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37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 101

CONTENTS

Tuesday, May 13, 2003




1010
V     Privilege
V         Firearms Act--Speaker's Ruling
V         The Speaker

1015
V ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
V     Government Response to Petitions
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V     Statutory Program Evaluation Act
V         Mr. John Williams (St. Albert, Canadian Alliance)
V         (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
V     Petitions
V         Freedom of Religion
V         Mr. Larry Spencer (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, Canadian Alliance)
V         Health
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V     Questions on the Order Paper
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V         The Deputy Speaker
V GOVERNMENT ORDERS
V     Budget Implementation Act, 2003
V         Mr. Ghislain Fournier (Manicouagan, BQ)

1020
V         Mr. John Williams (St. Albert, Canadian Alliance)

1025

1030
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

1035

1040
V         Mr. Roger Gaudet (Berthier--Montcalm, BQ)

1045

1050
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (Jonquière, BQ)

1055

1100
V         Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP)

1105

1110
V         Mr. John Williams
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         Mr. Gilles-A. Perron (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, BQ)

1115

1120
V         Mr. Svend Robinson (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

1125

1130
V         Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

1135

1140
V         The Deputy Speaker

1145
V     Public Safety Act, 2002
V         Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, Canadian Alliance)

1150

1155
V         Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ)

1200

1205
V         Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP)

1210

1215
V         Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, PC)

1220

1225
V         Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

1230

1235
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

1240

1245
V         Mr. Svend Robinson (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

1250

1255
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall

1300
V     Library and Archives of Canada Act
V         Hon. Jean Augustine
V         Ms. Carole-Marie Allard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

1305

1310

1315

1320

1325
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance)

1330

1335

1340

1345

1350
V         Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)

1355
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
V     Canadian Shipowners Association
V         Mr. John Maloney (Erie—Lincoln, Lib.)
V     Middle East
V         Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, Canadian Alliance)

1400
V     Canada Book Day
V         Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parkdale—High Park, Lib.)
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V     Hydrogen Storage
V         Mr. Massimo Pacetti (Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, Lib.)
V     Portuguese Canadians
V         Ms. Raymonde Folco (Laval West, Lib.)
V     Canadian Alliance for Social Justice and Family Values Association
V         Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, Canadian Alliance)
V     Books for Children and Families
V         Hon. Andy Scott (Fredericton, Lib.)

1405
V     Mining
V         Mr. Ghislain Fournier (Manicouagan, BQ)
V     City of Scarborough
V         Mr. John McKay (Scarborough East, Lib.)
V     Perth—Middlesex
V         Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Canadian Alliance)
V     John Savage
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Halifax West, Lib.)
V     John Savage
V         Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)
V     Terrorism
V         Mr. Michel Guimond (Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans, BQ)

1410
V     Cyprus
V         Ms. Eleni Bakopanos (Ahuntsic, Lib.)
V     Perth—Middlesex
V         Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, PC)
V     National Nursing Week
V         Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.)
V     National Nursing Week
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, Canadian Alliance)

1415
V ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
V     Auberge Grand-Mère
V         Mr. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.)
V         Mr. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)
V         Mr. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.)
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.)

1420
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.)
V     Marijuana
V         Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V         Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V         Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, BQ)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V         Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, BQ)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

1425
V         Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V     Auberge Grand-Mère
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC)
V         Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.)
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC)
V         Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)
V     National Defence
V         Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.)

1430
V         Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.)
V     Softwood Lumber
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)
V     National Defence
V         Mr. James Moore (Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Mr. James Moore (Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, Canadian Alliance)

1435
V         Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ)
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V         Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ)
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V     Correctional Service of Canada
V         Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)
V         Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, Canadian Alliance)

1440
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)
V     Arts and Culture
V         Mr. Julian Reed (Halton, Lib.)
V         Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP)
V         Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)
V     Airline Industry
V         Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP)
V         Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
V     National Defence
V         Mr. John Herron (Fundy—Royal, PC)

1445
V         Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V     Softwood Lumber
V         Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland—Colchester, PC)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)
V     Canadian Wheat Board
V         Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.)
V         Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.)
V     Canadian Television Fund
V         Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)
V         Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)
V         Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)

1450
V         Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)
V      Coast Guard
V         Mr. John Cummins (Delta—South Richmond, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Robert Thibault (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)
V         Mr. John Cummins (Delta—South Richmond, Canadian Alliance)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Robert Thibault (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)
V     La Francophonie
V         Ms. Hélène Scherrer (Louis-Hébert, Lib.)
V         Hon. Denis Paradis (Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie), Lib.)
V     Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
V         Ms. Val Meredith (South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

1455
V         Ms. Val Meredith (South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)
V     Agriculture
V         Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, BQ)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)
V     Political Party Financing
V         Mr. Joe Jordan (Leeds—Grenville, Lib.)
V         Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)
V         Ms. Pierrette Venne (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, Ind. BQ)
V         Hon. Don Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V     Infrastructure
V         Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

1500
V     Canada-U.S. Border
V         Mr. Gilles-A. Perron (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, BQ)
V         Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)
V GOVERNMENT ORDERS
V     International Transfer of Offenders Act
V         The Speaker

1515
V     (Division 160)
V         The Speaker
V         (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall
V         The Speaker
V         The Speaker
V     Budget Implementation Act
V         The Speaker

1525
V     (Division 161)
V         The Speaker

1530
V     (Division 162)
V         The Speaker
V         

1535
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall
V         The Speaker
V     (Division 163)
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Dale Johnston
V         The Speaker
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall
V         Mr. Dale Johnston
V         Mr. Michel Guimond
V         Mr. Yvon Godin
V         Mr. Rick Borotsik
V         Mr. Jean-Guy Carignan
V         Mr. Ghislain Lebel
V     (Division 164)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall
V         Mr. Dale Johnston
V         Mr. Michel Guimond
V         Mr. Yvon Godin
V         Mr. Rick Borotsik
V         Mr. Jean-Guy Carignan
V         Mr. Ghislain Lebel

1540
V     (Division 165)
V         The Speaker
V     Public Safety Act, 2002
V         The Speaker
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall
V     (Division 166)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         (Motion agreed to)
V PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
V     Parliament of Canada Act
V         The Speaker

1550
V     (Division 167)
V         The Speaker
V         (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)
V     Competition Act
V         The Speaker

1600
V     (Division 168)
V         The Speaker
V         (Bill read the third time and passed)
V     Privilege
V         Marijuana
V         Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)

1605
V         Hon. Don Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

1610
V         The Speaker
V     Points of Order
V         Oral Question Period
V         Mr. Yvon Godin (Acadie—Bathurst, NDP)
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Greg Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest, PC)
V         The Speaker
V     Business of the House
V         Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)
V         Mr. John Herron
V         The Speaker

1615
V GOVERNMENT ORDERS
V     Library and Archives of Canada Act
V         Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)

1620

1625

1630

1635

1640
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP)

1645

1650
V         Ms. Carole-Marie Allard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)
V         Ms. Wendy Lill
V         Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)
V         Ms. Wendy Lill
V         Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, PC)

1655

1700
V         Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)
V         Mr. Gerald Keddy

1705
V         Mr. Larry Bagnell
V         Mr. Gerald Keddy
V         Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)

1710

1715

1720

1725
V     BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
V     Committees of the House
V         Public Accounts
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         (Motion agreed to)
V GOVERNMENT ORDERS
V     Library and Archives of Canada Act
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         Mr. John Bryden (Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, Lib.)
V         Mr. Larry Bagnell

1730
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
V     Criminal Code
V         Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.)

1735

1740
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         (Motion agreed to)
V         Mr. David Pratt

1745
V         Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, Canadian Alliance)
V         Mr. David Pratt

1750
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         Mr. Gurmant Grewal
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP)
V         Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.)
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         (Motion agreed to)
V         Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, Canadian Alliance)

1755

1800
V         Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, BQ)

1805
V         Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP)

1810
V         Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, PC)

1815
V         Mr. Jim Karygiannis (Scarborough—Agincourt, Lib.)

1820
V         Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.)

1825
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         (Motion deemed adopted, order discharged, bill withdrawn and subject matter referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights)

1830
V GOVERNMENT ORDERS
V     Supply
V         Health--Main Estimates, 2003-04
V         (Consideration in committee of the whole of all votes under Health in the main estimates, Mr. Kilger in the chair)
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, Canadian Alliance)

1835
V         Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Health, Lib.)

1840
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Monte Solberg (Medicine Hat, Canadian Alliance)

1845
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

1850
V         Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Health, Lib.)

1855

1900

1905

1910
V         Mr. Réal Ménard (Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, BQ)

1915
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

1920
V         Mr. Réal Ménard
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

1925
V         Mr. Réal Ménard
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

1930
V         Mr. Svend Robinson (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Svend Robinson
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

1935
V         Mr. Svend Robinson

1940
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

1945
V         

1950
V         Mr. Svend Robinson
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Greg Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest, PC)
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

1955
V         Mr. Greg Thompson
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2000
V         Mr. Greg Thompson

2005
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Greg Thompson
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Greg Thompson

2010
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Bob Speller (Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant, Lib.)

2015

2020
V         Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)

2025
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2030
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2035
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2040
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2045
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Grant Hill
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2050
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield

2055
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. John Maloney (Erie—Lincoln, Lib.)

2100
V         Ms. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.)

2105

2110
V         Mr. Réal Ménard

2115
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Réal Ménard
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2120
V         Mr. Réal Ménard

2125
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Réal Ménard

2130
V         Ms. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul's, Lib.)

2135

2140
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. John Williams
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Ms. Carolyn Bennett
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. John Williams
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Ms. Carolyn Bennett

2145
V         Mr. John Williams
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Ms. Carolyn Bennett
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2150
V         Mr. Monte Solberg
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2155
V         Mr. Monte Solberg
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2200
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2205
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. John Williams
V         Mr. Geoff Regan
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield
V         Mr. John Bryden
V         Mr. John Williams
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield

2210
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Ms. Raymonde Folco (Laval West, Lib.)

2215
V         Mr. John Williams
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. Geoff Regan
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair

2220
V         Ms. Raymonde Folco
V         Mr. John Williams
V         Mr. Geoff Regan
V         Ms. Raymonde Folco
V         Mr. John Williams

2225
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. John Williams
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parkdale—High Park, Lib.)

2230

2235
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. John Williams
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2240
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. John Williams
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis
V         Hon. Anne McLellan

2245
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis

2250
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis

2255
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Ms. Hélène Scherrer (Louis-Hébert, Lib.)

2300
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Ms. Hélène Scherrer

2305
V         Mr. John Williams
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. Geoff Regan
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Ms. Hélène Scherrer

2310
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Ms. Hélène Scherrer
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Ms. Hélène Scherrer
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Ms. Bonnie Brown (Oakville, Lib.)

2315
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, PC)
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. Loyola Hearn
V         Mr. John Williams
V         Mr. Loyola Hearn
V         Mr. Geoff Regan

2320
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Mr. Loyola Hearn
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Loyola Hearn

2325
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         Mr. Loyola Hearn

2330
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         Hon. Anne McLellan
V         The Assistant Deputy Chair
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)






CANADA

House of Commons Debates


VOLUME 138 
NUMBER 101 
2nd SESSION 
37th PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Speaker: The Honourable Peter Milliken

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Prayers


*   *   *

  +(1010)  

[English]

+Privilege

+Firearms Act--Speaker's Ruling

[Speaker's Ruling]
+

    The Speaker: I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Yorkton--Melville on May 1, 2003, concerning the transfer of control of the firearms centre and the transfer of the ministerial powers, duties and functions for the Firearms Act from the Minister of Justice to the Solicitor General.

    I would like to thank the hon. member for Yorkton--Melville for raising this issue as well as the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader for his intervention in the matter.

    In his argument, the hon. member for Yorkton--Melville raised a concern about the fact that ministerial responsibility for administering the Firearms Act was transferred by means of an order in council dated April 14, 2003, pursuant to the Public Service Rearrangement and Transfer of Duties Act, the PSRTDA. He pointed out that section 2 of the Firearms Act specifically defines “Federal Minister” as the Minister of Justice. The hon. member maintained that the transfer of responsibility for the Firearms Act and the firearms centre to the Solicitor General requires an amendment to the Firearms Act and cannot be done by way of order in council. In other words, the government must introduce a bill and have it go through all legislative steps in Parliament in order to effect the transfer of ministerial responsibility. He charged that the government's having proceeded otherwise constituted a contempt of this House and a breach of his privileges as a member.

[Translation]

    In responding to the charges on May 1 and May 2, 2003, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader stated that the authority to make such a transfer is vested in the government through the Public Service Rearrangement and Transfer of Duties Act. He cited several cases where the act has been invoked, including the 1993 reorganization where four new government departments were created, and more recently, transfers of responsibility from one minister to another for the Pest Control Products Act in 2000 and the Royal Canadian Mint Act in 2002.

[English]

    I have now reviewed all the facts related to this matter and wish to make the following observations.

    I have examined the cases cited by the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader and in particular the two instances related to the transfer of responsibilities under the Pest Control Products Act and the Royal Canadian Mint Act.

    In the case of the transfer of responsibility for the Pest Control Products Act, the order in council transferring responsibility to the Minister of Health from the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was made on October 19, 2000 and was recorded in the Canada Gazette on November 8, 2000. Ministerial responsibility for the Royal Canadian Mint was transferred to the Minister of Transport from the Minister of State, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations on August 6, 2002 and was recorded in the August 28, 2002 edition of the Gazette.

    In both those instances we can see that responsibility was transferred by order in council from one Minister of the Crown, specifically named in the act, to another Minister of the Crown, and the registrations of these order in council transfers were officially recorded in the Canada Gazette.

    Thus, the government argues that to transfer responsibility for the Firearms Act and the related firearms centre created by that act from one minister to another is not unprecedented. The government clearly holds the view that it has the legal authority to make such transfers through the Public Service Rearrangement and Transfer of Duties Act.

[Translation]

    The matter raised by the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville goes to the validity of an order-in-council transferring a responsibility, which was originally conferred by a statute. It is well known that the government cannot amend legislation by way of regulation for, in the language of the hon. member, it is understood that a subordinate legal instrument cannot be used to amend a superior legal instrument.

[English]

    The hon. member for Yorkton--Melville argues that the government has used a subordinate act, in this case the PSRTDA, to amend a superior act, the Firearms Act. The Chair would see the hon. member's argument turning not on the relationship between these two acts, but on the difference between superior and subordinate instruments in the hierarchy of legal instruments, that is, between the superior statute and the subordinate order in council. However, this is an argument on a matter of law, not a procedural issue and, as such, it would be for the courts, not for your Speaker, to decide.

    As my predecessors and I have pointed out in many previous rulings where legal interpretation is an issue, it is not within the Speaker's authority to rule or decide on points of law.

[Translation]

    The point is well put on pages 219 and 220 of House of Commons Practice and Procedure and Practice:

    —while speakers must take the Constitution and statutes into account when preparing a ruling, numerous Speakers have explained that it is not up to the Speaker to rule on the “constitutionality” or “legality” of measures before the House.

[English]

    It is clear that it is not your Speaker who might rule on the legality of the government's decision to transfer responsibility for the Firearms Act from one cabinet minister to another. That is a matter for the courts to decide. I must examine instead the hon. member's argument from a purely procedural perspective. What privilege has been breached by this action?

    The hon. member appears to be asserting that the government, by transferring responsibility for the Firearms Act from one minister to another, has shown contempt for the House. After an exhaustive search of our precedents, I am unable to find a case where any Speaker has ruled that a government, in the exercise of a regulatory power conferred upon it by statute, has been found to have breached the privileges of the House. Accordingly, I am unable to find a breach of the privileges of this House or of the hon. member.

    I must note, however, that the order in council under the Public Service Rearrangement and Transfer of Duties Act by which the firearms centre was transferred from the justice portfolio to that of Solicitor General is a statutory instrument. As such, Standing Order 108(4)(b) applies and the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations is involved. Standing Order 108(4)(b) refers to section 19 of the Statutory Instruments Act, which in turn says that every statutory instrument shall stand referred to the committee.

    The order in council the hon. member complains of is therefore inherently part of the review and indeed the scrutiny work of the committee and I invite him to pursue the matter with his usual vigour before that committee.


+ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

*   *   *

  +-(1015)  

[English]

+-Government Response to Petitions

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to two petitions.

*   *   *

+-Statutory Program Evaluation Act

+-

    Mr. John Williams (St. Albert, Canadian Alliance) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-435, an act to provide for evaluations of statutory programs.

    He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to reintroduce my private member's bill calling for the regular periodic examination of statutory programs. I know that the Minister of Finance introduced a policy to have the review of non-statutory programs on a five year cycle when he introduced the budget back in February, but my bill calls for a 10 year review of statutory programs. This is where I believe we can find efficiencies, productivity and savings of taxpayers' money in the tens of millions if not billions of dollars, soI certainly recommend the bill to the House.

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

*   *   *

+-Petitions

+-Freedom of Religion

+-

    Mr. Larry Spencer (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition signed by a number of my constituents. The petitioners are asking Parliament to refuse to pass Bill C-250 or any similar bill that would repress freedom of religion or speech. They are also asking us to defend the historical legal definition of marriage and to override any court decision that infringes upon the freedoms of religion.

*   *   *

+-Health

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by hundreds of Canadians who are concerned about the state of health care in Canada today. The petitioners acknowledge that the Romanow commission presented a report that is in line with the values of Canadians and reflects the overwhelming desire of Canadians to keep our health care system public and equally accessible to all Canadians. The petitioners call upon the government to see the Romanow commission as a blueprint, to implement Romanow's blueprint for sustaining the future of health care and to adopt all the recommendations that would require our system to preserve itself in the non-profit, public sector arena.

*   *   *

+-Questions on the Order Paper

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.


+-GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Budget Implementation Act, 2003

    The House resumed from May 12 consideration of Bill C-28, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 18, 2003, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

+-

    Mr. Ghislain Fournier (Manicouagan, BQ): Mr. Speaker, last night, when I had the floor, I was going to talk about softwood lumber, but unfortunately, I ran out of time.

    What I wanted to say about the softwood lumber issue is that the budget contained nothing to deal with the crisis. HRDC's plan for workers affected by the softwood lumber crisis has been condemned by everyone. The measures that have been announced to help these workers are utterly inadequate, as you know.

    Certain ministers promised a second stage for the softwood lumber assistance program. The budget contains no funding for this stage, as though the government had forgotten its promises. Are there many people who are surprised that the federal government is forgetting its promises?

    Many people are disappointed. Their needs are still not being met because the provinces are not receiving the resources they need from the federal government to meet these needs.

    The list of significant measures not mentioned in this budget is a long one. There is no reduction in the excise tax on gasoline; no reduction of the GST per litre of gasoline; no further decrease in income taxes; no appreciable short-term improvement in the RRSP contribution ceiling; no increase in the pension adjustment amount; nothing in the budget for senior citizens; no substantial reduction in employment insurance contributions; no improvement in old age security pensions; no provision to recover taxes on hidden salaries; no tax deduction for volunteer work; and no additional deduction for charitable donations.

    The federal government has no respect for the elected representatives in Quebec and the provinces, who are making their constituents' needs known loud and clear. And it has no respect for municipal representatives, nor the citizens who are living in a state of crisis the government itself has created, such as the fishers, for example.

    At present, the fishers of the Lower North Shore are occupying the offices of MAPAQ, which is the department of agriculture, fisheries and nutrition, and of Economic Development Canada, since the government has plunged these workers, these fishers, into an unprecedented crisis. It is not their fault; it is the fault of the government and of the Minister of Fisheries, who did not plan ahead. In the five years the seal population has been left unmanaged, it has risen from 1.8 million to 7 million.

    I will close by saying that we are very disappointed. Decisions must be made, and they must be made now.

  +-(1020)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. John Williams (St. Albert, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to the budget implementation act and the dismal record that the government has had for the almost 10 years that I have been in the House.

    I watched as, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the government has kind of stayed the course and allowed the rising tide of economic growth that in Canada was by the virtue of the good management of Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States who got the North American and western economy really growing during the 1990s. The government sat and watched the money roll into the coffers, and the budget balanced.

    It was not the good management of the Liberal government that balanced the books. It was the fact that the economic policies emanating from Washington provided the spillover to our economic growth. Revenues rose and the budget balanced. It was a magic formula for the government.

    However what we really need is leadership. There has been no leadership on the economic portfolio in the country in the 10 years I have been in the House.

    Spending continues to rise even though the government said it would cut spending. It is now up to $175 billion a year. While it is spending that kind of money, it has only been able to find a couple of billion dollars for our military resources. We know the military hardware is falling apart and falling out of the sky. Can the government get its mind around new helicopters? It says no, that there is no money for new helicopters.

    The government has no priorities. We had the opportunity to stand with the western world and defend it in the last month or so but because a few of our men were sent over to Afghanistan the Prime Minister said that there was nobody else available. The government sent off the ships with our only helicopter on board and one day out at sea it lifted off the deck and fell back down, and that was the end of that escapade.

    Unfortunately, our military and Canadians are embarrassed about the state of our military and yet the Liberals have a great big fight about how they can demonstrate buying new helicopters without admitting that they were wrong in 1993 to cut the helicopter program. The spending has no notion of trying to focus spending on what is best for Canada.

    We have new programs being announced basically just before elections to buy votes. On the two days before the election was called in the year 2000, the minister of finance at the time, the member for LaSalle—Émard, stood up and introduced the heating fuel rebate. It was an emergency at the time and the government said that it had to get the money into the hands of Canadians because they could not afford to pay their heating fuel bills. That program cost us $1.4 billion.

    Some people said that was a good program because it helped Canadians. However the Auditor General pointed out that, by the government's own criteria, of those who were entitled and needed the money only $400 million went to the people who needed it and $1 billion went to people who did not need it. That of course, as we know, included some people in the graveyards, in prisons and in seniors homes where they were not paying utility bills. All those people were getting tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money when the government just spread it right across the land because it was election time.

    Not only that, but 90,000 Canadians who needed the money, by the government's own criteria, did not receive a dime. It was a billion dollars wasted and 90,000 Canadians did not receive it when they should have received it. The government said that it was good policy.

  +-(1025)  

    We are now in the year 2003. What did we hear at the public accounts committee yesterday? Long after the price of the bills have come down again and long after the 90,000 people who needed the money have paid their bills, the government told the public accounts committee that it wanted to pay out another $13 million to another 86,000 Canadians to help them to pay for the high heating fuel bill that they had in the year 2000. We expect the government will be back next year, in the year 2004, to tell us that it will be handing out money to people who do not need it to pay their utility bills for the year 2000.

    Is that good management? I do not think it is good management. I cannot understand why the government feels it can use taxpayer money in this way, just spread it across the land and say that the Liberal government is good.

    The Liberal government is not good. It has no focus and no direction. There is no “follow me to the promised land because I can see prosperity at the end of the line”. No. The government just muddles along, taxes the people until they start to squeak and then it eases off a little bit. It then spreads the money around to anybody and everybody it can find who might use the money, and buy Liberal popularity.

    We think of the HRDC billion dollar boondoggle. It does not matter if there is an application on file. It does not matter if people qualify or meet the rules, the government just sends them a cheque, preferably this week rather than next week because the sooner they get it the sooner they will be happy.

    We know about the $1 billion for the gun registry. We were told it would be a $2 million program and it is at $1 billion and counting. It would not be so bad if the government had just underestimated the costs, if it is possible to underestimate the cost of $2 million instead of $1 billion. Do members know what we found out, again at the public accounts committee hearings? A large part of the $1 billion cost, somewhere in the region of $500 million, was invested, wasted, on computer programming because the government had no plan for handling the computer programs to maintain the administration of the program.

    The government went through 1,200 revisions of the computer program. The computer programmers were busy writing away, stopping and starting again because they had a new vision. They would start on the new vision, write away and then stop, throw it in the garbage and start a new plan. The value of that work went straight into the trash can and provided zero benefit to Canadians.

    Unfortunately that is due to the leadership we have received from the government and the member for LaSalle--Émard who was the minister of finance for a number of years and who now wants to lead the entire party. While we know what he is opposed to, we really do not know what he would be supporting should he ever take over the Prime Minister's job. Canadians should be quite alarmed by that because while he would dump the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs' bill to bring in some accountability to our native peoples, perhaps change the Kyoto agreement and a few other things he has talked about, we have no vision from the former minister of finance who sat in his seat for eight or nine years and allowed spending to increase and did not bring any focus to the finances of the country. We are apprehensive about where the country is going under the Liberal leadership.

    I wish I had more time. I could go on and on, perhaps at great length, about the problems that we see, but I will hold my fire for another day.

  +-(1030)  

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to Bill C-28, the budget implementation act, and to recommend to members in the Chamber the importance of the amendments before the House today.

    I want the House to know that with respect to Bill C-28 the New Democratic Party took the process very seriously and made a number of amendments. We recommended those amendments to the House in order to make the budget a better document and ensure that budget 2003 reflected the priorities of Canadians.

    As the House will know, from previous speeches on the bill, many members in the Chamber do not believe that the government of the day has truly reflected the priorities of Canadians or done everything in its power to ensure that the pressing needs and concerns of Canadians were addressed in the budget. This is at a time when surplus revenues are significant and when Canadians have a clear sense that social reinvestment is the order of the day and must be the priority for government action.

    We have commented before on the budget and have indicated that there were some drops in the bucket that have made the situation better but that they did not actually amount to much when dealing with the poverty facing children, the housing conditions facing our aboriginal people on reserves, the juggling act of working women trying to provide for their children and ensuring quality day care, or when it comes to unemployed workers who are desperately trying to find some security at a time of great flux in the labour force today.

    Today we are recommending that the government do more to invest in those priorities of Canadians. We are recommending that the government do that by deferring its tax cut agenda and putting on hold its plans to give tax breaks to big business and wealthy Canadians at a time when there are so many pressing social needs.

    I want to quickly reference four or five of those pressing needs. The number one priority of Canadians is health care. We know the budget makes an attempt at reversing a decade of cuts to health care. We know the Liberals today have recognized the errors of their ways and are attempting to deal with a situation that they themselves caused. We acknowledge that there is some additional support for health care in the budget.

    However the amount falls far short of what is required and falls far short of what has been recommended by the Liberal appointed commission on health care. Let us not forget that the proposals before us today leave a Romanow gap of some $5.1 billion, money that could have gone to ensure that provincial governments are equipped and able to deal with growing waiting lists, with a demand for community based primary care delivery systems and for action finally on the long awaited, long overdue promised national home care and pharmacare plans.

    The first priority of Canadians is health care. The government has failed in that regard by refusing to use all resources at hand to backfill from those years of cuts and from the devastation wreaked upon this system going back to 1995 with the famous budget introduced and engineered by the member for LaSalle—Émard.

    The second priority has to do with child care and meeting the needs of working women and families everywhere in our society today. I am glad the Minister responsible for the Status of Women is here. I hope to hear from her in this debate because I think it is acknowledged that while the budget makes a tiny step in terms of meeting a promise that has been the longest running one in the history of Canadian politics for a national day care program, this is not a national day care program.

  +-(1035)  

    Working women today, families everywhere, are still struggling to find appropriate licensed, quality, non-profit child care for their children. There is no question that when it comes to women's search for equality and the barriers and obstacles to their full participation in the labour force today, the number one priority is quality child care. The government has failed to ensure resources available to it, through the surplus which has been generated and through deferral around these tax breaks for big corporations and the wealthy in Canada. This would have gone a long way to address that issue.

    Third, is the question of living conditions for aboriginal peoples and the state of housing on reserves across the country. The government should be embarrassed by the findings of the Auditor General's report which clearly indicated that many members of our first nations communities were living in third world conditions and in deplorable housing conditions. The government has failed to address that long overdue concern in today's budget.

    It should also be embarrassing for the government to have to deal with a United Nations envoy which toured first nations communities in Canada and which reported on the deplorable conditions. It must be an eye opener for the government to know that UN officials, touring in Canada, have expressed shock, dismay, surprise and horror that a country as rich and wealthy as Canada has allowed these horrible living and working conditions to continue.

    Finally, let me mention the issue of women in general and comment on the United Nations committee report overseeing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It should be an eye opener as well for the government to recognize that Canada is falling far short of its obligations under that convention and that in fact previous cuts to social programs and inaction by the government over the last 10 years have had a devastating impact on women and their families.

    The result is that Canada falls far short of basic obligations under a UN convention requiring the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Surely, at a time of considerable budget flexibility and significant surplus, the government could find it within its powers to address the concerns of families, of discrimination against women, of children living in poverty and of first nations communities living in third world conditions. This is what we should be about today, and it is the obligation of government to address those concerns.

    Today we present one recommendation to make that possible. We call on the government to scrap its proposals to give a tax break to wealthy individuals and big business, which it is doing by way of recommended changes to the RRSP contribution limit and by way of the changes to the capital tax. We are talking about one to two billion dollars in revenue that could be applied to the social priorities of Canadians, to the primary objective of reinvesting in the social fabric of the country and to ensuring that we as a collective, as a House of Commons, once and for all take on the challenge of the human deficit and the social debt in the country.

    That is our recommendation today. We hope there is a receptivity to those notions and that members of the House will support our amendments.

  +-(1040)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Roger Gaudet (Berthier--Montcalm, BQ): Mr. Speaker, whenever a budget is brought down, we have to keep repeating the same thing over and over because it seems to me that the government is turning a deaf ear, it is not listening. I think that this budget illustrates the extent of the fiscal imbalance.

    Since the Liberals took office, Ottawa's revenues have increased by 50%, from $123 billion in 1993-94 to $185 billion in 2003-04.

    If there is one thing to remember about budget 2003, it is that the federal government's revenues are disproportionate to its needs. The government is rolling in surpluses. It is collecting far too much in taxes. The Bloc Quebecois estimates that, in spite of an 11% increase in spending—an enormous increase—Ottawa will still end up with a $14.7 billion surplus over the next years. This goes to show the extent of the fiscal imbalance. As stated previously, only Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta will be deficit-free next year. Every other province will have a deficit.

    The federal spending power is another consequence of the fiscal imbalance. Ottawa cannot resist spending its surpluses in various areas that fall under the jurisdiction of Quebec and of the provinces. The federal government thinks nothing of establishing organizations or new programs in education, child welfare or health care. Ottawa will be spending $4.5 billion over the next three years in these areas, thereby causing an administrative dispute with Quebec and the provinces. The bottom line is that the government is wasting money.

    Then there are the people who were left out of this budget. Let us say that the regions dependent on softwood lumber, self-employed workers and farm producers—who do not exist as far as the federal government is concerned—the aboriginal people, the unemployed and those workers who pay into the EI fund have been forgotten in this budget.

    Finally, I should mention the middle income taxpayers, who are completely forgotten. The federal government preferred to announce an increase in the RRSP limit, which affects merely 1.5% of the taxpayers in Quebec, that is, those reporting an average income of $150,000 or more.

    The Minister of Finance has been boasting of transparency, but he has still underestimated the surplus by close to $8 billion. He has announced a balanced employment insurance fund, but the federal government is once again going to be digging into the three million dollar annual surplus. Finally, he has created trusts and foundations that are beyond the control of the public and parliamentarians.

    SInce 1998, the budget for defence has increased by 53%. By comparison, federal transfer payments for post-secondary education have dropped more than 30% since 1996. Where, in your opinion, do Quebeckers place their priorities: defence or education?

    In addition, there is a new accounting method for government assets. The federal government has altered its bookkeeping methods, and from now on the method used will be full-accrual accounting. This change of method impacts on the government's bottom line.

    The minister's budget forecasts are $9.4 billion for 2002-03 and $8.8 for 2003-04. The government has also kept a cushion of $3 billion for 2002-03 and $4 billion for 2003-04, which makes a total surplus for the next two years of $25 billion plus.

    The Minister of Finance has not responded to the demands of the people of Quebec and of Canada. Prebudget consultations by the Bloc Quebecois led to our calling for the government to do the following: gradually correct fiscal imbalance and transfer $9.5 billion over two years to the provinces in the form of tax points or GST revenues; reduce premium rates and broaden the rules for eligibility for employment insurance, something that is very important today with all that is going on in the fisheries, softwood lumber and elsewhere; create a new infrastructure program; support the wind-power industry; abolish the special 1.5 cent per litre gas tax; abolish the airport security tax; cut several billion dollars annually from government spending by abolishing useless programs, waste and tax havens that make no contribution whatsoever to economic growth.

    As far as resolving fiscal imbalance is concerned, the Séguin commission had unanimous support in Quebec. There is a fiscal imbalance and it must be corrected. To that end, we asked the federal government to transfer to the Government of Quebec and the governments of the other provinces an additional taxation capacity that would enable them to invest where the need is greatest.

    We are asking for a further transfer of tax points or additional tax room of $4.5 billion in 2002-03 and $5 billion in 2003-04.

  +-(1045)  

    The various measures taken in the 2003 budget do nothing to reduce the financial pressure on the provinces. We can conclude by saying this: the government has announced insufficient additional investments in sectors where the needs are blatant, such as health, and has distributed the funds to programs and agencies that encroach on provincial jurisdictions.

    Visibly, the federal government has no intention of resolving the fiscal imbalance. Creating new agencies, new programs, and new bodies will only perpetuate the status quo in intergovernmental financial relations, or make matters worse. The needs of citizens are always poorly met, because the provinces do not receive adequate resources from the federal government in order to be able to respond to the needs of the people.

    Let us now turn to the people who have been left out of this budget. A self-sustaining employment insurance fund must be created. Unions and employers are exasperated by the misuse of EI funds. They support the Bloc's call for a self-sustaining EI fund, so that the government will stop robbing the fund, and so that contribution rates will be set by those who pay into the fund, both employees and employers.

    The Bloc Quebecois had hoped the Liberal government would create a self-sustaining fund before the former Minister of Finance returned. However, the current Minister of Finance's budget did not establish a self-sustaining EI fund and announced a delay of almost two years for establishing a new mechanism for setting premiums. The program may ring up a surplus of $3 billion over the next fiscal year, and the Minister of Finance has been promising to balance EI spending and premiums in the following years.

    Let us talk about abolishing the gasoline tax. The government introduced a special tax of 1.5 cents per litre to bring down the deficit. Now that deficits are a thing of the past, why does the government not abolish this tax, or turn it over to the provinces for infrastructure spending? That would be a very good idea.

    On the issue of infrastructure funding, the Bloc Quebecois had asked that enough money be provided for Quebec to proceed with needed infrastructure projects. We had asked for substantial, long-term commitments. The increases in infrastructure funding are not enough. On top of that, the government has been slow in turning over the amounts needed.

    The budget contained an additional investment of $3 billion over ten years. This investment is broken down as follows: $2 billion more for the strategic infrastructure fund. The fund is going from $2 billion to $4 billion, with $1 billion for municipal infrastructure over ten years.

    One billion dollars is not a lot. One hundred million dollars per year for all of Quebec and Canada is not very much.

    Who has been overlooked? Women. Despite additional money for the national child tax benefit and for day care spaces, which have an indirect effect on women's lives, there were relatively few real measures to help women directly in this budget.

    For example, the budget makes no mention of the federal government's intention to negotiate with the Quebec government to reach an agreement on clawbacks of employment insurance premiums, which would allow the creation of the Quebec parental insurance program or RAP. This new program would replace and improve the federal employment insurance program's maternity and parental leave. More people would be eligible, such as women who are self-employed or seasonal workers, and the benefits would be better, with an income replacement rate of up to 75%. Conditions for women having children would be greatly improved and simplified.

    Furthermore, the budget contains no tax or other measures for the elderly, such as annuities or old age pensions. However, this group's income continues to decline, and since women represent over half of this group, they are the ones who will suffer most.

    As for aboriginals, they get very little from the Minister of Finance's budget. Since the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples tabled its voluminous report, the federal government has been slow to respond, instead of taking immediate action.

    It is the same story for seniors. There is nothing in the budget for seniors.

    With regard to softwood lumber, Human Resources Development Canada's plan for workers hit by the softwood lumber crisis has been strongly criticized by all sides, with many claiming that the measures announced to assist these workers were clearly insufficient. I agree; there was proof of that this week and in previous weeks.

    Some ministers have promised a second phase in the assistance program for workers in the softwood lumber industry. However, the budget makes no mention of funding for phase two. It is as if the federal government had forgotten its promises; its representatives are doing even worse, they have lost their memory.

    Then there are travellers and airports. Nothing has changed. There is a $12 tax. Perhaps the government should eliminate it. This means that the government's budget does not really reflect the needs of people in Quebec and Canada.

  +-(1050)  

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    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (Jonquière, BQ): Mr. Speaker, this is the second time I rise to speak on the budget for 2003-04.

    In February, when I first spoke on the budget, I reacted mildly. But as time goes by and I examine the budget, I realize that, as my colleague, the hon. member for Matapédia—Matane, said, this is a budget of illusions, and it is unrealistic.

    With the arrival of the new Minister of Finance, who was allegedly in the race for the leadership of the Liberal Party at the time, I would have expected money to be spent on the real priorities of Canadians. For years now, the people have been telling this government what their priorities are. With this budget, the candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party did no better than the former Minister of Finance, the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard.

    In this budget, I note that the priorities with respect to urgently required investments were ignored, whether in infrastructure or other areas.

    After this budget was tabled, the president of the Coalition pour le maintien des infrastructures stratégiques, the mayor of Laval, said that the government would have had to invest $15 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade municipal infrastructure. Instead, what does the budget propose? Two billion dollars for the whole of Canada over the next 10 years. For Quebec, this means $200 million for the next 10 years.

    Moreover, the federal government wants to go over the heads of the provinces and deal directly with the municipalities, instead of developing projects and signing agreements as in the past, infrastructure agreements between the Government of Canada, Quebec and the municipalities. At present, while offering a meagre $200 million, it expects to deal directly with the municipalities. Clearly, the mayors of municipalities are not fooled, even though the need is great.

    It is all fine and well to say that money is being put into health care, but we have sewer and water systems that need to be refitted in our municipalities. Hon. members know how important this is. Just think of what happened in Ontario, when they had problems with the sewers and water.

    Also, in my region, the Canadian government is always saying, “We are looking after the regions”. I am the Bloc Quebecois critic for regional development. I have looked at the budget for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. Reading that budget, I saw that for fiscal 2003-04, in a budget that reflects the reality of the regions, there is a $52 million cut. I asked myself some questions. I said, “How can the Minister responsible for the regions of Quebec accept this?” I notice that was cut out of the speech. He had better not try to tell us he is looking after the regions.

    In addition, this budget has succeeded in showing us the extent of the fiscal imbalance. Words fail us, in this regard. I believe all the provinces of Canada supported the Séguin report in Quebec and agreed that there truly is a fiscal imbalance in Canada. The Government of Canada is making an enormous tax grab and leaving crumbs for the provinces. What is it doing with all that tax money?

  +-(1055)  

    Instead of returning tax points to the provinces, it invades jurisdictions where it does not belong. It creates new programs and after three years, it waltzes off, leaving the provinces to deal with the new programs. The provinces are starving on the meagre supply of money being returned by the federal government.

    The situation today is serious. It is said that the Minister of Finance is going across Canada to talk to people and ask them, “What should I include in my budget?” I do not know who he has met. In my riding, I meet real people, persons with disabilities. There is no fiscal measure to help these people out with a disability tax credit. On the contrary, the government is restricting access to this credit. One has to be bedridden, incapacitated, incapable of dressing and feeding oneself, in order to be eligible for this tax credit.

    I would also like to mention the issue my hon. friend from Champlain has spoken about a great deal over the last two years, the guaranteed income supplement for seniors. For nine years, the government has been depriving a huge number of old people of this income supplement. There are no plans to reimburse these people for the amounts they have not received over the past nine years.

    Seniors often come to my riding office and ask me, “When is the government going to give us a decent income? When are they going to see that we seniors can live decently without constantly having to go without? When are they going to start to understand that we cannot live a decent life on $14,000? When are they going to set a reasonable income level for seniors of $30,000?” Seniors are the ones who have developed Canada, but now they are getting no recognition for it”.

    Then there is all the issue of women and of employment insurance. Nothing has been done about the self-employed, whereas we know that 16% of the Canadian population is currently self-employed, with no access to employment insurance. This marginalizes a large number of workers.

    This government thinks it has met people's expectations. As members know, there is going to be a new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, and I do not think that leader will go along with this budget, particularly when the majority of its measures are spread out over the next 10 years. It is hard to budget ahead when it is one's personal budget, and in this case it is a matter of spreading out over 10 years measures that do not even have any connection to reality. Imagine all the things that will occur down the line. This budget has made no provision for the future.

    I am very disappointed with this new Minister of Finance. I am very disappointed with this government, which is pocketing staggering surpluses and doing nothing for seniors, workers, the softwood lumber workers or to change the employment insurance legislation. Last week, the Secretary of State responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec even admitted that the EI fund with its $44 billion surplus no longer existed. Presto, it was gone.

    This government is truly a master of illusions. It is a government that digs into the pockets of the public and tells them, “Hand it over, and I will do what I want with it”. No, I will never support that kind of vision of a country. I will never believe this government's claims that it is listening to people. I will be voting against this budget.

  +-(1100)  

[English]

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    Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak on the budget implementation bill. I want to talk about a couple of specific areas. First, and my colleague from the Bloc has already mentioned the disability tax credit. Second, I want to talk about the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority and its funding through this budget. Third, I also want to discuss the funding of the Canadian television fund. We will see a number of those affected by the cuts within that program here today on the Hill as they raise issues. These are issues that affect each and every one of us as Canadians.

    I want to start with the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority which was a new program within the Canadian government in the last couple of years to deal with the issue of air transportation security. Air transportation security was supposed to deal with all transportation security but mostly air. It was a new authority that the government was going to fund through a new tax. The new GST from the Liberal government is a security tax that passengers have to pay when travelling by air.

    As a New Democrat and a good number of Canadians, we have a real issue with this. That any one sector should have to pay for its security is like asking people who have their houses broken into to now pay for RCMP services. For that matter, people who have a murder or something even more dastardly happen in relation to their lives and then have to pay for the services of the RCMP to be there for further protection just does not seem acceptable in Canada.

    However, the government forged ahead on the air transportation security tax preying on the hardship and fear that people had in relation to 9/11. It brought in this transportation security tax of $24 per travelling passenger. It broke it up into varying areas. For one way travel people got charged so much; coming back people got charged so much, and on top of that they had to pay GST. Talk about a real slap in the face for society. People were not only paying for their security, but they were being taxed on paying for that security as well. I guess it was not an essential service or the government thought it was totally acceptable to pay GST on essential services.

    It brought in the security tax and a new authority, the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority, to look after it. There have been numerous concerns raised that the security tax was part of an impact that was taking place on the air industry. The air industry was suffering greatly because of 9/11 and today there are issues related to SARS. There are just a whole conglomerate of reasons, but the air transportation security tax was part of it. The government brought in this new authority which was going to be funded from the tax.

    The other day at the transport committee we heard witnesses from this authority with regard to the votes that they would need passed under this budget to get their funding. The minister said numerous times that anything related to the air transportation security association, and I am choosing names for it because I was so upset the other day about their whole attitude, anything related to CATSA should be referred to that authority. There is money coming out of the budget for it because there is no separate fund for this tax.

    On top of that, this air transportation security tax being collected from passengers goes into the general revenue fund, that black hole where the Government of Canada has pension funds, the EI fund and now the air transportation security tax as well.

    The minister told us numerous times to ask CATSA. CATSA witnesses came before us the other day. What did they say to us in committee when we questioned them on one of their expenditures? We did not ask what kind of security it had at Toronto International Airport. We did not ask what equipment was purchased. The question was, “How much had it paid for a contract with this company?” We did not ask what exactly was being delved into in that contract. We did not ask for the specifics.

  +-(1105)  

    We asked how much money was paid for that contract. In relation to all the situations the government is dealing with and the questions about the contracts it has become involved with and the patronage and issues of the government handing out contracts, it was a fair question. What did CATSA say? “We cannot tell you because of national security”. Imagine that. CATSA could not tell us how much it paid for that contract because of security issues. It is right in the act and how could members of Parliament want CATSA to break a legislative act?

    If that is not the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. Committee members were frustrated. Our committee was responding to a position that the Auditor General had taken with parliamentarians in telling us that we have to question what is happening with taxpayers' dollars. We have to ask where the money is going in the different programs. As good members of Parliament we are doing what we have been asked to do, to follow through on accountability of government dollars and we were told “We cannot tell you unless the minister says so”.

    The minister should stand before us in the House and account. If nobody can speak on his behalf without his permission, there is no point holding hands at the committee. The minister should be in the House to account for that. That is the issue on the transportation security tax.

    I want to mention the disability tax credit. There is an impression out there that the government wants to give that disabled people should not get the disability tax credit unless they are literally crawling on the ground, and if they are crawling on the ground and they can still get food in their mouth, they probably should not get the disability tax credit.

    Quite frankly, does anybody say to businesses when businesses have the tax deduction for their employees “We are sorry but you have made this much money so you do not need that tax credit or tax deduction”? Does anybody say to businesses that they cannot claim their executive boxes at hockey games or anything like that? No, there is no problem, but what is being said to the disabled? They have to get something signed by a doctor saying that they cannot do certain things or they will not get the disability tax credit.

    It is unacceptable. The government's priorities are out of whack. Its attitude toward ordinary Canadians, and in a good many cases the most vulnerable of Canadians, is just not acceptable. The issue of the tax credit needs to be dealt with. We need to make sure that what minuscule amount of dollars the disabled are able to get as a credit should be there for them. It must be recognized that there are additional costs to being disabled and that Canadians see that and are saying it is okay to give the disabled a tax credit, the same as a good number of Canadians believe it is okay that when someone is working it is okay to claim child care as a tax credit. That is acceptable to Canadians.

    The third issue I want to talk about is the unconscionable attack on Canadian programming. The government's lack of vision to bring this country together, to build industries that show us what it is like to be Canadian is unacceptable. It must represent those people who have given so much of their lives as actors, directors and producers to bring that programming to us each and every day of our lives on television and radio. The $25 million cut to the Canadian television fund is having dramatic consequences on our country and on that industry.

    The lobbying group is here today and I ask members of Parliament to listen very clearly. The government needs to be taken to task. It needs to put back the dollars that are needed to support that industry, and make the legislative changes needed at the CRTC level to ensure that we have a program in Canada to support the upcoming producers, directors and actors. We do not want to import America, the U.S. We want something that is Canadian. We want young people growing up and viewing Canada through the eyes of Canadians.

    We had that as young people. I would challenge any of us here, maybe the youngest of the young here in the House of Commons. We have seen great programming over the years: Don Messer, Tommy Hunter, Street Legal, and Da Vinci's Inquest. There is wonderful Canadian programming.

    Mr. Calder: The Beachcombers.

    Ms. Bev Desjarlais: The Beachcombers. There are wonderful actors and actresses. We are proud of them. What does the government do to show its pride in Canadians in that industry? It cut $25 million from their programming. It is not acceptable.

  +-(1110)  

    I am out of time, but I hope a number of other members also take the opportunity to bring up that issue.

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    Mr. John Williams: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I thought the member's speech was excellent. Obviously she ran out of time. I was wondering if you could seek unanimous consent to have her continue.

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    The Deputy Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Gilles-A. Perron (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, BQ): Unfortunately, the member, should have continued.

    Mr. Speaker, this morning, I will not necessarily be talking about the budget, which we are debating. Instead, I am going to talk about an amendment brought forward by my colleague, the hon. member for Drummond, which seeks to delete clause 64 on page 56 of the bill. This amendment reads as follows:

     That Bill C-28 be amended by deleting Clause 64.

    Everyone wants to know why clause 64 should be deleted.

    It is due to a long-standing problem between school boards across the country and the Department of Finance. The school boards are entitled to claim 100% of input tax credits for student transportation under the Excise Tax Act, with respect to the goods and services tax and the harmonized sales tax, as they apply to school boards and the student transportation services they provide. This credit has existed for years.

    The former Minister of Finance—now the frontrunner in the Liberal leadership race, I am talking about the member for LaSalle—Émard—decided to take this 100% credit and unilaterally cut it to 68%. Finally, the school boards protested by going to court.

    On October 17, 2001, the Commission scolaire des Chênes won, unanimously, a ruling entitling Canadian school boards to 100% deductions. This deduction was authorized for all 415 school boards in the country, including the 72 in Quebec, 88 in Saskatchewan, 72 in Ontario, 7 in Nova Scotia, 60 in British Columbia and so on. So, all Canadian school boards were affected.

    In a newspaper article on March 20, 2002, Gary Shaddock, president of the Canadian School Boards' Association, stated that this decision would cost approximately $150 million. This means that Canada would try to find a $150 million surplus within the school boards' budgets. This would have created a $150 million shortfall across the country.

    Mr. Shaddock said:

    The total financial impact for the federal government is not huge...but the impact for boards is significant.

    In this same article, Mr. Shaddock states that the former Minister of Finance—and the new one, because this is in the new Minister of Finance's budget—was trying to sidestep a legal decision requiring that the federal government provide a 100% credit and that stated that government policy must not set aside court decisions.

    That is exactly what clause 64 tries to do. The budget tells judges, “You did your job more or less well, and we do not like it. That is that”.

    I would like to talk briefly about school boards in Quebec. André Caron, president of the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec, said recently that this was an abuse of the law and power.

  +-(1115)  

    By acting this way, the federal government will deprive Quebec school boards of significant financial resources used to organize busing for 650 students daily.

    The fédération estimates the cost of the problem to be under $30 million. What kind of effect will this $30 million shortfall for Quebec's school boards have? They will have to increase school taxes for all parents of students in Quebec if they want to continue to provide an adequate busing system.

    This is another method used by the federal government. It is pilfering millions of dollars from school boards, the EI fund, and everywhere. To do what? Perhaps to help out their friends and cronies. I do not know.

    In closing, I have a letter from a large Montreal law firm, Stikeman Elliott. It is signed by a person whom I believe is a friend of yours, or someone you know quite well, the hon. Marc Lalonde, former Minister of Finance under the Trudeau government. He, too, is opposed to clause 64 in the budget, saying that it is unacceptable. I will read a few lines from Mr. Lalonde's letter. The former Minister of Finance, the member for LaSalle—Émard, said this:

    However, the proposed amendment will not affect any case that has already been decided by the Federal Court.

    That is what the then Minister of Finance, the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, said in a release dated December 31, 2001, during the holiday break, so that nobody would notice. That is what he said, and it caused an uproar.

    Mr. Lalonde had anticipated that reaction. Here is what he wrote the former Minister of Finance:

    A man with your political experience can imagine the reaction of those school boards alienated in this matter.

    I realize I have only two minutes remaining, and I think I will be able to complete my remarks. Here is another excerpt from Marc Lalonde's letter.

    Once a final judgment had been handed down by the courts, every case thereafter should have been settled on the same basis. However, your department's legislative proposal would retroactively reverse such an arrangement. Needless to say that our clients feel that the Department of Finance is taking the attitude, “Heads, I win; tails, you lose”.

    This is what Marc Lalonde wrote. I did not write these words. Marc Lalonde, a former Minister of Finance, did. I think that both the current Minister of Finance and his predecessor, the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, should have paid attention.

    Members can see why I am asking that the amendment put forward by my colleague, the hon. member for Drummondville, be accepted and that clause 64 be deleted.

    I thank the House for this opportunity to speak on an issue dear to my heart, which concerns students throughout Canada.

  +-(1120)  

[English]

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    Mr. Svend Robinson (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to participate in this important debate on the budget implementation act, and to pay tribute initially to my colleague, the new finance spokesperson for the federal New Democrat caucus, the member for Winnipeg--North Centre, who has spoken eloquently on our perspective as New Democrats about the many shortcomings in the budget.

    We put this in the context of a decade in which the federal Liberal government cut, hacked and slashed, not just to the bone but beyond, into some of the most basic programs of concern to Canadians. I want to give just a couple of examples of that.

    I represent a constituency in British Columbia, the constituency of Burnaby--Douglas, in which we are proud to have a good number of co-op housing projects. In fact we have over 1,000 families who live in co-op housing. When the federal Liberals were elected in 1993, one of the first things the minister of finance did, who is now a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party and who is travelling across the country talking about what a great prime minister he will be, was to cut, eliminate and wipe out funding for co-op and social housing in Canada. It was absolutely shameful.

    We had just come out of nine years of Conservative government, and I had the honour of representing Burnaby during those nine years. Even the Conservatives did not dare to wipe out and eliminate federal funding for co-op housing. The Liberal government did that. Now the Liberals say that we are back in the era of surpluses. Now that we have this era of surpluses and they have been able to find millions and millions of dollars in tax cuts for some of the wealthiest Canadians, how much money has the Liberal government found for co-op housing in the last budget? Not one cent, not a penny of funding for co-op housing, even though it has found money for its friends in the big corporations, for the wealthiest citizens in the country. I say shame on the former minister of finance, on the current Minister of Finance and on our Liberal government. They obviously do not care about access to affordable housing and to co-op housing.

    Another concern which has been raised on many occasions by the former health critic of the federal New Democrats and by me, my colleagues and our new leader, Jack Layton, is the shortchanging of the Liberal government in implementing the vitally important recommendations of the Romanow commission on the future of health care.

    Roy Romanow spent a year and a half travelling across Canada, consulting with Canadians, collecting the best possible evidence on how to save our public health care system. He came to the conclusion that not only did we have to make some major changes in how we delivered health care, including for example the provision of diagnostic services specifically under the provisions of the Canada Health Act, but he was also very clear about the harsh impact of the cuts by the former minister of finance on the quality of health care across this country.

    Once again, we saw the former minister of finance slashing funding for public health care, downloading onto the provinces and territories. One would have hoped that the current Minister of Finance would have responded to the recommendations of Roy Romanow. Instead the Liberals fell far short in their response. They left a huge gap, as the first ministers pointed out in their accord, a gap which my colleague from Winnipeg--North Centre calls the Romanow gap, between what was needed, as identified as critically important by Roy Romanow as he travelled across the country, and what the Liberals actually delivered.

    To ensure the long term sustainability of public health care, Romanow had agreed with us as New Democrats that the federal share of public health financing ought to be returned as quickly as possible to 25%. I pause here to say that 25% is not a radical or revolutionary target. It was not that many years ago when the federal government was committed to 50%, to half the costs of our medicare system.

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    Roy Romanow has suggested that we at least move up to 25%. He urged that be done over a three year time frame. What has the Liberal government respond to that important recommendation? Instead of returning to 25%, the Liberal budget, which we are now debating, raises the federal contribution to only 20%. Even then, it is not after three years; it is after five years. Basically there is a shortfall of some $5 billion. That is the Romanow gap, $5 billion of funding that is desperately needed to strengthen and improve the quality of our public health care system. The Liberal government, which is awash in surpluses and which can find money for tax cuts, cannot find money to fund the basic needs of our health care system.

    The Liberals have created another gap in the budget. It is what we call the Romanow accountability gap, because there is a of lack of clarity with respect to the numbers on health. We do not know for example whether the money that has already committed, the $13.2 billion committed to improving health care under the 2000 health accord, is old money, new money, new old money or old new money. Nobody really knows.

    There is also the issue of the tax points and transfers to the provinces and so on. On that Romanow was very clear. He said that transfers to the provinces should be completely on a cash basis. There should be no more of this jiggery-pokery of tax points.

    One of the greatest threats to public health care is the decision by the Liberal government to allow profits to grow even higher within an increasingly privatized public health care system. One of the real concerns we have raised over and over again in the House, raised by my colleague, my predecessor as the health critic who is now our finance critic, the member for Halifax, and also by our national leader, is the grave threat to medicare, to public health care, as a result of the growing impact of private for profit care. Yet the Liberals are absolutely silent on this. There is not a single means of ensuring that the new money which goes into health care under the provisions of the recently signed first ministers health accord will not be going into private for profit delivery.

    As the Canadian Health Coalition and many others, including the New Democrat premiers of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, have pointed out clearly, that is a grave threat to our medicare. It is a double whammy in a sense. As the federal Liberals seriously underfund public health care and allow the growth of private for profit health care, there will be growing pressure from the Canadian public who see the waiting lines in some cases getting longer because of federal cuts in funding. The pressure will be of course that if we cannot deliver within the public system, maybe, as the Canadian Alliance suggests, we should be move to a kind of two tier American style health care system. New Democrats will stand here and fight and fight against any move toward that kind of regressive two tier health care system.

    The budget we are debating today, in a number of very important ways, moves us further down that very dangerous road which would lead to an erosion of our public health care system.

    There are many other concerns as well in terms of the budget and shortfalls in funding. The whole issue of crime prevention, for example, is one that is of great concern in my community of Burnaby. I have had the privilege of meeting with a number of community policing groups. They have pointed out that, as a result of some significant cuts in funding in the crime prevention area, public safety is in some areas being jeopardized. The funding for crime prevention and for commercial crime has gone down as well.

    We still do not have adequate funding from the federal government for public transit and a return of some of those hundreds of millions of dollars that we as British Columbians pour into the federal coffers on the one hand, yet we do not see a penny coming back to British Columbia to support public transit.

    You are signaling that my time is coming to an end, Mr. Speaker, and I am just getting started. I know the member for Etobicoke--Lakeshore will rise to give us a stirring defence of the budget, and I look forward with great interest to her comments.

  +-(1130)  

    As New Democrats we say the budget falls far short in some of the most critical areas including health care, foreign aid, housing, the environment and of course a number of other areas such as culture.

+-

    Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I too am very pleased to have the opportunity today to participate in the debate on the budget implementation act. I think it is clear, as the name implies, that we are talking about what the government does to put its money where its mouth is.

    One has to be very concerned, even when the government mouths from time to time some progressive thoughts and talks about being concerned about the future of Canadians and the future of the country, whether it backs it up with the kind of concrete resources that would translate those expressions of progressive thought into something concrete for the benefit of Canadians and the future of our great country.

    As the House knows, many of my colleagues have already spoken. Most recently the member for Burnaby—Douglas, the finance critic from Winnipeg and many other of my colleagues have spoken specifically about some of the gaps, some of the severe shortfalls between words and resources.

    I would like today to not so much speak about some of those areas where the disastrous effect of a budget has failed to have a sensible set of priorities. This is quite evident to Canadians where the negative adverse impact for example of the shortfall in health funding has been a major priority for Canadians and continues to be a problem in the budget we are now debating.

    We know the government has perfected the art of bringing out statistics that show there is a such and such percentage increase when it comes to health funding. Of course what the government does not say is the base on which that percentage increase is calculated is a disastrously low, a base that was struck by the government in its massive unilateral unprecedented cuts to health funding in the country. Therefore a great deception goes on in the numbers game, in the representation of increases from what was such a disastrously low base. It really means nothing until we look at how it plays itself out in the health care system.

    That is concrete and felt in a very direct way by a lot of Canadians. That is why so many have mobilized so widely to try to close the Romanow gap as it has come to be called.

    Similarly, in co-op housing, we have a situation in which the government says that it is concerned about homelessness. Every once in a while it trots out a cameo appearance of desperately struggling community based organizations that are trying to address the homelessness problem. They come together to sign an agreement to deal with the very crisis ridden situation of homeless people on the streets. However when it comes to investing in affordable housing that would begin to solve the problem, the money is not there. It clearly is not there in this budget and has not been there with this government from day one.

    In the few minutes I have available, I briefly want to speak about three areas in which the budget falls very short of what is needed, the effects of which are not so immediately measurable but of which are every bit as problematic, as disastrous and devastating in their impact. They do not affect all Canadians in the way health care funding does but they absolutely affect Canada as a community and as a nation in terms of who we want to be. They really go to the question of what is the soul of Canada, which does not seem to concern the government very much.

    The first is in the area of the disability tax credit. We have had much debate on this in the House. The NDP has worked actively in collaboration with organizations and individuals living with disabilities to try to get the government to understand that the restrictive definition of what constitutes a disability and what determines eligibility for the disability tax credit has caused immense hardship in the lives of a great many Canadians.

  +-(1135)  

    It has to be one of the most meanspirited, short-sighted things that the government has launched. There are a lot of others on that list as well, but to go after the most vulnerable of Canadians for whom just meeting the daily requirements of getting through life is demanding and requires Herculean motivation and commitment on the part of people, for the government to say, “Let us save money by creating new, stricter criteria for eligibility for the disability tax credit” has to be just obscene.

    We still have the government mouthing words about being concerned and reviewing the situation, but the fact remains that people who were receiving tiny supplements, and that is what we are talking about, tiny supplements, to an already very inadequate monthly and annual income find themselves even more shortchanged and more short-handed when it comes to paying for their daily needs, never mind beginning to be able to pay for some of the costs associated with the disabilities with which people are living.

    The second falls into an area that may be even less immediately evident to a lot of Canadians. I want to take us back very briefly to post-9/11 when I introduced a motion in the House in collaboration with a great many Canadians who were concerned already about the signs of how the government was going to respond.

    We argued that there needed to be resources placed in fighting the racial discrimination and the religious bigotry that was already evidencing itself in our Canadian family. It was absolutely un-Canadian in terms of the racial profiling that began to affect not just the lives of people crossing borders but of little children in the school ground. There was an alarming, disturbing outburst, a rash, an epidemic of anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic sentiment beginning to come to the fore in this country. This remains a very serious problem.

    I have to say when it comes to any evidence that the government has really put its money where its mouth is after saying it is concerned about this that what the government has done instead of allocating resources to do genuine community building, to genuinely increase public awareness and sensitization to this problem, is that it has simply expressed its concern and turned its back on this problem that has grown.

    In fact, what the government has done is even worse than that. It is not immediately measurable in the budget we are looking at because there is no budget allocation. The government has made the problem worse by introducing one piece of legislation after another that essentially sanctions the quashing of civil liberties, that essentially creates in the public mind that greater security somehow results from curbing the freedoms, rights and the liberties of Canadians.

    Whose rights and liberties end up being quashed most severely? The very Canadians who are most evidently discriminated against in the first place and need the understanding, support and protection of having their rights and liberties safeguarded. The government, by virtue of not allocating the necessary resources for public education and community sensitization, has simply made the problem worse.

    Finally, I know I have only a minute or two left, so let me say on this very day that it seems to me important that the government take note that increasing numbers of Canadians are very alarmed that it is necessary for the artistic community, particularly those artists who are involved in theatre and in the film industry, to come to this place, to come to Parliament Hill to say for the love of God why can the government not understand that the very soul of Canada, that who we are, who we aspire to be, what matters to us as Canadians is represented best and most dramatically by the voices and the actions of the creative community, of the arts and culture community?

    What do we have happening? Not only are a great many jobs being driven out of existence, not only is a whole industry under assault in terms of the film industry and the related cultural industries, but we have a situation where the ability of Canadians to hear themselves, their voices and their aspirations expressed through the creative energy of the artistic community is being quashed.

  +-(1140)  

    I am going to say on this occasion that I hope the government is listening and will understand what the members of ACTRA, the film industry, are saying when they say not to kill an important part of the Canadian soul as well as an industry by the slashing of $25 million and to get beyond that to understand that it is about the investment of dollars but also about overhauling CRTC changes that have similarly curbed, quashed and silenced the voices of hope and aspiration in our society through the artistic and cultural community.

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: Is the House ready for the question?

    Some hon. members: Question.

    The Deputy Speaker: The question is on Motion No. 13. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the nays have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Deputy Speaker: The vote on the motion is deferred. The next question is on Motion No. 14. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the nays have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Deputy Speaker: The recorded division on the motion stands deferred. The recorded division will also apply to Motion No. 15.

    The next question is on Motion No. 17. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the nays have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Deputy Speaker: The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

  +-(1145)  

[Translation]

    The next question is on Motion No. 18. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Deputy Speaker:All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members:Yea.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon.members: Nay.

    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the nays have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Deputy Speaker: The recorded division on Motion No. 18 stands deferred. The recorded division will also apply to Motion No. 19.

[English]

    The votes are deferred until later this day following question period.

*   *   *

+-Public Safety Act, 2002

     The House resumed from May 9 consideration of Bill C-17, an act to amend certain Acts of Canada, and to enact measures for implementing the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, in order to enhance public safety, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of Motion No. 6.

+-

    Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the constituents of Surrey Central to address Motion No. 6 at report stage consideration of Bill C-17, an act to amend certain acts of Canada and to enact measures for implementing the biological and toxin weapons convention in order to enhance public safety, otherwise also known as the public safety act.

    Like its predecessors, Bills C-42 and C-55 of the last session, Bill C-17 is an omnibus bill that amends or introduces nearly two dozen acts within the jurisdiction of nearly a dozen federal departments or agencies.

    Motion No. 6 is very interesting. It takes the interim orders philosophy in Bill C-17 and ensures that will be included in the Pest Control Products Act in the event of that act getting royal assent before Bill C-17 does. Let us think about this. The Pest Control Products Act was written without interim orders and now the government is so concerned that it has modified Bill C-17 to apply to a bill to be passed in the future. It is fascinating.

    In many cases, in the place of specific provisions designed to reassure the travelling public and the public in general, the bill gives four ministers the authority to issue interim orders. A very significant portion of Bill C-17 deals with interim orders. Ten parts of the bill amend various statutes to provide a new or expanded power permitting the responsible minister to make interim orders in situations where immediate action is required. Essentially, the thinking from the government behind interim orders is “trust me”. In other words, it is saying, “Give me various undefined powers and when there's an emergency, trust me to do the right thing”. That is what the minister will say.

    First, we cannot forget that the very same government that has taken over 19 months to react to September 11 is the one now saying “trust me”. Second, we should not overlook the fact that if the government really knew what it was doing, it would have clearly defined both its responsibilities and its powers. In the United States, the U.S. aviation and transportation security act was drafted just 10 days after September 11. However, even then, while a shocked America pondered the unthinkable crisis that had just happened, American legislators knew that “trust me” was not going to cut it with the American public.

    The U.S. aviation and transportation security act is specific. It delegates powers but it also assigns responsibilities. It contains deadlines. It specifies the amount of money that may be spent on particular initiatives. It sets management objectives and requires regular evaluations as well as audits. It is very specific, not vague like the legislation that we are debating.

    There is a clear understanding of who does what why, when, and with what authority. Checks and balances are present. The U.S. aviation and transportation security act is a planned, strategic response by a superpower to a defined threat.

    In Canada Bill C-17 uses interim orders while the U.S. uses specifics. The interim orders all follow a similar pattern. They allow a minister, under certain circumstances, to make an order that would normally have to be made by the governor in council. Thus, when the chips are down and cabinet cannot meet, an interim order lets a cabinet minister take actions that would normally need cabinet approval.

  +-(1150)  

    In most cases in Bill C-17 the interim order must be published in the Canada Gazette within 23 days, must be approved by cabinet within 14 days, and expire at the end of the year. Similarly, an interim order must be tabled in Parliament within 15 days after it has been made.

    Members from the Canadian Alliance, the Bloc, and the NDP tried to propose constructive amendments to Bill C-17 regarding interim orders when it was referred to the special legislative committee. In the case of 14 Canadian Alliance amendments put forward by our transportation critic, who has done a very good job, each was motivated by the spirit of the Emergencies Act. Its preamble reads, in part:

    WHEREAS the safety and security of the individual, the protection of the values of the body politic and the preservation of the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the state are fundamental obligations of government;

    AND WHEREAS the fulfilment of those obligations in Canada may be seriously threatened by a national emergency and, in order to ensure safety and security during such an emergency, the Governor in Council should be authorized, subject to the supervision of Parliament, to take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times;

    We therefore thought the standard of parliamentary scrutiny, laid down in the Emergencies Act, might be applicable to the type of situations in which interim orders might be made under Bill C-17. Subsection 61(1) of the Emergencies Act reads:

    Subject to subsection (2), every order or regulation made by the Governor in Council pursuant to this Act shall be laid before each House of Parliament within two sitting days after it is made.

    Subsection 61(2) reads:

    Where an order or regulation made pursuant to this Act is exempted from publication in the Canada Gazette by regulations made under the Statutory Instruments Act, the order or regulation, in lieu of being laid before each House of Parliament as required by subsection (1), shall be referred to the Parliamentary Review Committee within two days after it is made or, if the Committee is not then designated or established, within the first two days after it is designated or established.

    Each of the 14 amendments was motivated by the same philosophy: if during an emergency, the government can subject orders and regulations to parliamentary scrutiny within two sitting days after they are made, there is no reason why a lower standard should apply to Bill C-17. The Canadian Alliance was not alone in this thinking. A similar philosophy was advanced by the NDP and the Bloc.

    It is my hope that the three parties might be able to agree on a common approach so that a higher level of parliamentary scrutiny may be offered to interim orders made by a government that wants us to trust it 20 months after September 11. However, the Liberal desire to escape parliamentary scrutiny appears intractable. Rather than agree to any new restrictions on interim orders, the only interim orders amendment that the Liberal members proposed in committee was the addition of clause 111.1 so that the interim orders would be included in the Pest Control Products Act.

    In conclusion, the widespread use of interim orders is troubling. The government's reliance on interim orders shows that even 20 months after September 11 the Liberals are still unable to provide Canadians with the legislation to combat terrorism at home and abroad. Delegating broad powers into the hands of single ministers is a dangerous trend. The committee stage version of Bill C-17 is an improvement over Bill C-42 as first presented 17 months ago, but more changes, particularly in the area of increased parliamentary scrutiny, are required.

  +-(1155)  

    Canadians were prepared to sacrifice their liberties for the promise of increased scrutiny and security in the aftermath of September 11. That feeling has faded in the intervening year and a half. For this reason, the government would be wise to carefully consider increased parliamentary scrutiny on the same level as the Emergencies Act if it wants opposition parties to support Bill C-17.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ): Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time that I have spoken on this bill. Nor is this the first time that the Bloc Quebecois has spoken on this bill.

    We have been quite good sports about this bill. We followed it at each stage. We spoke at second reading, we also participated in the special legislative committee that you presided over. Today, it is a pleasure to express our opinion again, because we think that we have much to contribute to this debate.

    This bill is the result of other bills. There were several substantial amendments. Initially, it was called Bill C-55. Then it became Bill C-42, and it is now Bill C-17. So, this bill has evolved.

    It is clear that the attempts, in the form of Bills C-55, C-42 and now C-17, resulted from the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York. Canada said that it would increase security to a certain extent. Provisions were put forward in the bill and were debated by the various parties in the House, and particularly in committee.

    There is one other thing we have often heard in this House, which is that we must not interfere with the liberties of Canadians and Quebeckers so much that the people will say that the terrorists had won. We have agreed to slightly increased security, but we have not agreed to let the RCMP or CSIS intrude on the privacy of ordinary citizens. That is why we have been closely involved in this debate.

    There were three main subjects of special concern to us in the bill. There was, for one, the military zones. I remember when the bill was first made public, the Bloc Quebecois strongly opposed the creation of controlled access military zones.

    At the time, there was a question of having a controlled access military zone wherever there was some military infrastructure. The example of Quebec City was often used. There are military installations in the Port of Quebec and we did not think there were limits. The military zone could be extended to the entire lower town and Quebec,s parliamentary precinct. Thus, there were major problems.

    On this, the Bloc can claim a victory, because we were the first to object to the military zones. In Bill C-17, the entire issue of military zones has been dropped. For us, that is definitely a victory.

    Still, that does not mean we are now in favour of Bill C-17. There are other aspects of this bill on which we have expressed our disagreement and on which we have tried to present amendments to the legislative committee which you chaired. Unfortunately, our amendments to the bill were defeated.

    There is one point we are particularly interested in, and that is interim orders. An interim order means that any minister of the crown can decide on an action to be taken without informing Parliament. What we are also looking at is the evolution of these interim orders, because they were already mentioned in Bills C-42 and C-55.

    We are especially opposed because these orders are not subject to a charter test beforehand. For us, this is very serious. A cabinet minister can issue an interim order and does not have to check whether or not it passes the test of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For us, that is a major problem. We see that the government has tried to make changes in this case, particularly on the duration of the order in council. In Bill C-42, the order ceased to be in effect after 90 days. In Bill C-55, it was down to 45 days. In the version of Bill C-17 now before us, we are at 14 days.

    In addition, there is a requirement to table the interim order in Parliament. In Bill C-42, this was not mentioned. In the next two versions of the bill, there is a 15-day deadline. We see there has been some evolution.

  +-(1200)  

    The major problem, however, is still compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Normally, when someone turns up with an interim order, Privy Council can say “We will have a look at the interim order and decide whether it passes the charter test”.

    The fact that this is not made part of the procedure is a real problem. Any minister of the Crown can announce, tomorrow, next week, once the act is in force, “I am issuing an interim order because I deem the situation to be urgent. As for the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that is not a problem, because I do not have to comply with it”.

    The minister in question cannot be accused of acting in bad faith. This may be a concern for him, but he is not obliged to comply with Privy Council, and this poses a serious problem for us.

    The third aspect that has been problematical for us from the start relates to the whole business of exchanging information on air travellers. We know that even the Privacy Commissioner has had a number of negative comments to make on this aspect of the bill. Once again, in committee we tried to modify the provisions of the bill that we are looking at today, in order to ensure some degree of privacy for Canadians.

    I was not particularly satisfied with the responses we got from the RCMP and CSIS on their ability to gather information on me when I was flying and then pass it around as they pleased. There were two things that particularly bothered us. The RCMP could use personal information on all air passengers for the purpose of seeking out individuals who are subject to a warrant for any offence punishable by imprisonment for five years or more.

    The government was somewhat sensitive to our position on this. It made one step toward improvement, but to our minds did not go far enough. It wanted to have this information passed on to a law enforcement officer, but this was still a problem for us because it was up to the RCMP to determine whether or not to refer. It is one and the same thing whether the RCMP or a law enforcement officer makes the arrest based on information provided by the RCMP. In our opinion, it comes down to the same thing. As a result, the privacy of airline passengers is being violated, and this is of major concern to us.

    As for information sharing, the other aspect that concerned us was the fact that this information was being retained. We were not reassured with respect to the relevance of retaining this information for the length of time laid out in the bill. We tried to speed up the process, to have this information destroyed sooner. Unfortunately, every motion that we moved to do so was defeated in committee.

    I would like to quote from parts of the press release issued by the privacy commissioner, Mr. Radwanski. He is very concerned. Not much has changed since his press release. Since I have two minutes left, I will quote him. He believes there is:

—only minimal and unsatisfactory change, in the replacement legislation, Bill C-17.

    The commissioner also said that:

    The provision in question, section 4.82 of both bills, would give the RCMP and CSIS unrestricted access to the personal information held by airlines about all Canadian air travellers on domestic as well as international flights.

    That is what I explained earlier. We agree with the position of the privacy commissioner. He is worried, and I quote him:

that the RCMP would also be expressly empowered to use this information to seek out persons wanted on warrants for Criminal Code offences that have nothing to do with terrorism, transportation security or national security.

    Finally, he says that the changes proposed are an insult to the intelligence of Canadians.

    The changes that have been made in this provision in the new bill do nothing to address the fundamental issues of principle that are at stake.

    In conclusion, we are nevertheless proud to have won on the whole issue of military zones, which are almost completely erased from the new bill. Unfortunately, we believe that the government has not done enough on the issue of interim orders issued by ministers and protecting the privacy of all travellers. In fact, changes were made that do not go nearly far enough to protect the privacy of travellers.

  +-(1205)  

[English]

+-

    Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP): Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-17, the public safety act, which has gone through a number of morphs over the course of a couple of years. Surprisingly enough even after 9/11 a couple of years ago, we have survived without the bill being in place. Canadians and those participating in that experience on that day did a fantastic job. They were not blocked in any way, shape or form by individuals or different government departments or different organizations. I have yet to hear anyone who objected to what happened. People did not raise concerns over having their rights infringed upon. However, that has not been the case with this bill.

    I am sure the member who chaired the committee on Bill C-17 will reflect that the witnesses we heard from the government side, the department side and the police associations felt it was quite okay to infringe on the privacy and civil liberties of Canadians. Pretty much every other person who appeared, all very knowledgeable, respected people in their fields, Ken Rubin, former minister of the crown Warren Allmand, Clayton Ruby, representatives of different civil liberties organizations, representatives of bar associations from Quebec, B.C. and throughout the country, strongly voiced their concerns. This was not some whimsical idea that this was not a worry. They voiced their concerns about the infringements on the basic civil liberties and privacy rights of Canadians.

    Those people did not do it whimsically. They did not say they did not agree with putting in place ways of addressing terrorism but there was a general feeling that what is in place already will do the job. Within the bill there are numerous other departments that come into question. There are issues related to the National Energy Board, the Canada Shipping Act, the Food and Drugs Act, biological and toxic weapons, Navigable Waters Protection Act. There are a number of different departments that are tied into it and no one objected, saying in the event of terrorism we have to be able to respond. No one objected to that.

    The strongest objections were in the area of protection of the rights of ordinary Canadians. We are not talking about protecting the rights of criminals and terrorists. We talked about Canadians on the street having the basic right of not having a police intervention with them for something as simple as walking down the street or boarding a plane, simply because they are boarding a plane. It was an issue of privacy and civil liberties.

    I want to read a couple of comments to give some background as to why there was such concern. Privacy Commissioner George Radwanski said:

    It is in fact, of the various concerns you have heard and will hear as a committee, probably the easiest to fix, because it has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on either transportation security or national security against terrorism, which of course are the objects of this bill.

    That is very important because numerous times what we heard appeared not to be an issue related to national security or the object of the bill which was transportation security.

    And yet, it is also a concern that is crucially important because of the precedents the provision in question would set and the doors it would open, which are of grave concern from a privacy point of view.

    I want to emphasize this because of the attitude that if we have nothing to hide, we should not worry about it.

    I want to emphasize, in addressing this issue, as I emphasized in my annual report, which was made public last week, that since September 11, I have not once objected to a single actual anti-terrorism measure.

    Nor has anybody else in this country.

    I regard it as of course unthinkable that, as Privacy Commissioner, I would for a moment seek to stand in the way of any measures that are genuinely and legitimately necessary to protect Canadians against terrorism. I have not done so and I would not do so.

  +-(1210)  

    That is the Privacy Commissioner. I emphasize that I believe that is the position of each and every one of us in Canada.

    But the provision in question, as I say, is not related to anti-terrorism or transportation security. Rather it is something slipped into this bill that really is quite unrelated to its purposes. What I am referring to are the aspects of proposed under section 4.82 of the bill, and specifically proposed subsection 4.82(11), which empowers RCMP officers examining passenger data, even on flights entirely within Canada, to notify local authorities to take appropriate steps to effect an arrest if they happen to identify anyone who is wanted on a warrant for any of a wide number of Criminal Code offences completely unrelated to either terrorism or transportation security.

    The bill, which the government flaunted and I believe preyed upon the fear people had after 9/11, is not being used to address transportation security or anti-terrorism. It somehow wants police forces and other agencies throughout the country to use it for reasons other than what the government says was its mandate in the bill. That is unconscionable.

    Mr. Radwanski went on to say:

    My difficulty with this, let me stress, has nothing to do with trying to protect criminals, and in fact sorting out this provision would in no way protect criminals. The difficulty, rather, is that it opens the door for the first time in a completely inappropriate, and in this instance unnecessary, way to mandatory self-identification to the state, to the police, for general law enforcement purposes.

    When I came to the House I never thought there would ever be an issue in Canada of the police coming up to me and saying “I want to see your identification. Do you have a reason for being here?” I think each and every one of us believes we have the right to be somewhere and that we do not have to answer as to why we are there. If we have not committed a criminal act we should not have to indicate that to anyone.

    As a result of this bill and as a result of some of the other measures that have been put in place in Canada, I felt that there was an infringement on my privacy and my rights for no good reason. It scared me. At one point I heard from the Muslim Lawyers Association. I tried to put myself in the position of someone of Muslim ancestry at a time when we were dealing with the whole issue of 9/11, and I felt even more insecure and even more infringed upon as a Canadian. As a white Canadian one would not be targeted the way some other racial groups are.

    My riding has a large aboriginal population. Over the years I have seen aboriginal people in Canada targeted with jokes and comments. We know historically that things have happened to different groups of people, but we all need to be honest. It does not usually happen to the white population, and that is because most of us are the white population. The worst case scenarios may never happen to us. As a result we lose sight of the fact that those groups to whom the worst case scenarios will happen have every right and reason to have even more concerns about the bill than we have.

    I cannot believe I only have one minute left to speak to this issue. It is a very important issue relating to the privacy rights and civil liberties of Canadians. The Privacy Commissioner listed one real concern and I have given it here. Those same types of comments came from other people who were here representing the lawyers groups and the bar associations. We could all make comments about lawyers in general, but I think we all truly believe in our hearts that they represent the best interests of Canadians within the judicial system. No one was saying that they were going to protect criminals over the rights of others. That is not it. It is that we want to protect all people in Canada from an infringement upon their privacy and their civil liberties.

  +-(1215)  

    There is no need for a number of sections of the bill. I quite frankly do not believe the bill has to be in place. I recognize that the government wanted to make some changes which is fine, but on issues related to privacy and civil liberties, they are not acceptable. For that reason alone the bill should not be accepted unless there are further safeguards put in place to protect the civil liberties and privacy of Canadians.

+-

    Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, PC): Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to Bill C-17. There has been a lot of worthwhile debate on the subject already.

    I will begin by reiterating what the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough said in an earlier debate on this matter:

    Obviously the obligation on any government is to govern with balance and integrity to ensure that people's interests are being protected, and certainly the obligation is to ensure that there is a degree of scrutiny over its actions. My greatest concern, and I think it is the concern of many who have already spoken, is that the bill backs away from that fundamental principle, that tenet of justice that says there has to be accountability, that there have to be consequences for actions taken.

    I have listened to part of the debate today and those words, albeit slightly changed, have been repeated by just about every member who has spoken to the bill. The member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough went on to say:

    I would suggest that this type of legislation can be a convenient tool for government to concentrate more power, more state control, and that state control can impact very negatively on civil rights or liberties. In effect, this type of decision taken could last a year. It is fair to say that this type of power could be described as power for the sake of power in many instances. I think that Canadians feel more cynical and even apathetic to the point of not participating in the democratic process when they see this type of power being exercised.

    The comments of the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, the member for Churchill and other members who spoke to the bill indicate that people are extremely concerned and worried that too much power is being put into government hands with too little accountability. Surely as defenders of the democratic process, as representatives of Canadians, it is our job to make sure there is some accountability for possible government excess in any type of legislation that is passed.

    The bill touches on 20 different government departments. It amends over 20 acts. This subject, probably more than any other subject that could be raised in the House, is an issue of trust by the citizens of Canada of the Government of Canada. What we see sorely lacking here is any degree or level of trust on behalf of the citizenry.

    The bill will affect many acts. Among them is the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Implementation Act which is there in order to enhance public safety. Part I of the bill is there supposedly to enhance public safety. Part 1 amends the Aeronautics Act. Part 2 amends the screening point in the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act and will include emergency directions made under the Aeronautics Act. It also permits the authority to enter into agreements with operators of designated aerodromes respecting the sharing of policing costs.

    We have opened up the bill and that is just one part of it. Almost every single act that is being affected here could be a stand-alone piece of legislation.

  +-(1220)  

    This is the third resurrection of the bill. It is way too complex and way too confusing to be rammed through the House of Commons. We will affect the Criminal Code, Citizenship and Immigration Act, Department of Health, Explosives Act, Export and Import Permits Act, Food and Drugs Act, and Hazardous Products Act. There is little that we deal with as a government that will not be affected. Anything that remotely affects Canadians is covered under this particular omnibus bill.

    The list goes on: Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Marine Transportation Security Act, National Defence Act, National Emergency Act, Navigable Waters Protection Act, and Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act. I wonder about these supposed security zones and these supposed methods to limit possible terrorist activity in money laundering. Will these also affect the government? Will they affect everyone in Canada? Are we targeting a certain group? Will we use excessive and perhaps abusive powers on ordinary citizens who quite frankly do not need big brother staring over their shoulder? Is this a proposed act that could possibly be open for abuse?

    Most people would say that most acts could be open for abuse, but the more complicated and broad, and far-reaching the proposed act is, the more potential there is to be open to abuse.

    Part 17 particularly bothers me. It would amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act to permit the collection and the use of personal information for reasons of national security. What personal information are we talking about here? We can get that personal information now. I am not a lawyer, but if a police force wants personal information it can get a permit from a judge to wiretap, to eavesdrop, to take pictures, or to even invade the privacy of a person's home to look for illegal or illicit materials.

    Everything that is asked for in the bill to my knowledge is already out there, with a system of checks and balances in place to ensure that this power would not be abused. The difficulty with Bill C-17 is that I do not see that same set of checks and balances in place to ensure that the civil liberties of Canadians would be protected. I do not see assurances that the privacy rights that we all take for granted would be protected, that when we get on a bus or an airplane someone is not going to be following our VISA card purchases for that ticket, and that what type of a meal we ordered would not be known. This is incidental information that I suppose may be important to certain law enforcement agencies for certain reasons.

    However, all that information can already be obtained. The government can go to a judge and present its case, get a search warrant or a permit to eavesdrop, to tap a person's telephone, and try to find out if a person is carrying out an illegal activity. I have little faith that the government of the day is responsible enough to have the type of wide ranging powers that it is asking for under this bill.

  +-(1225)  

    Without trying to sound like I am fearmongering, I do not trust the government to use it judiciously or wisely. It is a serious step and precedent in the wrong direction.

+-

    Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP): Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the debate on Bill C-17. As my colleagues who have spoken previously to this bill have made very clear in their comments, this is an omnibus bill that is divided into 19 separate parts, cuts across at least 20 areas of departmental responsibility and amends close to two dozen pieces of legislation in every domain from transportation, including aviation, airport security and shipping, to industry, energy matters and public health.

    There are aspects of the omnibus bill that we find supportable. We think there are reasonable kinds of protections and precautions that are being put in place to provide increased security to Canadians. However, we also find that on balance this is a piece of legislation that we simply cannot support. Therefore, we will be voting against this legislation.

    There are elements of the legislation that we support, like the anti-terrorist money laundering provision and the new criminal offences for bomb threats and hoaxes. This cannot be tolerated and we support the provisions to provide for stronger sanctions. We agree with the implementation of international conventions on biological weapons, small arms and explosives trafficking. We would like to see the government stand tall and firm to push ahead on the meaningful disarmament of everything from small arms to landmines.

    We are worried about the fact that the government seems increasingly willing to turn its back on important courageous and pioneering work that has been carried out by government departments with great results and real success, and instead capitulate to the agenda of our neighbours to the south, namely the Bush agenda.

    We want to applaud the government's willingness to specifically address the need to be even more proactive in these measures. We have no hesitation about making clear our support for those measures. However, in our view the interim order provisions that are contained in this bill, which are complex and voluminous, are not supportable. They go far beyond what is required for national security or what is reasonable. Together with the so-called new military security zones they may have potentially the opposite effect from the supposed stated intention of this legislation, which is to provide increased security for Canadians in a turbulent and troubled world.

    They absolutely cross the line of what is permissible in a democratic society. It is a line that we should never be willing to cross to give the government and individual ministers astounding amounts of arbitrary power. There is a theoretical concern about the possibility of those excessive powers being used to suppress the fundamental rights of citizens with little or no accountability for their actions. Unfortunately, we have already begun to see, from similar pieces of legislation, similar draconian measures put into practice by the government, and precisely that kind of arbitrariness and unaccountability that this particular legislation arouses.

  +-(1230)  

    This abandonment of the central notion of security being about the safeguarding of important civil liberties and human rights is what is most frightening. It is not just this particular piece of legislation, but the government's reaction in general to the call, the pressure, and the hysteria that flows across the border about the need to take increased security measures.

    Whatever happened to the government's understanding? Because there was an understanding that was lauded and applauded by this corner of the House that security had to be understood in terms of genuine human security. That does not begin with the trampling of civil rights and liberties, but with taking extraordinary caution and appropriate measures to safeguard and protect those rights.

    This is not a theoretical concern. The basis for the concern has been reinforced by two informative and instructive meetings held in my office in the last 24 hours. Yesterday I had a meeting with a member of the Canadian Jewish community who was speaking out strongly and expressing his concerns about the rash of anti-Semitism that had been unleashed in this country post-September 11.

    Earlier this morning I had the opportunity, during the budget implementation debate, to express concern about the mouthing of concern that we heard from members on the government side regarding the already evident outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment and anti-Semitism directed at Jewish Canadians. The government refused to back up those expressions of concern with the appropriate resources needed to strengthen the safeguards and to provide the protections for Canadians wherever this kind of racial hatred and religious bigotry reared its head.

    In fact, we have had a rash of so-called security legislation from the government that in effect institutionalized what has become the trampling of rights of the very people, the victims of discrimination, racial profiling, hatred and bigotry, who most need the protection. In fact, they are the ones first in line to be discriminated against. Here we go again with Bill C-17. It is a piece of legislation that simply repeats that misguided response to the so-called security measures.

    The second meeting that I found extremely informative and powerful took place in my office this morning with representatives, volunteers, and grassroots activists from the Canadian Arab community. They are here on Parliament Hill today to express their concern about the government's response to September 11. They are pleading for members of the government to understand.

    That is why this legislation is so important. They are pleading for the government to understand that the manner in which the government has responded to September 11 has literally left a great many Canadians reeling, including members of the Arab and Muslim community. I quote directly from the appeal that was made by those Canadian Arab members with whom I met this morning.

    September 11 and its aftermath have left Arab and Muslim Canadians reeling with sentiments of anxiety, fear, alienation, marginalization, betrayal, and disillusionment. There have been many causes for this: Key among them is what would, by Canadian standards, easily qualify as an excessive, overzealous security agenda.

    This is one such piece of legislation that reflects that excessive, overzealous security agenda--

  +-(1235)  

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Madam Speaker, I am pleased to join with my colleagues in the New Democratic Party today to register our strongest possible objections to Bill C-17.

    The House will have heard from a number of my colleagues, including our transportation critic, the member for Churchill, who has taken the lead for our caucus on the bill and has put on the record our general and overwhelming concerns with respect to the legislation.

    Again this morning the House heard that we were so concerned about the bill that we would like to see the government pull it and begin again. This is the third attempt at an anti-terrorism security legislative proposal. Three times the government has come forward with a proposition that is untenable. Three times the government has come forward with a bill that intrudes incredibly into the lives of individuals' daily living situations, which is a basic infringement on the right of privacy. Three times the government has been told that it is wrong, that it is untenable, that it is unacceptable, that it is not part of the Canadian tradition and that it is not in keeping with our approach to balancing security concerns with individual rights and freedoms.

    Three times the government has come back with unacceptable legislation. We say that three times and the government is out. The bill should be rejected and taken off the agenda, and the government should start again.

    If we have not said it loudly and clearly enough today in debate, let us go back to some of the experts who have commented on the legislation. I would like to refer to Ken Rubin who, as members will know, is an expert in the areas of freedom of information, privacy rights and in balancing the powers of government in terms of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On February 3, in an article that appeared in the Montreal Gazette, Ken Rubin said the following:

    The federal government's third try at a Public Safety Act is the most intrusive attack on Canadians' privacy put before Parliament since the War Measures Act.

    Those are strong words but they are strong words backed up by facts. Those are strong words that must be taken into account by the government. Surely the government is as concerned as other Canadians with the need to provide balance and perspective, and to ensure that our age long tradition of upholding the rights and freedoms of Canadians is carried on. Surely the government is concerned that the legacy it leaves for future generations is one of balance. Yes, we need to protect Canadians in the face of terrorist threats and attacks, but at the same time we need to recognize that we have an obligation to protect the privacy of Canadians and the rights and freedoms for which we have fought long and hard.

    I urge the government today to take heed of those words and to listen more to what Ken Rubin has to say. In that same article he said:

    Bill C-17--now in second reading before a special parliamentary committee--has been criticized for its proposal to create an airline passenger data base with more than one intended purpose.

    Instead of officials just checking airline manifests for suspicious passengers who fit the profile of terrorists, the bill's drafters want to do more. They would allow CSIS, Canada's intelligence agency, and the RCMP to use the airline information collected to combat terrorism, to catch criminals with outstanding offences carrying a jail penalty of five years or more.

    The author of this article goes on to call upon Parliament to put things in perspective and to realize that its fundamental role and responsibility is the protection of that balance and to ensure that government legislation does not cross the line and pervade people's lives to the point where fundamental rights and freedoms are taken away.

  +-(1240)  

    The privacy commissioner expressed those same sentiments when he appeared before the committee on February 10. He had some very important words for the government. We had hoped the Liberal members of the committee had heard those words and had taken them into account and would have brought forward a recommendation today whereby this bill would either be fundamentally changed to reflect those concerns or a recommendation that it be scrapped and that the government start again.

    This is what Mr. Radwanski had to say on February 10. He said:

    As I said in my annual report, recently tabled, in Canada today the fundamental human right of privacy is under unprecedented assault. A series of government initiatives, either under way or being contemplated, threatens to cut the heart out of privacy as we know it. We are at risk of losing privacy rights we have long taken for granted. These government initiatives grew out of a call for increased security after September 11, and anti-terrorism is their purported rationale.

    Yes, we are here today to deal with an appropriate legislative response in the face of the terrorist attacks and, in particular, in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack. We are all interested in doing that.

    We also know that we have a responsibility to ensure that the legislation that is passed today endures over time and protects Canadians from an unfair intrusion into their daily lives. We have had some time since September 11 to examine Bill C-17 in greater depth and with cooler heads to see what lasting impact it could have on Canadian society.

    We also have had time to see how the added security powers exercised by the government since September 11 have impacted in practice on Canadian society and to hear from many groups that have particular expertise in this area.

    As with the bills preceding Bill C-17, we have to acknowledge that the legislation before us today goes beyond simply responding in a rational, reasonable way to the terrorist attacks of September 11. It crosses the line and enters into that area where fundamental freedoms are at risk.

    We say to the government today that the bill goes too far. The major concern we have with it is its impact on our right to privacy and our right to be treated equally before the law, irrespective of race, religion or where our families originated.

    We also have the issues of parliamentary oversight and accountability, the cornerstones of our democratic system of government.

    Let me go back and elaborate a bit more on the issue Ken Rubin touched on, the question of airline security and the sharing of passenger information.

    The privacy commissioner was very explicit in his comments before the parliamentary committee that it was not the anti-terrorist aspect of the information sharing that was of concern. He showed us that the bill went beyond that, that it would intrude into our traditional protection of privacy and limitations on the state's right to access our personal information. The commissioner warned us about creating the power for officials to go on fishing expeditions for Canadians who may show up in law enforcement databanks but who have nothing to do with security or terrorism.

    If we are going to change our fundamental approach to law enforcement we should be having a debate that includes our rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, rather than going through the back door of an omnibus bill.

    There is much more to be said but I am sure my colleagues will continue to speak to this very important issue. I would suggest that the government acknowledge the importance of drastically altering the bill. I would suggest that it look at some of the 50 amendments proposed by the New Democratic Party at the committee and, if not, to agree to withdraw the bill and start again in the interests of balancing security with the need to uphold rights and freedoms of Canadians.

  +-(1245)  

+-

    Mr. Svend Robinson (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP): Madam Speaker, I rise to participate in the debate on Bill C-17, recognizing, as my colleague from Winnipeg North Centre pointed out, that this is the government's third attempt to push legislation through the House that would pose a profound threat to some of the most basic civil liberties and the privacy of Canadians.

    We know that the previous legislation introduced in November 2001 was Bill C-42. That bill was met with a huge amount of opposition, including from New Democrats. The government tried again in the spring of 2002 with Bill C-55.

    Each time the government has introduced and reintroduced the legislation, it has taken a little off the edges perhaps, reduced the scope of the legislation and changed the time limit a bit, but it has not recognized the concerns of Canadians that the bill is an assault on some of the most basic and fundamental rights and freedoms and that privacy rights are at the heart of that concern.

    I want to pay tribute to my colleague from Churchill, the federal New Democrat transport critic, who has done such an effective job, both in the committee and across the country, in helping to make Canadians more aware of what the dangers are of this bill.

    It is not just this legislation. I think we have to look at this legislation in the context of a broader package of bills that the government has brought forward in the aftermath of September 11. Prime among those bills was Bill C-36, the so-called anti-terrorism legislation, which was far in excess of what was needed to respond to the genuine concerns in terms of fighting against terrorism.

    Clearly that was a profoundly and fundamentally flawed bill that introduced unprecedented new powers. This bill, Bill C-17, is in much the same light.

    The committee that studied Bill C-17 heard extensive evidence from a range of witnesses from across Canada. My colleagues who spoke earlier in the debate highlighted some of the points that were made. I would note for example the very compelling and eloquent evidence of the representatives of the Coalition of Muslim Organizations of Canada who pointed out that they were already concerned that members of their community were being targeted by law enforcement officers and others, and by border control officers both in Canada and in the United States, in the aftermath of September 11.

    Certainly I, as a member of Parliament for Burnaby—Douglas, have heard from a number of constituents who were born in the Middle East, perhaps in Syria, in Iraq, in Iran or in other countries, who travelled to Canada, perhaps in some cases as young people, as children, and yet who have been treated in the most degrading and humiliating manner, being subjected to fingerprinting, photographing, treated basically as criminals. These people's only offence was that they happened to have been born in one of those countries.

    That kind of racial profiling is totally unacceptable and yet Bill C-17 would open up the possibility for that to be expanded on a wide scale. That has been pointed out, as I said, by the Coalition of Muslim Organizations, both in its evidence to the committee and in the brief it submitted to the committee. Its brief particularly noted that the act would give sweeping discretion and authority to the Minister of Transport and to the heads of CSIS and the RCMP for significant abuses of power.

    One of the greatest dangers of the bill is that there is a total lack of any effective parliamentary oversight. If we as parliamentarians were to vote for the legislation, we would be giving carte blanche to the Minister of Transport and to the heads of CSIS and the RCMP to exercise these very sweeping new powers.

    The people from the Arab Canadian community, the Muslim community in particular who already have been targeted post-September 11, have rightly raised grave concerns about the impact this sweeping discretion in the bill would have. It would allow law enforcement agencies to basically go on fishing expeditions and violate the privacy of Canadians.

    Parliament has agreed to the appointment of a privacy commissioner whose responsibility will be to report back to Parliament when there are attacks on the privacy rights of Canadians.

  +-(1250)  

    Privacy Commissioner George Radwanski appeared before the Standing Committee on Transport just a couple of months ago and said that the bill was a very dangerous piece of legislation. He put it in the context of other legislation and other powers that had already been passed. He noted for example the database of Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, what he called its big brother passenger database.

    George Radwanski talked about the bill now before the House. He said:

    Bill C-17, the Public Safety Act, will introduce a requirement that we, in effect, identify ourselves to the police when we travel. What I'm referring to here is the fact that when you board a flight these days, even a domestic flight, you have to show photo ID to the airline to confirm your identity.

    The bill would make all passenger information available to CSIS and the RCMP, and it is not just about fighting terrorism. The legislation explicitly makes it clear that it goes far beyond that. It permits the RCMP to basically scan passenger information to seek a whole range of information that has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.

    What this amounts to in effect, as Radwanski points out, is self-identification to the police by law-abiding Canadian citizens. As he asked, why not when we took train, a bus, rent a car or checked into a hotel? Once this dangerous principle is accepted, the police in effect are being given powers that I believe are both unconstitutional and violate squarely the provisions of the Charter of Rights.

    One of the most respected constitutional lawyers in Canada, Clayton Ruby, appeared before the committee studying Bill C-17 and made that very point. He made the point that the bill was totally lacking in any meaningful safeguards. He said:

    So you've taken a narrow kernel of constitutionality...and it may or may not be wise...Wisdom is not my concern here, but constitutionality is. The idea that you can take that information and pass it on, without time limits, without restraints, for general law enforcement purposes...

    That is not terrorism but general law enforcement purposes. He went on to say:

--is simply unheard of in this country. We have never done it. Perhaps more importantly, free countries just generally do not do it. Democracies generally do not do this.

    Yet, the Liberal government, first in Bill C-42, then in Bill C-55 and now in Bill C-17 is insisting that it take on those sweeping and dangerous new powers.

    My colleague for Winnipeg North Centre made reference to Ken Rubin and his evidence before the committee. Certainly Ken Rubin is one of the most knowledgeable when it comes to issues of protection of privacy and respect for the fundamental human rights and civil liberties of Canadians.

    Another group that has been outspoken and has taken a leadership role on the issue is a group from my own province, the province of British Columbia, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, one of the most active civil liberties groups in Canada.

    The B.C. Civil Liberties Association as well appeared before the standing committee on Bill C-17. The association said that it was a draconian bill which was an attack on a free and democratic society. It pointed out that the bill went far beyond what was actually required to deal with the actual threat of terrorism. It said that much of what needed to be done did not need new legislation at all. In fact under the existing Emergencies Act, there are ample powers to respond to the kinds of concerns that have been raised.

    There is always this tension between, on the one hand, the fundamental rights of Canadians as set out in the Charter of Rights and in a body of law and, on the other hand, this desire in the name of fighting terrorism to give sweeping new powers to the police. We as New Democrats argue that the government has failed terribly to achieve the correct balance.

    I also want to note another provision of Bill C-17 and that is with respect to exclusion zones. There would be an order in council that would apply to an unknown area. We do not know exactly what that area would be, around Halifax, Esquimalt and Nanoose Bay. It could be used in other parts of the country as well, and we still do not know exactly what powers will be given with respect to these controlled access military zones of Bill C-55.

  +-(1255)  

    When it comes to Nanoose Bay, a growing number of British Columbians are saying that they do not want American nuclear powered submarines or American submarines that possibly carry nuclear weapons, in their waters. Yet the bill gives new powers to the government to provide for exclusion zones in these areas as well.

    This legislation, Bill C-17, should be scrapped. The government should go back to the drawing board and recognize that we protect and value civil liberties in this country. We do not attack civil liberties and privacy as Bill C-17 does.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): Is the House ready for the question?

    Some hon. members: Question.

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): The question is on Motion No. 6. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): In my opinion the yeas have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): Call in the members.

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would ask that the vote be deferred until 3:00 this afternoon at the end of question period.

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): Is it agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

*   *   *

  +-(1300)  

[Translation]

+-Library and Archives of Canada Act

+-

    Hon. Jean Augustine (for the Minister of Canadian Heritage) moved that Bill C-36, An Act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

+-

    Ms. Carole-Marie Allard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Madam Speaker, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, one of the fathers of Confederation, once said that there was a duty which especially belonged to Canada: to originate a history which the world would not willingly let die.

    Today, 135 years later, I think that my colleagues in this House will agree with me that the people of Canada have fulfilled this duty magnificently. While our country is still quite young, we have numerous feats and accomplishments to celebrate in every conceivable sphere of activity.

    Over time, our scientists, doctors, researchers, leaders and many other Canadians have distinguished themselves in various ways. They have enabled our country to make its voice heard among the community of nations.

    It is with great pride that I rise today in this House to speak on a bill to preserve and further celebrate our rich history and unique heritage.

    If passed, the Act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence, will give birth to a new agency, the Library and Archives of Canada, from the merging of the National Library and the National Archives of Canada.

    Our government is amalgamating these two entities for one reason, and only one: to ensure the new agency will be a centre for information and knowledge management that will provide us, today and in the future, with unprecedented access to our documentary heritage.

    In the throne speech of September 2002, our government made a commitment to ensuring that we would have access to our history by creating a new institution that brings together the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada. As this bill demonstrates, our government fulfills its commitments.

    With this bill, we want to amalgamate two institutions that are already playing a crucial role in the conservation and dissemination of our heritage and our history. We want to bring together the knowledge, the vision and the creativity of more than 1,000 employees to create a new dynamic and modern entity that will disseminate our stories, our images, our testimonies and our legends.

    This new unified agency will be in a better position to manage the millions of documents and to respond to the various requests from experts and Canadians, in both our official languages.

    The mandate of the Library and Archives of Canada will be based on the foundations of the current mandates of the two separate entities. Of course, its mandate will also be extended to allow it to work more easily in the interpretation and programming sectors and to make greater use of new technologies.

    Over the years, the National Archives and the National Library of Canada have provided us with valuable services and have just about done the impossible to preserve Canada's impressive documentary heritage. Thanks to them, Canadians can now access more than 20 million books, government documents and publications, 340,000 hours of films, videos and sound recordings, 2.3 million maps and more than 20 million photographs.

    The Library and Archives of Canada are nothing less than our collective memory and they constitute a real treasure for humankind.

    People need to have seen an exhibition such as Reflections of Canada at the Canadian Postal Museum, which features all the stamps issued since the beginnings of our country, to understand the role played by the national archives of a country. The 12,000 stamps in this collection are a unique and original history book that summarizes the most glorious phases of the Canadian epic.

    None of this would have been possible without the cooperation of the National Archives and other public institutions such as Canada Post. There are many examples such as these, both for the Archives and for the National Library.

  +-(1305)  

    Today, we want to see more of these types of initiatives so that Canadians from all walks of life, as well as people all over the world, can have access to valuable information on our country, Canada, its people, its culture, its society and its values.

    As has already been mentioned by the National Archivist of Canada, Ian Wilson, and by the National Librarian, Roch Carrier, there is no doubt that these two institutions have converging roles and similar responsibilities. Their respective administrations already share the same building and perform four similar activities, namely, identifying, selecting and acquiring; describing and promoting; preserving; and making accessible collections.

    Until now, it was mainly the type of documents that determined which of the two institutions would have responsibility. The National Library was responsible for the preservation of printed material, such as books and magazines, whereas the National Archives handled prints, microfiches, manuscripts and various other important documents.

    In this area as in many others, new technologies have brought down the barriers that delineated responsibilities. Until microchips replaced microfiches, we had no other choice but to go with the flow and modernize our laws and the structure of our organizations to be able to meet the needs of Canadians. We must also make the widest use possible of the enormous potential provided to us by cyberspace to help us access information regarding our heritage. That is what we are proposing with this bill today.

    In 2001 and 2002, the number of visitors to the National Archives website exceeded 2.5 million, a 30% increase from the previous year. As for the National Library website, it was accessed by 4.3 million Internet users, which represents a 20% increase.

    The demand is there. It is strong and growing. We must meet this demand as best we can to bring our history to Canadians wherever they live in this vast country of ours. After all, the Library and Archives of Canada are not meant to be used exclusively by those who live in the national capital region.

    This bill also provides that the new agency will concentrate more on programs which are designed for the public. For example, thanks to its many collections, this new institution will provide material for the Portrait Gallery of Canada which will open in the next few years.

    The proposed legislation also provides that the Canadian heritage minister may establish an advisorycouncil to advise the librarian and archivistwith regard to new exposition and interpretation activities and the collection of non-governmental information.

    The new agency will continue to develop its collections through the same mechanisms, that is legal deposit, recording, sampling, transfer of government documents, donations, acquisitions and administrative arrangements. But a new mechanism will be added. The new institution will be allowed to take from time to time a representativesample of the documentary material that is accessible to the publicwithout restriction through the Internet.

    The Internet has become a true reflection of our society, and we are going to make use of it so that, 10, 50 or 100 years from now, historians will be able to get, thanks to these samplings, an accurate picture of the concerns, issues and culture in Canada at a given moment in history.

    Obviously, to make this possible, we have to amend the Copyright Act to allow the agency to take from time to time representative samples of our documentary heritage for preservation purposes.

  +-(1310)  

    We have worked hard on this file with all parties concerned, so as to define a specific exemption to copyright for librarians and the National Archivist.

    I wish to reassure the members of this House that we have not overlooked any details. We have taken our inspiration from the legislation of a number of countries. We also propose other changes in the Copyright Act in order to strike a fair balance between the needs of those holding copyright on unpublished works and the needs of the Library and Archives of Canada.

    Since we made the last series of amendments to the Copyright Act in 1997, some Canadian authors' heirs have expressed their concern about the new criteria covering copyright duration for unpublished works.

    After consultations with the Canadian Historical Association, the Bureau of Canadian Archivists, the National Archives of Canada, and The Writers' Union of Canada, we have reached a consensus by which there will be transitional periods depending on when authors died.

    We also want the Library and Archives of Canada to become a centre of expertise within the Government of Canada for the management of government documents. At present, the National Archivist plays an important role in this field, advising government institutions concerning standards and procedures for the management of records.

    The bill provides that the head of the new agency will retain this responsibility. But the government wants to go farther in order to ensure that all valuable historical documents are preserved for future generations. The Librarian and Archivist of Canada will thus have the power to require the transfer of any documents considered to be at risk.

    In the private sector, the word “merge” often implies budget cuts, major organizational restructuring, and staff cuts. But in this operation, such is not the case. The budget and staff of these two institutions will remain unchanged. However, we should remember that certain valuable collections have been threatened by the decrepitude of the buildings housing them.

    In the last budget we allocated $15 million to respond to certain specific, short-term needs and to conduct studies to give us a better overall view of our long-term needs and priorities. The new entity we want to create should also make it possible to have a clearer vision of the way forward.

    Of course, we as parliamentarians have great respect for libraries and archives. The Library of Parliament, now undergoing renovations of extreme urgency, is a resource of inestimable value. It provides a wide range of services without which our work would be much more difficult.

    The National Library of Canada provides the same type of services, but to a much broader clientele. After all, this library serves all Canadians from coast to coast.

    As a parliamentarian, I have been on many committees, and I have put together many personal files. So it is easy for me to understand that the archives represent a wealth of information. They are a veritable gold mine for students and academics hoping to understand the debate on, for example, the Canadian flag or the second world war. And they are a rich source of institutional memory for those developing policy or seeking information on the Spicer commission or the Pépin-Robarts commission.

    Given the value and the potential of the collections, I am sure that the House will agree when I say that it is important for a large number of Canadians to have access to them. Our institutions must keep up with the times and reflect the introduction of new technologies.

    That is why I am pleased to take part in this debate. It is clear, when I consider this legislation, that it will ensure we can rely on a new, improved, modern cultural institution better able to protect and promote the documentary heritage of this country.

  +-(1315)  

    By merging the National Library of Canada and the National Archives of Canada to create the Library and Archives of Canada, this government is recognizing a situation that has evolved over the past few years. However, we are doing much more than that. We are also creating a new agency with modern tools to meet our informational needs in the 21st century.

    Everyone familiar with these two institutions knows that they have been collaborating closely for many years. Already, these two entities share various administrative services such as finance, human resources, some facilities, security and information and preservation services.

    Merging libraries and archives is popular in universities. Increasingly, university courses relate to both disciplines. Therefore, it is not surprising that the National Library and the National Archives of Canada initiated this merger.

    In addition to the close collaboration between the National Library and the National Archives, there are other reasons to believe that the merger of these two venerable organization into one new and modern institution will be a good thing.

    There is a constantly increasing requirement for Canadians to have simpler access to knowledge and information, particularly in the areas of heritage and culture. The explanation for this is the constant evolution of information technologies, which has whetted their appetite for rapid access to information in all of its forms. The new technologies also have a huge potential for storage, organization and consultation of documents.

    We now have the capacity to digitalize books, newspapers, photographs, pictures, sound recordings and films. What is more, we can also create a single access point for all this material. The magic of the Internet can also facilitate the sharing of all these records with people here and elsewhere.

    Technological progress has also redefined the conservation field. Better climate control, a better understanding of the composition of materials, more sensitive sensors and other new developments help us to preserve the most precious artifacts of our heritage for future generations.

    This will put life back into our documentary heritage and will provide us Canadians with enhanced access to a vast quantity of information about ourselves and our country.

    For this and a number of other reasons, I am proud to add my voice to those who support Bill C-36. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the House to follow my example, so that we may meet the needs of Canadians wishing to learn more about their country.

    I might add that Bill C-36 includes some other amendments to the Copyright Act, which are absolutely vital to the proper operation of the new agency.

    As you know, copyright is a controversial issue and has been for some time. In the 19th century, Charles Dickens was annoyed because the Americans were getting around the British copyright legislation by copying his works and trying to make money off them. Today, the situation is somewhat reversed.

    One of the key issues in today's debate on copyright is the need for governments to strike a balance between the needs of artists and the needs of consumers. In other words, how can they provide artists with protection so they are the only ones to profit from their efforts, while at the same time providing users with reasonable access to their works?

  +-(1320)  

    This challenge is even greater when it comes to artists who have died or whose works will never be or never were published. Unfortunately, this is exactly the type of situation that can arise for libraries or archives. Imagine if a collection of documents was donated by a Canadian, and a researcher discovered a short text that was never published in a collection of short stories or in a book. Does this discovery belong to the author's estate or to his or her descendants? That is the type of confusion this legislation seeks to avoid.

    In 1997, during the last review of the Copyright Act, the Government of Canada ended the permanent protection of unpublished works by submitting them to the same general rules that govern copyright protection in Canada.

    Now, unpublished works are protected for 50 years after the death of the author. A five-year transition period was established in 1997, for heirs of authors, to prevent the works from entering the public domain immediately. These amendments came into force December 31, 1998 and the unpublished works of authors who died 50 years prior to that date, 1948 in other words, will enter the public domain on January 1, 2004.

    However, while certain authors' heirs have expressed concern regarding copyright protection, there are a number of people, including historians, archivists, genealogists and other stakeholders who have been calling for unpublished works to enter the public domain. The concerned parties undertook negotiations and arrived at a reasonable compromise. They then presented it to the government so that it could consider implementing it in this bill.

    Accordingly, the legislation being debated here will make the following changes. First, unpublished works from authors deceased before January 1, 1930 will remain copyright protected until December 31 of this year.

    Unpublished works of authors who died after December 31, 1929 and before January 1, 1949 will be copyright protected until December 31, 2017.

    In both cases, all unpublished works that are published before the protection expires will be granted an additional 20 years of copyright protection from their date of publishing.

    The changes I have just described extend copyright protection for unpublished works. However, we are also make an amendment to help historians, archivists, genealogists and other stakeholders.

    Bill C-36 will also amend section 30.21 of the Copyright Act to remove certain conditions that the archives must abide by to make a single copy of an unpublished work. This type of copy is used for research or private studies.

    Currently, under section 30.21 a copy of an unpublished work deposited before September 1, 1999 may be made only when the archives are unable to locate the owner of the copyright. The bill also provides that a record be kept of all the copies made under this section. As members can imagine, these conditions represent an extra burden for our archives.

    The amendments proposed to the Library and Archives of Canada Act that we are debating today would eliminate these two conditions. I am very pleased to point out that this change has been supported by all the stakeholders who took part in the negotiations on this issue.

    This is further evidence that the Library and Archives of Canada will have the mandate, the powers and the tools required to reach its objectives.

  +-(1325)  

    Our documentary heritage belongs to us all and it must be more readily accessible. The proposed amendments and the other changes mentioned by my colleagues will create an institution which will be highly appreciated and which will make us proud.

    This is what is being proposed in this legislation. By recognizing the complementarity of the mandates and collections of the National Library and the National Archives of Canada and by building on that fact to create a new and more effective institution, the government is providing the citizens of this magnificent country with a new cultural institution which will reflect, stimulate, interpret and celebrate our national identity; an institution that will help Canada become a real knowledge-based society.

    The proposal being debated today will herald a new era for Canada. With 130 years of experience in the collection, preservation and diffusion of the Canadian documentary heritage, the Library and Archives of Canada is the institution we need in the coming century.

    We cannot change the course of history. However, we will be in a better position to face the challenges of the future if we know our past.

    Thanks to the bill before the House today, the Library and Archives of Canada will be prepared to take up the challenges of the 21st century and will be able to preserve the many records of our collective history.

    Therefore, I urge all members to support this bill, which will equip our country with the necessary tools to bring together in wonderful collections our books, prints and drawings, musical recordings, films, maps and digital documents of yesterday, today and tomorrow and make them more accessible to Canadians.

    We Canadians will thus be in a position to carry out our duty as set out by D'Arcy McGee a century ago: to originate a rich history, in the knowledge that it will be preserved, celebrated and accessible to all.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance): Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure today to speak to the bill, an act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain acts in consequence.

    The primary purpose of the bill is to create a new federal agency that would combine the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada. In a moment I will outline the positives of this new convergence, but I first want to state for the record the Canadian Alliance position with regard to this initiative and the legislation. We do have a policy, which people are welcome to look at on our website or elsewhere. The policy states: “The Canadian Alliance affirms the federal government's role in the preservation of Canada's natural and historical heritage, such as national parks, museums, archives and so on, and historic sites, for the benefit and enjoyment of all and as an enduring reminder to all Canadians of our common inheritance”.

    As such, by the end of my speech I will be advising my Canadian Alliance colleagues to support Bill C-36. There will be many questions that will need to be answered in committee and I am sure we will have a full complement of witnesses before the committee. In general, the drift of the legislation is in the right direction. As to the specifics, of course the devil may be in the details but we do think that it is supportable.

    There is a definition of the role of National Archives of Canada:

     To preserve the collective memory of the nation and the government of Canada and contribute to the protection of rights and the enhancement of a sense of national identity: by acquiring, conserving and facilitating access to private and public records of national significance, and serving as the permanent repository of records of federal government institutions and ministerial records; by facilitating the management of records of federal government, institutions and ministerial records; and by encouraging archival activities and the archival community.

    There are some things I will be saying about the preservation of records and of archiving important government documents, including documents of the cabinet, a little further on in my speech.

    Right now the national archives are accessible to all Canadians and that will continue under the amalgamation of the Library of Canada and the archives.

    The main role of the National Library of Canada is as follows: “...to preserve and promote...the published heritage of Canada”. The library is recognized as “one of the nation's foremost centres for research in Canadian Studies and as a showcase for Canadian literature and music”. The library is also accessible to all Canadians.

    Bill C-36 will merge these two entities. We think that potentially there could be, and should be, some positive results for Canada's recorded and published history and heritage.

    On a personal note, I remember that when my brother was doing research for a book he wrote about our family history he came to Ottawa and spent time at the National Archives. He eventually wrote a book and I am sure the National Library has a copy of it. The folks at the archives were most helpful. It is always amazing to me and to amateur historians like my brother how accessible the archives are, how helpful the folks are and how useful the information is when we are writing a book. In that case it was a family history, but it is certainly true for all Canadian history and studies.

    The preservation of archival information of course is important. Clause 8 of the bill states, “The Librarian and Archivist may do anything that is conducive to the attainment of the objectives of the Library and Archives of Canada”. The list includes a lot of things: acquire publications; take measures to catalogue, of course; compile and maintain information; provide information, consultation and other lending services to any Canadian; establish programs and organize or encourage any activities, including exhibitions, publications and performances; enter into agreements with other libraries, archives or institutions, inside and outside Canada, to help preserve and encourage the understanding of our historical information; advise government institutions, including on ways to use the Internet to promote and provide information; and provide leadership and direction for library services for all government institutions. It goes on. There is much to do and of course they do a good job, even today under difficult circumstances. In other words, there is a very powerful mandate to assist the preservation of Canadian heritage.

  +-(1330)  

    For the purposes of preservation, Bill C-36 also allows the librarian and archivist to take a representative sample of the documentary material of interest to Canada that is accessible to the public without restriction through the Internet or any other similar medium. That also is in clause 8.

    Again, increasing numbers of Canadians will take advantage of this service. Even those who cannot get to Ottawa will have new and improved access to documents through the Internet. The hope is that by providing this invaluable information to future historians, both amateur and professional, we will not only preserve but will better understand our past and apply it to today's concerns and issues and our culture.

    The management of the combined archive and library should be more efficient by bringing the two organizations together. The collections will be combined and will be comprehensive, thereby increasing the efficiency and feasibility of information management. The convergence of human expertise and knowledge should increase the proficiency of information management. In other words, by bringing them together under one command and control we should be able to benefit from the immense amount of expertise in the two organizations right now.

    The merging of these two institutions should provide synergy and efficiency in the delivery of internal human resources, financial, marketing and technology systems and so on. I say it should because it is not entirely clear from the briefing notes that we received from the department whether this will actually take place. In fact, the notes say there may actually be no cost savings from this merger. This should be investigated at committee.

    It seems to me that by bringing together management systems under one aegis should provide some financial savings on everything from human resource management to technology systems. We will be looking at ways to do that. We encourage the committee to make sure that is done to the best of its ability.

    There are some clauses in the bill on the access provisions. By unifying the two entities we hopefully will increase the visibility of Canada's heritage and history. We believe that the library and archives of Canada will provide integrated access to its collections by offering one stop access.

    Again I will use the example of my brother's research. It would have been handy for him to go to one spot and ask for historical information for example on the original ships that brought over our ancestors and at the same time any other books on that subject. Many other people would be looking for different heritage information. In my case it is the Mennonite background and the Swedish background, or the “Swennonite” background, that I cherish. It could be one stop.

    The library and archives of Canada would use the latest technology to collect and provide access to its collections. The library and archives of Canada would use web services for some of the following: the Canadian Genealogy Centre; Virtual Reference Canada; the Portrait Gallery of Canada; initiatives to preserve Canada's multicultural documentary heritage; services such as the interlibrary loan of publications and microfilms; programs to promote literacy; support for Canadians with print disabilities; and so on. It would improve access for all Canadians, even those who are unable to get to Ottawa to go through the documents on site.

    We have some concerns about Bill C-36. There are things that need to be looked at in committee.

    The documents I received from Heritage Canada indicate that the transition will cost $7.5 million over three years. There was also $15 million awarded in the 2003 budget for better short term protection of documents and artifacts. I am not sure if that $7.5 million is part of the $15 million, but regardless, preservation is necessary. We will try to figure out exactly what those costs are and whether there will be potential cost savings down the road. The bill was dropped on us late last week and we have yet to receive a briefing from the department. We are not sure what the $7.5 million includes. Is it just the accounting costs? Is it labour time costs? We are not sure but that will be looked into.

  +-(1335)  

    Again I emphasize that the documents from Heritage Canada admit that it is not a cost cutting exercise. While it may not be cost cutting, it does seem to me that there should be savings realized. We will be asking the department heads to explain why that does not take place. I certainly think it should.

    There are also greater opportunities to involve more fully the private sector, people who can make use of this in a positive way. Perhaps there are revenue generating opportunities in this as well. Perhaps that will take place under the coalitions built among other libraries, both nationally and internationally.

    For anyone who has looked at this file at all, there is a concern not so much with the bill but with the general preservation of our national archives. In the last couple of years taxpayers have spent approximately $4.5 million just to repair items damaged by water leaks and maintenance problems in the current archive buildings. It seems to me that the Department of Public Works and Government Services along with the archives and library when they get their act together have to quit the squabbling and find a solution to the accommodation and preservation of Canada's national archives.

    There is no sense saving a copy of everything and putting it in a room where the water leaks into the cardboard box. If we are going to preserve this stuff, go through the expense of cataloguing it, accounting for it, preserving it and so on, then let us make sure it is preserved and not stuck in one of the leakiest buildings in Ottawa. I urge Public Works and Government Services and the archives and library to put the turf wars behind them and get at actually preserving the stuff we are talking about today. It is important information that needs to be preserved. Let us find a way of doing that quickly.

    This next point is part of the work of any committee and any bill that comes before it. I would urge the committee, and again I am part of that, to make sure that we are getting value for the dollar under this proposal. At face value everything looks fine, and it always looks fine in a government briefing document. I have never seen one yet that looks as if we are about to waste a pile of money, but on the other hand there are enough examples of cost overruns. The Canadian War Museum is a prime example. Everyone is in favour of the war museum. We think it should go ahead and we are all in favour of it, but we have not even gotten the walls up and it is tens of millions of dollars over budget already.

    Understandably there is going to be scrutiny at the committee level, as there should be. It is part of our job on all sides of the House to scrutinize that spending. I would urge all members to do that carefully because these sorts of bills have little surprises hidden in them if we do not do that properly.

    It is also important to note that clause 8(g) of the bill says that the combined national archives and library is to “advise government institutions concerning the management of information produced or used by them and provide services for that purpose”. In other words, if there are ways to better manage it--and in the briefing notes it sounds good and the bill reads fine at first blush--we are going to want to know exactly how that management system is going to improve it.

    Clause 12(1) of the bill, another important clause which I would urge interested archivists to browse, states:

     No government or ministerial record, whether or not it is surplus property of a government institution, shall be disposed of, including by being destroyed, without the written consent of the Librarian and Archivist or of a person to whom the Librarian and Archivist has, in writing, delegated the power to give such consents.

    It is tremendously important that people understand what is involved, that government bureaucrats understand what this actually means. It means there is an obligation among departmental employees to make sure that proper record keeping takes place and that archives are preserved not just when it is convenient, not just when they look good or when they have a glowing report, but that all records are to be preserved. In fact it says properly under clause 12 that no government or ministerial record shall be disposed of including by being destroyed.

  +-(1340)  

    In other words, just because it is a negative report or it is something someone does not like or hopes does not come up for his or her grandchildren to read, it is too bad. In the government, archives are archives. We preserve the good, the bad and the ugly. We take it all, preserve it all, so future historians will be able to learn from it and hopefully steer clear of some of the problems we have had, and even have currently, by making sure that record keeping is done properly.

    I point out that we are once again embroiled in a controversy here in Parliament, in this case with the records kept by the business development bank, a semi arm's length corporation mandated by this House. What is interesting is the lack of proper record keeping and missing documents. Key documents that may or may not implicate the Prime Minister or others in business dealings or loan approvals, or whatever it might be, are suddenly missing from its archives.

    The government is involved. It is getting and giving advice and doing studies and all the things that governments are involved in. Again, clause 12 says to keep the records, the good and the bad and understand that it is the law that they be maintained and given to the archives. Increasingly it will be electronic records and they too need to be preserved.

    The Government of Canada needs to improve its information and record keeping practices. I am afraid the way the government will avoid this clause is it will just not create a record at all in the first place. That is one way around it.

    On March 24 of this year, Canada's Information Commissioner said the following as reported in the Ottawa Citizen:

    The most significant threat to open, accountable government is a crisis in information management in the federal Government of Canada.

    The article went on to say:

    Despite warnings to public servants that they must improve in such areas, federal officials are avoiding creating records, Mr. Reid said. Under the spectre of financial penalty or imprisonment for destroying or falsifying records, he added, officials are encouraged to make oral briefings or exchange information by e-mail to avoid creating permanent written records.

    That is not the intent of clause 12 as I understand it. The clause says that the records are not to be destroyed. They are to be kept intact. They are to be passed along and archived so that all of us will have a chance to see them one day. In essence, although it is not in the bill, as a tangent of this, it is important to know that whistle-blowing legislation will be critical to solving this problem, where people actually have the gumption to stand up and be counted, make written proposals and written briefings for ministers, instead of just an oral chat around the coffee machine knowing that that cannot be archived, but on the other hand neither can we learn from mistakes.

    There are many acts that are amended in consequence to this bill. Each one of them in and of itself is also important. For example, there are changes to the Yukon First Nations Land Claims Settlement Act, to which the member for Yukon will no doubt want to pay attention. There are changes to the National Archives Act. There are also changes to the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act, the War Veterans Allowance Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the proceeds of crime act, and the Public Sector Compensation Act. There is an important consequential change to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act. The Financial Administration Act is another one. All of these will have to be looked at.

    There is an important consequential change to the Copyright Act. This has been somewhat controversial. The issue of copyright protection is an important one and Canada has been less aggressive than most of its international competitors in linking information innovation to intellectual property or in protecting and promoting intellectual property rights. In fact, the Canadian Alliance member for Yorkton—Melville presented a private member's motion requesting the House of Commons to create a parliamentary committee to examine property rights, including copyright. Copyright is a section of property rights. It is important to do that.

  +-(1345)  

    The tricky issue raised by the bill concerning copyright is the need to balance the incentives created by copyright and patent protection with the public nature of the work of the authors and the artists. Since the government has recently undertaken quite an extensive review of copyright issues, I will look forward to the testimony of witnesses in committee on this issue.

    I believe the industry committee as well will want to look at this, if not to study the entire bill, at least to look at the consequential amendments to the Copyright Act. We need to strike the balance between the rights of artists and the rights of their heirs to preserve their creations for the purposes of the heirs and the right of the public to have access after a certain amount of time to unpublished works.

    It seems to me we have to balance that. This bill extends that by 15 years, which is a goodly length of time, considering we only reviewed this and made changes to the Copyright Act only four years ago. The expiration of that copyright protection is supposed to come up this following year. For unpublished works this extends it considerably. It has been quite controversial and that too will have to be looked at in committee, whether the 15 years is necessary or whether there is something in between next year and 15 that would be more appropriate.

    It seems to me that eventually there will come a time when unpublished works of deceased artists will no longer be protected under this copyright legislation. We need to delve into that and the industry committee will have its part in ensuring it is of the right balance.

    Overall, I will be encouraging my colleagues to support this at second reading in principle. It is sound management to bring the archives and the library together. I have the concerns, as I mentioned earlier, about cost savings and some of the other issues, and consequential amendments. It should be an easy bill to approve in committee, although once we are in there and the witnesses start telling us what those consequential amendments are, perhaps something will come up.

    At this stage, we will be supporting the bill and look forward to the committee work to get into the nitty-gritty.

  +-(1350)  

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ): Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak today on this bill.

    Before getting into the various issues raised by Bill C-36, I would like to point out that, since the Liberals took office, all programs and bills from the Department of Canadian Heritage look alike and their main objective is to instill into the people of Quebec and the rest of Canada a strong sense of belonging to Canada.

    It is a terrible shame that amendments to the Copyright Act were included in this bill. While these amendments seem to be good, in principle, they are not when we consider the direction this bill, an act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain acts in consequence, was intended to take.

    My point is that, because of many issues, we are against the principle of this bill. In the minutes to come, I will try to explain why we oppose it.

    In a nutshell, the enactment creates the Library and Archives of Canada as the successor to the National Library and the National Archives of Canada. It provides for the appointment of this new agency's head, the Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

    The mission of the new agency will be based on those of the National Library and the National Archives of Canada, and expand them to include the interpretation of Canadian history and the display of collections. The regime for legal deposit of publications has also been updated to provide for the deposit of electronic publications. A new power to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada as found on the Internet has also been introduced. These are essentially the objectives of the bill.

    In addition, the bill amends the Copyright Act by providing for a longer term of protection for unpublished or posthumously published works of authors who died before 1949. The new terms of protection are extended for varying periods, depending on the date of the author's death and whether or not the work is published during the particular periods in question. Requirements for archives holding unpublished works in their collections that were deposited before 1999 to obtain consents from copyright holders for the making of certain copies of those works and related recordkeeping or owner-tracing requirements will be removed.

    This enactment also makes consequential amendments to relevant legislation and contains transitional provisions and coordinating amendments.

    So, when we analyze the bill, we find that it contains many important measures. The National Library and the National Archives of Canada will be replaced by the Library and Archives of Canada, and it is hard to oppose the renaming of these institutions.

    We are not against this change. However, there are other measures that we do oppose. The library community, particularly the Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation, is not in favour of amalgamating the National Library and the National Archives of Canada. Why? It is because it believes that the two organizations have very distinct missions and approaches. The National Library is more at the service of libraries and, occasionally, of individuals, while the National Archives' mission is the conservation of Canada's heritage.

    The Bloc Quebecois also believes that it is very difficult to reconcile both missions, since they pursue different objectives. We have the support of the Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation.

    Furthermore, several libraries in Quebec sent me their thoughts on this amalgamation, indicating that they were against it. They believe, as we do, that being a librarian is quite different from being an archivist. Consequently, the amalgamation of both entities could create some problems. The Bloc Quebecois believes that a full analysis of the project should be conducted.

  +-(1355)  

    There is also the matter of the mandate of the head of Library and Archives of Canada. The public administration will be placed under the authority of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, but managed by a general administrator known as the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, who will be appointed by the governor in council.

    The Bloc has some questions. The general administrator will have additional powers. He or she will have the power to ask for the transfer of documents from the Government of Canada or from other libraries, if he thinks that those documents might be damaged or destroyed.

    Again, the government could have looked at what has been done at the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec as far as responsibilities are concerned. The Government of Quebec appointed trustworthy people, who are accountable to the Quebec minister of culture and communications. It also determined that other people from the library community, the publishing community, writers' associations and the universities would sit on the board. Three of these members have to be librarians. One of them has to be a conservation expert and another an exhibitions expert. These people also have to be appointed by the City of Montreal.

    Two users are also members of the board. The Government of Quebec sought out citizens. One must reside in Montreal and be elected by his peers, in accordance with the library's regulations.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): We will now proceed to statements by members. The member for Erie—Lincoln.


+-STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[S. O. 31]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Canadian Shipowners Association

+-

    Mr. John Maloney (Erie—Lincoln, Lib.): Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Canadian Shipowners Association on its 100th anniversary.

    Formed in 1903 as the Dominion Marine Association, the CSA represents the interests of Canadian companies that own and operate Canadian flagged vessels on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway, the east coast and the Arctic.

    It has proven, through established partnerships between its member companies and the government, that the marine industry is a reliable, safe, environmentally sound and competitive sector of the Canadian economy.

    The CSA is a leader in technological and environmental innovation. Its leadership in technology has consistently improved safety and efficiency. The CSA believes that the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waterways are a national treasure, which is why it uses vessel technology and training techniques that are geared toward safety and environmental protection.

    The future will bring many challenges to Canada's marine infrastructure. The ships, ports and locks that form the seaway require new investments to meet the needs of increasing volumes and competitive realities. We welcome the CSA's input and participation.

    I congratulate the Canadian Shipowners Association for 100 years of quality transport. May it continue with many more years of success.

*   *   *

+-Middle East

+-

    Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, Canadian Alliance): Madam Speaker, terrorism has struck at the heart of the Middle East once again. This time al-Qaeda is responsible for bombing four separate housing and commercial complexes in Saudi Arabia.

    This is the type of event that distresses my brothers and sisters in the Islamic Canadian community to the core.

    Just this morning I had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Arab community concerned about the government's overreaction to these type of events here at home.

    Since 9/11 Canadian Muslims have felt that they have been unfairly targeted by initiatives such as the Anti-terrorism Act and now Bill C-18.

    The Canadian Alliance has tried to be responsive to those people in the Islamic community who have had their lives turned upside down by efforts to improve security. We recognize the problems that Arab Canadians have faced when travelling outside of Canada and we condemn all discrimination based upon country of origin.

    We must all work together to ensure that all Canadians, regardless of race or country of origin, are treated equally and fairly under the law.

*   *   *

  +-(1400)  

+-Canada Book Day

+-

    Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parkdale—High Park, Lib.): Madam Speaker, to mark this year's Canada Book Day and Book Week, I hosted my annual Canada Book Day celebrations in my riding on April 19.

    I give special thanks to Greg Gatenby, artistic director of the International Festival of Authors, for organizing the day.

    At the event my constituents had the pleasure to meet the following renowned Canadian authors: Rosemary Aubert, Catherine Bush, Stephen Finucan, Joe Fiorito, Greg Gatenby, Lesley Krueger; Hal Niedzviecki, Christine Pountney and Jason Sherman.

    Book Day, which is spearheaded by the Writer's Trust of Canada, founded in 1976, is a unique national charitable organization providing a level of support to writers unmatched by any other non-governmental organization or foundation.

    The Writer's Trust of Canada is committed to exploring and introducing to future generations the traditions that will enrich our common literary heritage and strengthen Canada's cultural foundations.

    Canada Book Day provides us with the opportunity to recognize the contribution writers make to the cultural richness of Canada.

    This day also provides us with the opportunity to--

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): The hon. member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Hydrogen Storage

+-

    Mr. Massimo Pacetti (Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, Lib.): Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to congratulate our federal government.

    On April 22, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, on behalf of the Minister of Industry, announced the creation of the Industrial Research Chair in Hydrogen Storage. A $1 million contribution has been made toward the funding of this chair at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.

    Most Canadian companies working to develop this technology are small companies with limited financial resources and personnel. This chair will therefore be of great benefit to companies and will help them develop their products in Trois-Rivières and market them across Canada.

    This is another example among many of the federal government's financial support for projects that benefit the people of Canada, Quebec and Trois-Rivières.

*   *   *

+-Portuguese Canadians

+-

    Ms. Raymonde Folco (Laval West, Lib.): Madam Speaker, today is the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first group of Portuguese immigrants officially recognized as such by the Government of Canada.

    On this occasion, I would like to highlight the long and rich history of Portuguese Canadians and their contribution to Canada's development.

    This is the ideal moment to celebrate the first immigrants who landed at Pier 21 in Halifax and settled here in Canada. Although many people had immigrated from Portugal before that time, they came on ships registered in Greece, Italy, Dominica, the U.S. or the Caribbean. Because there was no official agreement on immigration between Portugal and Canada, these first immigrants were recorded as nationals of those countries.

    I salute the Portuguese Canadians in my riding of Laval West, and I invite all Canadians to take part in the festivities celebrating their heritage and contributions. They have enabled Canada to become the multicultural and diversified nation it is today.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Canadian Alliance for Social Justice and Family Values Association

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, Canadian Alliance): Madam Speaker, today I would like to recognize the Canadian Alliance for Social Justice and Family Values Association based in Vancouver for the work that it has done in support of Canadian families and social justice.

    Yesterday, on its behalf, I tabled in Parliament over 12,000 petitions, half of them expressing support of the traditional definition of marriage. The other 6,000 petitions expressed opposition to Bill C-250, a bill that raises significant concerns over the ability of religious leaders and institutions to communicate and adhere to essential matters of faith.

    The organization is a non-denominational, non-partisan grassroots association. Its principal purposes are to redress social injustice, to advocate and protect constitutional charter and social rights, traditional family values and parental rights. Canadians across the country are grateful for its efforts.

*   *   *

+-Books for Children and Families

+-

    Hon. Andy Scott (Fredericton, Lib.): Madam Speaker, I am proud to rise in recognition of a literacy project called “Books for Children and Families”. This limited edition collection of eight books was developed by the University of New Brunswick Early Childhood Centre in collaboration with New Brunswick Early Interventionalists and Family Resource Centres and the National Literacy Secretariat.

    The collection strives to honour diverse family circumstances and is intended for pre-school children and their parents as they share and learn together.

    The books were written and illustrated by accomplished New Brunswick authors and artists. This collection makes a great gift for young constituents and for the schools, day cares and hospitals that I visit in my riding.

    I encourage each and every member of Parliament to purchase several copies of  “Books for Children and Families”.

*   *   *

  +-(1405)  

[Translation]

+-Mining

+-

    Mr. Ghislain Fournier (Manicouagan, BQ): Mr. Speaker, as the Bloc Quebecois' mining critic, and given that it is national mining week, I am pleased to talk about the effect of mining on our economy and our lives.

    Mining is extremely important to keeping our economy strong. The construction, shipping and aviation industries, for example, would not have flourished to the same extent without the numerous resources our mines produce.

    It is important to recognize the wealth and the majorimpact of the mining industry and ensure that this industry receives the tax measures and investments it needs for its development, for exploration, mining or research, and thus guarantee years of prosperity to miners.

*   *   *

[English]

+-City of Scarborough

+-

    Mr. John McKay (Scarborough East, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as you know, the rest of Toronto, Mississauga, Markham and Durham are mere suburbs of Scarborough and once again Scarborough was called upon to save the citizens of Toronto and the country.

    On Sunday we witnessed the magnificent performance of Anson Carter, who learned all of his hockey in Scarborough, as he scored that lovely wrap around goal to bring Canada gold at the World Hockey Championships. Then on Monday night Mike Myers, who learned all his comedy routines in a recreation room in his parents' basement in Scarborough, told millions of Americans on the Tonight Show that Toronto was safe, fun and a great place to visit. He then proceeded to hand out “I Love Toronto” T-shirts.

    Once again Scarborough saves a city and its nation.

*   *   *

+-Perth—Middlesex

+-

    Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize our Canadian Alliance candidate, Marion Meinen, and her team of volunteers.

    In the Perth—Middlesex byelection they spent countless hours putting forward issues that are very important to Canadians and I want to thank each one of them for their hard work and effort.

    I also want to congratulate Canada's newest member of Parliament, Gary Schellenberger, who won the election with 32% of the voters supporting he and his party.

    The biggest loser in this election was the former finance minister. Despite winning this seat in the previous three elections, the Liberal vote dropped by over 10% of the popular vote with his impending coronation. Voters wanted a change, so they left the Liberal Party and went to the NDP.

    There is a lesson here. Witness a new trend. That trend: vote splitting on the left.

*   *   *

+-John Savage

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Halifax West, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, today my home province of Nova Scotia is a little darker, having this morning lost one of its truly bright lights.

    Dr. John Savage, Officer of the Order or Canada, former mayor of the City of Dartmouth, former leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia, former premier of Nova Scotia and a global humanitarian, died this morning after a heroic battle with cancer.

    Dr. Savage dedicated his life to improving the lot of his fellow human beings. He led Nova Scotians into a radically different way of thinking about government. Fiscal prudence replaced patronage, planning replaced expediency and when it was time to leave politics he put his party's fortunes ahead of his own and turned his energy to the plight of Africa's poorest people.

    To his many friends and family I offer my condolences and ask that they take some relief from the knowledge that John Savage was a truly great Canadian who left the world a better place than he found it. I say God speed to him.

*   *   *

+-John Savage

+-

    Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP): Mr. Speaker, in learning today of Dr. John Savage's death, fellow Nova Scotian and family friend, Sine MacKinnon, invoked the words of Hilaire Belloc, “He does not die that can bequeath some influence to the land he loves”.

    John Savage was such a person. He was a loving husband of Margaret, proud father of seven and grandfather of eight.

    This remarkable man was fiercely devoted to his own family and with their support he devoted his life to creating healthy lives and healthy communities for the entire human family through his political career as Dartmouth's mayor and Nova Scotia's premier and through his visionary medical contribution locally and globally.

    Of his battle with cancer, Dr. Savage stated, “I accept what happens to everybody sooner or later”, and promptly focused public attention on the virtues of home based palliative care.

    To his loving family we extend deepest sympathy. Nova Scotians, Canadians and John Savage's global family will miss his presence but remain forever grateful and indebted for his lasting contribution.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Terrorism

+-

    Mr. Michel Guimond (Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans, BQ): Mr. Speaker, once again, extremely deplorable attacks are being perpetrated. We can only feel consternation at such violence and its impact.

    The Bloc Quebecois sends its sincerest condolences to the families of people of every nation who lost their lives in the attacks last night in Riyadh. We hope that the wounded will make a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with the families of Canadians who were over there.

    Terrorism is never a legitimate option. It strikes blindly. Its goals are, as the term suggests, to sow terror. Such utterly reprehensible acts must not affect efforts for peace in the Middle East.

    We invite the Government of Canada to continue to collaborate with the appropriate international agencies to combat such violence.

*   *   *

  +-(1410)  

+-Cyprus

+-

    Ms. Eleni Bakopanos (Ahuntsic, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I address this Chamber today in order to wish the most cordial of welcomes to His Excellency, the High Commissioner of Cyprus, on the occasion of his visit to Canada.

    Canada has always encouraged and supported the complete and permanent settlement of the Cyprus issue via United Nations resolution.

[English]

    Today there is a new beginning to end the close to 30 year impasse of the Cyprus problem. It is a new era for all the people of Cyprus.

    I was extremely pleased to be informed last month, just over a week following the April 16 signing of the accession treaty for Cyprus to the European Union, that thousands of Greek Cypriots, including family and friends of mine, crossed Europe's last great dividing line, the so-called “green line”.

    These individuals were able to visit their native homes for the first time since Turkey's invasion in 1974. They were able to set foot on their native soil for the first time in almost 30 years.

    Canada will continue to work with the UN to persuade Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot leader to work within the UN process to end the division of Cyprus and bring unity to the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    We wish the newest member of the EU, the Republic of Cyprus, peace and unity.

*   *   *

+-Perth—Middlesex

+-

    Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, PC): Mr. Speaker, today is indeed a historic day for Progressive Conservatives, for Ontarians, for Canadians and especially for Gary Schellenberger, the newly elected Progressive Conservative member of Parliament for Perth--Middlesex.

    Today is the first day of many more days to come that will highlight a return to issues based politics and the denial of a regional, divisive and ineffective official opposition.

    The new member of Parliament for Perth--Middlesex should be commended for running a clean, principled campaign. He stayed on message even when the member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast tried to make a mountain out of an earpiece.

    That unprecedented attack showed the voters of Perth—Middlesex the clear strategy of the Canadian Alliance, to defeat a Progressive Conservative and elect a Liberal.

    The tide has finally turned and once again the Liberals will be held accountable to the people of Perth--Middlesex.

    I congratulate Gary Schellenberger.

*   *   *

+-National Nursing Week

+-

    Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the recent outbreak of SARS has reminded us of the dedication, commitment and compassion of Canada's nurses.

    The new health accord shifts how and where we care for patients; home care, palliative care and mental health issues are now national priorities.

    The delivery of this new system will rest squarely on the shoulders of nurses. Today there are 232,000 RNs in Canada, half of whom will retire in 10 to 15 years. By 2011 we will face a shortage of 78,000 nurses. The recruitment and maintenance of nurses must become a priority for governments.

    The high stress, high risk environment in which nurses work and their rising frustration are a direct result of the lack of respect we give them. They are overworked, underpaid and undervalued.

    Yet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in community health care centres and clinics, metropolitan teaching hospitals or isolated nursing stations, nurses continue to provide needed care for Canadians.

    This week is National Nursing Week. It is time to publicly thank Canada's nurses because nursing is at the heart of our health care system.

*   *   *

+-National Nursing Week

+-

    Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, it is National Nursing Week and an opportunity for Canadians to celebrate the important role that nurses play in the well-being of Canadians.

    Nurses are a valuable part of the health care delivery team, working hard day and night to relieve the pain and provide comfort for family members and loved ones.

    This year Canadian nurses deserve a special recognition for their work in the global struggle against SARS. Despite the lack of leadership by the federal health minister, and at a time of great uncertainty and risk, nurses from across this country, especially from Toronto, have indeed been valuable frontline workers caring for the sick and supporting the efforts to contain this virus. Nurses have led the way in continuing to meet the challenging need of Canadians touched by this outbreak. Indeed, Canadian nurses have constantly demonstrated that they are the heart in health care.

    I invite members to join me in acknowledging the significant contribution nurses are making, and I extend my warmest thanks to our Canadians nurses.


+-ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

[Oral Questions]

*   *   *

  +-(1415)  

[English]

+-Auberge Grand-Mère

+-

    Mr. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, in July of last year the RCMP applied for a search warrant against the National Post for files on the Prime Minister's Grand-Mère dealings. It turned out that when the RCMP applied for the warrant and it had an obligation to provide the court with full and complete information, that did not happen. Information was withheld.

    Has the Solicitor General inquired with the RCMP as to why it applied for and received a search warrant based on incomplete information?

+-

    Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the court documents speak for themselves, and as the member well knows, the RCMP makes its own judgments in such matters. However I can tell the member that all the relevant facts of this affair have long since been known, have long since been on the record, have long since been examined, and the hon. member would do better to spend his time and attention focusing on issues that are of relevance to the Canadian people rather than chasing shadows in matters that have long since been put to rest.

+-

    Mr. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I say to the Prime Minister that if he really wants to stonewall this, he would be better than to send the minister who is responsible for the Airbus investigation.

    The manager of the BDC branch involved provided police with a statement on the granting of this loan. She said that the loan would never have been approved without the interference of the Prime Minister, yet this and other information was left off the application for the search warrant.

    Will the Solicitor General allow an independent investigation into why the police were using incomplete information to obtain a search warrant to intimidate a major newspaper?

+-

    Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely amazed that the Leader of the Opposition continues to not only malign individuals and malign agencies that are recognized as among the best around the world. The fact of the matter is the RCMP takes action which it deems appropriate. It did take the appropriate action in this course and that is where it should be left.

+-

    Mr. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, let me ask the minister responsible for the BDC a question since he seems so enthusiastic to stand up. Officials at the BDC were clear. The Grand-Mère Inn did not qualify for loans, but the BDC is supposed to be independent of government. However one phone call from the Prime Minister and the loan was approved.

    Is this normal practice at the BDC? If not, has the minister responsible ordered an investigation into how the BDC is operating?

+-

    Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, all the relevant facts are on the table. They have been examined time and again. The record is quite clear.

    One thing I can observe, is the people of Perth district or Stratford, Ontario, that whole region, have been watching very carefully the behaviour of the Alliance Party and yesterday they expressed their view of the performance of the Alliance and its leader. We agree with their judgment.

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, considering the minister does not even know where Perth—Middlesex is, he is a fine one to make those comments.

    The last time the Prime Minister was in hot water over inappropriate loans to the Auberge Grand-Mère, a judge authorized officials to search the home of the BDC president and to seize and destroy any documents related to the financial file of the Auberge Grand-Mère; to search and destroy the evidence.

    Now it has been revealed that documents related to the Grand-Mère Inn have indeed gone missing, this time from BDC headquarters. They are missing and presumed destroyed, and the RCMP did not even bother reporting the loss during its application for a search warrant.

    Is the government finally convinced that this sordid affair deserves a full independent investigation or will it leave that--

+-

    The Speaker: The Minister of Industry.

+-

    Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the matter has been investigated and every relevant fact has been examined and has been laid on the table. These members will do themselves no good by poking through the embers of a dead affair trying to advance their political interests by attacking the reputation of a man who in 40 years has achieved more for this country than that party ever will.

  +-(1420)  

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I would remind the industry minister that the last industry minister who wore the flak jacket for the Prime Minister has a different mailing address today than he had back then.

    At one time, Liberal spokesmen said the following, “that the government never interferes in the loan granting operations of the Business Development Bank”. After the bank president was let go, after the local bank manager said that this thing should have never been approved, what will it take exactly for this industry minister to call an independent investigation, or will he leave that to the member for LaSalle—Émard to do the dirty work for him?

+-

    Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor has examined this issue. The relevant facts have been looked at time and again. The ethics counsellor's decision was made, in writing, available to all members of the House of Commons.

    All these matters have been considered and gone into time and again. What we are seeing here is a desperate party with nothing to offer of any relevance to Canadians, no position of value of the true issues facing this country, looking backwards yet again.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Marijuana

+-

    Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice had barely completed the presentation of his marijuana bill to Cabinet and he was off to Washington to discuss its contents with United States Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    Does the Prime Minister think it right that his government should consider it more important to get Washington's okay on this than to inform the members and the public of his intentions?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the minister has regular contacts with the U.S. Attorney General, and this was one of their meetings.

    As for the matter of changing and modernizing penalties relating to marijuana, it will remain illegal, but the penalties will be different.

    Of course, if the Americans want to know more about our bill, I have no objections to telling them, once Parliament has decided.

+-

    Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber crisis, the anti-missile shield, GMOs and decriminalization of marijuana, are all areas in which the federal government is groveling before the Bush administration.

    Is the Prime Minister telling us that this is now the legislative process: cabinet decision, followed by the thumbs up from Washington, followed by first reading, second reading, third reading? Is this what we have come to?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the matter has been examined. Reports have been received from the House.

    The best proof of the independent nature of our decisions is that, when we reached a decision not all that long ago in connection with the war in Iraq, our position had been clear for the past year, and we stuck to it despite protests from some, because this country is capable of making its own decisions, since we are independent.

+-

    Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, BQ): Mr. Speaker, under the usual process for drafting and considering a bill, cabinet decisions are discussed by the Liberal caucus and the bill is introduced in the House, where it is debated and amended as needed, then passed.

    Is the reason the Minister of Justice is in such a rush to go to Washington because he wants to leave as much latitude as possible to make the changes recommended by the U.S., without it appearing obvious and without anyone knowing?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there will be a bill, and at that time the member can say, “this line comes from the Americans; this line comes from the British; this line comes from the Bloc Quebecois; this line comes from the Liberal caucus”.

    When the bill is before the House, he can make all the comments he wants. However, there will be a bill to modernize sentencing for marijuana.

+-

    Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, BQ): Mr. Speaker, will the Prime Minister admit that by going to Washington, the Minister of Justice is confirming that the legislative process has become an insignificant detail, since the changes that will be made to the bill will be done in backrooms in the U.S. and not here, by the federal government?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have nothing to add. There will be legislation that the members can debate. There have been recommendations from both the House of Commons and the Senate.

    We will be introducing a bill on this whole issue. Very soon, there will be a bill to modernize sentencing for offences involving marijuana.

  +-(1425)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister who must have had a tough decision to make whether to brief the provisional government of the member for LaSalle--Émard first or brief the American government first. The one thing that did not seem to occur to the Prime Minister was to put down the new marijuana law here in Parliament for members of Parliament who should have seen it first.

    Why this contempt for Parliament?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the law is not completed by the government as of yet. We cannot table something that does not exist. When the law is ready, it will be tabled in the House of Commons for first reading, second reading and third reading. He knows that. He has been around for a long, but probably he has nothing very serious to ask about, so he has tried to create a problem again.

*   *   *

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I have been around long enough to have respect for Parliament and know that laws should be introduced here first and not elsewhere. Even though the Prime Minister has been here longer than me, he never has to worry about being charged with possession of respect for Parliament, even in small amounts.

    The Prime Minister said that the decision with respect to star wars has been put off. Who will he consult? It is not enough to just consult Liberals. They are not the entire political universe. There is a thing called Parliament. How will he consult Parliament and the Canadian people?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Parliament has been consulted. A committee of the House of Commons has been studying this problem for months and months. What is he complaining about?

    We are now preparing the legislation and it will be tabled. That is very simple. When he has it, he will vote on it. If he wants to vote on the day that the bill is tabled because he seems to be in favour of changing the sentencing on marijuana, that is fine. We will vote in the House as quickly as possible. He should ask his people not to speak too much.

*   *   *

+-Auberge Grand-Mère

+-

    Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

    France Bergeron was manager of the Business Development Bank branch that served the Prime Minister's riding at the time of the Auberge Grand-Mère case. Court records indicate that she told the RCMP that “without the intervention of the federal MP, the project would never have been accepted”. The MP who made the $615,000 intervention was the Prime Minister.

    Does the government agree with Ms. Bergeron's professional analysis and sworn testimony?

+-

    Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it was in a letter addressed to that member that the ethics counsellor expressed his opinion on all of these matters, including the facts referred to just now in the question. The ethics counsellor said clearly that there was no violation of any principle involved.

+-

    Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC): Mr. Speaker, we have heard from the professional mouthpiece.

    The cross-examination by the National Post has revealed new evidence in the Shawinigate matter. It talks about pages of files that have been lost and about electronic records that have disappeared. The RCMP search warrant application for leaked documents omitted France Bergeron's signed testimony that the only reason the loan was granted was because the Prime Minister intervened.

    The Solicitor General does not need a mouthpiece. He can answer for the RCMP himself. Will he tell the House why the RCMP kept the most relevant part of Ms. Bergeron's statement out of the warrant application?

+-

    Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am amazed that I find the Canadian Alliance and the leader of the Conservative Party in bed on this particular issue.

    They are both trying to dig up old news and malign agencies and organizations, and the RCMP. They are continuing to malign the Prime Minister. That seems to be their whole tact on this issue. There is really nothing new here. I said earlier that the RCMP did an investigation on this matter and that is appropriate.

*   *   *

+-National Defence

+-

    Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, a long list of senior military and government officials have criticized Liberal bungling and interference in the Sea King replacement project. Yesterday they were joined by former deputy minister of public works, Raymond Hession, a man the justice minister has said is well respected.

    Since the government has so much respect for Mr. Hession's ability to fix failed government programs, will it act on his observation that the government's process for replacing the Sea Kings is “plain stupid”?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, many people are offering many different opinions about helicopters. Mr. Hession has his view, but then so does the chief of defence staff who has indicated that the 1999 statement of requirements had the full support of military leadership. He said that all of the helicopters in the competition were very fine candidates.

    We are trying to be very precise in our requirements and in the process to ensure that both the military and the taxpayer can be properly satisfied.

  +-(1430)  

+-

    Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, let us look at the list. Three former deputy ministers, two former Sea King squadron commanders, and a former director of the helicopter project have said it has been corrupted by political interference.

    On the one hand the government is trying desperately to cover its tracks on the Sea King replacement program, and on the other hand a growing group of highly respected inside experts have said that the program has been corrupted.

    Who does the government really expect Canadians to believe?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated in the House before, since last year, both the Minister of National Defence and I have been working very hard to ensure that this procurement proceeds in the proper manner. The first step was taken last December by the Minister of National Defence in the re-bundling process.

    I would point out that the chief of defence staff also said that it was in fact “just the way to go” in regard to the re-bundling. I think the advice of the chief of defence staff is good advice to follow.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Softwood Lumber

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister for International Trade assured this House that he was working closely with the softwood lumber industry in the discussions with Washington to settle the softwood lumber dispute.

    How can the minister justify the industry being informed only today that the negotiations with the Americans had resumed, basically being presented with a fait accompli?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would be very surprised if the industry had been informed today that the negotiations were to resume this week, because they will not be resuming this week.

    On Thursday, the coordinators for this matter will be visiting the U.S. Department of Commerce, as they have been doing on a regular basis for two and a half years. These are regular meetings that do not qualify as negotiations.

    The point I am making is that the negotiations will not be resuming this week. A meeting is scheduled between the coordinator—

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew: Mr. Speaker, they do not even care to listen to the answer. All they want to do is chat.

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the minister told us the matter was settled. The reality is that not only was the softwood lumber industry not informed until today of the negotiations and their content, but also a representative of the industry in Quebec has confirmed that the positions being discussed probably stem from ongoing discussions between the American softwood lumber industry and American officials.

    Is this not further evidence that more and more, on major issues such as the space shield, marijuana and softwood lumber, this government is taking its lead from the American government and that the real decisions are being made in Washington, and not in Ottawa?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, that is a conspiracy theory put forward by suspicious and slighty paranoid individuals.

    On the softwood lumber issue, if there is a government that has stood up for producers, it is ours.

    The fact that we are making progress in Washington seems to bother certain members of the Bloc Quebecois who are not concerned about the real interests of lumber producers in Quebec, but would like to make political mileage on a sensitive issue. We have been working with all the provinces and industries across the country for the past two and a half years, and they will continue to be consulted as closely as they have been in the past.

*   *   *

[English]

+-National Defence

+-

    Mr. James Moore (Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Sea King project is not the only procurement debacle that the Liberals have authored. The replacements for Canada's CF-18 fighter jets are not going well and their upgrades are merely a Liberal band-aid solution.

    When will the Liberal government fast track our involvement in the joint strike fighter project to avoid a repeat of the Sea King debacle?

+-

    Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of transforming the military as is the case for militaries around the world. Militaries around the world face a radically different environment with the end of the cold war and the beginning of the anti-terrorist phase, as well as a hugely rapid change in technology.

    We have already made a number of announcements and are proceeding along that track. Members can be sure that the government will advance sound plans to transform the Canadian Forces in years to come.

+-

    Mr. James Moore (Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, we have already seen some of the government's plans: Sea King projects that go nowhere; Hercules planes with their wings cracking on the edges; and troops going into combat environments with the wrong camouflage, having to bum cigarettes, ammunition, and porta-potties from our allies. The government is certainly transforming our armed forces but not in a way that is anywhere near helpful.

    I want to know specifically from the minister, will the government fast track our involvement in the joint strike fighter project, yes or no?

  +-(1435)  

+-

    Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance never sees a piece of military kit that it does not want to buy yesterday. For example, it wants to spend $5 billion on strategic airlift which would cost so much we would have no money left over to buy things to put in those airplanes. Now it has chosen the next most expensive kit on the global market.

    We have responsibilities on this side of the House. We have a limited budget. We must spend our money strategically and wisely. So I will not answer that question off the top of my head.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ): Mr. Speaker, with respect to the antimissile shield, the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed to the committee that Canada was opposed to the militarization of space. The discussions with Washington on this subject will soon resume, which shows that the Canadian position is changing.

    How does the Minister of Foreign Affairs reconcile his position in committee with the government's decision to begin negotiations with the Americans on this subject?

+-

    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first of all, the government has not yet made a decision to negotiate with the Americans. The premise of the question is somewhat shaky.

    If the government were to begin discussions with our American counterparts, it would always be on the basis of the Canadian values and interests we put forth. We have clearly indicated to our American colleagues that the militarization of space is not a priority of the Canadian government, and we are fiercely opposed to such a measure.

+-

    Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ): Mr. Speaker, just as in the case of marijuana and softwood lumber, is the behaviour of the Government of Canada on the antimissile shield issue not proof that the positions of ministers and committees count for nothing when it comes to pleasing the Americans, and that, from now on, it is the head office in Washington that will be making the decisions on all these issues?

+-

    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, our policy clearly indicates that we consult Canadians and our hon. colleagues in Parliament through the committee system. That is exactly what this government is doing. We have not made any decision, specifically because the Prime Minister indicated that we were going to hold very broad consultations before making a decision, and that the decision, once taken, would take into account the interests of Canada and Canadians.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Correctional Service of Canada

+-

    Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, hepatitis strikes one in four federally incarcerated inmates and 1,500 inmates with hepatitis C were released into their communities in 2001. This is a low estimate, given that Correctional Service Canada believes that hepatitis and HIV are even more widespread than the statistics may indicate.

    Given that prevention is key in this age of communicable diseases, why will the Solicitor General not impose mandatory infectious disease testing on all federal inmates?

+-

    Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has come a long way. He is now talking about prevention which was something he did not want to agree with us a while ago.

    In fact, inmates are entitled to the same health care, under the same kinds of conditions, as all Canadians. We are trying to provide treatment for inmates as well as education in prevention. I am glad to see the hon. member is on side now in terms of prevention.

+-

    Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, it is the government that has not woken up yet to the problem that is facing it.

    The general population, and correctional officers and their families are put at risk. Even the inmates, to whom the Solicitor General owes at least some level of duty and care, are being put at risk because the Solicitor General refuses to protect them from dangerous and potentially deadly viruses.

    My question is again to the Solicitor General. Not if, but when will he impose mandatory testing on all--

  +-(1440)  

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Solicitor General.

+-

    Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, again, I am glad to see that the hon. member has come a long way. As he knows, the safety of the public, inmates and staff is of paramount importance to us. That is why we have introduced a fairly expensive treatment program and are proceeding with extensive prevention measures. I believe we are doing the right thing and making giant steps forward in terms of protecting the public, staff and inmates.

*   *   *

+-Arts and Culture

+-

    Mr. Julian Reed (Halton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, actors, producers and directors from the Canadian film and television industry are on Parliament Hill today making it clear that support for Canadian production is needed now more than ever.

    My question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage. What will the Government of Canada do to ensure that Canadians continue to enjoy homegrown shows like This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Eleventh Hour?

+-

    Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first I would like to thank the hon. member for the question because I think he is the only member of ACTRA who actually happens to be a member of Parliament as well. I know that I am available any time for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, but I do not get any ACTRA fees.

    I will say that I am pretty proud of the record we have. Since we have come into government we have signed co-production treaties with 25 foreign countries, including 635 projects and a total of $4.5 billion in funding. The CFVPTC has created $10.8 billion in total--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Dartmouth.

+-

    Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Canada is facing a deep crisis in Canadian TV production. Since 1999 we have seen twelve domestic TV dramas reduced to four, thousands of jobs lost and some of our best creative minds forced to go south to work. This crisis stems from four years of bad CRTC policy and four years of drift and neglect from the cabinet.

    Will the minister today commit to use the Broadcasting Act to review the 1999 CRTC policy and start to rebuild Canadian TV drama using the necessary regulatory and financial resources?

+-

    Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): First, Mr. Speaker, with your permission I would like to table a document that lays out the road map for success in Canadian film and television. I would also like to table the list of all those productions that have received an additional $130 million. At the same time, I would like to agree absolutely with the question of the hon. member.

    Of course the work of the standing committee on broadcasting is going to open doors to new investment in Canadian television and film, and I hope to see many future Gordon Pinsents being launched because of the programs of the Government of Canada.

*   *   *

+-Airline Industry

+-

    Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP): Mr. Speaker, a month ago the Liberal government was ready to loan millions of dollars to Air Canada. Now Air Canada is trying to extract a 20% pension cut from its employees, including those who have already retired. Think of what it means to a retired pensioner to lose 20% of their income overnight.

    I ask the government, since it was willing to loan Air Canada millions to squander on executive salaries, will it now put the loan money on the table to make sure pensioners do not lose their retirement security? Or do pensioners not matter as much to the government as airline executives?

+-

    Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. member that Air Canada is now under CCAA process, which means the courts are supervising the transactions, including the issues of compensation, collective agreements and pensions. I would think that the hon. member should let the court do its job.

*   *   *

+-National Defence

+-

    Mr. John Herron (Fundy—Royal, PC): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence. Although the statement of operational requirements stayed the same, the important information on helicopter specifications changed at least seven times. These changes have lowered the bar in terms of safety and operational requirements.

    Now, three former deputy ministers, including Raymond Hession, have all slammed the process. Hession has even called the decision to acquire the lowest cost instead of the best value helicopters “plain stupid”. Would the minister confirm that more than seven drafts of helicopter specifications, not requirements, have been produced?

  +-(1445)  

+-

    Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, having spoken many times to the chief of defence staff, just to make absolutely sure I spoke to him yesterday. As he said at the time, the statement of requirements in 1999 had the full support of the military leadership.

    To go on to the next part of the hon. member's question about translating that statement of requirements into the technical requirements to build this complicated thing that is called a helicopter, the chief of defence staff went on to say, and he cited as well the chief of air staff--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester.

*   *   *

+-Softwood Lumber

+-

    Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland—Colchester, PC): Mr. Speaker, for about a year now the Minister for International Trade has said that we were going to have a made in Canada solution, but the United States Department of Commerce has just produced a policy bulletin that says the U.S. Department of Commerce will determine whether individual Canadian provinces have reformed their policies and practices. If the U.S. Department of Commerce is going to determine what the Canadian provinces do, how is that a made in Canada solution?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, for two and a half years we have adopted a very clear strategy, one which was challenging the U.S. allegations that we were giving any sort of subsidies to our softwood lumber producers. Let me tell the hon. member that we are not, we will not and we have not done so in the past.

    However, given the long time it takes before the courts, we have said that with the support of industry all over the country and all of the provinces we should sit down with the Department of Commerce. As to those policy bulletins, the provinces and the Government of Canada have contributed substantially to their elaboration and I believe they can be very helpful in the future.

*   *   *

+-Canadian Wheat Board

+-

    Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, last October the minister for the Canadian Wheat Board was informed that the board was illegally taking money from farmers' pooling accounts. It is taking this money to manage and administer national licensing fees which the Wheat Board Act says the government has to pay.

    The minister said he was going to refer the matter to “officials and law officers”. It has been six months since the Canadian Alliance raised this issue. What are the results of the minister's investigation and why is this illegal practice continuing?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I did in fact refer the matter, which was raised by one of the directors of the Canadian Wheat Board, to the board of directors of the board as well as its legal counsel. I asked them to inquire into the matter to see if there was anything to the allegations. I have certainly not been advised to this date that there was anything to substantiate the allegations.

    It is after all a matter of the management of the Canadian Wheat Board, which by law is vested in the hands of the directors.

+-

    Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, it is the board of directors that is breaking the law. The minister in charge of whitewash just cannot get away from that.

    In Australia, licensing fees cost $20 million annually. We cannot even guess how much Canadian farmers have been illegally charged because of the lack of transparency at the Wheat Board and the Canadian Wheat Board directors.

    Does the minister know how much farmers have been charged? Why is he allowing the Canadian Wheat Board and the board of directors to operate illegally outside of the Canadian Wheat Board Act?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is nothing at all on the public record to support the allegation that the hon. gentleman has just made. The fact of the matter is that this House created a new governance system for the Canadian Wheat Board. The old system of appointed commissioners is gone. There is a modern, corporate style board of directors, 15 in total, 10 of whom are directly elected by farmers themselves.

    The opposition would like to replace the judgment of farmers with the political judgment of the Alliance Party. I would rather rely on farmers.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Canadian Television Fund

+-

    Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has a new pretext to avoid explaining $25 million in cuts by her department to the Canadian Television Fund. She said that it was too complicated.

    Will the minister admit that what is not complicated is that, once again, she has no intention of keeping her promises?

+-

    Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this year, there will be $230 million in the fund. When I created this fund six years ago, there was $200 million. There is $30 million more than there was when we created it. That is what I said a few weeks ago.

+-

    Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot deny that she promised to restore funding to the Canadian Television Fund the day before producers were to launch a campaign condemning the cuts, because she did not want to hurt her leadership campaign.

    Now that she has launched her campaign, can she tell us when she will restore the $25 million she promised that were cut from the Canadian Television Fund?

  +-(1450)  

+-

    Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the House, I will table here today the list of all those who received this additional funding, for a total of $230 million, which represents a $20 million increase over what there was before.

    So, if the House agrees, I will table everything I have been given to show that we are spending $230 million this year, in comparison to what we spent at the start.

    Will the Bloc Quebecois agree for these documents to be tabled?

    An hon. member: Table them.

    Hon. Sheila Copps: All right then. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

*   *   *

[English]

+- Coast Guard

+-

    Mr. John Cummins (Delta—South Richmond, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Coast Guard response to the fire yesterday aboard the B.C. ferry Queen of Surrey was woefully inadequate. The Coast Guard attended the scene with all the equipment available to it at the time: a 41 foot cutter from the Kitsilano Coast Guard base, a 24 foot inflatable from the Gibson Coast Guard auxiliary and a helicopter from Comox.

    Fortunately the weather was kind and evacuation of 350 passengers was not required, but what if an evacuation had been required? How could this tiny fleet effect a massive rescue effort?

+-

    Hon. Robert Thibault (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely ridiculous. That was a very good response. We got three vessels there. The military was there with its Cormorant helicopter. B.C. ferries were there with a spare vessel. Had it been necessary, we could have evacuated everybody off that ferry. There was a great response by the crew of the ferry and they should all be congratulated.

+-

    Mr. John Cummins (Delta—South Richmond, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, obviously the minister does not know the capability of his equipment. Missing from yesterday's emergency was the only vessel capable of carrying sufficient life rafts and operating near the shore: the hovercraft based at Vancouver airport. It was laid up for repair.

    Yesterday it was 350 passengers aboard a B.C. ferry. Tomorrow it could be 350 passengers aboard a jumbo jet on the tidal flats off the airport, where a hovercraft is the only vessel capable of functioning. When is the government going to--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

+-

    Hon. Robert Thibault (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I recommend that the member take a trip on one of the B.C. ferries or any other commercial vessel. He will notice that these vessels do carry life rafts capable of taking care of their passengers. They had a second ferry there in response and we had three vessels and a military helicopter. It was a great response by all agencies and above all a super response by the crew of the B.C. ferries who put out the fire safely, not needing any evacuation.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-La Francophonie

+-

    Ms. Hélène Scherrer (Louis-Hébert, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we know that the French-speaking segment of the population of the United States is growing. Could the Secretary of State responsible for la Francophonie share with us Canada's vision of the development of the French language south of the border?

+-

    Hon. Denis Paradis (Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there are currently some 12 million citizens of French extraction in the United States, and more than 2 million of these speak French fluently. There are hundreds of French language organizations and groups across the United States. For example, the American Association of Teachers of French has a membership of more than 10,000.

    Canada must be prepared to help its neighbours, especially those with whom it shares a border, by developing with them a dynamic dialogue on la Francophonie.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Canada Customs and Revenue Agency

+-

    Ms. Val Meredith (South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Nexus program was designed to separate low risk travellers from high risk travellers. The greater use of this program will free up customs and immigration officers to concentrate on the small percentage of high risk travellers.

    However, today Nexus is only used at a couple of land crossings. Why the delay in using Nexus at all Canadian land crossings?

+-

    Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in fact there has been no delay. We are very proud of the fact that the Nexus program, which is two way with the United States and negotiated as part of the smart border, is rolling out across the country. There has been a lot of interest. People are signing up and 39,000 to date have already applied. It is an example of how we can make the border function smarter. That means safer and more efficiently for both Americans and Canadians.

  +-(1455)  

+-

    Ms. Val Meredith (South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, while the Nexus program has generally worked well at border crossings in British Columbia, one flaw has been the lack of an appeal process. Constituents of mine have been denied Nexus passes because of such minor issues as sandwich meats or old customs violations by their now deceased spouses. When will the minister introduce an appeals process to the Nexus program?

+-

    Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this gives me a very good opportunity to let people know how important this program is, because everyone who qualifies for this program must have a clear criminal record, have no security concerns and no customs violations. The terms have been agreed to by both Canada and the United States. This is a new program. We are watching it to see how effective it is and if the member has suggestions on how it could be further improved. However, this program rewards those people who have no blemish at all on their records. Those are the people we trust and those are the people who qualify.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Agriculture

+-

    Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, with the support of Canada, the American administration has today announced that it will be bringing a challenge before the World Trade Organization in connection with the European moratorium on importing genetically modified organisms.

    How can the federal government support this American action when 87% of the population of Canada, and 90% of the population of Quebec expect more transparency from their government and more precautions in the handling of GMOs?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, what we have asked for today, in conjunction with the United States, Argentina, Egypt and several other countries, is merely that the European Union not implement its GMO legislation, and we wish that EU member countries would respect their own laws and stop blocking the process. That is all we are asking.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Political Party Financing

+-

    Mr. Joe Jordan (Leeds—Grenville, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Bill C-24 is of direct concern to all members of the House as well as to future members because it will change the way political parties and candidates are funded in the future.

    Bill C-24 is currently before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. Could the chair of the committee inform the House as to the progress of the committee in its consideration of the bill and the issue of political financing?

+-

    Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the member's interest in this topic is an example to us all.

    The committee has been considering Bill C-24 for three or four weeks. This evening at 5:30 in room 253-D there is a round table meeting of the committee which is open to all members. We hope that all members will respond to that opportunity.

    Later this week we will have further witnesses from provinces which have experience with similar legislation, and some time after the break we will be consider clause by clause and amendments.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Pierrette Venne (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, Ind. BQ): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the House. Bill C-24 calls for the automatic payment of a quarterly allowance to established parties, which will guarantee their financial survival and enable them to amass campaign funds paid for out of the public purse.

    Can the government leader explain to us why his bill does not contain any provisions to ensure that these allowances are paid solely for the purpose of reimbursing actually incurred expenses, as the Quebec electoral legislation does?

+-

    Hon. Don Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the system in Bill C-24 is in part based on the systems in place in Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. It provides parties with $1.50 per vote cast, which will enable them to ensure that their party offices can be run properly.

    As far as I am aware, the parties have not said that this would leave them with any money left over. If the member claims this is the case for certain parties, I would like to know the names of these parties.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Infrastructure

+-

    Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, there is a killer stretch of highway in my riding where there have been 22 deaths and 119 seriously injured since 1999.

    The federal government has been aware of the need to widen the Trans-Canada Highway near Lake Louise in the Banff Park for many years.

    Since 1993, I have been calling on the government to address this problem. How many more lives must be lost before the government will submit to the twinning of this major highway?

+-

    Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that there is a program under Transport Canada for highway infrastructure improvements and the Government of Alberta has signed that agreement. Certainly that particular stretch of highway, which we well know is a dangerous section, is eligible for funds, but really the matter has to be shared with the provincial government.

*   *   *

  +-(1500)  

[Translation]

+-Canada-U.S. Border

+-

    Mr. Gilles-A. Perron (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, BQ): Mr. Speaker, softwood manufacturers are asking the Minister of National Revenue to harmonize Canadian customs services with those of their American counterparts, so as to obtain the same services on both sides of the border.

    Can the minister assure us that she will provide the money needed and establish additional customs officers at the border crossings in Estcourt, Saint-Pamphile, Saint-Just, Sainte-Aurélie and Saint-Zacharie in order to provide the same services on the Canadian side of the border as are offered on the American side?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, an interesting but little known fact is that traditionally on the Canadian side of the border, prior to 9/11, we had 40% more resources in customs officers than on the American side. The Americans have beefed up their people. They have been hiring and training.

    We are working very hard at this point now, as part of the smart border initiative, to develop those kinds of initiatives to ensure that the border is safer and more efficient. I can assure the member opposite that we have the resources to do that.


+-GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

[English]

+-International Transfer of Offenders Act

    The House resumed from May 7 consideration of the motion that Bill C-33, an act to implement treaties and administrative arrangements on the international transfer of persons found guilty of criminal offences, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

+-

    The Speaker: It being 3:02 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the second reading stage of Bill C-33.

    Call in the members.

*   *   *

  +-(1515)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

+

(Division No. 160)

YEAS

Members

Adams
Allard
Anderson (Victoria)
Assad
Assadourian
Augustine
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bagnell
Bakopanos
Barnes (London West)
Beaumier
Bélair
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Bigras
Binet
Blaikie
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bourgeois
Bradshaw
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Byrne
Caccia
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Cardin
Carignan
Carroll
Casey
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Charbonneau
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Copps
Cullen
Cuzner
Dalphond-Guiral
Davies
Desjarlais
Desrochers
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Discepola
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Duceppe
Duplain
Easter
Farrah
Finlay
Folco
Fournier
Frulla
Fry
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gallaway
Gaudet
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godfrey
Godin
Goodale
Graham
Guay
Guimond
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hubbard
Jennings
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore)
Keyes
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laframboise
Lanctôt
Lastewka
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lee
Lill
Lincoln
Longfield
Loubier
MacAulay
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Marceau
Marcil
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Masse
Matthews
McCallum
McDonough
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McTeague
Ménard
Mitchell
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pacetti
Pagtakhan
Paquette
Paradis
Parrish
Peric
Perron
Peterson
Pettigrew
Picard (Drummond)
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Plamondon
Pratt
Price
Proctor
Proulx
Provenzano
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Robillard
Robinson
Rock
Roy
Saada
Sauvageau
Savoy
Scherrer
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Speller
St-Hilaire
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stoffer
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Tirabassi
Tonks
Ur
Valeri
Wappel
Whelan
Wilfert
Wood

Total: -- 184

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands)
Bailey
Benoit
Breitkreuz
Burton
Cadman
Casson
Chatters
Cummins
Elley
Forseth
Gallant
Goldring
Gouk
Grewal
Grey
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hill (Macleod)
Hilstrom
Jaffer
Johnston
Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni)
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Moore
Penson
Reynolds
Schmidt
Skelton
Sorenson
Spencer
Stinson
Strahl
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Toews
Vellacott
Venne
White (North Vancouver)
Williams
Yelich

Total: -- 43

PAIRED

Members

Asselin
Bergeron
Cauchon
Grose
Harvard
Lalonde
Martin (LaSalle--Émard)
Tremblay
Vanclief
Venne

Total: -- 10

+-

    The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

[Translation]

    Accordingly the bill is referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

    (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

[English]

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Mr. Speaker, I think you would find concurrence with the movers of both the private members' business bills before us and with the others in the House of Commons, that we proceed to consideration of the budget implementation act and defer the voting on the two private member's bills.

+-

    The Speaker: To defer them until the end of the vote today, is that correct?

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Yes.

+-

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

*   *   *

+-Budget Implementation Act

     The House resumed consideration of Bill C-28, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 18, 2003, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

+-

    The Speaker: The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded divisions on the report stage of Bill C-28. The question is on Motion No. 13.

*   *   *

  +-(1525)  

    (The House divided on Motion No. 13, which was negatived on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 161)

YEAS

Members

Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Blaikie
Bourgeois
Cardin
Dalphond-Guiral
Davies
Desjarlais
Desrochers
Duceppe
Fournier
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gagnon (Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay)
Gagnon (Québec)
Gallant
Gaudet
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godin
Guay
Guimond
Laframboise
Lanctôt
Lebel
Lill
Loubier
Marceau
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Masse
McDonough
Ménard
Paquette
Perron
Picard (Drummond)
Plamondon
Proctor
Robinson
Roy
Sauvageau
St-Hilaire
Stoffer
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: -- 42

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Adams
Alcock
Allard
Anderson (Victoria)
Assad
Assadourian
Augustine
Bagnell
Bailey
Bakopanos
Barnes (London West)
Beaumier
Bélair
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Carignan
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Charbonneau
Chatters
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Copps
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Discepola
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Duplain
Easter
Elley
Farrah
Finlay
Folco
Forseth
Frulla
Fry
Gallaway
Godfrey
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hill (Macleod)
Hilstrom
Hubbard
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore)
Keyes
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laliberte
Lastewka
LeBlanc
Lee
Lincoln
Longfield
Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni)
MacAulay
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Marcil
Matthews
McCallum
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McTeague
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pacetti
Pagtakhan
Paradis
Parrish
Penson
Peric
Peterson
Pettigrew
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Pratt
Price
Proulx
Provenzano
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Reynolds
Robillard
Rock
Saada
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Serré
Sgro
Shepherd
Skelton
Sorenson
Speller
Spencer
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Tirabassi
Toews
Tonks
Ur
Valeri
Vellacott
Wappel
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: -- 188

PAIRED

Members

Asselin
Bergeron
Cauchon
Grose
Harvard
Lalonde
Martin (LaSalle--Émard)
Tremblay
Vanclief
Venne

Total: -- 10

+-

    The Speaker: I declare Motion No. 13 lost.

[Translation]

    The next question is on Motion No. 14. A vote on this motion also applies to Motion No. 15.

*   *   *

  +-(1530)  

[English]

    (The House divided on Motion No. 14, which was negatived on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 162)

YEAS

Members

Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Blaikie
Bourgeois
Cardin
Crête
Dalphond-Guiral
Davies
Desjarlais
Desrochers
Duceppe
Fournier
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gagnon (Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay)
Gagnon (Québec)
Gaudet
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godin
Guay
Guimond
Laframboise
Lanctôt
Lebel
Lill
Loubier
Marceau
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Masse
McDonough
Ménard
Paquette
Perron
Picard (Drummond)
Plamondon
Proctor
Robinson
Roy
Sauvageau
St-Hilaire
Stoffer
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: -- 42

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Adams
Alcock
Allard
Anderson (Victoria)
Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands)
Assadourian
Augustine
Bagnell
Bailey
Bakopanos
Barnes (London West)
Beaumier
Bélair
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Carignan
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Charbonneau
Chatters
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Copps
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Discepola
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Duplain
Easter
Farrah
Finlay
Folco
Forseth
Frulla
Fry
Gallant
Gallaway
Godfrey
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey
Harvey
Hearn
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hill (Macleod)
Hilstrom
Hubbard
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore)
Keyes
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laliberte
Lastewka
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lee
Lincoln
Longfield
Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni)
MacAulay
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Marcil
Matthews
McCallum
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McTeague
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pacetti
Pagtakhan
Paradis
Parrish
Penson
Peric
Peterson
Pettigrew
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Pratt
Price
Proulx
Provenzano
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Reynolds
Robillard
Rock
Saada
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Skelton
Sorenson
Speller
Spencer
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Tirabassi
Toews
Tonks
Ur
Valeri
Vellacott
Wappel
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: -- 187

PAIRED

Members

Asselin
Bergeron
Cauchon
Grose
Harvard
Lalonde
Martin (LaSalle--Émard)
Tremblay
Vanclief
Venne

Total: -- 10

+-

    The Speaker: I declare Motion No. 14 lost. I therefore declare Motion No. 15 lost.

[Translation]

+-

    The next question is on Motion No. 17.

  +-(1535)  

[English]

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find consent in the House that the vote on Motion No. 14 be applied to Motion No. 17.

+-

    The Speaker: Is it agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

*   *   *

    (The House divided on Motion No. 17, which was negatived on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 163)

YEAS

Members

Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Blaikie
Bourgeois
Cardin
Crête
Dalphond-Guiral
Davies
Desjarlais
Desrochers
Duceppe
Fournier
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gagnon (Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay)
Gaudet
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godin
Guay
Guimond
Laframboise
Lanctôt
Lebel
Lill
Loubier
Marceau
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Masse
McDonough
Ménard
Paquette
Perron
Picard (Drummond)
Plamondon
Proctor
Robinson
Roy
Sauvageau
St-Hilaire
Stoffer
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: -- 42

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Adams
Alcock
Allard
Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands)
Anderson (Victoria)
Assadourian
Augustine
Bagnell
Bailey
Bakopanos
Barnes (London West)
Beaumier
Bélair
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Carignan
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Charbonneau
Chatters
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Copps
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Discepola
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Duplain
Easter
Elley
Farrah
Finlay
Folco
Forseth
Frulla
Fry
Gallant
Gallaway
Godfrey
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey
Harvey
Hearn
Hill (Macleod)
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hilstrom
Hubbard
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore)
Keyes
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laliberte
Lastewka
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lee
Lincoln
Longfield
Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni)
MacAulay
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Marcil
Matthews
McCallum
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McTeague
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pacetti
Pagtakhan
Paradis
Parrish
Penson
Peric
Peterson
Pettigrew
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Pratt
Price
Proulx
Provenzano
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Reynolds
Robillard
Rock
Saada
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Skelton
Sorenson
Speller
Spencer
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Tirabassi
Toews
Tonks
Ur
Valeri
Vellacott
Wappel
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: -- 188

PAIRED

Members

Asselin
Bergeron
Cauchon
Grose
Harvard
Lalonde
Martin (LaSalle--Émard)
Tremblay
Vanclief
Venne

Total: -- 10

+-

    The Speaker: I declare Motion No. 17 lost.

+-

    Mr. Dale Johnston: Mr. Speaker, I would like to have the name of the member for Nanaimo—Cowichan recorded with the Canadian Alliance on that last vote.

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

+-

    The Speaker: The next question is on Motion No. 18.

[Translation]

    A vote on this motion also applies to Motion No. 19.

[English]

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Mr. Speaker, I think you would find consent in the House that those who voted on the previous motion be recorded as voting on Motion No. 18 with Liberal members voting no.

    The Speaker: Is it agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

+-

    Mr. Dale Johnston: Mr. Speaker, Canadian Alliance members vote no to the motion.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Michel Guimond: Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Quebecois vote no on this motion.

+-

    Mr. Yvon Godin: The members of the New Democratic Party vote yes on this motion.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Rick Borotsik: Mr. Speaker, members of the Progressive Conservative Party vote no to the motion.

    I would also like to have the member for Fundy—Royal recorded as voting no.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Jean-Guy Carignan: Mr. Speaker, I vote no on this motion.

+-

    Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Mr. Speaker, I vote yes on this motion.

*   *   *

[English]

    (The House divided on Motion No. 18, which was negatived on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 164)

YEAS

Members

Blaikie
Davies
Desjarlais
Godin
Lebel
Lill
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Masse
McDonough
Proctor
Robinson
Stoffer
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: -- 13

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Adams
Alcock
Allard
Anderson (Victoria)
Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands)
Assadourian
Augustine
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bagnell
Bailey
Bakopanos
Barnes (London West)
Beaumier
Bélair
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Bigras
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bourgeois
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Cardin
Carignan
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Charbonneau
Chatters
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Copps
Crête
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
Dalphond-Guiral
Desrochers
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Discepola
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Duceppe
Duplain
Easter
Elley
Farrah
Finlay
Folco
Forseth
Fournier
Frulla
Fry
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gagnon (Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay)
Gallant
Gallaway
Gaudet
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godfrey
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey
Guay
Guimond
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Macleod)
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hilstrom
Hubbard
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore)
Keyes
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laframboise
Laliberte
Lanctôt
Lastewka
LeBlanc
Lee
Lincoln
Longfield
Loubier
Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni)
MacAulay
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Marceau
Marcil
Matthews
McCallum
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McTeague
Ménard
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pacetti
Pagtakhan
Paquette
Paradis
Parrish
Penson
Peric
Perron
Peterson
Pettigrew
Picard (Drummond)
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Plamondon
Pratt
Price
Proulx
Provenzano
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Reynolds
Robillard
Rock
Roy
Saada
Sauvageau
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Skelton
Sorenson
Speller
Spencer
St-Hilaire
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Tirabassi
Toews
Tonks
Ur
Valeri
Vellacott
Wappel
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: -- 217

PAIRED

Members

Asselin
Bergeron
Cauchon
Grose
Harvard
Lalonde
Martin (LaSalle--Émard)
Tremblay
Vanclief

Total: -- 9

+-

    The Speaker: I declare Motion No. 18 lost. I therefore declare Motion No. 19 lost.

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.) moved that the bill, as amended, be concurred in.

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Mr. Speaker, I think it would be the pleasure of some members of the House to adopt the motion. Therefore I think you would find consent that those who voted on the previous motion be recorded as voting on the motion now before the House, with Liberal members voting yes.

    The Speaker: Is it agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

+-

    Mr. Dale Johnston: Mr. Speaker, on Bill C-28 Canadian Alliance members will be voting no.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Michel Guimond: Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Quebecois vote no on this motion.

+-

    Mr. Yvon Godin: Mr. Speaker, the members of the New Democratic Party vote no on this motion.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Rick Borotsik: Mr. Speaker, the members of the Progressive Conservative Party vote no to the motion.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Jean-Guy Carignan: Mr. Speaker, I vote yes on this motion.

+-

    Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Mr. Speaker, I vote no on this motion.

*   *   *

  +-(1540)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 165)

YEAS

Members

Adams
Alcock
Allard
Anderson (Victoria)
Assadourian
Augustine
Bagnell
Bakopanos
Barnes (London West)
Beaumier
Bélair
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Boudria
Bradshaw
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Byrne
Caccia
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Carignan
Carroll
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Charbonneau
Coderre
Collenette
Copps
Cullen
Cuzner
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Discepola
Dromisky
Drouin
Duplain
Easter
Farrah
Finlay
Folco
Frulla
Fry
Gallaway
Godfrey
Goodale
Graham
Harvey
Hubbard
Jennings
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Karygiannis
Keyes
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laliberte
Lastewka
LeBlanc
Lee
Lincoln
Longfield
MacAulay
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Marcil
Matthews
McCallum
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McTeague
Mitchell
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pacetti
Pagtakhan
Paradis
Parrish
Peric
Peterson
Pettigrew
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Pratt
Price
Proulx
Provenzano
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Robillard
Rock
Saada
Savoy
Scherrer
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Speller
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Tirabassi
Tonks
Ur
Valeri
Wappel
Whelan
Wilfert
Wood

Total: -- 137

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands)
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bailey
Benoit
Bigras
Blaikie
Borotsik
Bourgeois
Breitkreuz
Burton
Cadman
Cardin
Casey
Casson
Chatters
Clark
Crête
Cummins
Dalphond-Guiral
Davies
Desjarlais
Desrochers
Doyle
Duceppe
Elley
Forseth
Fournier
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gagnon (Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay)
Gallant
Gaudet
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godin
Goldring
Gouk
Grewal
Grey
Guay
Guimond
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Macleod)
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hilstrom
Jaffer
Johnston
Keddy (South Shore)
Laframboise
Lanctôt
Lebel
Lill
Loubier
Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni)
Marceau
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Masse
McDonough
Ménard
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Moore
Paquette
Penson
Perron
Picard (Drummond)
Plamondon
Proctor
Reynolds
Robinson
Roy
Sauvageau
Schmidt
Skelton
Sorenson
Spencer
St-Hilaire
Stinson
Stoffer
Strahl
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Toews
Vellacott
Wasylycia-Leis
White (North Vancouver)
Williams
Yelich

Total: -- 93

PAIRED

Members

Asselin
Bergeron
Cauchon
Grose
Harvard
Lalonde
Martin (LaSalle--Émard)
Tremblay
Vanclief

Total: -- 9

+-

    The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Public Safety Act, 2002

     The House resumed consideration of Bill C-17, an act to amend certain Acts of Canada, and to enact measures for implementing the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, in order to enhance public safety, as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and on Motion No. 6.

+-

    The Speaker: The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 6 at the report stage of Bill C-17.

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find consent among members in the House that the vote on report stage concurrence to Bill C-28 be applied to the vote now before the House.

    The Speaker: Is it agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

*   *   *

    (The House divided on Motion No. 6, which was agreed to on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 166)

YEAS

Members

Adams
Alcock
Allard
Anderson (Victoria)
Assadourian
Augustine
Bagnell
Bakopanos
Barnes (London West)
Beaumier
Bélair
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Boudria
Bradshaw
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Byrne
Caccia
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Carignan
Carroll
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Charbonneau
Coderre
Collenette
Copps
Cullen
Cuzner
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Discepola
Dromisky
Drouin
Duplain
Easter
Farrah
Finlay
Folco
Frulla
Fry
Gallaway
Godfrey
Goodale
Graham
Harvey
Hubbard
Jennings
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Karygiannis
Keyes
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laliberte
Lastewka
LeBlanc
Lee
Lincoln
Longfield
MacAulay
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Marcil
Matthews
McCallum
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McTeague
Mitchell
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pacetti
Pagtakhan
Paradis
Parrish
Peric
Peterson
Pettigrew
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Pratt
Price
Proulx
Provenzano
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Robillard
Rock
Saada
Savoy
Scherrer
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Speller
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Tirabassi
Tonks
Ur
Valeri
Wappel
Whelan
Wilfert
Wood

Total: -- 137

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands)
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bailey
Benoit
Bigras
Blaikie
Borotsik
Bourgeois
Breitkreuz
Burton
Cadman
Cardin
Casey
Casson
Chatters
Clark
Crête
Cummins
Dalphond-Guiral
Davies
Desjarlais
Desrochers
Doyle
Duceppe
Elley
Forseth
Fournier
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gagnon (Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay)
Gallant
Gaudet
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godin
Goldring
Gouk
Grewal
Grey
Guay
Guimond
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Macleod)
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hilstrom
Jaffer
Johnston
Keddy (South Shore)
Laframboise
Lanctôt
Lebel
Lill
Loubier
Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni)
Marceau
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Masse
McDonough
Ménard
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Moore
Paquette
Penson
Perron
Picard (Drummond)
Plamondon
Proctor
Reynolds
Robinson
Roy
Sauvageau
Schmidt
Skelton
Sorenson
Spencer
St-Hilaire
Stinson
Stoffer
Strahl
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Toews
Vellacott
Wasylycia-Leis
White (North Vancouver)
Williams
Yelich

Total: -- 93

PAIRED

Members

Asselin
Bergeron
Cauchon
Grose
Harvard
Lalonde
Martin (LaSalle--Émard)
Tremblay
Vanclief

Total: -- 9

+-

    The Speaker: I declare Motion No. 6 carried.

+-

    Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.) moved that the bill, as amended, be concurred in with a further amendment.

+-

    The Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.

    An hon. member: On division.

    The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

    (Motion agreed to)


+-PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Parliament of Canada Act

    The House resumed from May 7, consideration of the motion that Bill C-408, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (oath or solemn affirmation), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

+-

    The Speaker: The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the second reading stage of Bill C-408.

*   *   *

  +-(1550)  

[English]

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 167)

YEAS

Members

Abbott
Ablonczy
Adams
Alcock
Allard
Anderson (Victoria)
Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands)
Assadourian
Augustine
Bagnell
Bailey
Bakopanos
Barnes (London West)
Beaumier
Bélair
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Carignan
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Charbonneau
Chatters
Collenette
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Discepola
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Duplain
Easter
Elley
Farrah
Finlay
Folco
Forseth
Frulla
Fry
Gallant
Gallaway
Godfrey
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey
Harvey
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hilstrom
Hubbard
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore)
Keyes
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laliberte
Lastewka
LeBlanc
Lee
Lincoln
Longfield
Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni)
MacAulay
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Marcil
Masse
Matthews
McCallum
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McTeague
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pacetti
Pagtakhan
Paradis
Parrish
Peric
Peterson
Pettigrew
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Pratt
Price
Proulx
Provenzano
Regan
Reynolds
Robillard
Rock
Saada
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Skelton
Sorenson
Speller
Spencer
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Tirabassi
Toews
Tonks
Ur
Valeri
Vellacott
Wappel
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: -- 178

NAYS

Members

Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Blaikie
Bourgeois
Caccia
Cardin
Crête
Dalphond-Guiral
Davies
Desjarlais
Desrochers
Duceppe
Fournier
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gagnon (Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay)
Gagnon (Québec)
Gaudet
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godin
Guay
Guimond
Hearn
Herron
Laframboise
Lanctôt
Lebel
Lill
Loubier
Marceau
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
McDonough
Ménard
Paquette
Perron
Picard (Drummond)
Plamondon
Proctor
Reed (Halton)
Robinson
Roy
Sauvageau
St-Hilaire
Stoffer
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: -- 45

PAIRED

Members

Asselin
Bergeron
Cauchon
Grose
Harvard
Lalonde
Martin (LaSalle--Émard)
Tremblay
Vanclief
Venne

Total: -- 10

+-

    The Speaker: I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the motion is referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

    (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

*   *   *

+-Competition Act

     The House resumed from May 9 consideration of the motion that Bill C-249, An Act to amend the Competition Act, be read the third time and passed.

+-

    The Speaker: The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-249 under private members' business.

*   *   *

  +-(1600)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

-

(Division No. 168)

YEAS

Members

Adams
Alcock
Anderson (Victoria)
Augustine
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bagnell
Bailey
Barnes (London West)
Beaumier
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Bigras
Binet
Blaikie
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bourgeois
Bradshaw
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Cardin
Carignan
Casey
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Collenette
Crête
Cullen
Cuzner
Dalphond-Guiral
Davies
Desjarlais
Desrochers
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Discepola
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Duceppe
Duplain
Easter
Farrah
Finlay
Fournier
Frulla
Fry
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gagnon (Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay)
Gagnon (Québec)
Gaudet
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godfrey
Godin
Goodale
Graham
Grewal
Guay
Guimond
Harvey
Herron
Hubbard
Jennings
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Karygiannis
Keddy (South Shore)
Keyes
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laframboise
Laliberte
Lanctôt
Lastewka
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lee
Lill
Lincoln
Longfield
Loubier
MacAulay
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Marceau
Marcil
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Masse
McCallum
McDonough
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McTeague
Ménard
Mitchell
Murphy
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pacetti
Pagtakhan
Paquette
Paradis
Parrish
Peric
Perron
Peterson
Pettigrew
Picard (Drummond)
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Plamondon
Pratt
Price
Proctor
Proulx
Provenzano
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Robillard
Robinson
Rock
Roy
Saada
Sauvageau
Savoy
Scherrer
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Speller
St-Hilaire
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Stoffer
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Tirabassi
Tonks
Ur
Valeri
Wappel
Wasylycia-Leis
Whelan
Wilfert
Wood

Total: -- 175

NAYS

Members

Ablonczy
Benoit
Breitkreuz
Burton
Casson
Chatters
Cummins
Forseth
Gallant
Goldring
Grey
Hearn
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hilstrom
Jaffer
Johnston
Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Moore
Schmidt
Skelton
Sorenson
Spencer
Strahl
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Toews
Williams

Total: -- 29

PAIRED

Members

Asselin
Bergeron
Cauchon
Grose
Harvard
Lalonde
Martin (LaSalle--Émard)
Tremblay
Vanclief
Venne

Total: -- 10

+-

    The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

    The Speaker: I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded divisions, government orders will be extended by 60 minutes.

    The Chair has notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for Vancouver East.

*   *   *

+-Privilege

+-Marijuana

[Privilege]
+-

    Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege concerning Parliament and members being kept in the dark about legislation that is about to be tabled when information is widely available in the media and the justice minister is running off to Washington, D.C. to talk to the U.S. Attorney General, Mr. Ashcroft about the marijuana bill.

    Information about a bill is meant to be secret until it is released as a bill in the House. In this case everyone else seems to know about the bill, everyone but the House. I believe it is contemptuous of this place. It is an occurrence that has become all too common, that information is made widely available before anything has been tabled in the House.

    Indeed, the justice minister could have tabled the bill, he could have made a ministerial statement and then he could have gone to the U.S. if its approval was so important to the Canadian government.

    I believe every MP has a privilege to see legislation tabled in Parliament before the minister decides to blow smoke to his friends in Washington. I would ask the Speaker to review whether privilege has been breached in this case.

  +-(1605)  

+-

    Hon. Don Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the question of privilege, at least as alleged, I do not believe is one.

    We have to remember the sequence of events and then perhaps a reference to Marleau and Montpetit would assist the House.

    First, we are talking about the discussions that ministers have from time to time with counterparts in other jurisdictions. Next week a number of us, including myself, will go to the United Kingdom with the Deputy Speaker to consult with colleagues over there about how we will amend House orders. The consultation process will happen prior to us putting our report to the House.

    Similarly, the Minister of Justice is in Washington. Whether he will bring up the subject of this bill or some other bill up is for him to determine. However if he does that prior to introducing the bill to the House as part of a consultation, it is surely similar to the consultation that other people around here have from time to time about legislation.

    The other thing we should bring into consideration is the process by which bills are introduced in the House of Commons. I verified this reference from Marleau and Montpetit just a little while ago. I did not actually think it would come back to us, but I think I have pretty well memorized the gist of it and it works this way. Actually I have to deal with it on a daily basis, which should not be too hard to remember.

    The minister produces a document to cabinet. Marleau and Montpetit will confirm this almost word for word. Following that process, a bill is produced by the Department of Justice. Then the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, that is myself, will verify whether that bill reflects the cabinet decision that has been passed. Once that process happens, so Marleau and Montpetit informs us and it is actually what happens all the time, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons then seeks delegated authority from cabinet affirming that such is the case. Only then is the minister in question, regarding any legislation, authorized to then present legislation in the House of Commons. That is the sequence of the process. The fact that a minister consults prior to introducing legislation is not exactly an unfathomable proposition.

    Perhaps the hon. member wonders why the minister did not consult us. As a matter of fact that is exactly what he did. The member for Langley—Abbotsford, together with the member for Burlington, I believe that is the name of her riding, jointly held an exercise which led in the very productive report from the House committee on the non-medical use of drugs. A parallel committee in the Senate, which went quite a bit further in its recommendations, produced a report as well. Therefore the other place produced a report and this House produced a report as part of that consultation.

    As I understand, the minister is in Washington for discussions with his counterpart. Whether he raises this issue or another issue is hardly a question of privilege before the House. That is a ridiculous proposition. This is no more logical than someone stating two weeks from today, when the Deputy Speaker and I and a number of others return from the U.K., that we offended the privilege of this House because we consulted the British house about the modernization of House rules prior to our report being tabled in this House. It is the identical thing and it is hardly a question of privilege.

  +-(1610)  

+-

    The Speaker: I think I will dispose of the point now. I know the hon. member for Vancouver East is an assiduous reader of the newspapers. That is apparent from the question of privilege she has raised this afternoon. I must say I sometimes read them myself, but I have to take stories about the contents of government bills, or even private members' bills, that are to be introduced in the House with a grain of salt. I always regard them as quite fictional until the bill has been introduced and I can compare what is written in the story with what actually is in the bill. This is particularly true of bills that are on contentious matters.

    We read stories in the newspapers about the contents of the budget for months in advance that bore some or little resemblance to what was in the budget, depending I guess on the sources of information that the reporter had, or his or her ability to dream these things up. In most cases we do not know from where this information comes. We can only regard it as what I could call fiction until such time as the bill has been introduced and we have solid evidence as to what the contents of the bill are.

    In this case, we have stories that have appeared saying that these various things are in a bill that is to be introduced in the House, and we will not know until it has been introduced. I am afraid it is difficult for the Chair to find there has been a breach of the privileges of members if people write these stories.

    Unless there is some considerable evidence that the minister has made available copies of the bill to somebody else, and I do not think we have that evidence at the moment, I certainly did not hear that suggested by the hon. member, and the bill has been handed out in the form in which it will be introduced in the House later, it is hard for the Chair to find any breach of the privileges of the House. Accordingly, I decline to do so in this instance.

    Of course the hon. member I am sure will monitor the situation closely and watch to see if copies are being bandied about in advance, which I admit might be a breach of the privileges if that sort of thing were going on. We do not have evidence of that at the moment, so there is not a question of privilege here.

    I have a point of order by the hon. member for Acadie--Bathurst.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Points of Order

+-Oral Question Period

[Points of Order]
+-

    Mr. Yvon Godin (Acadie—Bathurst, NDP): Mr. Speaker, yesterday during oral question period, I asked a question of the Prime Minister regarding the crab crisis in Quebec and in the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick.

    This question referred to sums of money which could have been allocated to fish plant workers. The government said that New Brunswick had to pay, because there was a program in place and the federal government had provided $90 million to New Brunswick and $600 million to Quebec.

    The question was addressed to the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans hurried to reply to it. He said the problem had been resolved. But he misled the House because the problem has not been resolved; no agreement has been reached.

+-

    The Speaker: I am afraid the hon. member has actually raised a subject of debate. There often are disagreements about the questions and answers in the House. But the hon. member knows very well that he cannot rise on a point of order to continue a debate that began during oral question period.

    He will probably wish to express himself on the subject tomorrow during oral question period, with a supplementary question for the minister. I invite him to proceed in that way.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Greg Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest, PC): Mr. Speaker, it is a tradition in the House that when we misquote, misspeak or otherwise provide information as inaccurate, we get up in the House at the first opportunity to set the record straight. I think you would agree with that, Mr. Speaker.

    I go back to last Friday's question period. When putting a question to the Minister of Finance, I used the figure of 14,000 job losses in the month of April. I simply want to set the record straight that it was 19,000 job losses, not 14,000. I know you are good at arithmetic, Mr. Speaker. That is 5,000 more jobs lost than what I otherwise stated. I thought I should bring that to the attention of the House.

+-

    The Speaker: I am sure all hon. members thank the hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest for his correction.

*   *   *

+-Business of the House

[Business of the House]
+-

    Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding the extension of government orders because of the recorded divisions just taken, I believe you would find consent to have government orders end at 5:30 in order to proceed to private members' hour.

    The Speaker: Therefore, just to make it clear, there would be no extra hour today. We will not pick it up after private members' business. Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

+-

    Mr. John Herron: Mr. Speaker, my point of order will be simpler. The Minister of National Defence quoted from a specific document when I was asking my question earlier today. I am asking the minister to make that document available and to table it in the Chamber.

+-

    The Speaker: Obviously we will have to wait until the minister is here to see if he agrees and tables the document. I am sure the hon. member's point of order will be noted and no doubt we will hear from the minister in due course.


+-GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

  +-(1615)  

[Translation]

+-Library and Archives of Canada Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-36, an act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

+-

    Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I will continue the speech that I started before oral question period regarding the bill to establish the Library and Archives of Canada. As I was saying earlier, there are several issues underlying this bill.

    We, in the Bloc Quebecois, will not support this bill.

    This new institution replaces the National Library and the National Archives of Canada and will be named Library and Archives of Canada. So there is a merger as well as a new name. It is difficult to oppose the name, and we have no problem with it. The problems come further on in the bill.

    The library community, including the Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation, or ASTED, is not really in favour of a merger between the National Library and the National Archives of Canada because it believes that the missions of these two organizations are totally different. The National Library provide services to libraries and, on occasion, to people, whereas the National Archives are mostly responsible for the conservation of our documentary heritage. The Bloc Quebecois also finds it very difficult to reconcile the missions of both institutions because they have different goals and different objectives.

    I received many letters from various libraries in Quebec detailing their concerns about this merger. Librarians and archivists receive very different training. The merger of these two institutions could create problems. The Bloc Quebecois believes, instead, that a more indepth study should have been done before the bill was introduced.

    Another problem is that the librarian and archivist will be responsible for the administration of the agency. He or she will answer to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, while the head of this institution will be called the librarian and archivist and will be appointed by the governor in council.

    It would have been preferable to have seen legislation similar to the Quebec National Library Act, which went much further in terms of appointing a committee to support the administrator. Five people were also appointed by the government on the recommendation of Quebec's minister for culture and communications. But after consulting with libraries and the publishing industry, as well as with writers' associations and universities, it was decided that three of these people had to be librarians. Of them, one had to be specialized in conservation, the other in mergers, and two people had to be appointed by the city of Montreal. Moreover, two library users, one of whom must be a resident of Montreal, must be elected by their peers, in accordance with the library's regulations.

    After the appointment of a librarian and archivist, there is also mention of a committee, but without similar guidelines to ensure that this committee would be more transparent and would not necessarily answer to political authorities. Therefore, in terms of political power and institutions, the Liberal government has a tendency to want to combine the two without any watchdogs ensuring integrity and transparency.

    In other areas we have seen how easy this is when reporting directly to a minister, because the guide posts are lacking for greater independence. We have seen the composition of the board of governors of the CBC, and how an institution that ought to be independent is not fully independent as far as policy and administration are concerned, often with the result that the outcome is not what one would expect. And that is unfortunate.

    Once again, with this bill they have tried to take a tack that is a bit too close to power for our tastes, and will not give the leeway necessary for institutions of this type.

    The Librarian and Archivist has one additional power. He can require government records or records of other libraries to be transferred if he is of the opinion that they are at risk of serious damage or destruction.

  +-(1620)  

    The Bloc Quebecois would like more information on these additional powers. The bill says nothing. Will the Librarian and Archivist be entitled to require the patriation of any record he deems to be at risk and if so, what does this comprise? We do not know enough on this to be able to assess the direction this bill is taking.

    As far as political power and institutions are concerned, caution is required. Who will be responsible for evaluating the records? Perhaps the Librarian and Archivist ought not to hold all this power, for fear of abuse. The Bloc Quebecois will work to ensure that these additional powers are in line with the way the various libraries across Canada operate.

    The mandate of the Librarian and Archivist, like that of the new institution bringing together the National Library and the National Archives, has been broadened to include the understanding and promotion of Canada's documentary heritage. This is the area in which there must be greater respect of what is being done in Canada.

    I know about the Minister of Canadian Heritage's preoccupation, and that of her department. I know they want to have one Canada, coast to coast, to build a nation, without any differences, where history is a one way street and does not respect what is happening elsewhere. This represents an approach that we cannot support.

    The Bloc Quebecois feels that the mission of the Librarian and Archivist of Canada must not become politicized. With the promotion of heritage included in its duties, the position is being turned into a political appointment, which runs counter to the primary mission of the Library and Archives of Canada.

    This is why Quebec's legislation provided for increased transparency with respect to appointments, with respect to choosing the different people who will sit on the board of the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec. The Bloc Quebecois would like any references to understanding and promoting heritage to be withdrawn from the mission of the Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

    The same thing is occurring with the mandate of the CBC. It refers to this notion of Canadian unity, which could prevent certain journalists from expressing themselves freely about what is happening on the ground, because of this dynamic, this “one nation, coast to coast” approach.

    What we want is for the powers and responsibilities that are already given to the National Archives and the National Library through their respective legislation to be maintained. The mandate of the new agency is to be broadened to include interpreting our history, which refers to Canada's history.

    The Minister of Canadian Heritage's press release states that the purpose of the bill is to give Canadians greater access to their history and culture. Why would the government want to broaden the mandate of the National Archives and the National Library to include interpreting Canada's history?

    For example, depending on the university that students attend, and the province in which they live, Canada's history can be taught very differently. There are a thousand and one ways Canada's history can be interpreted. In any case, depending on one's perspective and depending on what a nation, like Quebec, has experienced, the perception of events can vary greatly.

    The Library and Archives of Canada cannot promote its own interpretation of the history of Canada and try to convince the public of its historic value. The role of the Library and Archives of Canada should therefore be to make historical information available, and not to produce its own version and then propagate it across Canada as a propaganda tool.

    I think that caution is in order. Thought should be given to broadening the debate and allowing the various interpretations of Canadian history to coexist in Canada. There is no need for this constant effort to promote a coast to coast identity which is the same from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia.

  +-(1625)  

    I know this because we travelled across Canada with the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. There are many realities in Canada, and this explains why Newfoundland is seeking to get a jurisdiction back. It also explains why, in Quebec, the situation has evolved in such a way that the interests of Quebec are often threatened by all sorts of interpretations made in the name of Canadian unity.

    To have this new agency, the Library and Archives of Canada, interpret history so that it can be better understood by Canadians reflects incredible arrogance on the part of the federal government and basically has a political flavour. The Bloc Quebecois believes that the broader mandate given to the new agency is solely designed to serve objectives of propaganda in connection with Canadian unity. The new mandate is contrary to the neutrality objectives historically pursued by the National Library and the National Archives.

    The government is trying to impose its own vision of Canadian history. The Bloc Quebecois will do everything in its power to preserve the exceptional reputation that the National Library and the National Archives have always enjoyed.

    The Bloc Quebecois demands that any reference to the interpretation of the history of Canada be removed from the mandate of the Library and Archives of Canada. This is part of a Trudeau-style nation-building effort and, as I said, seeks to instill a sense of belonging based on a single version of the history of Canada.

    There is one other irritant: the creation of an advisory council to be appointed by the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

    As I was saying, we took a different approach when we instituted the Quebec National Library Act. The advisory council will advise the chief executive of the new agency on the promotion and accessibility of Canada's documentary heritage.

    This is an extremely important role and requires transparency and freedom of action. Because of this arrangement, we have reason to believe that Canadian Heritage, with its vision of Canadian unity, may be able to influence this council and hinder it in some ways. The role of the council is to advise the Librarian and Archivist, to make the documentary heritage known to Canadians and to anyone with an interest in Canada, and to facilitate access to it. Members of the advisory council will still be appointed by the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

    We feel it is unacceptable for council members to be selected by the heritage minister, particularly given the mandate of the new Library and Archives of Canada. Its supervisor will be the Minister of Heritage, whoever that will be when the bill takes effect.

    Giving the council the mandate of promoting history and heritage makes for an undeniable lack of neutrality. We fault this also in other federal institutions that report to ministers and have a similar dynamic. The CBC is one patent example of this. If we add to this the fact that its members are appointed by the minister, how can the public be convinced of the council's neutrality?

    Thus the Library and Archives of Canada are, or could be, politically influenced, because the Minister of Heritage has the power to appoint whomever she wants to the council. Greater transparency would have been preferable, through the appointment of people from the community as well as outsiders, ordinary citizens.

    The Bloc Quebecois feels that the creation of an advisory council with the mandate of promoting the history of Canada is useless because this is contrary to its historical mandate. A new power aimed at preserving Canada's heritage on the Internet—another aspect of the bill—is allocated to the Librarian and Archivist.

    I do not think that the Bloc Quebecois sees this new way of collecting information as innovative and indicative of a deep understanding of new information sources. However, everything seems to have been thrown together in the bill that is before us today. It is unfortunate because the Bloc Quebecois would have liked to support certain aspects of the bill, including this new power to preserve Canada's documentary heritage as found on the Internet. We cannot be against that.

    However, we will oppose this bill because we are against the principle underlying another aspect of the bill. Because the government wants to mix together all kinds of issues in this bill, the Bloc Quebecois will not be able to support it. This is unfortunate, and I was very upset to have to say no. We will not be supporting this bill even though I found certain aspects of it very interesting and the idea of adjusting to new technologies very refreshing.

  +-(1630)  

    Another aspect of the bill is that it amends the Copyright Act by providing for a longerterm of protection for unpublished works ofauthors who died before 1949.

    In 1997, substantial changes were made to the act through Bill C-32. Before these changes, unpublished works of authors enjoyed perpetual protection under the Copyright Act. The amendments made through Bill C-32 were very controversial. Historians, academics, archivists and genealogists put a lot of pressure on the government to shorten the transition period so that archival documents would become public more rapidly.

    Those whose interests were compromised, namely the heirs of authors whose works would soon become public, launched a campaign to extend the protection for unpublished works so they would have more time.

    We supported this amendment to section 7 of the Copyright Act. The amendment to subsection 7(4) would extend the copyright protection until December 31, 2003 for unpublished works of authors who died before January 1, 1930. New subsection 7(5) provides that, where the death of the author occurred before December 31, 1929 and before January 1, 1949, copyright on his or her unpublished works is protected until December 31, 2017. In either case, unpublished works published before the copyright protection has expired would be protected for another period of 20 years.

    We are in favour of these amendments providing for a longer term of copyright protection to allow heirs to publish works that had remained unpublished. Also, if a particular work is published before its protection expires, the copyright is then extended by 20 years. This is a measure that the Bloc Quebecois approves. But here again, efforts were made to mix everything up and try to make more propaganda. That is unfortunate because, as a result, the Bloc Quebecois will not be able to support this bill.

    Another aspect of the act is the Depository Services Program, or DSP, which was established in 1927 to supply libraries with government publications. It ensures that the Canadian public has equal and immediate access to Government of Canada information by distributing these publications to a network of more than 790 libraries in Canada and another 147 institutions around the world holding collections of Canadian government publications.

    In September 2002, without any consultation of the public, this program was merged with government publishing at Communications Canada, and it is now administered by Communications Canada. Concern grew about the instability of this program in recent years. In November 2002, Communications Canada agreed to look into the matter. I am trying to provide a little background on how the change came about.

    Discussions then started on a recommendation by members of the library community to transfer the DSP to the Library and Archives of Canada. While the federal government seems to be open to this suggestion, there has been no further contact with the library community, and nothing has filtered through the discussions between government agencies.

    The Bloc Quebecois believes that the government should end its silence and discuss this openly with the library community. Moreover, the DSP ought to be integrated into the new institution proposed by the government as quickly as possible. It is not mentioned in the bill.

    In short, we have objections regarding the bill to establish the Library and Archives of Canada. The Bloc Quebecois has reservations about the Library and Archives of Canada, because the library community is opposed to the merger bill, which makes us question its usefulness.

    The Bloc Quebecois considers that the enlarged mandate of the new institution is aligned with Canadian propaganda goals, and that the new mandate will interfere with the neutrality the library and archives have always displayed. The federal government wants to impose its view of Canadian history, and the Bloc Quebecois knows what it is talking about when it says the federal government wants to impose its view.

  +-(1635)  

    The Bloc Quebecois also demands that all references to interpretation of the history of Canada, the goal of such interpretation being Trudeau-style “nation building”, and to instilling a feeling of belonging to a so-called Canadian version of the history of Canada, be removed from the mandate of the Library and Archives of Canada.

    Further, it is unacceptable to see an advisory council selected by the Prime Minister alone. Here, too, we have concerns. The position of Librarian and Archivist of Canada thus becomes a political appointment, just like the council.

    The Bloc Quebecois is in favour of the amendments to the Copyright Act. What is most frustrating is that we would have liked to split this bill with regard to the non-partisan aspects, such as the Copyright Act, and give our support. That would have provided much stronger protection for copyright, and thus, more time for the heirs to publish hitherto unpublished works. In addition, if a work is published before its protection expires, the copyright is prolonged by 20 years; the Bloc Quebecois thinks this is a good provision.

    So, the general position with regard to this bill is to strongly encourage the federal government to split Bill C-36 in two, so that the positive measures related to copyright can be adopted. The Bloc Quebecois considers the part of the bill on the new Library and Archives of Canada to be pure Liberal government propaganda. The Bloc Quebecois will therefore vote against the bill, unless the bill is split in two, so that it can be studied more carefully.

    I hope that the considerations mentioned by the Bloc will be taken into account. We do not oppose everything in the bill. We are not throwing the entire bill out. But it is a shame, because we cannot make any suggestions. The government should make an effort and listen to the Bloc and the other stakeholders, who are also concerned about these political appointments, be they at the CBC or the new Library and Archives of Canada. Obviously, there are political appointments.

    Furthermore, the appointment of the entire committee will be political, because it will be appointed by the Minister of Canadian Heritage. She is known for using her influence to frequently silence administrators in institutions under her responsibility. This does not just happen at Canadian Heritage. It happens in other areas too.

    I have outlined the Bloc's main points regarding Bill C-36, which is quite disappointing. As I stated at the beginning, since the Liberal Party came to power in 1993, the programs and bills from Heritage Canada, for one, are all identical, because the aim is to create a feeling of belonging from coast to coast.

    It is well known that some subtleties are being overlooked. There are the Alliance members with their region. There are also subtleties with respect to Canada and its history. There are other subtleties in Quebec. Historians do not all share the same vision about Canada's birth. It is well known that the Minister of Canadian Heritage loves to minimize, for example, the birth of Quebec, by recalling other historical perspectives.

    It would be extremely beneficial to this bill to show openness and understand certain aspects of the history of the birth of Quebec and Canada. An effort could at least have been made to try to better understand what is being said about some Canadian historians. As a result of the mandate given to the Library and Archives of Canada, the Bloc cannot support this bill.

  +-(1640)  

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): Order, please. It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, Financial Institutions; the hon. member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, National Defence.

[English]

+-

    Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP): Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to Bill C-36 regarding the wisdom of the merger between the national archives and the national library. These are two cultural institutions that mean a great deal to me and also to Canadians and Canadian culture.

    Within my first year of being an MP, and as our new culture critic, I was asked to comment on the consultation by Dr. John English on this subject. In 1998, to prepare a submission for Dr. English, I looked into the background of the library and the archives and frankly was not happy with what I found.

    It was obvious that because of the serious cuts of the 1990s the archives and the library were both placed under stress and were in peril. The parliamentary allocation for the national archives in 1990 was $65 million and the allocation for the library was $40 million. By 1998 both institutions saw an actual cut of one-third and a real dollar or inflation adjusted cut amounting to one-half of their budgets. Suddenly archivists had to decide which historical collections of national significance were going into the blue box. The cuts meant that the papers of labour leaders, business leaders, politicians, feminists and journalists, plus aboriginal histories and the stories of new Canadians, were lost to historians forever because the collections were not being accepted and processed by an archive that was struggling to exist. This has meant that historians will look to our national collections for the stories of our ancestors and will find some of them missing.

    Some Liberals have said that the cuts of the former finance minister were historic. In the case of the archives, I think the cuts have been anti-history. The archives were at least able to cope with the draconian cuts by trimming collections, but the library did not have this option because of the nature of their mandate. Parliament has dictated by law that the national library must collect two copies of every publication in Canada. It has no option about its acquisitions. We have told them to be the national repository of all our books, papers and magazines. This chamber has said that the national library is our collective meeting place for writers, poets, journalists and other muses. It represents the central coordinator for our greatest national literary network, our public libraries.

    For the national library, those cuts meant that its physical plants deteriorated. There were staff cuts, there were roof leaks, the pipes burst and new books had to be put into boxes and then put into warehouses. The greatest enemy to preserving paper is water. A book does not survive when the roof leaks. Old paper copies of documents do not survive when the water pipes burst. Old diaries disintegrate when they are kept in cardboard boxes due to a lack of space and staff.

    News reports say that there have been more 45 incidents in the last decade where water damage has threatened the national library and Archives collections housed at 395 Wellington Avenue. This has caused the damage and loss of over 25,000 works. Even attempts to improve the capital plant by building a new preservation centre in Gatineau have been a band-aid solution, for the cuts have meant a lot fewer archivists and without archivists no one takes care of the archives.

    The report from Dr. English in the year 2000 called for greater administrative coordination between the two institutions, a coordinating committee of both institutions and the department and more record sharing to allow clients to access records from both institutions in one place. It said that the collection should focus only on Canadian content and that a general merger of everything but the management of the two institutions would be acceptable. However, he stopped short of recommending a complete merger. I will quote from his report. It said:

    No brief from any major stakeholding organization recommended that the national archives and the national library be merged. Major archival and library organizations recommended that the positions of National Librarian and National Archivist be maintained as separate positions.

    He also strongly supported the view that our archives should continue to be an archive for all Canadians, collecting records of national importance across the country, not just an archive for government records, a view that I strongly support.

  +-(1645)  

    The institutions crept along for years. The funding levels evened off at their reduced levels and did not really climb to match inflation. The good news, I guess, is that the Liberals have stopped making things worse, but the funding has not yet been restored.

    A couple of interesting things have happened at the library over the last few years, the most exciting being the appointment of Roch Carrier as the national librarian. Mr. Carrier has been successful in raising the profile of the library and the problems at the library within the context of the importance of our national library to our national library system as a whole.

    In 2000, in an address to the heritage committee on the book publishing industry, Roch Carrier said:

    As national librarian, I must say bluntly, that I do not have the tools in some areas to fulfill our mandate to preserve the published heritage of Canada. The national treasure of original Canadian newspapers, for example, is sitting in horrendous conditions out in an industrial area of Ottawa--with bare, hot light bulbs dangling from the ceiling not far from very brittle, dry newsprint...This is a disaster waiting to happen.

    This resulted in heritage committee recommendation 5.2, which stated:

    The Committee recommends that in conjunction with the National Librarian and the National Archivist, the Department of Canadian Heritage immediately initiate a planning process to examine the long-term space and preservation needs of both the national archives and the national library.

    Sadly, these three year old recommendations have not been acted on. Instead we have seen a continuation of the underfunding, no new building, and this bill calling for a formal merger. Bill C-36 says that the merger is not a cost saving exercise, but given the government's track record it is hard to trust that. I have no philosophical objection to merging these two institutions. I even think there is a strong case to be made that our beloved Library of Parliament should be looked at as an additional partner for merging with the new library and archives of Canada so the research and parliamentary capacity of the proposed institution would be increased and so parliamentarians would have easier access to the broader resources of the national library and Archives.

    My quandary with Bill C-36 is not philosophical but is based on the fact that the most obvious and long-standing problems with these two important institutions, funding and mandate, are not being dealt with.

    What I am prepared to do today is support the bill in principle, but I give the government warning that the following things need to be dealt with at committee for our support to continue: that the protection of the collection of the archives and library be the first priority in funding and mandate discussions; that no current employees will lose their jobs due to the merger; that the replacement of the roof of the building at 395 Wellington will be only the first step in upgrading and replacing the new institution; that the plans to upgrade and replace be presented to the committee during the bill's study; and that the long term possibility of also including the Library of Parliament in a real, full archival research and repository institution for the history of the country be considered.

    I hope we will see for Bill C-36 that there will be a serious consideration within the heritage committee of some of these important factors and an opportunity for us to discuss these important institutions. I warn the government that my tenuous support for the bill will evaporate if I see that the rationale for this bill becomes simply a continuation of the Liberal policy of neglect of our cultural repositories.

  +-(1650)  

+-

    Ms. Carole-Marie Allard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague if she sees any strong advantages to having this new agency created.

+-

    Ms. Wendy Lill: Madam Speaker, I do see some very strong advantages if in fact it has the resources that are required. The American Library of Congress is one of the greatest institutions in the world and it is the model that we would say would be the best merger model we could look at. If we are serious about strengthening our institutions, I would say that would be the model to look at.

+-

    Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I assume the member would appreciate the extra $15 million we gave for storage space and also for repairing the roof. Perhaps the member could comment on the new function of displaying our heritage. Does she think that is a positive addition to the new organization?

+-

    Ms. Wendy Lill: I would like to comment on the money that did go into repair work. It is not enough. I sit on the Library of Parliament committee and we had the opportunity the other day to have a briefing on the construction work being done on the parliamentary library. We did talk openly about the continuing crisis situation facing the national library and the fact that these organizations are all working on the same mission, which is to preserve our heritage. None of these librarians or archivists feel very good about the fact that their sister organization is in such dire straits. Any kind of effort we can make to display our culture and to interest Canadians in our heritage I will always endorse, and I will fight for more of that.

+-

    Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, PC): Madam Speaker, it is with pleasure that I rise on behalf of the PC Party of Canada to speak to Bill C-36, an act to establish the library and archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain acts in consequence.

    It is important to emphasize that the proposed new library and archives of Canada would have the exact same legal status as presently accorded to both the National Archives of Canada and the National Library. Bill C-36 endeavours to bring both these entities under one umbrella, which would be a departmental agency within the portfolio of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

    The creation of the library and archives of Canada would be under the direction of the librarian and archivist of Canada, and accountable to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, as listed in schedule I.1 of the Financial Administration Act.

    Most important, all employees of both the National Library and the National Archives of Canada would maintain their existing status as public servants as governed by the Public Service Staff Relations Act. There was some discussion about that from the member for Dartmouth, but perhaps she missed that part of the bill when she was reading it over.

    It is important to note that this enactment would modernize the existing functions and powers of the two institutions, use new technology-neutral wording wherever possible, and harmonize activities that were previously conducted individually by both institutions.

    The librarian and archivist of Canada, as head of the new institution, would be given additional power to intervene and request the transfer of records created by the Government of Canada when those records are determined to be at risk of serious damage or destruction. We have seen many instances in the past of records and documents in the archives having been destroyed because of neglect of the government.

    This position would have the rank and the powers of a deputy head of a government department. It would be a governor in council appointment to serve at pleasure, as is the current status of the National Archivist and the National Librarian.

    Bill C-36 would provide for the creation of an advisory council to advise the librarian and archivist of Canada in making known the documentary heritage to Canadians, and to anyone else who has an interest in Canada, and in facilitating access to such heritage.

    All of us in this chamber understand the importance of history, tradition and heritage. It is in that vein that Bill C-36 and the establishment of an advisory council would help us all better access and understand Canada's documented heritage.

    Some may wonder why it is necessary to appoint a council to achieve this. The mandate of the library and archives of Canada would be to make known the heritage of Canada more strongly than it was in the mandate of either the National Archives or the National Library. The mandate of the new library and archives of Canada would go beyond allowing Canadians to access their heritage, it would make known and facilitate access to Canada's vast and diverse documentary heritage.

    This enhanced role would be best achieved with the advice of an independent council with relevant expertise while reflecting the diversity of Canada.

    This piece of legislation would provide authors with protection in terms of unpublished works. The amendments, as advocated within Bill C-36, would provide for a longer period of protection for unpublished works by authors who died before 1999. The period of protection would obviously vary, depending on the author's death and the date of publication. However, this initiative is applauded and strongly supported by the PC Party of Canada.

    Those who are following the debate today may be wondering what government records would be transferred to the library and archives of Canada. It should be noted that the existing power of the National Archivist is to identify records of historical or archival significance and that would be continued by the librarian and archivist of Canada.

  +-(1655)  

    In terms of the powers regarding the transfer of government records, the librarian and archivist would have the power to request the transfer of records with historical and archival value that in the opinion of the librarian and archivist would be at risk of serious damage or destruction. This would remedy an existing void in the National Archives of Canada Act. In order to fulfill its legislative mandate of preserving the documentary heritage of Canada, the librarian and the archivist must have the power to intervene when government records of significance are at risk in order to maintain and ensure their long term preservation. Bill C-36 would achieve this objective.

    I alluded earlier to changes to the Copyright Act that would take place in order for the creation of the library of archives of Canada to move forward. Members will recall that in 1997 Bill C-32 significantly amended section 7 of the Copyright Act, which prior to this amendment meant that unpublished works had perpetual copyright protection. This amendment caused various controversies that eventually led the government to reduce the transitional periods.

    Briefly, Bill C-36 prescribes for section 7 of the Copyright Act to be amended to allow the extension of the term of protection accorded to unpublished works of Canadian authors who died after 1929 but before 1949. This would be extended until 2017 as opposed to December 2003. This would allow the heirs of an author of such work an opportunity to publish previously unpublished work. If the work were to remain unpublished at the end of this 14 year period, the work would then enter the public domain. If the work were published in this period, it would then be accorded 20 years of copyright protection from the date of publication.

    In addition, section 30.21 would be amended to remove the condition that archivists must keep a record of persons who access unpublished works for which copyright has not expired but for which the copyright owner cannot be located. This would remove a condition that is administratively cumbersome and imposes a financial impact that is particularly difficult for smaller archives with limited resources to sustain. On the whole, the Copyright Act is designed to provide a balance between protecting the rights of creators and the benefit to society of the dissemination of their work.

    Under this bill, the library and archives of Canada would continue to make its vast holdings available subject to the application of the Copyright Act, as was previously carried out by the National Archives and the National Library. It is important to note that there is no contradiction or discrepancy between the mandate of the library and archives of Canada and the Copyright Act as they both seek to achieve complementary goals. The library and archives of Canada would continue practices permitted under the Copyright Act, to ensure the preservation of documentary heritage materials once within the permanent collection of the library and archives of Canada.

    Finally, I would like to address one area before completing my remarks pertaining to this bill. It is clear that the purpose of the new library and archives of Canada would be to collect and to preserve records of significant importance to the Government of Canada. Under this new piece of legislation the library and archives of Canada would continue to collect and document the documentary heritage in the methods previously separately pursued by the National Archives and the National Library of Canada. Further, the library and archives of Canada would continue the responsibility of the National Archives to be the official repository of Government of Canada records.

    In addition to these traditional powers, the wording has also been updated to be technology-neutral and the library and archives of Canada would have the new power to take periodic snap shots of the Canadian Internet. The purpose of this activity would be to ensure that the traditional published and unpublished forms of Canadian cultural expression, regardless of the medium used to create that expression, would be sealed and preserved.

    It is evident from my remarks that the PC Party of Canada, for the most part, is in support of this legislation and will be supporting it as it goes through this place. We look forward to following the bill through its various stages in Parliament and in committee in the days and the weeks ahead.

  +-(1700)  

    I think this is a well-founded bill. It is based on something that was needed and actually makes sense. It is encouraging to see this bill placed before the House.

    During the six years that I have been here we have all heard the stories of documents, national treasures, part of our history, and part of our culture being destroyed by leaky roofs, rain water, bursting pipes, cold temperatures, and humidity. This should never have been allowed to happen. After 10 years the government has finally recognized that if it did not do something, there would be nothing left.

    I am glad that after a long time and a long wait, and after the destruction of part of our heritage that has occurred while we have been waiting, we have this bill before us. It is the intent of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada to support its progress through Parliament.

+-

    Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his excellent description of the bill. It was very helpful and he provided a good outline.

    I have one question. In his remarks he mentioned that he was glad the archivist would have the power to obtain and protect documents because the government had caused the destruction of many documents. Could the member outline what those documents might be?

+-

    Mr. Gerald Keddy: Mr. Speaker, I always appreciate questions from the member for Yukon. He obviously listened to the speech and, therefore, I have no problem answering his question. I do not have the names of the various documents, but I am certain he could search through the materials of the House.

    There have been at least a number of times that I am aware of that we have asked questions because of pipes bursting in the library of the National Archives of Canada, as well as rain damage, water damage and humidity problems. I have seen a number of news stories in the brief six years that I have been here where we have lost cultural artifacts and part of our history. I would hope most of it would be recorded on microfilm or that there would be a copy of some sort. There is probably a difference in documents. Rare books and manuscripts might be kept under closer supervision than some of the bulkier documents that would be found in the archives. Without question, we have lost a good deal of material over the last six or seven years.

  +-(1705)  

+-

    Mr. Larry Bagnell: Mr. Speaker, I said I only had one question, but I have another one.

    The one aspect that the member commented on at any length was the one new function of the bill relating to the display of our heritage. Basically we are putting the two institutions together, the library and the archives, but there is a new function, which is the display of our wonderful heritage. I wonder if the member has any comments on that.

+-

    Mr. Gerald Keddy: Mr. Speaker, that is a part of the bill I find a bit lacking because we are talking about something that is going to be after the fact. However, I applaud the principle of having better access to and better display of our culture, written, video and Internet heritage, and that is happening daily.

    I think it is a good idea. It is something that should have been done a long time ago. To be quite honest with the member for Yukon it is not something I can comment on until I actually see what will be presented, how it will work, how the display will be set up, what type of public access there will be, and if it will be interactive to classrooms across the country. I am not aware of that part of the bill.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to speak in favour of Bill C-36.

    This is a pivotal year. It is the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Library, and we are now preparing the creation of a new cultural institution that will add to the achievements of the National Library so far.

[English]

    It may seem odd to some that Canada's National Library is only 50 years old. After all, our country will be 136 years old in July, and the National Archives are 131.

[Translation]

    In 1883, it was none other than Sir John A. Macdonald who mentioned that the Dominion of Canada should have a national library.

    In 1944, a young MP by the name of Paul Martin—senior—also stressed the importance of creating such an institution. Let me quote him:

[English]

    The National Library would be an additional symbol of those intangible qualities of mind and spirit, which in the long run make a country truly great. It would be a symbol, too, of the union of two cultures and their complementary contributions toward Canadian unity.

[Translation]

    Obviously, there were other important reasons, albeit less symbolic, for the creation of a national library.

[English]

    By the 1940s it was becoming obvious that the lack of a single national catalogue listing holdings of the most important Canadian libraries was seriously hampering both research and the inter-library lending and borrowing of materials. We have 790 such libraries in Canada now.

[Translation]

    Moreover, the country also needed a vast national bibliography that would be kept up to date.

    Finally, the National Library was also necessary to compile retrospective bibliographies that would enable Canada to meet its international obligations in this regard. This institution was also going to make it possible to collect and preserve works published in Canada and to make them accessible to the Canadian public.

  +-(1710)  

[English]

    That is interesting because the progress and the need to preserve and promote Canada's documentary heritage is once again pushing us to create a new cultural entity.

[Translation]

    Some of my colleagues have already pointed out the benefits of the proposed legislation. Today, I would like to focus on a key element, namely the new power granted to the Library and Archives of Canada to periodically take samples of the documentary material accessible through the Internet.

[English]

    To give members a sense of why this is important I would like to quote Mr. Paul LeClerc, president of the New York Public Library, who spoke in 1999 at Schaffer Library at Union College in New York. He said:

[Translation]

    “It could be said that libraries have benefited from the most simple and most durable series of principles of all cultural businesses. Since the very beginning of their existence, which goes back to antiquity, libraries have had only three basic functions: to acquire material, to store and preserve it, and to make it accessible to readers”.

[English]

    The National Library of Canada has carried out those functions with great distinction, and the new entity, the library and archives of Canada, will do so as well. The national headquarters, as hon. members know, is the fifth building this way on Wellington Street.

    Indeed, the library and archives of Canada will continue to pursue all the activities now conducted separately by these two institutions. These include collecting Canada's documentary heritage by purchase, by agreement with other levels of government, legal deposit, collections of master copies of recordings and the transfer of Government of Canada records.

  +-(1715)  

[Translation]

    However, these traditional activities are supported and strengthened by a new method of building collections, Internet sampling, which will reflect Canadian society thanks to the virtual world.

[English]

    For example, the library and archives of Canada may wish to preserve a copy of a website of a Canadian department store, let us say Hougen Centre in Yukon; or a beer company, such as Chilkoot Brewing in Whitehorse; or Air North airlines; or perhaps a fan site dedicated to a particular Canadian singer, such as Barbara Chamberlin from Yukon; or a site dealing with the prime ministers of Canada or indeed the deputy prime ministers of Canada, including Erik Nielsen from Yukon.

[Translation]

    The purpose is to immortalize a sample of our era and of this new medium, which is both present and virtual and which is changing as fast as new technologies allow.

[English]

    Taking these snapshots of the Internet that is accessible to the public without restriction is essential if the library and archives of Canada is to succeed in preserving for all future generations a record of the life we have led, the communication tools we have used and the technologies which assisted us.

[Translation]

    A few minutes ago, I mentioned that the new institution would have the power to take samples from the Internet. It is important to specify that this only refers to Internet content that is accessible to the public without restriction. Also, it is important to add that even though it is solely for the purpose of preservation, permission to download this material may not be given unless the Copyright Act is amended. Bill C-36 therefore proposes the necessary changes.

[English]

    These amendments have been developed in consultation with the Department of Industry. Even though the Copyright Act is under review, Bill C-36 has been written with the evolving nature of the current Copyright Act in mind so that it can adapt to future amendments to Canada's copyright regime.

[Translation]

    I would like to say more, but I am running out of time. To conclude, I would like to remind the House that the new power to explore and record parts of Canada's presence on the Internet is an excellent example of the broadened mandate of the Library and Archives of Canada. For this reason, I support this bill and, like other Canadians, I welcome the creation of this new institution that will act as a new steward of Canada's documentary heritage.

    As you know, this bill represents the realization of a commitment made by the government in its Speech from the Throne on September 30, 2002. At that time, we made a pledge to Canadians to improve access to the history and culture of our vast country, as well as to its other aspects.

[English]

    I am very encouraged to underline the fact that there is a growing demand for this kind of knowledge. Canadians want to know more about the history and culture of their country, whether it is the genealogical details of their own family, the wonderful achievements of our writers and musicians, the contributions made by members of their community to the growth and development of Canada, or perhaps even the role played by the Government of Canada at some defining moment in our history.

[Translation]

    It is the duty of our government to respond to this demand and the new knowledge institute this bill will create will be the ideal tool for attaining this objective. To that end, the Library and Archives of Canada will benefit from a much broader mandate than those of the two existing organizations.

[English]

    The mandate for this new agency will be established on the foundation of the respective mandates of the National Library and the National Archives of Canada. However it will also include a new component, which is the interpretation of our heritage and the exhibitions of its collections.

[Translation]

    The new organization will take advantage of all the resources and all the expertise of both original entities to fulfill this broader mandate. Think of all the possibilities that this represents. Think of all the new horizons that will soon open for us.

[English]

    Already we have some sense of the tremendous potential of the library and archives of Canada. The two bodies are already working closely together to serve Canadians through the new Canadian Genealogy Centre.

[Translation]

    In cooperation with the Department of Canadian Heritage and other partners, such as the Société de généalogie de l'Outaouais, the Library and Archives of Canada has launched this new website on genealogy and the history of families.

[English]

    As the House no doubt knows, the Canadian Genealogy Centre is a one stop shop providing electronic access to the genealogical resources in Canada. The centre offers genealogical content, services, advice, research tools and opportunities to work online on joint projects, all in both official languages.

[Translation]

    This service is offered in response to a growing demand for genealogical information from Canadians.

  +-(1720)  

[English]

    The goal of the centre is to foster the discovery of our roots and our family histories as a basic part of our Canadian heritage. At the same time, its mission is to encourage the use of genealogy and the resources available in libraries and archives as tools for lifelong learning.

[Translation]

    In addition to this new centre, the National Archives collections will also be used to create the Portrait Gallery of Canada, a new jewel in the crown of our Canadian heritage.

[English]

    The vision of the new Portrait Gallery of Canada is to emphasize portraits of people from all walks of life who have contributed to the development of Canada, not only decision makers and famous public figures but people from every social background. I think that it is a powerful example of equity and fairness.

[Translation]

    The Portrait Gallery of Canada will link Canadians together through the preservation and consideration of values that have defined us in the past and that continue to support the vision of our existence as a nation, today and into the future.

[English]

    This wonderful new facility will provide a unique visual history of Canada, interpreted on a human scale, through the faces of individuals who have shaped and continue to shape the history and culture of this nation.

[Translation]

    Finally, it will link Canadians together through contemporary and historical exhibitions and new media accessible in person and through the virtual network.

[English]

    The Canadian Genealogy Centre and the new Portrait Gallery are just two examples of the contribution made by the National Library and the National Archives. Indeed, the two entities already organize exhibitions that explore various aspects of their collections. I am certain that, strengthened by the new mandate provided by the bill, the library and archives of Canada will have no trouble carving our a niche for itself in the cultural sector, thanks to its exhibitions and interpretation activities.

[Translation]

    In conclusion, I am happy to point out that the Library and Archives of Canada will take full advantage of new technologies to better respond to the ever growing desire of Canadians for simplified access to knowledge, to their history and to their documentary heritage in all its diversity.

    These are some of the reasons why I support this bill. I encourage all members to join with me in voting in favour of Bill C-36, which will enable us to better promote our documentary heritage for the greater pleasure of those who want to gain a better knowledge of it.

[English]

    I will close with a few personal comments. The first is a suggestion. In other jurisdictions where there has been an amalgamation, sometimes the actual name of the organization gets lost in telephone directories and government directories. It becomes very difficult to find the organization. If it is called archives and libraries Canada and someone is looking for libraries, it would not be under the “L” listings.

    I hope that the people organizing directories in the government and information services and web pages will take that into account. A double listing is needed, one for “libraries” and one for “archives”. To a large extent those are separate functions and people will be looking for those individual functions.

    I also want to pay tribute to the wonderful people who staff our libraries across the country. As I said, there are 790 libraries. In fact, our documentation is also found in 147 institutions internationally. Those people are the silent heroes who no one sees. They work very hard in very quiet places which often do not have windows. Those people have an impact on the future of our nation. Usually it is not dangerous work, but we must remember that the most beautiful part of our Parliament buildings was saved by a librarian who closed the metal door to the library. The rest of the building burned down but the most beautiful part was saved for our heritage. I think that was in 1916...

    More important, librarians historically have been the gatekeepers by paper but now also by the Internet to a vast resource of knowledge for our children and our future. Many books have had a big influence on my life. Who Is The Chairman of This Meeting? would be one of them.

    How many people, in the very difficult times in their lives through tragedy or desperation, have thought of the words of William Shakespeare “Come what come may, time and the hour run through the roughest day”?

    How many people have not realized how important institutions such as this are when the veil of civilization is so thin as outlined in Lord of the Flies? For those who say books and librarians do not have an impact, what impact has Kahlil Gibran's book The Prophet had or the Koran or the Bible on our civilization?

    Librarians perform such a valid function for children. We all know the most influence in a child's life is in its formative years. I still remember the book The Little Engine That Could. It had an effect on my life.

    An hon. member: I think I can, I think I can.

    Mr. Larry Bagnell: That is right. In fact I read it a week ago to a group of school children in Yukon.

    I am delighted at the additional resources to preserve and protect our archives. The poet who wrote the book that has sold the greatest number of volumes in history is Robert Service. There needs to be a lot more of his work collected in the national archives. An opportunity was missed recently to have a large collection. There are not too many.

    I applaud this new effort. I hope that for one of our greatest selling poets it will be one of the early displays of heritage under this new role.

*   *   *

  +-(1725)  

+-BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

[Business of the House]
+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I understand there is agreement that when the House is in committee of the whole on the main estimates later this day, the 20 minute speaking times will be assigned to parties and that each respective party shall assign speaking times to one or more members in that 20 minute segment.

    I believe you will find consent to make this an order, Mr. Speaker.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): Is there unanimous consent?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.


+-ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Committees of the House

+-Public Accounts

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and I think you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

    That, in relation to the 2003 Conference of the Canadian Council of Public Accounts Committees, seven (7) members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts be authorized to travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba, from September 14 to 16, 2003, and that the necessary staff do accompany the Committee.

[Translation]

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The House has heard the termes of the motion. Is there unanimous consent to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)


+-GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Library and Archives of Canada Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-36, An Act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): Is there unanimous consent to call it 5:30 p.m.?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): On questions and comments, the hon. member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot.

+-

    Mr. John Bryden (Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I listened with great attention to the member opposite. While time is running out on this debate, I call his attention to clause 12(3) of the bill which suggests that the records held by the Privy Council Office, cabinet confidences, that is subsection 69(1) of the Access to Information Act, would not be accessible by the national archivist. That means there is going be a body of records that will be unavailable and out of reach of historians should the Privy Council Office refuse to give permission for the chief librarian archivist to access them.

    Does he have a comment on that?

+-

    Mr. Larry Bagnell: Mr. Speaker, could the member tell me, is that a change from the previous act?

  +-(1730)  

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): Let us call it 5:30 p.m.

    I have received notice from the hon. member for Beaches--East York that she is unable to move her motion during private members' hour on Wednesday, May 14, 2003. It has not been possible to arrange an exchange of positions in the order of precedence. Accordingly I am directing the table officers to drop that item of business to the bottom of the order of precedence. Private members' hour will thus be cancelled and the House will continue with the business before it prior to private members' hour.

[Translation]

    It being 5:31 p.m., the House will now proceed to consideration of private members' business as listed on today's Order Paper.


+-PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Criminal Code

+-

    Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.) moved that Bill C-269, an act to amend the Criminal Code (firefighters), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

    He said: Mr. Speaker,it is my great pleasure to rise today to open the debate on my private member's Bill C-269, an act to amend the Criminal Code, respecting firefighters.

    Bill C-269 seeks to give greater protection to firefighters by amending five sections of the Criminal Code and creating two new criminal offences of aggravated assault and first degree murder when the victim is a firefighter acting in the line of duty.

    For years Canada's firefighters have been coming to Parliament Hill during their legislative days and speaking to individual members of Parliament, one on one, respectfully asking that they receive greater protection under the law.

    After years of hard work by the International Association of Fire Fighters to make these issues a priority on the government agenda, I am pleased to report that with the introduction of Bill C-32 by the Minister of Justice and this debate tonight, the International Association of Fire Fighters can claim some success. Those years of hard work are finally paying off for the people who provide such a vital role in terms of safeguarding Canadians from the ravages of fire.

    In particular, I want to thank Mr. Jim Lee, Mr. Sean McManus and Mr. Greg Hewitt for their work and dedication to Canada's firefighters. These three individuals have been crucial in putting the issues of firefighter safety on the public radar.

    These issues are not new to members of Parliament or to the House. My own involvement with these issues goes back to December 2001 when I first introduced this bill in the House of Commons. I should say as well that I had a personal experience with a fire a couple of years ago which really reinforced my view as to how important firefighters are within our society.

    The particular circumstances of that situation were that my wife and I had been out for dinner one Saturday at a friend's place in nearby Kanata which is adjacent to Nepean. I noticed flames coming out of a house on our way home. I stopped my car and a couple of other people stopped as well.

    The first thing I did was I called 911 and notified the emergency response people that there was a fire happening and that they had better get there as quickly as possible. My second move, along with another couple of individuals who had stopped, was to see if we could get inside the house to make sure that there was nobody in the house.

    I would say that we got to the fire fairly quickly in the sense that some of the flames were clearly visible but it seemed as though they had not consumed the entire house. However, by the time I got to the front door, the door knob on the screen door was already hot and it was clear that things were becoming very dicey from the standpoint of safety. I tried to go around the back of the House and use a garden hose on the fire, but it was not working. Very shortly thereafter the house was beyond hope in terms of saving the property of a family who obviously had worked very hard over many years to build their house and enjoy the benefits of their property.

    Unfortunately the firefighters were responding from a distance of about 10 kilometres away. They got there just as the fire became completely uncontrollable.

    That whole situation gave me a sense of the difficulties that firefighters have and how dangerous it is in terms of going into a building where their own safety is in peril. It just so happened that in that particular case, the fire had been set deliberately, unfortunately.

  +-(1735)  

    I would also like to take this opportunity to draw to the attention of members some of the contributions that have been made by other members of Parliament on the subject of protecting firefighters and their safety, notably the hon. members for Surrey Central and New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby. They have also brought important issues related to firefighter safety to the floor of the House of Commons through their own private member's bills.

    As I indicated, by its very nature firefighting is a dangerous occupation and Canada's firefighters respond to a variety of emergency situations with the knowledge that their work may result in serious injury or death. Like police officers or the men and women of the Canadian Forces, firefighters perform their duties on our behalf knowing that at any time they may have to pay the ultimate sacrifice. It is disturbing to note as well that the number of deaths and injuries sustained by firefighters continue to rise.

    Since my days as a municipal councillor with the former city of Nepean, I have had the honour of working with many local firefighters, firefighters like Ron Phillips, Steve McFarlane, Ron Ralph, Dave Stevenson, Mike Vervoort and John Sobey. These brave men, who I count among my friends, put their lives on the line to make us all safer.

    While firefighters understand and accept the inherent danger of their jobs, they are often put in harm's way through deliberate criminal acts such as arson. These crimes are a deliberate attempt to cause harm, property damage or loss of life. These actions needlessly place firefighters at risk and must be deterred to the greatest extent possible.

    As public safety officers and first responders engaged in a dangerous occupation professional, in my view firefighters are deserving of specific protection and measures under the law that would reduce the incidents of exposure to situations that could result in serious injury or death. As legislators, we have an obligation and a duty to use the Criminal Code to protect our firefighters from harm.

    Before I get into the actual provisions of the bill, there are a number of what I would say very complex issues related to this bill. In that respect, one of the things I think would be useful in connection with this legislation is that rather than debating for another two hours some of the issues related specifically to the issue of criminal intent in the bill, the issue of mens rea in particular related to the first degree murder aspect of the bill, these provisions should perhaps be considered by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

    There have been some consultations on this issue with members of various parties. At this point in the debate, I would like to seek unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

    That Bill C-269 be not now read a second time and that the subject matter of the bill be referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

    I would like to put that motion to the House because there are some rather significant issues that must be dealt with, technical issues and issues related to possible charter challenges. The firefighters have agreed to this as well.

  +-(1740)  

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The House has heard the termes of the motion. Is there unanimous consent of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)

+-

    Mr. David Pratt: Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, Bill C-269 would create two new criminal offences of aggravated assault and first degree murder when a victim is a firefighter acting in the line of duty. I would first like to address the aggravated assault provisions of Bill C-269.

    In recent years Canada's professional firefighters have faced a growing and serious threat from illegal drug operations, which are often rigged with hidden devices designed to kill or injure anyone who interferes with them, particularly public safety officials.

    For example, a recent drug growing operation in New Brunswick was guarded by 30 spring loaded traps. In Nova Scotia, a boy was recently hit in the leg by a shotgun which was rigged to a trip wire in a marijuana field.

    One of the most common traps set by criminals and organized crime, in an attempt to protect their drug growing operations, is a crossbow which is rigged to automatically fire at anyone who opens the front door, such as a firefighter entering a house to put out a fire.

    Given that these drug growing operations often use illegal and unsafe electrical hookups, otherwise known as meter jumping, which cause fires, the dangers to firefighters in particular who are on the scene to battle a house fire cannot be discounted.

    I believe that if we are to deter criminals from setting these traps in the future, we must amend the Criminal Code to provide more severe punishments for such acts. It was for that reason that I included provisions within Bill C-269 which would address this growing problem.

    I am pleased that this is an issue which has not gone unnoticed by the government. On April 11 the Minister of Justice introduced Bill C-32, an act to amend the Criminal Code and other acts. Responding to the dangers posed by these types of traps, sections of Bill C-32 would create a new criminal offence targeting anyone who sets a trap for a criminal purpose and intends to cause injury or death.

    Bill C-32, which I fully support and which has the support of the International Association of Fire Fighters, would provide a maximum penalty of 10 years on anyone convicted under this new offence with an additional four years if that trap injured or killed someone.

    I would like to quote from a press release issued by the International Association of Fire Fighters in support of the government's legislation. It says:

    Canada's professional fire fighters will soon have important new protections from a growing threat.

    The firefighters press release went on to quote the general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Mr. Harold Schaitberger, as saying:

    We are pleased to see the Government of Canada taking action today on this important issue of fire fighter safety.

    In my view the Minister of Justice should be congratulated for this legislation which imposes stronger punishment on an offender and greater protection of Canada's firefighters than my own bill. Given that the government has introduced its own legislation which has the full support of Canada's firefighters and which I believe would provide greater protection to firefighters, I do not believe it is necessary or even helpful at this point to proceed with the amendments outlined in Bill C-269 regarding aggravated assault.

    I would now like to speak on the second issue of first degree murder. The second criminal offence created by Bill C-269 is first degree murder when the victim is a firefighter acting in the line of duty. At present, section 231 of Canada's Criminal Code specifically refers to the death of a peace officer while acting in the line of duty. However there are currently no similar specific provisions or increased penalties to deter criminal acts that jeopardize the lives and safety of firefighters in cases such as arson.

    Bill C-269 seeks to change that by giving firefighters the recognition they deserve and putting them on the same legal footing as police officers. I fully recognize that there are many difficult issues which need to be addressed surrounding such amendments to the Criminal Code.

    For example, in Canada there is a constitutional requirement that to be convicted of murder it must be proven that the accused had intended to kill prior to committing the act. The question then arises: Is it possible to prove that a person who lights a fire intended to kill a firefighter called to the scene? I believe anyone lighting a fire which would knowingly put lives in danger can reasonably assume that his or her actions could result in the death of a firefighter. Did the person know a firefighter would die as a result of his or her actions? Perhaps not. However reasonably, in my view, the person should have.

  +-(1745)  

    For a number of reasons, amending section 231 of the Criminal Code to include firefighters, as I have suggested in Bill C-269, was not included in the federal government's Bill C-32.

    I have spoken to officials from the justice department. They have expressed their concerns over the constitutionality of such changes, and I would agree that more detailed discussion is needed before moving forward with Bill C-269. I believe this is an issue that does require closer examination by parliamentarians, legal experts and firefighters themselves.

    To conclude, every time a firefighter is injured or killed, that means one less professionally trained public safety officer is available to respond to situations which are dangerous to the public. As legislators, I believe we must do everything in our power to protect the people who serve us as firefighters from harm.

+-

    Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for Nepean—Carleton for bringing forward this important issue through a private member's bill.

    As he mentioned, I introduced a similar motion in the House sometime ago. Approximately in March of last year we had a debate on the issue. During that debate, the Liberal members who spoke on the issue opposed the motion. I wonder why the Liberal members at that time, not this hon. member, chose to vote against making my motion votable. The million dollar question is this. If this was a bad idea a year ago, why has it suddenly become a good idea, and has been incorporated into Bill C-32 as well?

    Does hon. member have any comments as to why some of the ideas brought forward by opposition members are rejected, or ridiculed or opposed but after some time the government steals them? Why does it happen that way?

+-

    Mr. David Pratt: Mr. Speaker, I do not think at all that it is a question of theft of ideas or anything like that. I gave the hon. member credit for advancing this issue. Other members in the House have spoken on it as well and have spoken very fervently and passionately on the need to protect firefighters. I think there has been a real recognition and realization as well, post-September 11, 2001, that this issue is a very real one and that it needs to be dealt with.

    However I give the credit to the firefighters themselves who have done a good job in terms of fleshing out these issues, making the government and members of Parliament aware of them and ensuring that the government is responsive to the problem that currently exists.

  +-(1750)  

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): With the indulgence of hon. members, when the hon. member for Nepean—Carleton rose on a point of order, he clearly stated that Bill C-269 be not now read a second time but that the subject matter of the bill be referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

    The Chair asked for unanimous consent, which was given for adopting the motion. Therefore, according to the Chair once more, debate should be over and we should suspend until 6:30 p.m. for the late shows.

+-

    Mr. Gurmant Grewal: Mr. Speaker, when the House was asked for consent to refer the bill it to committee, the hon. member for Nepean—Carleton got the consent from the House, but he was allowed to continue his speech after that. I think the same privilege should be given to me, as the next speaker on this issue. I am also very passionate about the issue and I think I should be allowed to speak on this bill.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The hon. member is right in saying that once unanimous consent was given to adopt that, the hon. member for Nepean—Carleton should not have spoken any more. However there was some question and we needed to clarify the matter. We needed to check the rules. This is why he continued his speech.

    However, as I said two seconds ago, there should not be any more debate because the motion was adopted and therefore we should suspend until 6:30 p.m.

+-

    Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is not for me to comment on decisions of th