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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was grain.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Conservative MP for Cypress Hills—Grasslands (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 69% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Species at Risk Act April 16th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, we are here again this morning to discuss Bill C-5 one more time. As the saying goes, this bill is uglier than 40 acres of burning stumps but we continue to debate it and continue to work our way through it.

The bill has been introduced a number of times. I asked some MPs, who have been here for awhile, how many times they had seen this bill and they said that they were not sure, but it keeps coming back again and again. In fact in a lot of ways this has a longer gestation period than many of the animals that it purports to support.

The bill was introduced last summer and was sent to the committee last fall. It is interesting to note that the committee spent four months working on the bill and did so much work on it. It heard 120-odd witnesses and made over 300 amendments to the bill.

While we opposed the bill from the beginning, we felt that the committee had done some good and strong work and that it had done what it was supposed to have done. The hypocrisy that comes back to the bill through what the government has done to it is enough to appall anyone.

The government members and the opposition members spent months working on the bill. It seems that the committee was used to keep its members busy more than it was to do productive work. I would suggest that the government, and the minister in particular, has shown disregard for the MPs and their work in the House.

Who is setting the direction of the legislation and the government? It is clearly not cabinet. If it was, one would think it would allow the committees to do their work. I would suggest that the bill is being run by the bureaucracy and the bureaucrats behind the scenes. We see that in many other areas as well. One has to do with the new agricultural policy framework. We clearly see that someone other than the minister is running the department.

I would like to quote from an article in the Leader -Post on April 3 that talks about the agricultural framework policy discussions that are supposedly taking place and what a sham they are. The article reads:

Consultations about the most significant shift ever in Canadian agriculture policy are nothing more than a poorly-organized public relations exercise, say angry Saskatchewan farm groups.

The province's agriculture organizations are confused about why it took so long to set up meetings, why they aren't open to the public and why Ottawa hired a “heavyweight” international consulting firm to facilitate the sessions.

[These organizations] also complain they have had little time to prepare for the meetings about Ottawa's plan to overhaul agriculture, currently underway around the country...

Denise Treslan, executive director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers, said the meetings are so disorganized she found out third-hand that one of the organization's directors is scheduled to appear at a [meeting].

“It seems like a free-for-all,” said Treslan. “We've had no contact whatsoever with the group that is putting together the meetings. We don't know if we are supposed to make a formal presentation or if we show up and it's a roundtable or what.”

Farm groups are also concerned the meetings are not a meaningful attempt at consultation, noting the sessions are coming nine months after the policy revision was announced in June of 2001.

This is a pattern we see in the government. When it comes to consultation, it is not sincere in what it does. We will talk a little about that this morning with these amendments to Bill C-5.

With regard to Bill C-5, farm groups have been under pressure for 10 years to support the bill and most of them have continued to oppose the bill. I have talked to a few of them and they have been told by the minister that they should support the bill because, and these are his words apparently, “It could be worse”.

I am not sure if that is how we make legislation in the country now. Also I am not sure if this is a promise or a threat from him. Either he is saying that he is in control and he can make the bill much worse if he wants to. If that is the case and that is his attitude then it is probably time for him to go. Or he is saying that he cannot control his bureaucrats or the people who are running his department. If that is the case then he probably should be removed from his post.

Yesterday I noticed that he was doing a good job at PR as he spent some time applauding our Olympic athletes. Perhaps that would be a better place for him than to be heading up this bill.

The Group No. 4 amendments deal with two main issues: stewardship plans and public consultation and whether that is an active part of the bill or not.

The committee worked hard to put together a process for planning. It talked a lot in its work about recovery plans, action plans and stewardship plans. From that four months' work, a national stewardship action plan was agreed to.

I have the format in front of me of what that would have been. The national stewardship action plan made commitments to a number of things. It made a commitment to using the tax system, subsidization and the elimination of disincentives to help landowners protect species at risk.

It was a strategy for public education and information sharing. An awards and recognition program was built into the action plan. It had ways to formalize land agreements and provide technical and scientific support directly to landowners and people who were concerned with species at risk. It also had a consultation strategy.

By the time the minister was done with this part of the bill through Motion No. 25 he had done a few things to it. He eliminated the idea of using the tax system to support conservation. That was taken completely out of the bill. He offered to provide information about species at risk but no program of public education. I presume that means people would get government brochures rather than actually having a program of public education.

It committed to share information but not to develop a program to carry it out. It did keep the awards program. The government agreed to provide information about programs related to stewardship rather than to commit to setting up those programs. It agreed to provide information about technical and scientific support rather than providing the support.

It considerably weakened its commitment to the stewardship action plan through the amendment. It is no longer a plan at all. It ends up being a public relations exercise in the stewardship action plan and that is not adequate.

There is one thing that really bothers me. Where are the Liberal backbenchers on this bill and these amendments? Many of them are extremely concerned about the minister's action with regard to the bill. Many of them have done a lot of work on the bill. They did a good job in committee and had reached a bill that they could support and be happy with.

It went to the minister and came back completely gutted. Yet I hear little noise or attempts to address those issues from the backbenchers of the government. I suggest that they have a responsibility. If the government and cabinet were to bring forth poor legislation and provide poor leadership to Canadians the government backbenchers have a responsibility to have the guts to step forward and say they do not agree with it and that the legislation needs to be stopped. I do not see much of that happening and I am disappointed.

I would like to discuss the second part of the stewardship action plan which is dealt with in Motion No. 29. The amendment removes the requirement that stewardship agreements must be made public so that the public can discuss them. It seems by definition that the stewardship agreement would have to be put out into the public so that consultation and discussion can take place. It is interesting that the minister has chosen to remove the requirement that these agreements be made public before they become legislation.

It is necessary to get broad based support through public discussion. The minister clearly does not allow that in the amendment. That is absolutely unacceptable. Landowners are affected but so too are neighbouring landowners. It is interesting that if wolves were introduced into an ecosystem in a national park people around the park would also be affected. It is important that we take that into account.

I will point out one more amendment that has removed the effectiveness of the bill. There was a five year review built into the bill and amendments were made in committee to have subsequent five year reviews. The minister has clearly chosen to take that out. One review would be allowed and that is it. This reflects one more time the attitude of the government toward working with people.

I opened with a statement about the bill being uglier than 40 acres of burning stumps. At the end of my speech it has as much chance of survival or success as a one-legged grasshopper in a chicken coop. The bill is flawed more now than ever. More now than ever we need to stop it and to do whatever it takes to do that.

Agriculture April 12th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, only a Liberal cabinet minister would believe that closed door, invitation only meetings are grassroot consultations.

The minister is squandering $15 million behind closed doors. Canadian farmers who wish to give their opinion are told to call a generic 1-800 number. In other words, they are being told to take their concerns elsewhere. Meanwhile, this tired government insists on spending millions on fireside chats and personal jets.

When will the minister realize he needs to listen to all producers not just a handpicked few? When will he take back control of his own department?

Agriculture April 12th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, the department of agriculture has become a bureaucratic mess that is out of touch with Canadian farmers.

Currently the minister of agriculture is spending $15 million to travel across the country informing industry groups about the proposed agricultural framework plan. His meetings are closed to the public, leaving farmers out in the cold. Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister is sightseeing in Europe talking about his farm plan.

Will the minister of agriculture admit that the outcome of his $15 million travelling road show will make absolutely no difference to Canadian farmers?

An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Cruelty to Animals and Firearms) and the Firearms Act April 11th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, one of the things I want to point out about gophers which again goes back to the gun registration is that people have been trying to adhere to the regulations. There is a 1-800 number they are supposed to call which has been a complete failure. I told some of my constituents I would mention that. I want to make a point of it. It is important that the justice ministry understands that it has been a complete failure.

I also want to talk about the situation in western Canada. This spring we are looking at some very serious things. One of them is gophers. Last spring we had an invasion of gophers. We will continue to have that. We will have other problems as well with drought. There is a chance there will be a lot of grasshoppers in the area. I wanted to make the House aware of some of those things.

An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Cruelty to Animals and Firearms) and the Firearms Act April 11th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting that the member is demonstrating how little he understands rural people and rural agriculture. He may have the money to challenge people in court, but many of the people I know are under pressure primarily because of the government's policies and they do not have the money to fool around in court like that.

I would challenge him to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. I expect that when we vote on the bill at third reading, he will have the courage of his convictions and will stand up to vote against this bad piece of legislation.

An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Cruelty to Animals and Firearms) and the Firearms Act April 11th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting that the legislation in section 182.2 states:

(1) Everyone commits an offence who, wilfully or recklessly,(b) kills an animal or, being the owner, permits an animal to be killed, brutally or viciously, regardless of whether the animal dies immediately

I find that interesting. I know that animal rights groups are going to bring that in. They are going to try to redefine the idea of what brutally or viciously is. It was not included in the previous legislation. There is no reason for it to be included in this legislation.

On the issue of whether government members will stand and oppose the bill, I would ask that the rural members show some of the backbone they claim they have every time before we go into a vote. I would ask that they vote against the bill. Clearly it is in the worst interests of their constituents if they have farmers or ranchers who will be affected by this. I certainly would expect that those people who are involved directly in primary production, as is my friend from Dufferin--Peel--Wellington--Grey, as he so eloquently lets us know on a regular basis, would do the right thing. I know he will do the right thing.

I agree with my colleague it is important that the minister of agriculture take a leadership role on this issue. Why should those of us in opposition continually have to raise the issues that are important to rural people and to farmers and ranchers?

The minister of agriculture is supposed to represent the interests of those people. It would be a big step for him to take the lead on a bill like this one, or on another bad bill such as Bill C-5 which is the species at risk bill. Many people across Canada are asking that someone take the lead on it. The Canadian Alliance has done that. We ask that the rural members on the other side and the minister of agriculture stand and defend producers' interest there as well.

An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Cruelty to Animals and Firearms) and the Firearms Act April 11th, 2002

Try to obey that law, exactly. It was taken to a lawyer and it took one lawyer more than two hours to try to figure out exactly what that section was trying to say and what it was trying to fix.

Changes to the process, the authority and the documentation of the transfer of firearms between dealers and individuals and between individuals are extremely unclear. Even with these amendments it does not help. If these amendments are passed without change it will result in ever escalating error rates, and I talked about those a little in the gun registry, making it even more useless to the police than it is already.

The amendments in the firearms legislation use the words prescribed and regulation somewhat near 30 times. All these words mean is that the government does not know exactly what the amendments mean or how they are to be enacted or enforced. It will just leave these important questions until later, until it gets outside parliament where we do not have the opportunity to debate them.

It used the same technique 75 times in Bill C-68 and we have seen how good the results were in that bill.

Bill C-15B does other things like transfer the powers to a provincial minister to exempt employees and businesses from applications of the Firearms Act. It gives any designated firearms officer any of the duties and functions of the chief firearms officer. The act gives the CFO a considerable amount of power, even some of the powers of a provincial minister.

The bill amends the definition of a firearm. The government is trying to ensure that millions of air guns and pellet rifles will no longer be considered firearms under this law, which they have been up until now if one can possibly imagine that. Our children are not even allowed to go out and go clinking because their guns are considered to be firearms under the legislation.

This new wording is confusing. The definition has not achieved its objective. In fact some legal interpretations say paint ball markers will now become firearms.

In 1995 the justice minister ignored 250 amendments proposed by our party. The government ignored many of the substantive amendments proposed by the Liberal dominated standing committee at the time. It has taken five years and $600 million for the government to see that it has made mistakes.

We have an admission of how well it has worked with the fact that this legislation has come back to the House this time. The government has had to introduce a 20 page bill and 160 clauses of amendments to try to correct its previous legislation.

Actually it has worked so well that the government had to rebate the fees to register guns. The government has gone out to the provinces and said that it will make that free. It charged people $18, then turned around and said it would make it free. It had to rebate the money to the people at an estimated cost of $25 each. So that was another real money maker for this program. No wonder the bill continues to climb.

Yesterday the parliamentary secretary gave us a warning that we should heed. I would suggest that what he said threatens the freedom of all Canadians. The quote that I think I accurately heard was that the success of Bill C-15B builds on the success of the firearms legislation so far. There are two mistakes there. First, Bill C-68 has been a complete failure. Second, Bill C-15B continues that way of error.

What concerned me more than that was that he then said that this would lead to the next step which was the fulfillment of the United Nations firearm protocol. This protocol calls for the removal of all firearms from all civilians, that means every Canadian except for the police and the military.

Interestingly enough, this has been taken up by at least two cabinet ministers. When Bill C-68 was brought in, the minister of justice apparently said that and this fall one of the other cabinet ministers said that as well. Canadians need to understand that the noose is tightening, not loosening, on their ability to own guns and on their gun ownership. Actually, I would suggest to Canadians that the government is in fact coming to take their guns.

Ironically, one thing the bill does is it encourages people to use guns, at the same time the government is trying to stop that. There is an infamous use it or lose it provision that is built into the bill. The section gives the CFO the authority to refuse or revoke a licence and a registration for restricted firearms if the owner cannot prove the firearm was used for the purpose for which it was originally purchased. If the person originally bought it for target shooting and if it could be proven that it was not used for that but was used fairly regularly, the authority would be able to remove the gun from the owner.

The government has widened that a little so that it only changes to include any purpose at all listed in section 28. People need to be aware that the clause is there.

There are a number of other critical areas that are not addressed in the bill. They include things like the criminalization of paperwork. If paperwork is sent in and there is an honest mistake in it or if the people employed at the firearms centre make a mistake, then it is the individual's fault who submitted the paperwork and the person is seen as a criminal.

Second, it gives extended search and seizure powers to the police. The police basically have unlimited powers to come into a person's place of residence and try to force the person to co-operate with them. I think we would find that this is odious to all citizens.

Third, registration has been a problem. It is interesting that people I have talked to have registered several guns. I know one gentleman who registered five weapons. He got back 10 registration certificates. He had more registration certificates than he had guns. I am not sure what people will do with those certificates.

There has been arbitrary prohibition and confiscation. The bill addresses only part of that. If members look at page 15 of the bill, the customs agents at the border are allowed to confiscate guns as people come across the border. They are not obligated to give the guns back, even if the person just wants to return to the country from where they came.

One of the main problems is massive non-compliance. We see the failure of the system. I mentioned earlier that we have lost 38,000 gun owners. I do not know where they have gone to, but they have moved from their addresses and the government cannot find them.

We have large concerns about privatization. As this is privatized who will be responsible for keeping the important information dealing with this system?

I would like to suggest that the Alliance does have some positive suggestions dealing with the legislation. We presented a large number of good amendments. We would suggest that it keep part XI in the code as it is presently. We would ask the government to resist turning this agenda over to those people who have no connection and little understanding of animal rights. It is interesting that there was no consultation with the producers, farmers and those people who are involved actively with animals.

We would ask that the government leave the definition of animal undefined, that it increase the penalties as in part XI of the code and, uniquely, that it begin to apply and actually enforce the law.

That has been the main problem with the law up to now, the animal rights part of it in particular. They have not applied the penalties that are there and people have turned around and said that the legislation is defective. If they increase the penalties and have the heart to apply those penalties in the animal rights areas, the legislation will work. We look forward to that.

As my colleague from Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca said, it is important that we defeat this bill. We certainly look forward to doing that in the near future.

An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Cruelty to Animals and Firearms) and the Firearms Act April 11th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I rise today, as others have, to speak to Bill C-15B. The bill deals with two main items: animal rights and the issue of animal cruelty. It also deals with firearms. I would like to speak first to the section dealing with animals and animal cruelty.

My first question is, what does the bill change? If we were to take a look at the old Part XI which deals with wilful and forbidden acts to certain property, where it talks about cruelty to animals, it states:

Every one commits an offence who wilfully causes or, being the owner, wilfully permits to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or a bird.

It is straightforward and easy to understand. It is clear and concise. The government could have fixed this legislation by increasing the penalties for abuse to animals. It would have taken very little to fix this legislation. Rather than do that it has chosen to introduce a whole new section to the criminal code called cruelty to animals. This has a number of defects to it.

We have tried to improve this legislation with amendments as recent as today. My colleague from Selkirk--Interlake made a good amendment the other night. It was to protect primary producers, farmers and ranchers by amending clause 8 to read: “who wilfully or recklessly”. He added the words: “and in contravention of generally accepted industry standards”. He threw that in to protect farmers and ranchers. The government turned the amendment down. My question is, why?

As my colleague previously pointed out we see the government in the hands of so many special interest groups that it does not seem to be able to govern for the benefit of the general Canadian public. There is a total disconnect with rural Canada. It is obvious in so much of its legislation, which I will address in a few minutes.

The legislation is flawed right from the beginning. The first part states:

In this Part, ‘‘animal’’ means a vertebrate, other than a human being, and anyother animal that has the capacity to feel pain.”

I have asked this question before. It seems such a strange matter that I ask why we would define anything by its capacity to feel pain. In the old legislation it said that we commit an offence if we have injured or caused suffering to an animal or a bird. That is pretty straightforward. The definition has now been broadened to the point that we are not even sure what it means. It seems to me that the government should be aware of what an animal is. We do not need this definition. It does not contribute to clarity of the legislation.

The parliamentary secretary spoke yesterday and what I heard was not of comfort to me. I am not sure if he understands the implication of the legislation. He should. He is supposed to have been working on it. However, there are a number of things he said that concerned me.

First, he said that the clarity and certainty of the legislation is achieved. I would suggest that is hardly true. I have talked a bit about the definition being vague and hard to understand. Second, the old bill was far cleaner and clearer. There was no complicated understanding of it. It could have been left. It would have been clearer.

I find it interesting that once again the government has used that old liberal method of legislating which is that we use the extreme to justify the average. We have seen that in so much of its legislation over the years. I noticed the parliamentary secretary used a couple of examples of why the legislation was justified. One of them was that he wanted to defend against people tying animals to railway tracks. Then he used the famous urban myth of people putting poodles in the microwave oven and that we needed to stop people from doing that.

I have an objection that I have had for years. We take extreme examples and then make legislation that will deal with them and apply it to our entire culture. We have seen this so many times.

The parliamentary secretary also said that the government has stated repeatedly that what is lawful today would stay lawful. We have heard the former justice minister saying that as well. I find it interesting that once the legislation is passed it is not the government's decision whether what is lawful today would stay lawful. Judges would indeed decide this.

I have a quote from one of the animal rights activists and I will not even give her the publicity of using her name. She said:

My worry is that people think this is the means to the end, but this is just the beginning. It doesn’t matter what the legislation says if no one uses it, if no one takes it to court, if nobody tests it. The onus is on humane societies and other groups on the front lines to push this legislation to the limit, to test the parameters of this law and have the courage and the conviction to lay charges.

The intent to use this legislation as a tool to restrict the use of animals in things like research and agriculture seems clear. I find it frustrating as a former producer involved in agriculture that farmers have more reason to be responsible toward their animals than anyone else does. In 40 years of living in a small community, I can think of only one occasion on which it was necessary for officials to deal with animal abuse. It involved an elderly person who was not taking care of her cattle herd and the RM took care of the problem. It took the cattle away and fed them as they should have been.

This bill has a number of main legislative weaknesses which I would like to speak about for a few minutes. First, the definition of animal, as I have mentioned, is far too broad.

The second legislative weakness, as my colleague from Provencher mentioned, is it fails to maintain traditional defences, particularly the one of “legal justification, excuse and colour of right”, that currently exists under subsection 429(2). These must be retained to protect producers and people who are involved with normal animal husbandry as part of their lives.

Third, the bill fails to maintain animals as property. It moves them to the criminal code, which clearly does not need to happen. Canadian agriculture has always been based on the idea of ownership of animals. The government is changing the legal status of animals and it is directly affecting the farmer's position. The legal right to use animals for food production comes from the proprietary rights of farmers and producers to those animals.

This change will lead to a risk of prosecution for farmers. We already have a history of frivolous prosecutions as I think the member for Provencher just mentioned. Drs. Rapley and Wolf of the University of Western Ontario found out about this problem several years ago.

Again one of the animal fanatic groups writes in its literature “This elevation of animals in our moral and legal view is precedent setting and will have far reaching effects”. I find it interesting, as the member for Selkirk--Interlake said, that this lobby group is actively raising money for the government and for the Liberal Party in election campaigns. It makes one wonder for whom this legislation is written. It is certainly not for the Canadian public.

I would like to move on to the second half of the bill which deals with firearms legislation. We are all fairly familiar with Bill C-68 which has been an ongoing joke in parts of the country. It was passed with great fanfare and greater opposition several years ago. It was interesting that a bill that was to have cost $80 million has blossomed into something over $700 million officially. It has apparently has cost around $1 billion so far. It takes $100 million each year to keep this bureaucracy going.

I would to remind some of my colleagues that indeed that could pay for another two new Challenger jets for the cabinet if this was set aside. We have pleaded with the Liberals on the grounds that it could put more police officers on the frontlines. They do not seem interested in hearing that but they may certainly be interested in hearing that it could have two additional Challenger jets.

The government continues to tout its polling. We heard yesterday that the majority of people apparently support Bill C-68 but that in fact is not true. If people are told that something was free and then asked if they want it, they will usually say yes. On the issue of gun control, if we asked people if they knew that this was going to cost $1 billion, that it would continue to climb and would they support it, we would get a completely different answer, which is that most Canadians do not support it and have no interest in supporting it.

The bill and the amendments to it have been a complete failure. I find it interesting that the government now admits that it has 320,000 plus gun owners who have not yet registered. We do not know what the real number is. The government has always lowered those figures, so it is probably far more than that.

Even more interesting than that, since January of this year the government has lost 38,000 gun owners. It decided it was going to run this free registration of guns for people and sent notices to the people who had already registered. As it turned out, the 38,000 certificates that went out to gun owners were returned by the post office. Somehow those people are lost. That is just one example of how the legislation has been a complete failure.

As well, six provinces and two territories continue to oppose Bill C-68. I find it interesting that non-residents can be exempted from the Firearms Act but not Canadian citizens under the amendments. I guess the question is: what is equal protection and equal benefit under the law?

Fourth, aboriginal groups have just said that they will continue to ignore Bill C-68. The government obviously has no intention of holding them accountable.

I have a few statistics I found interesting because Statistics Canada keeps a very close watch on Canadians. I will read a couple of those dealing with the gun registration.

Of the 542 homicides in Canada in 2000, stabbing, beating and strangulation accounted for 58% of them and firearms for less than one third of them. It is fairly obvious that violent individuals are the problem more than are the guns.

Of the 183 firearms homicides in 2000: 58% were committed with handguns which is interesting because handguns have been registered since 1934 so obviously the registration is working very well; 8% were committed with firearms that are completely prohibited; and 31% were committed with a rifle or shotgun.

The 67 years of registering handguns demonstrates that registration is a complete flop. Despite 67 years of mandatory handgun registration, the use of handguns in firearms homicides has been increasing since 1974. Conversely, firearms homicides with rifles and shotguns that were not registered dropped steadily over the same 27 year period. It makes a sane person wonder why the government would commit 1,800 staff and waste more than $700 million trying to register these rifles and shotguns.

Of the 110 handgun homicides committed between 1997 and 2000, 69% of the guns were not even registered. This is despite the fact that the law has been in effect since 1934. Does the failure of gun registration as an effective government policy get any more obvious than this?

However there may be another suggestion. In 2000, 67% of persons accused of homicide had a criminal record and 69% of them had previously been convicted of violent crimes. At the same time, 52% of homicide victims also had criminal records. Obviously the government is hitting the wrong target by requiring innocent farmers, hunters and recreational shooters to register their firearms. Criminals are the real target, not duck hunters. The government made the wrong choice six years ago and it is making the wrong one again.

I will quote Ontario Solicitor General Bob Runciman who told the Senate standing committee in 1995 that in national terms $85 million, which was the initial estimate, would put 1,000 customs agents on the border, $500 million would put an extra 5,900 police officers on the street. The federal alternative is to use the money to register every shotgun and bolt action .22 in Canada. It takes no great brilliance to figure out which would have a greater impact on crime.

There are a dozen other problems with the legislation. I guess for years judges have complained that the firearms legislation is so poorly drafted that they cannot even understand it or make it enforceable.

I want to read one of the amendments in the bill and see if anyone here can figure out what it is talking about. Plain English might be a little better.

Subclause 10(3) says the following:

Section 2 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):

(2.1) Sections 5, 9, 54 to 58, 67, 68 and 70 to 72 apply in respect of a carrier as if each reference in those sections to a chief firearms officer were a reference to the Registrar and for the purposes of applying section 6 in respect of a carrier, paragraph 113(3)(b) of the Criminal Code applies as if the reference in that section to a chief firearms officer were a reference to the Registrar.

Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act March 22nd, 2002

Mr. Speaker, one of the things we have seen over the years is that socialist and communist governments have been consistent, at least in oppressing their people and having their leaders live in opulence while that is going on. Tens of millions of people have been eradicated by these regimes. It is interesting that the target has always been a couple of specific groups. One group has been the middle class agricultural class.

We saw particularly in Russia the attempt to destroy the kulak class. Barriers were set up around the area they were in and they were starved to death in order to gain control of that part of the economy.

We see the same thing happening in Zimbabwe today as the government tries to destroy the middle class agricultural class. It is actually destroying the country's own economy while doing that.

It seems that religious groups have been pressured forever by these governments around the world. We see persecution of them as they try to hold the government to a higher standard.

China has had a brutal history over the last 50 years, especially in the area of dealing with religious freedom. Christian churches have been persecuted, Protestant churches have been torn down. Pastors have been imprisoned and constantly harassed. The Roman Catholic church has been pressured to turn to the Chinese government rather than to Rome as its leadership. Groups like Falun Gong are under continual pressure with many of their people being imprisoned. We are all aware of the situation in Tibet with its culture and religion being pressured by the Chinese government.

I ask the member for Elk Island, why should the western world work to improve trade relations with a regime that punishes its own citizens? It does not just punish them for what they do. It punishes them for what they believe. Throughout the world we believe there are certain basic freedoms, which include the freedom to believe and the freedom to religion.

Also, how does the hon. member feel that this agreement will help average Chinese citizens prosper and hold their leaders accountable for their actions?

Canadian Wheat Board February 28th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general also stated in her report that the roles and responsibilities of the Canadian Wheat Board's directors and management were not clearly defined.

The Canadian Wheat Board minister claimed that he fixed everything in 1998 when he established a board that included ten elected and five appointed directors, but clearly this has not occurred and the audit proved it.

How can the Canadian Wheat Board minister claim that the elected directors are running the Canadian Wheat Board when they do not even know what their job is?