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House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member will know, the Minister of International Trade will comply with all the recusal requirements that exist in the Conflict of Interest Code. These requirements were in place when the minister was in the previous government. They did not create a problem then and they do not create a problem now.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows very well that in the previous government the current Minister of International Trade was not negotiating the refund of duties directly with the American administration.

Canfor will be the single largest beneficiary if these illegal tariffs are in fact refunded. The Minister of International Trade has this ongoing financial relationship with Canfor.

Since softwood negotiations and the refund of illegally collected duties go hand in hand, when will the minister protect the integrity of his government and of the negotiations with the United States and recuse himself?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, these questions are getting to the point of the ridiculous. If this government were to be successful in resolving the softwood lumber dispute and getting the duties back, this would be in the interest of all Canadians.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 17, the Prime Minister made a solemn commitment to help the forest industry with loan guarantees, but he also said that his party would provide adequate support for displaced forest workers and their communities.

What did he mean by that?

And what has he done since for forest workers and their communities?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have been working since January 23 to resolve this issue left to us by the previous government after four years of failed discussions with the Americans. We will succeed in making the softwood lumber industry prosperous and competitive in the coming years.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, workers have already been displaced, and communities are already being affected.

What does the minister plan to do for these workers and these communities, to make good on the Conservatives' promise?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we plan to work with communities across Canada to make the softwood lumber industry the most competitive in the country and to ensure that it continues to create jobs as it has done in recent years.

National DefenceOral Questions

April 11th, 2006 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 18, 2005, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Hillier, signed an agreement with the Afghan defence minister regarding the transfer of prisoners captured by Canadian armed forces.

Why has the government not maintained better control over prisoners by ensuring, for example, that Canadian soldiers and diplomats can make personal visits to prisoners, as the Dutch have done?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the member is talking about when he says that this is a difficult process. The process is that if Canadian soldiers capture insurgents or terrorists they hand them over to the Afghan authorities and then the International Red Cross or Red Crescent supervise the detainees. If there is any problem, the Red Cross or Red Crescent would inform us and then we would become involved.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is obliged to respect the Geneva convention to which, incidentally, it is a signatory.

Will the minister concur that there is nothing in this agreement to prevent the Afghan authorities from transferring prisoners to the American forces, who could then transfer them to Guantanamo, as we know that the United States does not consider these combatants to be prisoners of war? The minister must amend the agreement.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as has been mentioned, under the agreement the Red Cross will supervise the detainees in the Afghan prisons. If they were to be transferred to a third party, and why they would be is beyond me because we are giving Afghans to Afghanistan, then the Red Cross would monitor this. If there were a problem, the Red Cross would inform us.

Canada-U.S. Border SecurityOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, a group of U.S. governors, senators and representatives announced plans to fight the congressional requirement for Canadians and Americans to present passports when crossing our common border. At least these American legislators recognize the devastating effect that passport entry requirements will have on trade and tourism.

This is in contrast to our own government that simply is throwing in the towel and running up the white flag. When will the Minister of Public Safety stand up for Canada?

Canada-U.S. Border SecurityOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister already made this matter a priority at the Cancun discussions the very first day, taking it to the top of the list.

I will be meeting with Secretary of State Chertoff next week on this very matter.

We should be reminded that when this item was passed in Congress over two years ago, for over two years the former Liberal government sat on its hands and did nothing. It took this party and another party in opposition to raise the issue. It took our Prime Minister to stand up on this particular issue.

Access to Information ActOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, under the previous government, the spending of crown corporations and numerous foundations was not known to the public or disclosed to parliamentarians, taxpayers, or the people of Lévis—Bellechasse and Les Etchemins. And yet this is money that belongs to all of us.

In its desire for transparency and turning a new leaf, our government is committed to correcting this situation. We are seeing this today.

Can my hon. colleague the President of the Treasury Board inform this House of his plan concerning the measures to broaden the Access to Information Act, thereby meeting our commitment?

Access to Information ActOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I thank my dear colleague from Lévis—Bellechasse for his question.

The good news is that, today, the new Government of Canada has introduced a new bill to include many government institutions and agencies and many foundations in the bill on the Access to Information Act.

This is excellent news. Only five months ago, on November 15 of last year, all the hon. members of the Liberal Party, on the other side of the House, including the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition, voted against this bill. Now—

Access to Information ActOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg North has the floor.

FinanceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, we have had years of Liberals denying the very existence of a fiscal imbalance. Now we have a government that at least agrees that it exists but has done nothing. The Liberal cuts have had a clear impact on our society; growing poverty, rising tuition fees and longer waiting lists.

With the premiers meeting in Montreal on this very topic as we speak, would the Minister of Finance outline his government's timetable to solve the fiscal imbalance?

FinanceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Tell her that poverty is down five points, Jim.

FinanceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the former Liberal minister of finance for telling me what I should say. However, instead I will say that we acknowledge that there is a fiscal imbalance, which is a big step forward from the party opposite over the course of the past 13 years.

We await the provincial report from the Council of the Federation which I believe was to be released today. A report will also be released with the budget in this place. We are also waiting for the report that is to come from the O'Brien committee to the federal government, which should be about mid-May, I believe.

FinanceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance may be new but he is old hat at saying nothing at all.

The fiscal imbalance is a real and complex problem. We are not asking the minister to table his plan for resolving it. We are simply asking the minister whether his government believes there is a fiscal imbalance and what his timetable is for correcting this problem.

FinanceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the answer to the first part of the question is yes, we believe in the fiscal imbalance issue. We are going to work very actively on that issue this year, taking into consideration the realities that this is a complex issue which is vitally important to all Canadians in making sense of our fiscal federation.

FisheriesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries is well aware that Prince Edward Island received a base quota of northern shrimp in the year 2000. The minister indicated that sharing arrangements would be stabilized. This spring the quota for northern shrimp went up substantially. Newfoundland received most of the increase. Prince Edward Island received nothing.

Why did Prince Edward Island not receive its share of northern shrimp quota, and will the minister make sure that Prince Edward Island does receive its fair share of the quota?

FisheriesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, what the member has to remember first of all is how Prince Edward Island got its share of northern shrimp in the first place, and he can certainly answer that question.

In relation to this year's fishery, the shrimp fishery is in serious trouble. Every ounce of shrimp this year went to the people who fish it, the fishermen, whether it be the inshore boats or the bigger boats. All shrimp went to the fishermen, where it should go, because that is the only way we can keep the industry alive.

LobbyistsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the opposition members are quite hypocritical in their attacks against lobbyists. The member for Outremont lobbied on behalf of various companies, yet he never registered.

Could the President of the Treasury Board tell us how the federal accountability act will crack down on registered lobbyists such as the member for Outremont?

LobbyistsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, one of the holes in the current Lobbyists Registration Act that we are seeking to plug is what we call the Dingwall hole, which does not allow prosecution or investigations of people who break the act and who cannot be held accountable. We will be extending the time in which investigations can occur. We will be extending the fines and penalties to ensure that there are real teeth in the federal accountability act, so we can ensure that the public business is done in the public interest and not for private gain.