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37th PARLIAMENT, 3rd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 055

CONTENTS

Friday, May 14, 2004




1000
V     Message from the Senate
V         The Speaker

1005
V The Royal Assent
V         The Speaker
V GOVERNMENT ORDERS
V     Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994
V         Hon. David Pratt
V         (Motion agreed to)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. David Pratt
V         Hon. Serge Marcil (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

1010

1015

1020

1025
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Hon. Serge Marcil

1030
V         Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC)
V         Hon. Serge Marcil
V         Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC)

1035

1040

1045

1050
V         Hon. Serge Marcil

1055
V         The Speaker
V     Business of the House
V         Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         (Motion agreed to)
V Statements by Members
V     The Environment
V         Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.)

1100
V     Racism
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)
V      Foire gourmande de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue et du nord-est ontarien
V         Mr. Gilbert Barrette (Témiscamingue, Lib.)
V     Member for Thornhill
V         Hon. Elinor Caplan (Thornhill, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V     Étudiant Outaouais
V         Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)

1105
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. James Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni, CPC)
V     Research and Development
V         Hon. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.)
V     Health
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
V     Member for Madawaska—Restigouche
V         Mr. Jeannot Castonguay (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.)
V     Prime Minister
V         Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, CPC)

1110
V     Member for Outremont
V         Hon. Martin Cauchon (Outremont, Lib.)
V     Hamilton East
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP)
V     Liberal Party of Canada
V         Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ)
V     Hamilton East
V         Hon. Sheila Copps (Hamilton East, Lib.)

1115
V     Member for Fraser Valley
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, CPC)
V     Ford Motor Company
V         Ms. Bonnie Brown (Oakville, Lib.)
V     Member for Cypress Hills--Grasslands
V         Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, CPC)
V     Order of Canada
V         Mr. Dick Proctor (Palliser, NDP)
V ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
V     Health
V         Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC)

1120
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Public Service
V         Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

1125
V         Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ)
V         Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.)
V         Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ)
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)
V         Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ)
V         Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.)
V     Liberal Party of Canada
V         Hon. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Fisheries
V         Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NDP)

1130
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V     Gasoline Prices
V         Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mrs. Lynne Yelich (Blackstrap, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mrs. Lynne Yelich (Blackstrap, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

1135
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)
V         Hon. Claudette Bradshaw (Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness, Lib.)
V     Shipbuilding
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V     Citizenship and Immigration
V         Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC)
V         Hon. Jerry Pickard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Border Transit), Lib.)
V         Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC)

1140
V         Hon. Jerry Pickard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Border Transit), Lib.)
V     Sponsorship Program
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)
V         Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)
V         Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V     Electoral Boundaries
V         Mr. Jeannot Castonguay (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.)
V         Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)
V     Equalization Payments
V         Hon. Lorne Nystrom (Regina—Qu'Appelle, NDP)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

1145
V     Government Assistance
V         Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Claudette Bradshaw (Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness, Lib.)
V     Public Service
V         Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Carleton, CPC)
V         Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Carleton, CPC)
V         Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.)
V     Employment Insurance
V         Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC)
V         Hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.)
V         Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC)

1150
V         Hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.)
V     Afghanistan
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ)
V         Hon. Aileen Carroll (Minister for International Cooperation, Lib.)
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ)
V         Hon. Aileen Carroll (Minister for International Cooperation, Lib.)
V     International Aid
V         Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East, CPC)
V         Hon. Aileen Carroll (Minister for International Cooperation, Lib.)
V         Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East, CPC)

1155
V         Hon. Aileen Carroll (Minister for International Cooperation, Lib.)
V     Infrastructure
V         Hon. Elinor Caplan (Thornhill, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Andy Scott (Minister of State (Infrastructure), Lib.)
V     Government Appointments
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)
V         Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.)

1200
V     Taxation
V         Mr. Gilles-A. Perron (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, BQ)
V         Hon. Andy Scott (Minister of State (Infrastructure), Lib.)
V     The Environment
V         Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.)
V         Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)
V     Equalization Payments
V         Mr. Larry Spencer (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, CPC)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V     Health
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)
V         Hon. Bob Speller (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

1205
V         Ms. Alexa McDonough
V         The Speaker
V     Member for Hamilton East
V         Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

1210
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, CPC)
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
V         Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.)

1215
V         Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.)
V ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
V     Canadian Forces Housing Agency
V         Hon. David Price (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V     Government Response to Petitions
V         Hon. Joe Jordan (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Lib.)
V     Report of Team Canada Inc.
V         Hon. Gar Knutson (Minister of State (New and Emerging Markets), Lib.)

1220
V         Mr. Jason Kenney
V         The Speaker
V     Petitions
V         Marriage
V         Mr. Murray Calder (Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, Lib.)
V         Fisheries
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, CPC)
V         Natural Health Products
V         Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC)
V         International Aid
V         Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC)
V         Marriage
V         Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC)
V     Questions on the Order Paper
V         Hon. Joe Jordan (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Lib.)
V         The Deputy Speaker
V GOVERNMENT ORDERS
V     Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC)

1225
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)

1230

1235
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP)

1240
V         Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.)

1245
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         (Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

1250
V     Quarantine Act
V         Bill C-36. On the Order: Government Orders
V         Hon. Joe Comuzzi
V         Hon. Carolyn Bennett (Minister of State (Public Health), Lib.)

1255
V         Mr. James Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni, CPC)

1300

1305
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)

1310

1315

1320
V         Mr. Dick Proctor (Palliser, NDP)

1325
V         The Deputy Speaker

1330
V Private Members' Business
V     Employment Insurance
V         Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC)

1335

1340

1345
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)
V         Mr. John Duncan
V         Mr. Murray Calder (Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, Lib.)

1350

1355
V         Mr. John Duncan
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. McNally)
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)

1400

1405
V         Mr. John Maloney (Erie—Lincoln, Lib.)

1410

1415
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC)

1420
V         The Deputy Speaker






CANADA

House of Commons Debates


VOLUME 139 
NUMBER 055 
3rd SESSION 
37th PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Friday, May 14, 2004

Speaker: The Honourable Peter Milliken

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Prayers


*   *   *

  +(1000)  

[English]

+Message from the Senate

+

    The Speaker: I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing the House that the Senate has passed certain bills.


+The Royal Assent

[The Royal Assent]

*   *   *

  +-(1005)  

[English]

+-

    The Speaker: I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:

Rideau Hall

Ottawa

May 13, 2004

Mr. Speaker:

    I have the honour to inform you that the Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bills listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 13th day of May, 2004 at 6:56 p.m.

    Yours sincerely,

Barbara Uteck,

Secretary to the Governor General

    The schedule indicates that royal assent was given to Bill C-24, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act--Chapter No. 18; Bill C-20, an act to change the names of certain electoral districts--Chapter 19; Bill C-28, an act to amend the Canada National Parks Act--Chapter 20; Bill C-15, an act to implement treaties and administrative arrangements on the international transfer of persons found guilty of criminal offences--Chapter 21; Bill C-30, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 23, 2004--Chapter 22; and Bill C-9, an act to amend the Patent Act and the Food and Drugs (The Jean Chrétien Pledge to Africa)--Chapter 23.

[Translation]

    I also have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:

Rideau Hall

Ottawa

May 13, 2004

Mr. Speaker,

    I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bill listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 13th day of May, 2004 at 9:10 p.m.

    Yours sincerely,

Barbara Uteck

    The schedule indicates the bill assented to was Bill C-3, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act--Chapter 24.


+-GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994

    The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-34, an act to amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, as reported (without amendment) from the committee.

+-

    Hon. David Pratt (for the Minister of the Environment) moved that the bill be concurred in and read the second time.

    (Motion agreed to)

+-

    The Speaker: When shall the bill be read a third time? By leave, now?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

+-

    Hon. David Pratt (for the Minister of the Environment) moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Serge Marcil (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to address today a silent catastrophe that has been occurring along the Atlantic coast every winter. Bird watchers and people who enjoy walking along our beaches can tell you about this silent catastrophe. I am talking about the fact that 300,000 seabirds and maybe even more die every winter because some ships discharge their oily waste into the ocean.

    No, they are not allowed to do so. Yes, there are laws against this. Because it is both easier and quicker to dump this waste illegally rather than dispose of it legally, the ships are willing to take the risk of getting caught and paying a fine which is not high enough. They know that the law is not enforced as stringently as it could be.

    What exactly are they dumping in the ocean? Every ship produces oily waste. The waste accumulates in the bilges or the engine rooms and then is discharged into the ocean. Were you to take a sample of that water, you would notice that it always has oil on the surface. The ships should separate the oil from the water using special separators. It can be done through a special process that takes a little time. However, if time is short and the ship is travelling fast, the crew might decide it was easier to just discharge the waste into the ocean. It is done at night, of course, in dense fog and bad weather.

    We would provide the necessary incentive for doing the right thing.

    People who frequent our beaches will tell you—and we have videos showing this very thing—that huge numbers of birds are washed up on shore, already dead or struggling to survive.

    As an example: a litre of oil may seem a very small amount, especially if dispersed over a large ocean surface. Obviously, a litre in the Atlantic is very little, microscopic even. But a tiny drop the size of a quarter is enough to kill a bird, just as a pinhole in the suit of a diver would kill him. Petroleum products destroy the bird's natural defences.

    The cold winter waters of the Atlantic penetrate at the spot affected by the oil, and so the bird is no longer able to maintain its temperature, and dies of the cold. This is not something that happens just over one winter; the same thing happens year after year.

    On Sunday mornings, volunteers walk the beaches of Canada's Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and they frequently pick up as many as 15 birds.

    People living along the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes are also familiar with this problem. Some birds hang on for days, because, rather than dying from the cold, they starve to death because they are unable to move around.

    The waters off Atlantic Canada, where the problem is more serious, are an important crossroads for seabirds. They teem with life that supports tens of millions of birds. Other species stop in this area as well during migration.

    These include murres, puffins, dovekies and various species of gulls: herring gulls, great black-backed gulls, as well as black guillemots, common eiders, Atlantic puffins, Northern gannets, oldsquaws, common loons, red-throated loons, double-crested cormorants and black-legged kittiwakes.

    People generally do not have an opportunity to come in contact with such a proliferation of species, particularly city-dwellers.

    There are also South Atlantic albatrosses. I would invite everyone to visit Canada's east coast, be it the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Magdalen Islands, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland. They will be able to see for themselves what absolutely extraordinary things abound in nature.

    Also affected are the phalaropes, several species of gull, eiders and eastern harlequin ducks, all categorized as of special concern in the endangered species classification.

    Our scientists now know that 80% of dead birds found on Newfoundland beaches alone died from chronic oil pollution.

    So much damage is done to so many wild species. What a tragedy that could have been avoided.

    The bill before us will deal with this problem by increasing fines under the Migratory Birds Convention Act to as much as $1 million for people ignoring our environmental laws and discharging oil waste at sea.

  +-(1010)  

    It will hold these seamen and these operators, as well as their directors, responsible for their acts and will help to harmonize our approach with that of the United States, where fines have always been higher.

    This act to amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 will also provide clarity for law enforcers as well as ship owners and operators in waters under Canadian jurisdiction, including the 200 mile exclusive economic zone.

    We can say, at this time, that none of the species that I talked about today is endangered. This is good news. However, with such a high mortality rate, how long do you think that we will be able to prevent their names from being added to the list of species at risk?

    Our own scientists say that it is clear that death from fuelling at sea can seriously reduce the abundance and growth of populations of sea bird species that have a long lifespan, particularly when mortality rates are sustained, adults are affected or species having small populations are suffering the consequences of fuelling at sea.

    Do we want to be the ones responsible for some of these species being put on the endangered list? I think no one in this House wants that when we could have acted, and done something very simple that would have quite an impact.

    The bill before us will send a very clear message. It will tell those in the shipping industry who do not care about the species with which they share the ocean that their actions are repugnant to us and that we are going to go after them with the full force of the law.

    There are some in the shipping industry who find it deplorable that the Government of Canada makes laws to punish people for polluting, treating them like criminals in the sense that they could be held personally liable in a court of law.

    Let me point out that it is people who pollute, not ships. Marine pollution should not be treated like a parking violation. It only makes sense that Canada demand that sailors and vessels' operators abide by the exemplary practices of their own industry and by the laws of our country.

    It will tell people in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia and other coastal provinces that we too care about the marine wildlife that makes us unique and enriches us. Also, it will tell Canadians that our environmental laws are consistent with their vision of preserving and protecting.

    Such are the messages we can send by adopting the bill before us, a measure that will make a difference as early as the winter of 2005, when we are in a better position to detect offenders, charge those we catch, and deter others by imposing hefty fines that will eliminate oil dumping as a cost of being in business. Those are the messages we want to send.

    Not all shipping lines, ship owners and ships break the law. Most ports have equipment to pump out oil waste. Most responsible shipping lines use this equipment. Those that do not may be considered sea vagrants. They dump their waste at night or when they have left our country. Obviously, when this happens in the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, or the seaway, it is easier to deal with them, because they are still in Canadian territorial waters. We can force them to comply because we can board the vessels.

  +-(1015)  

    It is very often when they leave the St. Lawrence seaway and our coastal waters, in our 200 mile economic zone, that these tramps dump their oil waste at sea. The whole environment is affected.

    In parliamentary committee, we were asked why we are introducing this bill now and why we did not do it earlier. As concerns the 1994 and 1999 legislation, you know that when Parliament passes legislation, it takes a while before it is implemented. The delay can be lengthy. Later on, when we assess these new statutes, we often find out there are shortcomings that make it impossible for us to deal with the issues in the way it was envisioned when the bill was passed.

    Whether it is the Environment Act 1997 or other legislation, obviously, while members of Parliament are considering a bill, the public service is drafting it based on cases and facts. They bring it to us and we study it in the House and in parliamentary committee. We pass it in the House, with some amendments. It is sent to the Senate, which does the same thing. The senators consult people, rework the bill, pass it and send it back here to the House for a final reading before it is passed. Some people think that once it is passed, the bill becomes an infallible law.

    In the present situation, there have been some rather important cases, particularly the Tecam Sea and the Olga. These two cases led us to discover the loopholes in our law. We realized that, even with the evidence we had for prosecuting them, we were not certain that we would be able to finish the job and punish them by fines or seizure of the vessels, and so forth. We had to let the charges drop.

    In the past year, people have had to work on drafting a new bill that would arm us with tougher measures for those who break our laws, so that we could really intervene and set an example.

    The bill before us is intended to amend the 1994 and 1999 statutes. Based on our experience in enforcing these two laws, we have drafted a bill that makes it possible for us to intervene with some real muscle, to ensure that we are able to punish these seafaring vagabonds, these people who take advantage of bad weather, storms and fog to flout our laws and dump their oily waste in our waters.

    There have been many consultations. Some people say that we should have heard from witnesses in a parliamentary committee. Obviously, the basic work was done in consultation with the provinces and environmental groups, at the request of certain groups.

    I shall simply give the example of the Shipping Federation of Canada, established by an act of Parliament in 1903, which represents ships involved in Canada's overseas trade, their owners and operators and their agents. The federation, representing 90% of the traffic in and out of Canada's eastern ports, from Newfoundland to the Great Lakes, encourages and promotes an environmentally responsible transportation system and supports initiatives to sanction operators that do not respect environmental standards.

    In other words, when things are done the right way, any economic environment may be involved. People want standards that are clear and well defined for everyone. People who want to do things right do so in a positive environment. There are offenders, of course, because there always be people who will want to circumvent the laws.

  +-(1020)  

    However, our laws must be rigorous enough to allow us to intervene and sanction the guilty.

    Also, like the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Canadian Nature Federation is doing its part by supporting the bill. These organizations applaud the efforts of the Government of Canada, which wants to protect nature and our species by passing this bill.

    In closing, I would like to invite all parliamentarians to support this bill. They have already done so at first reading, as well as at the committee stage. Of course, one may question at times the rapidity of the process. However, I believe this is an emergency. We had already passed the legislation twice, in 1994 and 1999, and we really had to intervene. We know also that implementing this legislation will take time. Consequently, I invite all the members of Parliament to support this bill.

  +-(1025)  

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech with great interest. As he says, the bill is good on the whole. The member for Davenport, who devoted a major part of his political career to the environmental issue, must be very happy with the bill's contents. I certainly hope so.

    However, the member was wondering why we are suddenly tabling this bill at this time. Let me ask him a question. Is it not the forthcoming election that spurred the government into acting so quickly? A few months ago, a $120,000 fine was imposed on Canada Steamship Lines because that company discharged its ballast water offshore near Newfoundland. So, in a way, the Prime Minister was caught in the act because one of the companies of which he was still the president did something reprehensible.

    Is that why the government brought to a halt the hearing of witnesses at the committee? Some people wanted to come forward, the Shipping Federation of Canada for example, the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council, Ducks Unlimited Canada and other groups. We could have consulted in order to prepare better legislation. Let me give you one example: clause 9 does not provide for a minimum fine. It sets a maximum fine. Surely, it would have been appropriate to send a message to users and stakeholders in the shipping industry that there will be a high minimum fine and that the decision will not be left to judges.

    Are we not being presented with a bill which is well-intentioned and good overall but which, for lack of sufficient consultation, will not be as tough as we wanted because it was submitted at the last minute, just before the election writ is dropped?

+-

    Hon. Serge Marcil: Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank my hon. colleague. Of course, the election is on everybody's mind. I do not believe that a bill such as this one would get us more votes. It does not have anything to do with the election. It is not a commitment that was part of the agenda of the Liberal Party of Canada. In fact, its only purpose is to strengthen two pieces of legislation lacking the muscle to permit the government to properly prosecute the offenders in the shipping industry.

    What the hon. member has said about the Canada Steamship Lines shows that the legislation applies to everybody. Nobody is above the law. Therefore, that company was punished and paid the fine.

    However, other companies, many of them from abroad, commit offences, and we do not always have the tools required to prosecute them.

    So, I agree, several groups have approved this bill. In fact, we have received a lot of letters at the Department of the Environment urging the government to act more quickly and pass this bill as soon as possible. We are correcting a situation and legislation that does not give us the tools we need. I think it is never too late to do the right thing. In this case, the time has come to ensure that everyone abides by the law.

  +-(1030)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC): Mr. Speaker, there is one big problem and I think the member across realizes it. When the officials were asked whether they consulted with people and industry, basically their answer was no. They did not consult because they knew this was the right thing to do.

    We of course support this bill, but our job is to do due diligence. Our job is to consult with people about the issue and to ensure we have not missed anything. To ram this thing through in the last week is unconscionable. Those birds have been dying for tens of years on those coasts. There are reports of 500,000 in some years. This has been national news for 30 years. All of a sudden the Liberals have realized this and want to ram it through without consulting to ensure they get it right. I cannot accept that.

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Serge Marcil: Mr. Speaker, I can understand my hon. colleague's reaction, but to say that this has been going on for 30 years and that all of a sudden we are taking action is wrong. It is wrong to make such a statement in this House.

    Legislation was put in place in 1994, and again in 1999. That was just five years ago. Recently, we passed legislation respecting species at risk, in force as of April 1, 2004.

    So, to say that it took the government a long time to react, that this has been going on for years and that, all of the sudden, the government realized it and figured it had to legislate is wrong. I am sorry but legislation already existed. We had already identified the problem. We had passed legislation in this House in 1994 and again in 1999, just five years ago.

    In spite of this legislation, it now turns out that we had to drop our lawsuits and the cases we had built, because there are holes in these laws. Therefore, we are correcting and amending them to strengthen our response in this respect.

    We could take my hon. colleague's argument and ask, “Why do it right away? You could have waited. Hundreds of thousands of birds have died already”. Are we going to wait another year and let another 300,000 birds die? That is the question we have to ask ourselves.

    Once we realize there is a problem, and have proof of its existence, and see that species at risk are dying off and that the legislation passed previously did not have enough teeth, it seems to me that we have a duty, as a responsible government, to act. We must not wait, come back in six or seven months and let more birds die in the meantime.

    This bill is appropriate. For the past 12 months, officials have been working on finding a way to tighten enforcement. That is how we have come to this point, and today is the day. I am proud to see that my hon. colleague supports this bill.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC): Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me tell members that about two and a half years ago we recognized that the legislation simply was not working. We put forward legislation and in our platform we talked about these oil spills and what should be done.

    All of a sudden, it is amazing that the government has realized that this in fact is an issue, particularly on our west coast and in the Atlantic provinces. For the Liberals to say that they just could not get this forward any sooner is really a pretty strange thing for the parliamentary secretary to say.

    Let us talk about the truth of what will happen here. The bill was brought forward last week. It went to committee and of course we had no time for witnesses, we had no time for expert opinion, and we had no time to get into the issue, but obviously we support it.

    It is a great piece of legislation. It needed a few amendments. It needed the consultation to be sure we had not missed anything, but this is our legislation. This is what we would have done, I hope, very quickly upon forming government.

    However, the Liberals brought it forward last week thinking they would have the opposition opposing the bill and then they could blame us for defeating the bill, because after all, the opposition would not give it consent. We called the government on it. We have given consent for the bill, but what have the Liberals done?

    Let me tell the House and the audience watching that they brought the bill forward through report stage and we agreed to it. The bill then went through third reading, which we agreed to. But the Liberal senators have left town; they have gone. They are not here. They are not sitting until the 25th of May.

    If the Prime Minister had to make a decision between having corn flakes and corn flakes in the morning, I doubt he could make it. He would probably have to set up a committee to find out whether or not he should have corn flakes. That is about the same with the bill. Maybe he will not call an election. However, if he does call an election, the bill will never see the light of day.

    The government has lost its trump card. It cannot go to Newfoundland and Labrador or British Columbia and say that the rotten opposition defeated it. It will have to say the rotten Liberals defeated it because of poor planning and because they did not bring this forward 10 and a half years ago when they should have. They are really to blame.

    The bill is all about politics. The Liberals have no intention of bringing it about. We can ask, is it because of CSL or because of who knows what? However, they will not make it law because the Senate is not here. Who shut down the Senate last night? The Liberals did. Who is to blame for this not becoming law? The Liberals are to blame.

    They better believe that in those constituencies where this matters, where those hundreds of thousands of dead birds are, we know who will wear this one.

    This great speech we just heard about how the Liberals care about these birds and the extinction of birds and so on is a phony argument. They had no intention of making this law happen or they would have at least informed their senators. It is all about politics. More birds will die because these guys could not get their act together and do something about it.

    What should have happened? What is more interesting is what should have happened. How should a competent government have handled an issue like this? A competent government would have set it up years ago.

    In question period two and a half years ago I asked the minister, why do we not make fines the same as in the U.S? We heard the parliamentary secretary say that it was a good idea. Why was it not a good idea two and a half years ago? Obviously, if fines are so low and we are dumping bilge oil, we will dump it into the ocean because it is cheaper--and we will probably not get caught--than it is to take it somewhere to be recycled.

  +-(1035)  

    The reason bilge oil is not dumped in U.S. waters is that the minimum fine is a million bucks. The minimum fine in Canada is a few thousand dollars, so obviously the shipowners will take their chances. I understand that it costs close to $30,000 to re-treat that oil.

    What happens when a ship is caught? We could list the names of ships that have been caught and given fines of $20,000 or $30,000. The biggest fine was $120,000 for the Olga. What happened to the Olga? The crew members were arrested but they were sent home and did not pay their fine. Their ship was let go because the fine was $130,000 and the handlers declared bankruptcy. The fine was never paid and it never will be paid. What kind of a deterrent is that?

    We have had one aircraft patrolling the Atlantic Ocean. That really will catch an awful lot of ships on a big ocean like that.

    The government is not serious about going after this issue. It it had been, it would have made the fines the same as in the U.S., which is $1 million. If it had done that, the CSLs of this world would not have be dumping their oil out there and getting caught occasionally.

    We have another ship where justice cannot decide what to do. Transport Canada says that it should be involved but Environment Canada says that it should be involved. They are so busy fighting the turf wars within the government that the damn ship sails away and no fine is paid. It is incompetence.

    After that happens over and over again, one would think that maybe we need to toughen the legislation, which is what we are attempting to do today, but it is too late. The Senate is gone. It is interesting to listen to government members stand , all righteous, and say that they will fix the problem.

    What kind of questions should be asked? The member across said that he has been getting letters. I have been getting letters, too. I have been getting faxes and emails. I hear from those who are saying that we have to do everything possible to get this through. However I hear others who are saying they want a chance to be heard as well.

    I have heard from one lawyer who says that this bill now contravenes international conventions that were signed by the Canadian government. The letter goes on to say “ it is our firmly held view that the Canadian Shipping Act, which incorporates into Canadian law”, and it goes on to describe this, “that now this bill will break that law”. That is why we have hearings. We would have called experts and found out that it contravened international agreements that we have signed. Maybe in the Liberals' way of thinking, they do not have hearings because why would they listen to professional facts.

    What should have happened? We should have asked questions. We should have done our due diligence. We should have had time to do this. We should have done it 10½ years ago when a lot of us came here. Shortly after that, we should have fixed this. It has been an obvious problem.

    One of the questions I would have asked if I had the opportunity would have been: How does it affect the cruise ship industry, which is a huge industry in British Columbia and on the Atlantic? They also put stuff into the ocean. They recycle it. What are the restrictions? How does it affect them? We should ask them, I would think.

    We should ask people in the shipping industry how it affects them? They have sent a lot of material about how it affects them and their concerns.

    How does it affect the recreational fishermen? How does it affect the whale watching industry? We need to ask those questions.

    We need to protect the birds but we need to ask questions of people who use those oceans. We need to ask about the city of Victoria dumping raw sewage into the ocean. We need to ask whether under this bill they could be charged and fined $1 million for hurting birds.

  +-(1040)  

    We need to analyze that sewage. We need to know if it contains toxins that will affect birds. Does it have hormones that will affect birds? Should the cities of Victoria or Halifax, the places that dump raw sewage, not have a chance to say that they need money for infrastructure because the House will pass a bill that will affect every one of their taxpaying citizens? The bill says that.

    When I was visiting Governor Locke in Washington State we talked about the Sumas project. Governor Locke said that if I wanted to talk about the air in the Fraser Valley he would take me to the Seattle harbour and show me the sewage and tell me where the sewage came from. He said that It came from Victoria. He said that I should not talk to him about the air if I did not want him to talk about the sewage.

    How can we have a modern country releasing raw sewage into the ocean? This sewage contains toxins, hormones and all kinds of things. A duck eating a condom, which is what I saw in the Seattle harbour, is probably not very healthy.

    The legislation gave us no time to ask those questions. It is the government's incompetence that this legislation was not brought forward two and a half years ago when I started asking questions about it. I wrote to the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Justice. I wrote and spoke to the Minister of the Environment. It is not that they did not know. They knew but they did not do anything until this very last moment. Am I ticked? Believe it, I am.

    We do not know what is missing from the bill. We need to know if RADARSAT will be funded. We need to catch these guys and hold their ships if we are going to fine them $1 million, because they will take off.

    What about the shipowners? The bill states that we will arrest the owners of the ships. That should be a great front page: the Prime Minister of Canada and his sons arrested and taken to court because they polluted. The bill states that we will arrest the directors and owners of the ships. Is that what it means? Will we really do that? Will we take a Bahamian registered ship and have the owners appear in court? We need to know.

    We talked about the nose and tail briefly. The nose and tail are major areas for migrating birds. We do not protect them in the bill and we should be talking about that. I would like to see the ornithological reports on what birds are there, which ones are dying and what the populations are. Those are all questions we need to know because we have to base our decisions on science. The government is very prone to not basing things on science. Kyoto was all about not basing it on science but basing it on scare tactics.

    I would like to know what birds are being killed on the east coast, the west coast and in the Arctic. I would like to know how we would go about seizing these crews on the ships. Many of these people, like on Canada Steamship Lines for instance, get paid $2 a day. If they get paid $2 a day they are now supposed to have whistleblower protection. I sure would like to know how the government intends to provide whistleblower protection for a $2 a day foreign sailor who squeals on his captain and is not a Canadian citizen.

    We do not have whistleblower legislation in Canada for our own civil servants. How in blazes are we going to guarantee a foreign sailor's protection from his employer for giving information on the sorts of things that go on at sea?

  +-(1045)  

    On page 9 of the bill it states that we will use force. I would like to know what that means. Are we going to pull a Captain Canada and fire shots over their bows? Are we going to have armed guards? It is a great threat but I would like to know what it means.

    I, like the member of the Bloc, would like to know why we do not have minimum fines? We have a maximum fine of $1 million. Does that mean some judge will decide that because it is a certain company there will be a $1,000 fine? I do not know what that means.

    The bill states that we will compensate people for their loss due to an oil spill. How do we do that for the fisherman who claims that he did not catch any lobsters because some ship dumped its oil in the ocean? How do we determine how much should be paid? Is there money in the budget to cover that? The bill certainly does not say there will be. How do we do the science to determine the loss? It is like a farmer saying that if it had rained he would have had a better crop. Are we going to compensate that farmer?

    That statement on page 17 of the bill seems to be very vague.

    I would like to know about the Attorney General. The Attorney General has eight days to lay a charge against a dumping ship. Is that long enough or is it too long? If a ship heads back to its home port will we be able to stop it? I do not know the answer to that but I would have liked experts to tell me. However, because the government rammed the bill through at the last minute, we have had no opportunity to ask those questions.

    Coming from Red Deer, I would like to know about oil exploration in the Arctic and about the tailings that are put on the ice. That will affect them too.

    The bill does not just concern oiled birds off the coast of Newfoundland. It also concerns the industries that make up a great deal of western Canada, eastern Canada, Atlantic Canada and northern Canada. The bill is very far-reaching, and so it should be. It should protect sea birds and it should protect our environment.

    As senior environment critic, I would be hypocritical if I did not stand and say that I want a strong bill. I want it as strong as it can be to protect the environment but I want to consult with the people the legislation will affect. I want to have answers to this page of questions. I am sure others have pages of questions as well.

    I know the shipping industry has questions. I know a constitutional lawyer has questions. He wants to know why we are breaking two international conventions that we signed. Do we know that the bill would contravene those international conventions? We did not have time to find out any of that information because the government basically sprung this legislation on us.

    What offends me the most is that I did meet with the environment minister. It is a funny story. I had great difficulty getting a meeting with the environment minister but one day I was on a plane about to fly to Calgary and the environment minister gets on the plane and sits next to me. We had our meeting. However, guess what? Calgary was fogged in, which I pre-arranged, and we had to fly to Vancouver. The environment minister and I ended up sitting on the plane for another three hours. When we flew back to Calgary in the middle of the night, the environment minister was still sitting beside me. I ended up having a 10 hour meeting with the minister.

    One of the questions I asked the minister during that meeting had to do with what legislation we could expect to come through. I asked him if he had anything on the table that I should prepare for. He said that he did not but asked if I had any suggestions. I suggested this legislation but I wish he would have acted on it a lot sooner than he did.

  +-(1050)  

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Serge Marcil: Mr. Speaker, I want to make a comment. The member for Red Deer understands the situation perfectly well, but he is a bit of a demagogue in some respects because we are in a pre-election period.

    What we have to realize—especially for the benefit of those who are watching to us—is that this is not new legislation. Two other acts already exist: the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

    Most of the concerns raised have been addressed and appear in these two acts. Bill C-34 proposes some amendments to these two acts. Public consultations were held for the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act as well.

    Today, with Bill C-34, we are amending these two acts. We are not creating new legislation.

    The member wondered why we do not impose a minimal fine and what duck hunters had to do with it and so forth. I can understand his line of questioning. The answer is that these elements are already included in the existing legislation of 1994 and 1999. These matters are already covered in these acts.

    With respect to imposing a minimal fine, I will give an example. Say the hon. member for Red Deer and I, the member for Beauharnois—Salaberry, go fishing together and our boat's motor accidentally hits a sandbar and loses oil. Are we going to be fined $1 million because we had an accident?

    It is the same for the family man, a crab fisher, who has a small fishing business and goes fishing with his son or daughter. It should be up to the judge applying the legislation to weigh the repercussions of the accident.

    If the boat belongs to a company, the company is in a position to pay and a $1 million fine is a more severe punishment.

    That is why in the legislation we cannot introduce a minimum for fines. This is a bill to amend two acts that include environmental measures related to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, which addresses hunters and an entire range of stakeholders in the field of nature.

    I understand. Our colleague from Red Deer might be frustrated because consultations were not as open and extensive as in the case of a piece of legislation with broad impact. However, consultations were held in 1994 on the 1994 Migratory Birds Convention Act and also in 1999 on the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

    What we are doing today with Bill C-34 is making amendments to give more teeth to the law. We thought we had the necessary tools under the existing laws. We thought we would be able to pursue people without restriction and punish them. However, when we were tried to make a case, we found that loopholes in the legislation prevented us from getting a conviction

    Yes, we are rectifying this situation by amending the legislation. This is not a new act. The bill does not make substantive changes to the 1994 Migratory Birds Convention Act or the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. It amends the two acts I just mentioned.

    As far as the Americans are concerned, I understand certain things. The United States is what it is, and Canada is what it is. We have our own sovereignty, our own Canadian values. We see things differently, and we always try to—

  +-(1055)  

+-

    The Speaker: I regret to interrupt the hon. parliamentary secretary. It being 11:00 a.m., the House will now proceed to statements by members, but there will be a question and comment period after the oral question period.

    The hon. Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, on a point of order.

*   *   *

+-Business of the House

+-

    Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, discussions have taken place among all the parties and I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion:

    That, if today's debate on M-300 concludes, all necessary questions to dispose of the main motion be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred pursuant to Standing Order 98(4).

+-

    The Speaker: Does the Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons have unanimous consent to move the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

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

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)


+-Statements by Members

[S. O. 31]

*   *   *

[English]

+-The Environment

+-

    Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, a century of ongoing clearcut logging in British Columbia's old growth forests has driven the spotted owl to the verge of extinction. About 33 adult pairs are left.

    An effective scientific recovery strategy has been prepared to reach the goal of 125 adult pairs; however, this effort has only received 3% of the funds requested from the British Columbia government.

    Researcher Andrew Miller of the British Columbia spotted owl recovery team recommends a temporary logging moratorium in certain areas to protect the habitat for owls, and the provision of funds needed to help the remaining owls.

    To prevent extinction of the spotted owl, the federal government can enforce the emergency clause of the Species at Risk Act, as it was originally intended to do in the first place. I urge the Minister of the Environment to take federal action.

*   *   *

  +-(1100)  

+-Racism

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the last few months have seen a deeply disturbing increase in violent anti-Semitic attacks in Canada. From the firebombing of a Jewish school in Montreal to the defacement of tombstones in Toronto, this is a blow to our country's tradition of religious tolerance.

    It is in this context that we must view this month's scheduled visit and speaking tour of Saudi cleric Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudais. Al-Sudais refers to Jews as “the scum of the earth” and he exhorts his followers against the Christian “worshippers of the cross” and the “idol-worshipping Hindus”. He has publicly called for the destruction of the Jewish people, who he says are “an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption”.

    This type of hatred is completely unacceptable to Canadians, including Canadian Muslims, the vast majority of whom certainly reject this bigotry.

    When al-Sudais arrives, he should be informed that his brand of violent racist and religious incitement is not welcome in Canada, and he should be sent packing.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+- Foire gourmande de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue et du nord-est ontarien

+-

    Mr. Gilbert Barrette (Témiscamingue, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I had the honour of announcing, on behalf of the Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, a contribution of $71,516 for the Foire gourmande de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue et du nord-est ontarien.

    This initiative, which will cover a two-year period, helps promote not only local products available to the public, but also partnerships among producers, consumers, distributors and wholesalers on both sides of Lake Témiscamingue.

    Thanks to the exceptional work of organizers and participants, this trade fair provides an opportunity to create economic alliances, in addition to being a major tourist attraction for the region.

    We thank the whole team and we invite people to visit the fair during the third weekend of August 2004.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Member for Thornhill

+-

    Hon. Elinor Caplan (Thornhill, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity to do what I have not done often enough over the last 25 years, and that is to say thank you.

    I wish to thank my husband Wilf, my best friend and my lover; my children, David and Leigh, Mark and Claire, Zane and Meredith; my grandchildren Findlay Lillian, Talia Jane, Benjamin Russell, Max Louis, Angus John, and Jacob Isaac, all Caplan; my sister Carol Lou and family who have always been there for me and loved me even when I was not there for them.

    I wish to thank the voters of ward 13 in North York, the provincial riding of Oriole, and the federal riding of Thornhill for giving me the honour and the privilege to represent them and their interests since 1978 to 2004.

    I wish to thank my wonderful staff who did their best to make me look good, often with great difficulty, as I made it hard for them.

    I wish to thank former Premier David Peterson who allowed me to serve in his cabinet and gave me the opportunity to be the first Jewish woman in Canadian history to serve in a cabinet. I was his chair of cabinet, chair of management board, minister of government services and minister of health.

    I wish to thank Prime Minister Chrétien for the opportunity to serve in his cabinet as minister of immigration and minister of national revenue.

    I wish to thank old friends who have been waiting for 25 years for my return and to new friends, whose friendship will endure, and colleagues who I will never forget;

    To Bill Graham for the thank you, and finally, to Prime Minister--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Hull--Aylmer.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Étudiant Outaouais

+-

    Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the Étudiant Outaouais gala, during which journalism awards were given and tribute was paid to artists whose work was near professional in calibre. These young people are all high school students. In addition to the journalism awards, an academic scholarship and scholarships for emerging young talents in the cultural sector were awarded for the first time this year.

    Étudiant Outaouais is a newspaper published by students, for students. This initiative illustrates the energy and creativity of our young people. We can rest assured: there are many good young journalists in the Outaouais who are ready to take over.

    The newspaper Étudiant Outaouais is the initiative of the Transcontinental weeklies, which enlisted the participation of many major stakeholders in the area. I want to particularly thank the regional director of Transcontinental weeklies, Jacques Blais, and also Martin Godcher and Sylvain Dupras, as well as their whole team for implementing this great project.

    Congratulations to one and all. We will see you next year.

*   *   *

  +-(1105)  

[English]

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. James Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni, CPC): Mr. Speaker, just days from now, on May 17, the World Health Assembly will convene in Geneva. On the agenda will be the admission of new and associate members. At issue is Canada's response to Taiwan's request for inclusion with observer status.

    On May 27 of last year, members in the House passed a motion by a vote of 163 to 67 supporting the admission of Taiwan and recommending that Canada use its influence with other member states and NGOs to support this goal.

    Taiwan is a democracy. It has stood as an autonomous society for 55 years. Thousands of Taiwanese students visit Canada yearly to study English and pursue higher education. As our seventh largest trading partner, there is a huge flow of persons and commerce between Canada and Taiwan. With the worldwide rapid spread of communicable diseases, only the most ignorant, arrogant or wilfully blind would deny Taiwan's request for inclusion.

    Parliament has examined this issue and decided to act. If the government does not deliver a strong case for Taiwan on May 17, the government and its leader will have demonstrated to Canadians and the world the most blatant violation of democratic process. Democracy deserves better, Canadians deserve better, and so do the Taiwanese.

*   *   *

+-Research and Development

+-

    Hon. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, researchers at the University of Western Ontario, and at universities and teaching hospitals across the country are performing groundbreaking health research. This research is more than likely funded by the Government of Canada through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

    Equally important, it would not have been possible without the efforts of nearly 1,000 women and men who volunteer countless hours as members of CIHR's peer review committees.

    Each year thousands of funding applications are sent to the CIHR for consideration. Applications are then sent to peer review and grant committees comprised of expert researchers. Committee experts discuss whether each application meets internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, ensuring taxpayers' money is spent wisely and that only the best and brightest researchers are funded.

    The dedication of CIHR peer reviewers supports innovative health research that strengthens our health system and improves the health of all Canadians.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Health

+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, when he was in Finance, the current Prime Minister claimed health as his priority. Yet in every budget he refused to reinvest in transfer payments for health services.

    In his coronation speech as leader of the Liberal Party, and in the throne speech as well, he again referred to health as a priority. After all this fine talk, the government brought down a budget that contained not one red cent for health. Nothing at all.

    When he assumed control of the federal coffers in 1994, his government was paying 2.8 cents out of every dollar of federal government revenue in transfer payments to Quebec for health. Ten years later, there has been a 40% drop, down to a mere 1.7 cents. Some priority, that.

    Thanks to the sponsorship scandal, the Prime Minister's real priorities have been revealed. Over the years, he has been so untrue to his word that we know if he puts on a left turn signal he is sure to go right instead. That is how those in need of health care got run over. Really, this man is the poster boy for the Liberals' false promises.

*   *   *

+-Member for Madawaska—Restigouche

+-

    Mr. Jeannot Castonguay (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have had the honour to serve my country as the representative of the people of Madawaska—Restigouche since 2000, and I thank them for that privilege.

    I salute all my colleagues in this House who are also here to serve their fellow citizens, too often to the detriment of health and family life.

    To my colleagues on the various committees on which I have served, thank you for the opportunities you have given me for personal growth. As you know, enlightenment comes when ideas collide.

    To all those who work behind the scenes to help us accomplish our jobs here on the Hill, and in particular my assistants Diane, Marlyne and Rita, my sincere thanks.

    Lastly, my thanks to my family, my wife Sylvia and our children Roger, Julie and Marc-André, for their unconditional support during my time here as the member for Madawaska—Restigouche.

    Thank you all, and goodbye.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Prime Minister

+-

    Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, our very talented research team has compiled a comprehensive file on Norway, and it is information to share with the Prime Minister. We do this because there are rumours he might travel all the way across Sussex Drive to Rideau Hall in the very near future.

    The Prime Minister should inform his navigator that he does not wish to visit the Governor General at Norway Bay. It is a very pleasant community, but lacks an air strip to accommodate the Challenger.

    He could, however, agree to meet her for breakfast at the Norway Spruce Bed and Breakfast in Ontario.

    He should avoid travel to New Norway, Alberta, because he would not be welcome there.

    We would advise him to avoid Norway House for the same reason.

    While he is touring, he might want to study some Norway spruce trivia. It is the fastest growing member of the spruce family.

    He should know that in Norway there is a Society for Barefoot Living. It boasts a national membership of six, but only four members are listed publicly. He should be come the seventh member of the Society for Barefoot Living because after the next election, he will discover that he has been knocked right out of his boots.

*   *   *

  +-(1110)  

[Translation]

+-Member for Outremont

+-

    Hon. Martin Cauchon (Outremont, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, having decided not to seek re-election, I wish to take this opportunity today to thank all the voters in the riding of Outremont who have put their trust in me three times in a row. Because they have supported me, I have been able to make a contribution to Canadian public life and the growth of our democracy, which is unique in the world, for the past 10 years.

    I also take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the right hon. Jean Chrétien, who not only entrusted me with significant ministerial responsibilities, but also, through his vision and his leadership, helped make Canada a “cool” country in the eyes of the world.

[English]

    I would also like to underline the work of the political staff and the public servants who I had the chance to work with during my years as secretary of state and minister. They faithfully accompanied and supported me, and for that I thank everyone.

[Translation]

    I want to thank my wife Dorine and my children, Charles, François and Catherine, for their support throughout all those years.

    I would also like to tell our young people that their active involvement in the political process is one of the keys for change.

    In closing, I want to wish every success to the Liberal team of Paul Martin in the next election.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Hamilton East

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the voters in the provincial riding of Hamilton East elected Andrea Horwath as the NDP member for that riding. They did it overwhelming, by a 63% vote. They sent a message to the provincial Liberals that they cannot break their promises and that they cannot be mean-spirited in denying the party official status.

    They also sent a message to the federal Liberals about how disgruntled they were with the shoddy treatment of the current federal member for Hamilton East. I was in the riding a number of times and they were very clear with those messages.

    Yesterday was Andrea's day and her supporters. I want to extend my congratulations to all of them for a job well done.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Liberal Party of Canada

+-

    Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ): Mr. Speaker, we have heard about a new reality television concept, which could turn into a show called Scandal Academy. As part of the faculty, Liberals renowned for their great patronage skills would be recruited as mentors, as well as mere operators who will be left holding the bag in the end.

    What is unique about this concept is that, instead of eliminating one participant every week, the public would be asked to vote for the one that will be facing charges and thus joining the Academy's faculty.

    Already, a long list of prospective contenders, all struck with amnesia, are just waiting for the production to start, and selecting a single culprit in any given week will not be easy.

    There will also be a musical theme for the show. After consultation, it would appear that, however appropriate Stéphane Venne's song about things not being over because they are just beginning may have seemed, “Fulsom Prison Blues” is a better choice.

    No doubt about it, the Liberal Party of Canada is on shaky ground. It is up to the public to decide.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Hamilton East

+-

    Hon. Sheila Copps (Hamilton East, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is pretty hard to summarize 20 years in one minute, but here I go.

    I came to this place knowing little about myself and less about my country. I leave today having experienced an incredible journey of discovery. Discovery of myself, my beloved Hamilton and Canada. That journey could not have happened alone.

    Today, I especially want to thank those people who believed in me and supported me, even in the GST byelection; the steely people of Hamilton. We are tough. We make steel. It makes a person tough. I know my community will weather the challenges ahead.

    I want to thank my colleagues on all sides of the House. Critics, and I have had a few, members of our caucus, parliamentary secretaries, Liberals, public servants who made our jobs easier, staff and leaders of all political parties, but especially the right hon. Jean Chrétien who gave me a chance to do my best for Canada.

    I especially and mostly want to thank my family: my husband, my lover, my sailor, my partner in life, my daughter Danelle, who at 17 has never known a day when I was not in politics, my stepchildren, who have always been there for me, my mother, my deceased father, my family who have seen the pain of politics and also experienced the joys, the highs and the lows.

    I turn the page today at peace that we have built a stronger Canada.

[Translation]

    I would also like to thank the women of Canada, who have always believed that being here was important for each and everyone of them. Today, I am saying goodbye, but not forever.

*   *   *

  +-(1115)  

[English]

+-Member for Fraser Valley

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, CPC): Mr. Speaker, during the past few days many retiring members of Parliament have taken advantage of their final speeches to thank their constituents for their confidence, their trust and for the honour of representing them here in Parliament.

    While I am not exactly retiring, I am losing almost half of my riding under redistribution. I want to thank the citizens of Abbotsford for their support and kindness, as I have done my best to represent them and their interests since 1993. The people of Abbotsford are simply the salt of the earth. It has been a privilege to get to know and work with so many of them during the past 10 years.

    For the new riding of Chilliwack--Fraser Canyon, the ballot question for the upcoming election has yet to be settled. I have a couple of suggestions for consideration. This election is their opportunity to judge the conduct of federal Liberals who have been mired in scandal, who are ignoring the democratic wishes of British Columbians, who are wasting their hard earned tax dollars and have offered little in the way of vision on how to improve their health care or their standard of living.

    This election Canadians can demand better by voting Conservative.

*   *   *

+-Ford Motor Company

+-

    Ms. Bonnie Brown (Oakville, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to the Ford Motor Company of Canada, as 2004 is Ford's 100th year of operation in this country. It was established in Windsor in 1904, making it the country's longest established automaker. Since 1904, Ford has produced approximately 25 million vehicles.

    Over the last 10 years, Ford has invested $9.5 billion in its Canadian operations. It is one of the largest employers in our country with 16,000 employees, 11,000 retirees and 500 dealers who employ another 22,000 Canadians.

    Last year Ford produced over 460,000 vehicles and 1 million engines, products that were exported to 24 countries in the world.

    The head office of Ford is in my riding of Oakville. I want to congratulate everyone in the Ford of Canada family on their 100th anniversary.

*   *   *

+-Member for Cypress Hills--Grasslands

+-

    Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, CPC): Mr. Speaker, in 2000 I had the privilege of being elected to the House of Commons. The first session is still a blur. There is no apprenticeship program for this job, which is akin to stepping onto a 100 mile per hour treadmill.

    The three and a half years have gone quickly. For two and a half years I worked with the member for Selkirk—Interlake primarily on our agriculture team. He was the mentor that this rookie MP needed.

    For most of the last year I have been privileged to be intimately involved with the question period team as director for the official opposition. I have had the enjoyment of sharing that position for the last few months with my capable colleague and seatmate, the member for South Shore.

    I want to recognize the tremendous sacrifice my family has made. Before we were elected, not one of us knew the price our families would pay. I want to recognize my wife Sheila, daughter Amy and son Andrew. Many time they have gone the extra mile and paid the price so that I could be here.

    I want to recognize the great folks of Cypress Hills—Grasslands, the best riding in this country. I hope I have met their expectation. I look forward to the opportunity of returning and continuing to represent them.

*   *   *

+-Order of Canada

+-

    Mr. Dick Proctor (Palliser, NDP): Mr. Speaker, one of the country's best known, best loved labour activists and feminists is at Rideau Hall this morning to become an Officer of the Order of Canada. A rich honour for Nancy Riche, sharp witted, fearless and forever colourful.

    I had the privilege of working with Nancy when she was elected secretary-treasurer of the National Union of Provincial Government Employees in 1984. Two years later Nancy became executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress and rose to the position of secretary treasurer.

[Translation]

    During these years, she has advocated numerous causes, such as women's rights, health care, employment insurance, occupational safety, fair trade and, always, social justice.

[English]

    Nancy was also president of the Women's Committee of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions representing 157 million workers worldwide.

    Warmest congratulations today to Sister Nancy Riche.


+-ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

[Oral Questions]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Health

+-

    Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we learned today that Canada Post and the Business Development Bank of Canada, both crown corporations, pay to send their senior managers to private clinics for basic health services. Let me repeat that. Senior public servants who are already covered under a generous public health care plan receive care from private clinics for basic exams and services.

    Will the Minister of Health confirm finally whether or not the government endorses this practice and the use of private clinics to deliver health care in Canada?

  +-(1120)  

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Canada Health Act requires that all medically necessary services are provided to all Canadians regardless of their ability to pay. Indeed the types of services covered by these so-called executive health plans are not considered medically necessary and therefore fall outside the Canada Health Act.

+-

    Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC): Mr. Speaker, last week the Deputy Prime Minister said that this clinic is open to the public. Yet when we checked into it, initial consultations are not covered by public health cards. Users have to pay. This clinic even offers air miles as an incentive for repeat business. It seems as if the government endorses the private system for those who can pay.

    My question again for the government is, is this the Liberal Party policy? What is the government's position on delivering health services through the private system?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the position of the government is very clearly expressed in the terms of the Canada Health Act. The provision of services must be provided in compliance with all of the provisions of the Canada Health Act.

+-

    Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC): Mr. Speaker, why is the government letting these people from the crown corporations go to this private clinic? That is the question the government has to answer.

    The fact is the Liberals are treading a very fine line. The Prime Minister has been caught using private clinics. Now senior civil servants have been caught using these private clinics. Yet the government expects every other Canadian to wait in line and use the public health care system with waiting lists that grow day by day. It is a clear double standard in health care.

    Why do the Liberals qualify for one standard of care and every other Canadian has to wait in line for his or her standard of care? Why the double standard?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in that welter of accusation and innuendo, let me make it very clear. When the Prime Minister sees his doctor, he uses his health card to pay for the treatment, like anyone else.

+-

    Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we now know that the Prime Minister and senior executives of two crown corporations enjoy special access to private health clinics.

    The Prime Minister claims he pays with his health card. Guess what. I called the Prime Minister's clinic today to ask if I could get an MRI. I was told that absolutely I could get one in two weeks for $585 with a referral. The catch is my health card does not cover it.

    Why is the Prime Minister deliberately misleading Canadians?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is again a baseless and groundless allegation.

    When the Prime Minister acquires health services, he acquires them with his health card, consistent with the conduct and the practice of every other Canadian. Incidentally, he has never paid for an MRI.

+-

    Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, CPC): Mr. Speaker, just before we leave this place for an election, it would be nice if the Liberals would come clean on health care. The truth is they have no position at all on private clinics. They are willing to turn a blind eye if it suits the Prime Minister's lifestyle.

    My question is simple. Are there any other senior civil servants or cabinet ministers who are using the services of private clinics?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, again, it is a groundless and a baseless allegation.

    The fact of the matter is that when the Prime Minister acquires his health care, he does so like every other Canadian, using his health card for the services that are medically insured and covered by the Canada Health Act.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Public Service

+-

    Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ): Mr. Speaker, after having diverted $100 million from the sponsorship program to friends of the regime and their party, the Liberals did not hesitate to dip into the general revenue again by asking public servants to write the Liberal election platform.

    It is all well and good for the Prime Minister to claim that things are going to change, but with him, do we not always get more of the same? Are the Liberals not incorrigible when it comes to appropriating public money?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the public service is in place to provide service to the public. That is what they are called upon to do by the government.

    When they advance policy ideas, the government weighs those policy proposals from the bureaucracy and eventually makes the ultimate decision about how to proceed.

    The very good work done by the public service over the long term and over the last number of weeks has produced very powerful results. They include, for example, the proposal by the Minister of Veterans Affairs for a brand new way to deal with veterans benefits in this country and also the recent action by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to defend Canadian rights off the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.

    That is in the public interest.

  +-(1125)  

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ): Mr. Speaker, this same Prime Minister who said he wants to change things asked ministers to put departmental staff to work to write tailor-made proposals for the Liberal election platform—all on the taxpayer's dime.

    Will the government admit that the political direction to subsidize the preparation of the Liberal platform was given by the Prime Minister himself?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I absolutely reject the allegation of the hon. member. In fact, what the Prime Minister asked us to do as new ministers was to work with our public servants to examine ideas, to talk back and forth about things that were challenging the departments in the continual search for improvement.

    The goal in any government is to constantly put forward new and better proposals before the people of Canada.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has federal public servants working hard to create a campaign platform for the Liberal Party of Canada at low cost to the party, thus, once again, diverting public resources to basely partisan purposes.

    Since public funds are involved, are we to understand that the government intends to make its campaign platform public before the election is called, or must we, once again, rely on the Access to Information Act to get a look at it?

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in our system the public service—one of the most professional and the most competent in the world, I might add—has a mandate to support the government in its administration, in its governance.

    I would like to give an example related to the circumstances described by my hon. colleague opposite. It is a very concrete example of governance in which we have been assisted. The allegation will not stick because we have just announced, barely two days ago, the creation of a Democratic Reform Secretariat, which has a web site and consultation procedures. All of this is part of the work that the opposition refuses to recognize. It makes no sense.

+-

    Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ): Mr. Speaker, if we have an exemplary public service, it must not be used for base partisan purposes as the Liberal Party is doing.

    Nevertheless, since the government named Mr. Gauthier as special counsel to recover the millions of dollars from the sponsorship scandal, does the government intend to broaden Mr. Gauthier's mandate to make the Liberal Party pay the salaries of the public servants who have been requisitioned by the Liberal Party to write its bargain-priced platform?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, once again, I certainly reject any allegation of improper engagement in the public service. They did the job that they are always required to do.

    On the recovery of funds, I would note today we had the announcement of the recovery of $147 million in an agreement with HP, which is the result of very proactive work on the part of the very same public servants. They should be congratulated on behalf of Canada.

*   *   *

+-Liberal Party of Canada

+-

    Hon. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP): Mr. Speaker, a recent appointee of the Prime Minister as the Liberal candidate referred to a vote for the NDP as a whisper, ignoring the fact that I seldom whisper, and neither do other NDP MPs for that matter, ignoring the election of progressive mayors in Toronto and Vancouver, the re-election of NDP governments in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the increase in proper support in other provincial elections, and of course what happened last night in Hamilton.

    I ask the Deputy Prime Minister, does she think that turfing a progressive candidate like the former deputy prime minister and ignoring the steel industry had anything to do with this so-called whisper becoming a mighty big shout against the Liberals in Hamilton?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, indeed the government is very pleased to be attracting great interest and strong support across the country. In my own province, for example, I am very pleased that Mr. Chris Axworthy is running for the Liberal Party. In British Columbia, I am pleased to see that the former premier, Ujjal Dosanjh, is running. Dave Haggard is running.

    I would think the hon. gentleman might want to check his list before he declares victory.

*   *   *

+-Fisheries

+-

    Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NDP): Mr. Speaker, in 1997, 15 in-shore, independent, low income, hook and line fishermen staged a protest fishery and the Government of Canada threw everything it had at them. It prosecuted them over five years of litigation; six of them ended up charged and among them all, they had a few hundred pounds of fish. But when the Portuguese have 65,000 pounds of fish caught illegally, what does the government do? It gives them a warning, albeit a stern warning.

    My question for the government is, why the double standard? Why does the government pick on the hook and line, independent, low income, single business-minded--

  +-(1130)  

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of the Environment.

+-

    Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is no double standard. In fact it is exactly the opposite. If we are to have success internationally in making sure that we get the Portuguese ships on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks which are in international waters to obey the North Atlantic fisheries agreement, we have to show that in Canada we also enforce the law.

    These gentlemen of the Southwest Fishermen's Rights Association admitted that they deliberately went out and fished in the closed season for cod, haddock and pollock, which was in fact illegal--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Edmonton—Strathcona.

*   *   *

+-Gasoline Prices

+-

    Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, CPC): Mr. Speaker, gasoline prices are set to soar over $1 a litre this summer. Much of the cost is to be borne by Canadians because the Liberals are charging GST on top of gas taxes. Between the excise tax and the GST, the Liberals are ensuring that they are squeezing Canadian drivers for everything they have.

    Why will the Liberals not help Canadians by cutting this extra tax on gasoline?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government obviously shares the concern of consumers with respect to these higher prices.

    In terms of the impact of the GST, I have had the opportunity in the last number of days to actually do the arithmetic. It would appear that because of the price increases of the last couple of weeks, the actual difference in GST paid is something in the order of 1¢ per litre.

    That hardly changes the equation. I think we have to search conscientiously for more profound solutions, because 1¢ a litre will not make the difference that consumers would like to see.

+-

    Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, CPC): Mr. Speaker, neither are the taxes that the government is charging now. The least it can do is leave some of that money with Canadians, especially leading up to this busy season.

    The Liberals are trying to play Canadians for fools. They have collected billions in gas taxes and GST over the past 10 years, but cities like Edmonton are riddled with potholes. Obviously the only commitment to a new deal with cities is how much money they can milk from drivers.

    Canadians deserve a break before this busy vacation time. Why will the Liberals not step up to the pump and axe this tax on the gas tax?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, to make the simplistic change that the hon. gentleman is proposing, as I said, makes a difference of about 1¢ a litre. That will hardly make an appreciable benefit to the consumers.

    The search for a solution has to be a little bit more sophisticated than a glib opposition one liner.

    With respect to the hon. member's point about municipalities, we are in the process of rebating the entire GST to every municipality in Canada, which adds up to $7 billion. That is a real benefit to Canadians.

+-

    Mrs. Lynne Yelich (Blackstrap, CPC): Mr. Speaker, sophisticated or not, inflated gasoline prices are hurting drivers in Saskatchewan and across the country.

    Fuel taxes account for more than a third of what we pay at the pumps. Yesterday the Minister of Finance said that raising the fuel tax and the GST is not a part of the policy of the Government of Canada.

    Can the minister tell Canadians, does his policy include lowering the tax we pay on fuel?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am always interested in finding ways to reduce the tax burden on Canadians.

    What we are presently engaged in with respect to the GST and fuel taxes is obviously finding the ways to provide a greater cash flow to municipalities so that they can improve local infrastructure and the quality of life in local communities across the country.

    The point raised by the hon. member, as I said earlier, would make a penny or two difference. That, quite frankly, on $1 per litre, is not of sufficient benefit to the consumers. We have to look for something more significant than that.

+-

    Mrs. Lynne Yelich (Blackstrap, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the government claims that the skyrocketing price of gas is an international problem shared by our friends in Europe and around the world. I would like to point out that travel in Canada is vastly different from travel in Europe. My riding of Blackstrap is largely rural. Many constituents do not have the option of hopping on a bus or a train to get to work.

    When will the government recognize its obligation to Canadians to provide fuel tax relief?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if the solution were that easy and that simple, obviously it would be attractive to jump at it.

    I would point out that the federal excise tax has not changed since 1995. The GST rate has not changed since 1991. There is no increase in rate that is imposed here by the Government of Canada.

    In the course of the last two weeks, the difference in terms of the GST is purely a penny a litre. We have to find a better solution.

  +-(1135)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Industry showed her lack of interest in the concerns of consumers over the gasoline price increase and, more importantly, she showed that she and her government have no intention of assuming their responsibilities regarding this issue.

    Considering that there are solutions, and considering that we are about to pay $1 for a litre of gas, what is the government waiting for to recognize that there is a major problem and to finally create what everyone has been waiting for, namely a petroleum monitoring agency?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the direct initial responsibility for action in relation to consumer prices has historically been the purview of the provinces.

    Where matters cross the line from purely civil matters to be potentially criminal or in restraint of trade, or anti-competitive behaviour, that falls within federal jurisdiction. That is the purview of the Competition Bureau.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, instead of merely parroting what he was told to say, why will the minister not listen to the former commissioner of the Competition Bureau, Konrad von Finckenstein, who said, and I quote “... the current legislation does not provide the bureau with the authority to conduct an industry study ... Such a big industry picture study should not be conducted by an investigatory agency, but rather by a neutral agency.”

    In light of these comments, what is the government waiting for to finally act and set up a petroleum monitoring agency?

+-

    Hon. Claudette Bradshaw (Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is very concerned about the price of gasoline. However, I should mention that the Competition Bureau is currently conducting a review of the price of gasoline. Therefore, it is important to let it continue the work that it was asked to do by the Government of Canada.

*   *   *

+-Shipbuilding

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Industry tried his best, such as it was, to cover up the unacceptable attitude of the Minister of National Defence, who is saying that the new supply ships will be built in Canada if, and only if, a competitive environment exists.

    Can the Minister of National Defence confirm that such a statement leaves the door open for these three ships to be built overseas?

[English]

+-

    Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated in the past, the ships will be built in Canada should a competitive environment exist. That is completely consistent with the federal government's shipbuilding policy. The response that I have heard generally from the Canadian shipbuilding industry with respect to this issue has been very favourable.

    I was very disappointed when the Bloc did not support a defence committee report two years ago that called for the acquisition of these three new supply ships. I was very disappointed indeed.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, today, while the Prime Minister is in Lévis, will the Minister of National Defence put an end to this ambiguity and state whether or not these ships will be constructed in Quebec, thereby creating 1,200 jobs over several years? Yes or no?

[English]

+-

    Hon. David Pratt (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should have a little bit more faith in the Canadian shipbuilding industry and a little bit more faith in Canadian workers.

*   *   *

+-Citizenship and Immigration

+-

    Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it has been 25 hours since the Supreme Court ruled that John Schneeberger could not appeal any more. He lost all of his appeals to stay in Canada. It is now up to the Deputy Prime Minister to sign his deportation notice for him to get out of this country.

    Is Schneeberger still in Canada? If so, why? When will he be deported?

+-

    Hon. Jerry Pickard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Border Transit), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

    Mr. Schneeberger was involved in the courts and at that point in time no action was possible. At the present time we are taking every priority to ensure that persons reported for criminality are dealt with expeditiously. In this case we will work as rapidly as possible to ensure justice is properly served.

+-

    Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this guy may be in Regina now so I think someone in the House should be interested in that.

    Schneeberger has lost all of his appeals. His victims and their families are terrified until this guy is deported. The government has lost track of 36,000 other deportees. Is Schneeberger about to be lost as well?

    Can the minister stand in the House and promise that Schneeberger will be under surveillance until he is removed from this country for the sake of those women and children that the Liberals always talk about?

  +-(1140)  

+-

    Hon. Jerry Pickard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Border Transit), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government is very concerned about the safety of all Canadians and due process at the same time.

    There is absolutely no question that sensationalizing this case by the member opposite is wrong. We will deal with Schneeberger as quickly as possible. We will ensure every effort is put forward to follow due process.

*   *   *

+-Sponsorship Program

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Liberals shut down the public inquiry into ad scam this week because they said it was “essential to produce an interim report for the public”. But guess what? After two days of useless meetings, they produced sweet nothing: no report, no conclusions, and no recommendations.

    Will the Liberals admit what is now painfully evident to everybody, that the reason they shut down the only public inquiry into ad scam is because they did not want the truth to be known about Liberal corruption before going to the polls?

+-

    Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member is a little mixed up. The public inquiry is moving on, the special counsel is doing his work, and the RCMP is doing its work.

    The public accounts committee has met for many hours and many days, and had to go through many filibusters by this member and the opposition. It has released evidence along the line of summaries of evidence, updates and the working papers, that have removed the partisan games that that member and his party have been playing.

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, is that not interesting? The public accounts committee is shut down after 11 weeks of hearings, before we have heard from 90 witnesses, and the public inquiry will take two years before it reports. That is long after an election.

    In terms of filibustering, my question is this: If the government really wanted to continue the committee's work, as the Deputy Prime Minister said five times this week, why then did it vote against continued hearings, continued evidence, and hearing from more witnesses from Monday through Friday of next week? Why did it vote to get out of Ottawa rather than to get to the bottom of the ad scam?

+-

    Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government and the Prime Minister immediately put into effect the public inquiry, the special counsel, the RCMP to do its work, and the public accounts committee to get to the root of the problem. This member and many of his colleagues filibustered and wasted a lot of hours in committee, and lost time in committee.

    All the evidence will be on the Internet: summaries of evidence, updates and working papers, removing all the partisanship that this member and his party have included in the public accounts committee.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Electoral Boundaries

+-

    Mr. Jeannot Castonguay (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Federal Court of New Brunswick has reversed the decision of the Electoral Boundaries Commission for New Brunswick that transferred certain municipalities from the riding of Acadie—Bathurst to that of Miramichi.

    Can the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform tell us if the government will respect this ruling or if it will appeal?

+-

    Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the Liberal government remains very strongly attached to minority rights and is their best defender. Moreover, we have introduced a democratic reform program that will provide a forum for committees and members of Parliament. The members of the Standing Committee on Official Languages themselves, were unanimous on the issue.

    I am pleased to announce today that the government has decided not to appeal the Raîche case.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Equalization Payments

+-

    Hon. Lorne Nystrom (Regina—Qu'Appelle, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan is still being penalized by an equalization formula and the recent $120 million payment to the province is welcome, but it is only a fraction of the $300 million that is owed Saskatchewan by the federal government. A fair formula would mean an extra $150 million a year for the province.

    My question is for the Minister of Finance, who is from Saskatchewan. Not if, but when, is this injustice going to be corrected on behalf of our province?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to be able to make the correction that has indeed resulted in the ex gratia payment of $120 million thus far.

    The Premier of Saskatchewan has indicated that he thinks there are some other anomalies, some other issues that need to be addressed, in the functioning of the existing formula. I have undertaken to pursue an examination of those issues with him and with his officials. That process has started.

    Federal and provincial officials have been meeting in the last couple of weeks. I hope that if there are further mistakes that need to be corrected, we can find them quickly and ensure that they are corrected.

*   *   *

  +-(1145)  

+-Government Assistance

+-

    Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP): Mr. Speaker, as Acadians and non-Acadians gather this summer to celebrate 400 years of l'Acadie, the magnificent musical adaptation of Antonine Maillet's novel, Pélagie, begins its journey on the Canadian stage.

    Pélagie, chronicling the epic journey from deportation to the U.S. and back to Acadia, is currently showcasing in Toronto and Ottawa theatres. Tragically, Pélagie will not arrive at its final destination in Nova Scotia next door to historic Grand Pré because the federal government has unbelievably pulled funding at the eleventh hour.

    Would the government today reverse that decision so Pélagie can be--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Labour.

+-

    Hon. Claudette Bradshaw (Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the celebration of 2004 is very important to all of us. I will take her question under advisement and personally speak to the minister on her behalf.

*   *   *

+-Public Service

+-

    Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Canadians who do not live near Ottawa are not even allowed to apply for half the jobs posted on the government's employment website, www.jobs.gc.ca.

    Most postings exclude the majority of Canadians based upon geography using postal codes as the determining factor.

    This produces some very unfair results. For example, people from the urban part of the Town of Greater Napanee can apply for jobs because their postal code begins with K0J, but people from Selby, which is in the rural part of Greater Napanee, are not allowed because their postal code begins with K0K.

    What is the rationale for this arbitrary policy?

+-

    Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this issue has been discussed at great length with members on all sides of the House and I have repeatedly offered to sit down and go through this with members.

    The reality is that the policy has been in place since the late sixties, simply as a cost control measure. People who are looking for advancement in the public service are not covered by this. This is simply for positions of new entries into the public service.

    Having said that, the Public Service Commission is working on some new recruitment tools. It has done a lot of work on it and is about to launch a form of e-recruitment that will allow it to take applications from all across the country, but it is always weighing cost--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Lanark--Carleton.

+-

    Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this issue was first raised in the House on February 15, 2001. Virtually every private employer in the country has electronic systems for sifting through electronically received resumés in order to look for key words and reduce the supply of excess resumés down to reasonable levels.

    If these guys cannot get their act together, how long does it take them? How long does it take them to do something that is simple and universally used in the private sector to simply ensure there is fairness and equity in the one institution in the country that should care the most about fairness and equity?

+-

    Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, rather than making these simplistic comparisons with the private sector, the reality is that the government is not the private sector. The government has a responsibility to those people who do apply.

    That is exactly why the costs have grown so greatly. That is exactly why the Public Service Commission, in a very responsible way, is attempting to manage the costs so that it can provide a new and improved service to Canadians.

*   *   *

+-Employment Insurance

+-

    Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, many low income earners are paying into employment insurance but will never qualify to receive benefits. The very lowest income earners can ask for a premium refund but one-third fail to do so. Many of these people are students.

    Will the minister fix this unfairness by creating an exemption from EI premiums for students and low income earners?

+-

    Hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, there have been a series of proposals put forward by members of both sides of the House on how to address some of the anomalies in the employment insurance system.

    There have been a series of worthwhile measures that have been put forward. I have indicated that I would take them into serious consideration as we review the EI Act.

+-

    Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the measure has been recommended by two all-party House of Commons standing committees plus the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, the CFIB, the Hotel Association of Canada, the Canadian Tourism Commission, and the Retail Council of Canada.

    This is not new. This is since 2001-02. The benefits are many and the unfairness to low income earners is obvious.

    Why does the government continue to use low income earners and students for a tax grab?

  +-(1150)  

+-

    Hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we could have an intelligent discussion about the merits of the system, but we certainly cannot have it if we are going to play games with the way that people are contributing to a system.

    May I remind the member that through the measures in the employment insurance system we have witnessed a situation, a set of circumstances, that has seen the unemployment rate drop down to 7.3%. Last month, for example, we saw an increase of an additional 50,000 brand new jobs created. We have the highest participation rate in the OECD countries and our unemployment rate has gone down.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Afghanistan

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in referring to the Red Cross, said that prisoners held in Guantanamo were being treated properly. Today we have a scathing new ICRC report on the conditions of their detention in Guantanamo.

    How could the minister be so confident about the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo, when the ICRC report confirms the exact opposite?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Aileen Carroll (Minister for International Cooperation, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the reports of the Red Cross are always conveyed directly to the government responsible. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has repeated what has been said before in the House. We are satisfied that the Americans are treating all prisoners there in compliance with the Geneva conventions. We have conveyed our views in the past. We have received assurances, which we accept, that those conventions are being applied in a transparent manner.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, that is not all. The situation is also being denounced by Human Rights Watch, which is calling for an investigation into the abuse committed against prisoners and the massacre of Afghan civilians by coalition forces, and particularly Canada's JTF2 Special Operations Forces unit.

    How can the minister keep on making reassuring statements when organizations such as the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch are denouncing the plight of the prisoners and of the civilian population of Afghanistan?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Aileen Carroll (Minister for International Cooperation, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we take very seriously the comments that are conveyed internationally by both the Red Cross and by Human Rights Watch. At the same time, we are working very closely with our American allies in Afghanistan.

    We are cognizant of the situation there. We have a meeting going on in Washington now among the G-8 foreign affairs ministers who are discussing abuses that occurred in Iraq and are conveying their concerns of the appalling nature. At the same time, we commend the most senior levels of the American administration for taking exactly the course of action they should in ensuring that justice will be brought to those who are responsible.

*   *   *

+-International Aid

+-

    Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the government's Taiwan and Tibet policy is driven by China. The Sri Lankan policy is driven by the interest to please the terrorist Tamil tiger group. Their HIV-AIDS initiative is driven by Bono. Obviously, the Liberal government's agenda is driven by outsiders.

    Where is the made in Canada policy the Prime Minister talks about?

+-

    Hon. Aileen Carroll (Minister for International Cooperation, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for that question. Last week when he asked me one, I was confused. Today, I am perfectly clear.

    Let me assure the House and the member that our response with $100 million to the 3 by 5 initiative at the World Health Organization was made in Canada and our response to double our commitment to the global fund for next year is made in Canada by the Prime Minister and the government. We have sent ripples throughout the world from my phone calls today to Britain and Geneva. They are getting the message we are leading.

+-

    Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it was funny that the announcement was made just before the election. On the eve of the election, we now see a Liberal spending orgy. However, these are old recycled policies. Even the Bono 2 road show is a recycled policy. Spend, spend and spend.

    Where is the prudent financial management to which the Prime Minister claims to adhere?

  +-(1155)  

+-

    Hon. Aileen Carroll (Minister for International Cooperation, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me assure the hon. member that this is no a re-announcement and this is no recycling whatsoever.

    In the budget CIDA was given an 8% increase in its overall budget and a commitment was made by the government, dedicated to international development, to continue that increase. There was no re-announcement. This is a clear leadership initiative on the part of the Canadian government with all new money.

*   *   *

+-Infrastructure

+-

    Hon. Elinor Caplan (Thornhill, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for Infrastructure. While I would like to commend the minister for working in partnership with the province of Ontario and the city of Toronto to provide $1 billion for the Toronto Transit Commission, my question is regarding the government's commitment to public transit throughout the greater Toronto area, Ontario and Canada.

    Could the hon. minister please tell my constituents in York region, who are anxiously awaiting the construction of phase one of the York region transit plan, to others who are awaiting the GO Transit expansion and to those communities across Canada that support public transit--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of State for Infrastructure.

+-

    Hon. Andy Scott (Minister of State (Infrastructure), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first, let me take this opportunity to thank the member for Thornhill for her service to country, both here and in Queen's Park.

    Our government is proud of our commitment to funding infrastructure projects that support sustainable communities. That is why we are pleased to support transit projects. Last week, with our partners, we signed agreements for transit improvements worth over $1 billion for Go Transit, as well as another $150 million for rapid transit in the York region, and that work can begin right now.

*   *   *

+-Government Appointments

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, listen to the words of the Prime Minister in March:

    No longer will the key to Ottawa be who do you know. We are going to condemn to history the practice and the politics of cronyism.

    Good words, but let us look at the deeds. The Prime Minister appoints the member for Brampton Centre, special advisor on the Middle East, the member for Vancouver--Kingsway, special advisor on trade and the member for Charleswood St. James--Assiniboia, lieutenant governor of Manitoba.

    Perhaps he had his fingers crossed behind his back when he made this promise. Could I ask the government--

+-

    The Speaker: We will have to continue with an answer. The hon. Minister of Finance.

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it was not entirely clear what the question was going to be, so let me go back to the earlier point by the member who asked the former question about recycled things, things that were borrowed from outside of Canada, and so forth.

    I would note that the proposal from his leader on the front page of the Globe and Mail this morning was drawn directly from the website of the United States of America.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, forget Burger King, the Prime Minister's office is the new home of the whopper in Canada. Listen to the Prime Minister's words,“The best proof of what I am going to do in the future is what I have done in the past”. I hope Canadians look at that record.

    What has he done? He shut down the sponsorship inquiry, invoked closure after six days, brainless photo ops, attack ads, parachuted candidates, patronage appointments, pork barrel politics, no issues, lots of fluff and lots of hype.

    Maybe Burger King is not worried. Where is the beef with the government?

+-

    Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is an old saying in politics that “when you cannot attack the policy, you attack the person”. The response to that was delivered in La Presse two days ago by André Pratte who said that the chaotic public accounts committee inquiry had not shown any credible indications that the political level was implicated. He went on to say that reputation tarnishing was a political tactic, but it was an immoral one.

*   *   *

  +-(1200)  

[Translation]

+-Taxation

+-

    Mr. Gilles-A. Perron (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, BQ): Mr. Speaker, we have learned that the Quebec government is not in a position to make its contribution to the infrastructure program, because it does not have enough money. This is more tangible proof of the tax imbalance.

    What is the Prime Minister waiting for to admit that he has too much money, while Quebec and the provinces have glaring needs? What is he waiting for to finally acknowledge and settle the issue of tax imbalance?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Andy Scott (Minister of State (Infrastructure), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have had great success on both housing and infrastructure projects in the province of Quebec. In fact we have had more success in housing particularly in Quebec than any other part of the country. The province of Quebec has the money to participate in our programs and we are pleased to share in those investments.

*   *   *

+-The Environment

+-

    Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Justice. It has to do with the ineffectiveness of the justice department in enforcing legislation aimed at protecting migratory birds.

    Despite clear evidence of a 116 kilometre-long oil slick found near the Teacam Sea ship, could the Minister of Justice explain why the department did not prosecute, given that the ship's engineer was not able to account for 15,000 litres of used oil captured by satellite imagery and Coast Guard surveillance?

+-

    Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Teacam Sea event which occurred in November 2002 was dealt with last year. The problem of course was using new technology, that is radar satellite technology, and the general reluctance of the courts to accept new technology without corroboration.

    What we are doing now, however, is using the increased surveillance that is coming with the new security measures to improve surveillance, not just for fishing, but also for oil spills at sea on the east and the west coasts. In addition, we have before the House Bill C-34 which will change some of the penalties.

*   *   *

+-Equalization Payments

+-

    Mr. Larry Spencer (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. The minister is constitutionally bound to provide proper equalization payments to the provinces. Saskatchewan has a low PDI and a low GDP and still receives the least in equalization transfers per capita.

    In spite of the $120 million pay back, he still owes for excessive clawbacks on oil and gas revenues and other crown lease clawbacks, sometimes as high as two for one on the dollar.

    When will he stop robbing us of our resources and failing to adequately fund health care and other services and when can I--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Finance.

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would inform the hon. gentleman that the anomalies identified in the equalization formula were presented by Professor Courchesne from Queen's University. We examined his material in that critical period between 1999 and 2001 and found that indeed there were some corrections that needed to be made. We have made those corrections and $120 million is on its way to Saskatchewan.

    Interestingly, every member of the opposition voted against sending the money to Saskatchewan, but we are going to send the money to Saskatchewan and we are looking to see if there are any other mistakes and we will correct--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

*   *   *

+-Health

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, here is some Liberal public health policy. First Liberals tell us it is okay to put toxic trans fats in our food as long as it is properly labelled. Now they are slashing the budget of the national anti-smoking campaign and instead the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is forking out $71 million to tobacco farmers to help promote their product in the third world.

    How can this government defend the hypocrisy of cutting funding to the anti-tobacco strategy while suddenly finding $71 million for the tobacco industry to promote itself?

+-

    Hon. Bob Speller (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has recognized that governments over the past number of years have taken action to reduce tobacco smoking across this country. We recognize that those actions have had an impact on rural farm families and rural communities in both Ontario and Quebec.

    The Government of Canada has taken responsibility for its actions that it signed on to under the international protocol on the reduction of tobacco and to fulfill that protocol by doing what the international community told us to do to ensure that these people can adjust.

  +-(1205)  

+-

    Ms. Alexa McDonough: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would request unanimous consent of the House to make a brief statement celebrating the commitment of our colleague, the hon. member for Hamilton East.

+-

    The Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

*   *   *

+-Member for Hamilton East

[Tributes]
+-

    Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the hon. federal member for Hamilton East, a true steel town fighter, a passionate partisan, a devoted wife, mother and daughter, and a ferociously patriotic Canadian.

    When she presented legislation to protect gays and lesbians, a rock was thrown through her office window but she did not back down. When her hometown steel companies were angry about her outspoken support of widowed pensioners, she did not back down. When she was under fire from Mulroney's Conservatives, the rat packer did not back down, although she did jump over a chair or two.

    When her critics, among them New Democrats, forced her resignation over the GST, she did not back down, although I backed down from running against her in Hamilton East because I knew that would be folly.

    When her own party conspired to oust her, she did not back down.

    The hon. member for Hamilton East launched her leadership campaign in Canada's first Tim Horton's to demonstrate her commitment to speak for ordinary people.

    In her beloved hometown of Hamilton, she is best known for her devotion to new Canadians, always seizing the opportunity to lobby for family reunification, to amend Canada's arcane immigration laws and to open doors to employment and education opportunities. For this alone, her presence on the national stage will be sorely missed.

    I know the member for Hamilton East loves this place, and she should leave knowing that more members than she knows, love her, will miss her and celebrate her compassion, her chutzpah and her devotion to our Canada.

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me say, on my own behalf and on behalf of colleagues on this side of the House, that today is a very significant day in the history of our country as it may be the final appearance, for now, of the hon. member for Hamilton East in this Chamber.

    She has been associated with many vital causes over the course of a very long career in public life, both provincially and federally. I think of her role in defending the steel industry, perhaps not one that one would naturally associate with a member of her kind, but she took that issue and every issue related to it on with great verve and determination.

    Her defence of Canadian culture is something that must stand out in a very colourful career. She took on all comers in terms of making sure that Canadian culture was defended and promoted, not just within Canada but internationally.

    She always argued for inclusion, for making people of various backgrounds, cultures, languages and heritages feel at home and included in her country.

    The member also spoke with passion about her love for Canada. That is a love that she wore on her sleeve everywhere and all the time. She was always able to mount a passionate public speech at the drop of a hat in the defence of her country. She was always anxious to find the practical tools and vehicles by which all Canadians could tell our colourful Canadian stories to each other and to the rest of the world.

    Most recently, in terms of cabinet roles, the hon. member was the minister of Canadian Heritage. I can think of no other legacy that would be more important or perhaps more appropriate to her than to be associated in a lasting and very profound and memorable way with Canadian heritage. She has been a defender of it and a promoter of it every minute of her life. We are proud of her.

  +-(1210)  

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is also my pleasure to rise to pay tribute to the member for Hamilton East today in case this is her last appearance in the House.

    I arrived here in 1993 and already the member for Hamilton East was an icon in Liberal circles at the time and certainly was a focus of attention.

    I will tell a quick story, if I may. In those days there were no time limits on the responses that ministers gave in the House. While we were all kind of new, sitting down at that end of the House, I remember she got up and tore a long strip off all of us in the Reform Party and told us all what was wrong. At the end of it all, most of us were kind of shaken and upset. Herb Grubel, a member at the time, turned to us and said “You know, I like her, she's feisty”. It was a great moment, and it is true.

    If I could summarize from my perspective the things that I remember about the member's career it would be feisty, fighter and passionate. Although sometimes we had disagreements on this side of the House with some of the policy initiatives, we never doubted her commitment to Canada or to her constituents of Hamilton East. That was never in doubt.

    We thought we had the first example of a publicly driven recall campaign when the hon. member resigned her post and then had to run for re-election in a byelection in Hamilton East. We thought that was our moment but it ended up being another lesson for us to learn at that time, which was that one does not take on the member for Hamilton East at the drop of a hat and that one does not do it lightly.

    I know we have not seen the end of her public involvement and her public commitment but we will miss her in this place. She added a certain dynamic that is not here in spades. We appreciate her commitment to Canada, especially her passionate defence of women's issues, ethnic minorities and Canadian culture.

    I wish her well in whatever may come. I know her family will appreciate seeing her a little bit more but we will be the lesser for not having her in this place.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to pay tribute to the hon. member for Hamilton East, whom I did not know before being elected here, in 1993. For the 10 years that I have known her, she has shown, through her work, that she could face all kinds of challenges.

    I remember that when I first came here, I was my party's critic on environmental issues. She must also remember it. She showed me how energetic a person she was. She is a tremendous fighter. I learned a lot from working with her. Even though we do not necessarily share the same vision regarding Canada, colleagues still respect one another.

    I want to congratulate her on her work in promoting the cause of women, in ensuring that more women enter politics. I hope that, even if she does not sit in this House, she will continue her work, because there should be more of us women here. I know that she cares a great deal about this issue.

    Again, I congratulate her for her work in this area and I wish her good luck and a happy life.

[English]

+-

    Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me thank the member for Halifax for her thoughtful initiative today. I want to add my words of thanks to the member for Hamilton East for the fine contribution she has made to Parliament and to the development of good laws for Canada and the global community.

    In her role as minister of the environment, I cannot think of a more exciting period in the last 10 years on the Hill because of the measures that she introduced at that time, particularly the one that dealt with the removal of manganese from gasoline.

    She then went on to become the minister of Canadian Heritage. I would like to thank her for the tremendous work that she did in strengthening Canadian identity, in strengthening cultural policies and for the respect that she had for all of us at UNESCO in Paris by putting Canada on the map on culture.

    I join my colleagues in this tribute to pay homage to her and I want to say how glad I am that in her remarks today she said “au revoir” and not “adieu”.

  +-(1215)  

+-

    Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, thank you for recognizing me. I sent you a little note and I said I would like to speak on behalf of the rat pack caucus.

[Translation]

    I was elected at the provincial level in 1981, at the same time as the hon. member for Hamilton East. As luck would have it, we shared the same office at Queen's Park and the same facilities. My children grew up with their drawing books on the corner of the desk of the hon. member for Hamilton Centre, as the riding was then called at the provincial level. In a way, we grew up all together. My children grew up, but she and I also grew up. I have only one sister, but I feel as if, over the past 25 years, I have had two. I also feel that I will still have two in the future.

    The people of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell and all those who represent minorities in Canada, whether it is linguistic minorities or any other minority, were well served by the hon. member. Whether it is the Alfred College in my riding, which was threatened with closure following certain measures taken by the then Harris government, or other groups which needed her help, she was there. And I am only referring to one riding.

    It was the same thing from coast to coast. The minister, and now hon. member, always had time for these minorities. Groups were never too small or unimportant. She was always there for them.

[English]

    As she begins these next years, I for one, on behalf of my entire family and my constituents, wish her our best. She left once before and came back. Members may recall that on the day of her return I put a bouquet of flowers on her desk. I have a feeling I will do that again.


+-ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Canadian Forces Housing Agency

+-

    Hon. David Price (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, two copies of the 2002-03 annual report of the Canadian Forces Housing Agency.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Government Response to Petitions

+-

    Hon. Joe Jordan (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to one petition.

*   *   *

+-Report of Team Canada Inc.

+-

    Hon. Gar Knutson (Minister of State (New and Emerging Markets), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) of the House of Commons I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Team Canada Inc. annual report 2003.

  +-(1220)  

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney: Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations amongst the parties and I believe if you seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following motion, which reads, “that this House of Commons recognize that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious intolerance are destructive social forces that threaten the multicultural fabric of our nation; affirm that the wilful incitement of hatred toward an identifiable group is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada; and, therefore urge the Government of Canada to ensure that the Saudi cleric Sheikh Abdal-Rahman al-Sudayyis, who has abused his religious authority to publicly promote hatred and call for the destruction of the Jewish people, not be permitted to enter Canada”.

+-

    The Speaker: Does the hon. member for Calgary Southeast have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

*   *   *

+-Petitions

+Marriage

+-

    Mr. Murray Calder (Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I have three petitions that I would like to present. The petitioners ask Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

*   *   *

+-Fisheries

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to table this petition on behalf of several hundred constituents in my riding. They are concerned about the situation on the Fraser River with regard to the salmon fishing that takes place there and the reluctance of the federal government to either give the resources necessary or to use the resources at its disposal to control the illegal fishing that goes on from time to time on the river.

    They are calling on Parliament to use all possible legislative and administrative measures to enforce the Fisheries Act pertaining to the salmon fishery on the Fraser River.

*   *   *

+-Natural Health Products

+-

    Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present three petitions on behalf of the people of Edmonton Southwest and the surrounding communities.

    The first petition deals with natural health products. These petitioners call upon Parliament to provide Canadians with greater access to non-drug preventive and medicinal options, as well as information about these options, and to sanction the personal choices of Canadians by clarifying the currently vague definitions of food and drugs in the outdated 1927 and 1952 Food and Drugs Acts.

    They also call on Parliament to pass Bill C-420.

*   *   *

+-International Aid

+-

    Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my second petition deals with the Beads of Hope campaign, an excellent campaign across Canada which was spearheaded by the United Church of Canada. These petitioners call upon Parliament to pay down the debt and decrease the amounts of debt outstanding to third world nations.

    They also call upon us to deal with the HIV-AIDS situation in these developing nations. They call upon Canada to increase its official development assistance to meet the 0.7% of gross national income, something which was endorsed in a parliamentary committee by all parties. They ask us to double the funding to the federal government's domestic program, the Canadian strategy on HIV-AIDS, to address the situation here in Canada.

*   *   *

-Marriage

+-

    Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the third petition deals with the definition of marriage. It is signed by hundreds of people from Edmonton and the surrounding communities. These people call upon Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of traditional marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

*   *   *

+-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 Deputy Speaker: Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.


+-GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994

     The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-34, an act to amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, be read the third time and passed.

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: Are there any further questions or comments to the hon. member for Red Deer, or was he giving an answer?

+-

    Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I was answering a question. I did not have an opportunity to answer it.

    If we can think back to what the questions were, they were about public consultation. The parliamentary secretary had indicated that there had been enough public consultation. I am just going by the government officials that we heard who had said they had not consulted with the public on these amendments.

    I also wanted to let him know that in talking to several lawyers, there were two international acts that they believed this bill would contravene. These were acts that the Canadian government had signed. He had indicated that it had been taken care of but obviously it had not.

    He made reference to the fact that the million dollars would apply for a duck hunter who took two extra ducks. What a foolish thing to say. Obviously, had we been allowed to put amendments forward, we could have covered off the duck hunters and the person who takes an extra trout. We could have covered them off.

    We are talking about companies, ship owners, and big ships dumping oil in the ocean. To introduce the concept of duck hunters being fined if we had a minimum fine, I really do not know what he might possibly have been smoking to come up with an answer like that. Not to impugn anything on him, but that is pretty ridiculous.

    Finally, he said there were no concerns. Well, if we did not consult the public and we did not consult the constitutional lawyers and international law, there are questions.

    We support the bill because it is really our legislation that we wanted two and a half years ago. It is great legislation, but why bring it in so late? Why bring it in when the Senate has been shut down and the Senate cannot approve it? Why would the government do this and let the Senate go home so that it cannot become law?

    Those were the points to clarify the answers to those questions.

  +-(1225)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to this bill, an act to amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

    The purpose of the bill is to ensure that, when ships cause environmental disasters, we have a mechanism that would alert all ship owners and users so that other environmental accidents can be avoided. We have to avoid disasters like the Exxon Valdez oil spill or any other situation that might not have as great an impact but still has an adverse effect on the environment.

    As early as the second reading stage, the government had support from the opposition and the various parties to pass this bill as quickly as possible. What is surprising however is that closure was invoked in committee and no witnesses could be heard. Representations were made, for instance, by representatives of the Shipping Federation of Canada, SODES, which is the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council, and Ducks Unlimited, who have serious environmental concerns. These people would have liked to express their views on some of the provisions of the bill that might need to be improved or amended.

    Clause 9 will be my only example. It sets the maximum fines for anyone responsible for an ecological accident involving a ship. No minimum is set, however,

    Members of the committee would have liked to have been able to make representations for setting a minimum fine, so that a clear signal would be sent to companies that this is unacceptable and carries a very heavy fine. This would have conveyed the message that every possible means must be taken to avoid such accidents.

    During the debate, the parliamentary secretary indicated that he had a reason for this, and that it was to save individuals from having to pay huge fines. This is the sort of thing that ought to have been debated during the parliamentary committee meetings. Had it been, we could have reached a conclusion, based on what we heard there, to have a certain level of fine for corporate bodies and another for individuals. By so doing, we would really have achieved the desired result, which is to make companies clearly aware that they will have to assume responsibility for environmental accidents and that, if they do not, they will be hit with a very substantial fine.

    This bill will certainly give rise to a considerable amount of case law. Representations will be made in this regard. If the conclusion is reached that the fines are too low, depending on the approach taken by the judge and on the situation, the opposite message to the one originally intended may be conveyed. What we want to make very clear to people is that we want to invest in prevention, and that doing so will be cost-effective, because the fines are very much a reality and a single accident will result in a very hard hit financially. If the fine imposed is insignificant, it sends the message that everybody can continue as before.

    So we would have liked to discuss this in committee. The bill has not been hanging around for months; I believe we started to look at it last week. It moved to committee very quickly, but there were no witnesses. Why such haste? It is true that it is important to pass a bill on this, but why in such a rush? Why was it not introduced a year or more ago? I see a connection with the election deadline.

    Several months ago, a fine of $120,000 was levied against CSL, formerly owned by the Prime Minister, for having discharged ballast off the coast of Newfoundland. Following this blot on the record of the companies he ran, the Prime Minister wanted to find a way to deflect the response. Suddenly, it became important to pass a law, after it was discovered that the company had been convicted and that there was a black mark on the record of the Prime Minister's companies.

    Despite this situation, the bill must be passed. We all know the importance of avoiding environmental accidents at sea. I represent a riding along the St. Lawrence River; one of its notable features is the Île du Pot-à-l'eau-de-vie, where there is a magnificent eider duck site that deserves to be protected, as it has been for a number of years.

    We must all work together to ensure that these situations can be avoided, and that this kind of accident does not recur. Moving forward must be our goal.

  +-(1230)  

    I would like to recognize the hon. member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, our environment critic, for all the work he has done. Today he is being recognized for his environmental concerns. He has also become a resource person for all Quebeckers who want to see progress, whether on the issue of GMOs or the widening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, with all the ecological repercussions that entails. In my opinion, the hon. member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie is a very competent and effective spokesperson in all the various sectors involved.

    Personally, I would also have liked the bill to address more than environmental accidents at sea. We are discussing amendments to the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. In my riding, there are problems with the disappearance of the bird sanctuaries covered by this act.

    Perhaps this could have been an opportunity to put more teeth into the bill to ensure that consumers are protected in that situation and that hunters and people who use natural spaces for ecotourism can do so to full advantage. We must avoid the current situation; sanctuaries are being eliminated, even though there is no need to do so.

    We must ensure that the legislation is strong enough to protect us in this regard. However, this is not the case in the bill, because, in the rush, the government targeted only one element to rectify. Also, there could have been something in the bill to improve the way the government compensates farmers who are penalized by movements of migratory birds that eat what they have planted on their land.

    There have been complaints on this for a long time, particularly in the region that I represent. Indeed, we had to fight hard to receive adequate compensation. It would have been appropriate to more forward with this bill to include more provisions in this regard.

    Consequently, we wish there had been the same desire to act quickly on the employment insurance issue. Unlike this sector, a committee of members of this House had already tabled a recommendation three years ago. It was a unanimous report in favour of a real reform of the employment insurance program. This reform never became reality.

    With regard to migratory birds, the committee did not make any prior recommendations, but a conclusion may be drawn very quickly, because there was an order from the Prime Minister's office—this is quite obvious—to find a way to hide the truth about what happened in the incident that led to CSL's being fined $120,000 for dumping bilge water off Newfoundland.

    Finally, this bill ensures that there is additional protection. Probably in the coming months and years, the government will realize that the absence of real work in committee has led to holes in the legislation and it will be forced to correct it. This is the sad reality.

    Despite all, between having no legislation and having this one, it is better to pass this one and to allow it to come into force as quickly as possible.

    My colleague was lamenting the fact that the Senate will no longer be sitting. It is all a matter of dates. It will depend on the date the election is called by the Prime Minister. However, if my colleague really wants this bill to be adopted, I hope that he will not hide behind the fact that he would have had the House of Commons adopt the motion in the full knowledge—this would really be cynical—that it would not be adopted by the Senate because it would not be sitting.

    I think that there is a possibility that the Senate will sit next week. Let us make sure that the bill is adopted because overall, it is a situation that should be corrected. We have to send a clear message to the shipping companies and let them know that we are promoting a zero tolerance program, that there will be full prevention and that this will allow us to prevent environmental accidents at sea.

    As I was saying earlier, such an accident has major consequences at sea, but the consequences would be just as bad in the St. Lawrence estuary and on the other Canadian coasts.

    It is important that the bill go all the way. However, it should not be an election ploy. We have to change the current situation to ensure adequate protection and to meet the objectives of the bill, not just the Prime Minister's electoral objectives.

    I would now like to remind the House that the Bloc Quebecois will be supporting this bill that would help to significantly improve the situation.

  +-(1235)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP): Mr. Speaker, like all parties in the House, the NDP supports the legislation. I suppose the hypocrisy of the situation is that since the 1970s we have worked in this area on the need to buttress the laws that we have to protect the environment around the Atlantic coast in particular.

    The problem we have today is that we have legislation before the House, an almost empty House, on the verge of an election.

    Earlier this week the government was actually trying to convince our party and I think some of the other parties that the legislation had some chance of getting through both the House and the other chamber before the election was called. We can see the absolute unlikelihood of that happening in that everybody knows the election will be called between this coming Sunday and the next, and that the Senate has already adjourned. It has gone.

    There is absolutely no chance for this legislation to pass, in spite of the representations by the Minister of the Environment or his department and the government generally, even though environmental groups have desperately wanted the strengthening in this legislation for decades.

    It was interesting to listen to the parliamentary secretary today when, in response to some criticism from one of the other parties, he said that they did not want to put it off for another year, when in fact that is what they have done. This legislation, which we badly need and which we have needed for a long time, will not go anywhere.

    In preparation for today I went back and looked at some of the material coming out of the government. We were talking about this problem in 1971. A study was done from 1994 to 1999, more than five years ago, by the same department telling us that we are losing 300,000-plus birds every year. That is no surprise.

    Even though we had a lot of information that preceded that study, during that period of time the study clearly identified the cause: oil was deliberately and with full intent being dumped by ships off our Atlantic coast.

    The government's attitude, in terms of the its lack of responsibility for this problem, is that the U.S. government moved on the problem a number of years ago. The reason that is so significant is that ships coming in from other parts of the world knew that if they went into U.S. waters and did what they were doing in Canadian waters they would probably be caught and be heavily fined.

    What happened, big surprise? The ships did not bother waiting until they got into U.S. water. They dumped their bilge into Canadian waters, which is why the problem is so bad for Canada.

    The Atlantic coast is a major shipping area. Ships move into the area from all over the world, combined with major migratory birds moving through the same area. It is a cataclysmic type of circumstance, and it has been heightened by the fact that the U.S. moved on its legislation much more appropriately earlier than we did, leaving the owners of those ships, their captains, people directing the ships, the opportunity to dump their bilge in our waters, off our Atlantic coast in particular.

    We are faced with the reality that we are going to have another year, and we do not know how many more, of the government, should it get re-elected. The reality is that it has not dealt with it.

    I could not help but think, as I was preparing my comments today, about what would have happened if we would have had a different administration. I want to pay particular tribute to the chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, the member for Davenport, for all of the tremendous work he has done.

  +-(1240)  

    I wonder what it would have been like if the member for Davenport had been the environment minister during the current Liberal administration from 1993 onward. I can say with some degree of certainty that he would have had this legislation before the House a long time ago. The only criticism I have of the member is that his government probably would not have supported him and the legislation probably would not have gone through the House. However he would have pushed for it, and that is to his strong credit.

    The environmental community, across the maritimes in particular, has strongly pushed for this legislation. All of the parties are in support of the legislation. It would increase the fines and it would make it easier for us to get convictions, which has been a problem in the past.

    The one concern I have with the legislation is its administration. Services will need to be put in place to make it possible for the public service to enforce the legislation but I do not see any commitment on the part of the government to put additional resources into play, both in terms of staff and equipment, if the legislation is going to be used effectively.

    However it is definitely a step forward. The tragedy of course is that it has come so late. We will not see this legislation again until we come back in the fall, and we only know by way of speculation what may happen at that point.

    The NDP support the legislation and would very much like to see it in place.

+-

    Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have some brief remarks to conclude the debate. A number of very positive points have been made. I would like to indicate my profound appreciation and express my thanks to the member for Gander—Grand Falls. When we met in committee to hear the presentations by officials a couple of weeks ago, the member for Gander--Grand Falls was present. He was so enthused and impressed by the presentation as to the bill's potential, its desirability and urgency, that he asked the committee to recommend to the House leaders that the bill be dealt with at all stages in the House immediately without sending the bill to the committee for the usual clause by clause examination, the usual hearing of witnesses, et cetera.

    It was that kind of enthusiasm that prompted us to move more speedily with the bill than otherwise would have been possible. Nevertheless, we were not as fast as we would have liked to have been. This raises the question that has been referred to by my colleagues who have spoken so far, namely the member for Windsor—St. Clair, and the member for Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques and the member for Red Deer, namely the role of the other place.

    It is our hope that efforts will be made to convince the Senate Speaker to reconvene the Senate next week and not on May 25 as it has been announced already, so as to deal with the bill and pass it so it can be proclaimed. I am expressing the hope that very intensive efforts will be made to that end.

    The fact that legislation is finally before us only now is certainly a matter of great concern. We were told in committee that the bill required the cooperation of five departments. We were also told that technology and factors related to evidence that is required by the courts made it difficult to come forward with this type of legislation before.

    The bill as it stands now is a combination of two measures, which include the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. It has a number of clauses in it that give the bill particular strengths and muscle. Therefore its implementation looks very promising. We accept the explanation given to us in committee that this could have not been done before.

    Having said all that, I would like to thank all members of the committee for their cooperation in getting this measure before the House today. I express the hope that some sensitivity will be developed in the other house of Parliament, namely in the Senate, so that it can reconvene next week and give the bill the approval it requires and deserves.

  +-(1245)  

+-

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

    Some hon. members: Question.

    The Deputy Speaker: The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: On division.

    The Deputy Speaker: I declare the motion carried on division.

    (Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

*   *   *

  +-(1250)  

+-Quarantine Act

    Bill C-36. On the Order: Government Orders

    May 12, 2004--The Minister of Health--Second reading and reference to the Standing Committee on Health of Bill C-36, An Act to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases.

+-

    Hon. Joe Comuzzi (for the Minister of Health) moved:

    That Bill C-36, An Act to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases, be referred forthwith to the Standing Committee on Health.

+-

    Hon. Carolyn Bennett (Minister of State (Public Health), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it was a little over a year ago that Canada was confronted with a mysterious disease that would go on to claim the lives of 44 Canadians, temporarily cripple the economy of Toronto, and take an enormous toll on this country's public health workers and health care providers who worked valiantly to prevent the loss of more lives. What we came to know as SARS provoked a health crisis unlike any other we have seen in recent years. We made every effort to control the spread of the virus to protect the lives and livelihood of Canadians.

    One of the first steps we took in the days immediately following the outbreak was to deploy Health Canada employees as quarantine officers to provide health assessments for travellers who appeared to be ill or who may have been exposed to the disease. We instituted health alert notices to advise travellers about its symptoms and the steps to take to protect themselves, as well as health alert notices with questionnaires to passengers on incoming direct flights from Asia where the disease originated. The health alert notices were also later available to rail and bus passengers in Ontario.

    As effective as those measures were, we had to face the fact that our current legislation is outdated. The existing Quarantine Act has remained largely unchanged since the adoption of the first Quarantine Act in 1872, a time when automobiles and jetliners were the stuff of science fiction.

    Needless to say, times have changed. We live in an age when people move from continent to continent in hours and days rather than weeks or months, often in airplanes and ships whose confined spaces provide a perfect breeding ground for highly communicable diseases to spread.

    Infectious diseases move like wildfire across the planet today. Diseases do not respect borders, so we know that we will face repeated threats to public health in the future.

    Among the hard lessons learned from the experience of SARS is the need to strengthen our quarantine legislation to help prevent the introduction and spread of both emerging and re-emerging communicable diseases.

    We began that process last June. To address the immediate problems we faced, we amended the Quarantine Act to include SARS on the schedule of infectious and contagious diseases and to prescribe an incubation period of 20 days for anyone exposed to the virus.

    As a result of the regulatory changes, quarantine officers were able to exercise the necessary control over people entering into or departing from Canada and suspected of having SARS but who were not taking the required precautionary measures. It was necessary to take these measures in several cases to protect the health of the public.

[Translation]

    We knew, however, that much more had to be done to ensure we would be able to react quickly to other emerging, and often unprecedented, threats to public health. That is why we thoroughly examined the Quarantine Act. The quarantine provisions were included in a health protection legislative review, as part of a legislative renewal Health Canada had undertaken to achieve and maintain the highest standards of health protection for the benefit of Canadians, today and in the future.

[English]

    We undertook extensive consultations this past winter with provincial and territorial government representatives, health professionals, industry, advocacy groups and members of the public, seeking their insights and advice.

    We heard repeatedly that while the current health protection system has served Canadians well, the time has come to update and integrate our existing laws into a stronger, comprehensive and flexible public health system. That is precisely what Dr. David Naylor as well as the Senate committee which studied SARS recommended we do.

    As a response to concerns about the spread of communicable diseases, we decided to move forward immediately with new quarantine legislation, while the remainder of the health protection legislation renewal continues as planned.

    The legislation before the House today delivers on our pledge to court many of the problems brought to our attention by recent events such as SARS, which underscored how fast and how hard disease can hit our health care system. With Bill C-36 we will replace the outdated quarantine legislation with an improved and modern Quarantine Act so we can better protect Canadians from the importation of dangerous communicable diseases and ensure Canada can meet its international obligations to help prevent the spread of these diseases beyond our borders.

    Where there are incidents of risk to public health, the act continues to allow for public health measures at Canadian points of entry such as: screening travellers entering and leaving Canada, whether by customs officials or detection devices; referring travellers to a quarantine officer who may conduct a health assessment, order a medical examination, vaccination or other measures, order the traveller to report to a public health authority, or detain anyone refusing to comply with measures to prevent the spread of the disease; requiring owners of public transport conveyances, such as jets or ships, to report an illness or death of a passenger before arrival in or departure from Canada; detaining either passengers or conveyances until there is no longer a risk to public health; and inspecting such conveyances and ordering their decontamination or destruction, if required.

    As well, the modernized act we propose would provide the Minister of Health with additional powers. For example he could appoint screening officers, environmental health officers and analysts as well as quarantine officers; establish quarantine facilities at any location in Canada; take temporary possession of premises to use as a detention facility if necessary; and divert airplanes and ships to alternate landing sites. While these powers would only be used in rare instances where circumstances warrant, these changes are essential if we are to keep pace with emerging infectious diseases and protect the health of Canadians.

    I want to assure parliamentarians that even though the legislation will allow for the collection of information for public health purposes, Canadians' privacy rights are guaranteed. While the updated act authorizes the sharing of personal health information, the authorization to do so is limited to what is required to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

    This is what citizens clearly want. They want the assurance that we are taking every possible precaution to prevent the spread of communicable diseases that could put their personal health and the welfare of their communities at risk.

    The updated Quarantine Act will give us an additional layer of protection by providing strong, flexible up to date regulations that will allow us to respond more effectively to ongoing and future health risks while ensuring adequate protection for human rights.

    My colleague, the Minister of Health, and I are extremely proud of the legislation, a critically important first step forward in a series of improvements the Government of Canada is making to strengthen our public health system.

    As hon. members know, in addition to the new health protection legislation, we are moving on multiple fronts, including the creation of a new public health agency for Canada, the appointment of the first ever chief public health officer, and the development of a pan-Canadian public health network founded in five regional centres of collaboration across the country.

    These innovations ensure better communication and collaboration among partners and will build on the expertise and strengths we already have in many areas of public health and communicable disease control to ensure Canadians are safeguarded by a seamless public health system throughout the country. Taken together, they will help ensure that Canadians are fully protected from outbreaks of emerging diseases such as SARS and whatever else awaits us in the future.

    Given that we cannot predict what the next infection will be or when it may surface, we need to be ready, so we need this improved legislation now. By introducing a new and modern Quarantine Act, Canada will be better positioned to respond to any and all potential threats to the health and well-being of our citizens.

    It is clear that the health and safety of Canadians is a priority of the government. Canadians expect no less. With the passage of the progressive legislation we are debating today as part of the larger public health strategy, I am confident we will not let them down.

  +-(1255)  

    

[Translation]

    With the passage of the progressive legislation we are debating today as part of the larger public health strategy, I am confident we will not let them down. Thank you for your attention.

[English]

+-

    Mr. James Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this is important legislation and I think we all appreciate that. The response to last year's SARS outbreak was of great concern to Canadians and caused a great disruption to society. The public is expecting the government to respond appropriately.

    We have had the Naylor report. We are promised the new Canada public health agency, headed by a new chief public health officer. We understand the minister is moving to establish that new agency. We hear it will be in Winnipeg, and that is good. We need to centralize our information gathering and coordinate our efforts in this regard.

    We are still waiting to hear on the appointment of a new chief public health officer, but it has been some time in coming together. I think that Canadians will probably welcome those developments. Hopefully they will fall into place soon.

    It is surprising that legislation as important as this would be tabled on what probably is the last day of the 37th Parliament.

    There are some members protesting, saying that they do not know. For the skeleton crew that is left defending democracy here, it seems quite clear that we are on the edge of an election.

    We had a request come forward from the government side that perhaps the legislation might be considered as having come from committee, as if it had been through second reading and returned from committee without amendment. I can assure everyone that we are not prepared to make such a rapid response on legislation as important as this. It is very complicated legislation and it would give extraordinary powers to health authorities and health officers to detain, to hold up equipment, to quarantine and isolate people for extended periods of time on a suspicion that they may be carrying something, even if they are healthy.

    There are some very alarming components to this. Under the proposed legislation, people have the right to be examined again by an independent doctor within seven days if they have been put into quarantine and then again in another seven days. However, there is no provision for compensation. People have to pay for their own medical examinations. I do not know if there is any discussion in the legislation about who will pay for the accommodations where people are quarantined.

    An aircraft, for example, can be put it into isolation, or quarantine or some place for disinfection. The government proposed that it would be willing to compensate the aircraft carrier for the damages to its equipment, but there is no compensation for the loss of that equipment, which may be millions of dollars for who knows how long. There are some serious issues associated with the regulations. We will want to talk about some of the provisions in a cursory way because it is far beyond what we can discuss in the limited time available.

    I want to raise another issue relative to this. It comes out of the fact that the quarantine act was part of a comprehensive health legislation review that was promised by the government, which included radiation emitting devices, the Food and Drugs Act, the quarantine act and the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act. We understand the need for urgency on a quarantine act, but I want to protest on another aspect of this.

    We had six years of work going into revisions on the Food and Drugs Act to create a new third category for natural health products. We worked all those years on this program to bring in regulations for natural health products, an issue that is important to many Canadians and that affects the whole range of building health and bodies, including one's ability to respond to infectious disease. Yet when the government brought in all these regulations on natural health products in January of this year, it used as a pretext for the reason that there was this new comprehensive review coming of health legislation for not creating a third category in the middle for natural health products. Therefore, it was not practical or possible to provide the simple change to the Food and Drugs Act that would have created a new third category for natural health products so they would be regulated not as food and not as drugs.

    On the one hand, Canadians were led to believe, after six years of review and promises to Canadians, that a third category would be created in law so natural health products would be regulated not as food and not as drugs, but as physiologically active agents, natural components that promote health. However, they would not be regulated as drugs. The government reneged on that promise because this comprehensive legislation was coming. All of a sudden it can pull the quarantine act out and in one day bring in legislation and expect it to go through the House.

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    It is disappointing for Canadians, certainly the ones who are interested in natural health products, to feel embarrassed and betrayed by a government that does not want to give them the legislative framework that would allow natural health products to take their rightful place, but it can fire in a quarantine act on the last day of Parliament which has extraordinary powers to isolate Canadians and take them right out of circulation, even if they are not sick.

    Maybe I should read some of the language. Clause 29(2) states:

    The quarantine officer shall provide the traveller with the opportunity to undergo a medical examination by a medical practitioner at least every seven days after the day on which detention begins.

    Going back to clause 21(1), it states:

    A quarantine officer who, after a health assessment, has reasonable grounds to believe that a traveller is infested with vectors may require the traveller and their clothing to be disinfested.

    If someone is required to have this examination, clause 23(3) says:

    The examination must be at the traveller’s expense and conducted in the place where the traveller is detained.

    Clause 26 of the act states:

    If a quarantine officer, after a medicalexamination, believes--

    I do not think that is proof, it is believes and is kind of open to interpretation. It goes on:

--on reasonable grounds that the traveller has a communicable disease or is infested with vectors, or has recently been in close proximity with a person who has acommunicable disease or is infested with vectors, the quarantine officer may order the traveller to comply with treatment or any other measure for preventing or controlling the spread of a communicable disease.

    It does not define how this belief is arrived at. It may be that someone has a fever. I am rather concerned that the Minister of Health considers that anyone with a fever is a danger to public health. I do not imagine there is anybody in this room, either in the gallery or in the chamber, who has not had fevers multiple times in their lives. It is the body's normal defence mechanism. Everybody has had a fever, a mild febrile event. It does not define that. Is a fever 98.8o or 99o, or 99.5o or 100o? It is not defined.

    The parliamentary secretary is suggesting it is 37o. We are going to centigrade here and that is another debate.

    Whether it is centigrade or Fahrenheit, it does not define where that fever begins. That leaves it subject to interpretation. Is everybody who has a mild flu or sniffle going to be declared a public health threat? Are they therefore going to be vulnerable to being put in a slammer for seven days? That might be an inconvenience to someone going on their honeymoon or on a trip they have been planning perhaps for a lifetime.

    There are some very serious aspects to the bill that impose on the civil liberties and the right to travel of Canadians. I think the health committee will want to look at these provisions very carefully. I hope that along with these discussions of public health, we will look at other measures to improve public health and air travel and improve the security of aircraft.

    I hope somebody is talking to engineers of aircraft about how they might, for example, install an aircraft duct ultraviolet light, which might eliminate pathogens in circulation. That could be a good public health measure and reduce the risk to all air travellers. I hope somebody will talk about more practical means and not just about incarcerating people with a mild fever.

    There are some serious issues associated with the bill. We will want to look at it closely. I am sure the health committee in the new Parliament will examine this in detail. I hope to have an opportunity to be on that committee. It will be a very interesting discussion I am sure.

    I hope for the sake of Canadians that all avenues of approaching these things will be looked at very carefully before we commit to what can amount to very draconian measures. If they are applied the wrong way, they could be a terrible infringement on the rights of Canadians. It will need to be examined carefully by the health committee. I am sure there will be a call for amendments on this very complicated legislation.

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[Translation]

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    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, today, on what appears to be the last day of the session in the House of Commons, I am pleased to speak on Bill C-36, to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases.

    Mr. Speaker, for your benefit and that of Quebeckers and Canadians, I would simply point out how cynical it is to be debating this bill on our last day in the House. When they read in the title of the bill “to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases”, people will conclude it is very important, and I agree that it is very important to make regulations to prevent the spread of contagious and communicable diseases such as SARS and the West Nile virus.

    But was there any urgency to introduce this bill? Not likely, for the simple reason that the SARS crisis in Canada is more than a year old, and the same it true of the West Nile virus. So, there was no urgency. If there had been, the bill would have been introduced much sooner.

    There was no urgency because, in Canada, the protection of public health is a provincial responsibility. It is as simple as that. Can we blame the provinces for reacting poorly to the SARS crisis or the West Nile virus? No we cannot. I think the provinces had what they needed to cope with such situations. Things like this happen and we have to react. We are glad we got through them, but there is still the threat of a recurrence.

    Why does the federal government want to debate this bill today, the last day? This bill repeals and replaces the Quarantine Act. Its purpose is to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases in Canada. It is applicable to persons and conveyances, such as planes or boats, arriving in Canada. That is why it was called the Quarantine Act. That was the federal government's only responsibility.

    Why change the title of the act? Is it for good press, to look good, to say that they have legislation to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases? Public health safety is a provincial responsibility. What the government is doing today—before calling an election in a few days—is trying to look good and get good press in case something terrible such as another SARS crisis happens during the campaign, in which case it will be able to say that it did something.

    The only thing the federal government has done since SARS and the West Nile virus is to support the provinces, which is its responsibility. It did what it had to do. The problem is that when it wants to discuss these matters on the international stage with other countries, it is not Canada that is responsible for public health, but the provinces. Such is the harsh reality.

    This is why we are debating in the House today, at the last minute, a bill that tries to tell those who read it that it aims at preventing the introduction and the spread of communicable diseases and that the responsibility for doing so will rest with the federal government, when all of this is completely false. In reality, public health is a matter of provincial responsibility. This is how things work in the Canadian federation.

    I have no problem talking about it. The problem is that we want to skip all the steps in the discussion of this bill. However, to look good and to get good press, we still need a consistent text. The government has given itself new powers in these areas, and this is precisely what concerns us, the very fact that it is doing so.

    I will quote the short preamble to the bill which says in its penultimate paragraph:

    It contains provisions for the collection and disclosure of personal information if it is necessary to prevent the spread of a communicable disease or, under certain circumstances, for law enforcement purposes.

    We are talking about the collection of personal information. This prompts us to react. We must be sure that the bill does not violate the charter of rights and freedoms. We do not mind personal information being collected, but we have to remember the whole debate on security in air travel that took place in committee and the long list of witnesses we had to hear in order to end up with a respectful piece of legislation. We should not forget either the statements made by the Privacy Commissioner, who expressed a lot of concern. Once again, we are talking about the collection of personal information.

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    Yet they want to get this bill passed without even any discussion in committee, without any chance to hear the new privacy commissioner comment on whether what the bill calls for meets his expectations in terms of the protection of rights and freedoms.

    The last paragraph of the summary reads as follows: “It also provides the Minister of Health with interim order powers in the caseof public health emergencies and enforcement mechanisms to ensurecompliance with the Act.”

    Of course, all interim orders have been thoroughly scrutinized by the Bloc Quebecois for the pure and simple reason that they have the same power as a regulation.

    This means that there is no need to go before the House of Commons, before the members, for a minister to adopt such a measure. As result, this confers extraordinary powers on a minister, particularly where public health is concerned. These powers include acquiring drugs and vaccines and obliging people to take these drugs and be given these vaccines. We have always been opposed to this aspect.

    Do hon. members recall the error made by the former health minister in requisitioning non-patented drugs, supposedly because of the urgency of the situation. There was no measure like this in place at that time. As a result, we were able to bring it to this House and rap the minister across the knuckles for making such a decision without consulting Parliament and complying with the legislation in place, namely the Patent Act of the Parliament of Canada.

    With these measures, a Minister of Health could, in an emergency situation, acquire all manner of drugs for purposes deemed worthwhile by himself. He could break all existing laws because these interim orders take precedence over any other legislation in place.

    Because of this, measures were added to the airline safety legislation, as well as some relating to emergency security, to ensure that at least some measures would go through Privy Council in order to ensure compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the legislation in place, including the legislation governing orders in council.

    You will have understood that the Bloc Quebecois does not agree with the fact that the government is introducing this bill at the last minute, without wanting to send it to committee. However, we agree with the principle of the bill. Nevertheless, it must be sent to committee to ensure that Quebeckers and Canadians do not see their rights and freedoms violated by this bill and to ensure that there will be no involvement of ministers that might compromise the situation that they are in now.

    There is still a filter that we must respect. This bill must be introduced and sent to committee to have witnesses heard. As I said, we would like to hear the privacy commissioner, community health groups and provincial representatives. Of course, the government is giving itself new laws.

    I have no objection with the fact that the government has called this legislation the Quarantine Act. However, it is replacing the Quarantine Act. This is what this bill is all about. Indeed, the enactment repeals the Quarantine Act and replaces it with another. It was a federal responsibility, but the protection of public health is a provincial responsibility.

    We simply want to ensure that we do not find ourselves, yet again, with duplicate jurisdictions and that the government is not going to create another administrative level that will cost money and do what is already being done very efficiently in each of the Canadian provinces.

    I want to go back to my initial point: is this legislation important? The answer is yes. Is this act so urgent that we have to pass it without referring it back to a committee? The answer is no. Because ultimately, if this legislation had been so urgent, it would have been passed immediately after the SARS crisis, or after the discovery of the West Nile virus. The government would have said “Are there measures that we cannot take, but that a bill would allow us to take?”. This is not the case with this bill.

    Canada reacted as it should. The provinces did their job. They looked after the public's health, as they should under the Canadian Constitution. Everyone did what they had to do.

    As regards quarantine, I agree with the government which, is indeed responsible for quarantining people who come to Canada by plane or by ship. There are also other ways to enter the country. Travellers can then be quarantined. I am not opposed to modernizing the Quarantine Act.

    However, it must be done in compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We must not give to public servants or ministers unwarranted powers.

  +-(1315)  

    That is the only issue here. That is why the Bloc Quebecois feels that, when a bill which is important but not extremely urgent is before the House, we should give it proper consideration and send it back to committee to hear witnesses. Some of these witnesses might consider the bill violates our rights and freedoms. As I said earlier, we could hear from the privacy commissioner and other stakeholders and very important witnesses. Community health officials from the various provinces could come and tell us if they see any amendments the federal government could make. That could easily be done.

    The problem is that the government has not been governing in the past six months. This bill could have been introduced as soon as the Prime Minister took office. However, all the government has done in the past six months is try to find the right election date. In the meantime, consideration of all the bills was postponed. We should have addressed this bill. We should have been told more about such an important bill even if it is not extremely urgent. It has to go through all the legislative process and be sent to the committee so that we can hear witnesses to ensure that the public is well protected. That was not done.

    It is being introduced today on the eve of an election. Once again, we worry that another public health crisis might occur, one for which the government has done anything since the last crisis, that is since SARS.

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[English]

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    Mr. Dick Proctor (Palliser, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to have an opportunity to speak in the House, even in the dying minutes of the 37th Parliament of Canada in all probability.

    I am pleased to speak on behalf of the New Democratic Party caucus to put a few things on the record with regard to an act to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases.

    I note that the purpose of Bill C-36 is to protect public health by taking comprehensive measures to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases while ensuring respect for the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Canadian Bill of Rights.

    To that end, the bill aims to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable disease in Canada. It is said to apply to everyone as well as conveyances, travelling both out of Canada as well as entering the country.

    The legislation that is introduced here today is described as an update of the Quarantine Act to address new issues as a result of the spread of new communicable diseases that have come to public light in recent years.

    I am thinking of course of SARS which had such an impact a year ago in Canada; West Nile virus, which seems to affect Saskatchewan more than any other provinces in Canada or at least it did last year; and indeed, the avian influenza that is ravaging the Fraser Valley in British Columbia.

    This bill is also being described as the first step in a series of legislative initiatives to establish a framework for public health including the creation of a public health agency for Canada.

    I suggest that this is certainly long overdue legislation. We note that the Quarantine Act dates back to 1872, a very long time ago, upwards of 160 years. Certainly, it needs to be updated in view of these new diseases that have been identified in recent years and undoubtedly are the forerunner to more and new interesting things that will impact on us in the coming years.

    Under the proposed legislation the minister will gain the power to appoint screen officers, quarantine officers and environmental assessment officers; establish quarantine facilities at locations in Canada; take temporary possession of premises to use as a detention facility when required and necessary; and divert conveyances, airlines, cargo ships, et cetera, to alternate landing sites.

    The stakeholders in all of this include of course the provincial and territorial governments, as the member from the Bloc Quebecois noted in his remarks a few moments ago. It also includes health professionals, industry advocacy groups and members of the Canadian public. We are told they have been consulted on the proposed legislation during the health protection legislation consultations held last year and earlier this year.

    However, it is important to stress that provincial and territorial public health officials have a significant role to play. They, along with other stakeholders, will continue and need to continue to participate in the consultations that will follow on Bill C-36.

    The updated Quarantine Act will add an additional layer of protection by providing strong, flexible and up to date legislative tools that will allow us to respond quickly to prevent the export of communicable diseases. It is also more focused on airline travel rather than marine travel, so we are told.

    Just as an aside, I believe that it was the government of Mike Harris in the Province of Ontario that, a few years ago, eliminated most of the public health officers in that province and said that they were not required any more; that we did not need public health officers in this modern new day and age. We found out, to our chagrin and regret, that it is not the case as a result of pandemics like SARS and West Nile virus.

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    I do not mean to pick on the former government because generally, I think there has been a diminution on public health over recent years across the country. We have come to realize that we should not have let our guard down, so to speak, in this important area.

    Provincial and territorial governments are now seeing the mistakes that have resulted because of that and are ramping up support and finances to ensure that we have a strong public health sector in this country.

    I am optimistic that working together with the provinces and territories we can rebuild public health and take it back to where it once was, but also modernize it so we are up to speed to deal effectively with these potential outbreaks when they come along.

    Some measures, such as those contained in the bill, are obviously needed. Considering the act has not been changed since the late 1800s, some updating is required to reflect the global characteristics of travel that we are coming to see. I am sure the world will continue to become a smaller place in the years to come.

    Another positive point in the proposed legislation is that it recognizes the threat to public health and proposes a way in which to prevent the spread of a communicable disease in Canada as a result of international travel.

    There are also a couple of negatives in the bill that need to be identified. Although the legislation seems to be sound in principle, it does have the potential of leading to abuse of power by officials. We have some concern with regard to the level of authority the bill would appear to give to quarantine officers and screening officers. For example, people suspected of having an illness could be held for an indeterminate period of time. It is not clear from the legislation what kind of compensation would be available for people thus affected.

    There are also gaps in the proposed legislation around the authority to act by the screening and quarantine officers and that needs to be reviewed closely. That includes the right to place travellers in isolation for an indeterminate amount of time.

    Provided that these safeguards are put in place and adequate clarification is provided, we in the NDP consider it reasonable to support the bill. It is long overdue. We do note, as the Bloc Quebecois and the Conservative Party have also indicated, that it is the 11th hour of this 37th Parliament. One cannot help but wonder about the depth of commitment from the government opposite in bringing forward this legislation at such a late date.

    The New Democratic Party caucus supports the principle of the bill. We would favour referring it to the health committee for further study and clarification.

[Translation]

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    The Deputy Speaker: It being 1.30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's Order Paper.


-Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

*   *   *

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[English]

-Employment Insurance

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    Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC) moved:

    That, in the opinion of this House, the government should establish a Yearly Basic Exemption (YBE) within the Employment Insurance program whereby the first $3,000 of earnings is not subject to Employment Insurance premiums, similar to the YBE of $3,500 allowed by the Canadian Pension Plan program.

    He said: Mr. Speaker, this appears to be the last day of Parliament and I am up on the last piece of private members' business. It might be appropriate for me to state at this time that what happens so often in life is that we save the very best for last.

    Motion No. 300 reads:

    That, in the opinion of this House, the government should establish a Yearly Basic Exemption (YBE) within the Employment Insurance program whereby the first $3,000 of earnings is not subject to Employment Insurance premiums, similar to the YBE of $3,500 allowed by the Canadian Pension Plan program.

    This is not a new proposal. It has been proposed or endorsed by groups including: the Retail Council of Canada, the Hotel Association of Canada, the Canadian Tourism Association, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

    This proposal is known as the yearly basic exemption for the EI program. It has been studied by the all party House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, both of which recommended that the federal government consider implementation of this concept.

    The main reason why I believe that the yearly basic exemption would be a very positive measure for government to take is because excessive payroll taxes are recognized to have a serious detrimental effect on job creation, business expansion and economic growth. The service and hospitality industry is labour-intensive and is a major factor in job creation. Anything we can do to reduce payroll burden, particularly for these entry level jobs, is positive.

    The YBE targets payroll tax benefits to those most punished by current EI levies. These include lower income workers and labour intensive businesses. Universal application of the yearly basic exemption makes it fair to all and simple to administer. The way it stands now, employees earning less than $2,000 per year can apply for a full refund of EI premiums. Employees earning more than $2,000, but less than $3,000, cannot apply for a premium refund despite the fact that they have virtually no chance of qualifying for EI benefits due to the number of hours required for eligibility.

    It is a fact that it is highly unlikely that those earning less than $2,000 per year will qualify for employment insurance. The minimum number of insured hours required to qualify ranges from 420 to 700 hours, depending upon the rating for the economic region within Canada.

    For retail, service and hospitality industry jobs, it is likely that $3,000 in earnings will still not be based on enough hours to qualify for EI benefits. These same individuals are allowed an EI premium refund on their first $2,000 of income, but the reality is that one-third or more of these eligible individuals never apply for it and therefore never receive it.

    This premium refund, when it is given, applies only to the employee contribution and not the employer contribution, so essentially what we have is a hardship on low income earners with no benefits, and an increased burden on the business which creates no gain for their employees and is a cost burden to them.

    The yearly basic exemption for EI is consistent with the yearly basic exemption which is already in existence in the CPP and QPP programs. Surely, if it works for the Canada pension plan program, it will work for the EI program. The yearly basic exemption for EI refers to the annual earnings within which premiums are not applied, and I am recommending that this be only for the first $3,000 of earnings.

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    The implementation of this yearly basic exemption requires no change in the calculation of EI benefits and the $3,000 exemption should be included in the contribution base.

    Who would be the major beneficiary of such changes? Students, part time workers and new entrants to the workforce, including immigrants. The latter is a group who the government has an obligation above all else to treat fairly and not to penalize as they are the least well armed and well prepared to deal with government bureaucracy and government forms and complexity.

    I think government should remove the necessity for students and other low income earners to pay premiums in the first place, rather than have them claiming them at tax time.

    Some people argue that unscrupulous employers might terminate employees as they approach the yearly basic exemption threshold of $3,000, as this would add a payroll burden to their costs. However, this same argument is applicable to the CPP and QPP programs, and in that case employers are paying a much higher rate per $100 after the minimum threshold of $3,500 is reached. Yet, this phenomenon has not been a concern and the advantage of the exemption for simplicity of administration has been recognized.

    The Canadian Restaurant and Food Association has been the main proponent of the EI yearly basic exemption, believing that this policy change would increase the disposable income of low income Canadians who also have the highest propensity to spend, while increasing the ability of labour intensive businesses to retain staff.

    People in the business only predict positive outcomes. Predictions of increased staff turnover are incorrect and staff turnover would actually decrease. Most employers in the hospitality and service industry recognize that staff retention, training and upgrading would all benefit from this policy change, and would be a net benefit to the business and the overall industry.

    The 2002 Standing Committee on Finance report predicted that the cost of the yearly basic exemption for EI would be about $2.2 billion annually, which at that time would still have led to annual surpluses in the EI program.

    Since then, the government has added parental and compassionate leave benefits via the EI program. The government has funded the parental and compassionate leave program from the EI program to blunt criticism of its string of surpluses, which has grown to almost $45 billion in a straight line since 1995.

    I would have much preferred to see the parental and compassionate programs funded on their own merit, rather than from an EI program designed to protect workers from unanticipated job loss.

    The yearly basic exemption for EI may not be sexy, but it would have major positive consequences for job creation, business expansion and growth of the economy, and it is still something the government should adopt.

    The finance committee report had some further important points to make. For example, the yearly basic exemption would reduce administrative complexity and ensure that all individuals, not just those who apply for a premium refund by filing an income tax return, are treated equally.

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    The report also noted that the YBE would not only be fairer to workers with low earnings but also to employers because as it is now they continue to pay premiums for those lowest income employees who do end up filing for and receiving a refund for their premiums. Some of them actually do.

    Another observation made to the committee was that the yearly basic exemption will provide a financial incentive to create a bias for full employment because employers will save money by reducing hours instead of reducing the number of employees during recessions. They will also have a natural incentive during good times to save money by hiring rather than relying on overtime. For this reason, the finance committee recommended that the EI Act be amended to create a yearly basic exemption to stimulate consumer spending and employment creation.

    The Standing Committee on Human Resources Development studied the subject of employment insurance in 2001 and summarized its objectives by saying that the EI program should provide adequate access and income support to unemployed workers while maintaining incentives for individuals to secure jobs and invest in skills required in the workplace. Of equal importance, EI should be fair to all premium payers.

    In terms of fairness to ensure that everyone is treated equally, the all party Standing Committee on Human Resources did recommend an EI yearly basic exemption, which would make the EI program progressive in the same way as CPP or QPP. The committee report suggested that the yearly basic exemption be set at $2,000 to be consistent with the current refundable level. The committee clearly saw the benefits to retaining the money in the employee's hands and the employer's hands and simplifying administration.

    Rather than argue whether the yearly basic exemption for EI should be $3,000 or $2,000, I think the principle is what is important to establish and this motion urges the government to consider this positive change.

    The Standing Committee on Human Resources Development did recommend that since the $2,000 limit fails to capture many individuals, especially students, who earn more than $2,000 a year but are unable to obtain enough hours of insurable employment to access EI, the government should consider increasing the current earnings threshold for an EI premium refund to $3,000, as well as to consider converting this refund to a yearly basic exemption.

    These recommendations from the two standing committees and from many other groups are now several years standing. I think at this time the merits of such a program are obvious and I do believe it will occur. I hope to bring some light to this issue and to urge the government into action rather than inaction on this very important and fiscally smart change that could be adopted with very little in the way of complexity.

    I will be interested to hear what the government spokesperson has to say on this motion.

  +-(1345)  

[Translation]

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    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech with great interest. When I read the text of his motion, what I understood was that he wanted to give everybody an exemption for their first $3,000 of earnings. Currently, the act provides for an exemption and a full reimbursement for those who earned under $2,000.

    Is he really proposing that all the contributors be given a premium holiday on their first $3,000 of earnings? That is my first question.

    As for my second question, does he not find it curious that the government, which has had a unanimous report before it for three years, has nothing more than badly developed and temporary proposals to make?

[English]

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    Mr. John Duncan: Mr. Speaker, this is an issue that I find very interesting when we had so many people proposing this and so much buy-in from two all party standing committees in the House of Commons that the government has actually chosen not to adopt this measure.

    There is a suggestion that when it comes to designing programs, to avoid the embarrassment of the EI surplus, the government had choices to make and it chose, first , not to reduce rates to the degree it could have reduced the rate. If it is going to design differences in the way EI applies, the compassionate leave and parental leave programs actually harvest more votes. It targets a group to the point where the government thinks it is more likely that it is going to get some credit for doing this as opposed to following a principle, which I think is more important, which would benefit the entire economy. I think that is the motivation behind how we got to where we are.

    In terms of the current $2,000 refundable limit, the point of the yearly basic exemption is that the government never would have retained this money and so there would be no need to obtain a refund, but once people had reached the $3,000 level of annual earnings, contributions for all would be based on all of their earnings. It is not a holiday for the first $3,000 worth of earnings for those earning more than $3,000.

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    Mr. Murray Calder (Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me begin by applauding the hon. member for Vancouver Island North for his concern for the welfare of unemployed Canadians.

    Given the economic setbacks experienced in the member's home province, anything from softwood lumber to SARS and avian flu, I know how important the employment insurance program is to the citizens of British Columbia.

    As well-meaning as my colleague's private member's motion may be, however, I think it is essential to point out the potential damage it could do to unemployed workers who are already coping with the challenge of losing a job.

    While it may appear that Motion No. 300 is in their best interests, a closer examination reveals that it may not be. There is a very real concern that some of this country's lowest income earners, often part time workers, many of them women, could be really hurt if the motion were adopted. It could actually undo much of the good that we have achieved since reforming the EI program back in the mid-1990s.

    I remind the House that our purpose in updating the legislation was to increase coverage and Canadians' access to the program. Prior to 1996 many part time workers were unable to access EI. Anyone who worked less than 15 hours per week was not insured. That is one of the reasons we shifted to the hours based system. It means that every hour of work now counts toward entitlement. This improvement has benefited seasonal workers and part time workers, many of them women who take time away from the labour force to raise young families. The shift to the first dollar coverage has extended the insurance plan's coverage to an additional 400,000 part time workers.

    One of the other important changes that we made to the program was to emphasize the necessity of a strong workforce attachment. This serves as a reminder that EI provides temporary financial help to unemployed Canadians while they look for work or upgrade their skills, while they are pregnant, caring for a newborn or adopted child, or while they are sick.

    An unemployed worker can only benefit from EI if he or she has earned wages in the previous 26 weeks. The problem is that if we were to exempt the payment of EI premiums on the first $3,000 of income, we would not be able to provide benefits to that amount should anyone become unemployed. That is because the premiums would not have been paid on this income. People have to pay premiums to receive benefits.

    More worrisome, if we agreed to a basic yearly exemption, we would effectively be penalizing the most vulnerable and potentially reverting to the 15 hour job trap that affected a previous generation of part time workers. Evidence indicates that the move to the first dollar coverage eliminated the incentive for employers to restrict employees hours to below the minimum insurability.

    If Motion No. 300 moves forward, part time workers or people holding down more than one job, generally low income workers, would no longer have to contribute to the EI program until they had earned more than $3,000, but they could not draw from the insurance plan either should they lose their jobs.

    Also, if my hon. colleague's intention is to provide a premium refund to low income workers, the motion comes a bit late. We already addressed this problem through the improvements to the program several years ago. As it now stands, employees earning less than $2,000 annually can have their premiums refunded. In 2001 we reimbursed some 859,000 individuals to the tune of approximately $17 million.

    With all due respect for the hon. member of the opposition, it is hard not to be cynical and to question the real motivation behind this motion. Even though at first glance it appears to be altruistic, it seems the only beneficiaries would be businesses looking at ways to cut corners at workers' expense.

    We do not see it as an either or proposition. I can assure the House that our focus in reforming EI has not been exclusively on workers. We have made equal efforts to address the concerns of Canadian business. One way has been to cut the cost of the program, as the private sector has requested. We have reduced premium rates by just under $10 billion, actually $9.7 billion in 2004, over the past decade. EI premiums have declined steadily, benefiting both workers and their employers.

  +-(1350)  

    As my colleagues are aware, our government is determined to do even more. Do not forget that budget 2003 launched consultations on a new permanent rate setting mechanism for 2005 and beyond. The results of these consultations are currently under review. As we reiterated in budget 2004, our intention is to introduce legislation to implement a new EI premium rate setting mechanism that better reflects the economy of the 21st century.

    Until we determine what kind of changes we will make to the premium structure however, it would not only be premature but inappropriate to adopt Motion No. 300.

    That is not all we are doing for business. Recognizing that small and medium sized enterprises are the key drivers of economic growth and job creation, the budget identified a number of measures to help them grow and prosper.

    Industry Canada and its industry portfolio partners will administer a range of incentives and supports to business. For example, to enhance access to venture capital for promising Canadian firms, the government has set aside $250 million for an investment in the Business Development Bank of Canada.

    It is expected that these additional investments will lead to over $1 billion in new venture capital investment in Canada. A further $5 million per year is being committed to the industrial research assistance program to strengthen its support for regional innovations and initiatives sponsored by the National Research Council.

    We have also committed to work with small businesses to reduce the paper burden, understanding this is a serious concern for many firms. To identify and respond to other priorities, they may and we will seek the advice of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to identify the best options for the future support of small business, taking into account limited fiscal resources.

    Equally promising, the Minister of Industry, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister with special emphasis on science and small business, and the new national science adviser have been tasked by the Prime Minister to study the commercialization situation in Canada. They will be recommending a long term strategy to put Canada at the leading edge of commercializing its intellectual property.

    Therefore, there can be no question of the government's commitment to working with business to keep Canada competitive in the global marketplace. Nor is there any doubt that the motion is not the way to go to support either business, the business community or unemployed Canadians.

    I remind the House that various proposals for a yearly basic exemption have been put forward in the past. The idea was debated when EI was developed in 1996 but rejected in favour of first dollar coverage.

    As well, the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities recommended the same concept in 2001, but it was later concluded that this was not the best approach.

    In fact, the 2003 EI monitoring and assessment report tabled on April 27 found that the core elements of the EI program such as an hours based system and the first dollar coverage are working very well.

    I stand proudly behind EI, a pillar of the Canadian social safety net that has served Canadians well for more than six decades. I want to assure this country's workers that I will staunchly defend this vitally important program. I will do my utmost to ensure motions like the one proposed by the opposition member enjoy the same fate as previous efforts to introduce a yearly based exemption.

    In the interest of fairness and dignity of all Canadian workers, whatever their working arrangements, I cannot with a clear conscience support the motion and I strongly urge others to reject it as well.

  +-(1355)  

+-

    Mr. John Duncan: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I may be off base, but is there a question and comment period after I spoke? Is that not the case in this part of the sequence?

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. McNally): There are only questions and comments for the mover of the motion. Resuming debate.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ): Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to speak on this motion. This is not an acceptable proposal, in my opinion, and the Bloc Quebecois will vote against it. A $3,000 basic exemption does not appear relevant, to begin with, for the purposes of the program.

    To me, what is more important is the symbol. The fact is that, today, on this last sitting day of the House, we are debating the employment insurance program, when, for three years now, the government has had the unanimous report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development on a complete overhaul of the program.

    The work has not been completed. After the members made their recommendations, the government simply blocked them as systematically as possible, thus going against the will of the people, as expressed in the 2000 election.

    We will recall that, during the 2000 campaign, a number of elected members in this place, and several of those who will be running again in the upcoming election, made a commitment to undertake a complete overhaul of the employment insurance program to restore its original objective, which was to allow people to have a decent income when they lose their jobs.

    Instead of that, this week, the government hurriedly announced three temporary changes. The first change concerns seasonal workers. In regions with an unemployment rate greater than 10%, the current program will be extended by one to five weeks. This means that seasonal workers in other regions will not be covered. They are still in seasonal industries and are faced with the same reality, but they are not getting the same benefits.

    In the regions affected, of which mine is one, the workers were expecting the federal government to go ahead with a real EI reform, which would have afforded them real protection, dignity and recognition of the status inherent in the seasonal industry. That is not what we are seeing in the government's proposal.

    Especially since the amount allocated for these three measures—they say $125 million or so per year—represents three one-thousandths of the surplus accumulated in the past 10 years. The government is therefore giving back three one-thousandths of the $45 billion stolen out of the pockets of the unemployed, workers and employers to cover the deficit and pay off Canada's debt. It is giving it back to the workers and unemployed—the very people who contributed the most to fighting the deficit. These people did not get tax reductions. When a person earns $20,000 a year, there are no reductions.

    But these people contributed 100% of their salaries, because premiums are paid on income up to $39,000 or $40,000. They are not paid on income beyond that—people earning $50,000, $60,000 or $70,000 do not pay. Thus, they have not contributed to fighting the deficit on this salary. Let us admit it: we members of Parliament do not pay EI premiums; therefore we have not done our part to fight the deficit, as the unemployed, the workers and the employers were asked to.

    It is absolutely unacceptable that the federal government has now decided to put just three transitional measures into the system in order to bridge the gap until the election is over and try to lull the electorate, but this time it will not work.

    The reaction all over Quebec and Canada has been something to see. People thought it was irresponsible and unacceptable. If the government had proposed a real reform, we would not be debating my colleague's motion today. We would have already done all that and we would have a new system.

    What is still missing? There is still discrimination against new, young workers and women who return to the labour force after some being out of it for a while. A young person is asked to complete 910 hours of work, while anyone else in a region like mine can requalify with 420 hours, which means that, if the young person has worked 800 hours and tries to get the other 110 hours in Montreal, Quebec City or elsewhere, he or she will not return to his own region. At that point, the region has lost a resource in which it has invested. That is one reason young people leave the rural regions for the cities.

    There also needs to be a real support program for older workers. The measures announced this week include renewing pilot projects for training people who lose their job and can be retrained. There are people who cannot be retrained. These are people who are 55 or 56 years old, who have worked 20 or 30 years for the same company, such as Whirlpool in Montmagny, which has just closed its doors. These people systematically paid their premiums and never collected employment insurance. At the end of the day, they are told they will get 40 weeks of employment insurance and that is all.

  +-(1400)  

    When they see that a $45 billion surplus was accumulated in the fund, they think that it does not make sense, that it is unfair and dishonest of the current government simply to have transformed their employment insurance system into payroll taxes. They are unhappy about this.

    Seasonal workers are also unhappy. The protection they are being given is like a slap in the face. It is transitional and temporary and will benefit the government during the election. Basically, the government is telling them that it is going to try to buy their votes. People will not be bought by these motions, especially since they are not significant.

    Someone who works 420 hours—in other words, 35 hours a week for 12 weeks—will receive 21 weeks of employment insurance. With the measure and the transitional measures, that person will get 26 weeks. The number of weeks calculated at the start, plus these 26 weeks, does not allow the person to put in his time or to look for work the following year and still continue to have an income. There will be 10 to 15 weeks a year during which he will not have an income. This is unacceptable.

    All this because we have a system that the government has set up to suit itself. People who contribute to the program are employers and employees. The government does not pay. So, when I see a Liberal colleague, as I did earlier, who says that he is opposed to the Conservative member's motion, I think that this is a little hypocritical.

    Indeed, the federal government, which has not been contributing to the program since 1990, has made extensive use of it to build up the surplus. This is why today, when we should have changes or improvements to the program, the government cannot make up its mind. It would have to get the money from elsewhere because it has already spent all of it to pay off the debt.

    This system was implemented under the finance minister, who is now the Prime Minister. He does not intend to loosen his grip. For that grip to loosen, the people will have to send a very meaningful message in the next election. They will have to elect as few Liberal members as possible to get across the message that citizens are not being fooled. They do not accept the proposed changes. They are trivial, inadequate and do not provide what was needed and expected.

    It is not true that, in a government which has all the bureaucratic means available, the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development could not evaluate the 17 recommendations and put on the table the ones that it would have really liked to see implemented. This would have enabled us to examine the whole issue and have a truly reformed program. I think the public will judge the government's behaviour harshly.

    On this last day of sitting, I invite those who are listening to us to question their member of Parliament on this issue, to put questions to the candidates during the election campaign and to see which ones are proposing the measures that they really want. When they elect their member of Parliament, will they be sure that this person will represent their riding in Ottawa, as opposed to representing Ottawa in their riding?

    I think that people are fed up with candidates who get elected and who, the next day, begin to parrot the ideas of a government that does not want to change anything. We had this with the 1993 reform, when Prime Minister Chrétien had pledged to change the program. We also had it in 1997 and in 2000, with the promise to set up a parliamentary commission. Today, there is still nothing that has been done about these commitments.

    I am sure that, after the election, the message will have been heard. The next Parliament will see real employment insurance reform. That is my wish for that system, which makes Quebeckers and Canadians proud, among other things, and was put in place to ensure the social pact between resource regions and industrial regions is maintained, to become again what it was intended to be.

    The government must stop dipping into the surplus in the EI account and the EI contributions to pay off its debt. It is essential that the election result fundamentally change the current situation, where the government is unable to meet its commitments.

  +-(1405)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. John Maloney (Erie—Lincoln, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Vancouver Island North for bringing forward Motion No. 300. The government always welcomes an opportunity to discuss the employment insurance program and seeks ways to improve it. I find it very interesting that the member for Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques went on at great length but failed to address the debate on this motion.

    I know that all members in the House appreciate the importance of employment insurance in providing a key element of Canada's social safety net for more than 60 years. The government is committed to ensuring that it will continue to be there for workers who need it and that it will continue to serve Canadian workers in the best way possible.

    That is why in 1996, following extensive consultations with Canadians, the Government of Canada replaced unemployment insurance with employment insurance to reflect the changing needs of the economy, the labour market and workers. Further, the Employment Insurance Commission committed to monitoring the impacts of the program on people, communities and the economy.

    As a result of this annual monitoring and assessment, the government has adjusted the program from time to time to make it even more responsive. This has involved the following actions: enhancing parental benefits; making small weeks a permanent and national feature of EI; repealing the intensity rule; modifying the clawback provisions; modifying the undeclared earnings rule; and just this year, introducing a new six week compassionate care EI benefit for eligible workers caring for a gravely ill or dying parent, child or spouse.

    Overall, the employment insurance system works. It is there for the people for whom it was intended.

    As the 2003 monitoring and assessment report found, EI continues to perform well with 88% of individuals in paid employment being potentially eligible for benefits if they were to lose their jobs. Eligibility rates for women and men in full time employment are identical at 96%. For part time workers, women have a 16% higher eligibility rate, 57% compared with men at 41%.

    Clearly, the government has adjusted the EI program as required where evidence warrants adjustment. We want to ensure the program is fair and protects those who are most vulnerable. Let us look at the main idea put forward in Motion No. 300, which is to save premium payers money.

    The government is all in favour of this principle and our actions on EI prove it. We have reduced EI premiums for the past 10 consecutive years, from $3.07 in 1994 to $1.98 in 2004. This reduction will result in savings for this year of as much as $6 billion for employers alone compared to the 1994 rate. And in fact, forecast premium revenue is expected to be balanced with forecast program costs as a result of these reductions.

    As a responsible government, we must ensure that the program is sustainable. I know the employer community respects arguments that are based on sustainability and good economic sense.

    This is why the Government of Canada is working closely with labour unions, employers, provinces, territories and sector councils to develop a workplace skills strategy. Key issues will be to examine and improve apprenticeships, literacy training and essential skills upgrading for workers and employer based training.

    As an immediate measure, our recent budget pledged to support the workplace skills strategy by providing new resources for union-management training centres. A three year pilot project will address a growing need to replace outdated equipment and simulators. Through the pilot project, $15 million will be used in the first two years to match employer and union investments in new machinery and equipment in selected training centres.

    The hon. member's motion may seem like an attractive proposition on the surface but I think we owe it to employers and workers to look deeper and to see what possible repercussions there could be if Motion No. 300 were adopted.

    As I mentioned earlier, when we undertook EI reform, we carried out extensive consultations. We examined all the issues and one of our key findings was the importance of covering all paid employment from the first dollar earned.

    Perhaps the member for Vancouver Island North forgets under the old system those who worked fewer than 15 hours a week and their employers did not pay premiums, nor, and this is extremely important, were these employees covered by the insurance system. The result was that the very people who were most likely to need EI support, part time workers, predominantly women, were not eligible for benefits.

    Studies of the insurance system further indicated that some employers limited their employees' hours of work to avoid paying premiums. Thus, employees could be caught in a double bind. First they could not obtain more than 15 hours of work in any one job and were thus forced to hold multiple jobs. Even though they may have worked the equivalent of full time employment, they still were not eligible to pay premiums or obtain benefits since none of these jobs provided more than 15 hours of employment.

    Since converting to first dollar coverage with the introduction of employment insurance, evidence indicates this obstacle has been eliminated. Employers are no longer inclined to limit hours of employment based solely on the employment insurance system. We now have a system that responds to the labour market.

    If we were to adopt Motion No. 300 and exempt the payments of EI premiums on the first $3,000 of income earned by all individuals, we could reintroduce a problem that we have so successfully vanquished.

  +-(1410)  

    This motion would roll back some of the key labour market policy objectives addressed through the 1996 EI reform. One of these objectives was to increase coverage and access to the EI program. An additional 400,000 part time workers became eligible for EI for the first time with the shift to first dollar coverage. Who can argue with that?

    In fact, on April 30, 2004 the C.D. Howe Institute released a paper written by David M. Gray entitled “Employment Insurance: What Reform Delivered?” What did the paper have to say about the hours based system? The report highlights that there has been extensive research and the findings suggest that the change from a weeks based system to an hours based system was warranted. The report also indicates that an hours based system eliminated the incentive to create jobs with very short employment spells and reduced inequalities on access to EI.

    The present EI system is fair and balanced. This motion, as well intentioned as it might appear at first glance, would create some unintended problems. For example, this motion would put into question the fundamental principle embodied in the EI legislation, that claimants must have paid premiums during a recent attachment to the labour force to be eligible for benefits. Under this motion, claimants would not have paid premiums for work that may later be used to calculate benefits.

    The present system, founded on the first dollar coverage and EI benefits based upon the value of wages earned in the most recent 26 weeks, encourages workers to find additional hours of employment. This system fosters workforce attachment. Findings in the recent C.D. Howe report support this, saying EI reform has indeed encouraged a greater degree of workforce attachment.

    Many of the supporters of this motion have said in the past that a yearly basic exemption not only helps business, but also could help low income earners. What they fail to recognize is that this element is already addressed through the family supplement. This is a progressive feature of the EI benefit structure, which allows individuals in low income families with children to receive a maximum of up to 80% of their average weekly earnings, rather than the 55% received by all other claimants.

    The government recognizes that some people are not able to work enough hours to qualify for EI benefits. That is why we provide premium refunds for people earning less than $2,000 annually.

    I am not saying the premium rate structure is perfect. Right now we are in the process of a rate setting review. This process is designed to create a new permanent EI rate setting mechanism for 2005 and beyond. The system will be based on extensive consultations that have been conducted. However, Motion No. 300 represents a step backward. With EI reform, we now have a system that is responsive to the changing nature of work while providing a benefit structure that strengthens insurance principles and encourages participation in the labour market.

    The government will continue to monitor and assess the EI program to ensure that it continues to respond to the needs of working Canadians.

  +-(1415)  

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: Seeing that no other member is seeking the floor, under right of reply I will give the floor to the hon. member for Vancouver Island North.

+-

    Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I do not think I will be taking my entire five minutes, which will make many of my colleagues very pleased on this Friday afternoon.

    I would like to comment on the speeches by the two government members. The member for Dufferin--Peel--Wellington--Grey basically accused me of cynical motivation for putting forward my private member's motion. I actually do not think the member realized what he was saying in his prepared speech; otherwise I would have great difficulty with that statement, particularly since my private member's motion is clearly something that has been brought forward by many very credible organizations in this country plus two standing committees in the House of Commons. To accuse me of personal cynical motivation on this private member's motion I find to be most unfortunate and a very cheap shot indeed on this last day of Parliament.

    I can understand that people may disagree with the motion. However, the disagreements that have been expressed by both government members tend to be in the category of defending the status quo and not really addressing the very significant issues, which are that there are employees who are paying premiums who will never be eligible to collect employment insurance.

    Some of the most vulnerable, lowest income earners in the country are forced into applying for a refund of their EI premiums. Naturally of these most vulnerable of people, the least well armed, more than one-third of them are failing to apply for and receive the refunds. The government has an obligation and a responsibility to treat these people in a way that would give them the option of never having to pay in the first place. That is what this motion is about.

    It is also about the fact that this would create simplicity for employers. It would also make it consistent with the yearly basic exemption provisions of the Canada pension plan. When the second government member who spoke said that this was a step backward, if the government believes that, then I can assume that the government will soon be changing the yearly basic exemption which it currently applies to Canada pension plan contributions. It works in exactly the same way as what I am proposing.

    I do not think I am going to go into any more detail than that, other than to say that the government members did a good job of putting up what I call red herrings which did not apply to what I had to say. They totally defended the status quo. I never did suggest that the hours based system of EI, the changes that were made, were inappropriate. That is something to which we have accommodated ourselves, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the proposal for a yearly basic exemption for the EI premiums.

    I will conclude with those remarks. This will probably be the last piece of business in this Parliament, Mr. Speaker.

  -(1420)  

-

    The Deputy Speaker: We will soon know how good that prediction might be.

    Pursuant to order made earlier today, all questions necessary to dispose of Motion No. 300 are deemed put and a recorded division is deemed requested and deferred until Wednesday, May 26, immediately before the time provided for private members' business.

[Translation]

    It being 2:21 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Tuesday, May 25, 2004 at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 24(1) and 28(1).

    (The House adjourned at 2:21 p.m.)

    The Third Session of the 37th Parliament was dissolved by Royal Proclamation on May 23, 2004.

APPENDIX

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


Chair Occupants

 

The Speaker

Hon. Peter Milliken

 

The Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Bob Kilger

 

The Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Réginald Bélair

 

The Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole

Mrs. Betty Hinton

 


Board Of Internal Economy

Hon. Peter Milliken

Hon. Bill Blaikie

Mr. Bob Kilger

Mr. Dale Johnston

Mr. Michel Guimond

Hon. Mauril Bélanger

Hon. Jacques Saada

Mr. John Reynolds

Mrs. Judi Longfield


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

British Columbia (34)
Abbott, Jim Kootenay—Columbia CPC
Anderson, Hon. David, 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 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, Hon. Bill Winnipeg—Transcona NDP
Borotsik, Rick Brandon—Souris CPC
Desjarlais, Bev Churchill NDP
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
VACANCY Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIST OF STANDING AND SUB-COMMITTEES

(As of May 14, 2004 — 3rd Session, 37th Parliament)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subcommittee on International Trade, Trade Disputes and Investment
Chair:

Vice-Chair:

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

Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Development
Chair:
David Kilgour
Vice-Chair:
Stockwell Day
Eleni Bakopanos
Colleen Beaumier
Martin Cauchon
Keith Martin
Deepak Obhrai
Svend Robinson
Yves Rocheleau
Total: (9)

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

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

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

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

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

Subcommittee on National Security
Chair:
Tom Wappel
Vice-Chair:
Rob Anders
Marlene Catterall
Yvon Charbonneau
Paul DeVillers
Yvan Loubier
Lawrence MacAulay
Anita Neville
Lorne Nystrom
Kevin Sorenson
Vic Toews
Total: (11)

Liaison
Chair:
Judi Longfield
Vice-Chair:
Tom Wappel
Peter Adams
Sarkis Assadourian
Raymond Bonin
Don Boudria
Bonnie Brown
Sarmite Bulte
Charles Caccia
Roy Cullen
Stan Dromisky
Gurmant Grewal
Derek Lee
Pat O'Brien
Bernard Patry
Guy St-Julien
Brent St. Denis
Paul Steckle
Paul Szabo
John Williams
Total: (20)
Associate Members
Gilbert Barrette
Eugène Bellemare
Chuck Cadman
John Cannis
Jeannot Castonguay
John Cummins
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Stockwell Day
Nick Discepola
Norman Doyle
Raymonde Folco
Paul Forseth
Yvon Godin
Jay Hill
Marlene Jennings
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Robert Lanctôt
Paul Harold Macklin
Diane Marleau
Bill Matthews
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Brian Pallister
Janko Peric
Beth Phinney
Marcel Proulx
James Rajotte
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Raymond Simard
Monte Solberg
Chuck Strahl
Paddy Torsney
Rose-Marie Ur
Maurice Vellacott

Subcommittee on Committee Budgets
Chair:
Judi Longfield
Vice-Chair:
Bonnie Brown
Roy Cullen
Pat O'Brien
Bernard Patry
Tom Wappel
John Williams
Total: (7)

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

Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs
Chair:
Bob Wood
Vice-Chair:

Claude Bachand
Bill Blaikie
Murray Calder
Rick Casson
John O'Reilly
Carmen Provenzano
Rose-Marie Ur
Elsie Wayne
Total: (9)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subcommittee on the Protection of Witnesses and Testimony
Chair:

Vice-Chair:

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

SREG
Chair:

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

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

STANDING JOINT COMMITTEES

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

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


THE MINISTRY

According to precedence

Right Hon. Paul Martin Prime Minister
Hon. Jacob Austin Leader of the Government in the Senate
Hon. David Anderson 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. 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