June 4, 2003

PC

Bill Casey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland—Colchester, PC)

Mr. Speaker, let the record show not one province supports it.

Actually, I believe that some officials just made a mistake when they made this proposal. Admirably, the Minister for International Trade is trying not to undermine his officials.

The minister should remember that every single Liberal member in Nova Scotia was defeated in 1997 because one minister cavalierly did not listen to the voters in the province. They went from every seat in the province to zero seats because of one minister.

Now, the premier, the industry, the remanufacturers, and the unions all are against this proposal. I think the minister may not want to undermine his officials, but he is certainly undermining--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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The Speaker

The hon. Minister for International Trade.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the conservative advice on how to win seats in Canada. I remember very well years where they actually went down to two seats across the land following two majorities in the House. If the member does not mind, I think I will not take his advice too seriously.

I will not play cheap politics with softwood lumber communities and our workers. What we are fighting for right now is not seats in Nova Scotia; it is the industry and its future in North America. That is what we care about.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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NDP

Lorne Nystrom

New Democratic Party

Hon. Lorne Nystrom (Regina—Qu'Appelle, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I my question is for the Solicitor General.

The RCMP alleges that CSIS may have had a mole that may have had prior knowledge of the Air India attack. We do not know this because CSIS destroyed some of the key tapes.

As the minister responsible for both the RCMP and CSIS he has been stonewalling in terms of providing the answers.

I want to ask the minister whether he would agree now to order a public inquiry into the Air India attack at the conclusion of the current trial? The families of the victims that died have a right to know what happened. The public has a right to know what happened. Will he order an inquiry at the conclusion of the current trial?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air India
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I really encourage members to go back and look at the major review that was done by the review agency that was established by the House. They would see that everything that was done by CSIS was done properly. With reference to the tapes that the members talk about, the review stated:

CSIS affirmed that the tapes were erased in accordance with their policies and the Government's intention that such material should not be retained unnecessarily.

CSIS and the RCMP did nothing wrong in terms of this proposal.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air India
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NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis

New Democratic Party

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder that the UN committee on eliminating discrimination against women is on the government's case for its lack of action on gender parity.

The Liberals have made over 8,000 appointments to key positions over their three terms in office. Only 34.5% of their appointees have been women. In three terms they have raised the total by 1%. At this rate it will take 150 years to reach gender parity. Canadian women cannot wait 150 years.

What does the government intend to do about this shameful situation?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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LIB

Jean Augustine

Liberal

Hon. Jean Augustine (Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my colleague who is very interested in this issue that the Government of Canada is committed to gender equality. I have promised the member that we will go through all of the programs and policies that Status of Women supports and the government is committed to. It is important that the member understand that we have an agenda for gender equality and we are moving forward with that agenda.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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CA

Betty Hinton

Canadian Alliance

Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the government's sex offender registry is as flawed as any legislation ever brought to the House. It will be dangerous legislation if enacted without substantial changes. The minister will force the Crown to take the initiative to have a convicted sex offender placed on the registry. Registration is not mandatory but it should be.

Why does the minister refuse to require that all sex offenders be automatically registered upon conviction?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I spent a considerable time before the committee the other day talking about this very bill and on some of those points. The fact of the matter is that we moved quickly on this legislation. We gained a consensus from federal, provincial and territorial ministers of justice and attorneys general in October and November. We tabled the legislation in December. It is on the basis of that consensus that we are moving forward with this legislation to do what the provinces and Canadians really want us to do.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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CA

Betty Hinton

Canadian Alliance

Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, doing it right is better than doing it fast.

How badly flawed is Bill C-23? If and when it comes into effect it will have zero names on it because it is not retroactive. The Liberals want people to reoffend before they get put on the registry. The provinces, victims, and police have been screaming for a retroactive registry.

Why will the Solicitor General not commit to a sex offender registry that will actually have the names of those convicted on it?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member had it right in the first instance in her comment that doing it right rather than doing it fast is the responsible way to go. That is in fact what we are doing.

By making it retroactive we face the possibility of challenges in the court. I want the sex offender registry to work in the interests of people and be an investigative tool for police officers across the country, and not spend all of our time with legal counsel in court facing challenges. We have brought it forward in this way so it will work in the interests of Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, in the statements issued by the leaders of the G-8 who are meeting at Evian, they have taken a tougher stand on Iran and North Korea, warning that the nuclear threat these countries might pose would be addressed with the tools set out in the non-proliferation treaties, and “if necessary, other measures”.

My question is for the Minister of Defence. Can the minister tell us, without ambiguity, whether it is out of the question for Canada to contemplate the use of force against these two countries?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Aileen Carroll

Liberal

Ms. Aileen Carroll (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it has long been the position of Canada to work within multilateral venues such as the G-8 and NATO, and to approach issues such as the two mentioned by the hon. member from the departure point of diplomacy. We have been reinforcing the other initiatives taken with regard to North Korea and Iran by our allies on the diplomatic front. In the beginning that is the way to proceed and it is our intention to continue in that regard.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has remained vague on this question. A report in today's La Presse indicates that he refused three times to provide his interpretation of the final declaration.

Why will the Canadian representative not state as clearly as the President of France and the Prime Ministers of Japan and Germany that it is out of the question to contemplate the use of mesures other than those set out in international treaties for dealing with Iran and North Korea?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Aileen Carroll

Liberal

Ms. Aileen Carroll (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, finding the Prime Minister vague would be in the eyes of the beholder. The questioner in this regard continually fails to grasp the message that he sends. He has clearly articulated it in the House and continued to do so overseas. It is that Canada chooses to reinforce diplomatic initiatives as it has done in the past. The Prime Minister has reiterated that and we look at that before we anticipate or plan for a military action.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CA

Garry Breitkreuz

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General is now faced with the sixth province that refuses to prosecute the 600,000 gun owners who have so far been unable or unwilling to register their guns. The Solicitor General simply deals with the problem by telling the Nova Scotia justice minister to “get up to speed”.

Only Prince Edward Island and Quebec still support the gun registry. When will the Solicitor General start listening to the provincial justice ministers instead of insulting their intelligence?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Firearms Registry
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, what I neglected to mention is that maybe the member for Yorkton--Melville should get up to speed on what is happening in terms of this legislation and the changes that we have made to it to make it more efficient. Maybe it would be helpful if that member would go out and encourage people to register their guns before the deadline.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Firearms Registry
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CA

Garry Breitkreuz

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, I am beginning to wonder if the Solicitor General has any idea what is going on in his department. The minister's officials admit they cannot even process all the paperwork before the deadline at the end of this month, a completely arbitrary deadline.

The firearms database crashed. Does he know that? They have lost an unknown number of records. His own incompetence will criminalize legitimate gun owners. The minister's stubbornness will cost taxpayers even more.

Is the minister willing to criminalize more law abiding gun owners, or will he just scrap the program?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Firearms Registry
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I said a number of times, the intention of this legislation is not to criminalize legitimate gun owners. We would hope that all Canadians who have legitimate guns out there register by the deadline and then that move will not be necessary.

Speaking of the member getting up to speed, he should be reminded that the crash in the system was in December. That has since been improved and we can handle the registrations now.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Firearms Registry
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LIB

Beth Phinney

Liberal

Ms. Beth Phinney (Hamilton Mountain, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the G-8 has just completed the summit in Evian, France, where the African action plan was discussed. Has Canada made any progress in meeting its commitments made in last year's G-8 meeting in Kananaskis?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Aid
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June 4, 2003