September 27, 2001

LIB

Bernard Patry

Liberal

Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds--Dollard, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, two reports by the Canadian branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie and the accompanying financial report.

The first report has to do with the bureau meeting held in Quebec City, on July 6, 2001. The second has to do with the 27th regular session held from July 8 to 10, 2001 in Quebec City as well.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Delegations
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CA

Jim Pankiw

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Jim Pankiw (Saskatoon—Humboldt, PC/DR)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-398, an act to amend the Criminal Code (consecutive sentence for use of firearm in commission of offence).

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to introduce the bill entitled an act to amend the Criminal Code (consecutive sentence for use of firearm in commission of offence). The bill could also be known as the 10-20 life law because it would provide that for anyone who commits a violent crime and uses a firearm in the commission of that offence an additional 10 years would be added to any sentence, 20 years if the firearm is discharged, and life if someone other than the perpetrator of the crime or an accomplice is injured.

It is the criminal use of firearms that we should concern ourselves with. The Liberal government should have brought forward a 10-20 life law instead of forcing law abiding Canadians to register their firearms.

The purpose of the legislation is to fill a void that exists because there are no current laws or provisions within Canada's criminal code that adequately deter someone from using a firearm when committing a violent crime.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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LIB

Peter Adams

Liberal

Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present another petition from citizens of the Peterborough area who are concerned about kidney disease, which is a huge and growing problem in Canada.

Their petition requests that parliament do all it can to explicitly include kidney research as one of the institutes in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. They suggest that the institute be called the kidney and urinary tract diseases institute.

I would like to point out these citizens are not criticizing the kidney research being done in Canada at the present time but simply the name of the institute under which it is being done. The name of that institute is the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes. The citizens in Peterborough believe that this institute would be even more effective if the word kidney could be included in its title.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Peter Adams

Liberal

Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition from citizens of Peterborough who wish to see VIA rail service between Toronto and Peterborough returned. They see environmental and business advantages to this. It is not just a matter for Peterborough; it is a matter of improving transportation in the greater Toronto area.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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BQ

Gérard Asselin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gérard Asselin (Charlevoix, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am tabling today a petition with 5,800 signatures.

Transportation is an important issue for all of the businesses in the riding of Charlevoix. At the Baie-Sainte-Catherine/Tadoussac ferry crossing, there are increasingly longer lineups, which hinder economic development and tourism in the region.

Waiting times at the ferry translate into extra costs for businesses located in our region, which makes it difficult to attract new industries.

The petitioners are asking parliament to intervene by requesting that the federal government commit to funding for the construction of a bridge linking Tadoussac and Baie-Sainte-Catherine.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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PC

John Herron

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John Herron (Fundy—Royal, PC/DR)

Mr. Speaker, today I present a petition from the students, parents and teachers of Hampton High School in Hampton, New Brunswick.

This petition has been duly certified by the clerk of petitions. It calls upon the government to focus attention on the urgent problem of crushing student debt loads facing millions of young Canadians. The signatories call upon parliament to develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure that post-secondary education is more accessible.

Mr. Speaker, you have a university in your own riding so you know that tuition rates have skyrocketed over 126% in the last 10 years and that student debt loads have quadrupled. We need to ensure that post-secondary education is accessible to all Canadians in the country and through this petition that is what is being asked for.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 59 and 60.

Mr. John Duncan:

How much money has been spent on the software program known as “The Firearm Reference Table”, first to implement it and later to correct its flaws and re-implement it?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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LIB

Stephen Owen

Liberal

Mr. Stephen Owen (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

The Firearms Reference Table, FRT, has been updated and modified since its inception in the fall of 1997. Generally, an updated release of the FRT is the result of an increased collection of data. The program functionality is also enhanced in newer CD ROM releases of the FRT to improve user friendliness for clients. The information in the FRT must be kept current in order to make it an accurate resource for users.

The continuous addition of information is only one area of responsibility for most of the Canadian Firearms Registry, CFR, staff involved in contributing to FRT development. Therefore, there are no figures available reflecting the cost to date of the FRT. Extensive research would be required in order to calculate these costs.

The first release took place in June 1998. There have been seven subsequent releases, with the most recent release taking place in June 2001. In this regard, the client base has grown from approximately 200 users to over 6,500 users in 2001.

Mr. John Duncan:

Of the approximately 600,000 “possession-only” firearms licences issued without the mandatory background checks, in order to expedite the process, how many have now had the background checks completed as of May 31, 2001?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 59
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LIB

Stephen Owen

Liberal

Mr. Stephen Owen (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

Possession-only licences were never issued without the necessary background checks. Public safety checks were performed on all applicants who were issued a possession-only or possession and acquisition licence.

Because of the high volume of licence applications received at the end of 2000, temporary licences were issued for those who already possessed firearms and who applied for a possession-only or a possession and acquisition licence by January 1, 2001.

Before temporary licences were issued, background checks were carried out on each applicant to determine their eligibility in accordance with the Firearms Act.

Temporary licences allowed firearm owners to lawfully possess their firearms and to purchase ammunition while their licences were being processed. The temporary licences did not allow individuals to purchase additional firearms.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 60
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 62 could be made an order for return, the return would be tabled immediately.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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?

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Mr. John Cummins:

With regard to programs and all other special expenditures for aboriginals in Delta--South Richmond, what was the total expenditure by department for the fiscal years 1996-97 to 2000-01 inclusive, for each band or aboriginal organization?

Return tabled.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

Mr. Geoff Regan

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 62
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?

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 62
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?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 62
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?

The Speaker

The Chair has received an application for an emergency debate from the hon. member for Selkirk--Interlake.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 62
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CA

Howard Hilstrom

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Howard Hilstrom (Selkirk—Interlake, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, on September 4, 2001, I wrote to you requesting an emergency agriculture debate for September 17. The tragic and horrific events of September 11 have overshadowed all the other issues that we refer to as domestic issues. Some of these domestic issues have reached the point where many people involved in the industry are now facing a crisis situation. The industry I am talking about is agriculture. I had resubmitted the request to have this crucial debate for the evening of September 26, but once again events in the House resulting from the tragedy of September 11 did not facilitate a ruling on my request.

I still feel that these issues must quickly come before the House of Commons. Therefore, pursuant to Standing Order 52, I request leave to make the motion for an emergency debate. Mr. Speaker, you have granted me permission to speak requesting this debate for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter, which is the drought and the farm income crisis facing grains and oilseed farmers as well as potato growers.

I would like to point out that the drought is severe and it is national in scope. It is not related to just one area. Environment Canada's senior climatologist has stated that he cannot recall a year when we have had such an extensive drought across the country.

Last year was the eighth driest for southern Alberta since weather records were started in 1886. Only 50 millimetres of rain fell between April and August. The PFRA out of Medicine Hat, Alberta, has stated that 95% of surface water is depleted. In Saskatchewan this was the fifth driest year on record since the 1800s. Waterloo airport is another example. July was its driest month since measurements were first taken at the Waterloo airport over 30 years ago. Nova Scotia has gone through an extensive drought, with vegetable crops being put under.

Many farmers have continued to indicate that the present safety net programs need a lot of revision. By having this debate tonight we can emphasize the crisis we are talking about and provide solutions that cabinet can take note of and which would help alleviate the situation.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 62
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?

The Speaker

I thank the hon. member for Selkirk--Interlake for bringing this matter to the attention of the House. I believe it is a request that is reasonable in the circumstances and complies with the provisions of the standing order. Accordingly, I grant the debate requested. It will take place this evening at 8 o'clock.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 62
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order now that you have given your ruling. There have been consultations with all political parties in the House and I would like to move the following motion. I move:

That notwithstanding any standing order, the House shall continue to sit after private members' hour later this day for the purpose of considering the item under Standing Order 52 and it shall do so in a committee of the whole, provided that during consideration thereof, (1) the Speaker may from time to time act as Chair of the committee (2) no Member shall speak for more than 10 minutes (3) the Chair of the committee shall not receive any quorum call or any motion except a motion “That the committee do now rise”, (4) when no Member rises to speak, or at 10:00 p.m., whichever is earlier, the committee shall rise and (5) when the committee rises the House shall immediately adjourn to the next sitting day.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 62
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?

The Speaker

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Question No. 62
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September 27, 2001