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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was community.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's behaviour is unacceptable and could jeopardize Montreal's status as the seat of the UN biodiversity convention secretariat.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs realize that, by denying Dr. Tewolde a visa, he is not only making a diplomatic blunder, but he is also sabotaging the efforts of Montreal and of Quebec to reach out internationally?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi LiberalMinister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I think I just answered that. We do not comment on specific cases of visa applications. It would not be fair to the applicant.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently I asked the minister what his government was doing to ensure the future of CFB Goose Bay. He answered that he and the Prime Minister had personally intervened with every foreign defence minister.

Yet in a radio interview this morning the minister still has no firm commitment for CFB Goose Bay and the people of Labrador. Expecting to convince foreign militaries to come back to Goose Bay is not good enough.

Why is the minister prepared to see the base activity continue to decay and the economic well-being of Labrador decline as a result?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca B.C.

Liberal

Keith Martin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is factually incorrect in his assessment. The Minister of National Defence is working with his counterparts internationally as well as with the provincial government in Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure that we move forward with Goose Bay. I can assure the hon. member that he will be kept in the loop as to what is taking place on this important file.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the Liberal government has little interest in Goose Bay except at election time.

When the government took office in 1993, revenues from allies were nearly $80 million. This year it will only be $23 million. If the trend continues, training at Goose Bay will cease and the base will fade to black.

The Liberals promise and promise, but they do not deliver. With such a depressing track record, why should the people of Newfoundland and Labrador believe the government?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca B.C.

Liberal

Keith Martin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member actually contradicted himself in his first and second question. We cannot, on one hand, be working hard with our allies and the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador to resolve the issue, and yet on the other hand, as the hon. member mentioned, pretend to pay no attention to it whatsoever. I suggest that the member get his facts correct.

This is what the government is doing to ensure that Goose Bay moves forward as an important aspect of our defence forces and capabilities.

Canada PostOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week in the operations committee, former Canada pork-master general and CEO, André Ouellet, admitted under oath that he had failed to forward almost $200,000 in receipts to Revenue Canada auditors. Any other Canadian who claimed expenses without receipts would be immediately assessed a taxable benefit by Revenue Canada authorities.

I would like the minister to tell the House today why there are different rules in place for Liberal patronage appointees than there are for all other Canadians?

Canada PostOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as has been said before in the House, the Canada Revenue Agency is in the process of conducting an audit on the office of the president of Canada Post. The agency will perform its duties and, as it would with any taxpayer, will take necessary steps and actions, if required, to ensure there is compliance with the law.

Canada PostOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, every burglar needs a good inside man.

The rules are tough for Canadian taxpayers, but they are easy for patronage pals of the government. According to Revenue Canada rules, we are guilty until proven innocent. If we do not have receipts, we do not get a claim, except apparently André Ouellet.

The minister has been hiding behind this smokescreen audit now for a running time of eight months. For eight months, he has been an accomplice in Mr. Ouellet's tax avoidance.

Why should every other Canadian be subjected to a different set of rules than André Ouellet?

Canada PostOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am not an auditor, and neither is my hon. colleague. But I know that it takes time. I think that auditors have to put in a great deal of effort in completing their work.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night Parliament supported both budget bills at second reading. Liberal MPs voted for the Atlantic accord by supporting both budget bills.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, voted against one of the budget bills, knowing full well that a vote against either budget bill was a vote against the accord. The budget contains many important initiatives that are important to the people of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Could the minister tell them how the results of last night's vote affects them?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the offshore accord provides Nova Scotians and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with all the revenues from their offshore resources. Last night we took an important step toward making this a reality.

As the Prime Minister said, we must move forward now in a spirit of cooperation. I urge all parties to ensure speedy passage of the budget, which includes the accord. The people of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador deserve nothing less.

Democratic ReformOral Question Period

May 20th, 2005 / 11:40 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government House leader.

For decades now, Canada's democracy has had many political parties but an electoral system designed for only two. This has proved to be dysfunctional and unfair.

Now that we have a new Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal, will the government House leader assure the House that electoral reform will become a top priority of the government?

Democratic ReformOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalMinister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member might be disappointed that I am still answering his question. However, given the results of the referendum in British Columbia this week, it is quite obvious that in that province at least there is a thirst for some change. This goes quite well with what the government is trying to do.

As members will recall, last fall, through a unanimous vote in the House, members assigned a task to a committee to suggest a way of consulting Canadians on democratic renewal and electoral reform. We are awaiting eagerly the report of that committee. In the meantime, the government has been preparing, so that we can move forward--

Democratic ReformOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Democratic ReformOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister, in turn, might be disappointed that he no longer has responsibility for implementing this file.

However, the committee responsible for preparing a report is looking at an agenda that could see electoral reform completed and put in place by the end of this calendar year. If the government receives such a recommendation from the committee, will it accept it and act upon it?

Democratic ReformOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalMinister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the government is very serious about this file. However, we cannot second-guess what a committee will recommend or decide, and we are not about to do that.

While the government is waiting for that committee's report and recommendation, we have been conducting diagnostics to get to the root causes of the challenges that our democratic system and institutions face.

We will be ready to act according to the recommendations that we will receive from the committee and ensure that Canadians are fully engaged in the process that looks at democratic renewal and electoral reform.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, a recent report by the RCMP and immigration department paints Canada as a preferred target for smugglers because of our generous immigration system. Many people unwittingly sell themselves into a life of sexual or economic slavery to pay off the $20,000 to $50,000 fees their captors charge.

Canada can no longer turn a blind eye to this victimization. When will the government quit its dithering and fast track effective legislation that would put a stop to human smuggling?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in fact, just the other day the attorney general from the United States, Mr. Gonzales, was here in Ottawa and the two governments reaffirmed their commitment to fight this terrible scourge of trafficking in human beings.

We are going to build on the cooperative efforts of this government by working with our partners in the United States and internationally on law enforcement issues, including this very terrible and heinous crime of trafficking in humans, which is what we call the new slavery.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has emerged as a preferred destination in the human smuggling marketplace. There is growing evidence of a connection between human smuggling and transnational organized crime groups, terrorist organizations, and the movement of individuals who pose direct threats to the security of Canada and the safety of Canadians.

Rather than toothless measures that will probably never see the light of day, will the government commit to laws with teeth that would put an end to human smuggling?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite does not appear to appreciate that we in fact introduced comprehensive legislation with respect to combating trafficking in humans.

CopyrightOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a haven for pirated and counterfeit CDs, videos, DVDs and video games. Millions of dollars of illegal goods are crossing our borders every day.

Yesterday, the court of appeal took a step to further protect the copyright of creators. The courts are doing their job. However, earlier this month, Canada was put on a U.S. watch list with 14 other countries. A special review has been ordered.

Why has the government failed to stop the illegal importation of cultural products?

CopyrightOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we are taking note of the Federal Court of Appeal's decision in this area. As hon. members knows, in the last session of Parliament we tabled a unanimous report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on copyright reform.

Earlier this year, in April, both the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Canadian Heritage tabled a joint statement on how we will proceed. As the House leader has said, we will be bringing forward copyright amendment legislation in the spring.

CopyrightOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

But when are we going to tighten the borders, Mr. Speaker?

A recent RCMP raid seized over $800,000 worth of illegal DVDs and CDs in a Markham mall, only to see more on the shelves days later. Movies are being taped illegally in a Montreal theatre, to be fed into the global counterfeit movie market. Ineffective fines and the absence of strong laws have made Canada a priority country, along with China, for its woeful enforcement of intellectual property rights.

What will the government do to ensure that Canada is no longer being probed by the U.S.A?

CopyrightOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the government is very much seized with the matter of counterfeit goods trafficking . In fact, just last week I had a meeting in Toronto with the Canadian Standards Association, the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency.

We are very concerned not only about intellectual property that is being smuggled back and forth across borders internationally, but also goods that purport to be safe, such as electrical goods, and carry a stamp like the stamp of the Canadian Standards Association, that in fact are not safe. Our government is taking action on this very important issue.