their process. I hope the member will also celebrate this news.

International TradeOral Question Period

February 18th, 2005 / 11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government just concluded a trade mission to China and close to 300 companies participated. These companies obviously know that it is a market with huge opportunities, yet CIDA has poured over $1 billion in aid money into China since the government took power. Yemen is a poor country in the Middle East that is a beacon of democracy and needs our help.

Clearly the government's foreign and trade policies are in an awful mess. Why these misplaced priorities? Why?

International TradeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, CIDA is involved in China with respect to measures to improve the legislative system, to improve matters relating to judicial reform, in other words, to engage in the kinds of projects and the kinds of initiatives which will help improve the administration of justice and democratization in China.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, at the founding meeting of the border caucus last week, MPs from border ridings across the country expressed concern about the safety of border service employees and about our national security. We have all heard stories in recent weeks of people running the border in cars. I have heard directly from border workers in my own riding of people simply walking across the line.

The border service appears to be lacking the resources to deal effectively with this problem. Could the Deputy Prime Minister please share with the House the plans she has to deal with this critical issue?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there are actually two components to the question, first of course deals with the situation of the safety of our CBSA officers on the front lines. In fact, we have completed risk assessments in relation to all customs locations. We are ensuring that our front line officers have both the training and the tools they need, whether that includes batons, vests, pepper spray, and so on. I want to reassure the hon. member that we are very committed to the safety of our front line officers.

In terms of resources, quite--

Mr. Speaker, are you going to cut me off?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

Yes. I am sure all hon. members were enjoying the answer, but we do have time limits.

The hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week we learned that the decision to merge tactical squadrons at the Bagotville military base has not yet been made. The authorities keep repeating that this merger will not change a thing. The people of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean are not fooled; they want only one thing: no merger at the Bagotville base.

Does the Minister of National Defence not believe that the best assurance he can give residents in the riding of Chicoutimi—Le Fjord is an immediate commitment that he will not authorize the merger of these two squadrons?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca B.C.

Liberal

Keith Martin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the member and he can take back to his constituents that no decision has been made at this point in time.

I also want to assure him, and this is important, that there will be no change in the numbers of planes, no change in the numbers of workers and no change in the effectiveness of the capabilities that are now there in Bagotville.

We support the air force and we will continue to do that, but no decision has been made on this particular issue at this point in time.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's CF-18 fighter aircraft have been a key component of the Canadian Forces for the past 20 years. They have helped to protect Canadians here at home and they have made an important contribution to international peace and security.

Can the Minister of National Defence tell the House, what is the government doing to ensure that the CF-18 will remain a modern, effective aircraft in the future so that our pilots have the tools to proudly continue doing their important, international and domestic security work?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca B.C.

Liberal

Keith Martin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows and the House knows, we are strong supporters of our air force and the men and women who work on our CF-18s.

I am very pleased to announce today that Boeing has been awarded a contract in Montreal for $117 million to engage in phase 2 of the modernization of our CF-18s. This is good news for Canadian industry, good news for jobs, good news for Montreal, and good news for the Canadian Forces.

Canada Food Inspection AgencyOral Question Period

Noon

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, today, we have learned that the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case of Le forum des maires de la Péninsule acadienne regarding the four Canada Food Inspection Agency positions transferred from Shippagan to Shediac. The Commissioner of Official Languages found that the transfer violated the legislation. The Federal Court found in favour of the agency, and the federal government took it to the Court of Appeal. Now, minorities are being forced to go before the Supreme Court.

My question is for the Minister of Justice. Will the government stop fighting minorities and finally support them, rather than forcing them to take this to the Supreme Court? They are forced to defend themselves each time—

Canada Food Inspection AgencyOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Canada Food Inspection AgencyOral Question Period

Noon

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is fully aware that, since this issue is now before the courts, we should refrain from commenting on it.

Having said that, the hon. member also knows about the firm and continuous commitment made by this government, both historically and on an ad hoc basis, to Canada's minority official language communities.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

Noon

Conservative

Bill Casey Conservative North Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, a chart obtained from Canadian Heritage outlines a very unfair distribution formula for the federal museums assistance plan. For instance, last year, one province, Quebec, got 37% of all federal museum funding. Nova Scotia, in comparison, got 1.3%. Quebec got 59 individual grants. Nova Scotia got 4.

Will the minister explain this unfairness and inequity, and adopt a formula so all provinces will be treated fairly?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

Noon

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, hon. members must realize that it is important to us that each province get its fair share of the budget of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

However, I must say that, in some provinces, such as Ontario, with the national capital, or Quebec, where several national museums are located, there are institutions that require greater support. If we look at the whole budget, things may look out of proportion. However, the figures vary, depending on the national institution and the support that we provide.

Quebec City BridgeOral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Roger Clavet Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the coalition to preserve the Quebec City bridge has been making representations for a number of years to the federal government and CN, asking them to complete the restoration of that bridge. As the minister responsible for Quebec, the Minister of Transport should realize the importance of this issue, particularly in the context of the celebrations that will mark the city's 400th anniversary, in 2008.

Will the minister pledge today to do whatever is necessary, so that the work can be completed on time for the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Quebec City?

Quebec City BridgeOral Question Period

Noon

Scarborough—Agincourt Ontario

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Transport Canada is very much engaged in the bridge. It is a matter before us. It is a bridge on which CN is working. We have committed a lot of money over the next 10 years. I assure the member across the way that we will be there working with all our stakeholders to ensure that all our bridges as well as all our ports are safe.

Quebec City BridgeOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

Perhaps the Chair might be permitted to point out to all hon. members the virtue of relative silence in the House. We have completed the list of questions today, an unusual thing.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, throughout question period today the Minister of the Environment repeatedly referred to the government's plan on Kyoto in responding to questions from the opposition. I would ask respectfully that he table that plan for the House of Commons.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it was tabled publicly three years ago. I have no problem in sending it to the member. It seems that he is a bit slow to read, three years after.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to your attention what I believe is an inappropriate editing, by a member, of the blues to the official Hansard transcript.

I refer to the record from the blues of yesterday wherein the Right Hon. Prime Minister in responding to a question during oral questions regarding the status of Lebanon said, “Mr. Speaker, I said in French and I said in English that the Syrians should withdraw from Syria. I have now said it three times. How many more times need I say it?”

The tapes will confirm that the blues were correct in the manner in which they recorded this statement, as have media reports. However, today's Hansard reveals that apparently somebody, presumably from the Prime Minister's Office, submitted a substantive change to the transcript so that it now reads, “I have said in French and I have said in English that the Syrians should withdraw from Libya”.

As Your Honour will know, Marleau and Montpetit makes it clear that only editorial changes ought to be made, and that “substantial errors must be brought to the attention of the House by means of a point of order as soon as possible after the sitting if the member wishes to have the verbatim record changed”.

I would submit, Mr. Speaker, that the change which was made in the official transcript was out of order and inappropriate, and I want to bring this matter to your attention so you could ensure that such substantive changes are not made in the future.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in that answer the Prime Minister gave yesterday, he said on a number of occasions that indeed Canada's position was to invite Syria to leave Lebanon. If you would check in that very answer to which the member is referring, the Prime Minister repeated Lebanon I am sure once and perhaps more than that.

Therefore, we are quite comfortable, Mr. Speaker, that once you have reviewed perhaps the tape, the blues and Hansard that you will see that the Prime Minister has been very consistent.