June 5, 2003

LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member says is somewhat incorrect when he looks at his own party. He says that he is against contributions from the taxpayer. In the last election and the one before that, millions of dollars went to the Alliance Party through taxpayer subsidy. Millions of dollars went to individual Alliance candidates. Does anyone know how many of them are reported in the public accounts as having given the money back? Zero.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, leader of the Burmese opposition and symbol of democracy in her country, has again been detained without reason by the junta in power. Ms. Kyi has criticized Canada because, unlike the U.S., we have refused to ban investment in Burma.

When will the government decide to provide real help to bring democracy to this country by putting pressure on Canadian companies operating in Burma?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Bill Graham

Liberal

Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canada fully protested the action of the junta in Burma. We are still taking firm action vis-à-vis Burma. We support the re-establishment of democracy in Burma. We will continue to make efforts to ensure that democracy prevails in Burma and we are working with all of the opposition in Burma to ensure this outcome.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Julian Reed

Liberal

Mr. Julian Reed (Halton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment.

Why is the government taking a phased approach to implementing the Species at Risk Act? What are we doing in support of the stewardship provisions in that act?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we are taking a phased approach to the act, most of which, by the way, came into force today, so we can have the assessment listing, recovery and stewardship programs moving forward as soon as possible.

We obviously have some important work to do to effectively synchronize with other legislation, for example, the Fisheries Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act. Therefore the remaining provisions will come in one year from now.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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BQ

Yvan Loubier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, microbreweries in Canada and Quebec are having to deal with unfair competition from Canada's large brewers and from foreign small brewers who benefit from excise tax reductions. During the prebudget consultations, the Standing Committee on Finance unanimously recommended lowering the excise tax.

Does the minister realize that his refusal to lower the excise tax on microbrewery beer is putting the nails in the coffin of this new industry that employs 4,000 people in Canada?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Microbreweries
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LIB

John Manley

Liberal

Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, many recommendations were made by the Standing Committee on Finance before the budget was brought down. We adopted almost two thirds of these recommendations. However, it was not possible to do everything that was recommended. Microbreweries made an effort to explain the situation to members, but choices must always be made. There will always be other budgets.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Microbreweries
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CA

Jim Pankiw

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Jim Pankiw (Saskatoon—Humboldt, Ind.)

Mr. Speaker, the International Association of Fire Fighters has repeatedly asked the government to fund hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction training for emergency personnel. Recent terrorist attacks clearly show that local emergency personnel, not the military, are frontline responders.

Why is the government refusing to provide $500,000 for a training program that will improve the ability of emergency response teams to handle a disaster or terrorist attack?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government, in the form of its agency known as OCIPEP, is very much involved in providing firstline responders with training. Indeed, that is a central feature of its occupation. These include firefighters, health workers and others across the entire system.

Additional resources in substantial quantities have been put into the budget since the 2001 budget. The agency is working diligently and fulfilling its responsibility.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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PC

Gerald Keddy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, PC)

Mr. Speaker, once again, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade.

From coast to coast, can the parliamentary secretary name one province that agrees with the minister's ill-conceived softwood lumber sellout?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Murray Calder

Liberal

Mr. Murray Calder (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across the way knows, first, that we have always approached this from a two pronged strategy.

Prong number one is to put our case in front of the WTO and NAFTA. So far with the WTO it looks like we have been successful with that, and we will know in July with NAFTA.

The second prong has been to negotiate with the United States on the softwood lumber issue. By doing that we have been in full consultation with all the provinces, all the producers and all the industry holders to get the best deal possible.

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, my question is for the Solicitor General.

Ujjal Dosanjh, the former premier of British Columbia, said yesterday that CSIS treated the Air India crisis in a casual manner because it involved people from the south Asian community.

In light of this concern by a respected leader of the south Asian community, has the minister now reconsidered his decision not to hold a public inquiry into the Air India disaster at the conclusion of the current criminal 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, indeed, the former premier is a respected member of the community.

As I have indicated in the House a number of times, there was a major review both before and after the 1985 Air India bombing by the security intelligence review committee. It reviewed thousands of pages of documents, numerous personnel, including the commissioner of the RCMP at the time, and it laid to rest the problems that the member is trying to raise. There is no need for any such inquiry.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air India
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CA

Deepak Obhrai

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the crisis of malnutrition and disease is reaching an epidemic proportion around the world.

Canada can play a very important role in helping alleviate this crisis and yet spending much needed funds in countries that can take care of themselves is a waste of precious resources.

Why does CIDA continue with this policy? Why?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Aid
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LIB

Susan Whelan

Liberal

Hon. Susan Whelan (Minister for International Cooperation, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canada's foreign aid policy is targeted toward those countries that have poor people, people who are living on less than $1 a day, working to feed 800 million people who go hungry every day, recognizing that 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 a day.

We have introduced a new policy where we are focusing our efforts. We have introduced a number of countries where we are concentrating our efforts in a number of sectors.

The hon. member knows full well that we are working with poor people for sustainable development to reduce poverty, and that is the mandate of what we do.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Aid
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?

The Speaker

I wish to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of Dr. Cynthia Maung of Myanmar.

Dr. Maung operates a hospital on the Thailand-Myanmar border where she provides critical health care services to thousands of refugees from her country.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence in Gallery
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?

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

I wish to inform the House that, because of the ministerial statement, government orders will be extended by 37 minutes.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence in Gallery
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CA

Carol Skelton

Canadian Alliance

Mrs. Carol Skelton (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, it is my duty today to ask the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons if he has checked with both his leaders and has their permission to give us the business for the rest of today, tomorrow and next week.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Business of the House
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, that is a very powerful question. Yes, I have checked my agenda as to what work remains to be done. We all know that there is lots of work to do.

That is why, this afternoon, the House will return to its consideration of Bill C-15, the lobbyist legislation, followed by Bill S-13, respecting census records. We will then return to Bill C-17, the public safety bill.

I am sorry that this morning we were unable to complete our consideration of Bill C-7. Tomorrow, we will begin considering the Senate's amendments to Bill C-10B, the cruelty to animals legislation, and Bill C-35, the military judges bill. If we have any time remaining, I still hope we can finish with Bill C-7, of course.

Next week, starting on Monday, the House will consider Bill C-24, the elections finance bill, at the report stage, and any items from this week that have not been completed.

I wish to confirm to the House that Thursday, June 12 shall be an allotted day.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Business of the House
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House an hon. member raised a question of privilege concerning the registration of firearms. I promised to get back to the House as soon as possible, which I am now doing.

As promised, I wish to give the House more information on the question of privilege raised yesterday by the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville.

The hon. member alleged that the Minister of Justice did not comply with a requirement under subsection 119(4) of the Firearms Act that requires the minister to table in the House a statement of reasons concerning certain regulations.

On December 5, 2002 the governor in council enacted four regulations under the Firearms Act. These were published in the Canada Gazette on December 18.

Subsection 119(4) of the Firearms Act requires the minister to table a statement of the reasons, which the marginal heading to the subsection describes as a “notice of opinion”.

The Minister of Justice tabled the statement of reasons for these regulations and this is noted in the Journals of March 17, 2003. Under “Returns and Reports Deposited with the Clerk of the House”, it states that pursuant to subsection 119(4) of the Firearms Act, a notice of opinion was laid upon the table for the above-noted regulations.

As further evidence, this notice is cited as Sessional Paper No. 8560-372-779-01, with which we are all familiar, and was permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. In other words, the statement of reasons for all of these regulations was properly tabled and the Minister of Justice has fulfilled his statutory obligations under the Firearms Act.

As a result, I would suggest to the Chair that in fact there is no question of privilege before the House. The point is moot and should not have been raised to begin with.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Privilege
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June 5, 2003