September 19, 2003

NDP

Pat Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the only people who support the idea of a biometric national ID card are the Minister of Immigration himself and Allan Dershowitz, the high priced O.J. Simpson Hollywood lawyer. That is why our minister is spending $35,000 to bring Mr. Dershowitz in to be the guest speaker at a conference that is supposed to debate the merits of this card. Surely that will bias the tone of this conference.

The privacy commissioner has condemned the national ID card in no uncertain terms. Will the Minister of Immigration save us all a lot of money and time and cancel this conference, and put the idea of a biometric national ID card to bed for now and forever?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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LIB

Denis Coderre

Liberal

Hon. Denis Coderre (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my definition of democracy is to have those kinds of society debates. I truly believe that the time has come, especially when we look at the polls, when people are ready to have that kind of discussion. The governments of the G-8 right now are having that discussion. We have many areas where people should debate that kind of issue. I do not think it is painful to decide what kind of future we want for our society. It seems that the Canadian population is ready for that but not the member.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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NDP

Lorne Nystrom

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the acting prime minister.

Unfortunately, as many as 650,000 cattle may have to be killed because of restrictions on Canadian beef exports. Those cattle older than 30 months cannot be exported and therefore have a lower market value because of the lack of market in our country. These cattle are an acting time bomb for the industry.

Could the acting prime minister tell the House what the government has planned, to deal with a national cattle cull, and how this cull strategy will be financed?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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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, the position that has just been expressed by the hon. member is not even the position of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association.

I will read from its press release of September 10, 2003, in which it says that Canadians are proving their confidence in buying Canadian beef and that this support would be jeopardized if the cattle industry were to advocate a massive cull of cattle.

That is not the position of the industry at all and that is not what it has said.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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CA

Jay Hill

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, from the time Canada took delivery of the first Victoria class submarine, these subs have been plagued by problems, starting with the HMCS Victoria arriving in Canada with a dent in its hull.

Now we learn that last June the government hid a serious incident with HMCS Corner Brook . During a routine training exercise, the crew had to perform an emergency surfacing after a leak was discovered on the sub.

How long before these subs will be fully operational, all the repairs completed, and how much will it cost Canadian taxpayers?

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, with some 75% of the life remaining and at a cost of 25% of the original cost, this is truly an excellent deal for the Canadian taxpayer.

In addition, there have been some problems in testing but that is why we do the testing. We do the testing so that these problems can be solved and they do not occur in operations.

Finally, there is good news. A couple of days ago the HMCS Victoria arrived in Victoria. For the first time in 50 years, Canada has a submarine presence on the west coast.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
CA

Jay Hill

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the minister did not answer the question.

The HMCS Victoria , while it is on the west coast, is not operational. These subs seem to leak more often than a puppy with a bad bladder. Even when purchasing a used car the buyer has some protection.

Did the government negotiate a money back guarantee before it signed the lease on these subs, or was this simply a colossal case of buyer beware?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the submarine is a stealthy vessel, well suited for today's security environment. I should think that the hon. member, who comes from the west himself, would be pleased that for the first time in 50 years we have a submarine presence on his coast.

Yes, there are always teething problems but soon these submarines will be operational and that will be good news for Canada.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard said that efforts must be made to ensure that Canada plays a lead role in the green industries of tomorrow. This is clearly not enough. The focus must be on the real source of greenhouse gases: the western oil companies.

Does the Minister of the Environment acknowledge that the most urgent action in pursuing the Kyoto objectives is to require polluters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, rather than give them a hand with their taxes, as the member for LaSalle—Émard is doing in the interests of his Liberal Party leadership race.

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, I wish to inform the hon. member that Canada already plays a lead role as far as environmentally friendly industry is concerned. The province of Quebec is one of the leaders in this area. We already have made major strides in this area.

As for the matter of greenhouse gas emissions, I can assure him that the plan is already in place, as is its implementation.

Despite growth in the gasoline sector, we are going to reach the target of 6%—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
Permalink
?

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
Permalink
BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the lead role the government is playing relates to financing the oil and gas industry rather than environmentally friendly industries.

Does the Minister of the Environment intend to make the next leader of the Liberal Party aware of the true issues at stake with the Kyoto protocol, and to remind him that attaining those objectives is irreconcilable with the taxation measures put forward by the member for LaSalle—Émard, measures that benefit the major polluters, namely the oil and gas companies bankrolling his campaign?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
Permalink
LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that green industry is truly one private sector industry that is a leader worldwide. Clearly, exportation of our industry is very high, and this is a sector supported by the federal government.

As for greenhouse gas emissions, I repeat: we are convinced that we will achieve a 6% reduction over the 1990 levels.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
Permalink
CA

Brian Pallister

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, it was more than a year and a half ago that the minister was alerted to serious problems within her department concerning a $7.5 million Toronto area jobs project. Rather than asking the hard questions and getting to the bottom of the problem, she chose to turn a blind eye and do nothing for months. It was just two weeks ago that the RCMP was finally contacted.

Why has the minister consistently avoided making the difficult decisions necessary to clean up her department?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development Canada
Permalink
LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can continue to engage in speculation but he knows there is an ongoing police investigation. He knows that the Department of Human Resources Development Canada is co-operating with the police. He knows that the department has already taken severe disciplinary action up to and including firing. He knows that I will not be sharing any more details with him because I do not want to jeopardize this ongoing investigation.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development Canada
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CA

Brian Pallister

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, it always seems to be somebody else's fault.

We all remember the notorious Paul Cochrane, the junket king, the centre of the Virginia Fontaine scandal, he of the Caribbean cruises, the only man in Canada who has wasted more taxpayer money than the heritage minister. He should have been run out of the civil service on a rail a long time ago but, despite an investigation and criminal charges, he landed a job with HRDC.

Who is the minister going to blame for that one?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development Canada
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, with specific reference to that question, I can tell the hon. member that the department contracted work to be done by a company called MaxSys under competitively tendered standing offers established by Public Works and Government Services Canada in the year 2001.

MaxSys provided the services of Paul Cochrane to conduct the human resources work. However, when a firm is contracted to supply services to the department, Public Works and Government Services Canada does ensure that the contractor personnel are security screened to the appropriate level.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development Canada
Permalink
LIB

David Pratt

Liberal

Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the revenue minister.

I noted with interest recently that union leaders representing customs workers and MPs from the Canadian Alliance have been making allegations with respect to our border points being understaffed and security equipment going unused.

Could the Minister of National Revenue provide us with some accurate facts on this issue?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Permalink
LIB

Elinor Caplan

Liberal

Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, first, let me put this in context. As you would know, Mr. Speaker, the negotiating process has just begun and the fact is that some union leaders and some of their political pals are speaking out making, what I would call, intemperate and inaccurate statements.

Here are the facts. Customs security at our seaports, our airports and our land border crossings are the best that they have been in the history of our country and Canadians can have confidence. There are no staff shortages at any of our border points. We have equipment that is being rolled out and used. Since 2001 we have hired 450--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Permalink
?

The Deputy Speaker

The member for Prince Albert.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
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September 19, 2003