This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was land.

Topics

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the families asked to meet with me yesterday, I was not aware of it. I am more than happy to meet with the families. I will meet with them today if they are still here or I will meet with them at a future time at their convenience. The fact is that I would be delighted to sit down with them individually.

This was a terrible event and a terribly moving ceremony. I think that at this point what we really ought to understand is the necessity to deal with the fundamental issues in place, and I believe the government is in the process of discussing that very thing, but for heaven's sake, do not play politics with this.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is not about politics. I just got off the phone with one of the families. I was with the families yesterday all day long. I brought them to question period and they sat in the gallery. They heard the Prime Minister say that he met with them at their most difficult hour and had long discussions with them. He did not have any long discussions with them.

Yesterday the families were very hurt by the Prime Minister's words. Will the Prime Minister apologize to the families?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when we think of what these families went through and we think of the tremendous loss, obviously anything I could do to reach out to these people, whether it is an apology on my own behalf or anything I could do to make them understand our deep concern as a people, I would be more than delighted to do.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the families came to Ottawa for action and change and they should be commended for their passion and commitment to the memory of their murdered sons. They came here full of first-hand experience and ideas to share with Parliament, the Prime Minister and Canadians.

What specific action is the Prime Minister taking to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening again?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure everyone in this House that I have indeed talked to the families, but in particular Reverend Schiemann. Reverend Schiemann came to my office in Edmonton a month ago. He and I spent well over an hour together, talking about the work the families are in fact doing.

I have talked to my colleague, the Minister of Justice, about the concerns raised by Reverend Schiemann on behalf of the families. I have given my assurance and the assurance of the Attorney General that we will sit down with the families and we will work together with them to see how we can make sure this tragedy does not happen again.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

September 27th, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister made comments that were disjointed, to say the least, on how his government intends to help consumers cope with the spike in gas prices. He talked about buying medical and recreational equipment, but that will not do much to help consumers when it comes time to fill their gas tanks.

Instead of saying things that are totally disconnected from reality, can the Prime Minister put specific measures in place that will help consumers right now?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that cities and municipalities will receive up to 50% of the gas tax. This money will be invested in infrastructure, drinking water, and public transit. That is precisely the type of investment we should be making to get through a crisis like this.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am all for investing in drinking water, but so far cars still run on gas. This causes a slight problem for taxi drivers, truckers and low-income families who are hit hard by this crisis.

The Bloc Québécois has proposed measures that could be implemented immediately and would meet the specific needs of consumers and workers.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Could he propose such measures soon? There are people hard hit by this and, what is more, winter is coming.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, ministers and the government are hard at work on this issue. We understand the concern of consumers. We understand particularly the needs of low income Canadians. We do intend to act. We intend to act as quickly as possible.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the one hand people are paying far too much for gas, and on the other hand, oil companies are predicting record profits, since they took advantage of the increase in the price of crude oil to increase their refining profits considerably.

How can the government justify reducing taxes on the oil industry a year ago by $250 million, when industry profits increase markedly year after year?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is confusing and muddling a number of quite different things. I would simply suggest to him that I am not sure in the present context of consumer markets that a tax increase is the appropriate response.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the current context, real social justice would mean taking more money from the obscene profits of the oil industry, and giving it to the victims of overpriced gasoline.

Will the minister not agree that his government should announce an immediate surtax of at least $500 million on oil industry profits and set up redistribution mechanisms for the victims of the high price of gas? When will they take action?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already indicated and I have already indicated that we are tracking very carefully any increase in tax revenue flowing to the Government of Canada from the spike of energy prices around the world. We intend to ensure that indeed the full benefit of any gain of that sort flows to low income families in this country.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, a country needs two kinds of leadership. One is ceremonial, it is important, and we celebrated it this morning, but the other requires action, and the Prime Minister has been missing in action when it comes to standing up for this country.

The NAFTA decision has been available for four months and the only response thus far has been talk. What we need is action. When is the Prime Minister going to take action to protect Canadian individuals, communities and jobs on the softwood lumber issue?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the parties are not at the table at the present time precisely because Canada decided that if the Americans were not going to accept the findings of these panel discussions and live up to the letter and the spirit, then we were not going to sit down at the table unless we were given an indication of good faith by the other side that in fact the negotiations and the discussions would lead to something.

The fact is that we are standing up for Canada and standing up for NAFTA and we will continue to do so. It would be very helpful if all of the members on this side of the House and on that side of the House would join with the Government of Canada to say that the terms and the spirit of NAFTA must be lived up to.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Let me get this straight, Mr. Speaker. While originally we had talk as a response to George Bush, now the Prime Minister is offering silence. If that is the definition of leadership, I do not think it is one that Canadians appreciate.

In fact, we can see the same phenomenon with the CBC. The CBC has been silenced for seven weeks and for seven weeks the Prime Minister has been silent about whether or not he supports CBC management's attempt to take apart our public broadcaster. Does he support CBC management's undermining of our public broadcasting, yes or no? Will he tell us?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, speaking of action, some of us in fact do a heck of a lot more than just walk in parades. We work each and every day and that is exactly what we have done with regard to the CBC. We have brought people to the table. They are there right now trying to negotiate through this so that in fact Canadians get the services they want and especially so our northern and remote communities get the CBC. It is a public institution and we in fact are protecting it.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fallen RCMP officers were killed in my riding, where drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine continue to ruin young lives and destroy communities, yet the government appears cold to helping. We need truth and answers in this House and we need truth in sentencing for criminals.

Will this government commit to mandatory prison sentences for serious drug and violent crimes?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, there are serious sentences with respect to the amphetamine regulatory changes we initiated this summer.

With regard to matters now before the House, they are before the parliamentary committee. If the committee wants to move any amendments to the legislation, it can do so.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, what happened this summer is no answer.

Yesterday the families warned that there are thousands of other James Roszkos all across this country, in every police division, putting police and ordinary Canadian citizens at risk.

The families have sound ideas on how to fix the system. One of the things they would like to see is a scrapping of Bill C-17, this government's soft approach to marijuana. We need some straight and honest answers in the House. Will the government scrap the bill?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, on mandatory minimums and gun related crimes, I want to state that there are more mandatory minimums for gun related crimes than any other crime in the Criminal Code with the exception of murder.

With regard to the question of marijuana, we are not going to scrap a bill that was unanimously recommended by a previous parliamentary committee.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Minister of Justice to support mandatory prison sentences for drug dealers, gunmen and other repeat violent offenders. The minister avoided the question and suggested he was looking at tinkering with the provisions governing house arrest.

This minister is providing no direction. Why will the minister not commit to bringing forward mandatory prison sentences for drug dealers, gunmen and other repeat offenders, violent offenders, so that Canadians can live in safe communities?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we do not need to be lectured by the opposition on safe communities. If the member opposite would just open the Criminal Code and read it for a change, he would find that there are mandatory minimums with respect to the offences of which he is speaking. And if he would look to the south to which he is always referring, he would see that the American Bar Association last year recommended to do away with mandatory minimums because they have no effect, they do not deter and they result in unnecessary incapacitation and unnecessary costs to the system without protecting security.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the judges tell us every day in their sentences that it is the direction from the minister and his government that requires them to give house arrest. That is the minister's direction. Other overwhelming evidence from jurisdictions has demonstrated that mandatory sentences for violent offenders have substantially reduced crimes in large cities, yet despite the evidence, the minister stated that mandatory prison sentences do not work.

Given the absolute failure of the minister's strategy, why does he not adopt a new one?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, one difference between me and the hon. member opposite is that I have read the evidence and he is making up the evidence.