October 20, 2000

LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I will gladly respond. As I indicated, this was not intentional on the part of the government. I will not hide behind the fact that this question is probably as close to being out of order as anything that has ever been said in the House.

Notwithstanding that, yesterday, immediately upon discovering this, the chief government whip rose in the House of Commons moments later to indicate his disapproval of what happened. We immediately commenced corrective actions. Consultations were held with all political parties in the House. Their help was appreciated. It was done and of course the debate will take place this afternoon in a committee room.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Standing Committee On Public Accounts
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The Speaker

I ask the hon. member to please go to the administrative responsibility of the government in his question.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Standing Committee On Public Accounts
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REF

Ken Epp

Reform

Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, I will put it this way then. Clearly the work of the committees is a very important role of members of parliament, and members of parliament on this side of the House were prevented yesterday, when they were prepared to do so, from dealing with this issue.

In view of the fact that exactly the same thing happened in 1997, a week before the election, the probabilities, to me as an amateur mathematician, just seem outrageous. I would like to know from the government why it would deliberately boycott a committee meeting like this.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Standing Committee On Public Accounts
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The Speaker

I rule the question out of order, but if the hon. government House leader wants to answer it, he may do so.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Standing Committee On Public Accounts
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, again this impugning of motives I do not think is helpful. I can state here that many committee meetings are held without Alliance MPs ever showing up, and that happens all the time.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Standing Committee On Public Accounts
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The Speaker

Order, please. You are out of order on both sides.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Standing Committee On Public Accounts
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BQ

Monique Guay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, since the Liberals came to power, social housing needs have almost doubled for the most disadvantaged.

On Wednesday, billions of dollars in electoral goodies were distributed to the wealthy, but there was nothing for the families most affected by poverty.

How does the Prime Minister have the nerve to talk about values and compassion when he has simply abandoned the poorest families in our society?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Social Housing
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LIB

Jim Peterson

Liberal

Hon. Jim Peterson (Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. For example, the child tax benefit was increased by $4 billion a year. The tax rate has dropped to 16%. Taxes over the next five years for families with children will drop by 27%, and the heating oil tax credit for tenants and landlords has been set at $1.3 billion. These are measures for low and middle income families.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Social Housing
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BQ

Maurice Dumas

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Maurice Dumas (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, while the rich are well looked after by the government, seasonal workers will have to make do with a few temporary crumbs for one year only, and will have to get through the winter on nothing after using up their paltry 21 weeks of benefits.

How can the Minister of Finance justify ongoing and generous tax breaks for the rich while seasonal workers must make do with crumbs, and temporary ones at that?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Seasonal Workers
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to hear the member mention seasonal workers because the Bloc Quebecois has finally discovered them.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Seasonal Workers
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Seasonal Workers
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria

Approximately one and a half hours ago in the House, the Bloc Quebecois, through their deputy House leader, refused consent for passage of Bill C-44.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Seasonal Workers
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REF

Garry Breitkreuz

Reform

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister's officials are stonewalling investigators from the Office of the Information Commissioner. When the investigator examined the department's firearm registry project finance files there were no financial spreadsheets or budget projections for this fiscal year. This is highly unusual, if not illegal.

Does the minister really want parliament and the voters to believe they are running a $300 million program without any budget? Why have the true costs of the gun registry been hidden from Canadians, or is the Liberal government just plain out of control?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Information Commissioner's Report
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LIB

John Manley

Liberal

Hon. John Manley (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, what we know on behalf of the Minister of Justice about the point of view of members of that party is not that they are seeking numbers, but that they oppose fundamentally the protection of Canadians through a comprehensive system of registration of firearms. That has been their point all along.

We on this side are prepared to go to the people saying we support gun control, effective gun control. It is important for Canadians. It is important for the safety of people in the country. We are for it. They are against it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Information Commissioner's Report
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REF

Garry Breitkreuz

Reform

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, we will support effective gun control as well, but let me ask this question. In Yves Lavigne's book, Hell's Angels at War , he says this about the Liberal gun registration scheme:

Police and politicians knew Bill C-68 was just a ploy to strip guns from law-abiding citizens with a grossly overbudgeted financial sinkhole of a bureaucracy...This is why the law was never mentioned during talks about a biker war—

Why has the justice minister wasted more than half a billion dollars on her useless gun registry, instead of helping the police and the provinces in their fight against organized crime? How many more hundreds of millions will she waste before she does the right thing and repeal Bill C-68?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Information Commissioner's Report
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LIB

John Manley

Liberal

Hon. John Manley (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that already more than 1.3 million individuals have complied with the licensing requirement. We know that since the beginning of December 1998 over 10,000 potentially dangerous gun sales were sent for further investigation, that almost a thousand licence applications have been refused, and that over 1,200 licences have been revoked.

We know that this gun control law will bring about a safer society. We know they are against it. What price do they put on the lives of Canadians who are threatened by illegal guns?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Information Commissioner's Report
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BQ

Gérard Asselin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gérard Asselin (Charlevoix, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, for the past 18 months, Cargill Limited, of Baie-Comeau, has been plagued by a labour dispute that hurts the region's economy and makes it very hard for the workers who have been locked out since March 28.

Will the Minister of Labour pledge to take all necessary actions to settle that dispute quickly and to everyone's satisfaction, and to put a stop to unfair practices such as the hiring of subcontractors for the mooring and sailing of ships, which violates section 87(7) of part I of the Canada Labour Code?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Labour Code
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am told that the parties will resume collective bargaining on October 24, 2000.

An officer of the federal mediation and conciliation service is currently in contact with the parties and is available to help them in their negotiations.

As for the interpretation of the provisions of the Canada Labour Code, to which the hon. member alluded, including section 87(7), it is the responsibility of the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Labour Code
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LIB

Ian Murray

Liberal

Mr. Ian Murray (Lanark—Carleton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. There is some concern in rural Canada that provisions in Bill C-17 relating to cruelty to animals will allow for prosecution for such normal activities as farming and hunting.

Will the minister please clarify the actual intent of the measures in Bill C-17?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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LIB

John Manley

Liberal

Hon. John Manley (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have always wanted to act as Minister of Justice. Let me say that Bill C-17 is good, solid law reform. It is an attempt to recognize cruelty to animals as a form of violence and to encourage the justice system to treat it seriously.

However, some have misunderstood the intent of Bill C-17. These amendments make no changes to the way the law applies to currently lawful activities involving animals. In fact, to make that clear, the Minister of Justice would support changes to the bill that clarify the law and provide assurances that humane practices will not be affected.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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October 20, 2000