Skip to main content Start of content

House Publications

The Debates are the report—transcribed, edited, and corrected—of what is said in the House. The Journals are the official record of the decisions and other transactions of the House. The Order Paper and Notice Paper contains the listing of all items that may be brought forward on a particular sitting day, and notices for upcoming items.

For an advanced search, use Publication Search tool.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the accessibility of this publication, please contact us at accessible@parl.gc.ca.

Previous day publication Next day publication
PDF

37th PARLIAMENT, 3rd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 025

CONTENTS

Friday, March 12, 2004




0955
V Government Orders
V     Criminal Code
V         Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, CPC)

1010

1015

1020

1025
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, CPC)

1030
V         Mr. Gurmant Grewal
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)
V         Mr. Gurmant Grewal

1035
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC)

1040

1045

1050

1055
V         The Deputy Speaker
V STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
V     Epilepsy Awareness Month
V         Hon. Shawn Murphy (Hillsborough, Lib.)

1100
V     Equalization
V         Mrs. Lynne Yelich (Blackstrap, CPC)
V     Angel Hair For Kids
V         Mr. Julian Reed (Halton, Lib.)
V     Kidney Month
V         Mr. Jeannot Castonguay (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.)
V     Women Parliamentarians
V         Hon. Eleni Bakopanos (Ahuntsic, Lib.)
V     Canadian Wheat Board
V         Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC)

1105
V     Employment Insurance
V         Mr. Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, Lib.)
V     Women of Ciudad Juarez
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
V     Public Service
V         Mr. Eugène Bellemare (Ottawa—Orléans, Lib.)
V     Federal Election
V         Mr. Jim Gouk (Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, CPC)
V     Softwood Lumber
V         Hon. Scott Brison (Kings—Hants, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V     Violence Against Women
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

1110
V         The Speaker
V     Social Housing
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ)
V      International Women's Week
V         Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)
V     Justice
V         Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, CPC)
V     South Vancouver Neighbourhood House
V         Ms. Sophia Leung (Vancouver Kingsway, Lib.)
V     Turks and Caicos Islands
V         Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East, CPC)

1115
V ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
V     Sponsorship Program
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC)

1120
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

1125
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Sponsorship Program
V         Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

1130
V         Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)
V         Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V         Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)
V         Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     National Defence
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)
V         Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)
V         The Speaker

1135
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant
V         Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC)
V         Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC)
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Jay Hill
V         Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V     Public Works and Government Services
V         Mr. Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, Lib.)
V         Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V     Child Benefits
V         Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP)

1140
V         Hon. John McCallum (Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.)
V     Post-Secondary Education
V         Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NDP)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Sponsorship Program
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Justice
V         Mr. Chuck Cadman (Surrey North, CPC)
V         Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
V         Mr. Chuck Cadman (Surrey North, CPC)

1145
V         Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
V     Airline Industry
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Hon. Gurbax Malhi (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Lib.)
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Hon. Gurbax Malhi (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC)
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V         Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC)
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V     Agriculture
V         Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.)

1150
V         Hon. Mark Eyking (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food), Lib.)
V     Natural Resources
V         Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, CPC)
V         Hon. R. John Efford (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)
V     Fisheries
V         Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ)
V         Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)
V     Agriculture
V         Hon. David Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast, Lib.)
V         Hon. Mark Eyking (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food), Lib.)
V     Sponsorship Program
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC)
V         Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)

1155
V     Health
V         Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, CPC)
V         Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)
V     Taiwan
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ)
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V     Taxation
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Health
V         Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, CPC)
V         Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

1200
V     Canadian National Railway
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
V         Hon. Judy Sgro (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)
V     Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
V         Mr. Greg Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest, CPC)
V         Hon. Joe McGuire (Minister of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
V     National Defence
V         Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V     Parliament of Canada Act
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)
V         (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
V         The Speaker
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC)

1205
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark
V         Hon. Jacques Saada
V         The Speaker
V     Committees of the House
V         Procedure and House Affairs
V         Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)
V         Aboriginal Affairs, Northern Development and Natural Resources
V         Mr. Rick Laliberte (Churchill River, Lib.)

1210
V         Procedure and House Affairs
V         Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         (Motion agreed to)
V     Petitions
V         Labelling of Alcoholic Beverages
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V         Marriage
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)
V         Income Tax Act
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)
V         Child Pornography
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)
V     Questions on the Order Paper
V         Hon. Scott Brison (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Canada-U.S.), Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V Government Orders
V     Parliament of Canada Act
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)

1215
V         Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, CPC)
V         Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ)
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

1220
V         The Speaker
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC)
V         The Speaker
V         (Bill read the second time, considered in committee, reported, concurred in, read the third time and passed)
V     Criminal Code
V         Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC)

1225

1230

1235

1240
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)
V         Mr. Vic Toews

1245
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)
V         The Deputy Speaker
V Routine Proceedings
V     Committees of the House
V         Public Accounts
V         Mrs. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.)

1250
V         The Deputy Speaker
V Government Orders
V     Criminal Code
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)

1255
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott

1300

1305
V         Mr. Jim Gouk (Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, CPC)
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott
V         Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East, CPC)

1310
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott
V         Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC)

1315

1320

1325

1330
V         The Deputy Speaker
V PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
V     Dairy Terms Act
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)

1335

1340

1345
V         Mr. Larry McCormick (Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, Lib.)
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         Hon. Mark Eyking (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food), Lib.)

1350

1355
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)

1400

1405
V         Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.)

1410

1415
V         Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP)

1420
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall (Ottawa West—Nepean, Lib.)

1425
V         The Deputy Speaker






CANADA

House of Commons Debates


VOLUME 139 
NUMBER 025 
3rd SESSION 
37th PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Friday, March 12, 2004

Speaker: The Honourable Peter Milliken

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Prayers



+Government Orders

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

  +(0955)  

[English]

+Criminal Code

     The House resumed from March 9 consideration of the motion that Bill C-12, an act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children and other vulnerable persons) and the Canada Evidence Act, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.

+

    Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise this morning on behalf of the constituents of Surrey Central to participate in the debate on Bill C-12, an act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children and other vulnerable persons) and the Canada Evidence Act.

    Contrary to yesterday's assertion by the justice minister, the official opposition cares about protecting children from sexual predators. That is why we are firmly opposed to Bill C-12. We want legislation that makes the perverts who prey upon our innocent children fearful.

    Unfortunately, Bill C-12 fails in that regard. This bill has been endorsed by none other than Mr. John Robin Sharpe, the very man who was found guilty of possession of as many as 400 images of children whom prosecutors contended were being exploited sexually.

    In March 2002 Sharpe's conviction concerning the images was upheld by the Supreme Court. However, he was ultimately acquitted of related charges that had been filed against him in connection with the stories he had written, specifically because those writings were deemed to have artistic merit. Mr. Sharpe feels that this bill is so poorly crafted that even he could use it to his advantage in the courts.

    To quote the nation's most notorious child pornographer, “The interesting thing about the child sex laws is that they may offer some unintended opportunities for the defence”. Mr. Sharpe asserts that the federal proposal is a panic reaction to his two successes in challenging the current legislation in court. He further writes, “I am fairly confident that given good legal counsel, and a by-the-book judge who bases his decisions on the wording of the law...I and my stories would again be acquitted under the proposed measures”.

    The problem with this bill lies in the proposed public good defence. Mr. Sharpe is not alone when he claims that the proposal is too vague to survive court challenges. Many legal experts agree with him. Judges who interpret and apply the law do not consider the many fine speeches delivered in this chamber. They simply look at the words of the laws that we pass in this place.

    What does public good really mean? The government has failed to make that clear. What if, as Mr. Sharpe suggests, a judge finds it in the public good to allow possession of child pornography if it prevents convicted child molesters from reoffending again? That certainly is within the realm of possibility.

    If Parliament passes this bill, a person would be found guilty of a child pornography offence when the material or act in question does not serve the public good or where the risk of harm outweighs any public benefit. Since the Sharpe case, Conservatives have called again and again on the federal government to eliminate the artistic merit defence, but replacing it with a public good defence is not the solution. We must eliminate all defences that justify the criminal possession of child pornography.

  +-(1010)  

    The Liberals need to get their priorities straight. They have brought forward many pieces of legislation, but none of them protect children against child pornography. For years I have been demanding a stop to the sexual exploitation of children, but the Liberals clearly lack the political will to fix that problem for our society.

    In fact, during the Liberal government's tenure, family values have been continually eroded. We can talk about any single issue that relates to family values. Those family values have been eroding under the Liberals, whether it is the definition of marriage, protecting children from child pornography, raising the age of consent, taxation laws with respect to single parent families, or giving law enforcement agencies enough resources and laws with teeth.

    On every single front, the Liberal government has let families down. It always forgets that the stronger the family, the stronger the community and the stronger our great nation would be. The foundation of this great country is the family, not the social welfare system. We have to strengthen our families. We have to protect children and other vulnerable people.

    Canadians want laws with teeth. That is one thing we can do in this chamber. At least we could make laws with teeth and not have just a slap on the wrist or a revolving door criminal justice system. We cannot do that anymore. Why can the Liberals not see that we want deterrents in place, not some sort of motivation for criminal behaviour?

    Bill C-12, which we are debating today, will increase maximum sentences or maximum penalties for offences that harm children. I agree, but that is not good enough. How many times has government introduced legislation that increases maximum sentences? What is the good of increasing maximum sentences if the courts will not apply the full force of the laws we already have in place? Increasing penalties is meaningless if the courts do not impose the sentences.

    We know from experience that when maximum sentences are raised there is no corresponding pattern in the actual sentencing practices. What is needed? Mandatory minimum sentences. We need truth in sentencing. We need no conditional sentences for child predators. We need minimum mandatory sentences instead of the maximum sentences so that the judges can implement them.

    Bill C-12 creates a new category of sexual exploitation that protects people aged 14 to 18. Courts would focus not on consent but on whether the relationship is exploitative based on age difference, control exerted and other circumstances. Again, that is not good enough. It is already against the law for a person in a position of trust or authority, or with whom a young person is in a relation of dependency, to be sexually involved with that young person. It is already in the law. It is unclear how adding such people will add legal protection for young children.

  +-(1015)  

    What the Liberals should have done instead was increase the age of consent for any sexual activity. A major shortcoming of the bill is that it fails to raise the age of consent for sexual activity between children and adults. I fail to see the rationale for permitting adults to engage in any sexual activity with children. The government should raise the age of consent, currently set out in section 150.1 of the Criminal Code, from 14 to 16 at least, if not 18.

    In Surrey, we are all too familiar with the problem of prostitution. Studies have found that 70% to 80% of Canadian prostitutes enter the trade as children. In particular at that age, the recruitment process for the sex trade in Canada preys on young girls and boys and specifically targets those who are at the current age of consent, that is, 14. According to the Children of the Street Society, the majority of parents who call asking for help from the police have children who are 14 years old and are being recruited into the sex trade by the pimps.

    I ask the Liberals, do they think that 50 year old men should be able to target 14 year old runaways for sex, give them a sexually transmitted disease and get them pregnant? What response will Liberals give at the doorstep during the upcoming campaign? I would be very interested to hear from the government members who lack the political will to protect our children from these sex predators.

    The results of dozens of studies show the effect of adult sexual contact with children. There is a huge risk of clinical depression, suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, and extreme promiscuity and involvement in prostitution. It is vitally important that we do not confuse physical maturation with psychological maturation. The “age of majority” is a term used by lawyers to protect the offender and to describe the time in life after which a person is legally no longer considered a child. In essence, it is an arbitrary time when a child becomes an adult in the eyes of the law.

    Why is it that we as a society feel that children are ill-prepared to drive, to drink, even to vote or marry or drop out of school or even watch violent movies, but we feel they are totally ready to decide for themselves with whom they should have sex? It is a pity to have this societal social evil. This makes absolutely no sense.

    Raising the age of sexual consent would definitely put us more in line with other western nations. We know that in Denmark, France and Sweden the age of consent for sexual activity is 15. In Australia, Finland, Germany, Holland, Israel, New Zealand, Norway and even the United Kingdom, the age of consent for sexual activity is 16. In Canada, we still have that age of 14. It is time for the Liberals to prohibit adults from having sex with children under the age of 16. This age of 14 is not a good thing for society.

    

  +-(1020)  

    The need to protect innocent and vulnerable children from pimps and other sexual predators is a matter of highest priority. It should not be on the back burner of the government's priorities. How many Canadians are aware that a 14 year old can move into a conjugal relationship with a 50 year old? There is nothing the parents can do, at least legally, to put a stop to such an exploitative relationship. Persons at 14 and 15 years of age lack the mental and emotional maturity to cope with the psychological effects of engaging in sexual activity with older persons.

    A survey last summer found that 80% of Canadians, eight out of ten people, believe the age of sexual consent should be raised to 16. So why does the age of consent remain at 14?

    I know that the Liberal government is governing the country with polls. It has been looking at the polls for the definition of marriage and now is looking at the polls for when to call the election, but why does it not see this same poll, in which 80% of Canadians demand from this weak and arrogant Liberal government that the age for sexual activity be raised from 14 to at least 16? Why are we depriving parents of the ability to protect their children from sexual exploitation? It is a very important issue. It cannot be ignored.

    I talked about minimum mandatory sentences. They are a root cause of the criminal justice system not being effective. Let us take marijuana cultivation as an example. According to a British Columbia police study, on average it takes seven convictions before a person will serve jail time for cultivation of cannabis. In neighbouring Washington State, first time offenders get an automatic three month sentence. Needless to say, we have considerably more grow ops in British Columbia, particularly in my constituency, than they do south of the border.

    But what does the government do? It introduces legislation that would increase maximum sentences for larger grow operations. What about the minimum sentences? Minimum sentences are what Canadians need. They send a message to the criminal element in society that we are serious about preventing crime, whether it is child pornography, drugs or any other violent crime.

    It is very important that we look into these issues seriously. I talked about Surrey. We know that last year a massive RCMP probe, code-named Project Snowball, tracked more than 2,000 Canadians, including over 406 in British Columbia, suspected of possessing and distributing sexually explicit pictures of children. Out of those 406 identified in British Columbia, 23 were from Surrey.

    A quick survey of local Surrey newspapers reveals many cases of adults sexually exploiting children. For instance, there is 32 year old Stephen Smith, who was charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual exploitation involving two underage boys he had met on the Internet. Dale Nault, a 34 year old, also from Surrey, was charged with three counts of sexual assault involving a 14 year old boy he met over the Internet and with one count of possession of child pornography.

    In all these cases, the government failed to protect the children. I know that my time is almost up, but I would like to say that if the Liberals were serious about protecting our children and making our streets safe for all Canadians, they would strengthen our laws by introducing maximum sentences and ensuring that sentences handed out are actually served. They would give law enforcement agencies the resources they need to fight crime instead of wasting money on a useless gun registry.

  +-(1025)  

    Rather than registering sex offenders, the government has been wasting billions of dollars registering guns of law-abiding citizens. We need a comprehensive sex offender registry, tougher sentences for pedophiles, elimination of all legal loopholes for child pornography, a streamlining of the administrative process for convicting sex offenders and the prohibition of all adult-child sexual contact.

    In closing, I move:

    That the amendment be amended by adding: “and that the committee report back no later than April 5, 2004.”

+-

    The Speaker: The amendment is in order.

+-

    Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my colleague touched somewhat on a fact that is very disturbing to me, that there are pedophiles and child molesters who say there are parts of this legislation that they support. A responsible government should take note of that, find the section in the legislation that allows those creeps to find some benefit in the legislation, and make sure it is changed before it is passed into law.

    Time after time we have made suggestions to the government that would allow it to improve the legislation to make it stronger and to really send the message out that if offenders mess with our kids, they will pay a strong price. The present legislation does not do that.

    I would like my colleague to comment on the fact that there are parts of this legislation that the people who prey on our children actually support. What does he feel needs to be done to make the legislation stronger than it is?

  +-(1030)  

+-

    Mr. Gurmant Grewal: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in my speech, it was indicated in the House of Commons yesterday during question period, surprisingly by a Liberal member, who cited John Robin Sharpe as endorsing this bill. How shameless that a Liberal member would stand up and indicate that a notorious pedophile in this country endorses this bill. It indicates so clearly that the bill is good for pedophiles and not for victims and does not protect our children.

    Where is the defence for protecting our children? It is completely missing. The underlying cause is the government lacks the political will to protect children from pedophiles.

    There are many loopholes in the bill. Previously it was artistic merit and now the government would put in law the public good defence. How good is that public defence when it does not protect children from pedophiles, from child pornography, from sexual exploitation? How good is the public good defence? I cannot understand why the Liberal government is letting it go forward in this form.

    I have been watching since the new Prime Minister took power, after many years of backroom stabbing and manipulations, and he has not come forward with a single piece of his own legislation. He is recycling the legislation from the previous Liberal government.

    He has missed the opportunity to include in the law the amendments from the official opposition's thoughtful members. Time and again we have raised those issues in the House, to make the law tougher and make the sentences meaningful but the government has ignored us. The Prime Minister has chosen to ignore us again. He has missed that opportunity. The loopholes in the law will continue and people like John Robin Sharpe will continue to endorse the laws made by the weak and arrogant Liberal government.

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, does the member know, from media reports and other sources, whether in his part of the country there has been an escalation in that particular area?

    As members of Parliament we want to represent and defend for the common good our own constituencies, the interests of people in our own back yard, so to speak. The member has been a hardworking member of Parliament coming up on seven years now. I would specifically like to know whether on his part of the horizon there has been an escalation. Is the need for this legislation now more serious, amended as suggested by the Conservative Party of Canada?

+-

    Mr. Gurmant Grewal: Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely true that such heinous crimes have been increasing in our communities.

    In the city of Surrey, many children have been kidnapped. There are some famous cases where the kids have been even murdered. I do not want to name those children to respect the privacy of the families. It is certainly very painful to see that happen.

    The city of Surrey is considered, unfortunately, the auto theft capital of North America. Break and enters, gang violence, drug related violence and organized crime related violence have been escalating.

    One root cause is the government has not been giving enough resources to the law enforcement agencies. Today there are 4,200 fewer RCMP officers on our streets and highways than there were when the Liberals came to power in 1993. Moreover, last year the Canadian Police Association said that the RCMP needs an immediate infusion of $250 million into the system.

    The Canadian per capita average indicates that British Columbia would need 691 more police officers. In Surrey there is one police officer per 893 residents. In Vancouver there is one police officer per 400 people. On a per capita basis, we have just half the police officers.

    There are 75 vacancies in the RCMP in the city of Surrey alone. Those positions have been vacant for a very long time. Why? One underlying reason is that the Liberal government is not giving our law enforcement agencies enough resources.

    In addition to having fewer police officers, they have the highest number of files per police officer. In Surrey, RCMP officers each handle on average 126 files. We know what the result is from starving the RCMP of resources, officers and vehicles to patrol the streets. Naturally the response time after 911 calls is longer. Naturally there is a shortage of police officers on the street. Therefore crime is on the rise.

    We need to take action. I have been calling upon the weak and arrogant Liberal government time and again to do something about it. The Liberals have not done anything. With Bill C-12, the Liberals had another opportunity to make the legislation tougher to protect our children and they have failed.

  +-(1035)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise in this House to take part in this very important debate on Bill C-12.

[English]

    The bill is one which capsulates, and very much is intended to address, an extremely important issue, that being the proliferation and possession of child pornography in this country. I am very sad to say that the overwhelming feeling that I and many others, including the previous speaker, have been left with is that a huge missed opportunity is occurring within the pages of Bill C-12.

    While the bill attempts to address these critical matters of protecting children in the country, it falls far short. In its final analysis, it is described as a complex and cumbersome bill that will not make it easier to prosecute sex offenders and those who, in many cases, are sexual predators in our community who perpetrate the worst kind of violence on children: sexual abuse, which is tantamount in many situations to a life sentence of turmoil, of complex physical damage, of the type of impact on a person's life from which they never recover.

    The responsibility, obligation, upon members of Parliament, those in a position to address the situation, cannot be understated. Here we had a golden opportunity to do something about this egregious situation that is occurring on the streets, in small villages and towns and residences across the country.

    The controversy arising in one area of child pornography that came out of the now infamous John Robin Sharpe case, which went all the way up to our Supreme Court of Canada, and the difficulty that remains surrounding the definition of an artistic merit interpretation that was left by the courts allows for a dangerous and broad interpretation of a type of child pornography of which a person might be in possession. This statement not only has allowed but has left open the door for further proliferation of child pornography by individuals like John Robin Sharpe,

    There is an important distinction to be made between the types of defences that rely on an exception, if you will, to possession of certain types of materials. I want to be clear in defining that. The courts spoke of essentially three exceptions, artistic merit being one of them, which I personally and many members of the Conservative Party oppose. It also made way for educational, scientific or medical purposes. What we are talking about clearly is anatomy charts, instructional videos for educational purposes that depict a child in a certain fashion.

    All of those defences lumped in with artistic merit were, in essence, boiled down by the courts to a single defence of public good. That broad interpretation is what is so dangerous. The former justice minister in the wake of this decision came before the justice committee and essentially admitted that the broader definition of public good defence was still very much one which would leave open the possibility of a person possessing child pornography. He said, and I am quoting from his testimony at the justice committee:

    Artistic merit still exists in the sense that a piece of art will have to essentially go through the new defence of public good and through the two stages. Of course, the first question is always this. Does it serve the public good?

    That might be the first test, but that second broad category of artistic merit leaves open the possibility that an individual can possess or perpetrate or proliferate child pornography. A zero tolerance definition is needed. No one in any way, shape or form in this country should be encouraged or permitted to possess child pornography, full stop. Yet the bill leaves open that very real possibility. That is the Liberal answer to the John Robin Sharpe case.

    I am fearful that any backing away or watering down of a definition such as this will leave that danger out there for young people in this country. There is no excuse for not completely eradicating the flexibility that was left open by the Supreme Court.

  +-(1040)  

    That is not to say there are no other elements of the bill that do at least attempt to go further in securing the lives and the safety of children, and I will touch on that in a moment. The fundamental question in this debate must centre around the harm that could be caused to those who are most vulnerable, mainly children.

    Underlying this theme, we must give thought to the role of the court in the context of judicial policy making as it pertains to the supremacy of Parliament. We must show how this new legislation would eradicate child pornography in Canada within the context of the artistic merit defence. Bill C-12 comes up short. The legislation does not go far enough. It does not subject the country to the type of ironclad protections that should be available when it comes to protecting children.

    One of the often used defences when we see cases like this is that if we were to bring forward amendments in legislation to shut down any further interpretation there could be a constitutional challenge. Well, as sure as night follows day, in a matter like this there will be a constitutional challenge. If we get caught up in the constitutional constipation that we see constantly from the government, we will leave a lot of people vulnerable. On an issue as fundamental as the protection of children that is unacceptable.

    The government is letting down the country when it comes to leaving open interpretations such as artistic merit for child pornography. There is an inherent danger in society as a whole when we fail to recognize the detrimental effects of child pornography at a very basic level.

    The Charter of Rights and Freedoms does provide sufficient protection for freedom of thought and expression, and surely a common sense interpretation has to follow, but what constitutes a reasonable limit is central to the debate, the so-called Oakes test that applies when it comes to a clash of constitutional rights protected by the charter.

    The existing defences of child pornography are outlined in Bill C-12. Artistic merit is grouped in with educational, scientific or medical purposes. That is misleading and unacceptable. They are reduced to the public good definition. I have already referred to the justice minister's admission that the public good is still a wide open interpretation.

    In the R. v Sharpe case, the Supreme Court also briefly considered the defence of public good. The court found that the public good has been interpreted as “necessary or advantageous...the pursuit of science, literature, or art, or other objects of general interest”.

    What on God's green Earth does that mean? What are the general interests of somebody so sick as to go out and depict children in a sexual fashion?

    The court went on to say:

    It might be argued that the public good is served by possession of materials that promote expressive or psychological well-being or enhance one's sexual identity in ways that do not involve harm to others.

    Explicitly, child pornography harms children. The making of it, the depiction of children in a sexual fashion, harms children, harms society and tears the social fabric.

    The court went on to say:

    In some cases this might eliminate some of the more problematic applications of s. 163.1(4). For example, it might in certain cases foreclose the law's application to visual works created and privately held by one person alone, or to private recordings by adolescents of their lawful sexual activity. Nevertheless, the public good defence might not answer all concerns as to the law's breadth. Absent evidence of public good in the particular case, a person might still be convicted for possession of material that directly engages the value of self-fulfilment and presents little or no risk of harm to children. Thus, while the public good defence might prevent troubling applications of the law in certain cases, it would not do so in all.

  +-(1045)  

    That admission by the court underlines the problem of leaving the door even slightly open.

    We must speak with clarity and strength on the issue. We must call for the elimination of all defences that would justify the criminal possession of child pornography and call for legislation that would criminalize possession of child pornography. Of course the criminal possession of that material would not apply to those in the justice system who have it for the purpose associated with prosecution, for research or for studying the effects of exposure to child pornography, which is consistent with the court's definition of educational and scientific material.

    However I would underline again, for emphasis, the fact that through the bill the minister has left the matter open to interpretation by the courts, strikes at the very heart of what we are tasked with in this place.

    The intent of the bill should be, first and foremost, to protect children from all forms of exploitation, all forms of child pornography and all forms of sexual exploitation that, in many cases, documented, scientific, anecdotal and otherwise, lead to further abuse. That is something that we should be moving with quickness and with clarity to eradicate.

    Definitions of public good that are as vague as the resulting case law, in this case entrenched by the bill, would not leave courts with the sufficient objectivity to decide what is and what is not pornographic.

    I would argue strenuously, having appeared in numerous courts, that common sense would prevail and that the judges, given the opportunity to judge on its merits what constitutes child pornography, would find in every case, having run the gamut, that child pornography can be easily identified, and the purpose for which it is being used is the only defence. Allowing that definition of artistic merit to remain in the bill would open a very dangerous element to that interpretation.

    I ask rhetorically why the minister would want to leave that interpretation there. Why did the minister and the government wait so long to act? Why did we have to wait, in this instance, for the court to make that ruling?

    I know there will be a legion of lawyers lining up to use this defence and I know it will make its way through the courts again. If this bill becomes law, as a result of the flawed drafting that I see, it will very likely wind up back before this place again, so why would we not do it right the first time? Is that not really the goal here, to be efficient, to streamline legislation, to do it right in the first instance?

    As my colleague from Lakeland has indicated, that does not appear to be the way the government operates. It is always about waiting to see what the courts will do, or waiting to see what the polls crystallize around, and somehow keeping the political angle first and foremost in its mind. That is not the way a government should operate, particularly on an issue as fundamental as protecting children.

    This is an occasion where the government should act with strength, with leadership and with vision on something so fundamental that goes to the very bedrock of our society, protecting our most vulnerable citizens, the children of Canada.

    We are left with flawed legislation that could be fixed easily by removing this artistic merit loophole. My colleague from Surrey Central gave a very comprehensive and fact based speech in the House of Commons this morning. He spoke of the need to put resources into policing, the need to help some of the social services that are there, not only to help with the aftermath of violence and sexual exploitation, but to help prevent it. In the cases of policing, he spoke of the shocking figures that exist in some communities where they do not have enough resources for their police.

    

  +-(1050)  

    It is also a telling comment to know that the police do not support this bill. The police forces in Canada have found the bill wanting for some of the same reasons outlined by myself and my colleague from Surrey. They clearly recognize, as do others, the shortcomings.

    Similarly, child advocacy groups have found the bill wanting. They recognize that the bill would give no greater legal protection, nor would it assist in the prosecution of these cases.

    The bill should be about accountability and about taking steps to hold people to account when these atrocities occur, but further than that, it should also be about deterrence, about setting an example and about holding a person to account. Putting in place mandatory maximum sentences or raising the maximum sentence does not do that because there is no commensurate requirement for judges to follow that sentencing scheme.

    It sounds very impressive when we say that the maximum sentence will be jacked up, but there is no requirement in the bill for a judge to follow that recommendation. Mandatory minimums, on the other hand, would. They put in place a minimum sentence.

    I would suggest that when it comes to child sexual exploitation there is need for incarceration and for deterrents. Public protection should be first and foremost in the bill.

    On the issue of protecting children, I think we could get unanimity in this place if we were to recognize our responsibility to address anything that allows us to further protect society. I am therefore absolutely astounded that this legislation has left open this artistic loophole.

    If we were to step outside this bubble, this political world in which we live, and if we were talk to average Canadians, I think we would find that they too are stunned to find that we have missed an opportunity to protect our children. Why has the Liberal government failed to protect all children? Why did it not bring in a more strident and efficient bill? I cannot answer that question and it is a question that I find extremely troubling.

    The interpretation of what constitutes child pornography is something with which the courts are wrestling. Works of a nature that exploit children go against the very fabric of what is acceptable and what is moral in a just society. There can be no denial that there is a direct correlation between the machinations and fascinations of some demented individuals that would harm children and what is actually carried out or perpetrated. Why risk the potential danger when the collective will of the people would see any sort of material that would fall into that definition stricken from existence?

    In handing down the Sharpe decision in the first instance, Justice Shaw effectively broadened the interpretation that was there for the current exemption of that defence. Although the Supreme Court wrestled with it, it did not sufficiently close that definition.

    While it seems that the minister's lawyers have weighted the rights of the individual and the rights of the child, which is a clash I would say that should be certainly decided in favour of the child, we are once again left with a very mediocre attempt to correct what the Canadian public clearly recognizes is a serious problem. Yet the government is unprepared to step up to that challenge.

    By being unwilling to protect the rights of children, and by extension their families, I suggest the government might at the very least have taken the opportunity to present in the upcoming budget steps that would allow for the support of families, the support of policing units and the support of social services, and by that I mean certainly elevating the transfer payments that are there and fixing the fiscal imbalance.

    The Conservative Party has been very supportive of past and present laws that protect children, the law enforcement community, victims groups and child advocacy groups that are constantly tasked and struggling with a lack of resources and the overwhelming and, sadly, the increasing numbers of cases that involve children.

  +-(1055)  

    This is a sad day when we have legislation as fundamental, as critical as this and the opportunity seems to be slipping through our fingers. I ask rhetorically, why would the government present a flawed legislation on something as fundamental as this? Why do we not just do it right in the first instance? Let us fix the bill because we cannot support it in this flawed state.

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: The House will resume this debate with questions and comments for the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough. In the meantime, I would like to proceed to statements by members.


+-STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[S. O. 31]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Epilepsy Awareness Month

+-

    Hon. Shawn Murphy (Hillsborough, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House and all Canadians that March is Epilepsy Awareness Month.

    Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in Canada, affecting approximately 300,000 people or about 1% of the Canadian population. Each day in Canada an average of 38 people learn they have epilepsy. People of all ages are affected, particularly the very young and the elderly. A number of known factors can cause epilepsy, but in some cases a definite cause cannot be determined.

    Fortunately, epilepsy is often amenable to treatment through medication, through surgery and diet. Unfortunately, it can still be a life altering condition, especially when one has to contend with ongoing discrimination, insensitivity and misunderstanding of those around them about the disorder and its consequences.

    One of the primary concerns of persons affected is insufficient public awareness. That is why I would like to commend both Epilepsy Canada and the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance. Their mission it is to enhance the quality of life for persons affected through awareness and public education programs and medical research in this very important area.

    I thank them and their numerous volunteers for their dedication. I also wish them continued success in making a difference in the lives of those affected.

*   *   *

  +-(1100)  

+-Equalization

+-

    Mrs. Lynne Yelich (Blackstrap, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the formula used to calculate equalization payments is anything but equal or fair to the people of Saskatchewan. Constituents in my riding are angry. The province's energy revenues have been clawed back at a rate of more than 100%. The math does not add up.

    My province, already suffering from the economic effects of a declining population and the crisis in agriculture, will now see its equalization payment drop significantly. The finance minister says that the equalization program could not possibly fix all of Saskatchewan's financial woes. That is true. We have endured a decade of a failed socialist experiments at the provincial level. Even so, Saskatchewan should get what it deserves.

    The complicated formula used to justify this unbalanced tax back is up for renewal. This is the time to do it right for all of the provinces.

*   *   *

+-Angel Hair For Kids

+-

    Mr. Julian Reed (Halton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, today I would like to tell the House and all Canadians about a very special constituent. Megan Leonard, from my hometown of Norval, is six years old and has a big heart.

    Last year she watched a show about kids with cancer and learned that wigs can be made from donated hair. Right away she knew she wanted to donate to Angel Hair For Kids. She let her hair grow out and last Friday went to the salon and had her long hair cut off. Now she is sporting a cute pixie style cut.

    I would like Megan to know that no matter how beautiful her hair is, the beauty of her heart is even greater. Bravo to Megan, only six years old and making a real difference in the world.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Kidney Month

+-

    Mr. Jeannot Castonguay (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and all Canadians that March is Kidney Month.

    Kidney disease can strike anyone at any age. It is estimated that some 1.9 million Canadians have chronic kidney disease, and more than 3,000 of them die each year. Most of them do not even know they have kidney disease because the symptoms are silent.

    Over the last 10 years, medical research has made it possible to improve the success rate for kidney transplants to more than 85%. Nevertheless, the demand for organ transplants is much greater than the availability. The rate of organ donations in Canada is only 40%. We can all help by remembering to sign our organ donor cards.

    Increasing public awareness and encouraging organ donation are both integral parts of the Kidney Foundation of Canada's mission. I would like to congratulate the foundation, its volunteers, and its sponsors for the precious help and services they provide. I hope that Kidney Month will make people more aware of organ donations and other issues related to kidney disease.

    I ask everyone to sign their organ donor card today.

*   *   *

+-Women Parliamentarians

+-

    Hon. Eleni Bakopanos (Ahuntsic, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to three young Canadian women who are encouraging women to get involved in politics.

    Although the number of women serving in Canadian political institutions has increased over the past 20 years, women are still in the minority. Looking at the number of female parliamentarians in the world, we can see that Canada is a long way ahead of most other countries in participation by women. In a list of 181 countries, Canada ranks 37th in the world, with women occupying 21% of the seats in the House of Commons.

[English]

    Women bring a different character to the policy making process and should be encouraged to enter politics at every level.

    There are three young women right now who have a wonderful initiative called “Young Women Vote 2004: The 20,000 Project”. Their goal is to have 20,000 women between the ages of 18 and 30 sign a petition pledging to cast a vote in the federal election. Their initiative is grassroots and non-partisan.

    I want to congratulate Chi Nguyen, Crystal Graber and Cloe Rowbotham.

*   *   *

+-Canadian Wheat Board

+-

    Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I have always believed that the Canadian Wheat Board has marketing experts who do a pretty good job of marketing western Canadian farmers' wheat and barley. However, I am not so sure anymore. Although, the fault may lie with the board. Either way our farmers have lost a lot of money because of this.

    Adrian Measner admitted at the House of Commons agriculture committee yesterday that more than $7 a bushel net to farmers on farm was available in the fall of 2002, and the farmers received about $4 a bushel. It is unfortunate indeed that $3 was left on the table and lost to farmers at a time when farmers simply could not afford to lose that money.

    It is clearly time for farmers to be given a choice to market through the wheat board or not, as they choose. In any modern democracy this is an accepted right, a right which is allowed to all except western Canadian grain farmers. It is time for that to change.

*   *   *

  +-(1105)  

[Translation]

+-Employment Insurance

+-

    Mr. Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in my riding, thousands of people work in seasonal industries to earn their living. The fisheries, tourism, construction, agriculture and forestry are all industries that contribute a great deal to the economy in my province and our country.

    Unfortunately, the current employment insurance system does not recognize the variations in weekly working hours. Fish is a perishable resource and it is impossible to predict the catch size. Short work weeks can reduce employment insurance benefits for people in the fish processing industry who rely on this income.

    I am very pleased that the new Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development is open to our suggestions about how to correct the injustices of the current system. I thank, too, the Prime Minister for his commitment to this issue, which is so important to my riding.

*   *   *

+-Women of Ciudad Juarez

+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, since 1993 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, young women from poor families have been kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered. To date, more than 350 bodies have been found; 500 other women are still missing. For 10 years, these crimes have remained unpunished and women continue to disappear and be murdered.

    The Bloc Quebecois joins with the members of the Comité québécois de solidarité avec les femmes de Ciudad Juarez, women's groups and other groups in civil society in speaking out against macho attitudes and the trivialization of violence toward the women of Ciudad Juarez, the incompetency and corruption of local police and the numerous irregularities in the judicial process, and the terrible living and working conditions of women, particularly in the Mexican maquiladora.

    During International Women's Week, our sisters in Ciudad Juarez are very much in our thoughts.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Public Service

+-

    Mr. Eugène Bellemare (Ottawa—Orléans, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I wish to commend the thousands of career federal public servants for their commitment and dedication to public service.

    We rely on our public servants for services, security, protection, justice, inspection of food and pharmaceutical products, passports, pension cheques and health research, just to name a few.

    Public servants are highly trained people who care and who are devoted to serving Canadians in the various facets of their lives. Whenever or wherever the system breaks down in such a huge organization, we often forget about public servants who make sure that the system is fixed and that the Canadian public is well served.

    To all federal public servants, I wish to thank them for choosing a career in the public service, and for their dedication and professionalism.

*   *   *

+-Federal Election

+-

    Mr. Jim Gouk (Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, CPC): Mr. Speaker, like many of my colleagues I have just gone through a long nomination process to be choose to represent the Conservative Party of Canada in the upcoming election.

    I would like to thank all those who supported me and to congratulate my challenger for a well run campaign.

    Now I turn my attention to the challengers from other parties. I know the chosen Liberal candidate. He has his work cut out for him because he has to run with a severe handicap. He is running on the Liberal platform, whatever that is. He will have to explain why he is running for a party that has done so much against the values held dear by my constituents. He will also have to explain why he supports a party that has spread the culture of corruption not only throughout the party but indeed throughout much of the federal bureaucracy.

    The next election will finally dislodge the Liberals from their arrogant assumption that they have the right to govern. Governing is not a right; it is something that must be earned. The only thing the Liberals have earned is the public scorn for that culture of corruption.

    I encourage all our membership to get out and vote on March 20, and keep in mind, we are not just electing a new leader. We are electing the next Prime Minister of Canada.

*   *   *

+-Softwood Lumber

+-

    Hon. Scott Brison (Kings—Hants, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the maritime softwood lumber industry is unique in Canada. Seventy-five per cent of our softwood lumber production is generated from private lands, and there are no subsidy allegations from the United States against our product. There is no reason whatsoever that trade restrictions on maritime lumber should be included in any deal with the United States.

    Recently the Minister of International Trade was in my riding of Kings--Hants to meet with local softwood lumber producers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the president of Elmsdale Lumber Company, Robin Wilber, for hosting this important discussion.

    Mr. Wilber said in the local Weekly Press newspaper after that meeting:

    What we had was almost unheard of in this area. To have this much federal representation on the ground here in East Hants--it just doesn't happen every day. And what we accomplished was a much as we could have hoped for--assurance that the minister supports our position.

    The Minister of International Trade has listened to, understands and is defending the interest of maritime softwood lumber producers, and no deal without a clear exit to free trade for individual Canadian provinces will be acceptable to--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

*   *   *

+-Violence Against Women

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, immigrant and visible minority women in Canada, who experience domestic abuse, are condemned to suffer in silence, yet the government continues to ignore their plight.

    This week another study by the Canadian Council on Social Development underlined the acute need for culturally sensitive proactive services for abused immigrant and visible minority women, echoing previous UN criticism of the lack of federal leadership in this area.

    Instead of a comprehensive federally led effort to reach out to women in their own languages, women are faced with a patchwork of services that in many communities do not exist at all. This abandonment leaves it up to advocates for women and struggling immigrants to piece together an organized response to fill the void.

    One exciting example is in my own constituency of Winnipeg North where the Philippine and Laotian communities are working with the Mount Carmel Clinic to meet the needs in their communities and are addressing, with sensitivity, the serious matter of partner violence.

    That this responsibility still falls on victims of abuse and already overworked community organizations is appalling. We call on the government--

  +-(1110)  

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Verchères—Les-Patriotes.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Social Housing

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimates that a household is living in core need when it is paying 30% or more of its income for housing, heating and hydro.

    In Canada, it is estimated that over 800,000 households, including some 220,000 in Quebec, spend more than half of their income on housing, a situation that forces them to cut back on essentials such as food, clothing and medication.

    Currently, affordable social housing units are scarce. There is little availability in residences for low-income seniors, while single parent families are the ones that are experiencing the most serious housing problems.

    The Bloc Quebecois is asking the Prime Minister to show that social housing is a priority for him by immediately investing close to $2 billion annually. This is the amount that the federal government must pay to make up for its withdrawal, over the past 10 years, from that sector.

*   *   *

+- International Women's Week

+-

    Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, from March 7 to 13, we are celebrating International Women's Week. I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all the women around us and to recognize their role as mentors in our lives.

    This year's theme, “She's on a Role”, stresses women's role as models. These women have greatly contributed to helping us become who we are. The media have told us about Julie Payette and Louise Arbour, who are models whose achievements are a great source of pride.

    However, we must not forget the women who are inspiring us and guiding us on a daily basis. Many Canadian women have accomplished great things in their communities, in their countries and in the world, this in a variety of areas.

    While these women sometimes get little recognition for their efforts, they are remarkable examples of tenacity that should encourage young people to pursue their dreams, despite the obstacles and hurdles they may encounter along the way.

    Let us sincerely thank all the Canadian women who inspire us and who accompany us every day.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Justice

+-

    Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the tired Liberal government is recycling a Jean Chrétien piece of legislation and touting it as legislation to protect children.

    Bill C-12 does no such thing. Even Canada's most notorious pedophile thinks it is great. Why will the government not put teeth into the legislation so it will truly protect our children? Why will it not remove the loophole allowing for defence based on public good? There must be no defence for child molesters and pornographers.

    Why will it not raise the age of consent from 14 to 16 years of age and catch up to the rest of the western world? Why will it not increase mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of preying on our children? Harsher maximum sentences that are rarely levied are not a deterrent.

    Child molesters, pedophiles and the creeps who prey on our children support the legislation. It is obvious to me that it will take a Conservative government to put legislation in place that will send a clear message--do not mess with our kids.

*   *   *

+-South Vancouver Neighbourhood House

+-

    Ms. Sophia Leung (Vancouver Kingsway, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I participated in the opening of the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House. The newly renovated South Vancouver Neighbourhood House was a joint effort of the community, business and government sectors under the Canada-British Columbia infrastructure program.

    The new facility will provide day care for children, job and language training, a place for seniors to gather and new office space.

    I wish to congratulate the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House; Chris Friesen, Chairman of the Board and board members; Executive Director Karen Larcombe; and the many volunteers for their hard work to bring positive change to our community.

*   *   *

+-Turks and Caicos Islands

+-

    Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East, CPC): Mr. Speaker, since confederation of three provinces in 1867, Canada has grown to the ten provinces and three territories of today. Now, a bold new confederation opportunity is being proposed and should be explored.

    The Turks and Caicos Islands, standing at the doorway to the entire Caribbean and South American marketplace, is beckoning a formalized relationship with Canada. Full provincial status for the Turks and Caicos Islands would give Canada a greater expanded economic, political and trade influence in the Caribbean.

    The Turks and Caicos Islands, as Canada's 11th province, would also benefit greatly from the heightened Caribbean political influence as a major trader and transshipment port of Canadian goods and services.

    The Turks and Caicos Islands, Canada's confederation partner of the new millennium, would become a Canadian model of regional stability and prosperity. Those who share the boldness and vision of our fathers of Confederation think that the time for action is now.


+-ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

[Oral Questions]

*   *   *

  +-(1115)  

[English]

+-Sponsorship Program

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my question for the acting Prime Minister is a very direct one. Can he tell us whether he, in his capacity as a minister, expects his staff to act independently or on his instruction?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I expect my staff to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, consistent with all of their duties and obligations including all the relevant laws of the land.

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC): Mr. Speaker, clearly, the minister sidestepped the issue.

    The Prime Minister's two most trusted advisers, working under his direction in his office, were interfering with the awarding of advertising contracts, clearly outlined yesterday at committee. Their actions were the actions of their minister.

    Why did the Prime Minister interfere in 1995 and in the year 2004 refuses to take responsibility for his actions?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am afraid the hon. gentleman is muddling a number of things together.

    First of all, with respect to the memorandum from Ms. O'Leary, it is very clear that the memorandum calls for more competition, not less. It also refers to a relationship with the firm known as Everest which, in fact, was a relationship entered into by the previous Conservative government.

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC): More deception, Mr. Speaker.

    I want to quote from the committee yesterday where Allan Cutler, coming before the public accounts committee--and this is a perfect description of the Liberal government--said:

    Ethics and integrity seem to be minor considerations when it relates to advertising.

    He went on to say:

--I was asked to prepare and award contracts in circumstances which I considered questionable or improper.

    Why did the government hang it on bureaucrats when it was the Prime Minister himself, as finance minister, giving the instructions?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first of all, I admire the courage of Mr. Cutler and I wish him well in the testimony that he is giving. People coming forward in these circumstances to shed light on previously existing situations is exactly what was called for by the Prime Minister.

    There is nothing in the testimony that has been given by Mr. Cutler that would in any way relate directly to the Prime Minister or the former minister of finance.

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims to know nothing about the advertising scandal. However, the evidence we heard yesterday makes it very clear that he and his most trusted advisers were involved in the awarding of contracts that the Auditor General declared broke all the rules. In fact, Groupe Everest was singled out.

    Is it not time the Prime Minister admitted that he is directing or was directing his staff in awarding these contracts?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me again make the point that the advertising relationship with the firm known as Groupe Everest was entered into prior to the fall of 1993 by the previous Conservative government.

    It was an inherited circumstance and the finance minister and his office took steps at the earliest possible moment to complete the business and change the arrangement.

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC): Mr. Speaker, that only begs the question, why was the staff of the finance minister, now Prime Minister, directing and singling out that particular advertising agency, Groupe Everest? Ministerial staff does not freelance. Ministerial staff follows orders.

    How can the Prime Minister continue to deny that he knew nothing about the funnelling of tax dollars into Liberal pockets when his right hand and his left hand, his most trusted advisers, Littler and O'Leary, had their fingerprints all over this scandal?

  +-(1120)  

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, again, the hon. gentleman has things all inverted. He has trouble knowing which end of the telescope he is looking through.

    The memorandum referred to here is a memorandum from the department to Mr. Littler, not the other way around.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Allan Cutler, who had the courage to denounce what he found unacceptable, says that in November 1994 the political blessing was given to let all rules for awarding contracts drop by the wayside, and that was when public funds started to be diverted to the friends of the Liberal regime.

    Since the sponsorship scandal began in November 1994, that is two months after the Parti Quebecois was elected and as referendum fever was rapidly building, are people not entitled to know exactly what the Canadian unity fund concealed within the Prime Minister's budget was used for?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in relation to the reserve to which the hon. member is referring, the reserve existed at that time in the fiscal framework of the government. The current Prime Minister has not initiated any activities from that envelope. He has invited the Clerk of the Privy Council to look into that funding envelope and to make recommendations on how best to deal with it.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has acknowledged the existence of the national unity fund in his own budget. La Presse today reported that there was an envelope of $40 million concealed in this fund for 2002-03 alone. We do not know what the situation was prior to that.

    In order to give us a better overview, can the Prime Minister tell us how much as finance minister he allocated to the national unity fund from 1993 on?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the current Prime Minister has not made any use of that particular reserve. He has asked the President of the Privy Council to examine the matter and to make recommendations on how best to deal with that reserve for the future.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ): Mr. Speaker, what we want to know is how much has been spent since 1993. The secret national unity fund did indeed exist and benefited from a hidden budget of $40 million. It is impossible that, as finance minister with responsibility for budgets, he could not have been aware of this.

    So can the Prime Minister confirm to us that, from the time of his first budget, he authorized a secret fund, the existence of which was deliberately concealed from the public?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, the Prime Minister, upon becoming Prime Minister, has not made any use whatsoever of that particular reserve. He has asked for the appropriate professional advice from the public service in the person of the President of the Privy Council to determine how best to handle it from here on forward.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ): Mr. Speaker, for the information of the Minister of Finance, I would like to point out that the Prime Minister was finance minister for nine years.

    In budget after budget for those nine years, that is in nine budgets, the Prime Minister transferred considerable amounts to slush funds, thus becoming an accomplice to his predecessor, Jean Chrétien.

    How can the Minister of Finance claim that the arrival of his government and a new Prime Minister represents a change from the way things were during the Chrétien years, when his actions while in Finance prove he was in it up to his neck?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, the Prime Minister has not made any use of that fund and he is seeking advice from the public service in terms of how to dispose of it.

*   *   *

+-Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Liberal gravy train has just made another stop, this time to pick up another old corporate pal of the Prime Minister, Purdy Crawford. Mr. Crawford served with the Prime Minister on the board of Imasco and contributed $5,000 to his leadership campaign.

    It makes us wonder what we have to donate in order to get an appointment to the other place.

    Mr. Crawford has just been hired by the CPP investment board as, get this, an adviser on conflict of interest and ethics. Protect whistleblowers or protect a pal? It is a tough call. Why does the government not get it and break the mould for Liberal friendly ethics counsellors and the trough of Liberal patronage?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the hon. member really wishes to cast aspersions upon this particular individual, who was recommended not more than two years ago as Canada's chief executive officer of the year.

  +-(1125)  

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, one has to wonder, when will this path of appointing corporate conservative cronies to Liberal boards and commissions end?

    Canadians are demanding more and more that their pension funds be used for ethical investments, investments with no place for the scourge of tobacco companies. Mr. Crawford has been involved with the tobacco company Imasco since the early 1970s, as a board member with the Prime Minister and even as its CEO and president.

    How can we expect ethical, neutral advice from a staunch defender of tobacco investment and marketing? Is the CPP Investment--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Finance.

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there are of course established guidelines for dealing with investment issues of this kind.

    I would also point out that if the hon. member wants to be critical of appointments, she might want to be critical of one of our advisers on municipal matters, which of course is Mr. Harcourt, and of one of our previous advisers on health care, which of course was Mr. Romanow.

    The government obviously tries to seek the best advice it can. That includes, from time to time, New Democrats.

*   *   *

+-Sponsorship Program

+-

    Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC): Mr. Speaker, over the last 10 years public servants have come and gone and public works ministers have come and gone, but one person remained in control. That person is the present Prime Minister. He ran the finance department with an iron fist as it handed out these bogus contracts. He sat on Treasury Board even while his own department bent the rules. How can Canadians be expected to swallow the line that he did not know?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Again, Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is relying on a hodgepodge of information to draw some inappropriate conclusions. The memorandum from Ms. O'Leary was clearly an argument for more competition, not less competition. The firm that the hon. gentleman and his party are complaining about, Groupe Everest, was in fact originally contracted by the Conservative Party, not the Liberal Party.

+-

    Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC): Mr. Speaker, 10 years and they kept the ad company that ran off the rails. Something had to change and the Liberals did not do it.

    Throughout those last 10 years of Liberal mismanagement, there has been one common thread weaving in and around the scandals, the corruption and the waste, and that one thread is the present Prime Minister. That hodgepodge of evidence the finance minister talks about points to him, and it is mounting. What will the excuse of the day be now that the Prime Minister's line, he did not know, has been shown to be a serious nose-stretcher?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would point out that the Prime Minister's career in public life is a very well known career for Canadians. It is a career that is applauded by Canadians. It is supported by the vast majority of Canadians, even to the point when the pollsters asked members of the Conservative Party who was best able to lead the country, they said this Prime Minister.

+-

    Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's career is becoming better known every day. The Prime Minister said he knew nothing about ad scam until 2002. The truth is that in 1995 he was told by Treasury Board, of which he was vice-chair, by the way, to stop breaking the rules in awarding contracts.

    Months later, his staff were still breaking the rules. Ministerial staff simply do not wing it on their own. They follow orders. Why did the Prime Minister continue to break the rules and dole out contracts to his political friends?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I presume the hon. gentleman is referring to some comments that have been attributed to Monsieur Guité. I would point out to the hon. gentleman that the finance department disputed those allegations back in 1995 and continues to dispute them.

+-

    Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the common thread through all of this political mess and all this corruption is the current Prime Minister. He was told in 1995 by the Treasury Board, of which he was chair, to stop breaking the rules.

    Why did the Prime Minister ignore these demands of Treasury Board, continue to break the rules and continue to hand out contracts to his political friends?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there was a set of rules put in place in the early 1990s with respect to contracting procedures, which had to do, if the hon. gentleman is familiar with the details, with the old appendix Q to the government procurement regulations and so forth.

    Throughout my investigation of those matters, I determined that the procedures laid out deserved to be strengthened. In fact, that strengthening took place during the course of 2002 and 2003 to revise the rules. Prior to that, all of the evidence before me would suggest that the Minister of Finance complied with all of the obligations upon him.

  +-(1130)  

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Jean Chrétien was prepared to do anything for the sake of national unity, even commit fraud and divert public funds. It seems the Chuck Guité approach was used in the flag campaign as well. We have learned that a flag maker, who is also the federal Liberal Party president in British Columbia, told the federal MPs of that province that rules were being violated.

    Can anyone on the other side of the House deny that British Columbia MPs did nothing even though they knew what was going on?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the flag challenge to which the hon. member refers was something that the government undertook at a time when many questions were being raised about our national unity.

    Having said that, let me say that the government is examining the files and, like any other advertising contracts, investigations are underway to ensure that if any wrongdoing occurred, people will be held to account. If money was paid inappropriately, it will be returned to the taxpayers of Canada.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Ms. Braverman personally phoned the Prime Minister, who was the finance minister at the time, to inform him of the situation. Once again, he chose to wash his hands of it, claiming that the flag campaign was the then heritage minister's responsibility.

    Can the Prime Minister deny that he too did nothing?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is an issue to deal with advertising. We have a number of processes underway that are looking at any aspect of the Auditor General's report dealing with sponsorship, advertising or public opinion research. The public accounts committee is looking into these issues.

    The opposition cannot have it both ways. When a Commons committee does good work they just blame it on a government majority on the committee, but they try to take credit for it whenever it comes up other information. The government is being open with committees, it is being open with the Canadian public--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Argenteuil--Papineau--Mirabel.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has made a solemn appeal to all those who knew something about the sponsorship scandal, asking them to come forward and speak about it publicly. Yet, when Liberal supporters write to him or phone him to denounce dubious practices, he does nothing.

    How does the Prime Minister expect us to take him seriously when he invites those who knew something to talk, but when notified, did nothing and washed his hands of it?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, far from washing his hands, the Prime Minister has launched the most comprehensive process ever undertaken to make sure that this matter is thoroughly ventilated, all the facts are known, the trail is followed to wherever it leads, and the appropriate consequences ensue. The Prime Minister has been very open, transparent and definitive in dealing with this matter and Canadians recognize that.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is not credible. Would the Prime Minister not have been better off following Mr. Cutler's lead and, instead of washing his hands of it as he did, showing courage and transparency and denouncing the sponsorship scandal, rather than condoning it through his silence?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, without commenting on the detail, of course the government applauds the courage of Mr. Cutler.

*   *   *

+-National Defence

+-

    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Financial Administration Act limits the signing authority for public servants at the Department of National Defence. Anything over $250,000 must go to Public Works. How could one person have signing authority for $160 million?

+-

    Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the employee being referred to obviously had no authority to sign contracts that were not authorized by the lead contract with Hewlett-Packard. If something was done of a criminal nature, the RCMP are investigating it to find out. The particular employee has been fired. The investigations and audits continue.

+-

    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC): Mr. Speaker, only the minister--

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

+-

    The Speaker: Order, please. I do not know how the member for Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke is able to hear the answer. I can hardly hear it and I think the hon. members who are yelling could not possibly hear it.

    If we are going to have multiple answers from all sides of the House we will change the rules, but the rules are that one person asks a question and one person answers. The minister had the floor and now we have the member for Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke who has the floor. Perhaps we could have a little order.

  +-(1135)  

+-

    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant: Mr. Speaker, only the minister could approve an expenditure of this size. Has the minister plugged the loophole that allowed a single individual to sign off on $160 million of taxpayers' money?

+-

    Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I think that what the hon. member does not understand is that this was not one single contract for $160 million but a series of small contracts being dealt with. The thing to keep in mind as well is that there is a forensic audit going on and that the RCMP is also looking into this. As well, there may be further disciplinary action forthcoming.

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC): Mr. Speaker, yesterday this government said the theft was, and I quote, “a very sophisticated criminal scheme”, and that is why it went undetected by the Liberals for years.

    When it comes to keeping track of tax dollars, it seems that this Prime Minister is so incompetent he makes Inspector Clouseau look like Sherlock Holmes. Why did someone, anyone, not get suspicious when DND employee Paul Champagne was living in a mansion, with a gym, an indoor pool and a tennis court, on billionaires' row? Did anyone think to ask him how he could afford all that on a director's salary?

+-

    Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, a forensic audit is going on. The RCMP is looking into this matter. There are a lot of details that will be forthcoming, in terms of the actions that are taken subsequently. I fully expect that this matter will end up in the courts. At that point, a lot of information will come forward.

    However, I go back to the point that we cannot jump to any sort of conclusions, with respect to the final outcome of this. Let us let the process work.

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC): Well, thank you, Inspector Clouseau. Paul Champagne was a director--

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

+-

    The Speaker: I think the hon. member meant to address the Chair. I do not see the inspector in the room. I am sure he would want to address his remarks to the Chair. I hope he was not suggesting that I am somehow Inspector Clouseau.

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill: Thank you, Inspector Speaker.

    Paul Champagne was a director at the Department of National Defence, a middle-management position. It is incomprehensible, even I might add unbelievable for an incompetent Liberal government, that any bureaucrat could single-handedly sign off on $160 million of taxpayer money.

    Why did no one take the time to investigate whether Paul Champagne had won a lottery or made a killing on the stock market, as he claimed? Was it because there were so many Liberals at the trough that they did not notice Paul Champagne living high on the hog?

+-

    Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member may be prepared to jump to all sorts of conclusions here, but there is some fairly serious work being done with respect to this, his joking aside. I would urge the hon. member, and the opposition as a whole, to wait for the results. This thing will be settled.

    From the standpoint of the government's position, we feel very confident that the eventual outcome will support our version of the facts.

*   *   *

+-Public Works and Government Services

+-

    Mr. Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the superannuation directorate of PWGSC is located in Shediac, New Brunswick. For over 20 years, these dedicated and hard-working public servants have managed public service pension benefits.

    In recent weeks, concern about possible privatization, outsourcing or public-private partnerships has worried these great government employees.

    What assurances can the minister give us about the future of the superannuation directorate and its future modernization?

+-

    Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for the excellent question. I would also like to thank the employees of the superannuation directorate in Shediac for their continued hard work in ensuring that the pension system runs smoothly.

    I can tell the hon. member that there are no plans for the privatization or outsourcing of those dedicated employees in Shediac. In fact it is quite the opposite. The superannuation directorate is being confronted with excellent training opportunities as part of the modernization of the public service.

*   *   *

+-Child Benefits

+-

    Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Social Development. Nova Scotia has the lowest number of subsidized day care spaces in the country. Two non-profit day cares have closed in Halifax and Dartmouth in the last month, leaving 100 families scrambling for child care. The situation in B.C. and Ontario and Quebec is no better.

    There is no accountability for the federal dollars that have been transferred to the provinces. In Halifax and Dartmouth, subsidized day cares will see an increase of only $11 a month instead of the $11 a day that they need.

    Today's families want to know this. When will this government commit to a national day care program and enforce national standards to help families in need?

  +-(1140)  

+-

    Hon. John McCallum (Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speak, the Government of Nova Scotia, like all provinces and territories, has jurisdiction over how it invests in child care. I understand that Nova Scotia officials are willing to meet with the child care operators to discuss their concerns.

    Nova Scotia currently receives $15 million annually for early childhood development and $25 million for early learning in child care. I understand the minister will be speaking soon to her Nova Scotia counterparts on this matter.

*   *   *

+-Post-Secondary Education

+-

    Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NDP): Mr. Speaker, under previous Conservative and now current Liberal governments, post-secondary tuition in this country has more than tripled and students and their families are suffering under an increasing debt load.

    My question for the finance minister is quite clear. Will the next budget offer significant relief for our students and their families or will this government continue to pull a “Bertuzzi” on our students?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to travel across the country in January and I consulted with Canadians about their prebudget expectations. I can tell the hon. gentleman that in every one of those round table sessions, education was indicated as a major concern and priority for Canadians. They also emphasized that the critical issue was access. While I cannot scoop myself, I think I will leave the answer right there.

*   *   *

+-Sponsorship Program

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims he did not know about ad scam. That is the old ignorance defence. Everybody else seemed to know. Treasury Board officials knew, Privy Council officers knew and certainly his Liberal friends on the gravy train knew. His most trusted senior staff, we have learned knew, and they do not act on their own. Perhaps he just did not want to know. The Prime Minister is on the wrong side of common sense here.

    When will he realize that the Canadian public is just not buying this?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, everything the Prime Minister has said and done, both as Prime Minister and in his previous capacities, indicates complete honour and probity in public life. Any allegation to the contrary is totally malicious.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the list of subjects that the Prime Minister claims not to know anything about grows longer by the day. The billion dollar HRDC boondoggle, “I did not know”. The billion dollar gun registry, “Who me?” Now we have the hundred million dollar ad scam scandal and $160 million in DND contracts. It just keeps going.

    Billions of dollars have been thrown away under his watch, which begs the question, how can the Prime Minister really expect Canadians to believe that anyone could know so little about so much?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman reminds me of the adage that one is taught in law school. When one is weak on both the law and the facts, all one can do is pound the table. There is a lot of table pounding going on here.

    Again, I refer to the documents to which the people across the floor are referring. The memo from Ms. O'Leary was about more competition, not less competition. The memo with respect to Mr. Littler was to him, not from him. They have inverted all of the evidence completely on its head and have come up with a mismatch.

*   *   *

+-Justice

+-

    Mr. Chuck Cadman (Surrey North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, today's Vancouver Province newspaper states:

    We say it's time politicians passed Surrey North MP['s]...bill to make street racing an aggravating factor in sentencing.

    The media and the public want Parliament to act on Bill C-338. The House has shown support by sending the bill to the justice committee, but we all know time is running out on this Parliament. It is time to deter this irresponsible criminal behaviour.

    Will the minister show some leadership by supporting Bill C-338 so it can become law before an election is called?

+-

    Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the matter has been referred to the committee, as my hon. colleague has mentioned, and that matter is now before the committee for examination.

+-

    Mr. Chuck Cadman (Surrey North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this week in Surrey an 18 year old who has already had his licence suspended twice lost control of his car at 140 kilometres per hour. He smashed a bus shelter, injuring 71 year old Sarjeet Dhillon. Everything points to yet another tragic result of a street race. Spring will bring an increase in racing with nothing more than house arrest for those who injure or kill.

    Bill C-338 sends a message to the courts to treat these crimes more seriously. The minister could pass it in a day. Why will he not support it?

  +-(1145)  

+-

    Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, because this minister respects the approach to the democratic process and parliamentary review legislation, to which it has been referred.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Airline Industry

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Air Canada is preparing to cancel the purchase of 15 Bombardier regional jets and go with Embraer instead.

    Can the government assure us that the Minister of Industry will intervene with Air Canada so that its choice will produce the maximum possible benefit for Quebec's aeronautics industry?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Gurbax Malhi (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Air Canada has indicated that it may change its strategy regarding the purchase of Bombardier regional aircraft. The government recognizes how important the Air Canada purchase is to Bombardier and the Canadian aerospace industry.

    We are continuing to review the request for the sales financing support. Any decisions will be made with consideration to the Government of Canada priorities and with the utmost respect for public funds.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, can the government assure us that it will act quickly and not give Air Canada any excuse to buy elsewhere? Is it going to let Embraer boast that it outsmarted Bombardier even with Air Canada?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Gurbax Malhi (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, we are continuing to review the request for the sales financing support. Any decision will be made with consideration to all Government of Canada priorities and with the utmost respect for public funds.

*   *   *

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the government continues to add to the democratic deficit. Due to objections from China, democratic Taiwan has been denied World Health Organization status.

    Last spring Parliament passed an opposition motion that called for Canada to support the admission of Taiwan as an observer at the World Health Organization.

    Why is the government refusing to support Taiwan at the World Health Organization?

+-

    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, because we have discussed this many times before, participation in the World Health Organization requires the support of all members of the World Health Organization.

    We have told the Taiwanese government, and many others have done, and offered complete help for World Health Organization issues through other means. We inform and participate with the government of Taiwan. We recognize their legitimate interest in these issues. We wish to work with them, but we cannot control completely ourselves what happens in other international organizations.

+-

    Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this is the same tired anti-Taiwan mantra that the minister used nine months ago in the House and failed to convince his own caucus members who supported the opposition motion to support Taiwan's application for observer status.

    The democratic deficit continues. How can the government justify ignoring the expressly stated will of Parliament?

+-

    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, sometimes the expressed will of politicians runs up against some hard facts which they cannot change. This happens to be one of them.

    In this case we cannot change the WHO by ourselves. To suggest that we are anti-Taiwan is completely erroneous. The fact of the matter is the House, the members of the House, all of us wish to work with the Taiwanese government and the Taiwanese people to ensure that they get the best health organization help they can.

    We are doing that, and we are working through the international channels that we can. We support their ability and their wishes to have good health organization information. We will continue to do that.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Agriculture

+-

    Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

    It has now been one year since our country was struck by mad cow disease. One of my constituents recently told me that he had sent 13 cows to the abattoir and received $882 for them, instead of the $10,000 he would have got a year ago, and, in one very tragic instance, a cheque of $2.01 for 2 animals.

    What is the government prepared to do to help farmers in my riding and elsewhere?

  +-(1150)  

[English]

+-

    Hon. Mark Eyking (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell for asking that important question. Being a big promoter of the dairy industry in the House, he knows the effect BSE has had on farms and farm families.

    We are taking many approaches. One is to get the border open. The other one is to roll out financial programs. One of those financial programs is the cull cow program, a $120 million program. We also recently removed the slaughter requirement from that program to get more money to producers and in their hands more quickly.

*   *   *

+-Natural Resources

+-

    Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, CPC): Mr. Speaker, there is a growing consensus of unfairness in how the federal government deals with the provinces in relation to resource development.

    The Minister of Natural Resources has alluded to the fact that government will bring the Atlantic accord in line with the accord's fundamental commitment to give prime benefits to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Is this the policy of government and, if so, will the Deputy Prime Minister stand and confirm this will be done before the election call?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in a conversation some months ago with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Prime Minister indicated that these were matters that needed to be carefully examined and re-examined.

    The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador can rest assured that this is going to be done.

+-

    Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this uncertainty is no way to grow an economy. If we were dealing with the old German currency, we would have a flat mark.

    When will the Minister of Natural Resources live up to his commitments? When will he stop ducking the issues and when will he put his money where his mouth is?

+-

    Hon. R. John Efford (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in my almost 20 years in politics, I have never ducked any issue and the hon. member opposite knows that very well.

    As the Minister of Finance just answered, we have taken it under consideration. We have had discussions with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and we are not to be put on any timetable by the member opposite.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Fisheries

+-

    Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Quebec and New Brunswick governments have signed an agreement to develop a joint strategy and thereby avoid a repetition of last year's crisis in the crab fishery. That crisis affected 3,000 workers in Canada, including 1,000 in the Gaspé. These two governments are doing more than their share.

    Given that it will be crab fishing season very soon, will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans accept his responsibilities by tabling his plan for the snow crab fishery without further delay?

+-

    Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the department is currently considering all fisheries management methods, including for snow crab. The plan will be announced in due course.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Agriculture

+-

    Hon. David Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

    Yesterday I spoke to packers in the United States who told me that they are laying off 100 employees soon because they do not have access to live cattle from Canada.

    Thousands and thousands of families on both sides of the border depend on that border being opened. Does he have any words of encouragement for Canadians on that?

+-

    Hon. Mark Eyking (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Edmonton Southeast for his question.

    I had the pleasure meeting with some of his farmers last month and they told me their concerns. One of the things that they want to see is the border opened. The Prime Minister and the government is working to open that border.

    I would like to commend members on this side of the House and across the floor who will be going to Washington next week to talk to the Americans about opening the border. It would be good for both countries if the border were open.

*   *   *

+-Sponsorship Program

+-

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

    Michel Vennat and André Ouellet have been suspended as presidents of crown corporations. They were given to March 1 to explain themselves. I understand they met with the President of the Treasury Board. Mr. Ouellet, I understand, is coming to committee to testify.

    I have two questions. First, is Michel Vennat coming to testify to Parliament? Second, on what fixed date will a decision be taken on whether these suspended officials will be fired?

+-

    Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will take that question under advisement and provide an answer next week.

    There is an ongoing investigation and consideration of the facts. We will carry through with the investigations that are underway and provide that information, but also take action on these files as soon as it is appropriate.

*   *   *

  +-(1155)  

+-Health

+-

    Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it has come to light that in 1981 the Canadian Red Cross and Health Canada knew of a test that could have prevented the transmission of hepatitis C through blood transfusions.

    They chose to do nothing. As a consequence thousands of innocent Canadians, including my constituent, Allan Blumenfeld, contracted hepatitis C.

    Why has the Prime Minister not done the right thing and reopened the compensation package for those infected prior to 1986?

+-

    Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government is very sensitive to the people who are living with hepatitis C. The government has committed $525 million for individuals infected with hepatitis C before 1986 and after 1990.

    In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments this commitment will help ensure that individuals infected with hepatitis C do not incur out-of-pocket expenses.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Taiwan

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, almost one year ago, the House of Commons adopted a motion to support Taiwan's application for observer status in the World Health Organization. At the time, this motion was of an urgent nature, because the Asia-Pacific region had just been hit by SARS.

    Given that almost an entire year has passed, and now bird flu is hitting that same part of the world, why is the Minister of Foreign Affairs still refusing to intervene with WHO member states so as to facilitate Taiwan's application for observer status in this organization, even if it means changing the organization's bylaws.

+-

    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my answer is the same as to the previous question. The member knows perfectly well that the organization's bylaws are what will pose a problem. The entire international community must approve in order to change an international organization's bylaws.

    Instead, in Canada—because we intervened on behalf of Taiwan—we are working with the Government of Taiwan to ensure it has all the information it needs to respond to the health crisis affecting its citizens. That is what we are doing.

    There is a practical solution to this problem, not the ideological solution the opposition member would have us adopt.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Taxation

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, another tax season is going by and still the government refuses to plug the outrageous tax loophole where businesses can write off fines as tax deductions. Does it not see how fundamentally wrong this is? Has the Liberal Party completely lost its ability to tell right from wrong? This situation is offensive to the sensibilities of any thinking Canadian.

    My question is for the finance minister. By what warped reasoning does he continue to give tax breaks for breaking the law?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, hon. members will know that this is not the first time that the hon. gentleman has raised this matter. In response to him on previous occasions, I have indicated that I would take his question as a representation, as part of my consultations with Canadians.

    Obviously, if there is something to be said on this matter, it would have to be said a week from Tuesday.

*   *   *

+-Health

+-

    Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, CPC): Mr. Speaker, when the government decided to compensate only the victims infected between 1986 and 1990, it claimed that earlier infections were not preventable and that nothing could have been done to protect transfusion recipients before 1986. Now we know that this travesty was preventable and there was a test, yet the government still refuses to administer justice.

    Why has the Prime Minister not shown compassion for the suffering and the dying?

+-

    Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Health, the government has shown great compassion and has great compassion for those suffering with Hepatitis C. In fact, as I indicated earlier, it has committed $525 million for individuals infected with this grave disease.

    In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, the government will help to ensure that these victims do not incur out-of-pocket expenses. The government is very compassionate to those concerned.

*   *   *

  +-(1200)  

[Translation]

+-Canadian National Railway

+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, CN employees have been on strike for roughly 20 days now and, according to the union, the employer has hired scabs from the United States in order to maintain operations.

    Will the Minister of Labour commit to ending this unacceptable situation immediately, and can she tell us what solutions she intends to put forward?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Judy Sgro (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for the question. Our policy is quite clear. We do not issue work permits to illegal strikebreakers.

*   *   *

+-Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

+-

    Mr. Greg Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the president of ACOA has been out on the lecture circuit promoting a Liberal Party document called “The Rising Tide”. She has clearly stepped outside her bounds as president of ACOA. She should be neutral, supporting all members of Parliament and all parties.

    Has the minister spoken to the president to cease that type of action and will he ask her for an apology to all parties in the House and all citizens. She is clearly outside her bounds.

+-

    Hon. Joe McGuire (Minister of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the deputy minister of ACOA was merely doing her job as deputy minister. She is speaking out on government policy. The implementation of ACOA policies is her mandate, and is my mandate. She is simply doing what I have asked her to do.

+-

    The Speaker: I am afraid that terminates question period today. I would like to point out to all hon. members that we got in six extra questions today which is the first time this week. Is it because members were relatively quiet? But the questions and answers were all very short. Congratulations.


+-ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

*   *   *

[English]

+-National Defence

+-

    Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons and on behalf of the Government of Canada, I have the pleasure to table, in both official languages, two copies of the government's response to the recommendations contained in the standing committee's 23rd report based on chapter 7 of the April 2003 report of the Auditor General of Canada: “National Defence—Environmental Stewardship of Military Training and Test Areas”.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Parliament of Canada Act

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-24, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act.

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

+-

    The Speaker: When shall the bill be read a second time?

[English]

    Pursuant to order made Thursday, March 11, 2004, later this day.

+-

    Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I have no intention to prevent the introduction of this bill in the House of Commons, but I wonder by what process was there deemed to have been consent given to adoption at first reading.

    Was it on the basis of consultation with House leaders? If that was the case, why was there not consultation with members of the House who are not affiliated with parties recognized by the House?

  +-(1205)  

+-

    The Speaker: First reading of a bill does not require consent from anyone. I am assuming the right hon. member means the motion in respect of second reading of the bill which is to take place later this day by special order adopted yesterday, which no doubt the right hon. member has seen in the Journals of yesterday.

    However, perhaps someone else can answer the question as to who was consulted. Like the hon. member, I hear about these things when they are presented in the House.

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is a process that is perfectly normal. Meetings are held every week with all the leaders of the recognized parties in this House. There was an agreement between the party leaders. This agreement requires consent of the House. I have sought consent for the motion to telescope the entire process for this bill.

    I cannot comment on the presence or absence of members in this House, but all those present could object if they wanted.

[English]

+-

    Right Hon. Joe Clark: Mr. Speaker, I accept and thank you for your correction as to procedural matters. I should have raised the issue at another point.

    However, the matter I think is germane. There was an action taken and at the very least, I would ask the House to consider its implications. There was an action taken that presumed to achieve the agreement of all of the members of the House, but it was taken as the result only of consultations with House leaders who are authorized to speak in the name of members who belong to parties recognized as official parties in the House and who have House leaders.

    There was no consultation in that process, a matter requiring the unanimous consent of the House, as I understand it. There was no consultation with a number of members of the House, myself included, who are not affiliated with parties recognized in the House.

    I anticipate that a point will be made that I am raising this point with respect to this bill a day too late in the process, and I accept that. Nonetheless, there is an issue of principle here that relates to the rights of members of Parliament, particularly those of us who are designated as independents. I would like some guarantee that attention will be given to resolving this issue.

    I am a member of the House of Commons duly elected here. There are others in my situation for whom House leaders do not speak. There cannot be unanimous consent without our consent. Therefore, a procedure must be found to ensure that this reality is respected and reflected.

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada: Mr. Speaker, the meetings held between the leaders of the parties in the House are not binding in nature. The only thing that makes agreements reached there binding is the power conferred upon us by the House, or in other words that which the motion confers in this House. Here in this House, all members have the right to speak.

    The motion was tabled in the House yesterday, and all those present were able to speak.

    I see this desire to debate retroactively as rather dubious. I do not see that there is anything that needs correcting.

[English]

+-

    The Speaker: I am afraid I do not either. I think we have gone as far as we can.

    The motion got unanimous consent in the House yesterday. If the right hon. member or any other member of the House had concerns about the motion at that time, then obviously consent could have been refused. It was not. It was passed, so we are stuck with the rule now.

    I urge the right hon. member to have a chat with the government House leader at his convenience to pursue the matter further, but I think from the point of view of the House we ought to get on with the order of business here today.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Committees of the House

+Procedure and House Affairs

+-

    Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will be tabling two reports. First, I have the honour to present the ninth report of the Standing Committee of Procedure and House Affairs regarding the associate membership of certain committees of the House.

    With leave of the House, I intend to move concurrence in the ninth report later this day.

    Second, I have the honour to present the tenth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding its order of reference of Wednesday, February 18, regarding Bill C-3, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act.

    The committee has considered Bill C-3 and has agreed to report it with amendments.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Aboriginal Affairs, Northern Development and Natural Resources

+-

    Mr. Rick Laliberte (Churchill River, Lib.): [Editor's Note: Member spoke in Cree]

    (English)

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the first report of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, Northern Development and Natural Resources regarding the order of reference of Thursday, February 12, Bill C-11, an act to give effect to the West Bank First Nations Self-government Agreement.

    The committee has considered Bill C-11 and reports the bill with amendments.

*   *   *

  +-(1210)  

[Translation]

+-Procedure and House Affairs

+-

    Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, with leave of the House, I move:

That the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier this day, be concurred in.

[English]

+-

[Translation]

    The Speaker: The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)

*   *   *

[English]

+-Petitions

+-Labelling of Alcoholic Beverages

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table five petitions.

    Canadians are very concerned about the lack of action by the government in response to the private member's bill passed almost unanimously in the House, that being legislation to require warning labels on all alcoholic beverage containers. They are appalled and concerned that at a time when we need such warning labels, the government has chosen not to act. They call upon Parliament to remind the government of its obligations and to do what is in the best interests of all Canadians.

*   *   *

+-Marriage

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I have a whole stack of petitions here. The petitioners are calling upon Parliament to recognize in federal law the time honoured definition of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

    The petitioners are from different parts of Canada and they add to the tens of thousands of signatures already tabled in the House about marriage, that most basic building block of society.

*   *   *

+-Income Tax Act

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of other petitions, and with your indulgence I will quickly present them now.

    In this petition, residents of Canada want to draw attention to the fact that there is a loophole in the Income Tax Act in that businesses in Canada are able to deduct from business income, for tax purposes, fines and penalties imposed upon them in respect to environmental laws, consumer protection laws, workplace safety laws, and so on.

    They are calling upon Parliament to immediately enact legislation amending the Income Tax Act to prohibit the deduction of all fines and penalties from business income for tax purposes. They do not want those fines to be simply a cost of doing business.

*   *   *

+-Child Pornography

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I also present a petition in regard to the matter of child pornography. The petitioners draw to the attention of the House the fact that the creation and the use of child pornography is condemned by the clear majority of Canadians and that the courts have not applied the current child pornography law in a way which makes it clear that such exploitation of children will always be met with swift punishment.

    Therefore the petitioners call upon Parliament to protect children by taking all necessary steps to ensure that all materials which promote or glorify pedophilia or sado-masochistic activities involving children be forthwith outlawed.

*   *   *

+-Questions on the Order Paper

+-

    Hon. Scott Brison (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Canada-U.S.), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

+-

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.


+-Government Orders

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Parliament of Canada Act

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.) moved that Bill C-24, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

    He said: Mr. Speaker, today, I have the honour of addressing Bill C-24, which seeks to amend the Parliament of Canada Act to allow retired parliamentarians who are between 50 and 55 years of age to benefit from the Public Service Health Care Plan, the Pensioners’ Dental Services Plan and the Public Service Management Insurance Plan established by the Treasury Board. The terms and conditions would be the same as those that apply to retired public servants aged 50 to 55.

    With this legislation, all parliamentarians who are entitled to a pension will be able to get coverage under these medical plans beginning at age 50, just like public servants.

    To benefit from such coverage, eligible parliamentarians would have to pay the required contributions, as is the case for other retired parliamentarians and public servants who are collecting a pension.

    This measure bridges an important gap for parliamentarians aged 50 to 55 who are not yet eligible for pension.

[English]

    The second part of the bill deals with the disability allowance for parliamentarians over 65 years, which was established in 2001 to provide coverage on the same basis as that available for parliamentarians under 65. Since then, it has been brought to the government's attention that the authority for medical plan coverage for parliamentarians receiving a disability allowance is not clear. The bill clarifies this situation.

    The bill would come into force on January 1, 2001, consistent with other changes applicable to parliamentarians at that time.

    I would like to conclude by thanking wholeheartedly my colleagues on all sides of the House for their support for this bill which has, in my view, a very profound and important humanitarian value.

  +-(1215)  

+-

    Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a few words on Bill C-24, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act. As the government House leader mentioned, this bill brings into line benefits for retired parliamentarians, the same as we would offer the public service.

    Quite often people look upon elected politicians and think perhaps that our benefits are greater than anybody else's. We should not expect any more than anybody else but we should not expect any less. Sometimes it is only when we see a case where need has arisen that we see the discrepancies in our legislation. I am very pleased to support this legislation which will be there to protect people, retired parliamentarians, as it would be for public servants between the ages of 50 and 55, if the need arises.

    That is the type of legislation we should always be conscious of making sure it is appropriate and up to date, so that whether we are a member of the public service or an elected representative, the benefits are there in time of need. That is really what this bill does and we are very pleased to support it.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ): Mr. Speaker, it is a fairly rare event, but today you will see a harmony of spirit for humanitarian reasons, as the government House leader has indicated, on the subject of Bill C-24, amending the Parliament of Canada Act.

    I am happy to see the broad consensus that exists in the House today, although I am somewhat sad to have to make such an amendment to the health insurance plan for retired parliamentarians.

    The bill is simply intended to recognize a situation. Sometimes, when a bill or regulation is established, certain situations may fall through the cracks.

    The bill we are agreeing to adopt is intended precisely to correct this kind of situation where a member of Parliament who is eligible for pension but is under 55, that is, between 50 and 55 years of age, would be denied entitlement to benefit from a health insurance and dental insurance, even if he paid his share of premiums. Therefore, we are not asking for the moon, but simply the recognition of a situation that can sometimes be a problem.

    That is why, as my Conservative and Liberal colleagues have said, it appears completely normal to us in the Bloc Quebecois to make the plan similar to that which applies to public servants between the ages of 50 and 55, who are retired and decide to pay their premiums for health insurance and, thus, receive its benefits.

    I will not speak longer, except to express my approval, as previous speakers have, for Bill C-24. I believe this is a way to improve to some extent the situation and condition of some members of this House. On behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I am pleased to give my support to the amendment and to Bill C-24.

[English]

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased on behalf of all of my colleagues in the New Democratic Party caucus to support Bill C-24, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act.

    I also want to acknowledge the cooperative spirit in this place that has led to this bill coming before the House today. I appreciate the fact that all members from all parties in this House came together to address a serious flaw in our legislation.

    Bill C-24 addresses a gap in the legislation. It addresses the issue if a member of Parliament today, who may have served for up to six years and has not yet reached the age of 55, but must leave this place or make a decision not to run for election because of health reasons, that MP is not able to buy into the health plan which he or she is eligible for at the age of 55.

    We are addressing what is an oversight in our current legislation, a flaw that was unintended. It is fair to say that no one in this place believes that this is anything but an oversight. I cannot imagine that the drafters of the legislation intended to penalize members who find themselves unable to continue to work in the House of Commons because of illness yet find themselves, when they need it the most, unable to continue to pay into the health care plan.

    This is a loophole that needs to be fixed. I am pleased to see that we are on the path of fixing it today.

  +-(1220)  

+-

    The Speaker: The order provides that there would be one spokesman from each of the parties in the House. Is the right hon. member seeking unanimous consent of the House to speak on this matter?

    Right Hon. Joe Clark: Very briefly, Mr. Speaker.

    The Speaker: Does the House give consent to the right hon. member for Calgary Centre to speak on this matter?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

+-

    Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC): Mr. Speaker, I completely support this legislation. I think that it would be an anomaly that members of this House not have access to the same privileges that exist for other public servants.

    I rise to thank the deputy government House leader for giving me background on this legislation on which I had not had the opportunity to be consulted before it was presented to the House. That courtesy I hope will become a practice in the House with regard to members such as myself.

    I would also note that when the original legislation was brought in, there was an absolute insistence that there would be no changes in any of its provisions. I see the former government House leader who introduced that legislation is in the House and could confirm that we have departed by this legislation from that undertaking. I do not object to that. I note it and I certainly support this piece of legislation.

+-

    The Speaker: Pursuant to order made on Thursday, March 11, Bill C-24, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act, is deemed read a second time, deemed referred to a committee, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage, deemed read a third time and passed.

    (Bill read the second time, considered in committee, reported, concurred in, read the third time and passed)

*   *   *

+-Criminal Code

     The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-12, an act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children and other vulnerable persons) and the Canada Evidence Act, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment, and of the amendment to the amendment.

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to speak to Bill C-12, a bill that has been recycled by the federal justice minister, a bill that would do nothing to help give children the legal protection they need.

    We heard a lot of evidence in committee regarding the bill. We heard from frontline police officers and from child advocacy groups, including groups like Beyond Borders. The government has simply ignored the mounds of evidence from these child advocate groups and frontline police officers who have indicated time and again that the Bill C-12 would not be effective in protecting children.

    By reviving what has been referred to as pedophile-friendly legislation without a thought to the real needs of children, the Prime Minister has simply carried out the previous prime minister's legacy of indifference.

    The bill does not address the fundamental problems relating to the protection of children that our criminal justice system should address. It does not eliminate all defences for the criminal possession of child pornography. It does not raise the age of consent for adult-child sexual contact from 14 years of age, one of the lowest ages of consent in the western world.

    One of the provisions in the Criminal Code allows an adult to have sex with a child as young as 12 years old if that adult thought the child was in fact 14 years of age. While that may seem preposterous, that is exactly what happened in a recent case in Saskatchewan where a judge acquitted two adult males in their twenties who had sexual relations with a young aboriginal girl who had run away from home. They were acquitted because they thought she was 14 years of age.

    The bill fails to introduce mandatory sentences for child sexual assault, as has been done in other jurisdictions, specifically the United Kingdom and the United States.

    The bill also fails to streamline the laws of evidence governing convictions for sex offenders.

    Canada is becoming a global haven for child predators because of these glaring Liberal policy failures. In fact, the entire bill is filled with vague provisions that fail to create the certainty of protection that children require. No doubt prompting therefore the applause from a notorious child predator like John Robin Sharpe, who supports the bill, because he believes it would bring understanding to the adult-child sexual relationship. Praise from a child predator is evident, but all the frontline police officers and child care agencies, indeed, every witness who went before the justice committee, condemned the bill, other than the minister himself.

    Let me deal specifically with some of the concerns that have been raised.

    The first concern that needs to be raised, which I know some of my colleagues have addressed, centres around the controversy regarding the artistic merit defence. That controversy began in reaction to the court case of the previously mentioned child predator John Robin Sharpe.

    The Supreme Court of Canada in R. v Sharpe said that artistic merit should be interpreted as broadly as possible. That really opened the door to mischief in terms of trying to enforce this particular law. It basically meant that one could bring forward any witness to say that there was at least some artistic merit to these degrading writings and that would be sufficient for a judge to consider an acquittal.

  +-(1225)  

    That interpretation of the law by the Supreme Court of Canada helped shape the decision that allowed Mr. Sharpe to be acquitted for two counts of possession of child pornography with the intent to distribute, as the material, containing violent writing targeting vulnerable children, was considered by the judge to have artistic merit.

    It is truly remarkable that we would never accept the defence of artistic merit with respect to women in our society and with respect to the exploitation of racial minorities, and yet with respect to the most vulnerable minority of them all, our children, the courts are more than quick to protect artistic merit rights and destroy the protection that children deserve. It is very evident that that defence needs to be eliminated. It is simply not necessary.

    We have called on the federal government, as the Conservative Party, to eliminate that defence. The government responded but the response has been a pitiful response in terms of protecting children.

    The defence in the old bill has now been reduced into a single defence of public good. Despite the former justice minister's attempt to sell this bill on the basis that the artistic merit defence has been eliminated, he admitted in the justice committee hearings that the artistic merit defence is still included under the broader public good defence.

    Again, that is typical of the kind of approach that the prior justice minister took and now apparently the new justice minister takes. If people are sufficiently outraged they make changes, not changes that substantively address the concerns raised, but rather changes that simply disguise their original intent and in fact carry out that original intent.

    What did the former justice minister state in describing what this new public good defence includes? He admitted, and I want to quote from his comments. He stated:

    Artistic merit still exists in the sense that a piece of art will have to essentially go through the new defence of public good and through the two stages. Of course, the first question is always this. Does it serve the public good?

    Clearly, within there is still the defence of artistic merit.

    In the Sharpe decision, when it was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada, the court also addressed that particular statement. It briefly considered the defence of public good. The court found that public good has been interpreted as “necessary or advantageous to...the pursuit of science, literature, or art, or other objects of general interest”. That was the Supreme Court of Canada's interpretation of public good.

    The court went on to say:

    It might be argued that the public good is served by possession of materials that promote expressive or psychological well-being or enhance one's sexual identity in ways that do not involve harm to others. In some cases this might eliminate some of the more problematic applications of s. 163.1(4). For example, it might in certain cases foreclose the law's application to visual works created and privately held by one person alone....

  +-(1230)  

    That statement by the Supreme Court of Canada has been the subject of a lot of controversy. One of the things that the court apparently did not understand was that this type of written child pornography is used to groom children into thinking that these types of sexual relationships with adults are all right. It is very difficult then to suppress this particular information or this type of child pornography. The excuse being offered by these pornographers is that they were only writing it for themselves.

    I heard an interesting story with respect to some of Mr. John Robin Sharpe's material that it was in fact found with a notation on it, “This material may be illegal in Canada”. That is a curious thing to put on one's own writings required for one's own personal use. If Mr. Sharpe thought it would be illegal, that is one thing, but why would he have to put that on the face of the material itself? The inference is clear. He distributes this material in order to assist other child predators in their activities.

    In trying to create these kinds of exceptions, ostensibly to protect free speech, what the court does is it opens the door to the abuse of children.

    The Conservative Party calls for the elimination of all defences that justify the criminal possession of child pornography. Members opposite say that then means we have to make it illegal in every context. That is not correct. That is being mischievous. Obviously, for the purposes of prosecution, for example, it would not be illegal for the police or prosecutors to possess that or for researchers who are studying the effects of exposure to child pornography.

    However there needs to be some limitation and clear delineation of what is acceptable and what is not.

    We were met with a problem similar to this some years ago when it appeared that police officers were conducting certain illegal activity to further another criminal investigation.

    The Supreme Court of Canada said there was no justification for police officers to engage in that illegal activity, no protection in common law, statute or otherwise. The House addressed that issue by passing legislation that set out exactly when police officers could break the law to investigate another charge. It was clearly delineated and set out in statute.

    When members opposite say that the exclusion of all child pornography and categorizing it as criminal possession would never work because it would exclude the legitimate handling of pornography by police or prosecutors for a prosecution, is simply a lot of nonsense.

  +-(1235)  

    This bill needs to go back to the drawing board to address what I consider a fundamental flaw in that legislation, but yet a flaw that can be remedied by good statutory language. I might note in this context as well that civil libertarians have also indicated that they have a concern with the defence of public good and that it is simply too vague and too broad. So those who are interested in protecting children are concerned about this and civil libertarians who are concerned about certain artistic endeavours are also concerned that this phrase establishes no standard at all.

    I want to talk about the age of consent. This bill, frankly, does not deal with that issue in an effective manner. Instead of prohibiting all child exploitation by adults where that child is, for example as in other countries, under the age of 16, this legislation requires a court to examine on a case by case basis if a child has been harmed. This kind of tiptoeing around criminal behaviour is reprehensible. The Conservative Party will not support this kind of vague legislation.

    Again, comments by the notorious child predator John Robin Sharpe praising this pedophile friendly piece of legislation further validate the opposition's concern about this bill. Instead of raising the age to simply and clearly state that there shall be no adult-child sexual contact, the Liberals import this vague standard.

    At the same time, I recognize that it is not the role of Parliament to get involved in certain social policy issues, for example, sexual relationships between children. The concern of the Conservative Party is not to regulate the sexual conduct of children between each other, that is, children under the age of 16. What we are concerned about is the exploitation of children by adults. We recognize that there needs to be a close in age exemption that ensures we do not criminalize consenting activity, but we do want to stop the kind of activity that John Robin Sharpe was just recently convicted of.

    On the age of consent, 80% of Canadians polled said they want to raise the age of consent to at least age 16. The response of this government has been that there are certain cultural considerations in Canada which prevent it from doing that. We have asked time and again what culture in this country agrees with the sexual exploitation of children by adults. The Liberals have been silent. The government has tried to rely on some kind of cultural camouflage, which has only insulted Canadians of every culture. If there is evidence that cultures in Canada accept the exploitation of children by adults, why does the government not bring it forward instead of casting aspersions on every culture in Canada?

    

  +-(1240)  

    The approach of the Liberals in this bill to create this category of exploitative relationships is simply cumbersome and is in fact very difficult to prove in terms of trying to bring forward a prosecution. We already have a provision that makes it against the law for someone in a position of trust to exploit a young person between the ages of 14 and 18. Here, they are simply trying to recast this. Those are my brief comments at this time. I appreciate the opportunity to speak.

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I would ask the member if he would reflect on the part of the country that he comes from, the area of Winnipeg, Manitoba. In particular, has there been a sense of an increase of child pornography and so on in that area? Have there been greater concerns in the last number of years since he has served in public office? Would the member reflect on some of the comments from the Toronto police he alluded to and the concerns they have with respect to raising the age of consent? Could he confirm that this would be their express wish as well?

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews: Mr. Speaker, from my conversations with them, I understand that the Toronto police, as well as other police forces across Canada, support an increase of that age of sexual consent to age 16 when it comes to dealing with child-adult sexual relationships.

    In terms of pornography itself and child pornography in particular, the police are very concerned. Indeed, they are overwhelmed. In this age of technology and computers there can be thousands, indeed hundreds of thousands, of pictures on a particular computer, making it very difficult to prosecute these cases, and very cumbersome and very expensive. We had a presentation here from the Toronto police about a year ago now, wherein they expressed concern that the legislation and the approaches by the government were not stemming this tide of child pornography.

    Rather than simply proceeding along the same path as it has been, why will this government not bring in legislation that addresses the concerns of front line police officers, that addresses the concerns of child advocacy agencies, and that indeed addresses the concern that children are not being protected in the existing law or in this law itself?

  +-(1245)  

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the remarks of my esteemed colleague who just spoke. He has been attorney general in his province and has worked in the law field for some time, so he has had a lot of discussion and dialogue with the authorities, with justice officials under his purview and his watch in the province of Manitoba, and he serves our Conservative Party very well as our lead critic in these matters.

    The bill we have before us, Bill C-12, is one about which different people have wanted to speak out. People are outraged that we do not have it right in respect of the piece of legislation that we have here today. This whole controversy about the artistic merit defence actually began some time ago in reaction to the court case of John Robin Sharpe, a notorious child pornographer.

    The bill purports to make amendments to the Criminal Code to safeguard children from sexual exploitation, abuse and neglect. We think the bill has not done this in the appropriate way and to the extent that it should. Therefore, as Conservative Party members, we have objections with respect to the Liberal government bill before us today.

    The Supreme Court of Canada said in the Sharpe case that artistic merit should be interpreted as broadly as possible. That very much concerns us. We do not have any other direction from Parliament, the highest court in the land, if we will, so therefore we have a broad latitude in the statement from the Supreme Court on the John Robin Sharpe case. That statement helped shape the decision that allowed John Robin Sharpe to be acquitted for two counts of possession of child pornography with the intent to distribute.

    That material, containing some very violent writings targeting vulnerable children, was considered by judges to have artistic merit. Since that time, this side of the House, particularly the Conservatives, has called on the federal government to eliminate that particular artistic merit defence.

    Under this now slightly changed bill, Bill C-12, the existing defences of child pornography, that is, artistic merit, educational, scientific or medical purposes, are reduced to a single defence of public good, but this still has not solved the problem because of how wide and a little bit vague this term is.

    Despite the attempts of the former justice minister, the member for Outremont, to sell us the bill and convince us on that basis that the artistic merit defence was eliminated--and technically speaking that would be true--he admitted in the justice committee that it is still included under the broader public good defence. Therein lies the difficulty. As he said in the justice committee, artistic merit still exists in the sense that a piece of art essentially will have to go through this new defence of public good and go through the two stages, and of course there is always the first question: does it serve the public good? That is in the committee records of September 25, 2003.

    In the Sharpe case, the Supreme Court of Canada also briefly--

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: I do not like to interrupt the member, but there is a matter that the House might or might not choose to deal with. Let me give the opportunity to the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.


+-Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Committees of the House

-Public Accounts

+-

    Mrs. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would ask the indulgence of the hon. member and I offer my apologies for interrupting him on debate.

    I would ask for unanimous consent of the House to be permitted to table the second report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts respecting the protection of witnesses who appear before the committee in relation to its study of chapter 3, “The Sponsorship Program”, chapter 4, “Advertising Activities”, and chapter 5, “Management of Public Opinion Research”, of the November 2003 report of the Auditor General of Canada.

  +-(1250)  

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.


+-Government Orders

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Criminal Code

     The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-12, an act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children and other vulnerable persons) and the Canada Evidence Act, be read the third time and passed, of the amendment, and of the amendment to the amendment.

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, the Supreme Court of Canada in the Sharpe decision considered the defence of public good. It found that “public good” has been interpreted as necessary or advantageous to the pursuit of science, literature, art or other objects of interest. We know that can get fairly broad and in fact a little strange at points.

    I refer to something which I think shocked the entire Canadian public when a Canada Council award was given to an individual named Istvan Kantor in recent days, an individual who has actually been fined for vandalism with his so-called art and so on. There was money out the door on that. He was recently awarded by the Governor General. The public was probably more of the view that the guy should be fined yet further for some of his atrocious acts of vandalism and so on, considering his criminal record. Instead, he was encouraged for that by getting the award.

    Obviously we have some upside down values at points in society and we regard things that are not particularly good. There is a stream of thought out there that says these are great things and they are good for the pursuit of science, literature, art and objects of general interest. That is part of the problem.

    It was said that it might be argued that the public good is served by possession of materials that promote expressive or psychological well-being or enhance one's sexual identity in ways that do not involve harm to others. Obviously in the case of Robin Sharpe it is at the point that these are not just imaginations or machinations in the brain, but they kind of work out in his life.

    Within the last day Robin Sharpe has again been convicted. He carried out a sexual act on a young person many years ago and there was a conviction. It is obvious that it is not just an issue for this man in particular, that it only has to do with him, but in fact it does perpetrate harm upon other people.

    The Conservative Party wants to make very plain that we do not think there should be any defences that justify the criminal possession of child pornography. Of course, the criminal possession of child pornography does not apply to those in the justice system or, for purposes of prosecution, researchers studying the effects of exposure to child pornography.

    Believe me, it is pretty horrifying to speak to police officers. A number of them are having to research this stuff and bring it forward for prosecution. It messes up their minds in a very big way having to go over that material and having to present all of it, and not just a sampling of it. I gather at the end of the day the police officers who have to see this horrific stuff are almost traumatized from the violence and brutality that is inflicted upon children in these images that are used in prosecutions.

    We do not bring charges against the good folk of the police forces across the country. In fact, they would prefer not to have to go through so much of that stuff in prosecuting the cases against those individuals. It is a horrific thing for the police officers to be put through, the good police, the men in blue who defend the interests and common good in this great domain of Canada.

    On the issue of the age of consent, 80% of Canadians that have been polled have said that they want the age of consent raised to at least 16 years. Only two years ago provincial ministers unanimously passed a resolution calling on the federal government to raise the age of consent to at least 16. The will is there, one would think, at least on the part of the provinces. We question whether the will is there and obviously it is not on the part of the federal government. It just does not seem to understand the urgency of it. Even the pressure of the provinces bringing this forward and unanimously asking for it still has not moved the government.

    In most western democracies 16 or 17 years old is the minimum age of consent. We think it is not asking too much at all in this modern world. Because of technology and so on, it is going to be passed around, distributed and disseminated so very readily. We think that in the promotion of good for the public and for the protection of youth, the age of consent should be raised.

  +-(1255)  

    We heard from another member in answer to my question to him that certainly the police officials across the country, the chiefs of police and the police officers on the beat want the age of sexual consent raised because it would make their jobs easier. It would put them in a position where they could get convictions much more readily instead of all the ropes and hurdles they have to go through in terms of prosecuting some of this very vile, offensive stuff.

    Even the former justice minister Anne McLellan stated that raising the age of consent was something the government--

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: The member is very much aware of the practice of the House in terms of the identity of one another and how that process works. I would simply ask the member to keep that in mind.

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott: My regrets, Mr. Speaker. I will just make reference to the former justice minister from Edmonton, Alberta, and I think people would have in mind of whom I am speaking.

    She stated that raising the age of consent was something that the government should be moving forward on. She said back in October 2001 with regard to changing the age of consent from 14 to 16:

    Those consultations will be concluded and reported on by December 31, 2001 and I think we will see that a consensus is emerging that with certain safeguards we should probably be moving on the age of consent from 14 to 16.

    That was the case. The provinces unanimously want that to proceed. Then she went on, and this is the kind of way that she evaded, dodged and escaped from it. She said, in a very interesting way to kind of step around it:

    But as with some of these things, they look simple on the surface, but they're not quite so simple. It requires a fair number of changes to the code; we're going to have to review all those sections where age is found. But it's certainly an issue very much on our agenda.

    Well let us get it on the agenda. Let us put it forward. Let us do it instead of sidestepping in the manner she did. Where there is a will, there is a way. Yes, there are some complications but if there is really a heart and a spirit and a desire to move forward on this very vital thing, then we can do it. We can move it ahead. Where there is a will, there is a way to get it done, and very quickly.

    One of the major objections we have to Bill C-12 is that it does not raise the age of consent for sexual contact between children and adults, those kinds of exploitive relationships. In fact there is a category that is aimed at protecting people between the ages of 14 and 18. In determining whether a person is in a relationship with a young person that is exploitive of that young person, a judge must consider the age difference between the accused and the young person, the evolution of the relationship, as well as the degree of control or influence by the accused over the young person.

    Really it is something that allows just too much to slip through on this. It fails to create the kind of certainty of protection that children require. It fails to give that assurance and that kind of tool, if you will, to the good police across our country who need something. They need some more teeth in the law so that they can move forward in rapid fashion with these prosecutions instead of dragging on and on, with people slipping through with these kinds of defences that are allowed.

    As it stands, this bill would not serve as a real deterrent and would simply result in longer trials and more litigation dragged out over time.

    Prior to this bill, it was already against the law for a person in a position of trust or authority, with whom a young person between ages 14 and 18 was in a relationship of dependency, to be sexually involved with that young person. That already was in effect so there is nothing new in that respect in this law. It is unclear how adding people who are in a relationship with a young person which is exploitive of the young person does anything to add legal protection for young people. We are not convinced that there is any improvement by way of what is suggested in that little term exploitive relationship in Bill C-12.

    In the Sharpe case there were two exemptions carved out for child pornography: materials such as diaries or drawings created privately and kept by that person for personal use; and visual recordings of a person, by that person, engaged in lawful sexual activity, kept by the person for personal use.

    That latter exemption has the potential to expose children 14 to 18 years of age to further exploitation by child pornographers since they would be engaging in legal activity, but the government's failure to prohibit all adult-child sex continues to be an unacceptable risk. Only by raising that age of consent will young people be truly protected under the Criminal Code.

    We are not advocating for the criminalizing of teenagers, as with other jurisdictions with a more reasonable age of consent, but in those jurisdictions, such as the U.K., Australia and most states in the United States, a close in age exemption would apply to ensure that those individuals, those teenagers, are not criminalized.

  +-(1300)  

    Bill C-12 would also increase maximum sentences for child related offences. They include sexual offences, failing to provide the necessities of life and abandoning a child. That is good so far as the statement exists, but it does no good if the courts do not impose the sentences.

    We know by experience that when maximum sentences are raised, there is no corresponding pattern in the actual sentencing practices. This has been demonstrated across the land. The maximum penalty can be raised but if there is no minimum sentence, then it really does not do anything in the way of successful prosecutions and there is no change in the actual sentencing patterns. What is needed are mandatory sentences, truth in sentencing, eliminating statutory release, and that there be no conditional sentences for child predators.

    As has been said by others here today, we are all experiencing the effects of modern technology. We are all part of the wave of technology and its advances, but that is also part of what is creating the difficulty here. The problem is it surpassed the legislative provisions. There is some archaism that governs the use of evidence in these cases. We really need to have that addressed. The bill fails to address those shortcomings. Amendments are required to deal with child pornography cases effectively and efficiently such that we make some serious impact to drive it back or push it off to the very edges of society or to eliminate it altogether, if possible.

    The bill creates a new offence of voyeurism and the distribution of voyeuristic material. That is a positive step, and we will give credit where it is due. It makes it an offence to observe or make a visual recording of a person who shall have a reasonable expectation of privacy if the person is in a place in which the person can be expected to be nude or engaged in sexual activity.

    There was a recent case in the city of Saskatoon at the exhibition grounds. I think that disciplinary action is being brought against the person, who is a law enforcement official himself. His excuse is that he was on certain medications and so on. He was using a camera in a voyeuristic manner in the washrooms at the exhibition in Saskatoon. We need laws in place because of the advancement of technology. Certainly that is to be commended and is a good thing.

    The Conservative Party of Canada believes that the bill falls far short in terms of protecting Canada's children. Members of Parliament across the country have discovered this plain and clear especially as they have talked to those who work with youth, child advocacy groups. Conversations with the police make it very apparent that this is a flawed bill. It is inadequate and will not do the job, which is a very unfortunate, regrettable thing for the children of our country.

    The bill will not give children the greater legal protection that they need and which we owe to them as citizens of this country. Children are the future of our country and should not be allowed to be at risk. We need to get the laws in place and we need to get it right . This bill simply will not do the job.

    With those regretful comments at the end, I conclude my remarks. Bill C-12 is in serious need of amendment. The Conservative Party of Canada hopes that maybe at some point we could have that done.

    

  +-(1305)  

+-

    Mr. Jim Gouk (Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, CPC): Mr. Speaker, in listening to my hon. colleague I could not help but note the irony that the government will not do anything about raising the age of consent for such an important life decision as that for a 14 year old, while at the same time it recognizes some inherent problems for young people. It tells them they cannot smoke a cigarette until they are 16, but it is okay to have sex when they are 14. They can drive a car when they are 16. They have to wait until then and even then, in some provinces there is a graduated system so that we still have some controls when they start to drive at age 16.

    The government in its enlightenment says that someone is not capable, not mature enough to select the person who is going represent them in government. Given that the people who are old enough and supposedly mature enough have elected a Liberal government, maybe it suggests we should be opening it up to younger people to make those kinds of decisions.

    The government is saying that people have to be 18 years old before they can make an informed decision on who is going to represent them in government. When we pass laws in this country, we make decisions that probably have far more impact on the young people coming up into adulthood than they do on us who make those decisions.

    I wonder if the hon. member could comment on the fact that the government recognizes or at least claims that a child is not mature enough to vote for the person who is going to enact the laws that affect him or her until he or she is 18, yet that child can make such life changing decisions dealing with sexuality at age 14.

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott: Mr. Speaker, it is a strange irony that we allow individuals to have adult privileges at a much younger age in respect to the things that my colleague referenced. We definitely have a problem. Individuals across Canada have used this as an excuse to abuse young people, and to take advantage of them and exploit them sexually. They use the excuse that they thought the individual was 14 years old.

    I recall a case in Tisdale, in my home province, involving a young aboriginal girl who was not 14. She was in fact a couple of years younger than that. The individuals who took advantage of her sexually said they thought she was 14 years of age. If we were to raise the age of consent to 16 years of age, there would be no possible excuse for somebody looking at a gal of 12 years old or thereabouts. That excuse would not hold water.

    The age of consent needs to go up to help our police across the country, and to stop people from using this as an excuse and a defence. This would also stop the defence from having any clout in our courts. We need to remove that possibility entirely.

+-

    Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his fine speech and his good efforts over the years for ethical and social causes. I want to carry on with the same train of questioning of my other hon. colleague.

    Many times over the past few years, we on this side of the House have asked the Liberals to increase the age of consent from 14 to 16 years of age. During question period at one point in time, one of the members opposite explained it could not be increased to 16 for cultural reasons.

    There is another inconsistency with regard to the way the Liberals have been approaching the question and it has to do with the long proclaimed United Nations rights of the child. The government agreed to article 1 in the United Nations rights of the child which defines a child as being a person under the age of 18.

    With all of these inconsistencies and international standards, perhaps my colleague could explain to me, what is the definition of a child? Why does he think the Liberals are hesitating on raising the age from 14 to 16, which would apparently be appropriate and consistent with most other world bodies as well? Could my colleague please enlighten us?

  +-(1310)  

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott: Mr. Speaker, I also find it a tremendous irony when international bodies like the United Kingdom, and most states in the U.S. as well as other modern democracies, have a higher age of 16 and in some cases 17.

    It is a cruel irony that we do not raise that age of consent. It is hypocritical. We need to do better. I am not sure why Canada needs to lead the parade downhill by keeping that age lower when we see other nations leading the charge against this violent, offensive, and hateful stuff that hurts the most vulnerable among us.

    I thank the member for Edmonton Centre-East for a good question which draws attention to the hypocrisy of the Liberal government. We should be doing something. Sadly and tragically, the Liberal government simply has no will to do it.

+-

    Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to debate this issue. Many others have spoken on some of the specific issues. I will do a little bit of that too, but I would like to talk about this issue in a general fashion first.

    I would like to raise the question, why, after 10 years that I have been here, are we still just talking about this issue? I was first elected in 1993 and very soon after I came down here we raised many of the issues we are still talking about today. We have asked questions of the government, in committee and in the House of Commons, as to why it is not acting more quickly on something as urgent and so critical as protecting our children from sexual predators. What question could be more fundamental for government to deal with than that?

    It has been 10 years that I have been here. I have been asking questions and my colleagues have been asking questions. We stated our position on protecting children from sexual predators and nothing has happened. The legislation that we are debating today, Bill C-12, in practical terms when applied, will not change things. My question to the government is, why has it taken 10 years and why after 10 years has nothing been done on such a critical issue?

    I do not expect that I will get an answer to my question today, but Canadians certainly deserve an answer to this question. It is a question that Canadians are still asking. Next to some of the hot button issues, it is one of the issues most often brought to my attention, especially the issue of raising the age of sexual consent. However, there are other aspects as well that deal with protecting our children from sexual predators.

    If this issue is so important to my constituents, I would have a hard time not believing that it is also important to the constituents of all members opposite. In fact, they are hearing the same things that I am hearing because in various ways I have heard them say so. They are concerned about the age of consent. They are concerned about some of these other things like artistic merit that my colleagues and everyone in the House has been debating.

    Therefore, if that concern is so widespread, including on the government side, why has appropriate action not been taken after 10 years? We will hear the government use the excuse that was used by the public works minister yesterday in question period when he said that it was not his government. He said that his government only started on December 12.

    Really, that is what he said in response to a question. We were talking about how the government's reputation has been tarnished due to all the scandals, like the ad scam, the sponsorship program, and the military issue that my colleague from Prince George has brought up recently regarding how $160 million was somehow misspent. It is probably the worst type of corruption, yet the government did not pick up on it for years. These things come up, and we have been bringing them up on a regular basis.

    What did the public works minister say yesterday? He said that his government has only been in place since December 12, trying to distance himself and the responsibility of the Prime Minister, the cabinet and all the members of Parliament on the government side. The Liberal members are trying to distance themselves from their responsibility; however, they were a part of the government over the past 10 years. I would be trying to distance myself from that too, quite frankly, if I were there.

    However, corruption is one thing and we are not talking about corruption in this debate today. We are not talking about the sponsorship scandal or any of the other areas of corruption.

    We are talking about something every bit as important though, and that is the protection of our children from sexual predators. If so many of these members of Parliament feel, as I know they do, that this is something they want to do, that they want their government to do, why have they been so ineffective in doing it? After all, they are part of the government, or at least they are supposed to influence the government in caucus and in other ways.

  +-(1315)  

    I do not think it is because they are not good people. I know that most members of Parliament, no matter which party they are from, do the best job they can to represent their constituents. They do that; we all do that. We work very hard at that. I believe Liberal members of Parliament are no different. I have talked with them enough to know that they want to represent their constituents.

    Why then, on critical issues such as this, can they not do that? Why are they not allowed to do so? Why have they been so unsuccessful in dealing with this most urgent of issues, such as protecting our children?

    The answer comes down to a lack of democratic process in the House of Commons, in the government, and in our political system. That is something that I have talked about an awful lot in the last 16 years since the Reform Party of Canada was founded.

    One of the main issues that the Reform Party was founded on back in 1987 was the issue of democratic reform. It would put in place various democratic reforms so that each and every member of Parliament from every political party would have a real impact in this place. Members would be able to actually represent their constituents in this place.

    Why after 16 years and why after more than 10 years of the government being in power has so little been done on that issue? It is because of Bill C-12, that we are dealing with today, and what happens with every other piece of legislation we deal with in the House that will depend on whether we have a democratic system or not?

    Have we had a democratic system in place, one that was really working? The government has had 10 years to do that and it has actually made things worse rather than better. I honestly believe that things are less democratic in the House now than they were 10 years ago when I came here.

    Had democratic changes been made, I believe the Liberal members of Parliament, who understand the importance of this issue, along with my colleagues and colleagues from other political parties, would have forced the government to pass legislation which would deal with these issues that we are talking about in Bill C-12.

    It comes down to having a process in place that allows people from right across this country to appear to be represented and to in fact be represented by their member of Parliament. After all, their member of Parliament should answer to them and not to this cabinet and not to the Prime Minister. That is not the way our system should work.

    Unfortunately, it is the way that it does work. That is a sad commentary on 10 years of Liberal government. We can go back farther than that. I am only looking at the 10 years that I have been here because I am very much familiar with those 10 years.

    I know the fight that my colleagues and I, and some in other political parties too, including the governing party, have put up to bring democratic change. It would ensure that issues like the protection of children would be dealt with in the way that the general public wants it to be dealt with.

    Every one of us is elected by the people in our constituency to work on their behalf, to represent their views. We learn about issues from polling and surveys, and many of us do that in our householders. We will take an issue such as the protection of children or the age of consent, and I have done that myself and many of my colleagues have done that. We have given information looking at both sides of the issue.

    Sometimes we will invite someone who takes a contrary position to our own position to put information in our householders to our constituents. We will put our position in because part of being a representative is to be a local leader. Part of leadership is to try to persuade people to our point of view. We put our persuasive position in there. Then we allow our constituents to decide. We allow our constituents to make it clear, by actually voting, how they feel on these important issues.

  +-(1320)  

    Any survey that has been done backs up widespread public support to raise the sexual age of consent for children from 14. They should not be making decisions on whether to have sex with an adult. That is not something they should not have to think of at that age. Let them be children for awhile.

    Every one of the official polls done on the issue shows an 80% support rate or higher for raising the age of sexual consent to at least 16.

    It comes down to unfortunately the fact that we have, as the Prime Minister calls it, this democratic deficit. What has he done to fix it? Nothing. What has he done to deal with this issue when he must know about it, because I am sure many of his members of Parliament have made the point to him that they want these issues dealt with by the government. What has he done? He has done nothing about it.

    This legislation, should it pass, quite frankly will not help solve the problem. I will quickly go through some of the specific issues in the legislation that have not been dealt with by the government. I will talk about issues that are conspicuous by their absence.

    The first is the issue of artistic merit, and some of my colleagues have talked about it. The controversy on artistic merit has been going on for some time. It certainly came from the John Robin Sharpe case from British Columbia. I think we are all very much aware of that. He is a notorious child pornographer.

    In the Supreme Court case, R. v Sharpe, it was determined that artistic merit should be interpreted as widely as possible. In the legislation the government has said that it will deal with it by taking away the artistic merit defence and put in place the public good defence. This was after a former justice minister, who was attempting to sell the bill to committee, admitted that the broader public good defence in fact would allow the artistic merit defence to be there. I want to read the quote from the former justice minister. He said:

    Artistic merit still exists in the sense that a piece of art will have to essentially go through the new defence of public good and through the two stages. Of course, the first question is always this. Does it serve the public good?

    He went on to say that artistic merit was a part of what was considered under whether it served the public good.

    That issue has not been dealt with in the legislation in any kind of effective way. In practice, when it goes before the courts, it probably will not change a thing. It will probably be dealt with in exactly the same way and the artistic merit of what I call child pornography will still be a consideration and probably the results will be no different. The government has failed entirely in that regard.

    The Conservative Party calls for the elimination of all defences that justify the criminal possession of child pornography. We are clear on that. Why is the government so unclear on that? What it is clear on is that it is not willing to take this issue and deal with it head on to ensure that our children are protected.

    The second issue which has not been dealt with at all in the legislation is age of consent. I have already referred to that because it is an issue that so obviously should have been dealt with years ago. We all know that having 14 year olds decide whether they want to have sex with an adult is simply not acceptable, yet that is not in the legislation. In the general polling 80% of Canadians have said that they want it to be in there.

    Canadians are clear on this and, as I said, many MPs have done their own surveys on this through their householders they send out to constituents. We have received results that in many cases are much higher than the 80%. Why has it not been dealt with?

  +-(1325)  

    Another former justice minister, although I cannot name her, said this on raising the age of consent. She indicated very clearly that it was something the government looked forward to doing. This was years ago. She said:

    With regard to age of consent--from 14 to 16--we have our child as victim consultation paper. We discussed that at our federal-provincial justice ministers' meeting in September in Nova Scotia. Those consultations will be concluded and reported on by December 31 of this year, and I think we will see that a consensus is emerging that with certain safeguards we should probably be moving on the age of consent from 14 to 16.

    This was in October 2001. What that former justice minister is saying is that she believes all provinces, and that is what we found too, want to go ahead with raising the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16. She acknowledged that was what Canadians wanted and it was certainly what the premiers wanted. Therefore, the federal government would not be improperly interfering in the areas of provincial jurisdiction, something that is so important to our Bloc colleagues as well as to us. We are very conscious of the federal government respecting provincial jurisdiction. That has been done. The provinces want to go with this and the federal government is ignoring that wish.

    Again, Bill C-12 fails to raise the age of consent of sexual contact between children and adults. That is clear. The government claims that it has somehow effectively dealt with this issue of the age of consent. It has not. Though, as I have said before, probably a majority of its members of Parliament support that. Why do a majority of its members of Parliament support that, even in the governing party? Because their constituents have told them that.

    The third issue, which I will refer to very briefly, is the issue of minimum sentences. In the bill the government raises the maximum sentence allowed under these various offences, but it puts in place no mandatory minimum sentence. Raising the maximum sentence probably will do nothing to help judges take these issues more seriously under the law. Putting in place mandatory minimum sentences for these offences on the other hand will mean judges will have no choice. Parliament will have dictated and minimum sentences will be put in place. It will give offenders at least the minimum sentence as required by law, but the government has refused to do that.

    I want to close by saying that it is hard for me to understand why after 10 years this has not been changed and why the bill will not change it. It is a sad commentary. Let us move ahead. I can assure the House the next government will change that.

  +-(1330)  

[Translation]

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: It being 1:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's Order Paper.


-PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

*   *   *

[English]

-Dairy Terms Act

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC) moved that Bill C-340, an act respecting the use of dairy terms, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

    He said: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased in this final hour of the day to address my private member's bill, a bill that promotes accuracy and honesty in the use of dairy labels and marketing of food products.

    Bill C-340, entitled the dairy terms act, would ensure the correct use of dairy terms to protect consumers from being misled and to ensure fair practices in the food trade. The act would establish rules for using dairy terms on food labels and, with some exceptions, would prohibit dairy terms from being used when a food contains no dairy ingredients at all.

    That is the concern because we have more sophisticated kinds of processing, substitutes for this, that and the other, vitamins and minerals are added in and a whole plethora of possibilities, and the consuming public is being misled by some of the labelling. Sometimes we have products that have no dairy in them at all and yet they make the pretense of being good dairy products. We take objection to that. This is the very nature of the bill before us now.

    I am glad the bill is votable because I know there is cross-party support for this initiative. I have had members from Liberal governing side approach me today, and in recent days, in respect of what they say is their support. We will see at the time of the vote. I assume that will materialize when they stand to vote for this. Then at least it will go to committee for some good discussion and adjusting and tweaking for the good of the consuming public and dairy farmers across the country.

    I am optimistic that we have that sense of goodwill across party lines to have this at least move into committee and possibly through the House entirely, for which we would be appreciative.

    The bill reflects an important trend today. It is a consumer oriented trend. We are talking about honesty and accuracy in the labelling of food products. We see concerns about accurate labelling of food everywhere today in the matter of genetically modified foods. We have had debate on that and on mandatory labelling of irradiated foods. Some people want labels to accurately distinguish organic foods from non-organic alternatives. Those are all legitimate debates that need to take place. However, this one is much more simple in that we want truth and accuracy in food labelling.

    Just last month my colleague, the member for Scarborough Southwest, led off debate on the first hour of a food labelling bill that he introduced, Bill C-398. The bill would expand requirements for nutritional information on food labels.

    The bill before us today really concerns the use of dairy terms in the labelling of food items. Specifically, it aims to ban the false or inaccurate labelling of non-diary products with terms traditionally associated with dairy foods. We are talking about the use, and the alleged misuse, of words such as milk, butter, cream and yogurt, when there are none of the constituent ingredients in the product, and people are misled by that.

    The Dairy Farmers of Canada, the national association that represents Canada's dairy industry, has been seeking such provisions for several years now. They have tried to prosecute companies that they believe have crossed the line in this area, using what is called Canada's guide to food labelling and advertising. Maybe that is the problem. It is a guide and does not have any real force of law by way of real teeth. They have also tried to use provisions in law to challenge trademark applications. Rarely do they meet with success, and current guidelines seem to be unenforceable.

    That is why we need a new law. There is an absence, a vacuum, so we need this law, the dairy terms act, which would be enforceable and would protect consumers and producers alike.

    One case that the Dairy Farmers of Canada challenged at the trademark application level was a brand of popcorn called “Gout de Beurre”. Not only was the term butter in the name, but the imaging on the package was of a piece of popcorn slamming down into a slab of what appeared to be butter. The name and the image gave a rather different impression than the reality and the actual facts of the case. Another case involved a product called “Molly McButter”. They attempted to take those cases forward under the registration of trademarks, but they lost in these and other cases.

  +-(1335)  

    Interestingly, Canada has backed provisions, such as those found in the bill, on the international stage. The bill is actually intended to bring Canada's domestic policy in line with the commitments that we have made overseas. Canada participates in the process for developing and amending the Codex Alimentarius, the international food code produced by an international body set up through the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.

    The codex was amended in 1999 to strengthen provisions on dairy labelling, and far from opposing that international move, Canada endorsed the codex general standard for the use of dairy terms. Unfortunately, the Liberal government has not been willing to implement these pro-consumer measures in Canada. It is a question that we are engaged in today and we hope to have the support of the government in respect to this so it can follow through in terms of that particular international commitment and its agreement to these particular measures.

    Dairy term regulations do exist at the provincial level, but in the year 2000 a government established working group did recommend deregulation at the provincial level. The working group was set up in September 1999 at the request of the federal/provincial/territorial agri-food inspection committee, which is responsible under the agreement on internal trade. It is supposed to deal with interprovincial technical barriers to trade. The purpose of the working group was to examine the regulatory options available to balance producer protection in the development of new products and the need to protect consumers with accurate labelling and the prevention of practices that could mislead consumers.

    This position was based on the idea that sufficient federal controls exist through the Food and Drugs Act, other relevant legislation and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising to prevent fraud and consumer misunderstanding. The Dairy Farmers of Canada's experience trying to combat some questionable labels, however, suggests that stronger federal measures need to be implemented. That is why I have introduced this dairy terms bill. This recommendation to deregulate at the provincial level adds impetus to the need to pass the dairy terms bill as soon as possible.

    With that background I now want to discuss some of the specific concerns related to the misuse of dairy terms in the labelling of non-dairy food products.

    In many cases consumers looking for a dairy product know it contains good, nutritional dairy calcium and many other minerals and vitamins. However they could unintentionally buy a non-dairy alternative due to the misuse of dairy terms on the label.

    On the other hand, there are consumers out there who are lactose intolerant or maybe they cannot have a big amount of dairy products. They might be looking for a non-dairy alternative and they may mistakenly overlook some substitute products when those products are labelled in such a way that suggest at first glance that they contain dairy ingredients.

    The greatest concern, of course, is consumers who purchase a non-dairy product thinking that it has dairy ingredients. Young moms going into a shopping centre, assuming that they are buying a healthful dairy product, could be buying a product that has little or no dairy ingredient. Since quality and nutritional value are believed to be leading reasons for the popularity of dairy products, accurate labelling is essential. Misleading labels can have negative health implications for consumers.

    Canada's dairy producers spend over $75 million each year on advertising dairy products and promoting the nutritional benefits of dairy foods.

    It is kind of hard, Mr. Speaker, to be talking over the noise here. I wonder if my colleagues across the way could kind of shut it down temporarily. I know the member across the way on the Liberal side supports the bill so he will want to give me his rapt attention.

    I do not think anybody in the House believes that it is right for the producers of non-dairy products to tale advantage of the marketing of dairy foods with labels that misrepresent the presence of dairy ingredients in their alternative products. Not only does this impact the health of consumers, but it illegitimately takes market share from the dairy industry, taking money out of the pockets of Canada's hard-working dairy producers. It is not right, not honest and not accurate, and there is a moral underlying theme.

  +-(1340)  

    When manufacturers of dairy alternatives use dairy images, such as cows or slabs of butter, in the labelling of dairy products, it is quite obvious to me that there was clear intent in likening their products to the original dairy items. Such actions reinforce the claim of dairy products that dairy terms are an important selling feature for foods because of the quality and nutrition that consumers associate with these food products.

    It is the evidence of intentional misrepresentation in the use of dairy terms that demonstrates the need for this dairy terms bill. It would protect consumers and it would protect dairy producers from false labelling and marketing. Consumers are entitled to that. I am convinced of that. We need truth in sentencing and we need truth in labelling. Consumers should have the right of a properly informed choice in the matter of dairy products and non-dairy alternatives.

    In 2000, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which does not have a vested interest, performed a consumer survey which demonstrated the importance that consumers place on product labels in terms of their expectation of what important ingredients are in the food item. Despite acknowledging these results and offering verbal support for concerns about the reliability of dairy terms in product labels, the government has failed to act, unfortunately.

    This proposed dairy terms act, I need to make plain, would not ban all uses of dairy terms. Exceptions are recognized. The main category of exceptions is non-dairy foods that people are sufficiently familiar with due to their historic usage. Let us be clear that the bill would not require the renaming of apple butter. We all know what that is. It is not purporting to be a dairy product. Peanut butter, maple butter, cocoa butter, coconut milk or milk of magnesia are things that do not fool or mislead the public. That is not at all affected or changed by the bill or the effects of the bill.

    When people walk into a pharmacy and grab a bottle of milk of magnesia, they are obviously not walking in there for the purpose of pouring it on their children's cereal the next day as they head off to school. There is not a need to make adjustments in respect of these terms where people are long familiar with them through their historic usage.

    I hope the proposed dairy terms act, if passed, will be used in a very positive, useful way in the country. It is not intended to be a heavy-handed instrument indiscriminately and blindly used. The intent of the bill is to deter intentional deception in the use of dairy terms for non-dairy products.

    The dairy terms bill also provides room for some flexibility with terms such as creamy that could refer to the dairy content of a product or it could be just a reference to the texture. That is well and fine. Also, with many of the names listed as acceptable due to their historical usage, we know that the use of butter in the name refers to the texture of the product and the way that it spreads like butter. These would not be things that are banned. We are not going after that. When it is describing texture, it would be very permissible.

    The Dairy Farmers of Canada have noted how some producers seem to design their labels in a way that seems to highlight the dairy term, while making the reference to texture much more obscure. One is hard pressed to think up a reason, other than intentional misrepresentation, for why a label would be designed in such a fashion.

    I can speak from personal experience on this. I drink a soy beverage. I enjoy dairy products such as cheese and milk, but I have to be careful not to consume too much of it. I know about this on a personal basis. People use soy products. We call it soy loaf if it is a cheese like product, but it is not cheese. Let us not deceive the public about that. If it is a drink, it is called a soy beverage. This does not have any effect on those as long as there is accuracy in the labelling that way.

    As I see my time has run out I will cede the floor to others and perhaps respond to questions in order to shed a little more light on the subject.

  +-(1345)  

+-

    Mr. Larry McCormick (Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague on the other side of the House for bringing forward Bill C-340.

    At the beginning of his speech, the member asked members on all sides of the House to support his bill. I will support the bill but my first support goes to the industry and the producers. Dairy producers in Canada give us the finest and the best product possible in the world, and it costs the government nothing. Supply management is the backbone of rural and small town Canada.

    I had the opportunity to meet with the Dairy Farmers of Canada, dairy farmers in Ontario and people in my own riding of Hastings--Frontenac--Lennox and Addington. In the next couple of weeks the national Holstein convention for Canada will be held in Kingston.

    I know the bill's intent is good and I personally will recommend that we adopt the bill and send it to committee. However I think some changes need to be made in terms of the language. I want the people at Agriculture Canada to look at the bill. We need to learn from this and move with it. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has done a lot of studies. It has talked with people and partners in the industry. It is looking at applying this to all types of food, and that is fine.

    My colleague has done a good job with the bill. He has met with the past president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada who I believe is from the Prince Albert area of his riding.

    I would like to know if l my colleague will work with us because I would like to work with the industry. I would like to see the legislation go to the all party Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food so it can be fine-tuned. We need to support our producers and we have seen that with the meat industry and BSE where the industries are still thriving but our producers deserve our attention.

    Will my colleague work with us and the industry to see if we can improve on the legislation?

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott: Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for providing me with his assurance that he will work within his party to encourage others to support the bill. I appreciate that. I think there is some evidence of support from all parties on this legislation.

    I definitely concede the fact that we need to have discussions and debate in committee in terms of adjusting and tweaking the bill because it would affect all Canadians. Yes, some areas of the country have more dairy industries than others. Leo Bertoia, from Langham in my riding of Saskatoon--Wanuskewin, and other good folks have related their concerns and frustrations with regard to why we need a bill of this nature.

    With the expression of goodwill from the member across the way, I would ask for unanimous consent to send the bill directly to committee so we can have those very worthwhile discussions and get the bill adjusted and tweaked.

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: Does the hon. member have the consent of the House?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

+-

    Hon. Mark Eyking (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is good to see many people in the House concerned about the dairy industry.

    I am pleased to rise today to debate Bill C-340, the dairy terms act, as proposed by my colleague, the hon. member for Saskatoon--Wanuskewin. The issue, a very important one today, is food labelling.

    The hon. member has raised some very important points about labelling of dairy and dairy food products, valid points that are shared by dairy industry producers and by me. I would like to tell members that I have many dairy farms in my riding and I also have a very large dairy processing plant, so this is very important to me too.

    A number of questions can be asked about dairy terms on labels of foods that may contain little or no dairy products. What about a product that claims to taste buttery but has no butter? What if it has a butter flavour?

    I understand that dairy producers feel that the current federal labelling regulations are not adequate for protecting dairy products. Many dairy farmers in my riding have brought this up to me. They are concerned about the ability of existing federal legislation to protect their interests with respect to the use of dairy terminology on non-dairy foods. Their concerns are legitimate and our government is working toward a solution that will help address this issue.

    I will explain more on that in a moment, but this issue is larger than just dairy products. Yes, the Government of Canada wants a solution for dairy, but we need a solution for all natural products.

    There are three points that we must keep in mind during this debate.

    First, there are many stakeholders who have an interest in how ingredients are represented on labels. Among these stakeholders are the food processors, importers, retailers and industry associates, to name just a few. There are other issues that stakeholders want to consider when it comes to product labelling. These issues include constraints of innovation, significant additional costs and administrative burden on our industry.

    Second, the labelling of food products has repercussions on international trade. Any changes to the labelling of products must be consistent with our obligations under NAFTA and also the WTO, for example.

    Third, there are other food producers that are also concerned that labels on food may refer to ingredients and flavours that have little or no connection to the actual product. What about maple flavoured products that have no maple, or honey flavoured without honey, or even chocolate flavoured without chocolate? We cannot regard the issues raised by the dairy terms act in isolation from similar concerns about other kinds of food products.

    As members can see, this is a very complex issue and the government is taking it very seriously. In fact, the CFIA is seeking a solution to address labelling for all food products. It seeks to give consumers products that are labelled in such a way that consumers can make informed decisions. The CFIA has been consulting on proposals for highlighted ingredients and flavours, which would be applied to all types of ingredients and foods.

    Consultations took place between January and April of last year and again between July and September. There were also two more workshops held on labelling issues, last November in Toronto and again in January in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. In addition, CFIA has conducted bilateral meetings with stakeholders and has commissioned a consumer survey, because at the end of the day we have to sell our products to the consumer.

    In other words, the government is already proceeding in a very thorough and methodical fashion to address the clarification of food labelling in the broader context of labelling of all food products, not just dairy products.

    To launch this first consultation, the CFIA released a discussion paper addressing the broad spectrum of food labelling issues. The discussion paper contained three proposals that address the same types of issues raised by the proposed bill from the hon. member.

    First, when ingredients or components are highlighted, whether a high or low amounts, a percentage of the ingredient as added into the food must be declared either on the front panel or ingredients list.

    Second, when the highlighted ingredient is a flavour or an artificial flavour, the words “flavour” or “artificial flavour” must appear adjacent to the named flavour. Let me give an example: “butter flavour” or “artificial butter flavour”.

  +-(1350)  

    Third, when an ingredient or a component name is used to describe the sensory characteristic of a food, that special characteristic must be stated adjacent to the description, for example, “creamy texture”.

    In an analysis of this discussion paper and subsequent consultations, the CFIA heard many different points of view. It received input and advice from food processors and from the producers, of course, and from importers, distributors, industry associations, provincial governments, health professional associations, and also consumer associations and the consumers themselves.

    In other words, the solutions that will emerge from this process will be built upon a wide consensus among different stakeholders involved. These consultations may result in changes to labelling policies through regulatory amendment, but these changes have not yet been finalized. It is a work in progress.

    The challenge is to clarify food labelling rules without creating a proliferation of acts and regulations each designed to address a different food. Today it is the dairy terms act. What will it be tomorrow? The maple terms act? Or the honey terms act or the meat terms act?

    CFIA's approach is in keeping with the Government of Canada's policy on smart regulation. What we should create is a regulatory process that results in the greatest net benefit to farmers and Canadian society while weighing the benefits of alternatives to regulation.

    The process is now in place to improve product labelling systematically. It is open to the public for input. It puts forward proposals that would be in keeping with the current standards of labelling of prepackaged foods. The hon. member mentioned the international tests. We always have to keep that in mind.

    The hon. member has put forward this bill with the support of dairy producers. I think it is a very good gesture in itself. Despite their active involvement in the consultation process on this issue with CFIA, it would appear that the dairy producers want to push for a stronger mechanism for additional protection for dairy terms according to their own priorities.

    We cannot have it both ways. We cannot push for a balanced, thorough approach of labelling food as represented by the consultation process and at the same time pass the bill before us today.

    I thank the member very much for bringing this up and for speaking on behalf of dairy farmers and bringing this forward in the House. For my part, I stand by the process that we have in place and the solutions that are going to be passed through CFIA, a process that has dairy producer associations very much as participants.

    I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the current CFIA approach to address food labelling, which means they should join with me in voting against the bill.

  +-(1355)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-340 after the speech the parliamentary secretary just delivered.

    I can appreciate that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency wants to label all food across Canada, I have no problem with that, but this bill is seeking to legislate one of the oldest products around. We have all consumed milk in our lives; I think milk is one of the sources of life. We are not talking about just any product.

    I would say to the parliamentary secretary that there are so many stakeholders in the entire food chain, so many producers and ways of doing things that these days, butter is no longer butter, milk is no longer milk and cheese is no longer cheese. That is the reality. The only thing the dairy industry wants is to say that milk is milk, cream is cream and cheese is cheese. It is easy to understand. Let us get this in writing and require all producers in Canada, all those who want to sell products, to comply with the regulations. The bill is straightforward.

    I support the parliamentary secretary and the government in their desire to see all foods labelled in Canada. But there is one obvious instance. The dairy industry spends $75 million annually in order to get milk back to being milk, butter back to butter, and cheese to cheese. These efforts are all being undone by the industries that make use of substitutes, often chemical in nature, to give the same taste. It is as simple as that.

    The bill is straightforward. Its purpose is set out in clause 3:

    3. The purpose of this Act is to ensure that food is described or presented in such a manner as to ensure the correct use of dairy terms intended for milk and milk products, to protect consumers from being confused or misled and to ensure fair practices in the food trade.

    Quite simply, it is a matter of keeping milk as milk, cream as cream, butter as butter.

    As for the application:

    4. This Act applies to all food marketed for human consumption in Canada.

    In other words, anyone wishing to use dairy terms must have dairy products. It is as simple as that.

    Then there is the prohibition, because obviously the purpose of the act is to prohibit something:

    5. No person shall manufacture, offer for sale, sell, market or advertise for sale any food to which this Act applies, if it is described in amanner contrary to this Act.

    People may make statements here in the House, but if someone claims to have buttered popcorn and there is no butter on it, I have a problem with that, as most other people would.

    A survey was carried out in Quebec by the Union des producteurs agricoles which showed that the majority of Quebeckers expect to find dairy products in something using the words “milk”, “cream” or “butter”. That is something everyone expects.

    Nevertheless, companies decide to save money by trying to achieve the same taste with derivatives and chemical products. That is a reality. Why does the government not want to get involved in this regulation today? To protect the segment of the food industry that is using improper terms to make money. It is as simple as that.

    Clearly, the Bloc Quebecois is completely opposed to this. There are farmers who are currently fighting for survival, given all the problems they face. All this bill is asking the government to do is set restrictions on these things. In other words, restrict industry from using dairy terms for products that are not dairy products.

    There is no cost to anyone. It is solely a bill that we, as legislators, can vote on in the House.

    Part of what members do is make laws. It is hard to understand that today the Liberal government, through the parliamentary secretary, has just stated that we would have to wait until the Canadian Food Inspection Agency passes legislation on labelling for all products in Canada. I have a problem with this. This means that this issue will never be resolved because it will take years.

    A Liberal colleague made a suggestion earlier. This bill, which targets a specific type of product, dairy products, needs to go to committee for consideration and consultation with the industry stakeholders. They can come tell us why we should not do this.

  +-(1400)  

    I want to give an example, because we know that one of the major problems is that producers and often processors will use a term, such as “ice cream”, when no cream is used. Often, milk is used. So, it is ice milk, not ice cream.

    Furthermore, chemicals are frequently used to make ice cream, so it really is not ice cream at all. Many people listening think that when they eat ice cream they are eating cream. But they are not.

    All we want is to ensure that the product label and advertising reflect the ingredients used to produce that product. It is as simple as that. That is the aim of this bill.

    To this end, there are even some exceptions allowed. For the benefit of everyone listening, I am referring to clause 6(8). Exceptions include all generally recognized products, such as peanut butter.

    Why do we call it “butter? It is because it has the texture of butter. No one in the House wants to prevent peanut butter manufacturers from using the term “peanut butter”.

    However, what we do not want is for terms to be used for items that are not found in the composition of the products. I will give some examples: chocolate cream pie without cream; butter cream glaze without butter; buttered popcorn without butter; ice cream without cream. These are things we want to avoid. It is as simple as that. It is easy to understand.

    I have a problem with the government telling us that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is looking at a global labelling method for all products. I would not mind, but in the meantime, our dairy farmers are spending $75 million a year on advertising their products only to be outdone by manufacturers who do not hesitate to use dairy terms.

    I would like to reiterate that milk is a raw commodity. We have all consumed milk in our lives. We are not about to start comparing this product with all other products. We are inundated with products. Hon. members know that all sorts of things come on the market.

    That is why labelling is very important. There are GMOs and all sorts of other things. One day we will have to be able—and I agree with the government on this—to label all the products that turn up in our stores and on our shelves.

    However, no one can tell me that milk is not a product that we know. We all have drunk milk at least once in our life. Think about it. Perhaps the hon. members do not remember, but it is clear that we have all drunk milk.

    Obviously the bill before us today sets some things straight, because, in fact, too many middlemen and industrialists use these terms to make money. These terms do not reflect reality.

    In this respect, if only for the sake of mothers and children, we must at least try to raise the next generation by telling them,“No one has the right anymore to tell you things that are unrealistic or untrue”. When the word “dairy” is used, it will be because there is truly a milk component present in the product.

    I hope that I will be one of those who has a chance to vote in favour of this bill and will be able to say to his children and grandchildren, “For several generations, we were pushed around by industry, which tried to use by-products to make its incredible profits”.

    Therefore, we can set this right again. It would be one good thing we could do for the dairy industry, children and mothers, so that everyone listening to us and everyone who comes after us, will understand that the members of this House decided that, in the dairy industry, when a product is sold as a milk product is must truly be a milk-based product.

    Therefore I am pleased to state that the Bloc Quebecois will vote in favour of this bill.

  +-(1405)  

+-

    Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I just want to say a few words about this bill.

    First, I want to dissociate myself from the remarks we just heard, which I do not find very kind—in fact I find them rather harsh—toward Canada's food processing industry.

    This is a very important industry, in the dairy sector and in other sectors. We know the companies located in our region, be it the Saint-Albert Cheese Factory, in my riding, or others such as Ault Foods, elsewhere. These are important industries in our country, and I think they have a very good reputation as regards food safety, ethics and so on. I do not feel that they deserve to hear such criticism.

    Second, it must be recognized that several shareholders in the agri-food industry are farmers themselves. There are a number of cooperatives. Take for example one of the largest ones in the country. We know it well, because it is located in Quebec. Earlier, I mentioned cooperatives in my riding, such as the Saint-Albert Cheese Factory, or others elsewhere in the country.

    So, one should avoid making such gratuitous accusations about the food processing industry.

    This whole food labelling issue is not a simple one. Like others here, I grew up in the days when we used Beehive syrup, with a beehive on the bottle. Yet, as far as I know, Beehive syrup does not have any honey in it. It is made with corn extract, not honey extract. If there is honey in it, there is not much. In fact, there is probably none at all.

    This is just an example.

[English]

    I was raised in a household where there always was a brown can of maple spread in front of us. I do not even know whether that spread contains any maple syrup at all. I suspect it probably does not or not very much. It is maple flavoured or something like that. Maybe it has a little bit of maple syrup but probably not much. It is a form of caramel with seasoning. I think I have eaten enough of it to remember the taste, although it has been a long time since I ate that stuff.

[Translation]

    The hon. member is telling us that the industry got me to eat a product using misrepresentation. When I was 7, 8 or 10 years old and I ate a product called “maple spread”, I did not eat it because it contained maple syrup. I ate it, as one might guess, because I thought it was good. That was why we ate that product.

    That said, the hon. member opposite has made some good points about a certain number of issues. For example, when one goes to the grocery store, I think it is abnormal, and the dairy producers in my riding are always asking me this question, that in all the big supermarkets there is a big refrigerator with a sign saying “Dairy products” and that the margarine is always in there. But we know that margarine is not a dairy product. And in the flyers and the newspaper ads, as well as in the supermarket counters, this product is found in the dairy section.

    It is arranged so that those who might usually buy a dairy product will perhaps be tempted to take the other product right next to it. In such a case, there is at least an attempt to get consumers to buy a product that is not the one they wanted.

    On the other hand, we often find eggs in the dairy counter. I do not know anyone who could confuse eggs with butter. In that case, it is obvious that there is no attempt to confuse the consumer. Sometimes there is such an intention and sometimes not.

  +-(1410)  

[English]

    A little earlier I was pondering with some colleagues as to whether or not butterball turkeys contained butter. There are a number of other such questions that create confusion with the consumer. If it does, well all the better, but it is not always obvious that it does. To that extent I give credit to the MP for raising the issue and bringing it to our attention.

[Translation]

    I am told that some of the bill's clauses, as they are currently worded, can produce the opposite effect to that intended by the hon. member across the way.

    The department's experts have advised me, for example, that the terms “artificial butter flavour” and “imitation cheese” will not be allowed. I agree. However, from what I am told, the use of terms such as “butter flavoured” would also be restricted. It may be going too far to restrict the use of “butter flavoured” to describe a product containing natural butter extract. Perhaps that was not the intention when the bill was drafted; nevertheless, experts conclude that this is the effect of the bill.

    The parliamentary secretary has taken a positive approach in his suggestion today. This is not a dilatory approach, as the member opposite said.

    The government is not promising to undertake a study on packaging and labelling at a later date. It will not happen at a later date; consultations are underway as we speak. During the consultations, 2,000 adults were surveyed. According to the experts in this field, the accuracy rate is 95%.

    We hold these consultations on the content of various food products. It would be important, in all of our undertakings, not to do anything to harm the food processing industry, and even less so the dairy farmers of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, and Stormont—Dundas—Charlottenburgh, soon to become Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, or anywhere else. Our primary interest must be to protect farmers, as well as consumers, and we also need the consumer's support for what we are doing.

    The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel has said that the dairy industry spends a great deal of money on promoting its products. He claimed that the main reason for doing so was to counteract the bad guys in the food processing industry.

    I do not feel that is their main objective. As far as I know, their campaign is to make the consumer realize that what we were told in past years was incorrect, for instance that eating a lot of cheese or other dairy products was somehow bad for the health. Now we know that was far from correct. We know that some of the fats people have been eating in substitutes for butter or other dairy products are very bad for us, and that in fact dairy products hove some very beneficial effects.

    All this to say that the campaign run by dairy producers seeks to inform the public and increase the consumption of their products which, in my opinion, are excellent. To claim that if we eat cheese we will all end up weighing 150 kilograms is not necessarily true. If this were the case, I would be very heavy, because I probably eat more cheese than most hon. members do. My colleagues are always teasing me about my dairy product consumption, particularly cheese, which I eat in very large quantities.

    The things that we were told in the past are not necessarily true and the dairy industry knows that. It has quite rightly decided to inform consumers about the very high quality of its products, and I support this initiative.

  +-(1415)  

    Also, the dairy industry just went through some very difficult times. I mentioned this this morning in the House. During oral question period, I raised the issue that prices for culled cows or even heifers are terrible. We must support the agricultural community in this regard.

    If the bill is reviewed in committee, some major amendments will be necessary. We must protect our producers, but we must also preserve consumers' confidence, because we want them to buy the excellent food items made by dairy producers from Glengarry—Prescott—Russell and elsewhere.

[English]

+-

    Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to participate in this debate today and to listen to the comments made by members.

    It is a very interesting topic to think about such things as milk and dairy products. These are products that are the stuff of life that we have all grown up with, and to realize that there is a discrepancy and confusion sometimes about what terms are being used and what the foods really are that we are seeing in the grocery stores.

    I just read a book called Fast Food Nation. It is an interesting look at fast foods, but also the whole flavouring industry, and the chemical creation of taste, flavours and scents that are overtaking our food industry. Therefore, it is not at all unreasonable for us to be asking, what is it that we are eating? I think that is the question that the member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin is trying to get at and I support his efforts in that respect.

    My colleagues and I in the NDP believe that fair labelling practices are important for today's Canadian families who have a bewildering array of products facing them during every trip to the supermarket. The average supermarket today has over 35,000 products, which is an incredible number.

    Whether we actually benefit from that enormous choice and whether the quality of our lives has been improved by the kind of choice is another debate and we are not going to talk about it here. However, it does lead families and shoppers to want to have accurate labelling on products so that they can make decisions about what foods they are buying. With so many products, the average shopper cannot hope to scan each and every one of them before making their purchasing decisions.

    This bill would provide consumers with accurate information on the ingredients of the products they choose. Consumers depend on the name of a product to decide if it is something they want since most lists of ingredients are small and written in common terms using words like hydrogenated and disodium phosphate. These are confusing technical terms that people do not understand. They want to have faith in the labelling and do not want to be misled.

    New Democrats are also concerned about the impact that labelling can have on Canadians with low literacy skills. Misleading product names can prove especially confusing for people who are not able to get through the language as easily. They depend on words they know to make purchasing decisions. Also, seniors and other Canadians with low vision depend on the larger fonts of product names instead of the smaller fonts of ingredient listings to make their decisions.

    Therefore, when they see the word dairy, milk or cheese, they get a comfort level from that and that helps them make a decision. In fact, we must ensure that they are not being bamboozled and that, in fact, it is a true representation of what they are buying.

    My colleague from Winnipeg North Centre has a private member's bill before the House on food labelling. That bill's intent is to ensure that consumers will know whether a product has genetically modified ingredients before they make purchasing decisions. It is another fair practice that Canadians want so that they can trust in the product that they are buying.

    As the member who brought forward the bill has mentioned, at the present time federal legislation does not have adequate protection for the use of dairy terms and that is just not acceptable. For example, the Food and Drugs Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act prohibit false and misleading labels, but what constitutes false and misleading labels in the dairy context is not fleshed out.

  +-(1420)  

    The dairy products regulations made under the Canada Agricultural Products Act do contain labelling requirements, but these only apply to standardized dairy products, for example what has to be on the label of cheddar cheese once it has met the standard. Federal legislation does not deal with the issue of the improper use of dairy terms and images on imitations or on substitutes.

    Each year, Canada's dairy producers spend over $75 million advertising dairy products and promoting the nutritional benefits of dairy products. The good reputation and nutritional value of dairy products is being usurped by products which claim to have the same qualities as dairy products but which do not.

    As I understand from my colleague from Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, the dairy terms act embodies the principles that were adopted at the international level by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1999 in the general standard for the use of dairy terms. Canada supported this standard at the international level. Canada should provide that same level of protection for dairy terms at the domestic level. It seems very straightforward to me.

    Most important, the bill prohibits a dairy term from being used when a food or an ingredient in a food is intended to replace a dairy product or a dairy ingredient. It prohibits using a dairy term in conjunction with the words “flavour” or “taste” when the food is not milk, a milk product or a composite milk product.

    The dairy terms act deals with the correct use of dairy terms in the marketing of food. It does not prohibit food from being made.

    I support this bill. I support efforts always to clarify language and clarify the meaning of language. I support any efforts to make it easier, not more difficult, for citizens to understand the nutritional value of the foods and beverages that they are buying in the supermarket. I will be supporting this bill when it comes to a vote.

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall (Ottawa West—Nepean, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, although I know it is against all the rules, I have to note the absence of the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, who could not wait to leave the House because there is cheese in the lobby, and cheese does not last long when the member is around. I have the same fondness for milk and I have absolutely no interest in drinking something that pretends it is milk or is like milk.

    I think all of us are much more aware of what we eat and how it affects our health, not only immediately but over the long term. A good part of that is wanting to know what is in the food we are eating, what really is behind what it may appear to be, what it may be coloured to look like or what it may be described as.

    There is certainly a very strong interest in the public in knowing what is in the food we are buying, as there is for me. Labelling is a very important component of that. I recognize how extremely important the dairy industry is to the country. It is an industry that produces $4.1 billion worth of farm cash receipts in a year. It accounts for nearly 14% of all processing sales in the food and beverage industry. It employs 38,000 people on farms and another 26,000 workers at the primary processing level, and it imposes strict quality standards at both the farm and processing levels so that we are assured of quality food when we buy dairy products.

    However, the bill would affect more than the dairy industry. It would affect other areas of the agrifood industry. It relates to how the industry develops new products. It may in fact limit some of the potential for innovation in the agrifood industry as a whole. Because it is not only the dairy industry that would be affected by the results of the bill, I would suggest that the approach taken by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, that is, to look at labelling more broadly and to consult with processors, consumers and other segments of the food and agrifood industry, is perhaps the more responsible one to take.

    In fact, that approach would take into consideration a number of different points of view and different interests that would be affected by the content and the intent of the bill. It would indeed move toward responsible and honest labelling of food, but in a way that does not favour one segment of the industry over the other, that does not go so far in protecting one industry that it may harm others and may in fact go beyond what is needed for the kind of accurate and fair information that consumers are looking for in their packaging.

    I do applaud the intent of the bill. However, I do think it is important that we look more broadly at the issue of labelling food and not have a number of bills coming forward to deal with this sector of the agrifood industry and another bill dealing with another so that we would have a mishmash of labelling requirements that may in fact run contrary to one another.

    I do believe in the approach the agency is taking in trying to bring all these requirements together in order to bring forward something that is comprehensive and integrated and also respects the kind of information consumers want as to nutritional value, fatty content and all the other things we have started taking an interest in, both for our own personal health and for the health of the generations to come.

    I believe that a broader approach is needed here. It may take a little more time but I think the end product will be much more to the benefit of the dairy industry, of consumers and of the agrifood industry in Canada as a whole.

  -(1425)  

[Translation]

-

    The Deputy Speaker: The time provided for the consideration of private members' business has now expired and the order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the Order Paper.

    It being 2:30 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Monday March 22 at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28 and 24.

    (The House adjourned at 2:30 p.m.)

APPENDIX

Alphabetical List of Members with their
Constituencies, Province of Constituency
and Political Affiliations;
Committees of the House,
the Ministry and Parliamentary Secretary


Chair Occupants

 

The Speaker

Hon. Peter Milliken

 

The Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Bob Kilger

 

The Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Réginald Bélair

 

The Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole

Mrs. Betty Hinton

 


Board Of Internal Economy

Hon. Peter Milliken

Hon. Bill Blaikie

Ms. Marlene Catterall

Mr. Bob Kilger

Mr. Dale Johnston

Mr. Loyola Hearn

Mr. Michel Guimond

Hon. Mauril Bélanger

Hon. Jacques Saada


Alphabetical list of Members of the House of Commons

Third Session--Thirty Seventh Parliament

Name of Member Constituency Province of Constituency Political Affiliation
Abbott, Jim Kootenay—Columbia British Columbia CPC
Ablonczy, Diane Calgary—Nose Hill Alberta CPC
Adams, Peter Peterborough Ontario Lib.
Alcock, Hon. Reg Winnipeg South Manitoba Lib.
Allard, Carole-Marie Laval East Quebec Lib.
Anders, Rob Calgary West Alberta CPC
Anderson, David Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan CPC
Anderson, Hon. David Victoria British Columbia Lib.
Assad, Mark Gatineau Quebec Lib.
Assadourian, Sarkis Brampton Centre Ontario Lib.
Asselin, Gérard Charlevoix Quebec BQ
Augustine, Hon. Jean, Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women) Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario Lib.
Bachand, André Richmond—Arthabaska Quebec Ind.
Bachand, Claude Saint-Jean Quebec BQ
Bagnell, Hon. Larry Yukon Yukon Lib.
Bailey, Roy Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan CPC
Bakopanos, Hon. Eleni Ahuntsic Quebec Lib.
Barnes, Rex Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland and Labrador CPC
Barnes, Hon. Sue, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada London West Ontario Lib.
Barrette, Gilbert Témiscamingue Quebec Lib.
Beaumier, Colleen Brampton West—Mississauga Ontario Lib.
Bélair, Réginald, Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole Timmins—James Bay Ontario Lib.
Bélanger, Hon. Mauril, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Ottawa—Vanier Ontario Lib.
Bellemare, Eugène Ottawa—Orléans Ontario Lib.
Bennett, Hon. Carolyn, Minister of State (Public Health) St. Paul's Ontario Lib.
Benoit, Leon Lakeland Alberta CPC
Bergeron, Stéphane Verchères—Les-Patriotes Quebec BQ
Bertrand, Robert Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle Quebec Lib.
Bevilacqua, Hon. Maurizio Vaughan—King—Aurora Ontario Lib.
Bigras, Bernard Rosemont—Petite-Patrie Quebec BQ
Binet, Gérard Frontenac—Mégantic Quebec Lib.
Blaikie, Hon. Bill Winnipeg—Transcona Manitoba NDP
Blondin-Andrew, Hon. Ethel, Minister of State (Children and Youth) Western Arctic Northwest Territories Lib.
Bonin, Raymond Nickel Belt Ontario Lib.
Bonwick, Hon. Paul, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans) Simcoe—Grey Ontario Lib.
Borotsik, Rick Brandon—Souris Manitoba CPC
Boudria, Hon. Don Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario Lib.
Bourgeois, Diane Terrebonne—Blainville Quebec BQ
Bradshaw, Hon. Claudette, Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick Lib.
Breitkreuz, Garry Yorkton—Melville Saskatchewan CPC
Brison, Hon. Scott, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Canada-U.S.) Kings—Hants Nova Scotia Lib.
Brown, Bonnie Oakville Ontario Lib.
Bryden, John Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot Ontario CPC
Bulte, Sarmite Parkdale—High Park Ontario Lib.
Burton, Andy Skeena British Columbia CPC
Byrne, Hon. Gerry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
Caccia, Hon. Charles Davenport Ontario Lib.
Cadman, Chuck Surrey North British Columbia CPC
Calder, Murray Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey Ontario Lib.
Cannis, John Scarborough Centre Ontario Lib.
Caplan, Hon. Elinor Thornhill Ontario Lib.
Cardin, Serge Sherbrooke Quebec BQ
Carignan, Jean-Guy Québec Est Quebec Ind.
Carroll, Hon. Aileen, Minister for International Cooperation Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford Ontario Lib.
Casey, Bill Cumberland—Colchester Nova Scotia CPC
Casson, Rick Lethbridge Alberta CPC
Castonguay, Jeannot Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick Lib.
Catterall, Marlene Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario Lib.
Cauchon, Hon. Martin Outremont Quebec Lib.
Chamberlain, Hon. Brenda, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada Guelph—Wellington Ontario Lib.
Charbonneau, Hon. Yvon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Emergency Preparedness) Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies Quebec Lib.
Chatters, David Athabasca Alberta CPC
Clark, Right Hon. Joe Calgary Centre Alberta PC
Coderre, Hon. Denis, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Minister responsible for la Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution Bourassa Quebec Lib.
Collenette, Hon. David Don Valley East Ontario Lib.
Comartin, Joe Windsor—St. Clair Ontario NDP
Comuzzi, Hon. Joe, Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario) Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario Lib.
Copps, Hon. Sheila Hamilton East Ontario Lib.
Cotler, Hon. Irwin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Mount Royal Quebec Lib.
Crête, Paul Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques Quebec BQ
Cullen, Roy Etobicoke North Ontario Lib.
Cummins, John Delta—South Richmond British Columbia CPC
Cuzner, Rodger Bras d'Or—Cape Breton Nova Scotia Lib.
Dalphond-Guiral, Madeleine Laval Centre Quebec BQ
Davies, Libby Vancouver East British Columbia NDP
Day, Stockwell Okanagan—Coquihalla British Columbia CPC
Desjarlais, Bev Churchill Manitoba NDP
Desrochers, Odina Lotbinière—L'Érable Quebec BQ
DeVillers, Hon. Paul Simcoe North Ontario Lib.
Dhaliwal, Hon. Herb Vancouver South—Burnaby British Columbia Lib.
Dion, Hon. Stéphane Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Quebec Lib.
Discepola, Nick Vaudreuil—Soulanges Quebec Lib.
Doyle, Norman St. John's East Newfoundland and Labrador CPC
Dromisky, Stan Thunder Bay—Atikokan Ontario Lib.
Drouin, Hon. Claude Beauce Quebec Lib.
Duceppe, Gilles Laurier—Sainte-Marie Quebec BQ
Duncan, John Vancouver Island North British Columbia CPC
Duplain, Claude Portneuf Quebec Lib.
Easter, Hon. Wayne Malpeque Prince Edward Island Lib.
Efford, Hon. R. John, Minister of Natural Resources Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
Eggleton, Hon. Art York Centre Ontario Lib.
Elley, Reed Nanaimo—Cowichan British Columbia CPC
Epp, Ken Elk Island Alberta CPC
Eyking, Hon. Mark, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food) Sydney—Victoria Nova Scotia Lib.
Farrah, Hon. Georges, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development) Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Pabok Quebec Lib.
Finlay, John Oxford Ontario Lib.
Fitzpatrick, Brian Prince Albert Saskatchewan CPC
Folco, Raymonde Laval West Quebec Lib.
Fontana, Hon. Joe, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Science and Small Business) London North Centre Ontario Lib.
Forseth, Paul New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby British Columbia CPC
Fournier, Ghislain Manicouagan Quebec BQ
Frulla, Hon. Liza, Minister of Social Development Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles Quebec Lib.
Fry, Hon. Hedy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Vancouver Centre British Columbia Lib.
Gagnon, Christiane Québec Quebec BQ
Gagnon, Marcel Champlain Quebec BQ
Gagnon, Sébastien Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay Quebec BQ
Gallant, Cheryl Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke Ontario CPC
Gallaway, Hon. Roger, Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Sarnia—Lambton Ontario Lib.
Gaudet, Roger Berthier—Montcalm Quebec BQ
Gauthier, Michel Roberval Quebec BQ
Girard-Bujold, Jocelyne Jonquière Quebec BQ
Godfrey, Hon. John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Cities) Don Valley West Ontario Lib.
Godin, Yvon Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick NDP
Goldring, Peter Edmonton Centre-East Alberta CPC
Goodale, Hon. Ralph, Minister of Finance Wascana Saskatchewan Lib.
Gouk, Jim Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan British Columbia CPC
Graham, Hon. Bill, Minister of Foreign Affairs Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario Lib.
Grewal, Gurmant Surrey Central British Columbia CPC
Grey, Deborah Edmonton North Alberta CPC
Grose, Ivan Oshawa Ontario Lib.
Guarnieri, Hon. Albina, Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Civil Preparedness) Mississauga East Ontario Lib.
Guay, Monique Laurentides Quebec BQ
Guimond, Michel Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans Quebec BQ
Hanger, Art Calgary Northeast Alberta CPC
Harper, Stephen Calgary Southwest Alberta CPC
Harris, Richard Prince George—Bulkley Valley British Columbia CPC
Harvard, Hon. John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba Lib.
Harvey, Hon. André, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources Chicoutimi—Le Fjord Quebec Lib.
Hearn, Loyola St. John's West Newfoundland and Labrador CPC
Herron, John Fundy—Royal New Brunswick PC
Hill, Hon. Grant, Leader of the Opposition Macleod Alberta CPC
Hill, Jay Prince George—Peace River British Columbia CPC
Hilstrom, Howard Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba CPC
Hinton, Betty, Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys British Columbia CPC
Hubbard, Charles Miramichi New Brunswick Lib.
Ianno, Tony Trinity—Spadina Ontario Lib.
Jackson, Ovid Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound Ontario Lib.
Jaffer, Rahim Edmonton—Strathcona Alberta CPC
Jennings, Marlene Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Quebec Lib.
Jobin, Christian Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Quebec Lib.
Johnston, Dale Wetaskiwin Alberta CPC
Jordan, Hon. Joe, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board Leeds—Grenville Ontario Lib.
Karetak-Lindell, Nancy Nunavut Nunavut Lib.
Karygiannis, Hon. Jim, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport Scarborough—Agincourt Ontario Lib.
Keddy, Gerald South Shore Nova Scotia CPC
Kenney, Jason Calgary Southeast Alberta CPC
Keyes, Hon. Stan, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport) Hamilton West Ontario Lib.
Kilger, Bob, Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole Stormont—Dundas—Charlottenburgh Ontario Lib.
Kilgour, Hon. David Edmonton Southeast Alberta Lib.
Knutson, Hon. Gar, Minister of State (New and Emerging Markets) Elgin—Middlesex—London Ontario Lib.
Kraft Sloan, Karen York North Ontario Lib.
Laframboise, Mario Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel Quebec BQ
Laliberte, Rick Churchill River Saskatchewan Lib.
Lalonde, Francine Mercier Quebec BQ
Lanctôt, Robert Châteauguay Quebec Lib.
Lastewka, Hon. Walt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services St. Catharines Ontario Lib.
Lebel, Ghislain Chambly Quebec Ind.
LeBlanc, Dominic Beauséjour—Petitcodiac New Brunswick Lib.
Lee, Derek Scarborough—Rouge River Ontario Lib.
Leung, Sophia Vancouver Kingsway British Columbia Lib.
Lill, Wendy Dartmouth Nova Scotia NDP
Lincoln, Clifford Lac-Saint-Louis Quebec Lib.
Longfield, Judi Whitby—Ajax Ontario Lib.
Loubier, Yvan Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot Quebec BQ
Lunn, Gary Saanich—Gulf Islands British Columbia CPC
Lunney, James Nanaimo—Alberni British Columbia CPC
MacAulay, Hon. Lawrence Cardigan Prince Edward Island Lib.
MacKay, Peter Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough Nova Scotia CPC
Macklin, Paul Harold Northumberland Ontario Lib.
Mahoney, Hon. Steve Mississauga West Ontario Lib.
Malhi, Hon. Gurbax, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale Ontario Lib.
Maloney, John Erie—Lincoln Ontario Lib.
Manley, Hon. John Ottawa South Ontario Lib.
Marceau, Richard Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier Quebec BQ
Marcil, Hon. Serge, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment Beauharnois—Salaberry Quebec Lib.
Mark, Inky Dauphin—Swan River Manitoba CPC
Marleau, Hon. Diane Sudbury Ontario Lib.
Martin, Keith Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca British Columbia Ind.
Martin, Pat Winnipeg Centre Manitoba NDP
Martin, Right Hon. Paul, Prime Minister LaSalle—Émard Quebec Lib.
Masse, Brian Windsor West Ontario NDP
Matthews, Bill Burin—St. George's Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
Mayfield, Philip Cariboo—Chilcotin British Columbia CPC
McCallum, Hon. John, Minister of Veterans Affairs Markham Ontario Lib.
McCormick, Larry Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington Ontario Lib.
McDonough, Alexa Halifax Nova Scotia NDP
McGuire, Hon. Joe, Minister of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Egmont Prince Edward Island Lib.
McKay, Hon. John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance Scarborough East Ontario Lib.
McLellan, Hon. Anne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Edmonton West Alberta Lib.
McNally, Grant Dewdney—Alouette British Columbia CPC
McTeague, Hon. Dan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge Ontario Lib.
Ménard, Réal Hochelaga—Maisonneuve Quebec BQ
Meredith, Val South Surrey—White Rock—Langley British Columbia CPC
Merrifield, Rob Yellowhead Alberta CPC
Milliken, Hon. Peter, Speaker Kingston and the Islands Ontario Lib.
Mills, Bob Red Deer Alberta CPC
Mills, Dennis Toronto—Danforth Ontario Lib.
Minna, Hon. Maria, Beaches—East York Beaches—East York Ontario Lib.
Mitchell, Hon. Andy, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario Lib.
Moore, James Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam British Columbia CPC
Murphy, Hon. Shawn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Hillsborough Prince Edward Island Lib.
Myers, Lynn Waterloo—Wellington Ontario Lib.
Nault, Hon. Robert Kenora—Rainy River Ontario Lib.
Neville, Anita Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba Lib.
Normand, Hon. Gilbert Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet Quebec Lib.
Nystrom, Hon. Lorne Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan NDP
O'Brien, Lawrence Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
O'Brien, Pat London—Fanshawe Ontario Lib.
O'Reilly, John Haliburton—Victoria—Brock Ontario Lib.
Obhrai, Deepak Calgary East Alberta CPC
Owen, Hon. Stephen, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Vancouver Quadra British Columbia Lib.
Pacetti, Massimo Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Quebec Lib.
Pagtakhan, Hon. Rey, Minister of Western Economic Diversification Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba Lib.
Pallister, Brian Portage—Lisgar Manitoba CPC
Pankiw, Jim Saskatoon—Humboldt Saskatchewan Ind.
Paquette, Pierre Joliette Quebec BQ
Paradis, Hon. Denis, Minister of State (Financial Institutions) Brome—Missisquoi Quebec Lib.
Parrish, Carolyn Mississauga Centre Ontario Lib.
Patry, Bernard Pierrefonds—Dollard Quebec Lib.
Penson, Charlie Peace River Alberta CPC
Peric, Janko Cambridge Ontario Lib.
Perron, Gilles-A. Rivière-des-Mille-Îles Quebec BQ
Peschisolido, Joe Richmond British Columbia Lib.
Peterson, Hon. Jim, Minister of International Trade Willowdale Ontario Lib.
Pettigrew, Hon. Pierre, Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages Papineau—Saint-Denis Quebec Lib.
Phinney, Beth Hamilton Mountain Ontario Lib.
Picard, Pauline Drummond Quebec BQ
Pickard, Hon. Jerry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Border Transit) Chatham—Kent Essex Ontario Lib.
Pillitteri, Gary Niagara Falls Ontario Lib.
Plamondon, Louis Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour Quebec BQ
Pratt, Hon. David, Minister of National Defence Nepean—Carleton Ontario Lib.
Price, Hon. David, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence Compton—Stanstead Quebec Lib.
Proctor, Dick Palliser Saskatchewan NDP
Proulx, Marcel Hull—Aylmer Quebec Lib.
Provenzano, Carmen Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Lib.
Rajotte, James Edmonton Southwest Alberta CPC
Redman, Karen Kitchener Centre Ontario Lib.
Reed, Julian Halton Ontario Lib.
Regan, Hon. Geoff, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Halifax West Nova Scotia Lib.
Reid, Scott Lanark—Carleton Ontario CPC
Reynolds, John, West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast British Columbia CPC
Ritz, Gerry Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan CPC
Robillard, Hon. Lucienne, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec Westmount—Ville-Marie Quebec Lib.
Robinson, Svend Burnaby—Douglas British Columbia NDP
Rocheleau, Yves Trois-Rivières Quebec BQ
Roy, Jean-Yves Matapédia—Matane Quebec BQ
Saada, Hon. Jacques, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform Brossard—La Prairie Quebec Lib.
Sauvageau, Benoît Repentigny Quebec BQ
Savoy, Andy Tobique—Mactaquac New Brunswick Lib.
Schellenberger, Gary Perth—Middlesex Ontario CPC
Scherrer, Hon. Hélène, Minister of Canadian Heritage Louis-Hébert Quebec Lib.
Schmidt, Werner Kelowna British Columbia CPC
Scott, Hon. Andy, Minister of State (Infrastructure) Fredericton New Brunswick Lib.
Serré, Benoît Timiskaming—Cochrane Ontario Lib.
Sgro, Hon. Judy, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration York West Ontario Lib.
Shepherd, Alex Durham Ontario Lib.
Simard, Raymond Saint Boniface Manitoba Lib.
Skelton, Carol Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar Saskatchewan CPC
Solberg, Monte Medicine Hat Alberta CPC
Sorenson, Kevin Crowfoot Alberta CPC
Speller, Hon. Bob, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant Ontario Lib.
Spencer, Larry Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan Ind.
St-Hilaire, Caroline Longueuil Quebec BQ
St-Jacques, Diane Shefford Quebec Lib.
St-Julien, Guy Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik Quebec Lib.
St. Denis, Brent Algoma—Manitoulin Ontario Lib.
Steckle, Paul Huron—Bruce Ontario Lib.
Stewart, Hon. Jane Brant Ontario Lib.
Stinson, Darrel Okanagan—Shuswap British Columbia CPC
Stoffer, Peter Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore Nova Scotia NDP
Strahl, Chuck Fraser Valley British Columbia CPC
Szabo, Paul Mississauga South Ontario Lib.
Telegdi, Hon. Andrew, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Aboriginal Affairs) Kitchener—Waterloo Ontario Lib.
Thibault, Hon. Robert West Nova Nova Scotia Lib.
Thibeault, Yolande Saint-Lambert Quebec Lib.
Thompson, Greg New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick CPC
Thompson, Myron Wild Rose Alberta CPC
Tirabassi, Tony Niagara Centre Ontario Lib.
Toews, Vic Provencher Manitoba CPC
Tonks, Alan York South—Weston Ontario Lib.
Torsney, Paddy Burlington Ontario Lib.
Tremblay, Suzanne Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis Quebec BQ
Ur, Rose-Marie Lambton—Kent—Middlesex Ontario Lib.
Valeri, Hon. Tony, Minister of Transport Stoney Creek Ontario Lib.
Vanclief, Hon. Lyle Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario Lib.
Vellacott, Maurice Saskatoon—Wanuskewin Saskatchewan CPC
Venne, Pierrette Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert Quebec Ind. BQ
Volpe, Hon. Joseph, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario Lib.
Wappel, Tom Scarborough Southwest Ontario Lib.
Wasylycia-Leis, Judy Winnipeg North Centre Manitoba NDP
Wayne, Elsie Saint John New Brunswick CPC
Whelan, Hon. Susan Essex Ontario Lib.
White, Randy Langley—Abbotsford British Columbia CPC
White, Ted North Vancouver British Columbia CPC
Wilfert, Bryon Oak Ridges Ontario Lib.
Williams, John St. Albert Alberta CPC
Wood, Bob Nipissing Ontario Lib.
Yelich, Lynne Blackstrap Saskatchewan CPC
VACANCY Ottawa-Centre Ontario
VACANCY Etobicoke Ontario
VACANCY Saint-Maurice Quebec

Alphabetical list of Members of the House of Commons by Province

Third Session--Thirty Seventh Parliament

Name of Member Constituency Political Affiliation

Alberta (26)
Ablonczy, Diane Calgary—Nose Hill CPC
Anders, Rob Calgary West CPC
Benoit, Leon Lakeland CPC
Casson, Rick Lethbridge CPC
Chatters, David Athabasca CPC
Clark, Right Hon. Joe Calgary Centre PC
Epp, Ken Elk Island CPC
Goldring, Peter Edmonton Centre-East CPC
Grey, Deborah Edmonton North CPC
Hanger, Art Calgary Northeast CPC
Harper, Stephen Calgary Southwest CPC
Hill, Hon. Grant, Leader of the Opposition Macleod CPC
Jaffer, Rahim Edmonton—Strathcona CPC
Johnston, Dale Wetaskiwin CPC
Kenney, Jason Calgary Southeast CPC
Kilgour, Hon. David Edmonton Southeast Lib.
McLellan, Hon. Anne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Edmonton West Lib.
Merrifield, Rob Yellowhead CPC
Mills, Bob Red Deer CPC
Obhrai, Deepak Calgary East CPC
Penson, Charlie Peace River CPC
Rajotte, James Edmonton Southwest CPC
Solberg, Monte Medicine Hat CPC
Sorenson, Kevin Crowfoot CPC
Thompson, Myron Wild Rose CPC
Williams, John St. Albert CPC

British Columbia (34)
Abbott, Jim Kootenay—Columbia CPC
Anderson, Hon. David Victoria Lib.
Burton, Andy Skeena CPC
Cadman, Chuck Surrey North CPC
Cummins, John Delta—South Richmond CPC
Davies, Libby Vancouver East NDP
Day, Stockwell Okanagan—Coquihalla CPC
Dhaliwal, Hon. Herb Vancouver South—Burnaby Lib.
Duncan, John Vancouver Island North CPC
Elley, Reed Nanaimo—Cowichan CPC
Forseth, Paul New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby CPC
Fry, Hon. Hedy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Vancouver Centre Lib.
Gouk, Jim Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan CPC
Grewal, Gurmant Surrey Central CPC
Harris, Richard Prince George—Bulkley Valley CPC
Hill, Jay Prince George—Peace River CPC
Hinton, Betty, Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys CPC
Leung, Sophia Vancouver Kingsway Lib.
Lunn, Gary Saanich—Gulf Islands CPC
Lunney, James Nanaimo—Alberni CPC
Martin, Keith Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca Ind.
Mayfield, Philip Cariboo—Chilcotin CPC
McNally, Grant Dewdney—Alouette CPC
Meredith, Val South Surrey—White Rock—Langley CPC
Moore, James Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam CPC
Owen, Hon. Stephen, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Vancouver Quadra Lib.
Peschisolido, Joe Richmond Lib.
Reynolds, John, West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast CPC
Robinson, Svend Burnaby—Douglas NDP
Schmidt, Werner Kelowna CPC
Stinson, Darrel Okanagan—Shuswap CPC
Strahl, Chuck Fraser Valley CPC
White, Randy Langley—Abbotsford CPC
White, Ted North Vancouver CPC

Manitoba (14)
Alcock, Hon. Reg Winnipeg South Lib.
Blaikie, Hon. Bill Winnipeg—Transcona NDP
Borotsik, Rick Brandon—Souris CPC
Desjarlais, Bev Churchill NDP
Harvard, Hon. John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia Lib.
Hilstrom, Howard Selkirk—Interlake CPC
Mark, Inky Dauphin—Swan River CPC
Martin, Pat Winnipeg Centre NDP
Neville, Anita Winnipeg South Centre Lib.
Pagtakhan, Hon. Rey, Minister of Western Economic Diversification Winnipeg North—St. Paul Lib.
Pallister, Brian Portage—Lisgar CPC
Simard, Raymond Saint Boniface Lib.
Toews, Vic Provencher CPC
Wasylycia-Leis, Judy Winnipeg North Centre NDP

New Brunswick (10)
Bradshaw, Hon. Claudette, Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe Lib.
Castonguay, Jeannot Madawaska—Restigouche Lib.
Godin, Yvon Acadie—Bathurst NDP
Herron, John Fundy—Royal PC
Hubbard, Charles Miramichi Lib.
LeBlanc, Dominic Beauséjour—Petitcodiac Lib.
Savoy, Andy Tobique—Mactaquac Lib.
Scott, Hon. Andy, Minister of State (Infrastructure) Fredericton Lib.
Thompson, Greg New Brunswick Southwest CPC
Wayne, Elsie Saint John CPC

Newfoundland and Labrador (7)
Barnes, Rex Gander—Grand Falls CPC
Byrne, Hon. Gerry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Lib.
Doyle, Norman St. John's East CPC
Efford, Hon. R. John, Minister of Natural Resources Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Lib.
Hearn, Loyola St. John's West CPC
Matthews, Bill Burin—St. George's Lib.
O'Brien, Lawrence Labrador Lib.

Northwest Territories (1)
Blondin-Andrew, Hon. Ethel, Minister of State (Children and Youth) Western Arctic Lib.

Nova Scotia (11)
Brison, Hon. Scott, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Canada-U.S.) Kings—Hants Lib.
Casey, Bill Cumberland—Colchester CPC
Cuzner, Rodger Bras d'Or—Cape Breton Lib.
Eyking, Hon. Mark, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food) Sydney—Victoria Lib.
Keddy, Gerald South Shore CPC
Lill, Wendy Dartmouth NDP
MacKay, Peter Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough CPC
McDonough, Alexa Halifax NDP
Regan, Hon. Geoff, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Halifax West Lib.
Stoffer, Peter Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore NDP
Thibault, Hon. Robert West Nova Lib.

Nunavut (1)
Karetak-Lindell, Nancy Nunavut Lib.

Ontario (103)
Adams, Peter Peterborough Lib.
Assadourian, Sarkis Brampton Centre Lib.
Augustine, Hon. Jean, Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women) Etobicoke—Lakeshore Lib.
Barnes, Hon. Sue, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada London West Lib.
Beaumier, Colleen Brampton West—Mississauga Lib.
Bélair, Réginald, Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole Timmins—James Bay Lib.
Bélanger, Hon. Mauril, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Ottawa—Vanier Lib.
Bellemare, Eugène Ottawa—Orléans Lib.
Bennett, Hon. Carolyn, Minister of State (Public Health) St. Paul's Lib.
Bevilacqua, Hon. Maurizio Vaughan—King—Aurora Lib.
Bonin, Raymond Nickel Belt Lib.
Bonwick, Hon. Paul, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans) Simcoe—Grey Lib.
Boudria, Hon. Don Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Lib.
Brown, Bonnie Oakville Lib.
Bryden, John Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot CPC
Bulte, Sarmite Parkdale—High Park Lib.
Caccia, Hon. Charles Davenport Lib.
Calder, Murray Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey Lib.
Cannis, John Scarborough Centre Lib.
Caplan, Hon. Elinor Thornhill Lib.
Carroll, Hon. Aileen, Minister for International Cooperation Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford Lib.
Catterall, Marlene Ottawa West—Nepean Lib.
Chamberlain, Hon. Brenda, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada Guelph—Wellington Lib.
Collenette, Hon. David Don Valley East Lib.
Comartin, Joe Windsor—St. Clair NDP
Comuzzi, Hon. Joe, Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario) Thunder Bay—Superior North Lib.
Copps, Hon. Sheila Hamilton East Lib.
Cullen, Roy Etobicoke North Lib.
DeVillers, Hon. Paul Simcoe North Lib.
Dromisky, Stan Thunder Bay—Atikokan Lib.
Eggleton, Hon. Art York Centre Lib.
Finlay, John Oxford Lib.
Fontana, Hon. Joe, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Science and Small Business) London North Centre Lib.
Gallant, Cheryl Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke CPC
Gallaway, Hon. Roger, Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Sarnia—Lambton Lib.
Godfrey, Hon. John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Cities) Don Valley West Lib.
Graham, Hon. Bill, Minister of Foreign Affairs Toronto Centre—Rosedale Lib.
Grose, Ivan Oshawa Lib.
Guarnieri, Hon. Albina, Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Civil Preparedness) Mississauga East Lib.
Ianno, Tony Trinity—Spadina Lib.
Jackson, Ovid Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound Lib.
Jordan, Hon. Joe, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board Leeds—Grenville Lib.
Karygiannis, Hon. Jim, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport Scarborough—Agincourt Lib.
Keyes, Hon. Stan, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport) Hamilton West Lib.
Kilger, Bob, Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole Stormont—Dundas—Charlottenburgh Lib.
Knutson, Hon. Gar, Minister of State (New and Emerging Markets) Elgin—Middlesex—London Lib.
Kraft Sloan, Karen York North Lib.
Lastewka, Hon. Walt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services St. Catharines Lib.
Lee, Derek Scarborough—Rouge River Lib.
Longfield, Judi Whitby—Ajax Lib.
Macklin, Paul Harold Northumberland Lib.
Mahoney, Hon. Steve Mississauga West Lib.
Malhi, Hon. Gurbax, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale Lib.
Maloney, John Erie—Lincoln Lib.
Manley, Hon. John Ottawa South Lib.
Marleau, Hon. Diane Sudbury Lib.
Masse, Brian Windsor West NDP
McCallum, Hon. John, Minister of Veterans Affairs Markham Lib.
McCormick, Larry Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington Lib.
McKay, Hon. John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance Scarborough East Lib.
McTeague, Hon. Dan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge Lib.
Milliken, Hon. Peter, Speaker Kingston and the Islands Lib.
Mills, Dennis Toronto—Danforth Lib.
Minna, Hon. Maria, Beaches—East York Beaches—East York Lib.
Mitchell, Hon. Andy, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Parry Sound—Muskoka Lib.
Myers, Lynn Waterloo—Wellington Lib.
Nault, Hon. Robert Kenora—Rainy River Lib.
O'Brien, Pat London—Fanshawe Lib.
O'Reilly, John Haliburton—Victoria—Brock Lib.
Parrish, Carolyn Mississauga Centre Lib.
Peric, Janko Cambridge Lib.
Peterson, Hon. Jim, Minister of International Trade Willowdale Lib.
Phinney, Beth Hamilton Mountain Lib.
Pickard, Hon. Jerry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Border Transit) Chatham—Kent Essex Lib.
Pillitteri, Gary Niagara Falls Lib.
Pratt, Hon. David, Minister of National Defence Nepean—Carleton Lib.
Provenzano, Carmen Sault Ste. Marie Lib.
Redman, Karen Kitchener Centre Lib.
Reed, Julian Halton Lib.
Reid, Scott Lanark—Carleton CPC
Schellenberger, Gary Perth—Middlesex CPC
Serré, Benoît Timiskaming—Cochrane Lib.
Sgro, Hon. Judy, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration York West Lib.
Shepherd, Alex Durham Lib.
Speller, Hon. Bob, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant Lib.
St. Denis, Brent Algoma—Manitoulin Lib.
Steckle, Paul Huron—Bruce Lib.
Stewart, Hon. Jane Brant Lib.
Szabo, Paul Mississauga South Lib.
Telegdi, Hon. Andrew, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Aboriginal Affairs) Kitchener—Waterloo Lib.
Tirabassi, Tony Niagara Centre Lib.
Tonks, Alan York South—Weston Lib.
Torsney, Paddy Burlington Lib.
Ur, Rose-Marie Lambton—Kent—Middlesex Lib.
Valeri, Hon. Tony, Minister of Transport Stoney Creek Lib.
Vanclief, Hon. Lyle Prince Edward—Hastings Lib.
Volpe, Hon. Joseph, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Eglinton—Lawrence Lib.
Wappel, Tom Scarborough Southwest Lib.
Whelan, Hon. Susan Essex Lib.
Wilfert, Bryon Oak Ridges Lib.
Wood, Bob Nipissing Lib.
VACANCY Ottawa-Centre
VACANCY Etobicoke

Prince Edward Island (4)
Easter, Hon. Wayne Malpeque Lib.
MacAulay, Hon. Lawrence Cardigan Lib.
McGuire, Hon. Joe, Minister of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Egmont Lib.
Murphy, Hon. Shawn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Hillsborough Lib.

Quebec (75)
Allard, Carole-Marie Laval East Lib.
Assad, Mark Gatineau Lib.
Asselin, Gérard Charlevoix BQ
Bachand, André Richmond—Arthabaska Ind.
Bachand, Claude Saint-Jean BQ
Bakopanos, Hon. Eleni Ahuntsic Lib.
Barrette, Gilbert Témiscamingue Lib.
Bergeron, Stéphane Verchères—Les-Patriotes BQ
Bertrand, Robert Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle Lib.
Bigras, Bernard Rosemont—Petite-Patrie BQ
Binet, Gérard Frontenac—Mégantic Lib.
Bourgeois, Diane Terrebonne—Blainville BQ
Cardin, Serge Sherbrooke BQ
Carignan, Jean-Guy Québec Est Ind.
Cauchon, Hon. Martin Outremont Lib.
Charbonneau, Hon. Yvon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Emergency Preparedness) Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies Lib.
Coderre, Hon. Denis, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Minister responsible for la Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution Bourassa Lib.
Cotler, Hon. Irwin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Mount Royal Lib.
Crête, Paul Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques BQ
Dalphond-Guiral, Madeleine Laval Centre BQ
Desrochers, Odina Lotbinière—L'Érable BQ
Dion, Hon. Stéphane Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Lib.
Discepola, Nick Vaudreuil—Soulanges Lib.
Drouin, Hon. Claude Beauce Lib.
Duceppe, Gilles Laurier—Sainte-Marie BQ
Duplain, Claude Portneuf Lib.
Farrah, Hon. Georges, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development) Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Pabok Lib.
Folco, Raymonde Laval West Lib.
Fournier, Ghislain Manicouagan BQ
Frulla, Hon. Liza, Minister of Social Development Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles Lib.
Gagnon, Christiane Québec BQ
Gagnon, Marcel Champlain BQ
Gagnon, Sébastien Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay BQ
Gaudet, Roger Berthier—Montcalm BQ
Gauthier, Michel Roberval BQ
Girard-Bujold, Jocelyne Jonquière BQ
Guay, Monique Laurentides BQ
Guimond, Michel Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans BQ
Harvey, Hon. André, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources Chicoutimi—Le Fjord Lib.
Jennings, Marlene Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Lib.
Jobin, Christian Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Lib.
Laframboise, Mario Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel BQ
Lalonde, Francine Mercier BQ
Lanctôt, Robert Châteauguay Lib.
Lebel, Ghislain Chambly Ind.
Lincoln, Clifford Lac-Saint-Louis Lib.
Loubier, Yvan Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot BQ
Marceau, Richard Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier BQ
Marcil, Hon. Serge, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment Beauharnois—Salaberry Lib.
Martin, Right Hon. Paul, Prime Minister LaSalle—Émard Lib.
Ménard, Réal Hochelaga—Maisonneuve BQ
Normand, Hon. Gilbert Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet Lib.
Pacetti, Massimo Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Lib.
Paquette, Pierre Joliette BQ
Paradis, Hon. Denis, Minister of State (Financial Institutions) Brome—Missisquoi Lib.
Patry, Bernard Pierrefonds—Dollard Lib.
Perron, Gilles-A. Rivière-des-Mille-Îles BQ
Pettigrew, Hon. Pierre, Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages Papineau—Saint-Denis Lib.
Picard, Pauline Drummond BQ
Plamondon, Louis Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour BQ
Price, Hon. David, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence Compton—Stanstead Lib.
Proulx, Marcel Hull—Aylmer Lib.
Robillard, Hon. Lucienne, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec Westmount—Ville-Marie Lib.
Rocheleau, Yves Trois-Rivières BQ
Roy, Jean-Yves Matapédia—Matane BQ
Saada, Hon. Jacques, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform Brossard—La Prairie Lib.
Sauvageau, Benoît Repentigny BQ
Scherrer, Hon. Hélène, Minister of Canadian Heritage Louis-Hébert Lib.
St-Hilaire, Caroline Longueuil BQ
St-Jacques, Diane Shefford Lib.
St-Julien, Guy Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik Lib.
Thibeault, Yolande Saint-Lambert Lib.
Tremblay, Suzanne Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis BQ
Venne, Pierrette Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert Ind. BQ
VACANCY Saint-Maurice

Saskatchewan (14)
Anderson, David Cypress Hills—Grasslands CPC
Bailey, Roy Souris—Moose Mountain CPC
Breitkreuz, Garry Yorkton—Melville CPC
Fitzpatrick, Brian Prince Albert CPC
Goodale, Hon. Ralph, Minister of Finance Wascana Lib.
Laliberte, Rick Churchill River Lib.
Nystrom, Hon. Lorne Regina—Qu'Appelle NDP
Pankiw, Jim Saskatoon—Humboldt Ind.
Proctor, Dick Palliser NDP
Ritz, Gerry Battlefords—Lloydminster CPC
Skelton, Carol Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar CPC
Spencer, Larry Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Ind.
Vellacott, Maurice Saskatoon—Wanuskewin CPC
Yelich, Lynne Blackstrap CPC

Yukon (1)
Bagnell, Hon. Larry Yukon Lib.

LIST OF STANDING AND SUB-COMMITTEES

(As of March 12, 2004 — 3rd Session, 37th Parliament)

Aboriginal Affairs, Northern Development and Natural Resources
Chair:
Guy St-Julien
Vice-Chairs:
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Maurice Vellacott
Larry Bagnell
Serge Cardin
Brenda Chamberlain
David Chatters
Stan Dromisky
John Duncan
André Harvey
Rick Laliberte
Yvan Loubier
Pat Martin
Lawrence O'Brien
Chuck Strahl
Andrew Telegdi
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Gérard Asselin
Claude Bachand
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
Joe Comartin
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Norman Doyle
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Ghislain Fournier
Cheryl Gallant
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Anita Neville
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Gilles-A. Perron
Pauline Picard
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Jean-Yves Roy
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Chair:
Paul Steckle
Vice-Chairs:
Gerry Ritz
Rose-Marie Ur
Gilbert Barrette
Rick Borotsik
Wayne Easter
Ken Epp
Mark Eyking
Georges Farrah
Marcel Gagnon
Howard Hilstrom
David Kilgour
Larry McCormick
John O'Reilly
Louis Plamondon
Dick Proctor
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Comartin
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Odina Desrochers
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Claude Duplain
Reed Elley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Mario Laframboise
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Gilles-A. Perron
Pauline Picard
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Jean-Yves Roy
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Suzanne Tremblay
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Canadian Heritage
Chair:
Sarmite Bulte
Vice-Chairs:
Jeannot Castonguay
Gary Schellenberger
Jim Abbott
Carole-Marie Allard
Mark Assad
Paul Bonwick
Christiane Gagnon
Gurmant Grewal
John Harvard
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Wendy Lill
Clifford Lincoln
James Lunney
Dennis Mills
Caroline St-Hilaire
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Diane Bourgeois
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
Peter MacKay
Inky Mark
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Anita Neville
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pauline Picard
Dick Proctor
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Benoît Sauvageau
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Suzanne Tremblay
Maurice Vellacott
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Citizenship and Immigration
Chair:
Sarkis Assadourian
Vice-Chairs:
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Raymonde Folco
Diane Ablonczy
Colleen Beaumier
Sheila Copps
Hedy Fry
Art Hanger
Sophia Leung
Steve Mahoney
Inky Mark
Pat Martin
Grant McNally
Yves Rocheleau
Andrew Telegdi
Bryon Wilfert
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Bill Blaikie
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Francine Lalonde
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Brian Masse
Philip Mayfield
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pauline Picard
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Environment and Sustainable Development
Chair:
Charles Caccia
Vice-Chairs:
Bob Mills
Paul Szabo
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Bernard Bigras
David Chatters
Joe Comartin
Stéphane Dion
Sébastien Gagnon
John Godfrey
Charles Hubbard
Serge Marcil
Diane Marleau
Anita Neville
Julian Reed
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Svend Robinson
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Finance
Chair:
Roy Cullen
Vice-Chairs:
Nick Discepola
Monte Solberg
Rodger Cuzner
Odina Desrochers
Richard Harris
Rahim Jaffer
Sophia Leung
John McKay
Maria Minna
Massimo Pacetti
Pierre Paquette
Gary Pillitteri
John Reynolds
Werner Schmidt
Alex Shepherd
Robert Thibault
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Total: (18)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Roger Gaudet
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Monique Guay
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Alexa McDonough
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Gilles-A. Perron
Pauline Picard
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Carol Skelton
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Fisheries and Oceans
Chair:
Tom Wappel
Vice-Chairs:
John Cummins
Bill Matthews
Andy Burton
Rodger Cuzner
Reed Elley
Georges Farrah
Ghislain Fournier
Shawn Murphy
Joe Peschisolido
Carmen Provenzano
Jean-Yves Roy
Gary Schellenberger
Paul Steckle
Peter Stoffer
Bob Wood
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Gérard Asselin
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Comartin
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Marcel Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Inky Mark
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Svend Robinson
Yves Rocheleau
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Suzanne Tremblay
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Chair:
Bernard Patry
Vice-Chairs:
Stockwell Day
Diane Marleau
Stéphane Bergeron
Scott Brison
Bill Casey
Art Eggleton
Brian Fitzpatrick
Francine Lalonde
Paul Harold Macklin
Alexa McDonough
Dan McTeague
Deepak Obhrai
Charlie Penson
Beth Phinney
Karen Redman
Raymond Simard
Bryon Wilfert
Total: (18)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Sarkis Assadourian
Claude Bachand
Roy Bailey
Eleni Bakopanos
Rex Barnes
Colleen Beaumier
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Bill Blaikie
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Sarmite Bulte
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
John Cannis
Rick Casson
Martin Cauchon
David Chatters
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Mark Eyking
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
John Harvard
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Pat Martin
Brian Masse
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Anita Neville
Lorne Nystrom
Brian Pallister
Pierre Paquette
Pauline Picard
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Svend Robinson
Yves Rocheleau
Benoît Sauvageau
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Susan Whelan
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Subcommittee on International Trade, Trade Disputes and Investment
Chair:

Vice-Chair:

Stéphane Bergeron
Bill Blaikie
Sarmite Bulte
John Cannis
Bill Casey
Mark Eyking
John Harvard
Charlie Penson
Susan Whelan
Total: (9)

Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Development
Chair:

Vice-Chair:

Eleni Bakopanos
Colleen Beaumier
Martin Cauchon
Stockwell Day
David Kilgour
Keith Martin
Charlie Penson
Svend Robinson
Yves Rocheleau
Total: (9)

Government Operations and Estimates
Chair:
Paul Szabo
Vice-Chairs:
Paul Forseth
Robert Lanctôt
Carole-Marie Allard
Leon Benoit
Brenda Chamberlain
Roger Gaudet
Joe Jordan
Walt Lastewka
Pat Martin
Anita Neville
Gilles-A. Perron
Alex Shepherd
Tony Tirabassi
Ted White
Lynne Yelich
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Odina Desrochers
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Christiane Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Monique Guay
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Inky Mark
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Réal Ménard
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Pierre Paquette
Charlie Penson
Dick Proctor
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
John Williams

Health
Chair:
Bonnie Brown
Vice-Chairs:
Gilbert Barrette
Rob Merrifield
Don Boudria
Diane Bourgeois
Gerry Byrne
Deborah Grey
Ivan Grose
David Kilgour
Réal Ménard
Robert Nault
Gilbert Normand
Svend Robinson
Greg Thompson
Susan Whelan
Randy White
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
John Cummins
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Alexa McDonough
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pauline Picard
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Elsie Wayne
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Chair:
Judi Longfield
Vice-Chairs:
Eugène Bellemare
Brian Pallister
Peter Adams
Eleni Bakopanos
Paul Bonwick
Jeannot Castonguay
Libby Davies
Reed Elley
John Finlay
Monique Guay
Tony Ianno
Gary Lunn
Larry McCormick
Grant McNally
Carol Skelton
Yolande Thibeault
Suzanne Tremblay
Total: (18)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Rick Borotsik
Diane Bourgeois
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Christiane Gagnon
Marcel Gagnon
Sébastien Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Ovid Jackson
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Wendy Lill
Yvan Loubier
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Inky Mark
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Réal Ménard
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Anita Neville
Deepak Obhrai
Charlie Penson
Pauline Picard
Dick Proctor
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Jean-Yves Roy
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Tony Tirabassi
Vic Toews
Alan Tonks
Maurice Vellacott
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Industry, Science and Technology
Chair:
Brent St. Denis
Vice-Chairs:
Marlene Jennings
James Rajotte
Gérard Binet
David Collenette
Paul Crête
Herb Dhaliwal
Joe Fontana
Cheryl Gallant
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
Gurbax Malhi
Brian Masse
Grant McNally
Andy Savoy
Carol Skelton
Lyle Vanclief
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Odina Desrochers
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Christiane Gagnon
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Mario Laframboise
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Inky Mark
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Réal Ménard
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Pierre Paquette
Charlie Penson
Dick Proctor
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Chair:
Derek Lee
Vice-Chairs:
Chuck Cadman
Paddy Torsney
Sue Barnes
Garry Breitkreuz
Marlene Catterall
Yvon Charbonneau
Paul DeVillers
Robert Lanctôt
Lawrence MacAulay
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
Richard Marceau
Lorne Nystrom
Pauline Picard
Jerry Pickard
Kevin Sorenson
Vic Toews
Total: (18)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Colleen Beaumier
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Bill Blaikie
Rick Borotsik
Diane Bourgeois
Andy Burton
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Marlene Jennings
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Inky Mark
Philip Mayfield
Alexa McDonough
Grant McNally
Réal Ménard
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Anita Neville
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Dick Proctor
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Svend Robinson
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Maurice Vellacott
Tom Wappel
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Liaison
Chair:
Judi Longfield
Vice-Chair:
Tom Wappel
Peter Adams
Sarkis Assadourian
Raymond Bonin
Don Boudria
Bonnie Brown
Sarmite Bulte
Charles Caccia
Roy Cullen
Gurmant Grewal
Derek Lee
Pat O'Brien
Bernard Patry
Guy St-Julien
Brent St. Denis
Paul Steckle
Paul Szabo
John Williams
Total: (19)
Associate Members
Gilbert Barrette
Eugène Bellemare
Chuck Cadman
John Cannis
Jeannot Castonguay
John Cummins
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Stockwell Day
Nick Discepola
Raymonde Folco
Paul Forseth
Yvon Godin
Jay Hill
Marlene Jennings
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Robert Lanctôt
Paul Harold Macklin
Diane Marleau
Bill Matthews
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Brian Pallister
Janko Peric
Beth Phinney
Marcel Proulx
James Rajotte
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Raymond Simard
Monte Solberg
Chuck Strahl
Paddy Torsney
Rose-Marie Ur
Maurice Vellacott

Subcommittee on Committee Budgets
Chair:

Vice-Chair:

Bonnie Brown
Roy Cullen
Judi Longfield
Pat O'Brien
Bernard Patry
Tom Wappel
John Williams
Total: (7)

National Defence and Veterans Affairs
Chair:
Pat O'Brien
Vice-Chairs:
Jay Hill
Janko Peric
Rob Anders
Claude Bachand
Robert Bertrand
Bill Blaikie
Murray Calder
Rick Casson
Cheryl Gallant
Lawrence O'Brien
John O'Reilly
Louis Plamondon
David Price
Jane Stewart
Bob Wood
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
David Chatters
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Monique Guay
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Francine Lalonde
Sophia Leung
Wendy Lill
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Alexa McDonough
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Anita Neville
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
Pauline Picard
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Svend Robinson
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
Bryon Wilfert
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs
Chair:

Vice-Chair:

Claude Bachand
Murray Calder
Rick Casson
Jay Hill
John O'Reilly
Carmen Provenzano
Peter Stoffer
Rose-Marie Ur
Bob Wood
Total: (9)

Official Languages
Chair:
Don Boudria
Vice-Chairs:
Yvon Godin
Raymond Simard
Eugène Bellemare
Roy Cullen
Claude Drouin
Christiane Gagnon
Rahim Jaffer
Christian Jobin
Jason Kenney
James Lunney
Marcel Proulx
Scott Reid
Benoît Sauvageau
Benoît Serré
Yolande Thibeault
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
Peter MacKay
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pauline Picard
Louis Plamondon
James Rajotte
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Suzanne Tremblay
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Procedure and House Affairs
Chair:
Peter Adams
Vice-Chairs:
Marcel Proulx
Chuck Strahl
Garry Breitkreuz
Elinor Caplan
Claude Duplain
Roger Gallaway
Yvon Godin
Michel Guimond
Loyola Hearn
Dale Johnston
Judi Longfield
Lynn Myers
Carolyn Parrish
Benoît Sauvageau
Diane St-Jacques
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Bill Blaikie
Rick Borotsik
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
John Cummins
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Inky Mark
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Réal Ménard
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Dick Proctor
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Caroline St-Hilaire
Darrel Stinson
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Paddy Torsney
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Subcommittee on Private Members' Business
Chair:
Marcel Proulx
Vice-Chair:

Claude Duplain
Yvon Godin
Lynn Myers
Benoît Sauvageau
Chuck Strahl
Total: (6)

Subcommittee on Electoral Boundaries Readjustment
Chair:
Paddy Torsney
Vice-Chair:

Yvon Godin
Michel Guimond
Marcel Proulx
Scott Reid
Total: (5)

Public Accounts
Chair:
John Williams
Vice-Chairs:
Marlene Jennings
Beth Phinney
Maurizio Bevilacqua
Odina Desrochers
Paul Forseth
Roger Gaudet
Peter Goldring
Joe Jordan
Walt Lastewka
Dominic LeBlanc
Steve Mahoney
Philip Mayfield
Val Meredith
Shawn Murphy
Alan Tonks
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Total: (17)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
John Bryden
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Cheryl Gallant
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Inky Mark
Pat Martin
Grant McNally
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Anita Neville
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Gilles-A. Perron
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Benoît Sauvageau
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Alex Shepherd
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
Lynne Yelich

Subcommittee on the Protection of Witnesses and Testimony
Chair:

Vice-Chair:

Odina Desrochers
Marlene Jennings
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
John Williams
Total: (4)

SREG
Chair:

Vice-Chair:
Paul Harold Macklin
Gurmant Grewal
Céline Hervieux-Payette
Pat Martin
Caroline St-Hilaire
Total: (5)

Transport
Chair:
Raymond Bonin
Vice-Chairs:
John Cannis
James Moore
Rex Barnes
Bernard Bigras
Bev Desjarlais
Jim Gouk
Charles Hubbard
Ovid Jackson
Christian Jobin
Jim Karygiannis
Mario Laframboise
John Manley
Alan Tonks
Susan Whelan
Lynne Yelich
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Gérard Asselin
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Bill Blaikie
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Ghislain Fournier
Christiane Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Roger Gaudet
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
Peter Goldring
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Yvan Loubier
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Réal Ménard
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pauline Picard
Dick Proctor
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams

STANDING JOINT COMMITTEES

Library of Parliament
Joint Chairs:
Stan Dromisky
Yves Morin
Joint Vice-Chair:
Norman Doyle
Representing the Senate:The Honourable SenatorsMichael J. Forrestall
Noël Kinsella
Jean Lapointe
Vivienne Poy
Representing the House of Commons:Mark Assad
Gérard Binet
Elinor Caplan
Claude Duplain
Marcel Gagnon
Roger Gallaway
Deborah Grey
Karen Kraft Sloan
Wendy Lill
Lawrence O'Brien
Louis Plamondon
Werner Schmidt
Diane St-Jacques
Darrel Stinson
Total: (21)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Rex Barnes
Leon Benoit
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
John Cummins
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Inky Mark
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Benoît Sauvageau
Gary Schellenberger
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Scrutiny of Regulations
Joint Chairs:
Gurmant Grewal
Céline Hervieux-Payette
Joint Vice-Chair:
Paul Harold Macklin
Representing the Senate:The Honourable SenatorsMichel Biron
Mac Harb
James Kelleher
Raymond Lavigne
Wilfred Moore
Pierre Claude Nolin
Representing the House of Commons:Rex Barnes
Elinor Caplan
Paul DeVillers
Ken Epp
Raymonde Folco
Roger Gallaway
Peter Goldring
Michel Guimond
Derek Lee
John Manley
Pat Martin
Val Meredith
Lynn Myers
Caroline St-Hilaire
Tom Wappel
Total: (24)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Jim Gouk
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Inky Mark
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Benoît Sauvageau
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich


THE MINISTRY

According to precedence

Right Hon. Paul Martin Prime Minister
Hon. Jacob Austin Leader of the Government in the Senate
Hon. David Anderson
Hon. Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance
Hon. Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Hon. Lucienne Robillard Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Hon. Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages
Hon. Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade
Hon. Andy Mitchell Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Hon. Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness
Hon. Denis Coderre President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Minister responsible for la Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution
Hon. Rey Pagtakhan Minister of Western Economic Diversification
Hon. John McCallum Minister of Veterans Affairs
Hon. Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Hon. Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Stan Keyes Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport)
Hon. Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Hon. Joseph Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Hon. Reg Alcock
Hon. Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Hon. Tony Valeri Minister of Transport
Hon. David Pratt Minister of National Defence
Hon. Jacques Saada Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform
Hon. Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Hon. Judy Sgro Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Hon. Hélène Scherrer Minister of Canadian Heritage
Hon. R. John Efford Minister of Natural Resources
Hon. Liza Frulla Minister of Social Development
Hon. Ethel Blondin-Andrew Minister of State (Children and Youth)
Hon. Andy Scott Minister of State (Infrastructure)
Hon. Gar Knutson Minister of State (New and Emerging Markets)
Hon. Denis Paradis Minister of State (Financial Institutions)
Hon. Jean Augustine Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women)
Hon. Joe Comuzzi Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)
Hon. Albina Guarnieri Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Civil Preparedness)
Hon. Joe McGuire Minister of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Hon. Mauril Bélanger Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Hon. Carolyn Bennett Minister of State (Public Health)
Hon. Aileen Carroll Minister for International Cooperation

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIES

Hon. Scott Brison to the Prime Minister (Canada-U.S.)
Hon. Joe Fontana to the Prime Minister (Science and Small Business)
Hon. John Godfrey to the Prime Minister (Cities)
Hon. Andrew Telegdi to the Prime Minister (Aboriginal Affairs)
Hon. Serge Marcil to the Minister of the Environment
Hon. John McKay to the Minister of Finance
Hon. Yvon Charbonneau to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Emergency Preparedness)
Hon. Jerry Pickard to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Border Transit)
Hon. Gurbax Malhi to the Minister of Industry
Hon. Gerry Byrne to the Minister of Health
Hon. John Harvard to the Minister of International Trade
Hon. Larry Bagnell to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Hon. Brenda Chamberlain to the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Hon. Walt Lastewka to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Hon. Dan McTeague to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Mark Eyking to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agri-Food)
Hon. Georges Farrah to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development)
Hon. Eleni Bakopanos to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Social Economy)
Hon. Paul Bonwick to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans)
Hon. Joe Jordan to the President of the Treasury Board
Hon. Shawn Murphy to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Hon. Jim Karygiannis to the Minister of Transport
Hon. David Price to the Minister of National Defence
Hon. Roger Gallaway to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Hon. Sue Barnes to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Hon. Hedy Fry to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Hon. André Harvey to the Minister of Natural Resources