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37th PARLIAMENT, 3rd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 005

CONTENTS

Friday, February 6, 2004




1000
V         The Speaker

1005
V     Privilege
V         Parliamentary Privilege
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

1010
V         The Speaker
V     Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         (Motion agreed to)
V     Points of Order
V         Striking of Special Committee
V         Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC)

1015
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Ken Epp
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Ken Epp
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Ken Epp

1020
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Jacques Saada
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Ken Epp
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)

1025
V         Mr. Ken Epp
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V         Mr. Ken Epp
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Charlie Penson (Peace River, CPC)
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Speaker
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)

1030
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)
V         Mr. Ken Epp
V         Hon. Jacques Saada
V         Mr. Charlie Penson
V         Mr. Brian Pallister
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ)
V         The Speaker

1035
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         Mr. Ken Epp
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Brian Pallister
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz

1040
V         The Speaker
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Ken Epp
V         The Speaker
V Government Orders
V     Reinstatement of Government Bills
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

1045
V         Hon. Jacques Saada
V         Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC)

1050
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Speaker

1055
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Speaker
V         Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, CPC)

1100
V         The Speaker
V STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
V     The Environment
V         Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.)
V     Agriculture
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)
V     Agriculture
V         Mr. Julian Reed (Halton, Lib.)
V     Cree of Northern Quebec
V         Mr. Guy St-Julien (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, Lib.)
V     National Teachers Week
V         Ms. Carole-Marie Allard (Laval East, Lib.)

1105
V     Rail Crossings
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)
V     Heart Month
V         Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)
V     Jacques Lacombe
V         Mr. Marcel Gagnon (Champlain, BQ)
V     Sports
V         Mrs. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.)
V     Agriculture
V         Mr. Gary Schellenberger (Perth—Middlesex, CPC)

1110
V     Festival du voyageur
V         Mr. Raymond Simard (Saint Boniface, Lib.)
V     Aboriginal Affairs
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V     Guaranteed Income Supplement
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
V     Winterlude
V         Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.)

1115
V     Immigration
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)
V     John Cain
V         Hon. Walt Lastewka (St. Catharines, Lib.)
V     Ethics Commissioner
V         Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC)
V ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
V     Canada Steamship Lines
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC)
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.)
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC)
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.)

1120
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC)
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.)
V         Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC)
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.)
V         Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC)
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Jay Hill
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.)
V         Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ)

1125
V         Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ)
V         Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, BQ)
V         Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, BQ)
V         Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Stelco
V         Hon. Lorne Nystrom (Regina—Qu'Appelle, NDP)
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.)

1130
V         Hon. Lorne Nystrom (Regina—Qu'Appelle, NDP)
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.)
V     Government Contracts
V         Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC)
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)
V         Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC)
V         Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V     Government Appointments
V         Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, CPC)
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V         Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, CPC)
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V     OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
V         Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ)

1135
V         Hon. Jean Augustine (Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women), Lib.)
V         Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ)
V         Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ)
V         Hon. Albina Guarnieri (Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Civil Preparedness), Lib.)
V     Firearms Registry
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)

1140
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)
V         Hon. Albina Guarnieri (Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Civil Preparedness), Lib.)
V         Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC)
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)
V         Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC)
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)
V     Departmental Estimates
V         Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)
V     Health
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

1145
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.)
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.)
V     Agriculture
V         Mr. Rick Borotsik (Brandon—Souris, CPC)
V         Hon. R. John Efford (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)
V         Mr. Rick Borotsik (Brandon—Souris, CPC)
V         Hon. R. John Efford (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)
V     The Environment
V         Mr. Rex Barnes (Gander—Grand Falls, CPC)
V         Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)
V         Mr. Rex Barnes (Gander—Grand Falls, CPC)

1150
V         Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)
V     Infrastructure
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Hon. Andy Scott (Minister of State (Infrastructure), Lib.)
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Hon. Andy Scott (Minister of State (Infrastructure), Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

1155
V     Aboriginal Affairs
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.)
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.)
V     Mirabel Airport
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)
V         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, Lib.)
V     Aboriginal Affairs
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Lib.)

1200
V     Science and Technology
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.)
V     Softwood Lumber
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
V         Hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.)
V     Research and Development
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.)
V     Interparliamentary Delegations
V         The Speaker
V Routine Proceedings
V     Question No. 37
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)

1205
V     Report on Canadian Multiculturalism
V         Hon. Jean Augustine (Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women), Lib.)
V     Food and Drugs Act
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)
V         (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
V     Petitions
V         Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V         Child Pornography
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V         Health
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V         Trans Fats
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

1210
V         Medical Expenses
V         Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, CPC)
V     Questions on the Order Paper
V         Hon. Joe Jordan (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V Government Orders
V     Reinstatement of Government Bills
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)

1215
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

1220

1225

1230
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC)

1235

1240

1245

1250

1255
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield

1300
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield

1305
V         Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick (Prince Albert, CPC)
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)

1310

1315

1320

1325
V         Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC)
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise

1330
V         The Speaker
V Private Members' Business
V     Food and Drugs Act
V         Mr. Tom Wappel (Scarborough Southwest, Lib.)

1335

1340

1345
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)
V         Mr. Tom Wappel

1350
V         Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick (Prince Albert, CPC)
V         Mr. Tom Wappel
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC)

1355

1400
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)

1405
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

1410

1415

1420
V         Hon. Eleni Bakopanos (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Social Economy), Lib.)

1425

1430
V         The Speaker






CANADA

House of Commons Debates


VOLUME 139 
NUMBER 005 
3rd SESSION 
37th PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Friday, February 6, 2004

Speaker: The Honourable Peter Milliken

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Prayers


  +(1000)  

[English]

+

    The Speaker: The Chair has received notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for Yorkton--Melville. I will now hear the hon. member on the question of privilege.

*   *   *

  +-(1005)  

+Privilege

+Parliamentary Privilege

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a question of privilege regarding a matter that was raised in a previous session. On May 12 and May 16, 2003 the former government House leader raised the issue of parliamentary privilege exempting members from being called as witnesses in any court when the House is in session, specifically the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal on April 23, 2003 in what is known as the Ainsworth case.

    The issue raised in that case was whether the Prime Minister could claim parliamentary privilege to provide legal protection against any action against him from the court for failing to attend an examination for discovery. He also raised the matter of a decision of the Ontario Superior Court with respect to another member involving Telezone Inc.

    The latter was dealt with on January 6, 2004 when the Ontario Court of Appeal made a decision with respect to Telezone Inc. I believe that its decision satisfies the former government House leader, although a number of questions remain. The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the parliamentary privilege of a member of Parliament not to attend as a witness in a civil action applies throughout a session of Parliament and extends 40 days after the prorogation or dissolution of Parliament and 40 days before the commencement of a new session.

    The case of the Prime Minister remains unresolved because the two cases are different. In the case of Attorney General of Canada, et al. v. Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. (B.C.) (29842), the Supreme Court dismissed the application for leave to appeal. The Prime Minister still does not have the right to claim this privilege. The issue of whether or not he can claim this privilege remains unresolved. It is not clear whether or not the House agrees with the former government House leader in that the Prime Minister should be able to claim this privilege.

    In his submission, the former government House leader on May 12, 2003 argued that in the Ainsworth decision, the B.C. court confirmed the existence of parliamentary privilege of members against participating in legal proceedings when Parliament was in session. The court recognized that this applied throughout the parliamentary session including adjournments and other periods when the houses were not sitting. However, the court ruled that there was no legal support for extending this privilege for 40 days before or after a parliamentary session.

    The then government House leader felt the court's ruling raised an important issue. This is the question of whether it is the role of Parliament or the role of the courts to define what parliamentary privilege is.

    On May 26, 2003 the Speaker ruled the matter was a prima facie question of privilege. He also agreed with some members that there was a need for an even-handed application of privilege with respect to the rights of other Canadians. He pointed to a suggestion that it might be appropriate for the House to revisit its current interpretation of the immunity that its privileges provide. He concluded by recognizing the special requirements of the House which make privilege necessary, that there is need to ensure that other citizens are not adversely affected by those privileges.

    In particular, members had expressed concern during the debate on the question of privilege that the blind application of the rights of members, such as the right not to be compelled to appear before a court as a witness, might interfere unduly with the rights of others.

    The matter was referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. The committee's initial research revealed that there were two types of situations that can arise: one where a member is a party to a civil action, the case involving the Prime Minister; and one where the member is merely being asked to attend as a witness, the case involving the former member for Ottawa South.

    The research claimed that while the parliamentary privilege to avoid appearing in court as a witness does not apply to the Prime Minister because he is named as a defendant in a civil action, the privilege can be claimed by Mr. Manley because he was not named as a party in the case and was simply asked to appear as a witness in the court. The recent decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal would confirm that finding.

    The research also left many questions to be answered, such as whether the distinction between being a party to a civil action and being a witness is reasonable and should be reviewed. Should one privilege be extended or the other limited? How should these privileges relate to criminal matters? What is the privilege procedure for a member to claim these privileges? Given the privileges belong to the House of Commons, is the 40 day rule an appropriate length of time for the immunity of being a witness and from arrest, especially given that the parliamentary sessions in the Canadian Parliament are typically quite lengthy? Should the fact that there is a fixed parliamentary calendar for the House make a difference?

    The 40 day rule arose at a time when parliamentary sessions were short. The members could not really leave the capital before, during or after a session. Should the ease of modern transportation be relevant? Should the 40 day rule be retained or shortened?

  +-(1010)  

    Mr. Speaker, as a result of prorogation, the terms of reference to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs has lapsed. Since a committee cannot on its own consider a matter of privilege without a reference from the House, I ask that you rule this to be a prima facie question of privilege to allow me to move the motion referring this matter to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

+-

    The Speaker: I thank the hon. member for raising this matter. As I indicated in the previous session, this was a bona fide question of privilege. Accordingly, in my view, the question remains a question of privilege. The committee did not completely report on the matter which it is entitled to do. Accordingly I give the hon. member leave to move his motion.

*   *   *

+-Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I move:

    That the matter of the question of privilege raised on May 12 and May 16, 2003 and February 5, 2004 be referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, are we to understand that this is a motion for which the hon. member wishes no debate and for which he seeks unanimous consent? I did not understand the question he asked.

+-

    The Speaker: It is not a question about unanimous consent of the House. It is a motion which has been allowed by the Speaker because there was a question of privilege.

[English]

    Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)

*   *   *

+-Points of Order

+-Striking of Special Committee

[Points of Order]
+-

    Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to ask you to seek unanimous consent for the following motion:

    That notwithstanding Standing Order 105, a special committee of the House be appointed to prepare and bring in a bill to protect our children from further sexual exploitation by immediately eliminating from child pornography laws all defences for possession of child pornography which allow for the exploitation of children, and that the membership of the committee be: Peter Adams, member for Peterborough, Ontario; hon. Reg Alcock, member for Winnipeg South, Manitoba; Carole-Marie Allard, member for Laval East, Quebec; hon. David Anderson, member for Victoria, British Columbia; Mark Assad, member for Gatineau, Quebec; Sarkis Assadourian, member for Brampton Centre, Ontario; hon. Jean Augustine, member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Ontario; hon. Larry Bagnell, member for Yukon, Yukon; hon. Eleni Bakopanos, member for Ahuntsic, Quebec; hon. Sue Barnes, member for London West, Ontario; Gilbert Barrette, member for Témiscamingue, Quebec; Colleen Beaumier, member for Brampton West—Mississauga, Ontario; Réginald Bélair, member for Timmins—James Bay, Ontario; hon. Mauril Bélanger, Ottawa—Vanier, Ontario; Eugene Bellemare, member for Ottawa—Orléans, Ontario; hon. Carolyn Bennett, member for St. Paul's, Ontario; Robert Bertrand, member for Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, Quebec; hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, member for Vaughan—King—Aurora, Ontario; Gérard Binet, member for Frontenac—Mégantic, Quebec; hon. Ethel Blondin-Andrew, member for Western Arctic, Northwest Territories; Raymond Bonin, member for Nickel Belt, Ontario, hon. Paul Bonwick, member for Simcoe—Grey, Ontario; hon. Don Boudria, member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Ontario; hon. Claudette Bradshaw, member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, New Brunswick; hon. Scott Brison, member for Kings—Hants, Nova Scotia; Bonnie Brown, member for Oakville, Ontario; John Bryden, member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, Ontario; Sarmite Bulte, member for Parkdale—High Park, Ontario--

  +-(1015)  

+-

    The Speaker: Order, please. It seems to me that the hon. member for Elk Island is seeking consent of the House to move a motion to strike a committee and he appears to have gone far beyond anything like normal membership of committee already, in terms of numbers. He appears to be putting the whole House on the committee. He could move that we go to committee of the whole, but he is not doing that.

    If there is more substance to his motion rather than names, I would like to hear it. Otherwise, I am going to put the question to the House whether there is consent for the motion, because the list seems to be endless and I do not think that is appropriate. The hon. member will want to put any more substance at the end of the list because I do not think it is necessary to read a list of the names of all the members of the House, which he appears to be doing.

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp: Mr. Speaker, I would then ask for your clarification. By what Standing Order am I not permitted to completely give my motion before you put it to the House?

+-

    The Speaker: It is not a matter of a Standing Order. When a member is seeking to put a motion, it is normal for the member to put the motion succinctly. In this case his motion is unusually long because he is listing all the members of the House.

    My point is that if we are going to do that, he can say, instead, that the membership of the committee can be agreed on later by the striking committee, which is common or the membership could be agreed on in a separate motion, which is common.

    Matters of reference to committee do not normally contain all the members of the committee. Had he limited it to 15, or 16 or 17 members, which is our normal thing, I think the Chair might have let it go. However, it appears he has gone far beyond that already, with no end in site, in terms of names, because it appears an alphabetical listing. There comes a time when the Chair has to say we have to say yes or no.

    I hope there is more substance to the hon. member's motion.

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp: Mr. Speaker, I would like to say in my defence that it is not possible, unless one is clairvoyant, to know exactly which words I am going to read.

    I would like to also point out that it is a normal practice when one seeks the unanimous consent of the House to move a motion. There is no rule that I am aware of against the length of the motion, provided that it--

+-

    The Speaker: I will help the hon. member. Standing Order 105 says:

A special committee shall consist of not more than fifteen members.

    The hon. member is proposing a special committee. He has gone beyond 15 members. If he wants to persist, I will rule his motion out of order.

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp: Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind you that the first part of my motion said:

    That notwithstanding Standing Order 105, a special committee of the House...

    Then I went on. That is part of my motion. I would beg leave to simply continue with my motion. I would urge you to hear it.

    I will carry on adding to the members, and I am going to miss a few so that you will notice that I am not in fact putting all members on:

hon. Gerry Byrne, member for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, Newfoundland; Murray Calder, member for Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, Ontario; John Cannis, member for Scarborough Centre, Ontario; hon. Elinor Caplan, member for Thornhill, Ontario; hon. Aileen Carroll, member for Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, Ontario; Jeannot Castonguay, member for Madawaska—Restigouche, New Brunswick; hon. Martin Cauchon, member for Outremont, Quebec--

  +-(1020)  

+-

    The Speaker: Order, please. On another point of order, I am going to hear the government House leader. Obviously I have questioned the proceedings at the moment, and I will to hear the government House leader on this matter.

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

    First, the hon. member opposite cannot take it upon himself to create an exception to one of our standing orders. Second, I think your statement was extremely clear, Mr. Speaker. Third, the hon. member has many other means and mechanisms available to him under our standing orders for presenting such a motion. Therefore, I do not see why we would waste the precious time of this House on such a frivolous matter.

[English]

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Yorkton—Melville, on a point of order.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Mr. Speaker, I understand that if one person is on a point of order, another person cannot interrupt that person on another point of order.

+-

    The Speaker: The Chair has interrupted the hon. member for Elk Island already on his point of order, and I allowed the interruption from the government House leader because of my concerns about the validity of this point of order. It appears that the point of order is being used to get the floor to propose a motion that, in my view, is a two step process.

    We have to decide whether the motion can be put because it requires unanimous consent to put it. The normal practice in these cases is to allow the member to propose the motion, hear it, ask if there is unanimous consent and then have members say yes or no.

    This motion seems, as I have suggested already, unduly lengthy. It contains a list of names that is being read. In my view that is far beyond what is going to be agreed to by the House. It is obvious there is disagreement. My inclination is to determine whether there is substance to the motion with which the House wishes to deal. In my view the list of members is not substantive, and I have indicated that.

    If we are going to continue, at some point I am going to interrupt and ask the House if there is consent to put the motion. If there is no consent, then it is a waste of time to hear it. The length of motion is of concern to the Chair in that it appears not to be in conformity with our practice of having a brief motion put and then consent given or not. That is why I asked the hon. member for Elk Island if he would please come to the substance of his motion. The government House leader has, in effect, made the point and the point is a valid one in that we ought to hear the substance of the motion, which is the normal thing to hear on these kinds of motions.

    I make the suggestion again. If there is more substance to this motion than a list of members, I am prepared to hear it, but the Chair's patience is running thin on the rest.

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp: Mr. Speaker, I apologize for exercising your patience, but I believe it is my privilege as a member of the House of Commons to put a motion. I have asked that you seek unanimous consent. I have asked that it be notwithstanding Standing Order 105. I believe very sincerely that the Speaker should hear the whole motion, in which I am naming certain members of the House of Commons in a proposal to form a committee. I believe I should have the right as a member of Parliament to do that.

+-

    The Speaker: I want to say right off that if every member had the right to stand up and ask for consent to move motions and then stood here and read motions all day, no business would be conducted in the House. In my view members do not have such a right. They are asking for consent and if consent is not going to be given, then we cannot have interminable requests for unanimous consent.

    In my view the hon. member has a right to ask for consent for a motion, but a motion that contains a list of names and is not really a motion with substantive material in it is my concern. If all the substantive material has been put in this motion, then I think we ought to ask for consent. I am urging the hon. member to try to comply with the wishes of the Chair in this regard. All of us could stand here and read lists, but that is not the normal procedure on motions where unanimous consent is sought.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the problem is that we know now that this motion contains a list of names. In order to know whether I am going to consent to the motion, I need to know if my name is on the list or not. Therefore, it is important to have the complete list to know which of us are involved in this matter.

  +-(1025)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp: Mr. Speaker, I will agree to a compromise. Perhaps it would shorten it somewhat if I were to read the names that are to be omitted.

    I would also like to remind you, Mr. Speaker, it is certainly my understanding that, because I have risen on a point of order, it is not appropriate for other members to interrupt me until I have completed.

    Here are now the members from this point onward--

+-

    The Speaker: On another point of order, the hon. deputy government House leader.

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that my name was read out on this list and that I do not give my consent.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp: Mr. Speaker, for greater clarity, I would like to ascertain that from this point on the names of the members who I am reading will be those who are to be omitted from all of the members of the House up to this point. I have already omitted some. From this point on, in an alphabetical listing of the members, these are now the ones who I am going to propose be omitted from membership in this committee.

+-

    The Speaker: Is the hon. member saying that his motion contains a list of members who are to be on it and a list of members who are not?

+-

    Mr. Charlie Penson (Peace River, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it seems to me as a member of the House that I would like to hear whether my name is on that list and what the substance of that point of order is before I can make a decision on whether I want to give consent to the motion.

    I want to hear if my name is on it. I want to hear the substance of the motion, what it is in regard to, before I decide whether I want to give consent.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Mr. Speaker, it has just been pointed out to me in the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, the consolidated version of November 5, 2003, under “Unprovided Cases” that:

     In all cases not provided for hereinafter, or by other Order of the House, procedural questions shall be decided by the Speaker or Chair, whose decisions shall be based on the usages, forms, customs and precedents of the House of Commons of Canada and on parliamentary tradition in Canada and other jurisdictions, so far as they may be applicable to the House.

    I hope that is enlightening to you, Mr. Speaker, in view of what is occurring here today.

+-

    The Speaker: I thank the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville for his assistance, and it was exactly the customs and practices of the House that I explained a moment ago with which I trust the hon. member for Elk Island will comply.

    I have never seen a motion in the House that listed members of the House who were not members of a committee. In my view that is not part of the custom of the House, and it only confirms my suspicion that the hon. member's list and this attempt is a delay tactic rather than an effort to put a motion to the House which the House can accept or reject on consent.

    I have indicated our practice and our custom and that is to hear a brief motion from a member and then give consent or not. This motion is not that way. I have asked for the substance of it. The hon. member for Elk Island persists in reading a list and my patience is running out. It had better be short because I cannot have a list of all the members of the House read out once or twice as we go through those who are on and those who are off.

    The normal practice is to name 15 members to a special committee. This list is apparently much, much longer. It appears to be in alphabetical order and I am not prepared to listen to a list of all the members of the House.

    If the hon. member wants to refer to a committee of the whole, fine. I would like to hear the rest of the substance of the motion.

+-

    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC): Mr. Speaker, would you please kindly reference where in the Standing Orders it indicates that points of order should be brief.

  +-(1030)  

+-

    The Speaker: I did not say that points of order should be brief. I said motions should be brief. The member has risen on a point of order asking for consent to move a motion. In my view the motion has gone on already too long.

    Our normal practice, when consent is requested for a motion, is that the motion be brief. The hon. member apparently does not have consent for the motion. We are getting that impression very loudly in the House from time to time and the motion is not brief.

    That is my point, and I am sure the hon. member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke appreciates that.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, with all due respect I would like to make the observation that I believe someone was wanting to time the amount of time that we have spent with the interventions of the government members, with interventions from the Chair, and so on.

    I think we have occupied considerably more time of the House in talking about the motion than we have in listening to the motion be read.

    Personally, I would prefer to hear the motion, and I would suggest that if we are interested in the use of the House's time effectively, we listen to the member's motion.

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp: Mr. Speaker, I believe it is my right to place the motion. The motion, in its entirety, requires that somehow or other I be permitted to indicate the members that I would like to be eligible. If you were to listen to my whole motion, the very last part of my motion gives clarity to exactly what you are objecting to, but you are not permitting me to get to it, and that is causing me some distress.

    With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to continue. I think it will be confusing to members who read the record and look to see whether their name is on the list as being eligible for membership on the committee that I am proposing.

    I said before that I would shorten it by indicating the members from the total list that I would like to exclude. However, having begun by reading the actual members who I am proposing, I think that would add a lot of confusion. Therefore I would like to actually revert back to reading the names of the members.

    I do not have here a list of all the members of the House. I have chosen specific members and I am just going to carry on with it. The motion continues:

    Hon. Yvon Charbonneau, member for Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies, Quebec; Hon. Denis Coderre, member for Bourassa, Quebec--

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada: Mr. Speaker, I believe we are wasting an enormous amount of time when, really, there is a very simple solution to it all.

    The motion should be considered as a whole. Any one of the names listed in the motion is therefore part of the motion. One of these people has already said there will not be unanimous consent. Therefore, the whole motion is not admissible because his name is part of the motion.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Charlie Penson: Mr. Speaker, that seems to me to be a very illogical argument because the member has not heard the terms of the motion itself. All he has heard is his name. Members have no idea what the motion refers to until the member is able to put the motion before the House.

    Therefore it seems to me that the House leader is out of order here.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister: Mr. Speaker, just as an observation. I think that would be a very dangerous precedent to set, to allow members to rise at any particular point in time when another member is bringing forward a motion and prematurely giving their personal opinion on it as to whether they would or would not give unanimous consent. It would pre-empt the ability of any member of the House to bring forward such a motion.

    Of course it would be a tremendously dangerous precedent to set. I think the government House leader should consider that before he implies that it would be possible for any of us in the House to use such a tactic as a way to block the ability of any other member of the House to bring forward a motion.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I heard my colleague from Elk Island saying, a few moments ago, that he wanted to read the names of the members eligible to sit on this committee. To my knowledge, we are all eligible.

    That said, I respectfully submit to the Chair that if we had let the hon. member finish reading his list of members, he would already be done and we could finally move on to something else.

+-

    The Speaker: In my opinion, we face some difficulties here.

  +-(1035)  

[English]

    The hon. member for Elk Island is trying to move a motion, and I read from page 391 of Marleau and Montpetit. Under motions and routine proceedings it states:

    The motions [under routine proceedings] which are considered under this rubric are often moved without notice by unanimous consent and adopted without debate. Examples of motions moved under this rubric include those to:

manage the proceedings and business of the House or its committees;

concur in a committee report;

establish a special committee;

    It goes on and on. I could read the whole list but I will not.

    In other words, this kind of motion is normally moved during motions under routine proceedings. We are not at motions under routine proceedings. We are two hours before that happens. What the hon. member is seeking to do is get unanimous consent to do something that normally is done under motions for one thing, but then he is seeking unanimous consent for a motion that we already know will not get unanimous consent.

    Accordingly, I think we have heard enough. I have invited the hon. member to put the substance, which is our usual practice, so we hear it and accept or reject it. However, in this case he is persisting in reading a list. He has offered to read two lists and, in my view, it is an abuse of the practice of the House. We already have an indication that the answer is no, and, accordingly, I suggest we move on to the next item.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Mr. Speaker, I have two questions. Do I understand now that the point of order is done and you have ruled that it is finished? If that is the case, I would like to raise another issue that I discussed with you briefly.

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp: Mr. Speaker, I urge you to hear me out. This issue is one of huge importance. We have had piles of petitions on this question. It is a matter of great urgency to protect our children from further sexual exploitation.

    My motion at the end will indicate that substitutions on this committee can be made from time to time, but I am specifically stating the members because I know there are some members who are on the wrong side of this issue. I am not prepared to say that everybody is eligible to be on this committee. That is--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member knows that motions to establish committees normally have to be done on 48 hours notice. He is seeking unanimous consent of the House to avoid that notice requirement. It has been denied. It has been refused. Accordingly, I am not prepared to entertain further motions on it at this time.

    If he wants to give notice of a motion and put it on the Order Paper he is free to do that and then he can move it under the rubric “Motions” when it is eligible for debate in the House. However, he is seeking the House's permission now to waive the notice requirement, to do it at an unusual time and to propose a motion that I have indicated is highly unusual in its terms.

    We have heard a clear no from the government House leader in respect of this. There will not be consent for it even if the member finished reading his motion, so I am not prepared to let him continue because, in my view, he is wasting the time of the House and we cannot have that.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister: Mr. Speaker, just on a point of clarification that you might want to give us. If your ruling is based on the intervention of the member opposite, who rose in his place and said that he would not give unanimous consent, if that is in fact the basis of your ruling, I would like you to clarify that to the House at this point in time. If it is not the basis of your ruling, sir, then I would ask you to rise in--

+-

    The Speaker: I have given my ruling to the House and I gave my reasons. I gave a number of reasons pointing out the practices of the House and actually I have given reasons about four times.

    I have indicated that, among other things, there is a refusal. There is no consent. The motion is for unanimous consent to waive a number of practices of the House and there has been an indication that will not happen. The motion, in my view, is highly irregular and I have said that in argument with the hon. member for Elk Island already. It was particularly irregular and it contains a list of all the names of the members who are not on the committee. Accordingly, I am saying that we should move on.

    The hon. member for Yorkton-Melville has another point and I am prepared to hear him on that.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Mr. Speaker, I raised this issue with you. I indicated before this session opened that I wanted to speak to the motion that I made. I stood here waiting for that debate but I guess you did not see me.

    Mr. Speaker, I would like you to revisit your decision to not allow me to address the issue on which you ruled and on which you allowed me to pass my motion. I am asking for you to reconsider that because at this point it seems that there was a problem with the procedure. I think you know what I am referring to. I would like to address the motion that I put and I was not allowed. I think people opposite saw me stand on debate, but you, sir, did not.

  +-(1040)  

+-

    The Speaker: No, I did not. When I put the question to the House I asked the usual question, is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion, and everyone said yes, so I declared the motion carried. The hon. member, it is my recollection, was sitting in his seat at the time. I know he thinks he was standing but I did not see the hon. member standing. I saw him sitting. Accordingly, I did not proceed with him at that point. I am sorry that did not happen. However, is there agreement that we go back to that and have the hon. member make a speech?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Speaker: I am afraid the motion is carried and that is that. I put the question and the normal practice is that if a member wishes to debate the member stands up and says “debate”, but nobody did. I know the hon. member had indicated an interest but I thought he had given up because he had made all his comments before. I am sorry. I think we will have to move to orders of the day.

+-

    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant: Mr. Speaker, when the question was asked I did say no, but perhaps Mr. Speaker did not hear me.

+-

    The Speaker: Even if the hon. member did, nobody said no after I declared the motion carried.

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp: Mr. Speaker, I will very briefly conclude, with your permission, what I need to say on this thing.

    I would simply like to say that this is a very dangerous precedent. Mr. Speaker, you have ruled that members have to make a decision on a motion before they have been given the opportunity to hear it all. I would also like to say that my point of order seeking unanimous consent for the creation of this special committee was one of great urgency and importance. I am disappointed that Liberal members do not want to have a committee struck in this fashion.

+-

    The Speaker: I have suggested ways the hon. member can do this by putting his motion on notice. I know the table officers would be more than happy to assist him in that respect. If he did it now or sometime during the rest of the day it could be on notice for Monday and could be the subject of the debate on Monday afternoon.


+Government Orders

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Reinstatement of Government Bills

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.) moved:

    That during the first thirty sitting days of the present session of Parliament, whenever a Minister of the Crown, when proposing a motion for first reading of a public bill, states that the said bill is in the same form as a Government bill in the previous session, if the Speaker is satisfied that the said bill is in the same form as the House of Commons had agreed to at prorogation, notwithstanding Standing Order 71, the said bill shall be deemed in the current session to have been considered and approved at all stages completed at the time of prorogation of the previous session.

+-

    The Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order with regard to the government motion to reinstate bills from the previous session.

    The Prime Minister claims to have formed a new government. Yet with this motion he is claiming the privileges of being the former government of Mr. Chrétien. Procedurally speaking, the Prime Minister wants to be seen, as most Canadians see his government, as the old Chrétien government. While we in opposition would agree with that definition, my argument today will put to the test the Prime Minister's self-proclaimed public definition of being a new government.

    I accept that it is a well established practice for a government to reintroduce a reinstatement motion in a new session. However, it is not established that a so-called new government in a new session can reinstate bills from the previous government. I have examined all the precedents and I could not find one example of a new government reinstating bills from a previous session.

    From Journals of October 21, 1970, at page 46, it is recorded that the House adopted a reinstatement motion. The Prime Minister was Pierre Trudeau and the motion reinstated bills of Mr. Trudeau's government from the previous session.

    For May 9, 1972, at page 281 of Journals we have another motion adopted with, once again, Pierre Trudeau being the Prime Minister in that session and the previous session.

    On March 8, 1974, at pages 25 and 26, a reinstatement motion was adopted with the same circumstances as those of May 9, 1972.

    On October 3, 1986, at pages 47 to 48, Mr. Mulroney's government introduced a reinstatement motion reinstating bills of the Mulroney government from the previous session.

    On March 4, 1996, at pages 34, 35 and 39 to 41 of Journals, Jean Chrétien's government reinstated government bills of the Chrétien government from the previous session.

    On November 12, 2003, the government of Jean Chrétien once again successfully reinstated bills from a previous session, although he ran into a bit of a problem with his attempt to reinstate other business, resulting in a Speaker's ruling that divided the motion into three parts.

    Mr. Speaker, many arguments have been made against the practice whereby a Prime Minister reinstates his government bills from a previous session. It goes against the practice, consequences and reasons for a government to prorogue. It contradicts the notion of beginning a session with fresh ideas and a new direction.

    What we are talking about here today is far worse and, I would argue, procedurally unacceptable. The current Prime Minister is attempting to reinstate bills of another prime minister from a previous session and has the moral effrontery to call his government “new”.

    When this Prime Minister promised democratic reform and made a commitment to do things differently we thought he meant to improve how Parliament functions. So far the Prime Minister has behaved less democratically than his predecessor, something most of us thought would be impossible.

    Mr. Speaker, I am asking you to examine the precedents and rule the motion to reinstate government bills out of order.

  +-(1045)  

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada: Mr. Speaker, on February 4, I gave notice to the House of a government motion to reinstate government bills to the stage they were at in the previous session.

[English]

    Reinstatement of government bills is a common practice at the beginning of a new session of Parliament after prorogation. The House of Commons has employed this practice for over 30 years.

    In 1972 and in 1986 the House gave indeed unanimous consent to such motions to reinstate bills similar to that which we are proposing today. In 1991, 1996, 1999 and as recently as 2002, the House passed a motion similar to that which we are proposing today.

    A similar procedure is now included in the Standing Orders for reinstatement of private members' bills.

    The U.K. House of Commons uses a similar practice.

    Reinstatement of bills expedites House business at the beginning of a new session. Bills that have already been studied can be reinstated to the point they had reached in a previous session. The House, members and committees do not have to waste their time on questions that have already been settled in the best interest of taxpayers. Thus, witnesses are spared from having to repeat their testimony and are spared the costs that involves. We would be able to move ahead on new issues instead of going back to issues from a previous session.

    Mr. Speaker, I would very much like to hear your statement on this point of order.

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we have here a substantial dilemma in the sense that the prorogation of a house usually means that the government wants to start over again with a new set of proposed legislation, or it gives them a good way of dropping legislation that apparently, as expressed by members of Parliament, does not have the support of the people of Canada. That way, instead of the embarrassment of a bill carrying on and actually getting passed even though it does not enjoy public consent, it gives the government the opportunity wipe the slate clean.

    The government House leader just made a statement which I think is of great significance, and that is that this is based on unanimous consent. If there is unanimous consent given, then of course we can proceed to reinstate a bill or a motion. I would like to see that that procedure should follow. We should be able to state each bill separately and individually and if there is not unanimous consent to carry it forward, then indeed it would have to be reintroduced. That seems to have been the practice, according to the words of the government House leader.

    If that were done, then I think probably we would have very little objection, because there are a number of bills that this government is now trying to bring forward from the tired old Chrétien government which we would seriously like to see dropped. If that were done, then probably there could be some agreement reached. Otherwise, I think we are going to be at a serious impasse.

  +-(1050)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I call a point of order. Reintroducing bills is worthwhile insofar as all the bills are reinstated at the same stage they had reached.

    My fear is that Bill C-53, to change the name of certain electoral districts, a decision of this Parliament, will not be reinstated at the same stage and not passed before the next federal election. That is the harsh reality.

    The government is trying to say that all the bills are to be reinstated at the same stage they had reached in the previous session. The problem is that we well know that this government does not intend to reinstate Bill C-53 at the same stage and that the new names of 38 ridings, changed by Bill C-53, will not be adopted and so will not be in force prior to the next federal election.

    I fully agree with the Conservative Party to the effect that we are discussing a substantial dilemma today. On the one hand, the government is saying it is reinstating all the bills, but one of them, Bill C-53, will not have the same purpose it had when the House prorogued in November.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Mr. Speaker, I would like to underscore what my Bloc colleague has just said: that in order for the government to reinstate bills and motions they have to be in the same stage. They have to be identical.

    They are not.

    I would like you to examine this, Mr. Speaker, because there is no precedent for this. To have a motion like this passed, it would have to comply with all of the provisions in the Standing Orders, and they do not. That is why I would like the Speaker to rule that this cannot be brought in at this time.

+-

    The Speaker: The motion before the House, as I read earlier, and I will read it again, states:

...if the Speaker is satisfied that the said bill is in the same form as the House of Commons had agreed to at prorogation, notwithstanding Standing Order 71, the said bill shall be deemed in the current session to have been considered and approved at all stages completed at the time of prorogation--

    So it has to be in the same form that it was in the previous session in order for this order to apply to the bill. Otherwise, all bills are introduced, read the first time and ordered for debate at the next sitting of the House.

    Reinstatement of business from one session to the next is not uncommon in our practice, and indeed in our parliamentary experience there have been a number of occasions where bills and other forms of business, including motions, from one session have been brought forward to another session, either by unanimous consent or by way of a government motion moved after notice, such as the one we have moved before us today.

    The question before us is not whether business can be reinstated from one session to another but whether this motion under government business No. 2, which provides a mechanism whereby bills from the second session may be reinstated to this session, is procedurally in order.

    It seems to me that the ruling rendered on February 19, 1996, is particularly helpful in this instance, so I will borrow freely from that discussion in making the point I want to make.

    Mr. Speaker Fraser noted in his ruling of May 29, 1991, that he could find nothing in our rules or practices to preclude the reinstatement of bills by way of motion. He therefore permitted debate to proceed on the government motion that had been moved, and he was concerned that members would be afforded an adequate opportunity to express their assent or dissent on each item to be reinstated. He therefore ruled that separate questions should be put on each bill to be reinstated.

    But that motion, I think, was a different one. Hon. members here today have expressed some concern about their inability to vote on each of the bills, particularly the various ones that could be reinstated under this motion.

  +-(1055)  

[Translation]

    I must point out something important. First of all, if the bill comes back at the stage it was at before, for example report stage or third reading, it will be voted on at that stage. That is completely normal and that is how it will be done.

    If, however, the bill in question was passed during the last session, it will be sent directly to the Senate. There will be no vote on it here in the House.

[English]

    But hon. members can move amendments to the government motion to exclude specific bills that might go straight to the Senate under this rubric and then have a vote on the amendment, thereby in effect having a vote on that particular bill.

    So I do feel that there is significant protection for hon. members in terms of being allowed to vote on various bills. The motion sets up a mechanism for allowing bills to come before the House. In my view, therefore, it is in order and I think the motion should proceed.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Mr. Speaker, I do not hear you addressing the issue of when a new government is formed whether it can introduce bills from an old government. We were told that this is a completely new government, and if we look at the front bench, the cabinet, I guess we would have to conclude some are and some are not.

    Mr. Speaker, I think you have to do some research as to the point I raised on whether a new government can bring forward all of the legislation of an old government.

+-

    The Speaker: It is not a new Parliament; this is the hitch. We are in the third session of the same Parliament, so even if the hon. member were Prime Minister it seems to me this kind of motion would be one he could put to the House and cherry pick, as they say, bills from the previous session and slip them in under this rubric.

    It is something that has happened before. I do not know whether it has happened with a change of government, but it certainly is one that has happened in the same Parliament. That is why I did not address the matter.

+-

    Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, you and I go way back. We are a little long in the tooth in this place.

    You did make a reference to the ruling of Speaker John Fraser in 1991. You and I both served in the 1988 Parliament when Brian Mulroney was the Prime Minister. I can remember sitting in the back lobby here with my Liberal colleagues, and Mr. Speaker, you were one of them. They were thinking up ways that they could cause mischief when the House prorogued.

    Dead meant dead, it seemed to me back then. This was a way for the government to get out of it, if it had difficult legislation where its own backbenchers were causing problems. They were able to kill legislation. That is what prorogation did. It killed it dead. That was before 1991 when Speaker Fraser made his ruling. I do find this a little strange. There are a few of those folks left, and when it seems to suit them now, everything is okay. They can just resurrect this stuff.

    Mr. Speaker, I know that when you and I started in this place, prorogation meant dead equals dead. That was before 1991. I would like your input on that because I remember listening to you in the back lobby here about prorogation and how legislation could be killed and could not be brought back.

  +-(1100)  

+-

    The Speaker: I would love to go on at length with the hon. member for Edmonton North on this subject, but Mr. Speaker Fraser made a ruling then and it became an authority. We do things in the House on the basis of authority.

    Even if I were to have argued the other side of the case in those days, the Speaker made a ruling and now we act in compliance with that ruling. It would not be for me to overrule the ruling of someone as distinguished as Mr. Speaker Fraser, who I know the hon. member for Edmonton North remembers with great affection.

    It is time now to proceed, however, to statements by members.


+-STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[S. O. 31]

*   *   *

[English]

+-The Environment

+-

    Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in the Speech from the Throne we learned that:

...building on recommendations of the National Roundtable on theEnvironment and the Economy, the Government will start incorporating keyindicators on clean water, clean air, and emissions reduction into its decisionmaking.

    It should be noted that going back to the 1997 Liberal campaign red book, we find:

    We will ask the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy to expand its work with stakeholdersand provincial governments to develop eco-efficiency indicators.

    Subsequently, in the year 2000 Statistics Canada produced excellent indicators in a report entitled “EConnections 2000”.

    Consequently, the government should be made aware of the fact that it is already in a position to use the key environmental indicators already developed by Statistics Canada for its policy development and decision making.

*   *   *

+-Agriculture

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, on January 8, 2004, I hosted an agriculture forum in my riding, where over 200 people attended to listen to speakers discuss a variety of issues. It was televised across Canada.

    A major concern expressed several times throughout the day was that if genetically modified wheat were grown anywhere in Canada, farmers would lose important markets around the world. They also felt very strongly that the Liberal government was not doing enough to get the border opened to live cattle.

    Farmers are experiencing great difficulty competing in the international marketplace. Policies of the government are negatively impacting on their businesses. They would like to know whether they can fly a flag of convenience, such as the Prime Minister's flag of Barbados, over their farms and avoid taxes they have to pay, taxes that are included in all their input costs.

    Will the Prime Minister allow them to fly this flag of convenience over their farms just like he does over his ships?

*   *   *

+-Agriculture

+-

    Mr. Julian Reed (Halton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, many people might think that the problems the beef and dairy industry are facing with BSE are restricted to the rural areas. Not so. In the riding I am privileged to serve, Halton, which is only 45 minutes from downtown Toronto, farmers are having a tough time of it.

    I would like to urge all my colleagues in the House to listen to what my constituent Bert Stewart, an international expert, had to say about the situation in Halton. He said:

    Farmers still need to feed the animals, purchase machinery and tools to take care of their farms, and keep their businesses going. But everything is crazy expensive and there's no money coming in.

    Let us support our local farmers and get the borders opened up.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Cree of Northern Quebec

+-

    Mr. Guy St-Julien (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in the Toronto Star of Sunday, February 1, 2004, reporter Peter Gorrie quoted Jean Gagné, Ottawa's chief negotiator with the Cree of Northern Quebec as saying that Quebec's recognition of the Cree as a nation has no real significance and is a question of terms.

    Such a comment by Mr. Gagné is inappropriate at this point, as well as unfair to all the James Bay Cree. SInce he describes the Cree-Canada file as merely a matter of terms, he will not have anything more to say on this file.

    The James Bay Cree no longer trust this federal negotiator, and neither do I. I am calling upon the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs to appoint a new federal negotiator for the Quebec Cree-Canada file.

*   *   *

+-National Teachers Week

+-

    Ms. Carole-Marie Allard (Laval East, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw my colleagues' attention to the fact that this is National Teachers Week.

    All too often, Canada's teachers work in the shadows.

    Yet we entrust them with one of the most fundamental tasks in our society: preparing our young people to take responsibility for their own futures, and consequently for the future of this country.

    Theirs is no easy task. As well as imparting the knowledge students require to become fully participating members of society, teachers are there to share the joys and sorrows of each and every one of their charges.

    As such, they are invaluable allies for all Canadian parents, and those parents are the first to recognize just what a wonderful contribution they make.

    On behalf of us all, I salute and thank all of this country's teachers.

*   *   *

  +-(1105)  

[English]

+-Rail Crossings

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, on November 14, 2003, the lives of Rick and Susan Bomack were changed forever when they lost their son in a car-train collision on the main CN line just outside MacGregor, Manitoba.

    Almost every day in Canada someone is injured in a car-train accident. Every week someone dies.

    The sad fact is that many of these accidents could have been prevented. Like too many of them, Derek Bomack's accident occurred at night at an unmarked crossing. Reduced visibility was a probable factor.

    The government must immediately require reflectors on all train cars running on Canadian rail lines. It is inexcusable that any train car should go in for servicing and come out without a reflector attached to it. In particular, rural Canadians should not be treated as collateral damage by the rail industry in this country or by the government.

    We cannot restore the life of Derek Bomack, but in his memory we can save the lives of other Canadians.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Heart Month

+-

    Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in this first week of the month, I would like to remind the House that February is Heart Month.

    Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of far too many Canadians. I invite my colleagues and the general public to participate in activities organized by their local Heart and Stroke Foundation and to support the various campaigns to raise money for research into these diseases.

    Our government has made significant efforts in the past to support the work of researchers, who are doing their best to relieve the suffering of Canadians with heart disease.

    These past efforts, and our firm commitment to continue working on this, clearly show that the government definitely has its heart in the right place.

*   *   *

+-Jacques Lacombe

+-

    Mr. Marcel Gagnon (Champlain, BQ): Mr. Speaker, a young Quebecker from Cap-de-la-Madeleine, in my riding, recently accomplished a rather unique feat. Jacques Lacombe, a young orchestra conductor, who is currently the principal guest conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, conducted, for the very first time, six performances of Massenet's “Werther” at New York's prestigious Metropolitan Opera, the most important opera house in the world.

    Many agree that, although he is barely 40 years old, he is one of the world's most promising young conductors of his time and one of the best Quebec has ever seen. Some go so far as to compare him to the famous Karajan, Bernstein, Solti and Kleiber.

    My colleagues from the Bloc Quebecois join me in congratulating this unassuming son of a shoe repairman who is now travelling the world and whose achievements showcase, once again, the richness of Quebec's artistic talents. Bravo, Mr. Lacombe.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Sports

+-

    Mrs. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we know of the great traditions of our athletes in many winter sports, whether it be hockey, skiing, skating or curling.

    Canada has an exceptional pool of young athletes and so far in this winter season of 2004, our athletes have been on international podiums on over 80 occasions in 8 different winter sports.

    Whether it be our speed skaters, like Jeremy Wotherspoon, our freestyle skiers, like Stephanie St-Pierre, or our junior men's hockey team, Canadian athletes are proudly representing Canada on the international stage.

    Today, I wish to congratulate all of our athletes, coaches and the organizations supporting these achievements. As we look to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games, we know that Canadians, with the continued support from governments and the private sector, will be ready to shine.

*   *   *

+-Agriculture

+-

    Mr. Gary Schellenberger (Perth—Middlesex, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the House on a matter of great importance to the people of Perth--Middlesex and to all Canadians.

    Recently, the Government of Canada has closed the border to U.S. beef due to a single case of an animal infected with BSE. At a time when Canadian farmers are in desperate need of free and unfettered access to the lucrative market of our American neighbours, this is a most harmful step for the government to take.

    Science has proven our beef is safe. The science applies to American beef as well. Canadians believe in this science as beef consumption has increased during this crisis.

    Trust is a two way street. Canadian beef is safe. American beef if safe. Canada needs to bargain and act in good faith with our American friends. Canadian consumers are doing their part. When will the government do its fair share?

*   *   *

  +-(1110)  

[Translation]

+-Festival du voyageur

+-

    Mr. Raymond Simard (Saint Boniface, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Festival du voyageur, western Canada's largest winter festival, will take place from February 13 to 22 in the old quarter of Saint Boniface.

    In 2004, the festival celebrates its 35th year. I would like to recognize all of its organizers for their invaluable contributions. Thanks to them, this festival has won major national and international awards.

    The festival brings over 150,000 visitors and a positive economic impact of over $11 million to Manitoba. It attracts talented artists from all over Canada.

    With such activities as the Governor's Ball and the Festin des bourgeois, the festival brings to life the days of the earliest Canadian arrivals in the west, people who played a vital role in the fur trade, all the way from Montreal to Louisiana.

    During the Festival des voyageurs, Fort Gibraltar and the other sites will vibrate to the rhythms of the francophone, Métis and First Nations traditions of the 19th century Red River Colony.

    Proud of their heritage, Franco-Manitobans invite you to come and share the joie de vivre of their community and warm up the Manitoba winter.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Aboriginal Affairs

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Health Canada's reckless handling of millions of dollars in funding for the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation is a key part of the government's abysmal accountability record, right along with HRDC, Groupaction, Radwanski, the gun registry and Canada Steamship Lines.

    Just like the others, in the face of millions in losses, criminal charges and most important the loss of vital services to aboriginal communities, the Liberal response has been to deny, obscure, delay and avoid. And this is the government that has the nerve to brag about its accountability.

    The Prime Minister and the Minister of Health desperately want to move on because the deeper we dig, the more we find.

    Canadians demand full answers, not promises.

    Why, four years after red flags went up, was Health Canada, under Deputy Minister David Dodge, still a cash cow to all comers, still writing cheques on demand and handing out bonuses to those involved?

    If there ever were a need for a public inquiry, this is it, and that is what we are demanding today.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Guaranteed Income Supplement

+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, in the last two oral question periods, the Minister of Social Development has found a way to praise her government for realizing a savings of several billion dollars at a direct cost to low-income seniors, through the guaranteed income supplement.

    How can she support the strategy of the former finance minister which was never to control his government's spending, but rather to take money from the pockets of the most vulnerable?

    How can the minister turn up her nose at the Bloc Quebecois proposal that urges retroactive reimbursement of the billions of dollars owed to low-income seniors, and still support the Prime Minister's initiative to exempt his ships from the Income Tax Act when he was Minister of Finance?

    This double standard is simply repugnant and shows everyone what a lack of respect the minister, the Prime Minister, and this government have for our senior citizens who have been and continue to be the honoured builders of our communities.

*   *   *

+-Winterlude

+-

    Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, every February, Canada's national capital region hosts Winterlude, North America's greatest winter festival. Winterlude is three weeks of amazing activities, such as ice sculptures, concerts, and the fascinating snow playground. Winterlude is a great way to celebrate winter.

[English]

    Winterlude was founded in 1979 by the National Capital Commission. Eight hundred generous people volunteer in preparing Winterlude, creating economic activity in our region.

    I want to congratulate the NCC for its excellent work. I want to congratulate its chairman, Marcel Beaudry, for the excellent work he is doing in this and other areas. May he remain the chairman of the National Capital Commission for years to come.

*   *   *

  +-(1115)  

+-Immigration

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has refused to grant asylum to Song Dae Ri, a trade official who was posted to North Korea's Beijing embassy before he defected to what he thought was the safety of Canada, with his wife and son, in 2001.

    His wife was lured home before she had a chance to make a refugee claim and was then executed by North Korea's Stalinist regime.

    Despite a death sentence hanging over his head, the government has ruled that Mr. Ri should not be given asylum here.

    Let us contrast this sad case with that of Charles Ng, the serial murderer and rapist who the Liberals sought to spare from capital punishment by refusing to extradite him to face the rule of law in California. However, Mr. Ri has been denied asylum and forced into hiding here to save himself from certain death at the hands of a government respects no law, no human rights and no treaties.

    What explanation can the government offer for this moral outrage?

    Why does the government extend Canada's shelter to criminals and terrorists, while refusing to save a father from the clutches of a savage Communist regime?

*   *   *

+-John Cain

+-

    Hon. Walt Lastewka (St. Catharines, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember John Cain, a well respected photographer who passed away on January 25, 2004.

    Born in Australia, John travelled to St. Catharines in 1957. He decided to stay in Canada when he was introduced to Reba, the young woman who would become his wife.

    John worked in sales but his passion was photography. About 30 years ago, started photographing weddings in his spare time and then branched out into sports photography. He attended many sports events covering the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, Brock University and many high school athletic competitions.

    This hobby also led to numerous freelance assignments with the St. Catharines Standard and many local photos for my quarterly householder.

    John was known to send photographs to many of his celebrity subjects like Ferguson Jenkins and Walter Gretzky. They became his friends.

    John Cain's legacy can be found in the wonderful photographs that he took doing what he truly enjoyed. It was my privilege to know John Cain and to call him my friend.

    On behalf of the House, I extend heartfelt condolences to John's wife Reba, his children, Randi, John and Michael and his grandchildren.

*   *   *

+-Ethics Commissioner

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC): Mr. Speaker, is it not ironic that this government, when talking about its so-called new ethics regime, is acting in a most unethical fashion? Describing what it is doing would actually require unparliamentary language.

    Liberals keep using the phrase “independent ethics commissioner” and yet the bill explicitly says that when dealing with cabinet ministers, the commissioner will provide private and confidential advice to the Prime Minister. That is the same as the Chrétien plan, and it is rotten to the core.

    They are hoping that by saying the word “independent” often enough, the people will come to believe it. Sadly, the media is falling for the trap because it has not read the actual wording in the bill.

    I am most displeased. How I wish that this Liberal government would own up to its deception in this matter so that people could judge this plan based on truth rather than on the Liberal spin. To quote the Minister of Finance, “Repeating a falsehood does not make it true”.


+-ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

[Oral Questions]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Canada Steamship Lines

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency with Industry Canada, has a very stringent grant process application. Clause 13 of that process states that no member of Parliament is to benefit from TPC grants.

    In June 2003 the Prime Minister's company, Canada Shipbuilding and Engineering, received a $4.9 million TPC taxpayer investment.

    Could the industry minister tell us why clause 13 was removed from the Prime Minister's TPC agreement to his benefit?

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this matter was examined by the ethics counsellor, and it is quite clear that neither the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard nor anyone else intervened in the standard Technology Partnerships Canada award process.

    So there is no problem.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC): Mr. Speaker, that is cold comfort. Any time the corruption approval officer looks at one of these things, it inevitably goes by the wayside.

    Clause 13 is clear. It prevents any member of Parliament from receiving a technology partnership grant. It is crystal clear. The Prime Minister's company received $4.9 million while the government was shutting down the Irving shipyard in Saint John, New Brunswick, leaving CSE as the only major shipbuilder in Canada.

    Why were the rules broken and ignored to the benefit of the Prime Minister's company?

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, no rules were broken. The exact opposite is true. All the rules were followed, the matter was referred to the ethics counsellor and he quite clearly said that the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard had not intervened and that no other individual had intervened in the standard Technology Partnerships Canada award process.

    So there is no problem.

  +-(1120)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the minister is wrong on all counts, and I am not the only one saying so.

    A senior bureaucrat with her department at Technology Partnerships Canada said that the Prime Minister's application should have received a negative recommendation, that it did not meet TPC guidelines. Not surprisingly, the ethics counsellor, who is hand-picked by the prime minister and reports only to him, approved it. He gave it the thumbs up yet again.

    Why was the Prime Minister allowed to receive the TPC grants? Why was that allowed to happen when he clearly did not qualify? How does this square, and how is that fair?

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, again the member is wrong. The former finance minister did not apply to the program. Let us be clear here: this is the company.

[Translation]

    The company as such, like any other Canadian company, can take advantage of various programs offered by the Government of Canada. It was quite obvious that clear ethics guidelines were needed.

    That is why it was referred to the ethics counsellor, who ruled on the matter and determined that the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard had not intervened.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC): Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister might not have applied, he certainly benefited.

    Canadians are coming to understand that this new Prime Minister operates exactly like his predecessor, Jean Chrétien. The rules are crystal clear, as my colleague said. This so-called new Prime Minister cannot pretend otherwise.

    CSL subsidiary Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited was given an inappropriate $4.9 million grant courtesy of taxpayers. The Prime Minister benefited because he owned the company at that time.

    What is so special about this Prime Minister that allows him to ignore the rules?

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. He followed the rules.

[Translation]

    Exactly. He followed the rules exactly; in other words, he submitted the matter to the ethics counsellor, who examined it and determined that the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard had not intervened in the matter, nor had any of his associates.

    Consequently, the rules were followed with regard to access to the Technology Partnerships Canada program.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the fact of whether he intervened or not is totally irrelevant. Clause 13 says that he cannot benefit. The Prime Minister pretends--

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

+-

    The Speaker: I remind hon. members that it is Friday, not Wednesday. Perhaps we could have a little more order in the chamber. The hon. member for Prince George--Peace River has the floor.

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill: Mr. Speaker, clause 13 clearly says that a member of Parliament cannot benefit from one of these grants, yet that is exactly what the former finance minister, now Prime Minister, did.

    This is becoming a joke. Just like Mr. Chrétien, he believes that when it comes to himself rules do not apply. How can the Prime Minister pretend he did not benefit by breaking these rules?

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I think that this is a question of the member who is quite irrelevant here if he does not know exactly how the program works and what were the rules applied to the member of Parliament for LaSalle—Émard.

[Translation]

    It was very clear that the ethics counsellor was to address the entire matter and did so. Neither the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard nor any of his associates was involved in the process.

[English]

    Due diligence was there. This was based on merit. This is why it was accepted in the program, not to benefit the member of Parliament himself. Let us say the truth here in this Parliament.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ): Mr. Speaker, CSL International is saving $100 million in taxes because its headquarters are in Barbados. The Minister of Finance, acting as the duty fire officer, tells us that no, his boss did not fiddle with the rules for personal gain. On the other hand, the Prime Minister blithely informs us that his company had no other choice but to take advantage of a tax haven in order to be profitable.

    Let us get things straight here. Is the Prime Minister telling Canadians that, had he paid taxes here like all the rest of us do, the 30% profit he apparently made would not have been enough?

  +-(1125)  

[English]

+-

    Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the House and the hon. member that when the Prime Minister was the minister of finance he in fact led the G-7 and the G-20 nations in trying to make an arrangement with respect to these tax treaties. That consensus was not forthcoming. It continues to be a problem. It is a problem for every industrialized nation.

    Any business that intends to stay in business will have to compete on a level playing field and this situation regretfully exists for all Canadian businesses.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ): Mr. Speaker, despite everything done by the Prime Minister himself, the government claims that the relocation of CSL International to Barbados was not premeditated. So much for credibility.

    Is the correct version not the one given last year by the first vice president of CSL when he stated that Canadian Steamship Lines International moved to Barbados because of changes to the tax rules made by the Prime Minister himself?

[English]

+-

    Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I do not want to engage in the rich fantasy life of the Bloc Québécois. In truth, to engage in this pejorative exercise that somehow or another some bill gets passed to favour a particular company is just utter nonsense.

    The issue is that tax havens exist. If the Bloc members want to suggest to Canadian businesses that they can no longer operate in tax havens, then I welcome them to make that suggestion. I suspect that they will have a few phone calls from some pretty irate business executives.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, BQ): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Finance indicated his openness, nothing more, to a review of the tax treaties and rules concerning tax havens, particularly those between Canada and Barbados.

    Is the Minister of Finance not adopting the same attitude as the present Prime Minister, who has done nothing to correct the situation which the Bloc Quebecois and successive auditors general have condemned for years as a threat to Canada's tax base?

[English]

+-

    Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have indicated that tax havens are a threat to the tax base of all industrial countries. There is not a nation in the G-7 and there is not a nation in the G-20 that is not concerned about tax havens. The finance minister rightfully indicates that this is of concern to Canada. Regretfully, we cannot do this by ourselves. To have Canada somehow or another live in some splendid isolation is fictional business nonsense.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, BQ): Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Finance is serious this time in his determination to review tax havens, does he intend to apply retroactivity? If retroactivity was good for allowing the present Prime Minister to avoid paying $100 million in taxes since 1995, it ought to be equally good for recovering what he owes.

[English]

+-

    Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the hon. member has the cart before the horse. The entire industrialized world, all of the G-7 nations and all of the G-20 nations, cannot at this stage agree on the terms of a consensus, so how Canada is somehow or another going to retroactively apply this kind of legislation is again a rich fantasy on the part of the Bloc

*   *   *

+-Stelco

+-

    Hon. Lorne Nystrom (Regina—Qu'Appelle, NDP): Mr. Speaker, as minister of finance the Prime Minister did not deal with steel tariffs because of his corporate ties. Now he is on the sideline again because of his family's corporate ties.

    Has Hamilton now not been punished enough by the Liberals refusing to fight steel dumping?

    I ask my very direct question to the acting prime minister. Does the Prime Minister's family corporation come before Stelco's 8,300 workers and 11,000 retirees or will the government now stand up and do something positive for Stelco, for its workers, for that community and for the retirees?

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let us be clear here. Right now, we have not received any formal request of any kind from Stelco to the Government of Canada.

  +-(1130)  

[Translation]

    No formal request has been received from Stelco at this time. All that is known, and known to everyone, is that Stelco is subject to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.

    We are currently following the situation very closely with the provincial government. One would hope that court-appointed restructuring will bring positive results for everyone.

[English]

+-

    Hon. Lorne Nystrom (Regina—Qu'Appelle, NDP): I think the time has come to act, Mr. Speaker, and you will notice that this week we have been asking policy questions on health care and star wars and we have not even asked why the Prime Minister did not know how much CSL got in contracts, but we are not johnny-come-latelies when it comes to standing up for the steel industry in this country.

    But if the Prime Minister's corporate ties get in the way of Stelco and delay a decision, what about Kyoto? What about the seaway? He will be in and out of cabinet meetings faster than the Liberian flag goes up and down the masts of his ships. I ask once again, why does this government not stand up for Stelco and the workers in Hamilton instead of hiding behind the Prime Minister's corporation?

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we do not delay any decisions here. We do not have any formal request from the company, let us be clear.

[Translation]

    It is very clear. This member's question is strictly hypothetical. At this time, Stelco has not made any request to the Government of Canada.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Government Contracts

+-

    Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC): Mr. Speaker, a year has gone by since the opposition called for a public inquiry into the Liberal practice of squandering taxpayers' money on Liberal advertising firms with kickbacks to the Liberal Party.

    We look across the aisle today and we see the same old faces that tried to bury that scandal in Public Works: the former finance minister who signed the cheques and the present finance minister who promised to get to the bottom of the mess.

    How can this regurgitated frontbench claim it was all the fault of a previous administration?

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the question being asked here is very poorly formulated and unfounded. It is so bizarre that I cannot answer it.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC): We are not ill prepared, Mr. Speaker. We have had a year to do it because those guys have squandered that much time. The Liberals have never seen a scandal they could not blame on somebody else, but they are running out of scapegoats over there.

    It was $200 million in advertising contracts, $40 million in sponsorship money and untold millions to friends for consultation and polling, all charged to real Canadian taxpayers. Will the Prime Minister stand up and admit that he was a major part of that problem?

+-

    Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me make it perfectly clear. One of the first items that the government and the cabinet made was the decision to review the sponsorship program. The first decision in cabinet was to cancel the sponsorship program. Let us make that very clear and well understood. We too will wait to hear the Auditor General's report.

*   *   *

+-Government Appointments

+-

    Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, CPC): Yes, Mr. Speaker, we all await that report, that is for sure.

    One of the Prime Minister's long-time cabinet colleagues, Alfonso Gagliano, got a pretty soft landing over in Denmark to avoid facing the consequences of his involvement in those contract scandals. Why will the Prime Minister not just stand up, admit the gag is up, and bring Alfonso home?

+-

    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, all ambassadorial appointments are at the pleasure of the government. The government and the House know that the Auditor General's report will be deposited on Tuesday. The House can be confident that the government will take the appropriate steps to preserve the integrity of our diplomatic corps and to preserve the reputation of Canada.

+-

    Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is a pity we ruined that reputation by sending him there in the first place.

    It certainly seems true that the contract scandals are at the pleasure of the government, and they do not end. The Auditor General is about to release a report that will likely reveal damning evidence of Gagliano's involvement in the scandal. He gets a one-way ticket to Denmark to avoid the heat. Why will the Prime Minister not just terminate Gagliano, just like he has done to so many of his former cabinet colleagues?

+-

    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I said to the House, the report will be deposited on Tuesday. The House can be confident that the government will take the appropriate steps necessary to deal with this situation in a way that preserves the integrity of our diplomatic service and the integrity of the reputation of this country abroad.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-OFFICIAL LANGUAGES

+-

    Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ): Mr. Speaker, for a long time now, Don Cherry has been making disparaging, racist remarks about francophones on CBC's airwaves. The Commissioner of Official Languages has even launched an investigation into the crown corporation.

    Should the minister responsible for official languages not try to get assurances from CBC management that the controversial commentator will be suspended, at least for the duration of the investigation?

  +-(1135)  

[English]

+-

    Hon. Jean Augustine (Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the CBC is an independent crown corporation. It is responsible for its organization. It is responsible for its human resources program.

    We all agree in the House and we do know that we are committed to linguistic duality. We are committed to the diversity of Canada. We speak about respect for diversity. The Commissioner of Official Languages is an officer of Parliament and she has the authority to open any kind of inquiry that she so needs.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ): Mr. Speaker, we have a minister responsible for the Official Languages Act. In theory, the minister should know that he has to make sure the institutions under his responsibility fulfil their obligations with respect to linguistic duality.

    Consequently, will the minister responsible for official languages tell us what measures he intends to take to ensure compliance with the law?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am truly very committed to the linguistic duality that lies at the heart of the Canadian identity.

    It is imperative that the institutions of our government and our Parliament respect the reality of this linguistic duality, especially when it comes to the minority language.

    Our government and our country are deeply committed to minorities. It is much easier for majorities to protect themselves. The minority will always have this government in its corner.

*   *   *

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, after much procrastination and many fumbles, events have forced the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to face the facts: a public inquiry into the actions of the RCMP, CSIS and Canadian officials regarding the Maher Arar case is necessary.

    Would the minister not agree that if she truly wants to shed light on this matter, the terms of reference given to Mr. Justice O'Connor should also cover the actions of the RCMP in searching the home of journalist Juliet O'Neill?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as we know, the matter is before the court this afternoon. It would be inappropriate to comment further, but I can tell the House that I have been advised that everything in terms of documentation that can be disclosed without injuring valid and recognized national public interests will be disclosed.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, curiously, the minister briefly indicated that the results of the inquiry will only partially be made public.

    Does this government, which talks so much about the democratic deficit, not realize that the public has a right to know what really happened in a case where the rights of an individual and the freedom of the press were both interfered with?

+-

    Hon. Albina Guarnieri (Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Civil Preparedness), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we who are immigrants to Canada are shocked to find out that an immigrant can be deported.

    The Deputy Prime Minister has announced the terms of reference for the public inquiry. The commission of inquiry has sufficient latitude to investigate all the facts and to present its conclusions to Canadians.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Firearms Registry

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that the objective of his most recent review of the firearms registry is to remove the irritants. Let me point out the obvious. There are no irritants for criminals in the Firearms Act. Toronto police chief Julian Fantino said that the gun registry has been of no help in his war against crimes in his city.

    Why will the Prime Minister not allow his backbench MPs to reduce the estimates for such a useless program?

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the question is very clear. When we are talking about the bottom line in the budget estimates, this is a matter of confidence in the government. The question that has been asked is purely hypothetical concerning what details might be in the budget estimates. I refuse to answer a hypothetical question on a vote. That road goes nowhere.

  +-(1140)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, what is not hypothetical is what the government is doing to democracy. It is deep-sixing it, burying it, and that is not acceptable.

    While the former finance minister was writing cheques for the billion dollar gun registry, the former justice minister, now the Minister of Public Safety, was cashing them as fast as she could.

    The Auditor General said that the biggest problem she saw and observed was that Parliament was being kept in the dark with regard to the gun registry. Instead of the usual practice of keeping Parliament in the dark, let me now ask, how much will it cost to fully implement--

+-

    Hon. Albina Guarnieri (Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Civil Preparedness), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I understand that the members opposite panic about losing their ammunition once the review comes to the forefront. Our goal is to deliver a gun registry that is reasonable, that all members of the House will want to support and I am confident that the member opposite will be among the first to applaud the results.

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that the billion dollar gun registry boondoggle costs are completely out of control. All MPs are getting this message.

    Why not give members of Parliament a free vote on this issue so that they could freely express the wishes of the people to stop pumping their money into this bottomless sinkhole?

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is quite fascinating to hear that from a party that refused the offer I made it two days ago to deal with the reform that we are implementing with an agreement to have a free vote among themselves. They refused that and they dare to ask questions about free votes.

+-

    Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is the primary job of Parliament to manage the expenditures of government. Why is the Prime Minister talking democratic deficit when he is totally undemocratic in ordering his MPs to vote on command on this important issue?

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me repeat for the nth time--and I hope that my English is good enough for my colleague to understand it--that matters such as budgets, the Speech from the Throne and the bottom line of estimates are matters of confidence and there is no debate about that. Matters pertaining to each element of the estimates is a purely theoretical question at this time. It is totally ludicrous to even say how we are going to vote on something which does not even exist at this point.

*   *   *

+-Departmental Estimates

+-

    Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, on the estimates, it has always been my impression from my years in the House that estimates go to committee and are subject to review by all parties in the committee. I do not think there is any great change that the member of the House has mentioned with this.

    Could the government House leader further clarify for all members how estimates are dealt with, how they go to committee, how they are subjected to review and come to the House for approval?

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, when estimates go to committee, they are examined by parliamentarians from all political parties. They look at the estimates and they come back with whatever they decide to come back with from these estimates. Then we have to make a decision as to the final result.

    My only point, and I am glad to have the chance again to say it, is simply once we come to the bottom line of the final estimates, this is a matter of confidence. We cannot prevent government from governing. This is a responsibility that it has by the virtue of the Constitution.

*   *   *

+-Health

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we now know that trans fatty acids are really bad for us and are especially bad for our children. Yet, instead of banning trans fats as other countries have, the Liberal government says it is okay to put this poison in our food as long as it is properly labelled and even then only three years from now. Even then, unbelievably, baby food is exempt.

    Will our new Minister of Health stand up for public health and take concrete steps now to eliminate this toxic garbage from our food? Will he act like a Minister of Health instead of a minister of managing illness?

  +-(1145)  

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is indeed a very important file on which we are working hard. It is a big problem, the trans fats issue. The new nutrition labelling regulations will indeed require the declaration of trans fats contents on the labels of most prepackaged food by December 12, 2005. We expect that it will act as a strong incentive to the food industry to reduce or eliminate trans fats from food. The industry is already moving in that direction. We expect the mandatory labelling of trans fats will assist consumers in making healthy food choices.

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt among food scientists as to the hazards of trans fats. They call it the biggest food processing disaster in history. It rivals tobacco as the most serious public health issue in the country. A timid and feckless labelling program will not protect Canadians. It is crazy to put poison in our food and then warn Canadians not to eat it.

    Why will the government not listen to Canadians and ban trans fats? Could it be that it is afraid of a NAFTA challenge under chapter 11? Has NAFTA so compromised our sovereignty that we cannot even protect our own citizens from a known and proven health hazard like trans fats?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is clear that Health Canada makes a great deal of effort to educate the public better in terms of eating better food. We have a great job to do, and the Minister of State for Public Health spends a lot of her time and energy doing a good job at making sure that Canadians remain healthy. That is the best contribution we can make through the health care system, if Canadians eat better. This is what we are doing with this mandatory labelling, so that Canadians make the best possible choices in terms of the trans fats. We will help Canadians that way.

*   *   *

+-Agriculture

+-

    Mr. Rick Borotsik (Brandon—Souris, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we heard this week in a debate in this very House that the cattle industry is suffering its worst crisis ever.

    We all agree farmers and ranchers need cash and they need it now. Rather than waste money on gun registries and sponsorship programs, can the Minister of Agriculture not find a way to get cash into producers' pockets now?

+-

    Hon. R. John Efford (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as we are talking here in this hon. House today, the Minister of Agriculture is out in Calgary meeting with the farmers.

    In 2003, $5 billion flowed through the agriculture industry and the farming industry in Canada. As we are talking here today, the minister is out there ensuring that money will be flowing to the farmers as soon as they make the request and all the farmers who will be impacted will receive sufficient moneys.

+-

    Mr. Rick Borotsik (Brandon—Souris, CPC): Mr. Speaker, all of that rhetoric does not help the producers and the farmers right now.

    It is obvious that the infusion of a new minister does not equate to an infusion of cash into the producers' pockets. The fact is that there has been no money flowing to the agriculture producers. We cannot wait for two years to get a flawed program kicked in so producers can get cash. When we need it is now, immediately now, tomorrow. Will the minister admit to an immediate cash infusion into the agricultural industry?

+-

    Hon. R. John Efford (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member calls $5 billion in 2003 and $4 billion now as rhetoric, then I do not understand the question he is asking.

    Money is flowing through. As we are talking now, the Minister of Agriculture is in Calgary today. The money will go directly to the farmers now, not next year.

*   *   *

+-The Environment

+-

    Mr. Rex Barnes (Gander—Grand Falls, CPC): Mr. Speaker, rural Canadians made it clear in the rural dialogue that they want the federal government to show leadership and prove that it has a vision for rural Canada.

    Well, it turns out that it has closed or downgraded weather stations. That is a great start. It brags about openness, but the Minister of the Environment did not even do a rural impact study. Why not?

+-

    Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, rural Canadians, just like Canadians elsewhere, need the best possible weather services and the most accurate forecasting possible. That is why we use new technologies, why we have made certain we have a system that, within our budgetary constraints, gives Canadians exactly that and gives rural Canadians that as well.

    Farmers and fishermen depend on weather forecasting. The hon. member does not seem to understand how important it is for them to get accurate forecasts, which we are trying to give them.

+-

    Mr. Rex Barnes (Gander—Grand Falls, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is quite obvious that the people who know it and understand it really understand it, but it is quite obvious that the minister and his department do not. Rural Canadians are very concerned that the federal government has not been listening to them.

    The Prime Minister said that he is a new government. Will the not so new Minister of the Environment release the hidden analysis to the communities that have been affected by the downgrading or elimination of the weather forecasting services in this country?

  +-(1150)  

+-

    Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member simply does not understand that to get the best weather forecasting for rural Canadians, for people who are out there in their boats as fishermen during bad weather, they need that for their lives. Similarly for farmers for their income, they need proper forecasting.

    We are giving them that with satellite, with radar and all the new technology we can possibly assemble. That means more effective weather forecasting for rural Canadians. This is not simply keeping people spread out according to the technology of two, three or four decades ago.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Infrastructure

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, on September 12, 2002, during his leadership campaign, the Prime Minister came to Rivière-du-Loup promising to completely upgrade Canada's deadliest highway, highway 185, but in vain. Jean Chrétien's government did not deliver the goods. Today, we need a solid commitment.

    Since the safety of those who use this highway, which has taken more than 100 victims over the past 10 years, deserves non-partisan treatment, will the Minister of State for Infrastructure assure us that the Prime Minister will keep his promise before election time?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Andy Scott (Minister of State (Infrastructure), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as a New Brunswicker, I am very aware of the importance of route 185 to the national highway system. In fact, my friend from Madawaska—Restigouche brought a delegation before me just this week on that subject.

    I am very pleased that the Government of Canada right now has committed $53 million to this stretch of highway under the national highway system through the strategic highway infrastructure program. I am sure that we are prepared to do much more.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, 12,000 petitioners and students are calling on the federal government to commit to paying 50% of the cost of upgrading this deadly highway.

    Will the Prime Minister keep his word? Will his government finally respond to this repeated request?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Andy Scott (Minister of State (Infrastructure), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I said, we committed $53 million as part of the strategic highway infrastructure fund and the Government of Canada was quite prepared to put all of the money available to that fund, in Quebec, into that highway. The province of Quebec and the Government of Canada decided to do otherwise. We are committed to that piece of highway.

*   *   *

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, last week Scotty Goldberg, a Toronto native who had served in the Canadian Forces, was killed by a terrorist bomber in Jerusalem. He was a man of great compassion and is survived by his wife and six children.

    The Canadian ambassador to Israel scheduled but then suddenly cancelled a condolence visit to the Goldberg family, apparently because he thinks they live in a disputed part of Judea, compounding the Goldberg's tragedy with an insult from their own government.

    Was the Minister of Foreign Affairs aware of this insult to the Goldbergs and does he condone it?

+-

    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the House knows and as the hon. member knows, I immediately upon the notice of the terrible, tragic death of Dr. Goldberg, offered the condolences of the Canadian government, the Canadian people and of this Parliament.

    Our ambassador was prepared to meet with the family in Jerusalem, which is appropriate. Unfortunately, that was not possible. There was a suggestion they might meet elsewhere, but our ambassador, as the American ambassador and others do, takes the position that they do not go into places which are disputed at this time.

    We are willing to meet with the family. We offered them our condolences. It is a very sincere wish on our part that the family understand our deep sympathy at this time.

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the minister did express his personal condolences, but the ambassador had scheduled a visit to the home of the family, only 15 minutes outside of Jerusalem, and then cancelled it because he apparently had a political objection to where the Goldberg's lived.

    This was a great Canadian citizen. Why would the minister politicize the offering of official condolences on behalf of the Government of Canada to the Goldberg family?

+-

    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I said, I do not believe that the ambassador cancelled the proposed meeting. The ambassador offered to meet with the family at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and will be more than happy to do that. He has offered to attend on the family in Canada when he returns to Canada.

    We wish to offer our condolences to the family in these tragic circumstances. As I have said, the wife of Dr. Goldberg is an American citizen. Ambassadors are attributed to countries where they are. We were prepared to meet with the family in that country, and that is the appropriate thing. We offer our deepest condolences in these circumstances.

*   *   *

  +-(1155)  

+-Aboriginal Affairs

+-

    Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC): Mr. Speaker, in July 2000 the government signed a five year funding agreement with the Fontaine foundation worth over $35 million. A few months later another $2.4 million was added. All of this came after the audits of 1996 and 1997 revealed serious fraud at the treatment centre.

    Why would the government hand out almost $40 million to an organization without first fixing the mess?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Health Canada launched a forensic audit. We contacted the RCMP. We launched a civil litigation to recover the public funds and reviewed the previous actions taken on the file. We continue to keep the office of the Auditor General informed through our briefings on the forensic audit on corrective measures being taken.

    We believe in transparency. This week I tabled in the House a summary of accountable measures that have been put in place at Health Canada to strengthen the management of public funds so that this never happens again.

+-

    Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this corruption has gone on for over a decade. We still do not know how high the corruption went within the department, whether it was the minister or the deputy minister. We are not sure.

    In 1996 the audit uncovered $1.2 million in unsupported billings. In 1997 the audit reported another $1 million in overcharges. In 2000 the government committed $40 million to this project. Only a public inquiry will get to the bottom of why.

    Will the government put its money where its mouth is on transparency and call a public inquiry?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I cannot accept the premise of the question from the member. That party will never change. It tries to change; it tries to give itself a better face.

    This is just going back into the gutter to challenge or to question the integrity of the health minister at the time, who did a great job at bringing in the RCMP and firing the officials who had been involved. There was never any question about political implications.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Mirabel Airport

+-

    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Air Transat's recent decision to move its operations to Dorval means that Mirabel will lose at least 500 jobs. This announcement follows on the heels of the hotel closing and a series of bad news that continues to hit the region since the federal Liberals decided to abandon airport management to ADM.

    Instead of hiding behind the disastrous decisions of ADM, which spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to get Air Transat to move, this government should show transparency and tell the residents of the Mirabel region that, ultimately, its goal is to turn the airport into an empty shell so that it can be later closed. Should it not?

+-

    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, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will answer on behalf of the Minister of Transport. My colleague is well aware that we have great respect for the agencies in place. ADM makes its own decisions. That is how this government wants to operate: to be respectful above all.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Aboriginal Affairs

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is very curious that the Prime Minister wants the Auditor General to investigate why his shipping company received so much government money, yet will not agree to an inquiry into dollars lost to aboriginal people because of Health Canada's scandalous multi-million dollar mismanagement of funding to the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation.

    Why has the health minister absolutely refused the idea of a public inquiry? Has he been ordered to shut it down to protect the Prime Minister's old right-hand man, David Dodge, who was in charge of Health Canada during this fiasco?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious matter. We have been looking into it very closely. We have taken clear steps on the inappropriate actions by some officials.

    The Auditor General and Health Canada are in regular contact, and are working together on this. We should not try to disavow the work of the Auditor General who is kept abreast of this quite regularly.

    We have done a forensic audit. We have contacted the RCMP and taken actions, and I have tabled in the House a summary of those actions.

*   *   *

  +-(1200)  

+-Science and Technology

+-

    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we go from conflicts of interest to contradictions. The new Prime Minister crows about building a 21st century economy, but in the age of technology he has cancelled his science minister. Making a science out of his company avoiding taxes will not generate wealth for everyday Canadians.

    How can the Prime Minister say he respects Parliament when he replaces a science minister with a bureaucrat who reports only to him?

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we all know, and it was quite clear in the throne speech, that our support for research must continue in the future.

[English]

    The proof is that for the last 10 years we have invested $13 billion in research. We have done a lot.

    It was very clear in the throne speech that we will continue to invest in that. As industry minister, I will support that and work very closely with the scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, Mr. Carty. It is fine for Canada to have a scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, like other countries.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Softwood Lumber

+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber crisis has affected more than 10,000 jobs in Quebec alone, and clearly the measures adopted so far are not helping either the industry or the workers to get through the crisis.

    Will the federal government decide at last to announce phase two of its plan to assist the softwood lumber industry, making improvements to the employment insurance program and providing loan guarantees to companies?

+-

    Hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is raising an issue that has been with us a long time. We have been seeking solutions to that problem for a long time. The hon. member is well aware that the Prime Minister has already indicated his desire to strike a task force to find solutions to the problems of all these seasonal workers.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Research and Development

+-

    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the decision to distribute funding for science research and development through foundations has been identified by the Auditor General as an abuse of parliamentary authority. The new Prime Minister was the architect of this scheme to keep the end use of the research dollars out of the public eye.

    Why will the Prime Minister not commit to removing the cloak of secrecy from these foundations so that Canadians know what the money is really being used for?

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I do not understand what the member is talking about. The CFI representative came to a parliamentary committee and answered questions. Is this secrecy, to come to a parliamentary committee and answer all the questions?

    I think the member should ask, in her own riding or in a different riding, how CFI has helped researchers in this country, and not only the researchers of our country, but Canadians who were abroad and returned to do their research in Canada. We are all proud of them.

*   *   *

+-Interparliamentary Delegations

+-

    The Speaker: I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka, from October 12 to October 17, 2003.


+-Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Question No. 37

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in response to your request earlier this week, I have the pleasure of tabling in the House the documents related to Question No. 37 that were sent to the hon. member for Edmonton Southwest, the Speaker, and the House leaders on January 28 of this year.

    At the same time, I am tabling a modified version of two of the attachments. The change has been made to correct the amount of the contribution to Canarctic Shipping Company Ltd. Instead of the amount originally indicated, the tables now show the correct contribution of $1,187,360, some $20,000 higher.

    In closing, I would like to add that the correction was made to the website on which all the documents I am tabling today can be found as soon as the error was discovered, which was January 30, in other words three days before the question was even asked in the House.

*   *   *

  +-(1205)  

[English]

+-Report on Canadian Multiculturalism

+-

    Hon. Jean Augustine (Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the annual report of the operations of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, 2002-3.

*   *   *

+-Food and Drugs Act

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-473, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (trans fatty acids).

    He said: Mr. Speaker, I thank the House for this opportunity to introduce and give first reading to this private member's bill to amend the Food and Drugs Act so that for all intents and purposes trans fatty acids would be banned.

    I should point out that this bill is not an outright ban. It would lower the allowable limit of trans fatty acids to no more than 2% of all the fats found in any product. Therefore, any food product sold in Canada in restaurant food or store bought processed food would virtually have no trans fatty acids for the general health and well-being of Canadians.

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

*   *   *

+-Petitions

+-Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table three different petitions. The first pertains to a matter that I have been working on for some time and it has received the support of many Canadians across the country. The petition calls on the government to ensure that we have labelling on all alcohol beverage containers warning that drinking when pregnant can cause serious problems to the fetus.

    The petitioners urge the government to act on the motion passed almost unanimously by the House.

*   *   *

+-Child Pornography

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I have a second petition signed by many constituents concerned about the issue of child pornography. They call upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to ensure materials that promote or glorify pedophilia or sado-masochistic activities involving children are outlawed.

*   *   *

+-Health

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Finally, Mr. Speaker, another important issue that has been dealt with in the House over and over again is the question of health care in Canada. Many Canadians have written to us and I have petitions here today on the subject calling on Parliament to move on the Romanow Commission which made recommendations to ensure the future of medicare in Canada.

    The petitioners call upon the government to do so, as well as to ensure that investor-owned for profit systems of delivery in Canada are eliminated and that we absolutely entrench the idea of not-for-profit public administered health care for the sake of the future of medicare and as a defining aspect of Canadian citizenship.

*   *   *

+-Trans Fats

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I too have a petition to table in the House today signed by literally thousands of Canadians who feel very strongly that the government should take steps immediately to eliminate trans fats from Canada's food supply.

    They point out that these trans fatty acids are deadly manufactured fats that cause heart disease, diabetes and obesity, all of which are on the rise in Canada. They point out further that the recommended daily intake of trans fats is zero, that most Canadians eat 10 to 30 grams per day and that many baby foods contain trans fats.

    They call upon Parliament to take immediate concrete steps to eliminate trans fats from our diet at the earliest possible time.

*   *   *

  +-(1210)  

-Medical Expenses

+-

    Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I have another intervention. We have an enormous number of signatures here. Actually there are 4,442 signatures from people all across Canada. I have presented approximately 20,000 of these petitions and signatures already.

    The petition is from Canadian citizens who use alternative medicines, such as vitamins and supplements, for preventive health care and, according to what we are looking at today, which is most important, these are out of pocket expenses. These Canadians should obtain tax relief on personal income tax returns by means of using receipts from licensed health food stores and not only “as recorded by a pharmacist”, as is quoted in section 118.2(2)(n) of the Income Tax Act.

    These petitioners are calling on Parliament by the thousands that the government take necessary steps to change section 118.2(2)(n) of the Income Tax Act to allow receipts for vitamins and supplements to be used as a medical expense on personal income tax returns and be GST exempt. I thank the people who have sent these in and to Stella Melnychuk who has done a great job getting these to me.

*   *   *

+-Questions on the Order Paper

+-

    Hon. Joe Jordan (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, 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]

+-Reinstatement of Government Bills

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased today to introduce Motion No. 2, which proposes, and I quote:

    That, during the first thirty sitting days of the present session of Parliament, whenever a minister of the Crown, when proposing a motion for first reading of a public bill, states that the said bill is in the same form as a government bill in the previous session, if the Speaker is satisfied that the said bill is in the same form as the House of Commons had agreed to at prorogation, notwithstanding Standing Order 71, the said bill shall be deemed in the current session to have been considered and approved at all stages completed at the time of the prorogation of the previous session.

    There are ample precedents for the House of Commons deeming government bills from previous sessions to have been advanced in new sessions to the stages at which they expired at prorogation.

[English]

    This approach has been applied for over 30 years in order to avoid wasting parliament's time and resources. In 1970, 1972 and 1986, the House gave unanimous consent to such motions to reinstate bills. In 1991, 1996, 1999 and as recently as 2002, the House passed a motion similar to that which we are proposing today. Furthermore, it is consistent with practice in the United Kingdom House of Commons.

    If our motion is adopted, witnesses will not have to come back to committees to present their views and briefs all over again. The committees in turn will not have to hear them all over again.

    Before this procedure was accepted by the House, reintroducing bills that had died on the Order Paper wasted valuable parliamentary resources and tax dollars since the same debate and the same committee hearings had to be repeated for each bill which needed to be reintroduced.

    Given the financial constraints under which we are operating and for which we should be aware, we feel it is wiser to devote these resources to priority needs in areas such as health care, for instance.

[Translation]

    Furthermore, this method allowing bills to be reinstated is already part of the House rules governing private members' business. The House Standing Orders stipulate that private members' bills be automatically reinstated after prorogation of the session.

    The motion we have put before the House does not deal with any one specific bill. It may well be that some ministers have reasons for not reinstating proceedings on their bills that were terminated by prorogation. The motion will apply solely to bills that have been introduced and at least referred to committee, either before or after second reading.

    As for bills that had only been introduced, but not yet studied in committee during the previous session, they can be reintroduced during the present session. In that case, it could not be said that reintroducing these bills would constitute needless duplication of work and, naturally, a waste of parliamentary resources.

  +-(1215)  

[English]

    The procedure will work as follows. During the first 30 sitting days of the new session, any minister who introduces a bill identical to a bill in the old session, and which at least had been referred to a committee, will have the right to request that the new bill be reinstated to the stage at which it had progressed at the time of prorogation.

    The procedure does not oblige a minister to reintroduce a bill. It merely gives them a new right to do so during a limited period at the beginning of the session.

    There are important bills from the last session that respond to the needs and interests of Canadians. For example, there is a need to reinstate Bill C-49, which provides for the electoral boundaries readjustment based on the 2001 national census, to take effect April 1, 2004.

    Given their growing population, British Columbia and Alberta are each entitled to two additional seats and Ontario to an additional three seats.

[Translation]

    As part of the action plan on democratic Reform, which I have the honour of leading in this House, the government has promised to reinstate Bill C-34, the legislation to create the office of an Independent Ethics Commissioner and a Senate Ethics Officer, who will report to the House and Senate respectively. We hope that, with the support of our fellow parliamentarians, we can bring this bill into force.

    The government will reinstate other bills, including Bill C-17, the Public Safety Act, 2002; Bill C-20, an act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children and other vulnerable persons) and the Canada Evidence Act; Bill C-23, the Sex Offender Information Registration Act; and Bill C-57, Westbank First Nation Self-Government Act.

[English]

    As this list shows, the motion serves the interests of the House. It also serves the interests expressed by the opposition in a number of cases. For these reasons I do ask for the support of all members. Perhaps if we can come to a consensus we can adopt this motion today.

[Translation]

    Let us support this measure, which has been supported many times by all parties of the House. I sincerely hope we can concentrate our efforts and resources on the real issues facing Canadians.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by taking one of the points that was just made at the end of House leader's remarks in introducing this.

    He said that this motion serves the interests of the House. There are bills that the government is bringing back that serve the interests of only the Liberal Party.

    One of the bills he talked about had to do with the amendments to the Canada Elections Act and he said how important it was for Alberta, B.C. and Ontario to get these extra seats. However that bill contains a very undemocratic provision that does not serve the interests of Canadians, nor does it serve the interests of many members in the House of Commons. The provision is to have all the amendments apply on an earlier date. Rather than comply with the law of Canada and have these amendments take place on August 18, they are trying to bring it back and have the amendment apply on April 1. They want to ram this bill through the House and through the Senate in order to call an early election.

    The primary purpose of that bill is to undermine and try to derail any ability to organize properly for a federal election; for our political party to get its policy convention and all of its statements in place. That is why they are trying to do what they are doing today. That is a very undemocratic measure and we in this place should strongly object to what the government is doing.

    The Prime Minister claims to have formed a new government, yet with this motion he is claiming the privileges of being the former government of Jean Chrétien. He is bringing in everything that the former prime minister failed to get through here. Procedurally speaking, the Prime Minister wants to be seen, as most Canadians see his government, as the old Chrétien government, and that is exactly what he is doing by his actions today.

    While we in opposition would agree with that definition, that they are an old government, we will argue that they should come up with their own legislation and portray themselves as new and show Canadians clearly what they stand for. This will not happen before April 1 because we will be debating old legislation. We will not be debating new ideas that the Prime Minister brings in. That should be abundantly obvious by what is happening here today.

    I accept that there is a well-established practice for government to re-introduce a reinstatement motion in a new session, however it has not been established that a so-called new government in a new session can reinstate bills from the previous government. If this government claims to be new, what it is doing would definitely disprove that.

    I have examined all the precedents and I could not find one example of a new government reinstating bills from a previous session. From Journals of October 21, 1970, at page 46, it was recorded that the House adopted a reinstatement motion. The prime minister was Pierre Trudeau and the motion reinstated bills of Mr. Trudeau's government from the previous session.

    On May 9, 1972, at page 281 of Journals, we have another motion adopted and, once again, Pierre Trudeau being the prime minister in that session and the previous session.

    On March 8, 1974, pages 25 and 26, there was a reinstatement motion that was adopted. It was the same circumstances as May 9, 1972.

    On October 3, 1986, at pages 47 and 48, Mr. Mulroney's government introduced a reinstatement motion reinstating bills of the Mulroney government from the previous session. However it was the same government.

    On March 4, 1996, at pages 34 and 35, and 39 to 41 of the Journals, Jean Chrétien's government reinstated government bills of the Chrétien government from the previous session.

  +-(1220)  

    Then we had November 12, 2003 and the government of Jean Chrétien once again successfully reinstating bills from a previous session, although he ran into a bit of a problem with his attempt to reinstate other business resulting in a Speaker's ruling that divided the motion into three parts.

    Many arguments have been made against the practice whereby a prime minister reinstates his government bills from a previous session. It goes against the practice, consequences and reasons for a government to prorogue. It contradicts the notion of beginning a session with fresh ideas and a new direction. It contradicts the idea that a new government should have new legislation and bring in new ideas that we can debate.

    Does the Prime Minister not do what a new government should do because he does not want Canadians to know what he stands for? Does he want to keep us guessing, making one statement one day and a different statement another day, backtracking on all kinds of things, and not introducing some meaningful legislation for us to debate that would indicate the direction his government is going to go? Is that the reason we do not have new legislation introduced?

    What we are talking about here today is far worse than what I have been saying, I would argue procedurally unacceptable. The current Prime Minister is attempting to reinstate bills of another prime minister from a previous session and has the audacity to call this a new government.

    When the Prime Minister promised democratic reform and made a commitment to do things differently, we thought he meant to improve how Parliament functions. So far the Prime Minister has behaved less democratically than his predecessors, something most of us thought would be impossible but it is happening before our eyes.

    You know very well, Mr. Speaker, that I have been dealing with the Firearms Act for nigh on 10 years. Back in 1994 I began tracking a piece of legislation that I thought would long since be gone. However, now this Prime Minister is using a tactic that the previous prime minister used in keeping that legislation in place. He has stated quite clearly that this is not going to be a free vote in Parliament. He has stated quite clearly that this vote on the gun registry funding will be a vote on confidence in his government.

    How can a new Prime Minister, who says that all his legislation and all his programs will pass seven tests before they will be continued, reintroduce a whole bunch of bills? How can he continue with a Firearms Act that breaks all seven of those tests that he has put forward? They are good tests. Do not get me wrong. I agree with him. I believe all legislation should be put that way. However, why bring in the tests if at the first opportunity they have to test them and put something before them, say “except for the Firearms Act”, but it will apply to all other legislation and programs before the House? Obviously democracy is not operating the way we have been given the impression it should operate.

    On May 12 and May 16, 2003, a former government House leader raised the issue of parliamentary privilege, exempting members from being called as witnesses in any court. I raised this earlier with you, Mr. Speaker. The issue raised in that case was whether the prime minister could claim parliamentary privilege to provide legal protection, and I went through a whole bunch of arguments. Let me read at this point the ruling from the Canadian Court of Appeal. It stated:

--the parliamentary privilege of a Member of Parliament not to attend as a witness in a civil action applies throughout a session of Parliament, and extends 40 days after the prorogation or dissolution of Parliament and 40 days before the commencement of a new session.

    That clearly is just being disregarded in this case.

    I would just like to go through some of the bills that we would like to exclude from this reinstatement, for example, Bill C-7, an act respecting leadership selection, administration and accountability of Indian bands and to make related amendments to other acts. We would like to see that bill not included.

    As well, we would like to see Bill C-19, an act respecting leadership selection, administration and accountability of Indian bands and to make related amendments to other acts, excluded.

  +-(1225)  

    We would like to see Bill C-20, an act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children and other vulnerable persons) and the Canada Evidence Act, excluded from this list.

    Bill C-22, an act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcements Act, the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and the Judges Act and to amend other acts in consequence, we do not want included.

    Then we have Bill C-26, an act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and the Railway Safety Act, to enact the VIA Rail Canada Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts. We would like that excluded.

    Bill C-38, an act to amend the contraventions Act and the controlled drugs and substances act, should be excluded.

    Then we have in the Senate Bill C-13, the human reproductive technologies act. Canadians have huge concerns with that. That is something that should not be reinstated clearly.

    Bill C-34 is an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act. That provides for an ethics commissioner, a Senate ethics officer and other acts in consequence. This Prime Minister has made a lot of to-do about that bill. He talks about the need for an ethics commissioner and then the previous government brings forth legislation that applies to only backbench MPs and does not apply to the cabinet. The problems that we have observed here in Ottawa do not pertain to backbench MPs. They pertain to those who have the responsibility in the cabinet.

    We have Bill C-35, an act to amend the National Defence Act (remuneration of military judges). It should not be brought back.

    Bill C-36 is an act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain other acts in consequence. We have huge concerns with all of these.

    With regard to these, I would like to propose an amendment. I move:

    That the motion be amended by adding:

“excluding the following bills:

    I have listed them, but I will read them again for the purposes of this amendment:

C-7, An Act respecting the leadership selection, administration and accountability of Indian bands, and to make related amendments to other Acts.

    I made an error in my first listing and I will correct that now.

C-19, An Act to provide for real property taxation powers of first nations, to create a First Nations Tax Commission, First Nations Financial Management Board, First Nations Financial Authority and First Nations Statistical Institute and to make consequential amendments to other Acts;

C-20, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children and other vulnerable persons) and the Canada Evidence Act;

C-22, An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcements Act, the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and the Judges Act and to amend other Acts in consequence;

C-26, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and the Railway Safety Act, to enact the VIA Rail Canada Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts;

C-38, An Act to amend the contraventions act and the controlled drugs and substances act;

    Again for that one, Canadians have a lot of concerns.

C-13, An Act respecting assisted human reproduction;

C-34, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner and Senate Ethics Officer) and other Acts in consequence;

C-35, an act to amend the National Defence Act (remuneration of military judges);

C-36, An Act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence.”

  +-(1230)  

+-

    The Speaker: Debate is on the amendment.

+-

    Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC): Mr. Speaker, introducing new bills into the House and the Senate after prorogation is a serious issue. We must look at what was done with some of these pieces of legislation in the last Parliament.

    One particular piece of legislation that I am very concerned with is Bill C-13. We had an unbelievable debate in the House on this. We sat in the chamber and voted on Bill C-13 dealing with reproductive technology for over two and half to three hours one evening. The bill was originally brought into the House at the beginning of the 37th Parliament as Bill C-56.

    However, if we go to the history of where the bill came from, it actually died on the Order Paper as Bill C-47 in 1997. The bill was initiated by a royal commission in the early part of the last decade.

    It is not that we should not have this legislation. In fact there is no question that such legislation is long overdue.

    I will now talk a bit about the history the legislation. It is very important to understand its history in order to discern whether we should at this time be bringing it back after prorogation and just before an election.

    I would not argue that we do not need the legislation. In fact I argued long and hard for the need to have it. Science is far ahead of the legislation on which we are presently working. Nevertheless, this legislation is flawed in many serious ways.

    In committee we aggressively dealt with it. There were at least 100 amendments that we wanted to make to the legislation prior to it leaving committee. There was very tight voting on it. It pricks the conscience of every Canadian. All members who listened to the testimony at committee were very much involved in the debate. There is an emotional level that this subject brings to the conscience of most Canadians, especially committee members.

    The reason I am talking about the legislation is because we worked on it for a long time as a Parliament. However, at the beginning of the 37th Parliament, the minister of health decided to bring a piece of legislation in and treat it somewhat differently in the House of Commons. It went directly to committee. That was the first piece of legislation of its kind that would go directly to committee, instead of going to the House of Commons for first and second reading and then to committee.

    In a very non-partisan way we brought the best witnesses from across the country and around the world to give us their wisdom and present their testimony before committee. Then we would be able to discern how we wanted to draft and craft a bill reflecting the views of Canadians. We wanted this legislation to be the best in the world. That was the intent of the committee at the time. It was something on which we worked quite aggressively.

    The committee listened to well over 150 witnesses. We sounded some of the pieces of information that came forward from some of the brightest minds in the world on the subject. The committee had international witnesses and we reviewed their legislation. The committee reviewed what was in the draft legislation. We worked very hard, openly and in a non-partisan fashion on the legislation. It was an exciting opportunity. As a new member of Parliament, it was my first experience on committee. I thought this was the way it should be done.

    I have been here three years now and I realize that is not quite the way most committees work. My first awakening on that committee was at the very end of the sitting. For nine months we worked very hard on legislation that was very sensitive, and in a very non-partisan way. The most profound piece in the legislation was whether we should be able to destroy the human embryo or embryonic stem cell for research purposes. The committee was almost unanimously against this because of the witnesses and testimony which had come forward over the nine months.

  +-(1235)  

    I will never forget what happened, because at the last minute, at the eleventh hour, the minister cracked the whip and these individuals I trusted on the other side in committee--because of the witnesses and some of the testimony and some of the things they had said--changed their views 180° on whether to allow embryonic stem cells or not. I could not believe that on an issue such as this they would change their minds and yet that is what happened at that time. I believe it was the wrong decision in so many ways.

    We asked to be shown why stem cells were needed. We asked why as a nation we should go to the place where human life would be destroyed for the sake of others. The science is not there. Scientists said they were needed because stem cells from embryos are more elastic and therefore they might be capable of being triggered to grow into any organ of the body. I challenged them by asking them to show us in animal embryos where that was a possibility. If it is a possibility then maybe we should go there even though it would be difficult for many Canadians to destroy human life for the sake of others.

    Perhaps there would be some scientific validity to it if we want to change the ethic from where we protect human life from beginning to end, which has been a fundamental principle for Canadians for as long as Canada has been a nation. The legislation would change that ethic to “for the greater good of society”, which would change the ethic from protecting human life regardless of the cost. We should do the math and see whether we should proceed or not, and if it is for the greater good rather than the negative, then perhaps the math will be the guiding principle. If this becomes just about math, then we are on a very slippery slope in this nation. Not only will we be destroying human embryos, but as health dollars become precious in the upcoming years, we will be going to the place where we will perhaps be making decisions as to whether or not grandma should have hip surgery or heart surgery, or whether we look after comatose patients or the physically and mentally challenged individuals in our society.

    These kinds of decisions will be made if we allow ourselves to be controlled by just the ethic of math rather than the ethic of protecting human life regardless of how fragile it is. This what I very much fear more than anything else in this piece of legislation: where it will vault us.

    It is really amazing to me that when we went through all of this in committee we had agreement at that stage. We said we would put out a committee report reflecting our views. It was a very difficult time at that stage. The report had to be worded in such a way that it would not be exploited and would not take us down that path, because the legislation we were looking said that research should be done if it was deemed necessary. But necessary was not defined, and if we do not define necessary it means that whatever somebody thinks is necessary is obviously necessary. We thought we should put in the wording “only if no other biological material could be found” to do that kind of research; we thought perhaps that was the time we should consider it. We agreed on that wording collectively in committee and that wording was put forward in our recommendations.

    Committee members said that we should hold off, as my party has said, for at least three years and put a moratorium on embryonic stem cell research while the science proved to us as a nation that it was the way to go. We are not there yet. The science is not there yet.

    In fact, science is showing us that we could achieve much more promise in adult stem cells. In committee, that was our question to the scientists. We asked the scientists why adult stem cells could not be used. They said they could not be triggered into growing into any organ of the body. That has been proven wrong, actually, in the time that we have been working on this piece of legislation. A scientist in Minnesota has come forward to say that stem cells can be taken from bone marrow and triggered into growing into any organ of the body and then we can do the same kind of research that we wanted embryonic stem cells for.

    The problem with embryonic stem cells, according to the research and science behind this, is that they are so elastic they cannot be triggered into growing into the appropriate organ. That is not the problem with adult stem cells. I am not a scientist, but I have been told by scientists that when adult stem cells are being grown they can be triggered into growing into the organ that scientists want them to grow into. There is much more promise on the adult stem cell side than there is on the embryonic cell side.

  +-(1240)  

    We should be very cautious of being led down the garden path in the sense of allowing us to do the research that is morally repugnant and goes against the morals that Canada and Canadians have had for generations.

    An hon. member: To some people, not to everyone.

    Mr. Rob Merrifield: My colleague says some. As long as my colleague has been a Canadian, I can say that the ethic in Canada has been to respect human life from beginning to end, regardless of how fragile it is. That is a Canadian principle and a Canadian value that we had better cherish, because if we do not cherish and protect it we will lose it. We had better be very careful of that. Also, if we can achieve the same thing by doing it through the means of adult stem cells, that is where we should be going. This piece of legislation vaults us into that.

    When it comes to the legislation we are dealing with and what has actually been happening at committee, we have many other problems with a piece of legislation that was flawed, the one that is now in the Senate, if this goes through today. We have a serious problem with it because there were a hundred different amendments that we wanted to tighten up.

    The other and most important part of this legislation is the agency that will be struck to determine what science goes forward and what does not. This agency has no accountability. In fact, there is a clause in the bill which says specifically that the Minister of Health can dictate to that agency what will be approved or not approved. The agency has no recourse but must follow the instruction of the Minister of Health. That is not transparency. That is not accountability. It is not reflective of being accountable to this chamber and, by being responsible to this chamber, to the people of Canada. If this agency that is being struck does not garner the support and confidence of Canadians, it will ultimately fail. We should be very careful to make sure we put parameters around the agency to ensure that accountability is there.

    There are numbers of other different things in the legislation that we are very concerned about. Donor anonymity is of great concern to a number of people. Really the bill was not about embryonic stem cell research necessarily, it was about building families. It was about putting some parameters around the reproduction part of the fertility clinics that are trying to have young couples conceive children when they are having difficulty doing so. That is very noble. In fact, our report reflected that. We said we should change the name of the report from “all about science” and we should say what it is about. It is all about building families. We named our report “Building Families”, because that is what it should be.

    However, in building families, who is going to protect the interests of the unborn child if not our committee and if not this legislation? We have said that the right of the child should supersede the right of those who are donating the egg or the sperm. I think that is just a principle that should be there. If we do not fight for the right of these children to know where they come from, no one will. That is something that was debated at committee at length with all kinds of individuals. I remember very clearly a beautiful, young, 19 year old lady who came to our committee and said she did not know who her father was. When she walks down the streets she looks at every man and wonders who is her father.

    There are no parameters in this country about how many times one can even donate sperm. There are no limits on it; it is uncontrolled as it presently is. There is no way in this piece of legislation that we either limit the number or determine how the individual who is conceived and born out of this is to know their biological makeup. We do not believe there should be any liability that follows this. Just the knowledge of who someone is biologically, I think, is a fundamental of human life and is something that the child should know.

    The idea of surrogacy in this legislation, the idea of renting a womb to be able to conceive a child, is something we find repugnant in the sense that if someone believes they want to help an individual conceive a child, then it should be done from the most altruistic motives, not because someone wants to make a buck. This piece of legislation can vault us into that because it allows for the payment for surrogacy. If we allow for the payment for that, even so much as to pay the individual for their lost salary during the time they are away having the child, we are saying that is a problem. We are strongly against that and see it as something that should not be taking place.

  +-(1245)  

    Then we come to the whole idea of cloning. It is interesting that when we talk about cloning and we look at this piece of legislation, a lot of times we say that maybe this should be called the cloning bill. In some ways it should. Because the bill should be split right down the middle. We said that right from the very beginning. It has two tracks.

    One is to deal with the prohibitions, things that as a nation and in this House we would collectively in a minute say that we should not allow: human and therapeutic cloning, germ line alteration, and chimera hybrids, which are animal-human combinations of creating life. Those we find repugnant.

    The reason that cloning is so repugnant is that one out of 200 to 300 are actually born alive and healthy. If we remember, Dolly the sheep was born out of cloning technology, but it takes 300 Dollys before we get one. Even Dolly the sheep was found out to be aging prematurely and therefore had faults. But there were another 300 that never made it, that were born handicapped, mentally retarded or whatever. I do not mean that sheep are mentally retarded, but I am saying that if we translate what we know of sheep to humans we are going to have a serious problem. It is repugnant to do this. Most of the nations around the world are saying that we should not go there.

    What I find astounding on the whole idea of human cloning is that I do not know many nations in the world that say that human cloning should be allowed, but I do know that in the United Nations this fall there was a debate on this same issue of human cloning and whether we should we do something internationally to either allow it or not allow it. There were actually three motions put forward at the United Nations.

    One motion coming from Costa Rica, which had garnered the support of 60-plus countries, would ban human and therapeutic cloning and would reflect our own bill, the one before us.

    What happened at the UN was really interesting.

    Another motion came forward out of Belgium, which had garnered the support of about a dozen countries. It said we should ban just reproductive cloning, but not therapeutic, which would not reflect the bill that is before our committee and the bill that is now in the Senate. It is interesting that Canada originally supported Belgium, which went against its domestic position, if that is in truth what its position is actually going to be under this bill. That is what would reflect the bill. They said no, that we should not; they supported the Belgian one.

    Another motion that came forward was the first motion voted on. It was out of some of the Arab countries and said, “Hold it, this is a little bit complex. Why do we not just put it off for two years?” It is interesting that when it came to a vote at the United Nations, Canada refused to vote on it. Canada abstained from the vote. Because of that, it was a tie vote and we lost it. It was to put it off for two years.

    It is unbelievable that we would not stand on the principle of supporting the actual domestic position on the international stage. Canada should hang its head because of what we have done internationally and for the message we are sending internationally on this issue.

    It is unbelievable how complex this piece of legislation is. When one talks to individuals on the street and says this is a bill on reproductive technologies and starts getting into the issues, people's eyes glaze over. It is very complex. Even those who were on the committee and listened to all the witnesses were just nicely getting into it and understanding the complexity of the legislation.

    I am trying to boil it down in as close to layman's terms as I possibly can get and explain it as simply as I can so that this House and those who are watching will understand what this legislation would actually do to us as a country.

    At one stage, I even went to you, Mr. Speaker, and asked for an emergency debate on this.

    At another stage, I thought maybe the thing to do was to bring forward a motion at committee to split this piece of legislation, because that is indeed what we should be doing. If we were to take the two lines I said earlier that we should be working on, one on the prohibitions and the other on the regulatory side of it, and if we brought forward a piece of legislation on just the prohibitions, it would pass in the blink of an eye. In fact, I have said that it would pass faster than the raising of salaries of members of Parliament did in this House, which took 72 hours. I think that is what we should be doing.

  +-(1250)  

    We should be splitting this piece of legislation as fast as we possibly can and bring that forward. In light of that, I think the bill that is now coming back after prorogation and going to the Senate should be stopped. We should not go forward with it.

    I am wondering what to do. I sent a letter to the Senate and I am truly hoping that the Senate will do the right thing by giving this a sober second thought. I talked to Senator Kirby and members of his committee. I am hoping that they will do the right thing and not just rush this bill through before the election, but truly give it sober second thought. It is extremely important that we do that. It is extremely important that they actually have a free vote on this in the Senate, not like was done here.

    Even though it was not a free vote, there were many members on the other side who voted against this piece of legislation because of its volatility and what it will do to us as a country. It is very important that we split the bill, that we stop this one, and we bring another piece forward to put the limitations on it.

    I move:

    That the amendment be amended by adding:Bill C-49 an act respecting the effective date of the representation order of 2003.

  +-(1255)  

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    The Speaker: The question therefore is on the subamendment.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the speech made by the hon. member and, indeed, it is very surprising to find ourselves in the current situation. The government is not at the beginning of a mandate. Last fall, it changed leader, but it had known about this change for a year.

    These people were supposed to be ready to govern and to propose new ideas and approaches. Now, we are caught in a bind. We feel that we are being pressured by the government to pass these bills. Last fall, this legislation was not that urgent, since the House recessed. Now, we are back and we realize that the government wants to reintroduce the same bills. In some cases, this is acceptable, but in other cases it is unacceptable.

    I would like to put a question to the hon. member who tabled an amendment to the amendment to Bill C-49, which seeks to move up the effective date of the representation order of 2003.

    Does this not defeat, to some extent, the purpose of the Canada Elections Act, which should be implemented as objectively as possible and which provides for a one year delay between the time when commissions make a decision on the effective date of the electoral map and the time when an election can be called?

    The government introduced a very partisan bill to please the new Prime Minister and allow him to call an election in April 2004 when normally an election should not be called before the fall of 2004. This means that the election will take place six months earlier than it should.

    Is this not in fact unacceptable? Would it not be best to not debate the bill introduced by the government in the House and implement the elections act as initially planned?

[English]

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    Mr. Rob Merrifield: Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the electoral boundaries act, it is really quite interesting. Every 10 years we have to mandate it. We look at whether the population has increased or decreased and boundaries shift significantly. That is what has happened now.

    We do not have a problem with that necessarily. This is something that is good. It helps with democracy. It helps with making sure that some ridings do not get too many individuals in them, where one member in the House would have a disproportionate number of people than another. I think that is very appropriate, but that is all in place.

    The population of Canada has increased and this time I think another seven seats are being proposed under the new piece of legislation. As the boundaries are shifted around, there will be another seven seats in the House. We do not have a problem with that. The deadline was set out. It was there. We do not see any need whatsoever for the changing of that date to be moved forward to April.

    Why put this legislation in place because of electoral expediency and because of the government's agenda to rush to the polls? That is playing politics with the will of the population. That is very unacceptable and it is inappropriate that we do so.

    The democratic process is set. We have always said in our party that the day we win an election is the day we should call an election so we are not playing this silly game. Now we are moving the date up from some time in July or August to April 1. I am saying that is absolutely ridiculous that we move that date up. For what?

    We have a government that should govern for a while. Let us let it govern for a while and then go to the polls. Let us see if Canadians will respect the Liberals' wish and re-elect them as the governing party of the nation. To go before it has a chance and to bring forward legislation and to ram it through is absolutely repugnant. It goes against any kind of democratic deficit rhetoric that we have heard in the last few days by the government.

    That is something the government is going to have to wear as we go into the election and it tries to jam the election down the throats of Canadians.

  +-(1300)  

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    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat confused by the member's last answer and the speech by the member for Yorkton--Melville who preceded him. I understood them to say that the legislation which is being reintroduced by us into the House at this time should not be reintroduced, that it is some sort of extraordinary thing that we are bringing back legislation that was on the Order Paper in the fall and which was incomplete.

    Then the hon. member, quite rightly I thought, engaged in a thoughtful presentation of his views about Bill C-49 which is an important piece of legislation.

    The question I have to ask him is, does he agree with his colleague the member for Yorkton--Melville that we should not be proceeding with this legislation, that we should not be reintroducing important bills, that we should not be reintroducing the electoral act? What does he think we should do, just start over completely and have nothing to do with previous governing issues which the country has to deal with that remained uncompleted in the last session when we were sitting?

    It seems to me the government is proceeding in a very important and very logical fashion. We had much legislation which members of the House had been wrestling with. Bill C-49 is an example and there are others. We naturally reintroduce them into the House to allow members to debate them, to discuss them.

    To take the attitude that this is some bizarre position being taken by the government I just do not understand. I leave it with you, Mr. Speaker, and with the hon. member that the elections act which gives to many citizens of our country an opportunity to participate in new electoral boundaries and new constituencies is very important. If in fact it can be reintroduced and enabled to come into effect earlier rather than later, I would have said that it is in the interests of those citizens who have the right to have constituency boundaries and constituencies that are more representative for them.

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    Mr. Rob Merrifield: Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear about this. The interest in that piece of legislation coming forward early is certainly not for Canadians. It is only for that party over there. It is unfortunate it plays that kind of game.

    That is the Liberal Party of Canada playing games. It says it is different, that it is new and improved. I would say that it is the same old rhetoric. The Liberals were the ones who prorogued for no reason. They should have got busy with the governing of the nation.

    We had a Prime Minister who took an extended holiday away from the House and now we will go for a few weeks and have a big break in March and then supposedly go right to the polls. That is the rumoured agenda. We should not be doing that.

    We should be governing the country and then let us go to the polls once Canadians have an opportunity to really judge whether the Liberals are up to the task or not. There are a number of reasons that we would say they are not. Driving some of this legislation forward is certainly a reason that nothing has changed. It is not a new and improved party. It is the same old rhetoric, same old faces. Canadians can expect the same old problems from the government. It is unfortunate because a golden opportunity has been missed to really lead the country the way it should be led.

  +-(1305)  

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    Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick (Prince Albert, CPC): Mr. Speaker, if we are going to deal with the democratic deficit, we have to reform the system. It just seems to be so obvious that one measure that should be in place is that the date of the election should be legislated. That is so basic. It should not be something left for gerrymandering or for political insiders to time the market and call the election when they think it is best for them. In a democracy it should be legislated. Many democracies have that. We are way behind the eight ball on that.

    What would my learned friend have to say about legislating the date of elections rather than leaving it to backroom politicians to pick the most convenient time for an election?

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    Mr. Rob Merrifield: Mr. Speaker, our system comes out of the British parliamentary system and we sort of formed a history of the Canadian government under some of the rules from there and are hybrids of them.

    Other nations have had other rules. Australia is an example of a British Commonwealth country that has hybrids of the British parliamentary system. I would say that the Australian parliamentary system is much more reflective of a democracy. Some of the changes there are much better than we have. We could learn a lot from the Australian model.

    The United States has a four year term. Everyone knows exactly when the election is in the United States. In other democratic countries and free countries around the world, they get around this idea that it is up to the prime minister, or actually a prime minister's wife, to call an election. That is absolutely ridiculous. It is nonsense. This is about governing the country and we should stop the partisan politics of it and try to stop the opportunity for one party to get the upper hand because of the economy, employment rates and manipulation of events as to whether that party thinks it is going to be a good winter or bad winter as far as the economy goes.

    That is something we should get around. There is absolutely no question that we should have legislation in place so that everyone in Canada knows the date and time of the election at the beginning of the term of a new government.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, to begin with, since this is my first chance to speak in 2004, I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to wish you, and all the people of Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel I have not had a chance to see over the holiday season, as well as all the people of Quebec, and all the people of Canada, a very happy, healthy and fulfilling 2004.

    Today I am fortunate to be able to discuss the government motion to reinstate bills. I say fortunate, but it is not an easy task, given the situation.

    I am going to try to explain to Quebeckers and Canadians the approach the government is taking to reinstate bills that ought to have been passed in the last session. It is simple. Why are we obliged to have such a motion to reinstate bills? Quite simply because the government, when Mr. Chrétien was in charge, decided in November to prorogue the House and end parliamentary debate. Why? Because there was a new leader of the Liberal Party, a new Prime Minister waiting in the wings.

    The decision was made to prorogue because they were thinking that perhaps some outsiders might want to join their group, or who knows what else they had in mind. All we know is that we MPs have been unable to engage in any debate in this House since November 2003. We resumed only on Monday of this week. So, for close to three months, members have been unable to debate bills some considered important. The proof of this is that the government now wants to reinstate them on the Order Paper and in the debates of this House.

    Yet, if they were all that important, why did they prorogue the House, when here we are back today with the same members as before. Some have played musical chairs, but there have not been any changes. It is still the same good old group of Liberals running this government.

    They made quite a to-do about it. Debates adjourned, members were all sent home, then three months later, this week, today, along they come with a motion aimed at resuming debate on bills we should have debated in the last session, bills that ought surely to have passed.

    And that is where we have a problem. The public does not know all that we members of Parliament have to go through. We are here to serve the interests of our constituents, to be present in the House and to debate bills. That is why the people elect us. We are here to represent them and to pass laws to improve the lot of the people of Quebec. That is how the people express themselves; that is democracy. The people send their representatives here to defend their interests and discuss improvements to legislation, to make it more reasonable.

    Today, we are debating, discussing and dithering about bills that ought to have been passed in November. That is a very important point in this debate. When bills are reinstated on the Order Paper, the government is very careful to say that it does not want all the bills reinstated, even though some have been tabled. Obviously, this is a question of timing. It was necessary to prorogue the House in November, not to have any debate by the members on these bills, and not to resume sitting until February, and to top it off, we have a Prime Minister who had decided, even before he became leader of the Liberal Party, that there would be an election in April.

    Obviously, he was using the House to introduce his bills in September and October, so he could hold an election in April. Among those bills is C-49, on electoral boundaries readjustment. I dare say there was only one non-partisan process in this House and that was the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act. Every 10 years, the electoral boundaries are readjusted. That legislation is drafted in such a way that the new electoral boundaries take effect one year after the proclamation of the act.

    In the instance before us, the date was August 26, 2003, in accordance with the act that was passed in previous sessions of Parliament, by other hon. members who sat in this House before me, and whom I respect. That is democracy. Other hon. members in this House passed a non-partisan law that says that the electoral boundaries will change every 10 years because the population changes, for one thing. The act is constructed so that there can be no partisan use made of it by any party, particularly the party in power, which, right now, is the Liberal Party. This law must not be used for political purposes.

  +-(1310)  

    The Prime Minister, former finance minister, decided to do the opposite of everything that had been passed by other parliamentarians before us in this House. He decided to amend the electoral boundaries legislation so that it would come into effect before the intended one year had elapsed.

    That is the hard reality. We end up with Bill C-49 that the government would like reinstated since it is on the list the government leader submitted and read earlier. This bill is entitled an act respecting the effective date of the representation order of 2003. It is straightforward. Rather than take effect on August 26, 2004, this legislation will take effect on April 1.

    This will have certain consequences. Legislation was passed and it was non-partisan. In this case, if an election is held in the spring, the application of the new electoral map effective April 1 will penalize Quebec. Before the redistribution, Quebec had 75 ridings out of 301 and now it will have 75 out of 308. That is the cold hard reality.

    Legislation was passed by other parliamentarians present in this House before us. They had decided that in order to avoid partisanship, the new electoral map would come into effect one year after the order.

    The government, the Prime Minister and former finance minister, were well aware that if he wanted to use the new electoral map, he would have to wait until after August 26, 2004 to call an election. He did not do that. He decided to use his power, the power of the Liberal members in this House, to pass legislation to move up the effective date of the electoral map. If an election is held between April and August, this would effectively reduce Quebec's political weight in the next Parliament. That is the reality.

    The Prime Minister goes around with new candidates whom he introduces to us as proof that Quebec will have increasingly greater influence and a role to play in Canada. Yet, the first bill he passes will reduce the percentage of members from Quebec in this House compared to the rest of Canada, if an election is called in the spring. Our political strength will go from 25% to 24%. That is the simple reality.

    It will come as no surprise that the Bloc Quebecois opposes the effective date of this legislation. We agree with the legislation adopted. If the government wants to use an amended electoral map, it will have to call an election after August 26, 2004. It is as simple as that. We are prepared to play according to the rules of democracy and the legislation in force in this Parliament when the Bloc Quebecois arrived. It is no more complicated than that. We do not want to change anything, we simply want to play the game. That is why we were elected.

    As the saying goes, people have to run with the pack. That is what the BQ is doing: we are running with the pack. Unfortunately, some people decide to use things to their own advantage and to tamper with the legislation so as to organize their own election. That is what the Prime Minister, the former finance minister, did. He tried to use the legislation so as to be able to hold an election using a new electoral map, under which he would have greater influence in Ontario and other Canadian provinces. That is his choice; he is the one who made that decision.

    However, it is understandable if we do not agree. It is even more vile when various changes are appended to the legislation and the redistribution of the electoral map. For example, there are changes to the riding names.

    This affects me personally. The representatives of the chief electoral officer, who conducted detailed studies and visited the ridings, came to change the name of Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel to Trois-Seigneuries, a name all the local stakeholders objected to.

    We decided to contest it. It was a simple request: let my riding keep the name Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel since the neighbouring riding on the opposite side of the river in Ontario, Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, had retained its name. It was entitled to three names.

  +-(1315)  

    For us on the west side, or the other side of the river, the chief electoral officer had decided there would not be three. There would be only two names for my riding, Argenteuil—Mirabel, and the name Papineau would be dropped.

    Those who know a little about history, whether of Quebec or even Canada, know that Louis-Joseph Papineau held a seat in the federal Parliament and made speeches there. History buffs also know that Louis-Joseph Papineau was seigneur of the Petite Nation and leader of the Parti Patriote.

    One of the RCMs that is in my riding in its entirety is the Papineau RCM. Indeed there are three full RCMs and a few partial ones. Nevertheless, the RCMs of Mirabel, Argenteuil and Papineau are in my riding in their entirety.

    It was perfectly normal for the name of the riding to reflect the geopolitical and geographic reality. Since the government had hauled out its steamroller and decided to move up the implementation date for the new electoral map, which also changed the names, we as parliamentarians requested that the name Papineau be reinstated with Argenteuil and Mirabel. This request was granted. It was called Bill C-53.

    I was not alone. There were other members in this Parliament who found that the names of the ridings did not reflect the geopolitical reality or did not represent what the public wanted.

    Some 38 MPs managed to get authorization from this Parliament. A bill to this effect was passed and received approval from this House after being read three times and sent to the Senate. It was tied up along with other bills, including Bill C-49 for which the Conservative Party of Canada put forward an amendment earlier.

    But these bills ended up paralyzed by prorogation. Today we are told—and I am most surprised to hear it from the leader—that the list of bills to be reinstated does not include Bill C-53, which changes the names of certain electoral districts. I am totally thunderstruck.

    They can change the effective date of the representation order, but not reinstate Bill C-53. We think they will bring it back, but the name change cannot be done before April 1.

    The Liberal government is talking about taking part in star wars, about contributing to a Mars project, yet is incapable, in three months, of changing 38 names on the electoral map and on the files of the chief electoral officer.

    There is something aberrant and incomprehensible about this in the eyes of the public. The reality is that the government chooses what suits it. It is as simple as that. What does not suit it will not get through this House. And at the present time, it does not suit the Liberal Party to have the names of 38 ridings changed before the next election.

    I do not want to hear from a delegation headed by the government House leader that the chief electoral officer could not have done this before the next election. If he cannot, let them get a new chief electoral officer. It is as simple as that. And let the new chief Electoral officer be mandated to change the 38 names of electoral districts, 38 out of 308. This is not such a big deal, not such a major upheaval, when we know how things can be done nowadays by computer. That is the reality.

    Once again, they are going to try to get 38 ridings to swallow that. Why is this bill not passed? It is quite simply a matter of time. Today is February 6, and obviously there is likely to be an election call in early April, as soon as the law allows, because if C-49 is passed as the government wants, the new map will take effect on April 1. So the Prime Minister cannot call an election before that. Once that is done, there will be an election call in the early days of April.

    A budget will be brought down soon, which means that there will be discussions on the budget. We just had a throne speech which, by the way, was monotonously boring, as redundant as that may sound, so much so that even the media did not pay any attention to it. Therefore, the government must hurry to present its budget to try to have something that people will be interested in.

    I read in some newspapers that should the new budget not be well received by the public, the government would consider postponing the date of the election. This is how things work.

  +-(1320)  

    An hon. member: It will be postponed.

    Mr. Mario Laframboise: That is right. It is ridiculous. The government is using all of its ammunition, one round at a time. That is what it is doing, and it is not working. The throne speech was supposed to make a lot of noise all across Canada, but that has not been the case at all.

    Obviously, the next round will be the budget. There is fear that it will not be well received by the public, which will most certainly be the case. It is very simple, the government has increasingly less money. It can no longer bleed, if I may use that term, the unemployed. It dipped enough into the employment insurance fund that it does not dare do it again. That is why it is getting poorer and poorer.

    It must invest in the armed forces because it promised our neighbour, Mr. Bush, that he could count on us. This investment in our armed forces will eat up a good part of the budget.

    That is why it made what was supposed to be a revolutionary announcement to municipalities: it announced a GST rebate. They were already entitled to a 57% rebate, and the government is increasing that rebate to 100%, telling them that there will be a new deal with municipalities.

    Why not have a deal right now? Why is there not a strategic infrastructure program for all rural and urban equipment? Why is the tax on gas not shared? The answer is simple: it is because there will be no money in the upcoming budget.

    Let us stop dreaming. The mayors and city councillors, who are former colleagues of mine, must stop thinking that they will get money from this government. Municipalities have received whatever money they were going to get this year. The rest will have to wait until after the election. In the meantime, the government will make promises. I have heard a lot of promises. I have not been in federal politics for a long time, but I sure heard a lot of promises during the last election campaign.

    I heard promises about highway 50, in the Outaouais region, and about Mirabel. Earlier, during oral question period, I had the opportunity to explain what is happening with Mirabel. Air Transat will move its operations from Mirabel to Dorval, which means that 500 jobs will be lost.

    Such is the policy of the Liberal government. It is a simple policy that consists in emptying the regions and putting all the political weight in the cities. Such is the reality.

    The intent behind the changes made to the new electoral map is simple. The government is transferring the political weight to urban centres. It does not take into account the size of an area, and it does not rely on fairness to ensure the provision of uniform services across Quebec and Canada. Instead, the government takes into account the size of the population. Since there is an increasing number of people living in urban centres, the political weight is being transferred to cities. It is cities, large urban centres, that will control things. Imagine what it will be like if, in addition to its provincial counterparts, the federal government invites to the table the mayors of Canada's large cities. All the political weight will be transferred to the large urban centres, and the rural regions of the country will be left out in the cold.

    In Quebec, the notion of development includes the regions. How can we have head offices of multinational corporations that make money with paper mills and mines if we do not have jobs created by these paper mill, forestry and mining operations? This is the reality.

    The political weight is being drained away. That is why the Bloc Quebecois is opposed to Bill C-49. We are opposed to the political weight of Quebec's rural regions being transferred to the cities. That is the situation.

    Instead of having 75 ridings in Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois has proposed to have 77, so that the rural areas could maintain a reasonable weight in comparison to the urban areas, so that all citizens who pay taxes would be entitled to the same services, no matter where they live. It is that simple. Because we pay taxes whether we live in a village, a town, a small city or a large one, we are entitled to the same services. That is fair. That is why we pay our taxes.

    That is not what the government is doing today. The government is trying to ram through a motion to reinstate legislation. Nevertheless, I repeat, it does not include all bills and acts, but only those the government wants to pass for its own electoral purposes, because it is going to call an election as of the first week of April.

    Let us not be fooled. I hope that Quebeckers will not be fooled in the next election and will understand that everything the Liberals do, they do for the Liberals and not for the people.

  +-(1325)  

[English]

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    Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed listening to the speech given by our colleague over in the Bloc part of the House.

    I would like to say to him that the purpose of Bill C-49, in my opinion, is primarily so the new Prime Minister can have it both ways. He wants to call an early election and he wants it to be under the new boundaries so as to curry some favour with certain parts of the country where they are, even under present population statistics, still underrepresented, because the process takes so long.

    If people were to ask the member why the Prime Minister needs to call an election this spring instead of waiting until at least the fall, what answer would the member give his constituents or others who might ask?

[Translation]

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    Mr. Mario Laframboise: Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate the question from the Conservative member as to why the leader of the Liberal Party, the Prime Minister, would choose to call an election in the spring.

    It is simply a question of political strategy. As you know, it is a tradition with the Liberals to try to catch their rivals off guard while they are restructuring. Of course, the current target of the Liberal government is the Conservative Party of Canada which is undergoing some restructuring. Again, they will try to get a jump on the other parties.

    The goal of the new Prime Minister is not to help the people and explain to them what its new agenda is all about. His decision is based purely on electoral reasons. He has absolutely no intention to stand up for Quebecers and Canadians and provide them with better services.

    He will call an early election to catch his rivals off guard, because it seems the most politically expedient thing to do. That is why they passed Bill C-49 to move up the effective date for the new electoral map in order to get more votes, as the member put it, in regions getting better representation. They would then be able to say, “Look, we have created seven new ridings. That is seven more ridings voting for us”. It is as simple as that. Anything to suit their partisan purposes.

    Let us move on and stop thinking that he is our saviour. He is only trying to save himself, as Prime Minister and as leader of the Liberal Party, something he has been dreaming about for decades now.

  +-(1330)  

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    The Speaker: When the House resumes consideration of this debate, the hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel will have seven minutes remaining in the question and comment period.

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


-Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

*   *   *

[English]

-Food and Drugs Act

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    Mr. Tom Wappel (Scarborough Southwest, Lib.) moved that Bill C-398, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (food labelling), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

    He said: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to have my bill come up this quickly after the House has resumed. What I would like to do today is break my comments down into three categories. First, a little bit of history; second, what my bill would do; and third, address some of the criticisms that some portions of the industry have levelled against the bill.

    Before I do that I want to take the opportunity to thank Mr. Bill Jeffery from the Centre for Science in the Public Interest for his hard work in helping me to prepare the bill and some of the arguments that I have put forward in support of the bill. I would also like to thank the Centre for Science in the Public Interest and all the people across Canada who have taken an interest in the bill and have expressed their support for it.

    I will now give a little bit of history. In 1993 I began my interest in this subject matter. I introduced a private member's bill to provide for mandatory nutritional labelling on prepackaged foods. That was about 11 years ago. We are still talking about that issue as frequently as question period today about what should or should not be in prepackaged foods and various other aspects.

    The point I want to make is that back in 1993, when I brought in the original bill on prepacked foods, the respective industries were against mandatory nutritional labelling, as indeed was Health Canada. They were of the view that voluntary nutritional labelling was the way to go and that the industry would voluntarily provide all the nutritional information necessary for consumers to make an intelligent choice on what they are eating.

    As it turns out, of course, it is obvious that in business one emphasizes that which is beneficial to or touting one's product. Businesses do not say some of the things that are not that good about the product which might affect their sales.

    Sloughed away with a lot of other people and out of nowhere, in approximately October 2000 the then minister of health reversed the longstanding position of the Department of Health and announced that there would in fact be mandatory nutritional labelling of prepackaged foods in Canada. I am glad to say that will be coming into force over the next year or so, allowing of course a period of time for industry to adjust.

    Of course the very same kinds of arguments that were used for seven years about why we should not have mandatory nutritional labelling on prepackaged foods will be used against Bill C-398, and they have just about as must efficacy. In any event, that was a little history.

    What is the bill all about? It is an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (food labelling). It contains all of three pages, half English and half French. We might as well say it is a page and a half. And it has three main sections. In my view what it is about is the empowerment of consumers. How do we empower consumers?

    We have all heard the phrase “knowledge is power”, and that is absolutely true. The more knowledge we provide to consumers the more opportunity consumers have to make more informed and free choices about what they wish to do. In this case it is what foods they wish to eat.

    As far as I know, no one who I have spoken to about this issue argues that consumers should not have more and better information about the foods they are eating. If that is the case, if it is not a bad idea to empower consumers, then it must be a good idea or at least a neutral idea. If it is either a good idea or a neutral idea then what is wrong with providing consumers with the information they need to make healthful food choices?

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    What is this bill not about? In my view the bill is not about harassing the restaurant industry. I love eating in restaurants. I do not want to harass the restaurant industry.

    I also do not want to over-regulate any industry. I am a long-time member of the scrutiny of regulations committee, Mr. Speaker, as you know since you were a member of that committee, and we know that over-regulation is the bane of many a government. The issue is the balancing of requiring reluctant organizations to provide information with trying to keep that from being over-regulated. I hope I have struck a reasonable balance in my bill to that effect.

    Let me describe the sections of the bill so people listening today understand what it is that I am trying to accomplish. Since we already have mandatory nutritional labelling of most prepackaged foods, what is this bill about? I can divide it into three sections.

    Section number one is that some prepackaged foods do not yet have mandatory labelling requirements. One of them is prepackaged meats. The bill contains a section requiring prepacked meats to have a reference amount of serving of the food. For example, it does not matter how much of the prepackaged meat we buy, the label would say “one serving (400 grams equals whatever)”. The consumer would be required to think about how many servings there are in a package, although with prepackaged foods now, quite often the manufacturer will put the number of servings that are in the container or the package. That is up to them.

    It would also require the number of calories in that serving and the amount of total fat, saturated fat and trans fat, and I emphasize trans fat only because again that subject came up today in question period, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, dietary fibre, sugars, proteins, iron, calcium and vitamin A and vitamin C per reference amounts expressed as a percentage of recommended daily intake. For example, on a package of medium ground hamburger meat it would say that one serving contains X grams of fat which equals approximately 35% of the recommended daily intake and that it contains two grams of trans fat which is two grams more than we should have, or however they want to phrase it. That is what we would see on prepackaged meat.

    It does not affect packagers, for example, whose annual revenues are less than $500,000 from the sale of those types of meats. Why would we do that? Because we do not want to over-regulate. We do not want to affect the mom and pop operations, or the small business operation, or the local Chinese restaurant run by two or three generations of Canadians or the small pizza store. What we want to do is spread out the cost of requiring this information over the largest number of consumers, and I will get to the figures shortly. We would not be talking about the smaller packagers of meats.

    What about this information? Is it hard to come by or is it impossible to come by? I suggest everyone takes a look at the websites of some of the beef producers or their associations. We find virtually every cut of meat is described and most of the information I have just set out is already described on the website. Why is it there? Because it is clear that consumers want that information and it is becoming clearer every day. More and more information is being provided by more and more associations and businesses, and I will get to that in a moment as well.

    These are not fanciful things that I have simply thought up out of the air and am writing into law to annoy packagers of meats. The information is already available. It is a question of putting it on the package so people do not need a computer, or access to a computer or take the time to go to a computer, especially when they are in a market and they want to make a decision about which cut of meat to buy or how much of it.

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    The second portion of the bill deals with restaurants, not all restaurants, but I will get to that in a moment.

    What does it want restaurants to do with respect to providing consumers with information? If the restaurant has a menu, then the bill asks that on the menu beside the item that it state the number of calories in a serving of that item offered for sale. In addition, it would state the amount of sodium, the sum of the saturated fats, including the trans fat, expressed as a percentage of the recommended daily input. What do we have? We have calories per serving, sodium and fat on a menu, and that is it.

    If they are menu boards, as they have in fast food places where they do not actually have a menu and people look on a board and order what they want, the only thing the bill requires in that case is the number of calories per serving. If we are ordering a plain hamburger from a menu board, it would say “One hamburger”. If we looked over, halfway between the name of the item and the price, presumably, it would say “460 calories” and then the price. There is lots of space right now between the name of the item and the price of the food. There is plenty of room to put in that information.

    Even though it is just the calories per serving, the sodium and fat at this point, the bill does not apply to restaurants or places that serve food that have less than $10 million in annual revenues per year. Again, we want to provide this information to the largest number of people. Studies have shown us already that many Canadians are eating outside the home much more frequently than they used to. Studies will also show that most of them eat in what we ultimately would call chain restaurants. It would not affect the local small restaurant, but it would provide consumers with the information they need.

    Let us take a simple scenario. We go to a restaurant with the family. I do not want to single out any particular restaurant chain so I will just call it Tom's. We go to Tom's, which has 450 branches across Canada, and we want to have hamburger, fries and a soft drink. We drive up to the window. There is a beautiful picture of that grouping of food, hamburger, fries and a soft drink. Right below the picture of the hamburger it would say “450 calories$, under the fries, “300 calories” and under the drink, “110” or “150 calories”. It would also say things like “If you supersize the fries, it is an additional 350 calories”. There is lots of room on these little advertisements as we drive up to a fast food order window to provide that information. That is an example.

    In a restaurant we would look at a menu. It would say “Grilled cheese sandwich” and as we are looking over to see that the price is $3.50, halfway across we would see the sandwich has 250 calories, 10 milligrams of salt and 30 grams of fat, or something along those lines.

    The final item that the bill covers would be pictures in particular of foods that tend to mislead. I was going to give an exaggerated example of that but since I only have a minute left I will be unable to do that.

    However, I want to at least have the opportunity to say that there are some criticisms of the bill. That is fine, but it is not a fair criticism to say that the bill should be killed now. I say it should go to committee and we should have witnesses come to express their pleasure or displeasure. Let us investigate. Let us cross-examine. Let us find out what is or is not hyperbole. Let us see what we can do to educate consumers to the best of our ability.

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    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I do not doubt for a moment the good intentions of the member bringing forward Bill C-398. He has raised an important issue about health and its relation to restaurant produced food.

    Why is it that the member does not trust consumers to inform themselves? Why does he not believe that if there is sufficient demand for nutritional information, that restauranteurs, as good business people, will provide that information without being dictated to by the Government of Canada? Why does he not allow consumers and people who run these businesses and employ more than one million Canadians to solve the problem in a natural and organic market based way?

    Would these boards be required to be posted in both official languages? Is he going to require that they be posted in Braille for the visually impaired in both official languages? Has he made a cost estimate of how much this will be? Has he considered that when a restaurant reaches close to $10 million in sales, the perverse incentive that Bill C-398 would create for people to split the restaurant or to play legal games to avoid the coverage of the bill? Has he really thought through the implications of this?

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    Mr. Tom Wappel: Mr. Speaker, to the extent that an individual can do so, my answer is yes, I have thought it through.

    The member has raised very good questions, questions that should be put at committee where there is ample opportunity to examine the facts, where there is ample opportunity to talk to the experts, to talk to the people from Health Canada, to talk to the restaurant association, to talk to actuaries and ask the very questions he has asked.

    Of course he is using some humour to make his points, perhaps not the funniest humour, but nonetheless he is using it. Why would I suggest that we have bilingual menu boards? The menu boards are already up in his very riding whether it is Edmonton or Calgary, although I know it is Calgary. If he goes into a fast food outlet, the menu board is already there. It already tells him what he can order and the price. I do not know if any of his menu boards have prices in Braille, but I would think not because people would not have the ability to reach above and check the menu board. What is he talking about?

    The reality is that cost estimates have been done and I will give him an example. Even if the smallest full service restaurant chain subject to Bill C-398 had to do a full chemical analysis for every menu item at $350 each for a particularly large 100 item menu, and that is a gross exaggeration of most businesses, the total would involve a maximum one time cost of $35,000 or about one-sixth of 1% of sales revenues during the two year grace period for compliance with the bill. That amounts to less than 2¢ for a $10 meal, which is barely noticeable to the consumer.

    In the spirit of laissez-faire he asked why we would not leave this up to businesses and let them do what they think is right. We already know government has to lead in many instances. That is why we had to introduce the mandatory nutritional labelling regulations because after years of consumers demanding it, manufacturers did not want to give it. That is why we have to put warning labels on tobacco. That is why we want to get warning labels about what happens to unborn babies when people drink alcohol. The industry does not want those labels. Why? Because that is a false statement? No, because it will affect their sales.

    Sometimes government has to take responsibility to help people get the information that they require in order to make a choice. Once they have the information, it is up to them to make the choice as to what they wish to do.

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    Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick (Prince Albert, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am worried about the unintended consequences. As the saying goes, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”.

    Has the member given any thought as to how much government it will take to enforce this thing, to monitor and check businesses to ensure that all ingredients are correct? Are we talking about 150,000, or 100,000, or 10,000 or 50 new civil servants? How much will that cost?

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    Mr. Tom Wappel: Mr. Speaker, again that is a reasonable question to ask at committee. As I have very little time left, how can I answer questions like that?

    I will answer the question by asking a question. How many inspectors does it take to inspect the gas at every gas pump? It is done. How many inspectors does it take to inspect meat? It is done. How many inspectors does it take to make sure prepackaged foods are mandatorily labelled? It is done. If it is a good idea, it will get done.

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    Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is important that I begin by answering a bit of the last little rant with regard to this piece of legislation going directly to committee.

    I am speaking on behalf of the people of Yellowhead but also as the senior health critic. The committee that would be dealing with this piece of legislation would be the health committee. I have seen how dysfunctional the health committee can become. In fact, the last one was. It is something in which I would not have great confidence, having those questions come before that committee because of the partisan nature of that committee.

    I want to talk a little about this piece of legislation. First, it has noble intent. There is no question about that. More people in Canada are overweight and the problem is very serious. I had a number of different lobby groups in my office over the last number of years all saying--the Heart and Stroke Foundation is one of them that comes to mind--that we have a serious problem.

    There are individuals in our schools right now who are obese. Over 30% are going to be hitting the health care system about the same time as the baby boomer generation. We are going to have a serious problem. They are going to be having heart and stroke problems at a much earlier age, in their thirties and forties instead of their fifties and sixties.

    There is no question that this piece of legislation has the right idea in the sense that we should limit the amount of calories and be conscious of what we eat. It is very true that never before in the history of mankind has so much food been produced by so few people. Farmers produce almost over 80% of what we eat and, by the way, for so little. They are starving to death, especially with what we have seen with the BSE problem.

    There is more awareness in society. People are asking what they are eating and what they should be eating. In fact, it is interesting when I look back on this last year. We had the Minister of Health just arbitrarily pull out of a hat $15 million and then threw it at CIHR to do some research on why people are obese in this country.

    I come from a farming background and I know a little bit about nutrition from the work I have had with animals. My discerning nature tells me that it probably has a lot to do with what we eat and how we exercise.

    This same government decided to wave the participaction program that mandated physical education in our educational system in the early nineties. When the government came into power, it decided to scrap that program. It was perhaps not the best program, but it was a good program that dealt with exercise of our youth in our school system.

    The government said that it got rid of that program because it was a clerical error. It did not actually have the red tape done and the applications submitted in time when it did up the budget, and so it just got waved. I do not believe that for a minute. Nonetheless, that was the excuse that I was given.

    Here we have another Liberal member coming up with a private member's bill that is trying to address the problem and missing completely the seriousness of what is actually happening in our school system across the nation.

    It is a twofold thing. Not only should we look after what we eat but also start to exercise more. If we were true to what we should be doing, we would start with our youth and ensure that they have the exercise needed and then teach them how to eat properly.

    In teaching them how to eat properly, I wonder how many of them go into a McDonald's and say--even if the calories were written on the McDonald's billboard--“Golly, I had better not eat that burger or those super size fries”. I honestly believe that they are not there thinking of calories. They are there thinking, “Boy, this is good to eat”.

    There was more talk today about the amount of trans fats in our foods. I think we should look at trans fats in our foods. Is it an appropriate amount or not and is there something there to curb them? All of those discussions should take place; however, this piece of legislation attacks the restaurant industry, and the fast food industry in particular, because they are the ones that would qualify for the $10 million.

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    The legislation is saying that the number of calories for each product should be indicated so that individuals putting orders in would understand what those calories are so that they could discern a little better what they are eating. One would think that is a noble thought, but the mechanics of it have not been worked out.

    I found it interesting when I spoke with the restaurant association and other people who are in the industry. They were telling me that this is totally unworkable. I wonder whether the member, with his well intentioned bill, really did sit down and speak with the industry to see how it would impact it and see if there was any kind of a buy-in so that the intent, which is noble, would actually come to fruition, and we would actually see something happen.

    For example, 15 different ingredients in a submarine sandwich have 40,777 different combinations. That becomes a very unworkable situation when one realizes that it takes somewhere between $150 and $350 to do the testing to find out what the calorie, salt and carbohydrate content of the different combinations actually are. If we were to bring this into fruition and actually make it law, we would have to do that but it would be false advertising because it would be misleading the population by not giving the accurate amounts.

    Most of the restaurant industry is served by individuals who are on a minimum salary. Maybe the professionalism is good because they are thinking of it in exact calories, but one would dish up a different sized portion than another, which is sort of normal and natural. One can see that even if the combinations were posted, they would be virtually unworkable when we really look at what it is trying to do.

    What we need to do in this society is to understand and discern exactly how we eat and what it does to us in proportion to the amount of physical exercise that we are doing. As a nation we have fallen short of that. There is no question that North America is killing itself with too much food. We are killing ourselves with kindness in some people's eyes, which is what they say. We must really look at some solutions to this.

    This legislation is not a workable solution. It is not one that is actually going to do anything to push us in that direction. We need to raise awareness in what we are actually doing to our bodies.

    I know the amount of calories we eat. I have always used the philosophy that people gain weight because their input is over their output.

    I come from an agricultural background where we work very hard. Most members in the House, I would say, have come from forefathers who had an agricultural background where physical labour was something that was a normal part of ordinary life. Today, we are in a situation where our children are parked in front of television sets and computers far too long. As a result, they eat the wrong foods because of perhaps the fast pace of their parents' lives and the ease of being able to order in and so on. Knowing or not knowing the number of calories is certainly not the answer to the problem that is before our society.

    Actually changing the habits of individuals, making them understand the importance of physical exercise and forcing our youth to do that is where the government has fallen down in the last decade, particularly with the one program. We had better start reinstating that because the impact on our health care system is absolutely phenomenal.

    In fact, that impact alone in our health system is estimated at $6.3 billion a year. The direct cost to health care would be $1.8 billion a year. It is not small numbers that we are talking about. The problem is very significant. It is very important that we realize that and that we do what we can to address it.

    To put this thing forward right now and move it directly into committee would not be the answer. We have a piece of legislation that would come into force in 2006 and would work toward that end in the sense of indicating some of the calories, trans fats, sodium, carbohydrates, et cetera, on packaged foods. That may be well and good, but a lot of people have said that they need a magnifying glass to read it to begin with, so I would question, how much good is that actually doing?

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    I want to close by saying that this piece of legislation is identical to what has been introduced in at least 19 states in the United States. Most of them have been defeated very quickly as they came up for debate, and I think that is exactly what should happen to this one as well.

[Translation]

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    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak on Bill C-398, introduced by my colleague from Scarborough Southwest. I am speaking for my colleague for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve who, unfortunately, could not be here today. It is a pleasure because I am personally very concerned about foods. I have a family and children, and I closely monitor what they eat.

    That said, the Standing Orders were changed to make all private members' bills votable. They can then be referred to committee.

    We must give bills the best possible chance to shine and be considered in committee, so they can be amended and improved, or the conclusion simply reached that they are no good. In which case, the bill is sent back to the House and defeated.

    Consequently, we must give each bill a chance. It is quite difficult to learn all the details before a bill is scrutinized in committee, before witnesses are asked to make suggestions to improve it and before a final decision is made.

    The Bloc Quebecois agrees with the principle of the bill. However, it is clear that if it goes to committee, we will move quite significant amendments. I cannot, perhaps, provide full details, but if I understand correctly, labelling is not a simple matter. We will have to see how to proceed.

    We must have this discussion on foods. When this House decided to ask cigarette companies to change their packaging, the industry was in an uproar. These kinds of things always cause uproars.

    Obviously, the restaurant and foodservices association will be opposed because its members do not want to spend any money. We will also need to calculate what kind of savings this will mean to health.

    Consequently, we need experts to tell the committee how much it will all cost. Then, we will be able to make a final decision. However, if the bill does not have the opportunity to get to that stage, obviously, it will die because a broader discussion will not have taken place.

    As regards the labelling of cigarette packages, hon. members may remember the substantive debates and the discussions that took place here in the House. We finally got the message across. Now, the labelling on cigarette packages is much more detailed, and I am convinced that many people stopped smoking for that reason.

    Of course, the tobacco industry did not want such labelling, because it is losing money. However, as parliamentarians, we had a responsible decision to make about health and we made that decision.

    I think it is pretty well the same thing with the bill before us. We have a duty to act responsibly and to discuss this measure, because this is where we are headed.

    I am told that it will be very difficult because, for example, there are all kinds of ways to make a submarine. We must take a very serious look at this issue. I do not think that we want absolutely each and every product to be labelled. There are specific things for which we want labelling, and these will be discussed in committee when we look at the feasibility of this measure.

    There are chains of restaurants, such as Subway, that already indicate the fat content of certain ingredients. There are two or three meals on the menu that are really low in calories and fat content. So, this is already being done in some restaurant chains.

    Here, we are primarily targeting such chains, because we are talking about businesses that have sales of $10 million. The local food outlet is not affected by this legislation, which is really aimed at large chains such as St-Hubert, Subway, McDonald's and others.

    In my opinion, it is very important that we have this debate. We all know how colourful Americans can be, and I say this in all friendship. Not too long ago, I heard about someone in the United States who did a test. He ate at McDonald's for breakfast, lunch and supper for a month. He became seriously ill, so much so that he even developed a psychiatric disease. It is easy to see that we should have a better idea of what we eat.

    I personally do not go to McDonald's very often, it not being my favourite meal choice. It is true, however, that from time to time we all go out for a treat like that because we have children, but we do need to know what we are eating, and I think that there has not been enough progress made in this area so far.

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    We need to have the possibility of progressing further. This bill stirs up debate, although it may not be the ideal bill. Many people will come up with this or that amendment, will want to see indication of fat content, sugar content and so on. We will see how it progresses, however. There will be a discussion in committee, and then decisions will be reached on what we really want to see included in a label.

    There is reference to the GMOs. In talking with the public, we come to realize this is a very popular subject. People do want to know. They want to know if they are eating something that has been genetically modified. In my opinion, they are absolutely entitled to know, since they are the ones paying for it.

    It is absolutely normal for questions to be raised about this. I would like very much to see this bill examined in committee, the standing health committee in particular. What I want most of all is to see it accorded the necessary importance to be debated.

    Even if this bill is not the one that eventually gets passed, we must at least be able to continue addressing the issue so that one day people will really know how many calories are in their food, and whether they are eating genetically modified food. We need to make progress in that direction.

    Maybe then the food industry will also be forced to sell us much healthier products. Indeed, food vendors will have no other choice because people will no longer eat just any kind of food; they will want to eat quality products.

    That being said, when the time comes to vote, the Bloc Quebecois will support the principle of the bill. I should add that the Association des consommateurs du Québec is also in favour of this bill.

    Finally, I want to mention an article that I read in Le Devoir. It was entitled “Junk food just as harmful as nicotine”.

    The article says that malnutrition and bad food habits are just as dangerous as cigarettes and nicotine.

    We know that cardiovascular diseases are now affecting people at an increasingly younger age. More and more children suffer from obesity. That must change. We must pay more attention to our health. We must see to it that obesity stops being a problem in our children. A lot of children are obese because young people these days are less active and also because they are not careful about what they eat.

    We must create a whole new culture. I believe that looking at this bill and its possibilities will help us go forward.

[English]

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    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I believe that Canadians deserve to know what is in the food they eat. While I agree that a healthy diet is more a matter of education and individual choice than it is the heavy hand of state regulation and control, the government does have a role to play in ensuring that the food we eat is safe.

    For instance, we now know that trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, are really bad for us, yet they are nearly everywhere in the processed foods that we eat. The New England Journal of Medicine states that just one gram a day of trans fats increases the risk of heart disease by 20%. The average Canadian eats over ten grams per day. The recommended daily intake, by the way, is zero.

    But when I asked this Minister of Health and the previous minister what steps were being taken to eliminate trans fats from our diet, their replies suggested that the government is not willing to do anything to eliminate this toxic garbage from our food, and “toxic” is the terminology used by the food scientists with regard to trans fats. The government is not willing to do anything to remove these toxins from our food as long as the food is properly labelled.

    In other words, our Minister of Health is leaving it up to Canadians as to whether or not to feed poison to their children. Furthermore, our Minister of Health is giving the food companies up to five years to rewrite their labels and, amazingly--get this--baby food is exempt. I am sure the House will be shocked to learn that baby food will not in fact be labelled at all even though there are high contents of trans fats in baby food.

    My problem with labelling as it pertains to the context of this particular private member's bill is that most people do not read the labels on the processed food that they eat. In fact, studies have shown that 70% of people pay no attention to the labels on the processed food they buy. Of the remaining 30%, many would not or could not comprehend the technical data that they read in the fine print. In other words, labels have no editorial content. Labels simply say that this product contains x amount of trans fats. They do not say, “And that's too much, so don't eat it”.

    It is ludicrous, by the way, to think that we should mandate labelling on food to advise people not to eat it because it is poisonous, or in other words, allow the manufacturers to put toxins in our food and then mandate labelling to educate Canadians to not eat this food. It is simply ludicrous, really, when we think about it.

    I raise this issue partly because I believe there is a class issue here. I believe that low income people are more vulnerable to this trans fats hazard to our health than anyone else. Frankly, in my opinion, and I represent a low income riding, it takes a fair amount of economic stability and economic security to eat properly and to eat well. Many of the people in my riding do not have a car to use to drive out to a supermarket where they can buy large amounts of whole foods and unprocessed foods. They end up spending their low incomes in corner stores and 7-Elevens and buying more pre-packaged and processed foods because their economic instability leads to an unstable household where a balanced diet and regular meals are not the norm.

    I believe for all these reasons that high-flown arguments about informed choice are irrelevant in the context of labelling foods. Yes, people should be aware of the nutritional value of the foods they eat, but not everyone is able to make an informed choice no matter what kind of labelling is on the side of packages.

    Other countries have effectively banned trans fats from their food supply. There are healthy alternate choices that do not compromise either quality or taste. I believe it is the role of government to tell the industry to stop using trans fats. In fact, I will go further. It is the role of government to help the industry stop using trans fats. I would fully support the government using research and development grants to assist the food processing industry to find other healthy choices. I would welcome that. There would be no criticism from this sector of the House if some of the technology partnership loans money were used, or research and development grants were used, or if the National Research Council were asked to assist industry in a special project to develop alternative sources of fats and oils for food manufacturers to use.

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    In fact, that would have been a sensible answer to the question I asked in question period today. I was stonewalled by the current Minister of Health. He simply said that mandatory labelling would be enough and that we should not be concerned. I do not accept that. I think that we now know enough about trans fatty acids: they should not be labelled, they should be eliminated.

    Denmark has taken steps to do just that. We cannot ban trans fats outright. I will be the first to admit that. There is some naturally occurring trans fat, especially in dairy products. What Denmark did, and what I recommend Canada do, is regulate the amount of allowable trans fats in foods to no more than 2% of the total amount of fat in that food product. The scientists agree that this would represent a trace level of trans fats that would likely simply pass through the body and would not represent a real health risk.

    We know that these trans fatty acids are extremely bad for us, especially for our children. They are forcing up Canada's rate of obesity, which is virtually epidemic in the current generation. We have record levels of diabetes, traced directly to trans fats, and as I said, heart disease is up exponentially. The New England Journal of Medicine says it believes that trans fats are even a contributing factor in Alzheimer's disease as well.

    So get rid of them, right? That is the logical thing to do, but again, the frustrating thing in my mind is that when I have approached the government, two successive ministers of health have refused to even contemplate regulating and getting rid of them. The only thing that my staff and I can think of as a reason why the government would be reluctant to ban them is that it is worried about a NAFTA challenge. It is worried about chapter 11 of NAFTA. The Government of Canada could be sued by a corporation for lost opportunity if we pass regulations that may affect doing business. I would hate to think that would be the determining factor.

    The other factor, of course, is our Constitution. Not many people realize that margarine is a constitutional issue, but if they look at the British North America Act, they will see that Canada must be the only country in the world that has two paragraphs dedicated to oleo margarine in our Constitution, due to John Crosbie and his family and the terms of union for Newfoundland joining Confederation, but that is another story.

    Walter Willett, the chairman of the Department of Nutrition of Harvard University and the author of some of the most damning studies about trans fats, has said that hydrogenated vegetable oil, the process by which trans fats are created, is the biggest food processing disaster in history. Harvard University estimates that 33,000 deaths per year can be directly attributed to trans fats.

    Trans fats are the biggest single public health issue since the war on tobacco, yet we are not taking it seriously and it can be solved with the snap of a finger at no cost. At no cost, the government could protect the well-being of a whole future generation of Canadians by eliminating trans fats.

    We do have Voortman cookies. I want to take a minute to compliment the industry on the efforts it is making too, because no one argues the fact these trans fats are silent killers. Not a single food scientist in North America or in the world, in fact, argues that. Even the industry is not denying that these are silent killers.

    Voortman Cookies produces 120 product lines. As of March 2004 every one of the Voortman Cookies product lines will be trans fat free. Mr. Voortman's daughter is a food scientist and, to her great credit and his great credit, she lobbied him and he agreed that he would eliminate trans fats. It took him three years to find an alternative that does not affect quality or taste, but he found it and he is implementing it in his product line.

    We want all products manufactured in Canada to be trans fat free. We also want all products imported to Canada for sale to consumers to be trans fat free. We also want restaurant foods to be trans fat free. The only way to do that is to regulate it so that no one can sell any product to any consumer that contains more than 2% of total volume of fats as trans fats. That is the subject here.

  +-(1415)  

    While I acknowledge that the original intent here is that Canadians deserve to know what is in the food they eat, my view is that labelling is inadequate when we are dealing with a known toxin. It is not okay to put poison in our food as long it is properly labelled. That is crazy, frankly.

  +-(1420)  

+-

    Hon. Eleni Bakopanos (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Social Economy), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege today to speak to Bill C-398. Before I address the bill directly, I would like to commend the hon. member for Scarborough Southwest who has introduced a bill in every Parliament, as he said in his speech, since 1989 that requires the nutritional value of food to be clearly stated on packaged foods. His efforts, by the way, did contribute to new regulations that were published on January 1, 2003. I congratulate him on that.

    The member is now asking Parliament to take the next step: consider mandatory labelling of nutritional information for raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood; require anyone selling food for immediate consumption to provide information on nutrients and/or calories; require percentage declarations of ingredients highlighted in words or pictures on the front panel of the label; and finally, require that the first three ingredients in the ingredients list be accompanied by a percentage declaration of the amount of the food.

    As a mother also, as other hon. members said, yes, I do worry about what my kids are eating at McDonald's. However, I think we all have to go further and beyond that and look at some of the problems with the bill, not that it is not a good bill.

    At the outset, I want the House to know that the government shares the hon. member's concern about fair and informative labelling of foods. In fact, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recently conducted public consultations on a proposal to clarify the labelling and advertising of products with highlighted or emphasized ingredients, flavours or sensory characteristics.

[Translation]

    To begin, I would like to acknowledge the significant amount of work that has already been done in the area of labelling food and the impact of the legislation on current policy.

    On December 12, 2000, nutritional labelling became mandatory in Canada. The new regulations now require a nutrition facts table to appear on most prepackaged food sold in Canada.

    The new regulations are the result of four years of work during which we did consumer research, heard from experts, and held broad consultations in the consumer, health, and food industry sectors. An external advisory committee was created to guide Health Canada throughout the process. It was a big undertaking.

    The nutrition facts table gives information on calories and 13 key nutrients contained in every serving of food. The comprehensiveness of the information, and the presentation required, makes Canada a leader in nutritional labelling.

    The nutrition facts table is an excellent way to inform Canadians about the food they eat. As well as being an effective source of information, the nutritional label helps improve the health and well-being of Canadians.

    The food industry had the opportunity to take part in the process, but only saw the final version of the regulations on January 1, 2003. The industry has three years to meet the nutritional labelling requirements, and five years if sales are under a million dollars.

    The new regulations represent an enormous challenge for many sectors of the food industry, because certain foods must be tested and new labels must be produced.These sectors need time to adjust. While some can spring into action very quickly to add the nutrition labelling format on their labels, others will need all the time provided under the regulations.

    During the consultation process one the new regulations, consumers and dietitians both told Health Canada that the amounts of nutrients on the labels have to be correct. Ensuring that a nutrition label contains valid information requires the testing of many samples of each food over time to take into account factors related to variability, like the time of year, climatic conditions, soils and the feed given to animals.

    The data do not exist for all products at this time. Because of the lack of information on nutritional composition, an exemption has been granted in the bill with respect to some food: raw, single ingredient meats that are not ground, meat by products, poultry meats, poultry meat by-products, and raw, single ingredient marine or freshwater animal products.

    The industry is willing to produce precise data for nutritional labelling of poultry and seafood, but it must have the time to carry out the necessary analyses. There are many kinds of cuts of meat, and their fat content varies considerably depending on the grade of beef or the fishing season.

    If the number of samples is not realistic, it must be examined to obtain uniform and accurate data.

    Moreover, Bill C-398 introduces an economic perspective that is absent from the legislation and the criminal law on which the legislation is based. It provides for an exemption from certain requirements, as a function of sales. Such a change clearly establishes a precedent and its impact has not been evaluated.

    Bill C-398 also requires the provision of information on the nutritional value of food served in restaurants and other outlets. The restaurant chains and franchises with standard menus, such as McDonald's, can easily provide nutritional information about the food they serve, something they already often provide on request, as does Subway, as other hon. members have already mentioned.

    Other restaurants, however, do not have such strict requirements for food preparation. These restaurants often find it difficult, if not impossible, to give precise information about the nutritional value and calorie content of their meals. In such cases, feasibility studies would be required.

  +-(1425)  

    Moreover, the bill raises questions of jurisdiction. Restaurants and other service establishments are generally considered to be under provincial jurisdiction. Inspection is a provincial matter and is usually carried out by municipal inspectors. It is impossible to require the disclosure of nutritional information by such establishments without consulting the provinces and territories.

    If this bill is passed, it would create new inspection requirements for the provinces—if they agree to do this work—and for federal inspectors if they do not.

[English]

    My father owned a restaurant in my riding of Ahuntsic for 35 years. I know for a fact that it was the municipal authorities who did the food inspection in the case of my father's restaurant.

    I also would like to say, as hon. members on the other side have said, that the restaurant association, with which I have had the opportunity to discuss this bill, and other colleagues have raised certain concerns. I am sure, as the hon. member has said, that maybe those concerns can be discussed in committee, but they are very serious concerns. I encourage the hon. member to perhaps sit one more time with the restaurant association and have another discussion on his bill.

    As I stated, the CFIA has recently conducted public consultations on a proposal that would clarify the labelling and advertising of products with highlighted or emphasized ingredients, flavours or sensory characteristics. The object is fair labelling that provides clear and relevant product information for consumers and is not deceptive or misleading.

    The government's labelling proposal would be made as regulations in the food and drug regulations, with an interim policy in the guide to food labelling and advertising.

    The discussion paper includes a requirement for a percentage declaration for ingredients that have been highlighted on a label, like Bill C-398. However it does not include the requirement for the percentage declaration of the first three ingredients nor other ingredients. As it stands already, prepackaged foods in Canada are required to list ingredients in descending order by weight.

    The CFIA's proposal follows the provisions for quantitative labelling of ingredients in the current general standard for the labelling of prepackaged foods established by Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is the international body responsible for establishing food standards. The proposal is similar to the standards established in the regulations of our trading partners, including the U.S.A., the E.U., Australia and New Zealand.

    However there are reasons that Codex does not require the percentage of the first three and some other specific ingredients to be listed. One of the reasons is that the formula for these foods is proprietary information. Companies do not want to provide too much proprietary information on product formulas to the public and to competitors.

    Because we are running out of time I will end by saying, as one other hon. member said, Canada has to look at the trade barriers that exist in order to qualify because we may have an unjustified trade barrier.

    Even though I have quite a few reservations about Bill C-398, I applaud the intentions of the member for Scarborough Southwest to give consumers the information so they can made informed choices. His efforts to have Parliament debate this issue have already been applauded by all members of the House.

  -(1430)  

-

    The 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 Paper.

    I have received notice from the hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore that he is unable to move his motion during private members' hour on Monday, February 9, 2004. It has not been possible to arrange an exchange of positions in the order of precedence. Accordingly, I am directing the table officers to drop that item of business to the bottom of the order of precedence.

[Translation]

    The hour provided for the consideration of private members' business will therefore be suspended, and Government Orders will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday.

[English]

    It being 2:30 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Monday next at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

    (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

Mr. 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, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board 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, Minister of the Environment 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, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Yukon Yukon Lib.
Bailey, Roy Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan CPC
Bakopanos, Hon. Eleni, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Social Economy) 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, 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 Lib.
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, 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, 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, Minister of the Environment 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, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board Winnipeg South Lib.
Blaikie, 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 (101)
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 Lib.
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 (74)
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, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Social Economy) 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, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Yukon Lib.

LIST OF STANDING AND SUB-COMMITTEES

(As of February 6, 2004 — 3rd Session, 37th Parliament)

Aboriginal Affairs, Northern Development and Natural Resources
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Canadian Heritage
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Citizenship and Immigration
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Environment and Sustainable Development
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Finance
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Fisheries and Oceans
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Government Operations and Estimates
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Health
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Industry, Science and Technology
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Justice and Human Rights
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

National Defence and Veterans Affairs
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Official Languages
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

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)

Public Accounts
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Transport
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

STANDING JOINT COMMITTEES

Library of Parliament
Joint Chair:

Joint Vice-Chair:

Representing the Senate:The Honourable Senators
Representing the House of Commons:

Total:

Scrutiny of Regulations
Joint Chair:

Joint Vice-Chair:

Representing the Senate:The Honourable Senators
Representing the House of Commons:

Total:


THE MINISTRY

According to precedence

Right Hon. Paul Martin Prime Minister
Hon. Jacob Austin Leader of the Government in the Senate
Hon. David Anderson Minister of the Environment
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 President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board
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