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House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned in answer to a previous question, we are vigorously defending supply management in the broadest sense to the WTO.

We are also taking some measures though that are more specific than that. We are launching an appeal under the CITT. We are taking a very close look at some labelling provisions. We are looking at the issue of standards. As we do the increased monitoring and we see the impact of these importations we will take action according to the circumstances.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, Conservative amendments to the DNA bill have been unanimously accepted at the justice committee. These changes would compel dangerous offenders, like Karla Homolka, to provide a DNA sample to police.

I think the Prime Minister will find unanimous consent in the House to fast-track the entire bill through second and third reading, as the government is doing with Bill C-45, the veterans charter bill.

Will the Prime Minister also commit to fast-tracking Bill C-13, the DNA bill?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I understand there has been some discussion among the justice critics and, frankly, it is an opportunity to demonstrate that this Parliament works. It worked for the veterans earlier today. It can certainly work for a number of things.

I would say to hon. members along the way that when we cooperate and focus on the interests and priorities of Canadians, Parliament can in fact work.

I would ask the two parties opposite, the Conservatives and the Bloc, that if they want to be in this Parliament and be in this Parliament for the interest of Canadians, then let us work together to ensure we can pass this DNA bill and other bills.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I still do not know whether that is a yes or no but why would he not do it in terms of the Atlantic accord or other bills?

The Minister of Justice has promised to table a bill to prohibit human trafficking. The Conservative Party supports the bill in principle. It is an initiative to stop exploitation and abuse of vulnerable people. However, without serious penalties for these serious crimes, the exploitation and abuse will continue.

Will the minister commit to instituting a mandatory prison sentence to send a clear message that human slavery is among the worst of human rights violations?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Northumberland—Quinte West Ontario

Liberal

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

Clearly, Mr. Speaker, trafficking in persons is a fundamental violation of human rights, both globally and domestically. Shortly we are going to be introducing a bill dealing with human trafficking. Once that bill has been set before the House and there has been a chance for it to be fully debated and considered at committee, I am sure that whatever resolution we need to bring forward to deal with this very difficult problem will be found.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier during oral question period, the leader of the government attempted to demonstrate that the 1926 example was completely different from the motion on which the House will be voting this evening. In a ruling last week, Mr. Speaker, you said the following:

--in reviewing the precedent from June 22, 1926, ....which can be found in the Journals at pages..., an amendment containing assertions clearly damaging to the government of the day was successfully moved to a motion for concurrence in the report of a special committee. I find this example to be not markedly different from the one the House is faced with now.

How can the leader of the government try to tell us this is totally different, when you, Mr. Speaker, with objectivity and after analysis, have stated that it was similar?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. The hon. leader of the government.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Again, Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member pays very close attention. What I understood that you ruled on was actually the wording of the amendment. What I was commenting on was the actual process that was followed. The report itself had come out of committee. It was not going into committee. It was concurred in.

In fact, I would also suggest that King resigned not because of a motion in this House; he resigned because the Governor General in fact did not take his advice. He wanted to dissolve Parliament. The Governor General said no. They are two completely different examples. I want to point that out--

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laval—Les Îles.

HousingOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is addressed to the Minister of Labour and Housing. In 1999 the government created a unique program as part of its response to the homelessness crisis in Canada. The supporting communities partnership initiative is a successful and popular program that creates a more integrated and inclusive approach to homelessness.

This program is scheduled to end in 2006, next year. Could the Minister of Labour and Housing tell this House what the government's intentions are regarding this important program?

HousingOral Question Period

3 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member for Laval--Les Îles knows, this has been an extremely successful program for over six years, with $1.5 billion, and it is there to help people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

I should point out that, in the 2005 budget, the Minister of Finance indicated the government's intention to renew the current housing programs, including SCPI for Quebec.

HousingOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

That will conclude question period today. I want to thank all hon. members for their restraint. It is the quietest one we have had in a month and we got through a lot of questions.

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development is rising on a point of order.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Ahuntsic Québec

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I rose and asked you to ask all hon. members to respect the limit to which freedom of speech is actually honoured in the House.

Today, two other members from the opposition party, the member for Simcoe—Grey and the member for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, referred to the same Canadian citizen, who actually does not sit in the House and requires the protection of the House.

You, as the presiding officer of the House, Mr. Speaker, did not rule yesterday on a question of privilege that I raised and on the limits of the freedom of speech of the hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill. If we continue to allow this type of behaviour in the House, more Canadian citizens' reputations and names will in fact be slandered.

I ask, Mr. Speaker, that you do enforce that rule and that you do ask hon. members not to mention those Canadian citizens who do not have the protection of the House. If any hon. members on the opposition side would like to defame anybody, they should do it outside and not inside the House.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the substance of the questions to which my hon. friend objects is simply a repetition of confessions made under sworn testimony and which is repeated and reported in the public domain. And yes, I have, as have my colleagues, been quite prepared to repeat these Liberal confessions in the public domain. What is fair comment--

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Is this not interesting, Mr. Speaker? All day on the opposition side we have gone without heckling and we see what kind of reciprocation we get from the opposite side.

As for what constitutes fair comment in the public domain based on sworn testimony and Liberal confessions, we have no compunction about repeating such matters of public record here in the House of Commons, where free speech prevails.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I think it would be useful to remind hon. members of what our rules are. Marleau and Montpetit states at page 77:

There are only two kinds of institutions in this land to which this awesome and far-reaching privilege [of freedom of speech] extends--Parliament and the legislatures on the one hand and the courts on the other. These institutions enjoy the protection of absolute privilege because of the overriding need to ensure that the truth can be told, that any questions can be asked....

Such a privilege confers grave responsibilities on those who are protected by it. By that I mean specifically the Hon. Members of this place. The consequences of its abuse can be terrible. Innocent people could be slandered with no redress available to them. Reputations could be destroyed on the basis of false rumour. All Hon. Members are conscious of the care they must exercise in availing themselves of their absolute privilege of freedom of speech. That is why there are long-standing practices and traditions observed in this House to counter the potential for abuse.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I indicated to the hon. member for Ahuntsic yesterday that I would get back to her on this point if necessary. I have heard additional submissions. I will get back to the House in due course in respect of these matters.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Olayuk Akesuk, Minister of the Environment of Nunavut, and the Honourable Ed Picco, Minister of Education of Nunavut.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Points of OrderOral Question Period

May 10th, 2005 / 3:05 p.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of State (Public Health)

Mr. Speaker, I rise to state that in my excitement about returning from Nursing Week and the fabulous public health nurses in Ottawa, I ran into the House and reflexively stood up to vote. My vote of this morning should not count.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Is it agreed that the name of the Minister of State for Public Health be removed from the list of those who voted in this morning's vote?

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair has notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for York West.