October 31, 2003

LIB

Alan Tonks

Liberal

Mr. Alan Tonks (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made it very clear when $1 billion in budget 2003 was allocated for our strategies to reduce greenhouse gases consistent with our Kyoto commitments.

These bilateral initiatives with the provinces as partners will be made operational through memorandums of understanding.

I am pleased to report to the House that the minister is in Iqaluit, Nunavut, signing a bilateral protocol with the territory, and this is the first of many to come.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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PC

Greg Thompson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Greg Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest, PC)

Mr. Speaker, in the government's haste to speed up the timing of the next election it has forgotten one important element: the appointment of returning officers in all parts of Canada. We have a vacancy of returning officers.

I do not think I have to point out to the Minister of Public Works how important that position is for the democratic process, not only for candidates but for political parties, for democracy.

When will those appointments be completed? Will it be during the time of the present Prime Minister on his watch or will we have to wait for a regime change to get those appointments in place?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Elections Canada
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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, there is no delay in the appointment of returning officers. As of a little earlier this morning, over 280 returning officers have so far been appointed. The others are in the process. Verifications are being made with security checks and so on for the remaining appointments to get to the total of 308. There are no delays at all.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Elections Canada
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PC

Rex Barnes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rex Barnes (Gander—Grand Falls, PC)

Mr. Speaker, river guardians in Newfoundland and Labrador have had significant cuts in their hours of operation. It is expected that next year their hours will be further reduced by another 30% to 50%. Concerns are being raised that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is in the process of eliminating our river guardians entirely. Will the minister confirm today his department's position with respect to river guardians?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Fisheries and Oceans
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LIB

Georges Farrah

Liberal

Mr. Georges Farrah (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I think it is completely normal for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to be in the process of re-evaluating all the duties of everyone who works in the department, in order to ensure, in any event, that money is being spent efficiently.

The process is currently under evaluation. No decision has been made. The minister will inform us of the decision once it is made.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Fisheries and Oceans
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NDP

Pat Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, we know now that trans fats are really bad for us and especially bad for our children, yet instead of banning trans fats as other countries have, the Liberal government says it is okay to put this poison in our foods as long as it is clearly labelled, and even then only three years from now, and even then, unbelievably, baby food is exempt.

Why will our health minister not stand up for our public health and take concrete steps now to eliminate this toxic garbage from our food? Why will she not simply ban trans fats now?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should actually do better research in terms of how the rest of the world is responding to the challenge of trans fat. In fact we know that trans fat is an ingredient in our food that the public needs to know about. They need to know how much trans fat they are consuming. They need to know the risks of trans fat. That is why we in fact are requiring mandatory nutritional labelling. When our labelling is in full force and effect, we will have the best science based nutritional labelling of any country in the world.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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NDP

Peter Stoffer

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, one of the greatest challenges people have in this country is that of caring for a child under palliative care. Earlier this year, the government had an initiative that palliative care leave for parents looking after children in that situation would start in January 2004, but with the new regime change happening we understand that this program may be under review and may be delayed.

I would like assurances from the Minister of Human Resources. Will this program for parents looking after children under palliative care be started in January 2004?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, indeed I am very happy to tell the hon. member that this government is on track to introducing one of the world's first compassionate care programs on January 4, 2004.

We know how difficult workplace and family balance issues are, and we believe as a country that we have to help Canadians deal with the moral issue of going to work while at home they have a gravely ill child, parent or spouse. This is indeed a great and positive addition to Canada's unbelievably important social safety net.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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CA

James Moore

Canadian Alliance

Mr. James Moore (Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, on October 23 this government transferred Darcy Bertrand, a triple murderer and known pedophile, to a minimum security facility that does not have a fence. In 2001, Darby Cairns, another murderer, walked away from this facility.

Surviving family members of those Darcy Bertrand killed live only 20 minutes away from this facility. On behalf of the family, will this government reconsider the choice of moving this triple murderer, who committed the crime only six years ago, into a minimum security facility and put him back behind a real, real jail cell?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Marlene Jennings

Liberal

Mrs. Marlene Jennings (Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Solicitor General cannot discuss the specifics of any offender's case, but I do wish to assure this House on behalf of the Solicitor General that the Correctional Service of Canada is managing this case in accordance with the law. Risk assessment processes were used to evaluate this offender and he is currently in a facility that meets his security and programming needs and those of the Canadian public.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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CA

James Moore

Canadian Alliance

Mr. James Moore (Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the family does not care about his security needs. I care about the security needs of my constituents and the family members who are left behind by this murderer. I do not care about this convicted murder. This guy, on Thanksgiving Day 1995, walked up to a church in Coquitlam with a knife and murdered his mother-in-law and father-in-law and then murdered his wife in front of their seven year old child. He was convicted of three murders.

He is supposed to have three life sentences. After six years, he has been transferred to a minimum security facility with no fence. To the family, how is that justice, and why will this government not reconsider putting this murderer behind a real jail cell with real bars? What is the problem with that?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Marlene Jennings

Liberal

Mrs. Marlene Jennings (Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that the Correctional Service of Canada takes its role, its duties and its responsibilities very seriously. The question of public security is a prime goal and mandate of that service. The Correctional Service of Canada also takes the concerns of victims very seriously and will continue to keep the victims apprised of this offender's case to the extent that our Privacy Act permits.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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BQ

Roger Gaudet

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Roger Gaudet (Berthier--Montcalm, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on the occasion of the huge demonstration by beef producers at the National Assembly, the Quebec minister of agriculture made the following statement, “The new program, as set up by the federal government, is not what the Quebec industry hoped to see”.

Can the minister confirm that the assistance program will be flexible enough to compensate all producers affected by the mad cow crisis?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, any further programs that are developed in conjunction with the industry and with the provinces will treat dairy farmers and beef farmers in exactly the same way in all provinces in this country, as they should. I can tell the hon. member and both the dairy producers and the beef producers of the province of Quebec that they will be treated the same as those in other provinces.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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BQ

Roger Gaudet

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Roger Gaudet (Berthier--Montcalm, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, in September the Quebec assistance program left out the cull cow producers, and the federal government has not yet announced its assistance plan.

Will the minister acknowledge that financial distress is financial distress, regardless of the type of animal operation concerned, and announcement of a program that will compensate all producers affected by the crisis is urgently needed?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I do not have to repeat. I gave the answer earlier and it is the identical answer here, because all producers, dairy or beef, in all provinces will be treated the same.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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CA

Larry Spencer

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Larry Spencer (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-20 fails to alleviate the burden on those who prosecute child pornographers for their perverted crimes against children. Investigators must itemize and document every pornographic image seized, often numbering in the tens of thousands, before being able to prosecute.

Will the justice minister amend the rules of disclosure so that police will not have to examine every single image before prosecuting?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Child Pornography
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LIB

Paul MacKlin

Liberal

Mr. Paul Harold Macklin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-20 is clearly meant to deal with the problem of dealing with child pornography within our society and clearly it does so. It has addressed the Sharpe case and has brought forward a defence that is clear and well defined. It was placed before the House yesterday, so hopefully in the final debate the member will bring forward any concerns he has as the bill goes forward.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Child Pornography
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CA

Larry Spencer

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Larry Spencer (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, there are plenty of concerns. Bill C-20 fails to legislate stronger sentences for convicted child pornographers. Maximum sentences are rarely used. What is needed is mandatory prison sentencing. The justice minister fails to use even the most basic of deterrents for predatory pornographers. Child pornography is child abuse.

Will the minister act to protect children by committing to some level of mandatory prison sentencing for convicted child pornographers?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Child Pornography
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October 31, 2003